#1
What's up everybody?

First post in a while. I just recently got back into the music scene while being pretty busy with everything in life. and looking to purchase some new gear. I've been looking into amps and need some advice with the options on the market currently.

Here's all the key points answered from the sticky:

Budget: Anything up to $2000 is okay with me. Possibly up to $2500 depending on how much I like the product.

Genre: Almost always metal. To be more specific, I play a lot of Dream Theater, Between the Buried and Me, Jeff Loomis, Keith Merrow, Protest the Hero, Periphery, Necrophagist. I already know I need hi-gain but I want it to be very tight. Conquering Dystopia is a very good example of this. I particularly like Jeff's lead tone. I've always been a lead player so even though these bands have a lot of hi-gain rhythm parts, I'm also very interested in the lead tone.

New or used are both fine. I would definitely prefer new, but I have no issues going with a used piece of gear.

Home or gig: At this very moment, it would be for home, but I'm going to buy with the intent of gigging in the near future, so I want it to be suitable for gigging. Recording is also a big thing for me. I have my own home studio and want something that I can record with a very nice tone. I don't want to have to crank a 100W head to 8.5 to get a good sound. I want it to be at levels I can record with in my studio.

Closest City?: I live in Scranton, Pennsylvania. And willing to travel a couple hours to get the right piece.

Current gear:

Amp:
Laney TT100H Head with Laney 4x12 cab. My father purchased this for me about 4 years ago at Christmas. This amp does great cleans, and it was advertised as a hi-gain amp. However, it just doesn't suit my needs. The gain is very fuzzy and weird sounding. It doesn't sound tight and clean, it sounds fuzzy and scratchy. The whole time I've used this amp, my distortion for everything has come from a Boss Metal Zone pedal. I actually get surprisingly good tone out of that, but I just find it utterly ridiculous to have a ~$2000 half stack, getting my tone out of a Boss pedal.

Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Classic (don't use very often, bought it as something of sentimental value to have when my grandmother passed away and left me money). Schecter C-1 Classic, ESP LTD Laiho 600, PRS SE Custom 24 7-string, and I'm picking up a Jeff Loomis JL-7 tomorrow. Aside from the Gibson, I use the other 3 guitars very heavily.

All of my current guitar recordings are done though a Saffire 6 interface, and a Shure SM57 mic.

The options that I have personally noticed are, ENGL's, Mesa triple Rectifier, EVH 5150 III, and Peavey 6505+. I have also looked at Axe FX and Kemper. I have absolutely no issue going for the Axe FX or Kemper if they will be the best option for me. I know in the future I can gig with both of them with some extra equipment. The problem here is I'm not able to go test out an Axe FX or Kemper. The only amps I can actually test in my area are most likely the Mesa and 6505.

I'm not close-minded to only these options, it's just all I'm aware of. After a recent search I see a lot of love for the Jet City amps, any other suggestions and/or opinions is welcome.
#2
Mesa. There is no substitute.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
Quote by Cajundaddy
Mesa. There is no substitute.


From what I've heard, and correct me if I'm wrong the Mesa triple rectifier has a watt switch, or something similar so you don't have to crank it for a great sound. This is a big thing for me as I'm in a part of the city where houses are very close and I'm just in my small studio room where I can't turn an amp extremely loud.
#4
Quote by GuitarKid61791
From what I've heard, and correct me if I'm wrong the Mesa triple rectifier has a watt switch, or something similar so you don't have to crank it for a great sound. This is a big thing for me as I'm in a part of the city where houses are very close and I'm just in my small studio room where I can't turn an amp extremely loud.


Yes. Also a cab-voiced line out and/or headphone out so you can switch off the speakers and still get glorious Mesa shred tone. Features do vary between models so choose the one that suits your needs best.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Dec 26, 2014,
#6
Quote by Cajundaddy
Mesa. There is no substitute.


I would prefer Engl for an out-of-the-box tight and high quality high gain tone. If you dont need a ton of versatility, the Fireball 100 has an amazing hi gain tone for rhythms and leads. The cleans are great too, but you cant do anything in between (unless you want to run the clean gain high, or if you add a overdrive/tubescreamer). I was really impressed with it when I played it. You might even have enough budget left over to upgrade your cab if you want (Engl tends to pair well with v30s; but it isnt a necessity).

If you want more versatility than the fireball, I would still recommend either the Engl Powerball II, or the Invader. You will prob use up more of your budget with those, but they are exceptional amps.

Mesa are great amps; but Loomis endorsed engl for a while there and there are clips of him playing their amps and getting an excellent tone. You dont need to crank them ridiculously loud to get a great tone. Low to moderate volume will get you a great sound from my experience.
Quote by suckmahnuts
Watterboy, I love you.

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You are now my favourite person on UG.....You write cool shit.

Quote by wannabestoner69


Last edited by Watterboy at Dec 26, 2014,
#7
Quote by Watterboy
I would prefer Engl for an out-of-the-box tight and high quality high gain tone. If you dont need a ton of versatility, the Fireball 100 has an amazing hi gain tone for rhythms and leads. The cleans are great too, but you cant do anything in between (unless you want to run the clean gain high, or if you add a overdrive/tubescreamer). I was really impressed with it when I played it. You might even have enough budget left over to upgrade your cab if you want (Engl tends to pair well with v30s; but it isnt a necessity).

If you want more versatility than the fireball, I would still recommend either the Engl Powerball II, or the Invader. You will prob use up more of your budget with those, but they are exceptional amps.

Mesa are great amps; but Loomis endorsed engl for a while there and there are clips of him playing their amps and getting an excellent tone. You dont need to crank them ridiculously loud to get a great tone. Low to moderate volume will get you a great sound from my experience.


I'll take a look and see if there's somewhere near where I live to test out some ENGL's. I've heard great things about them. Versatility isn't a big thing for me so I'm pretty interested. Thanks for the response!
#9
Quote by GuitarKid61791
I'll take a look and see if there's somewhere near where I live to test out some ENGL's. I've heard great things about them. Versatility isn't a big thing for me so I'm pretty interested. Thanks for the response!


No problem- and good luck. With that budget, you will invariably wind up with a great sounding amp.
Quote by suckmahnuts
Watterboy, I love you.

Quote by davrossss
You are now my favourite person on UG.....You write cool shit.

Quote by wannabestoner69


#12
Jet City stuff is great. But you'd have issues with the FX loops if you're wanting to run modulation effects.

Engl is a good shout also. I miss my Fireball 60.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#13
Quote by Ippon
RT has a Rhodes Colossus H-100 FS for $2500! It's like the ENGL SE 670 and Diezel VH4 had a baby!



Keith Merrow had great things to say about the Rhodes. I'm very interested in this.

Mind hitting me up with a link?
#14
Quote by GuitarKid61791
Keith Merrow had great things to say about the Rhodes. I'm very interested in this.

Mind hitting me up with a link?

There was one at Reverb earlier today for 2500, gone now. Here's another: https://reverb.com/item/338306-rhodes-colossus-h-100

RT: http://www.rig-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=163585

Good Luck!
#15
Thanks a lot everybody! Gonna do as much research/testing on the brands you all have mentioned and I look forward to my new purchase
#16
I'm gonna be the odd man out here and say that what you want is the Axe or Kemper. Super versatile. More or less all the bands you mentioned use one or the other. If you're more of just a plug and play little to no effects guy get the Kemper (you could also get the powered version and go straight to a cab in your price range used). If you like more effects and parameters to play with get the Axe. Plus for home you have the option of headphones with either unit or turning down when running to a cab with no tone loss.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9