#1
Hey everyone,

I'm looking for some advice on buying an amp to gig with. Right now, the Vox AC15 that I'm using isn't nearly loud enough.

I'd like to buy a head (no combo!) that I would use as a pedal platform for post-rockish stuff. So it needs to be very pedal-friendly and it must have enough clean headroom to compete with a loud drummer. Apart from that, I'd like to stray away from classic Fender cleans because even though I love the sounds, it's become overused for the style of music I'm playing and it would be interesting to try something else, maybe more British sounding (something Voxy would be great, for example). I don't have an insane amount of money to spend on this (so forget Hiwatt, I guess) and I'll probably buy used.

From what I've read here and there, the Laney GH50 or GH100 might be ideal for what I'm looking for. They're dirt cheap, and even though they're based on a JCM and are used by metal players, they appear to be surprisingly good for clean sounds. Moreover, two of my favorite bands, Oceansize and Opeth, use these amps live for their clean sounds. I'm just a little concerned about clean headroom, but plugging into the low input should do it, right? What do you think?

Actually, I don't have a lot of other ideas of amps that could suit my needs, as most amps that are reputed for their clean sounds are combos. Would a Marshall DSL be good for clean sounds? Any other ideas (I thought of Sound City and Sovtek but they're uncommon on the used market here in France)?

Thanks!
#2
sovtek may be an interesting way to go. i have the 50 (plexi based model) and its pretty nice. LOUD as hell, gets a little dirty with volume though, probably not what you want. it does take pedals well though.

AC15's are ****ing loud, do you need more headroom or more volume? can you mic up?

what about a mesa lonestar?

there are a bunch of other mesas that may do what you want. f-50, 5:50, 50 cal, etc.
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#3
Those amps are loud, probably the 100 would suit well as a pedal platform & stay clean longer. The low input probably bypasses a gain stage in the pre. If they're cheap then seems like a good investment, should be reliable since those laneys are made in uk.
#4
Vox AC30 head if you like the AC15 but need more headroom/volume

You also might want to look at Hiwatt
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#5
A Mesa Lone Star as suggested would be nice. Really nice cleans and a very usable drive channel as well should you need it.
#6
If we're talking budget I'd suggest a rather odd duck - the Fallen Angel FA60 head by Ashdown. Very loud and cleans are quite good, with a small fix (clipping out a resistor) the gain also gets really good.

The Laney should be fine as well.

I'll add Orange to the fray but they're pretty expensive for what OP is after.

JSX would also be a great choice if buying used.
#7
For something a little different you could look at a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister. The cleans are very pristine and "hi fi" sounding but I did find there was lots of headroom and it does take pedals well. Also, the gain stages are very usuable across the board.
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#8
The Laney GH series are actually pretty dirty amps. I don't know Oceansize but Opeth was almost using the GHs as a power amp and getting all their tones from a Boss GT10 (now they use the Axe FX). I think you should look into an AC30 head if you want clean tone. Though I do find my Laney VH100R (the two channel version of the GH) pretty good for post metal like Russian Circles and ISIS. The clean channel is a little bright but I just scoop the treble there. Then when you need some dirt the overdrive channel is fantastic. Somewhere between an 800 and the fuzziness of an Orange.
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#9
Quote by TheStig1214
The Laney GH series are actually pretty dirty amps.


That's what I was going to say.

That being said, they have reasonably nice cleans when dialled in to be clean IIRC (and the low input might help further).

Not sure. Can you try them first?
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#10
Quote by steven_ferns84
The low input probably bypasses a gain stage in the pre.


I'm not the best at reading schematics (!), but I don't think it does. It just seems to bleed more signal to ground, I think.

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schematics/audio/laneygh100l.pdf
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#11
Quote by Dave_Mc
I'm not the best at reading schematics (!), but I don't think it does. It just seems to bleed more signal to ground, I think.

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schematics/audio/laneygh100l.pdf

Correct.


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#12
Voxy? Head not combo? Lots of clean headroom?

You literally just described the AC100
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#13
Quote by Cathbard
Correct.


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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Thank you all for your suggestions.

Mesa amps are ridiculously expensive here in France, even on the used market.
I went to a shop this afternoon. I had the opportunity to try a H&K TubeMeister 36. Like KillRoy said, very pristine and hi-fi sounding. I didn't like it.
I also tried an Orange TH30 that I really liked, but it clearly lacked headroom. So, maybe a TH100?
The Vox AC30 head is a serious contender. If i ever find one, I'll try it out.
@TheStig: Yeah, I know that most famous endorsers of Laney GH amps are metal dudes (Paul Gilbert, Mattias IA Eklundh, Ben Weinman, etc.), but Opeth's clean sounds are to die for. I've often read that JCM800 have wonderful clean sounds when you use the low input, so if the Laneys are similarly built, they should do the trick. Of course, I'll try one out as soon as I can find one.
#15
Quote by Hypnagogist
Opeth's clean sounds are to die for. I've often read that JCM800 have wonderful clean sounds when you use the low input, so if the Laneys are similarly built, they should do the trick. Of course, I'll try one out as soon as I can find one.


I have a Laney AOR 50 watt head that gets surprisingly nice cleans on the low input.
Look up the TT series by Laney as well, they have great cleans and I think Opeth used these for a while as well.

Look up used Marshall Plexi and Bluesbreaker but I'd imagine these are in the insane price categories.
Last edited by diabolical at May 6, 2015,
#16
The GH50L won't do it for you. You want a clean Laney? Buy the VH100r head and use only the clean channel.
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#17
There's a guy who is selling a VH100 near me. I'll go try it but I'm just worried that it will be too loud.
#18
Quote by Hypnagogist
There's a guy who is selling a VH100 near me. I'll go try it but I'm just worried that it will be too loud.


The VH100R has a return volume control on the Insert loop. Run a jumper from the in to the out (or use it as the FX loop if you have pedals) and turn the return volume down to about 8-9 o clock. That should bring it down to bedroom levels.
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Amps and the like:
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Gojira FX 808
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#20
Quote by diabolical
It won't. Great amp, get it.


+1 volume isn't nearly as much an issue as people make it out to be. i haven't played that laney though. but i have used the same tactic that thestig said, and it works good.
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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/