#1
So I have spent too damned long with a Vypyr and am looking again and there is a new wave of mini amps. I have no budget, I will buy what gets me the sound I want at the volume I want and is reasonable. I don't wanna spend $2000 on switching and attenuation.

Tones I wish to capture:
Tool, Iced Earth, Pennywise, BIGWIG, Fenix TX, David Gilmour, djent-ish.

I have looked at the following:

ENGL Ironball
Mesa Mark V Twenty-Five
Mesa Rectoverb Twenty-Five
Mesa Mark V
EVH 5150III
Blackstars, all of them

Of those the ENGL and Mark get me closest. The Rectoverb is a rectifier and would need some assistance to tighten up and become something other than a rectifier. The Mark can do the cleans, both of them. The ENGL is tighter for sure but I think I lose the punk sound and that is a very large middle ground to not have. I think I could get away with, at some point, a mini Mark and a Mini Rectifier, or the Ironball and Mini Rectifier but I am not sure...

Anyone with enough experience with the Mini Mesa's to know if they can get to the Jon Schaffer/Iced Earth/ENGL tightness? My technique isn't quite there so it is hard for me to say that the Mesa can't but I know the Ironball can get me closer at this point in time.
#2
Fletcher has used Mesa amps since I can remember (94ish I think) but he has used different models. He has used the DC10 and the Dual/triple recto along with the Mark III. He also had a brief stint where he used Crate amps.

Bigwig, Fenix TX (I saw them when they were still called River Fenix) is more Marshall based.

Not really sure what Tool use

What is your actual budget?

My first pick would be a JCM2000 DSL50/100
Last edited by Robbgnarly at Nov 15, 2014,
#3
Adam Jones from tool uses a VH4.

Why in the world do you need the amp to be small?
'cause you'll not do tool, nor djent, with a small amp.
Not enough thump with power amps so little and EL84's aren't really what you want for that tones.

Also for your life you wouldn't be able to djent with a mesa, let alone a small one.

I'd get a diezel herbert.
#4
Fletcher uses/used Mesa since the first album and ever since, with a Bogner or VHT Pitbull added at one point, http://iheartguitarblog.com/2012/05/interview-pennywises-fletcher-dragge.html#sthash.B9ROFC7s.dpbs">http://iheartguitarblog.com/2012/05/interview-pennywises-fletcher-dragge.html#sthash.B9ROFC7s.dpbs. There is a promo pic of him with a Blue voodoo though, at some point. Not too sure on that but the bulk was Mesa. BIGWIG is Mesa as well, not sure on Fenix TX. Looking at some videos it seems that they use Mesa cabs, I'll assume recto for amps. NOFX is a Mark also. Either way, I am cool with Mesa for that part of my desired sound, either a Mark or Recto.

Actual budget... Looks like it will peak at $3000 assuming I get a Mark V and a 2x12. I would like it to be under $2000 which would be a mini head and 2x12 or 1x12 cab from any brand.
#5
Quote by Spambot_2
Adam Jones from tool uses a VH4.

Why in the world do you need the amp to be small?
'cause you'll not do tool, nor djent, with a small amp.
Not enough thump with power amps so little and EL84's aren't really what you want for that tones.

Also for your life you wouldn't be able to djent with a mesa, let alone a small one.

I'd get a diezel herbert.


Because I am not playing out or with a band. Small means I will actually push the amp rather than playing a 150w head at 0.
#6
You may want to try the Rectoverb 25 out then.

When I saw Big Wig and Fenix TX (99ish) they were both using Marshall amps, pretty sure it was the JCM900 DR
#7
Quote by orionz06
Because I am not playing out or with a band. Small means I will actually push the amp rather than playing a 150w head at 0.
Though there's no advantage in "pushing the amp" as you put it.

Amps don't sound better 'cause you're using more of their relative power.
Also you wouldn't be able to play a 5w amp at its full power as well unless you wanted to make some noise, which is something you don't look like wanting to do.

On the other hand big amps give you a lot more possibilities even though they're heavier - they can produce more noise (guitar sounds) without distorting it unless you want them to, and they can give you a shit ton more low end.

For physical reasons you need more power to produce low end than to produce high end, and for at least a part of what you described you want a consistent, thump-y low end.

Also EL84's aren't what you want in a metal amp, and all them amps apart from the 5150 III mini (which also is twice the power of the biggest among the other amps you listed) use EL84's to put out whatever power.

The reason why big amps sound worse at lower volumes isn't related to the fact that they're big - in fact, to the human ear everything sounds worse at lower volumes (unless you're talking ear-hurting volumes), and a small amp won't sound better than a big amp at low volumes because it's smaller.
If it does sound better at lower volumes then it will also sound better at higher volumes.

For that money, I'd still get a herbert.
Plus a closed back PPC212, or possibly an oversized mesa recto 2x12.
#8
Interdasting. Most of the comments and in person playing tells me that the tubes used in the smaller amps haven't been an issue. They have been mentioned and discussed at length on a Mesa forum and other forums but most of the die hards haven't cared once they heard the amps.
#10
^ didn't say they can't sound big, I said EL84's aren't ideal for metal amps.
Too much spikey harmonics and little power.

The fact that they're put in relatively small amps is due to their relatively low power, but it's not like you couldn't use 4 in class AB and get a big EL84 amp.

Plus that amp in that vid does sound big indeed, but try turning it up a bit and it'll loose low end compared to the rest and it'll start get harsh.
Well that's what I'm assuming from experience with EL84 amps at least.
Last edited by Spambot_2 at Nov 15, 2014,
#11
Oh I agree 100% most EL84 amps do loose that lowend thump at higher volumes. I think that is why Krank used 6l6's in their 20 and 50 watt Jr series. My 1980 doesn't loose any bass response at high volumes.
#12
Get the Mark V, man. Forget this "pushing the amp" bollocks. That's an old adage from the days before master volumes. You don't have to push the power amp to get the tones you want, it's all in the preamp.


Otherwise, you could always go the RM100 route and load it up with whatever preamp modules take your fancy. No real need to compromise; if you want a Recto, buy a Recto module, want Marshall, buy a Marshall module. There are Diezel modules out there too. If there's tone you want, there's a module that will do it.
#13
Look at the Laney Ironheart series. Between the mini, the studio, the cabs, and the small combos there are several options that would suit most of your needs for far less money than the amps on your list. Some of them come with power scaling that lets you keep the volume down. And with the money you save you can buy a few pedals to hit more tones instead of trying to get all those sounds from just one amp.
#15
Bigwig is currently using AMT B1s with Mesa Rectos as a poweramp. I spent a goodwhile talking to them about this this past summer.
#16
A mark 5 would probably be sick and do what you want. Also, (since you were considering Engl) might I also recommend the Powerball II. I have the Powerball v1 and manage to get some pretty nice punkish tones on the crunch channel, especially with a tubescreamer or other OD out front. Ive actually used it to cover All My Fault by Fenix Tx and it sounded fairly close. I recommend the II though, because it has individual gain knobs per channel which is ideal. The tone seemed pretty similar to the v1. Im not too familiar with some of the bands you are after, aside from Tool, david gilmour and Fenix TX. The lo gain channel will get you in djent territory no problem though. Or, lower the gain and add more mids for punch and it will probably sound Tool-ish. And with the mid boost on, the leads get very creamy. I really like the 'Balls amps, if you can deal with people constantly shitting on them for being "way too compressed".

I also like the above idea of the Randall RM. I never played one, but ive been looking them up and listening a lot lately and theyre pretty awesome. The modules are a great concept.
#17
Quote by McLeod
Bigwig is currently using AMT B1s with Mesa Rectos as a poweramp. I spent a goodwhile talking to them about this this past summer.

Interesting. I just checked the Instagram pic, B1 is on Tom's board. A Mark is there too though...


Quote by Watterboy
A mark 5 would probably be sick and do what you want. Also, (since you were considering Engl) might I also recommend the Powerball II. I have the Powerball v1 and manage to get some pretty nice punkish tones on the crunch channel, especially with a tubescreamer or other OD out front. Ive actually used it to cover All My Fault by Fenix Tx and it sounded fairly close. I recommend the II though, because it has individual gain knobs per channel which is ideal. The tone seemed pretty similar to the v1. Im not too familiar with some of the bands you are after, aside from Tool, david gilmour and Fenix TX. The lo gain channel will get you in djent territory no problem though. Or, lower the gain and add more mids for punch and it will probably sound Tool-ish. And with the mid boost on, the leads get very creamy. I really like the 'Balls amps, if you can deal with people constantly shitting on them for being "way too compressed".

I also like the above idea of the Randall RM. I never played one, but ive been looking them up and listening a lot lately and theyre pretty awesome. The modules are a great concept.

The PBII gets a lot of good reviews.


On the bands I listed none of them are really sticking points for tone, just an idea as to what I like and where my ideal sound comes from. Noodling around more the last few days has me wondering if my sound could cover all realms from a Mk V. That clean channel is something I want... Maybe the Mini Mark is the way to go. Hoping to get more time on it and see some more videos.