#1
I'd like to find a combo that has crisp cleans with plenty of headroom that also plays well with distortion pedals of most, if not all, stripes - currently use a gt500, ds-1, ts808, but they change from time to time.

High output isn't a requirement. If I play out and it doesn't hang, then I'll figure something out.
#2
We need more info:

Budget? - What is practical for you and what is your limit?

Genres? - What style do you play mostly, fav guitarists, do you need cleans, etc?

New or Used? - Lots of great amps out there used, especially in a down economy.

Home or Gig? - Also important. Maybe you do both. Jamming with a drummer can be considered 'gigging' but you won't have a PA etc.

Closest City? - We aren't here to stalk you but we need to know where you are in the world roughly and we can help further if we know what city you are in (ie craigslist, local shops, Guitar Center used section, etc)

Current Gear? - Also good for us to know.

Quick Answer?

Vox AC30
Fender Twin Reverb
#3
Dr. Z. most are single channel, very awesome, and very responsive to just about anything. may cost you about 1000 median price though...but so will a good vox or fender. depending on your gigging needs, i personally would be getting something that can breakup fairly well at gigging volumes, a little lower headroom, give some good natural breakup response when you slam it with boosts, drivers, etc for that jack white / black keys type old school garage rock tone. perhaps a responsive amp that goes almost clean with a volume knob.

even then, if your around 30ish watts on a single channel amp, like a dr. Z, thats plenty. if you really want high headroom, 50 watts will give you all you need really.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#4
you can put Carvins Vintage series on this list too .... I got one for Christmas based off a Dspellman recommendation and he was on the money , I bought the head version called a VT50 and it sounds better than my early 70's Twin Reverb and better than my mid 70's Super Reverb ..... not to mention brand new 399.00 dollars shipped direct from Carvin ... they have a Belair 2x12 combo , a Nomad 1x12 combo and the head version VT 50 , all 50 watts of power and they take pedals beautifully

http://www.carvinguitars.com/guitaramps/vintageseries.php
#5
Budget - somewhat indifferent on this. Ideal range is $1k or less but I would likely spend up to $3k for just the right amp.

Genres - I play a lot of different stuff. Delta blues to SRV in the blues realm, classic rock, 80s/90s metal, some classical, and a bit of jazz.

Condition - I prefer to buy used most of the time but new is fine if used isn't an option for what I want.

Use - Primarily home, potentially with a drummer. Historically I'm mostly a loner and play for my own enjoyment.

Location - Just outside of Austin, TX.

Current Gear - Currently playing through a Peavey Classic 30 (which I've always loved and will keep) and a Blackstar HT-5 (which I do not love at all). I once owned the first of the AC-30 reissues, and I'm not entirely opposed to going back to one, although I do feel like the tonal variety on that amp is fairly narrow. I loved my Yamaha DG-80 (which I lost to theft) but I can't seem to find one now. Guitar-wise, standard strat, les paul traditional, ibanez js1200, taylor 400 acoustic. Pedal wise, right now just a fulltone gt500 and boss ds-1 in use. Never really use the tube screamer.

The suggestion on the twin doesn't surprise me. I played on a used reissue twin at GC and it was pretty fantastic. Didn't get to mess with effects pedals of any kind.
#6
Ampeg tube amps kick ass at taking pedals and are reasonably priced. Screw it Im saying buy a used jsx it does everything well.
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#7
oh damn dude. 1-3 k your world is open to the boutiques. oh man my fingers are itching.

well start your search at dr Z. incredible amps and a ton of quaity in the 800-1500 range. fender can do something you want. classic amp.

bring in the boutiques....
i would be off to Cornford next
swart
3 monkey
Suhr
divided by 13
orange
fuchs
PRS
jackson ampworks
bad cat
victoria amps
65 amps
this thing: https://duskyamp.com/models/413A/


the list goes on
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
Last edited by ikey_ at Dec 31, 2014,
#8
Thanks guys. I've never heard the Peavey JSX but I see radically mixed reviews on them. Satriani is switching back to Marshall which doesn't inspire confidence either. I should say, though, that Satriani's lead tone is to my ear the best lead tone I've ever heard from anyone ever, on most of his recordings (and live), so a JSX doesn't sound awful. And I've been in love with the Classic 30/50 combos for 20 years.

I've heard great things about Dr Z and they pop up often in Austin. I love the Fuchs but haven't found any used that fit the bill. I play on one every time I'm at Guitar Center. I'll check a few out. I just made a deal on a Fender 65 DRRI mint 2 years old for $600 picking that up tomorrow, but I'm a gear ***** and still want to find a sexy boutique amp.

I should also mention: I'm not exclusively seeking a clean only amp, a good overdrive channel never hurt anybody.
Last edited by davidfells81 at Dec 31, 2014,
#9
After reading more reviews and watching more demos, I just picked up a JSX 212 combo for $470 shipped. That and the FDRRI should keep me busy for a while. Thanks for the help gentlemen.

Dr Z still on the possible menu down the road... heh.
#10
well if i was a gear head like you i would probably run a stereo setup with a line splitter and run the fender for cleans and the peavy for other stuff. you would have tons of flexibility there. perhaps too much to choose from.

so why a single channel then? is it the mentality that 1 amp cant do everything well? it cant be true if you want that single channel class A breakup classic type tone AND high gain metal. i mean, many amps can do a lot well, like Deizels, but they still cant pull off that class a low wattage vintage amp tone even if they do cleans and crunch well.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#11
The JSX is great. Love it. Between that and the Classic 30 for blues stuff I think I'm set. I didn't even go get the Twin. Thanks for the suggestion.
#12
i mean that amp alone should cover a ton of music...you saved a couple grand tho...

probably wont do country or class A type rock overdrive like a cranked Dr. Z, but everything has its place.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#13
Quote by davidfells81
The JSX is great. Love it. Between that and the Classic 30 for blues stuff I think I'm set. I didn't even go get the Twin. Thanks for the suggestion.

No reason why you couldn't do the blues on the JSX as well. I remember the clean channel pushed got a nice blues :at breaking point" sound and the mid channel with gain dialed down was also great for blues leads.

Satriani switched for commercial reasons. Marshall just bagged him with better endorsement deal and at the time he was flirting with his Vox pedals line which probably made Peavey squeamish as he was talking that he used the JSX just for its clean channel. Don't know if it is true, but I've recorded quite a few local guys with these amps and they cover anything from clean to thrash without need of a boost or extra help. Very cool amp!
#14
Quote by davidfells81
The JSX is great. Love it. Between that and the Classic 30 for blues stuff I think I'm set. I didn't even go get the Twin. Thanks for the suggestion.


Now that you have it, make sure you use the two dirt channels. You can even run that tube screamer with the dirt to get a new modern metal tone if you're into that sort of thing. That amp is very versatile. I know a very good player who only runs pedals through his JSX and I never understood that. Why buy this amp and distortion pedals.