#1
Hey!

So I've been playing guitar for about 8 years now but haven't ever really got into gear too much (that might have something to do with my age - I'm 17 now)..

Anyway, I currently have a Hagstrum Ultra Swede guitar (upgraded to that from an Encore Blaster Series ) and a Fender Mustang II amp. The only pedal I have is a basic one button channel switch for use with the Mustang, I mainly use it as a Clean/Dirty switch.

I'm pretty happy with my guitar as it looks sweet and plays really well (what more do you need ae? )

However im not very satisfied with my amp as its lack of EQ control (doesn't even have a mid control.....) and the fact that its all based around pre-sets really isn't my style and now that ive advanced with my guitar skill I would like a bit more control over my tone.

Ive been looking at the Marshall DSL15 (always wanted a Marshall haha) and the Blackstar HT5-R as both have received excellent reviews seemingly everywhere.

To give you a flavour of what I like to play:
Ac/Dc, My Chemical Romance, Lynard Skynard, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Biffy Clyro, Pink Floyd, Wishbone Ash, Foo Fighters, Green Day, some Hendrix, Fall Out Boy, etc, etc...

..So basically Rock haha. Some Punk Pop/Alternative Rock, some Classic Rock..

I love a beefy, screaming dirty tone, yet sometimes a crisp, deep bluesy tone.

I live in the UK, would prefer a new amp but I have no problem with a used one in good nick. My budget is about £300-£400 but I would be willing to pay a bit more if it will make the difference.

I play alone in my bedroom at home, I play in school concerts (both alone and with backing) but also like to jam with a few mates (drums, bass, vocals).. And i'm looking into some small local gigs too (pubs, cafés, whatever I can get really )

Thanks! Anything ive missed just let me know.. Its appreciated
#2
i'd take the marshall over the blackstar any day. you might want to look into something like a Peavey classic 30 or some of Jet City"s amps as well.
#3
Advice on upgrading guitar gear??

Yeah....Don't.

Once you get started it's a never-ending process and WILL end up costing you more than you realize!!
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#4
Quote by Arby911
Advice on upgrading guitar gear??

Yeah....Don't.

Once you get started it's a never-ending process and WILL end up costing you more than you realize!!

This ... i've just bought a guitar now i can't help but look at more guitars and amps
#5
Never spend more than you can actually afford. That's probably the best advice on new gear.

You will get more advice on what new amp by starting a "what new amp" thread.

The DSL and Classic 30 are both good calls. Remember that the master volume knob is for lowering the volume. You may not want a low wattage amp because you think it's not as loud. A higher wattage amp will sound better at a lower volume than a crappy low wattage amp at a low volume.

A used Peavey ValveKing may also be an option on a budget. The clean channel is really nice and you could use some pedals to get your dirt if you don't like the distortion channel. A tube screamer pedal (Ibanez TS9, Maxon OD808, Digitech Bad Monkey (Cheap), Joyo Vintage Overdrive (really cheap but sounds good but has some questionable build quality (mine works fine so far)) would help with the dirt tones.

Peavey marketed the ValveKing as a great budget tube amp and I feel that they delivered. I just sold a 112 combo for $260 USD that was in excellent condition with the footswitch to give you an idea of the high end of the used pricing.

I believe that would leave some budget for a few pedals.
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Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#6
Quote by Arby911
Advice on upgrading guitar gear??

Yeah....Don't.

Once you get started it's a never-ending process and WILL end up costing you more than you realize!!


well at least until the wife finds out what you are spending
#7
I feel like the Classic 30 isn't going to pump out some of the heavier tones. Not sure about the DSL.

I think a used ValveKing (the first edition, black chassis and tolex with white writing) will suit you well. The amp itself shouldn't cost you very much, so you have room for a speaker swap. WGS speakers are very nice clones of higher-end speakers, I have the Retro 30 in mine and I quite like it. You'll also still have money for a nice overdrive/preamp boost pedal, which will really help you get some modern hard rock tones. I recommend a TS-9.

The VK has nice cleans and it also has plenty of gain on tap. For heavy gain, you'll want to roll off some of the distortion fizz with the TS-9. You can work towards getting an EQ to put in the effects loop after all is said in done c:
Last edited by Will Lane at Mar 24, 2015,
#8
I'd say jump at the Blackstar. I upgraded from an old shitty MG Marshall, tried out a Fender Super Champ. The Blackstar I love.

I'd suggest you try to demo it first of course, or if your going to order online make sure there's a liberal return policy, if it doesn't suit your taste.

For RHCP you will be hard pressed to find a better reverb. Overall there's no unusable setting. With a little learning time you can dial in practically any sound you want.
#9
Quote by Will Lane
I feel like the Classic 30 isn't going to pump out some of the heavier tones. Not sure about the DSL.

I think a used ValveKing (the first edition, black chassis and tolex with white writing) will suit you well. The amp itself shouldn't cost you very much, so you have room for a speaker swap. WGS speakers are very nice clones of higher-end speakers, I have the Retro 30 in mine and I quite like it. You'll also still have money for a nice overdrive/preamp boost pedal, which will really help you get some modern hard rock tones. I recommend a TS-9.

The VK has nice cleans and it also has plenty of gain on tap. For heavy gain, you'll want to roll off some of the distortion fizz with the TS-9. You can work towards getting an EQ to put in the effects loop after all is said in done c:


the classic 30 isn't a metal amp but with an overdrive can deliver what he wants. the VK certainly can as well. i don't get fizzy gain out of mine i just don't turn the gain up very much on the amp and let the overdrive do it's thing. with the VK gain should never be above 5.
#10
post '03 DSL401. best in budget. pass on blackstar.
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#11
Wow! Thanks!

I've had the Bad Monkey recommended to me before, but I'm not sure if it's give me a dirty enough tone suitable for the artists I enjoy playing?

I'll have a look at the Peevey ValveKing 112 and Peevey Classic 30 as they seem quite promising.

Any advice on a looper pedal also??
#12
Ideally you aren't using the bad monkey for the base of your tone, just as a boost. For 40 bucks you aren't going to find a better tubescreamer rip off and it has treble and bass knobs opposed to just a tone knob to boot.
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#13
Go for the marshall. I have no idea why the classic thirty gets anywhere near the love it gets on ug tbh.
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#14
I can't speak to the Marshall but I have a Blackstar Ht-5 and it can definitely deliver rock tone, I would also second the Peavey VK, I think it is another amp that would deliver exactly what you are looking for.

For budget TS overdrive I can recommend the Joyo Vintage Overdrive. I have played it side by side with a late 70s early 80s TS-808 and pretty much every re-issue and version Ibanez has and not only did it sound 98% identical to the original, to my and my friend (the one with all the ibanez pedals) it sounded the closest to the original of any of the Ibanez reissues.
#15
Quote by Kevin Saale
Ideally you aren't using the bad monkey for the base of your tone, just as a boost. For 40 bucks you aren't going to find a better tubescreamer rip off and it has treble and bass knobs opposed to just a tone knob to boot.


Ah okay, I get it now! I'm ultra new to pedals and such so apologies for not knowing what I'm taking about haha

So it seems to be between the Marshal and The Peevey VK then??
#16
Quote by Jagsfan
Ah okay, I get it now! I'm ultra new to pedals and such so apologies for not knowing what I'm taking about haha

So it seems to be between the Marshal and The Peevey VK then??


that's up to you. i have a VK and use it often for practice as well as my blues amp. does fine for a variety of things. the stock speaker isn't the best but it does work. most replace them downt the road with something better. it takes pedals well (and yes sounds good with a bad monkey although myself i use the higher end digitech hardwire cm-2)
#17
Okay, so I thought I was set on the VK, however my girlfriend works in my local music shop and they just got in a Marshall DSL15 (both H and C models) and she can get me them for half price (about £250ish).. Think this is a bit of a game changer here haha, any thoughts??
#18
Just since there's a lot of VK recommendations in here, I'd like to throw in my opinion. The distortion is bad, just plain bad. It isn't that it doesn't have enough gain, but the distortion really just sounds bad. Muddy, weak, and dark. I have a $20 distortion pedal that sounds better. I have a $130 distortion pedal that sounds 100x better, and I had a cheap Crate V33 that sounded better. I see the Valveking get a lot of recommendations for high(ish) gain rock here and I just disagree so much and feel the need to point it out.

That said, the clean channel is great especially for running pedals through. That's the true strength of the VK. You can't get a better pedal machine for cheaper, I spent $100USD on mine but I'm in the States so I can't promise it'll be that good of a deal in the UK. It needs to be cheap because the stock speaker is terrible. There's truly a night and day difference between the amp once you put a good speaker in it. Basically, if you want a Valveking, factor a speaker and distortion pedal into the budget. Luckily for you, there are a MILLION Marshall voiced pedals.

Okay, that covered my Valveking rant. I would suggest a Marshall JCM2000 DSL401.
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Peavey Valveking 112 - Eminence GB128
AMT E1 > Joyo AC Tone > Dan'o EQ > Shimverb > Digidelay