#1
I'm asking this because I've spent a while in the past getting a shortlist of amps so I can go and check them out either in a local shop, trying out a friend's amp if they have one on the shortlist or watching a youtube demo.

Some people might not be bothered but I think there must be others out there that want to whittle down the list based on some definite things the amp must have.

Like, a while back after gigging with the band I was in for a while I got real tired of lugging round the Marshall combo I had (yeah, I know it's nothing like dragging a half stack around) and also where I was living at the time I had limited storage space for my gear. So I had a specific criteria with the dimensions and the weight of the amp. I also wanted two channels and it needed to be a single speaker not a twin. So that was my criteria as a starting point - so I went through each of the manufacturers sites I could think of that made amps that could be somewhere along the lines of what I'd need and then created a list to compare the various criteria of the models that seemed to fit the bill. That really helped and I could see which ones had what I needed and some had things which were nice to have but not essential.

Then it was a case of searching for reviews of the shortlist and the usual process from there.

I'm a logical kind of guy so I like to research these things methodically and it helped me find what I was looking for but it took time. I know it's geeky but I like searching for the spec I want!

Surely there must be a site out there that like has all the amps listed and you can search based on what genre you like, the wattage, number of channels and stuff. That would save time and be real handy. Anyone know of anything like that?
#2
The best thing to do is go to music stores and try out as many amps as you can which fit your specific requirements. It's absolutely essential for making sure you find what you're looking for, and if the stores won't let you take the time to do this then they don't deserve your money and you should take your business elsewhere.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#3
Hey thanks Blompcube. You're totally right about going to try out the amps in a store but what I'm wondering is how people shortlist which amps meet their criteria - before then go out and try those amps.
#4
The methodical way of doing that is really the best way of getting exactly what you want for what you need and not having people like we see on here going after impulse buys because "x" plays on it. Everybody plays on a Marshall but I wanted an amp that had a good seperate dirty and clean channel that could hit all parts in between and beyond. My musical taste is so varied that I needed a versatile amp and with the twist of a few knobs and pedal tweaks my JCM does the trick so all my points were accomplished. More people need to search in that manner than "hey internet, do I want an apple or an orange for my metal band?"
#5
Thanks JBailey - you seem to be on my wave-length! I'm pretty sure it's not just me that spends time doing the research for specific criteria. Anyone else search through the specs?
#6
We have the LA Amp Show.

First weekend in October, usually, and it's held at an airport hotel in Van Nuys that has rooms with a bit more soundproofing than normal. As long as the door is closed, you can pretty much crank the living hell out of an amp, and you can get a pretty good idea of how it sounds. LOTS of boutique amp builders, a few guitar builders, some accessory manufacturers, and you can negotiate some killer deals ("I really don't want to cart this beast back home"). Hear-O's at the door, and you'll find yourself standing cheek-by-jowl with some rock stars and some amazing players, all in grubs, all there to see gear.
#7
Wow dspellman - the Amp show sounds incredible. You're not aware of a site that lists all the amps available then to help research amp choice?
#8
Quote by Gregger74
Hey thanks Blompcube. You're totally right about going to try out the amps in a store but what I'm wondering is how people shortlist which amps meet their criteria - before then go out and try those amps.

Ok - I was suggesting another essential step in choosing an amp that I thought you had missed/forgotten to include, because I hadn't fully understood the context of the thread

Having said that, usually playing amps in store is the majority of my method of researching a new amp choice - I normally just go out and see what I can find within a reasonable distance (Roughly within about a 50-60 mile radius of where I live) and skip the online research entirely.

It's quite easy for me to find something that works for me though, because my needs are very very simple - as long as it has a solid clean tone with plenty of presence, which can break up in a musical way when pushed, I can work with it. If I want anything extra, I can get that from pedals

I don't know of any resource that lists all the amps that are currently in production and allows you to do refined searches based on certain criteria (price, wattage, size, head/cab, tube/SS, number of channels, etc), I suspect it would be too time consuming for anyone to gather all the data and keep it up to date. Also certain things would be region-specific, like how the price of an amp in british pounds doesn't necessarily translate to the equivalent amount in US dollars. I can see how it would be extremely helpful, though.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#9
A site like that would be extremely helpful but as far as catagorizing an amp into a "genre" would be something hard I would see. There's some crafty players out there who can make their gear do some crazy genre crossing.
#10
Sweetwater has a few searching options and they sell probably most of the mass produced amps on their website. Not quite a database, thought and certainly lack some research options, but I like their site just for reasearch purposes.
#11
Blompcube - thanks for the update and taking the time to expand on your reply.

JBailey - definitely would be helpful if there was a site like that and you're right; genre could be a subjective category because some people can get a tone that might suit their Country Western style out of an amp that others wouldn't normally consider suitable. Nevertheless I guess for a beginner looking for a place to start a search a simple genre approach for them would be helpful.

Taz9 - thanks for pitching in with your reply. Makes me feel better knowing others do this research online too!

Maybe we've hit on something here. Doesn't appear to be a site that does it out there. Like Blompcube said it would be quite a bit of work to maintain so if something is out there somewhere it might have a fee to use. I'd certainly pay a few bucks to run a search and get a list I can then take out to try in stores!
#12
It's not a comprehensive list since it only includes what they stock but http://www.thomann.de/gb/amplifiers_for_electric_guitars.html offers the ability to search by different criteria e.g. weight, wattage, channels. And most amps have sound bites of a few different musical styles. I've found it useful to search for nd compare amps using that site.
Guitars:
EVH Wolfgang Special LH
Gibson Les Paul Studio 2013
Ibanez EW20LASE-NT LH

Effects:
BOSS GT-100

Amps:
Fender Hot Rod DeVille 410
Laney IRT Studio + 112 cab
#13
amps like guitars are a personal choice and what works for one guy might not work for you. best bet is to decide what your needs are. what genres of music do you play the most. do you need a great clean channel or is the distortion channel more important (often until you get into big $ amps you don't get both). how many channels do you need (realistically) and would you prefer separate eq controls for each (once again this is often going to result in more money being spent for a bunch of options) and of course how much do you have to spend. it's not hard to see what others are using for similar music especially on boards like this.

try before you buy is the most solid advice that can be given. keep an open mind as while perhaps a certain brand might not be familiar to you or known for doing what you want it may turn out to be perfect for you.

for the record I have a Peavey Ultra 2x12 which can be had fairly cheap and provides great hard rock and metal tones but also works well for blues and clean sounds. I also have a peavey valveking which is great for hard rock and blues rock as well as having a fairly decent clean channel. neither amp is expensive and both do the job.
#14
Lots of good advice!

Auditioning amps is so much fun it can burn some serious time. After getting punched, kicked, thrown, and armbarred, playing amps you haven't tried is another type of fun that stimulates a different area of my brain.

Quote by Blompcube
Ok - I was suggesting another essential step in choosing an amp that I thought you had missed/forgotten to include, because I hadn't fully understood the context of the thread

Having said that, usually playing amps in store is the majority of my method of researching a new amp choice - I normally just go out and see what I can find within a reasonable distance (Roughly within about a 50-60 mile radius of where I live) and skip the online research entirely.

It's quite easy for me to find something that works for me though, because my needs are very very simple - as long as it has a solid clean tone with plenty of presence, which can break up in a musical way when pushed, I can work with it. If I want anything extra, I can get that from pedals


I don't know of any resource that lists all the amps that are currently in production and allows you to do refined searches based on certain criteria (price, wattage, size, head/cab, tube/SS, number of channels, etc), I suspect it would be too time consuming for anyone to gather all the data and keep it up to date. Also certain things would be region-specific, like how the price of an amp in british pounds doesn't necessarily translate to the equivalent amount in US dollars. I can see how it would be extremely helpful, though.

Sounds like a potential UG project that might drive even more site traffic and some revenue tie-ins.

Make it happen!

#18
if i have money i buy shit if i dont then i dont buy anything it's a pretty simple system.
mojostompboxes.com
#19
For some people, trying out several amps can be difficult. This might be stupid, but I feel bad trying out stuff knowing that even if I pick it, I'll go online and find it cheaper. Listen to every YouTube clip you can find AMD read every review. Then buy it from a place with a nice return policy (guitar center)
RG351DX - Bridge Dragonfire Screamer, Mid+Neck Fender Hot Noiseless
Peavey Valveking 112 - Eminence GB128
AMT E1 > Joyo AC Tone > Dan'o EQ > Shimverb > Digidelay
#20
Go to UG and ask for advice, then check out the amps everyone suggests Otherwise, yeah, you go try them if you can, and listen to youtube clips. Not much other than that. Read some reviews as well, and brows forums for any issues people tend to have with them. Altough reviews are not really all that useful, since most people just praise the amp, so you have to look for some that actually say anything useful. This is at least what i do, without the t"try them out" part, since stores around here are very very badly stocked with amps, so i have to order online. And like tas38 said, i find it kinda shitty to try stuff out in store that i have no intention of actually buying there.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#21
I would start here with a budget first and a recommendation for the style of music you play , then find whats available in that price range new and used local first for the style of music you play , then span out
Last edited by Fumble fingers at Oct 29, 2014,
#22
i generally narrow it down to the style of amp i want, say if I want a high-gainer, or something marshally, voxy, fendery or whatever. then try as many as you can of the same style of amps. also try some outside that, just in case you like them better.
#23
The last amp i bought i bought on a UG recommendation a few years back, I'm extremely happy with it I turned down a few offers of people willing to pay double what i paid for it. If you can try them in store before you buy.