#1
Yeah yeah, I know very well that price doesn't equal quality. However, I still think that the two are closely related to each other.

I've grown up, and I am still growing up in Europe. The prices here are a tad different from those in USA and presumably Asia as well, however I don't really know about that. I've noticed that what I expect to pay for an amp of a certain quality here in Europe is often very different from what you in the US pay for the same quality.

Some amps that I've always thought of as the top of the line high quality amps that cost thousands of euros here actually cost far less in US. Sometimes half or even a third of the price here. I've always felt that the best common, everyday amps are priced at about 1200-ish euros or so, and the truly top quality, "best" amps are closer to 3000 euros.

So, I figure that these figures must vary pretty wildly depending on where you live, so I thought that it would be interesting to ask that:

At what price range do you usually expect to find a certain quality of an amp? What would you pay for the "best"? I've lately come to realize that I could very well find the "best" amp for far less than 2000 euros.

And again, I understand completely that price =/= quality and that quality is different for everyone. Just think of this as a thought experiment or whatever.
#2
It really depends on each specific amp. There's definitely some correlation between price and quality, but at the same time location (as you said) has such an effect on prices that it's hard to make a concrete law for it. And that's before you consider chancers charging a lot for poorly-built boutique amps, really good value options, etc. etc. EDIT: and also features cost money; if you don't need features you can get a basic, but really good, amp for a lot less than maybe a lower quality multi-channel amp with tons of features. Etc.
#3
Good point about the features.

I've too heard stories of boutique manufacturers, pedals and amps alike, charging stunning amounts of money for a product that breaks up in a week.

And by the way, my shabby observations are not based on the assumption that "this price range should have amps of this quality." It's more like that I've noticed that certain similar amps often cost similar amounts of money.
#4
The EU and Britain have protective tarriffs and some of the stuff is taxed very heavily over there.

Overall I am noticing trend that most manufacturers are cheapening their product with overseas production, yet retaining prices, so I don't know what to tell you.

There's a huge difference in build between a new Marshall DSL and an older DSL from few years ago. The component quality difference is huge!

On the other hand some of the newer Chinese-made amps are looking quite robust, for example I had to open up my Ashdown FA-60 head and things in there looked really good, probably slightly better built than some of the newer Peaveys that are at a higher price point.

The overall trend in amps is that they're dropping quality for features pretty much across the board.
#5
I think its fairly obvious here. In most cases, higher price, higher quality. That doesnt mean higher price, better sound though necessarily (because thats subjective :wtf but i think we can all agree that an electronic that is mathematically more efficent and physically lasts longer before breaking down, would be considered "higher quality". And typically that means more expensive
#6
Very difficult to say.

I was talking to a friend yesterday who has even more tube amps ( I have about 15) than I, and a lot of them are now vintage. Like me, he feels the storage requirements aren't making sense, but he's a bit afraid to sell something off for fear it's going to suddenly accelerate in price. Neither of us are actually using tube amps all that much any more.

I can buy a slightly used Carvin 4x12 with a set of Vintage 30's in it for under $200. I can buy a new brand name 4x12 with a set of V30's and the same construction quality and materials for $845 (discounted, free shipping, yada yada). Pull the backs off and they're identical inside. Both made in the US, and they sound the same.

Same goes for a 4x12AX7 4xEL34 tube head. Aside from some slight differences in expenditures for transformers and the other bits and pieces, I doubt I'd pay more than $1500 for a head. Ceriatone's Overtone Series, for example, is handwired and comes in around that price range. And the used market is glutted with manufactured examples. I purposely picked an amp that's not US or Brit-made and that should be available in the EU at around the same pricing.

The truth for ME is that I'm unlikely to buy another tube amp, under normal circumstances, even if I sold off everything I have now. I mostly use Pods and Axe-FX and the Torpedo C.A.B. and a variety of powered speakers (or a PA system).
#7
Quote by dspellman
Very difficult to say.

I was talking to a friend yesterday who has even more tube amps ( I have about 15) than I, and a lot of them are now vintage. Like me, he feels the storage requirements aren't making sense, but he's a bit afraid to sell something off for fear it's going to suddenly accelerate in price. Neither of us are actually using tube amps all that much any more.

I can buy a slightly used Carvin 4x12 with a set of Vintage 30's in it for under $200. I can buy a new brand name 4x12 with a set of V30's and the same construction quality and materials for $845 (discounted, free shipping, yada yada). Pull the backs off and they're identical inside. Both made in the US, and they sound the same.

Same goes for a 4x12AX7 4xEL34 tube head. Aside from some slight differences in expenditures for transformers and the other bits and pieces, I doubt I'd pay more than $1500 for a head. Ceriatone's Overtone Series, for example, is handwired and comes in around that price range. And the used market is glutted with manufactured examples. I purposely picked an amp that's not US or Brit-made and that should be available in the EU at around the same pricing.


The truth for ME is that I'm unlikely to buy another tube amp, under normal circumstances, even if I sold off everything I have now. I mostly use Pods and Axe-FX and the Torpedo C.A.B. and a variety of powered speakers (or a PA system).

Really interested ... post pics!
#8
Quote by Watterboy
I think its fairly obvious here. In most cases, higher price, higher quality. That doesnt mean higher price, better sound though necessarily (because thats subjective :wtf but i think we can all agree that an electronic that is mathematically more efficent and physically lasts longer before breaking down, would be considered "higher quality". And typically that means more expensive


Unfortunately, not true. In the guitar amp industry there's FAR more money in the logo and the brand name than there is in the actual components. Guitar players in particular buy more for prestige among their peers than for a gain in sound or quality.
#9
I have noticed this in guitars as well, every single Yamaha guitar I've tried has been much better than any ESP/LTD I've tried, and still Yamaha is mostly shunned while ESP is praised. That is of course just my opinion.

I also think that all of these new features in amps might just end up crapping up the signal chain with too much stuff, reducing the natural quality of the amp. That might just be placebo as well though. The ENGL 16 channel amps or whatever are taking it a bit too far though imo.
#10
Quote by Ippon
Really interested ... post pics!


Of which part?
Hanging around the den, the speakers are the same KRK Rokit 8 monitors that I use for my keyboards OR they're the old Atomic Reactors that I've had for years (18W and 50W tube power amps in a traditional but largish 1x12 or 2x12 cabinet housing fairly flat Eminence 200W 12" speakers). Small gigs, I'll take one or two fEARless F115s or fEARful 15/6/1s powered by a Carvin HD1500 or a DCM1540L solid state power amp. Back of a flat bed, two of the fEARless or fEARfuls, depending on if I want to put them on horn stands (the fEARless f115s have stand "tophats" built in). Something larger will have a pretty competent PA system, and it'll go direct into the board. I have a personal Carvin PM12A (powered speaker with 400W, a 12" woofer and 1" tweeter) that I can use as a monitor if they don't want to give me a personal wedge.
#11
I've transitioned to hybrids for my bass rigs except I still don't have the funds to get the new, lighter cabs with Neo speakers.

fEARfuls and the Genz Benz 412s with Neos are a bit pricey. The 810 is gone and so is the Ampeg SVT, although I'm missing it. I still have a traditional Traynor YBA200 but I've bonded with Markbass TTE 500 and the GB GBE 1200 and ShuttleMAX 12.0.
#12
Quote by dspellman
Unfortunately, not true. In the guitar amp industry there's FAR more money in the logo and the brand name than there is in the actual components. Guitar players in particular buy more for prestige among their peers than for a gain in sound or quality.


you've been spending to much time on the Gear Page lol. found out a long time ago that letting my playing and sound do the talking was way more important than the names on the product. one my 2 main axes is a BC Rich and we all know how much crap that name usually gets from other players. ever try to talk to blues guys and say you use a BC Rich ( it's an Eagle which isn't very metal in appearance ) you definitely get some odd looks. play for them and get that peter green tone and jaws drop.
#13
^ So true. How you play it >>> brand names .. specially to the audience.


#14
The link between cost and quality was broken a long time ago with the introduction of subjective marketing. Now the link is between cost and successful marketing strategies.
Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 5, 2014,
#15
It does become kind of obvious how little the price matters when you see the huge gaps in regional prices. If go back in time three years or so, a Mesa would've been my dream amp and I would've paid thousands of euros for it. Now, a mesa worth more than 1500e looks like a damn scam.
#16
Mark 5's are like $5K here, even when we were at party with the USD. There's some dodgey shit going on between Mesa and their distributors. The don't make 'em with dual voltage so you have to buy an export model which you can only get from their Aussie distributor. So, you think, replace the transformer.
"But just wait one minute there Jim me laddio, An "export transfomer" from Mesa. (ie a 230V one) is about $800."
Seriously? For a ****ing power transformer? I know when I'm being got at. Which is why you hardly ever see Mesas over here. Good marketing strategy that; gouge the customers until they won't even walk into your store. Give that man a raise, the f***knuckle.
Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 6, 2014,
#17
I maybe generalized a bit, I was talking about the Mesa models I am interested in.

And shit, I could get a good, professional amp with the price of that power transformer :O No wonder I don't see a lot of new Mesas around here.