#1
I've been using valve amps for a while now with a range of good quality pedals. I love the sounds I can get but I don't like the relative fragility of valve amps and their inconsistency can be a pain because whenever the slightest thing changes I have to tweak my settings to get the sound right. The other day I was playing through a cheap practice amp and I was surprised it sounded remarkably good. This got me thinking that there might be a solid state amp out there that will give me a great tone that is consistent and can be used for both gigs and at home. I've already thought about modelling amps and multi-fx units but the tone just isn't that great so I thought I might be better off getting a really good solid state amp rather than one that is trying (and failing) to emulate valves. I'm looking for an amp that has a good range of tones as I play in a Rock covers band so I need to go from clean to Metallica levels of gain. At my age my heart primarily lies in 80's Metal tones though I do like Avenged Sevenfold too. My favourite guitarist is Gary Moore but I also like artists from Santanna to Andy James.

I'm completely stuck on what to look at or if such an amp even exists. The Randall RG1503 looked interesting but absolutely nobody around me stocks them and all of the reviews I've read seem to talk about Death Metal and Dimebag's tone, suggesting it might be a bit of a one-trick pony. If I were to change (by no means certain) I'd entertain a buget of up to £500 for either a combo or a head and cab. Either a 1X12 or 2X12 is fine. Any suggestions would be welcome as I really have no idea if this is even remotely viable.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#2
I've always been curious about those lil ZT Club amps, supposedly those are pretty badass.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#3
What tube amps are you not liking?
'cause the problems you described aren't in any way related to an amp using tubes.

The fragility is common to fragile amps, but tubes aren't THAT fragile themselves, so a good tube amp wouldn't really have that problem unless you really abuse it, but in that case a solid state amp would be about as good.

The sensitivity of the controls depends on how the tone stack is designed - mesa rectifiers are known to have pretty damn sensible EQ's but if you were to put your hands on a Blackheart BH5 you'd find the tone stack isn't sensible at all.

TL;DR you might just need a better sounding tube amp.
Also for the genres you wanna do there's really no good solid state amp.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
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#4
The Orange CR120H is supposedly a good solid state. They say it has a similar circuit to the Rockerverb. The other guitarist in my band handed me his 6505 because he's going to be getting the Orange so let's hope it's badass at least. Look it up, it's got a great price none the less.
#5
I think what I mean by consistency is that the valve amps I've had always need to be really pushed hard to hit their sweet spot and I think I'd find life a little more straightforward if the quality of the tone wasn't as dependent on volume. If there's nothing out there that will give me the tones I'm after it's not a huge problem and I stick with what I've got.

I've just been looking at the Orange amps. I know very little about them except that their valve amps have a very good reputation.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#6
Quote by JBailey23
The Orange CR120H is supposedly a good solid state. They say it has a similar circuit to the Rockerverb.
According to orange the only differences are the ones necessary to substitute tubes with MOSFET's.

It doesn't sound good if you ask me.
Nor the tube rockerverb though, so
Quote by Doadman
I think what I mean by consistency is that the valve amps I've had always need to be really pushed hard to hit their sweet spot and I think I'd find life a little more straightforward if the quality of the tone wasn't as dependent on volume.
That again has nothing to do with amps using tubes or transistors.

To us, everything sounds better at higher volumes, up to the point where it starts hurting, and guitar amps sound particularly worse at low volumes 'cause the speakers employed are big and heavy and do sound better when pushed.

That is a problem you're gonna have with solid state amps as well.

If the sweet spot you're referring to is a distortion level, then either find yourself a 1w or less amp or get an amp with a master volume and distort your signal in the pre.
If you try to distort your signal with a solid state power amp you're reeeally not gonna get anything good sounding.

Also, again, what amps did you have problems with?
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#7
Valve amps I've owned so far are:

Marshall DSL401 - Nice Marshall tone but too much lag on channel switching and it was a pig to boost for solos.

H&K Switchblade - Some great tones in there but way too complicated. I don't need 50 tones, just 4. Clean, crunch, 80's Metal and high gain.

Blackstar HT60 - Best I've tried so far and I love it live but it's just not there at home and sometimes isn't ideal at rehearsal either unless we're good and loud. We're in D standard and it can get a tad too muffled in the bottom end.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#8
I can't agree enough with the original post. For solid state you can get something like a Randall RG100ES, or a Randall Century. They are bothe AMerican made solid states from the 80's, so you would need to change the transformer or something. Or you could buy something like an Ampeg VH140-C or the Crate GX-130-C. I will be actually getting that Crate during the holidays. Or you could get something like the Amptweaker Tightmetal which is supposed to be the Ampeg VH territory.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#9
Quote by Spambot_2

It doesn't sound good if you ask me.
Nor the tube rockerverb though, so


I like the Rockerverb but I've played the 60w combo of the CR...wasn't feeling it too much. The cleans were great but the gain channel was "mehhh". Might've been more of a speaker issue though.
#10
try a roland cube 80.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#11
Quote by Doadman
Valve amps I've owned so far are:
Marshall DSL401
H&K Switchblade
Blackstar HT60
H&K amps are pretty much regarded as brittle sounding here, and the HT amps aren't all tube.
The DSL I guess isn't for everybody, and it definitely doesn't do metallica that well imo.

Don't mean to tell you're wrong for wanting a solid state amp, and I do think you might use a roland cube for convenience, though don't rule out tube amps 'cause you didn't like some, 'cause the reasons why you didn't like them don't have anything to do with tubes.
Quote by Fryderyczek
I can't agree enough with the original post. For solid state you can get something like a Randall RG100ES, or a Randall Century. They are bothe AMerican made solid states from the 80's, so you would need to change the transformer or something. Or you could buy something like an Ampeg VH140-C or the Crate GX-130-C.
For (mostly angry) stuff they are good indeed, but you can find better sounding stuff for the money if you wanna play stuff from metallica to santana to andy james.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#13
Quote by The Judist
I agree with this here -----> http://www.musicradar.com/reviews/guitars/peavey-bandit-112-26495/
Give it a try

Come on mate, every single thread I see you promoting a bandit.

Quote by Spambot_2
H&K amps are pretty much regarded as brittle sounding here, and the HT amps aren't all tube.
The DSL I guess isn't for everybody, and it definitely doesn't do metallica that well imo.

Don't mean to tell you're wrong for wanting a solid state amp, and I do think you might use a roland cube for convenience, though don't rule out tube amps 'cause you didn't like some, 'cause the reasons why you didn't like them don't have anything to do with tubes.
For (mostly angry) stuff they are good indeed, but you can find better sounding stuff for the money if you wanna play stuff from metallica to santana to andy james.

One of the better things TS could get is a Line 6 Pod HD. The amps I listed are mainly for metal. Or you could also get something like a Jazz Chorus or a Yamaha G-100.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#14
I've looked into this a bit more and I'm still unsure I'd change from valve unless the solid state option is genuinely good but there are some I came up with that I thought may be worthy of further investigation:

Orange CR60C - Good reputation and probably does most of what I need but not sure if 60w solid state will work well enough at gigs. I also looked at the CR120C but that's just too expensive and way too heavy.

Randall RG80 - Seems to get good reviews but there is absolutely nowhere I can try one and I'm still concerned it will be a bit of a one-trick pony.

H&K Edition Blue 60 - Same concern as the Orange really and from what I can gather, the gain on tap is limited, though a pedal could get around that.

Fender Champion 100 - I wasn't really wanting a modelling amp as I only really use 3/4 core tones but as this keeps things very simple, it became of interest. My concern here is using it live as all the footswitch does is change between 2 channels so if I want any additional tones I either have to adjust it manually between songs or use pedals. Seems like a lot of amp for the money though.

Fender Mustang III - Once I'd introduced some modelling with the Champion it seemed a logical extension to also look at this one even though I've tried plenty modelling amps and floor processors before without success. Still, I've never tried any modelling stuff from Fender so you never know. I have no idea at all if the modelling used on the Mustang is the same as the Champion or not but I'd like to find out. I assume it's different otherwise I see little point in the Champion.

Any thoughts on how any of these would compare to my Blackstar HT60?
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#15
Quote by Doadman
I've looked into this a bit more and I'm still unsure I'd change from valve unless the solid state option is genuinely good but there are some I came up with that I thought may be worthy of further investigation:

Orange CR60C - Good reputation and probably does most of what I need but not sure if 60w solid state will work well enough at gigs. I also looked at the CR120C but that's just too expensive and way too heavy.

Randall RG80 - Seems to get good reviews but there is absolutely nowhere I can try one and I'm still concerned it will be a bit of a one-trick pony.

H&K Edition Blue 60 - Same concern as the Orange really and from what I can gather, the gain on tap is limited, though a pedal could get around that.

Fender Champion 100 - I wasn't really wanting a modelling amp as I only really use 3/4 core tones but as this keeps things very simple, it became of interest. My concern here is using it live as all the footswitch does is change between 2 channels so if I want any additional tones I either have to adjust it manually between songs or use pedals. Seems like a lot of amp for the money though.

Fender Mustang III - Once I'd introduced some modelling with the Champion it seemed a logical extension to also look at this one even though I've tried plenty modelling amps and floor processors before without success. Still, I've never tried any modelling stuff from Fender so you never know. I have no idea at all if the modelling used on the Mustang is the same as the Champion or not but I'd like to find out. I assume it's different otherwise I see little point in the Champion.

Any thoughts on how any of these would compare to my Blackstar HT60?

The 150watt 2x12 Randalll RG combo would slay all of these.

EDIT:It is a bit of a one trick pony, but if studied hard enough and with use of the volume knob on the guitar you can play anything.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#16
look for a used Line 6 Flextone III great modeling and really cheap used (typically <$300) or get the big boy Line 6 Vetta 2x12 combo and have pretty much anything you want on tap these are <$500 used
Here is a 2x12 Vetta I combo for $289 ( the vetta I can be updated to the Vetta II with a quick download from L6 for free)
www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Used-Line-6-Vetta-Guitar-Combo-Amp-110420077-i3899512.gc
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Last edited by Robbgnarly at Jan 15, 2015,
#18
I had the Mustang III for a weekend...took it back for a refund. I bought it just to have a combo amp to take around to jams and what not. The amp response on my old spider 3 felt more life-like. Wasn't too impressed by it. 60w should be decent really for both the Orange and H&K though.
#20
Quote by Fryderyczek
Come on mate, every single thread I see you promoting a bandit.
Someone reads what I write?
It's cos I have one and it's even better than I first realised.
ZEN JUDDHISM
The new solo project, and spiritual philosophy... Album out now !
----------------------------------------------------------
hybrid 6.0
Debut album 'Silent Destruction' out now
Read the Two Guys Metal review here
#21
Quote by The Judist
Someone reads what I write?
It's cos I have one and it's even better than I first realised.


The fact that you constantly pimp conspiracy theories, false flags and bandits tends to detract from your veracity in re: bandits.

Now given that they aren't related to your pseudo-politics, they may be excellent tools, but it gives one pause...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#22
Quote by Arby911
The fact that you constantly pimp conspiracy theories, false flags and bandits tends to detract from your veracity in re: bandits.

Now given that they aren't related to your pseudo-politics, they may be excellent tools, but it gives one pause...
Two people in one thread who have ever read any of my posts!
(FYI: Scientific study reveals conspiracy theorists the most sane of all
so yeah my opinion is the most valid )

Bandits rock
ZEN JUDDHISM
The new solo project, and spiritual philosophy... Album out now !
----------------------------------------------------------
hybrid 6.0
Debut album 'Silent Destruction' out now
Read the Two Guys Metal review here
#24
Quote by Doadman
I've already thought about modelling amps and multi-fx units but the tone just isn't that great


It takes some muddling to get the tone right on some multi-fx units, but once you do, it's pretty rewarding. I've got stacks of tube amps and love them. I've also got a helluva "transistor amp" from the early '70's ('71, in fact), but it's 275W and the cabinet is huge (4' tall), with two 15" Altec Lansing 418's and a horn-based mids/HF driver.

While guitarists regressed into tubes, it's been the bass players who've gotten the benefit of solid state amps. Manufacturers have designed for them, but not for guitar players.

I have Pods and an AxeFX Ultra (about three versions back from the current AxeFX II XL).

The Pods do well if you stick with them long enough to find where to make the tweaks they need. Meambobbo's Tone Guide was a major help, even though it's aimed a bit more at high-gain folks. And if you can afford to add a Two-Notes Torpedo C.A.B. to the Pod (the C.A.B. offers cabinet IRs and tube power amp emulation), you'll find that you have a very consistent tool to use on nearly any output that's full range (studio quality headphones, studio recording monitors, powered speakers, PA, etc.).
#25
I'm not going to steer you away from a Solid State amp if that is really what you want. The problem I think you are going to run into is getting a good Gary Moore, Santana, etc tone from a solid state amp. Those artists tones rely on the dynamics and that give and take a tube amp gives you. Also, tube amps are not fragile. Have you ever seen the Youtube vid of a Crate tube amp being thrown on the ground?

Also, guess what the number one answer is for most people trying to trouble shoot a problem with a tube amp. The tubes. Tubes are something you can pull out and replace or test fairly easily. You can't do that with a solid state amp.

I know you don't want a modeler but based on your needs - that might be the way to go. I'm sure everyone is tired of me recommending the Peavey Vypyr Tube 60, and although maybe not perfect, is a lot of bang for the buck for $300 used and they are fairly easy to dial in. Might be the best of both worlds for you. I like Robbs suggestions too - I just don't have a lot of experience with those amps (nor the Pods/Axe Fx/etc)
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jan 16, 2015,