#1
So....here's an interesting subject - one which all can relate to.
Best cheap brands that make guitar amps.
Not talking about pedals/fx for this thread...there's like a zillion million of those.

I'll list a few company names to start discussion:

Carlsbro
Behringer
Bugera

Actually three very different companies.
So lets discuss companies and the models you bought and why they suck a$$ or are really good.
Last edited by Vaernima at Jul 17, 2015,
#2
I bought VHT Special 6 head a year ago and it's good for the price. I have gigged with it numerous times and it works well. A little bit noisy though.
#3
Peavey - Vypyrs and Transtube™ models
Jet City - JCA22H

all great
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#4
Proper single ended Class A output. It looks like a cool amp to be fair.
Although looking at the schematic and listening to some crappy youtube demos....it seems to have that common thread that all Chinese amps do - it lacks its own character.

The noise/build quality and longevity are always concerns too with these categories.

How does it handle distortion pedals?
#5
Quote by Vaernima
So....here's an interesting subject - one which all can relate to.
Best cheap brands that make guitar amps.
Not talking about pedals/fx for this thread...there's like a zillion million of those.

I'll list a few company names to start discussion:

Carlsbro
Behringer
Bugera

Actually three very different companies.
So lets discuss companies and the models you bought and why they suck a$$ or are really good.


No 2 of those are the same company

Behringer is crap, shitty build quality, so deff not a good cheap amp company

Bugera is owned by Behringer so they get less than good marks for quality, they do sound very good when they work correctly

Jet City is one of the better quality/sound amp company's around

Peavey makes some nice less expensive amps

And if you buy used you can get lots of very good amps for very cheap (<$700-$800) like Mesa, Marshall, Orange, ENGL, VHT, Framus
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Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
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Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
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#6
Quote by Vaernima
it seems to have that common thread that all Chinese amps do - it lacks its own character.


What?

Just because it is MIC doesn't automatically mean they have no individual sound character, or that the build quality sucks. Orange makes everything upto the TH30/TH100 in China and they are built well and sound good also
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
#7
Quote by The Judist
Peavey - Vypyrs and Transtube™ models
Jet City - JCA22H

all great


Never been a fan of Peavey's tone, but from friends amps they're build like birck shithouses. Which is why, I think, they've definitely stayed competitive on the low end market.
All those other Asian brands blowing-up.

Peavey stands strong.

Some dude in a video said the Jet City JCA22H is supposed to sound like an SLO100...hahaha yeah right. I've had the pleasure of playing one with one of their endorsees.
Man....what an amp.
#8
Quote by Robbgnarly
What?

Just because it is MIC doesn't automatically mean they have no individual sound character, or that the build quality sucks. Orange makes everything upto the TH30/TH100 in China and they are built well and sound good also


What MIC I refer to is not VHT and Orange....nor Blackstar, nor Marshall.....most of the main competitors manufacture in China. But I'm referring to companies originally Chinese - or - companies from China that have bought brand names.

Go round the Asia section of Frankfurt Messe (good fun time in Germany too ) and you'll see what I mean.
#9
Quote by Vaernima
Never been a fan of Peavey's tone, but from friends amps they're build like birck shithouses. Which is why, I think, they've definitely stayed competitive on the low end market.
All those other Asian brands blowing-up.

Peavey stands strong.

Some dude in a video said the Jet City JCA22H is supposed to sound like an SLO100...hahaha yeah right. I've had the pleasure of playing one with one of their endorsees.
Man....what an amp.

Actually the Jet City JCA20h/JCA2112 are budget versions of the Soldano Astroverb

The Jet City JCA5212/JCA50h JCA100h, JCA100HDM all have the SLO circuit for the lead channel. No it doesn't sound exactly like a SLO, but when you use budget trannys and other components it isn't going to be the same.

Those amps are actually budget versions of the Soldano HRA+, which in turn was a stripped down version of the SLO
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
#10
Quote by Vaernima
What MIC I refer to is not VHT and Orange....nor Blackstar, nor Marshall.....most of the main competitors manufacture in China. But I'm referring to companies originally Chinese - or - companies from China that have bought brand names.

Go round the Asia section of Frankfurt Messe (good fun time in Germany too ) and you'll see what I mean.

I'd love to, but that would be expensive since I live in Florida

China owns Jim Beam Bourbon now
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 Jul 17, 2015,
#11
Behringer make a few good products. The intent wasn't to discuss the three particular companies but any/all and your love for cool little finds.
Judist knows whats up.
#13
Peavey Transtube series amps (Ultra, Supreme, Bandit, etc). Some great amps in that series... but also some crap ones. Generally, the earliest ones and the latest ones are the best. There was an in between period with some garbage.

Crate. Crate sucks.
#14
Quote by Vaernima

How does it handle distortion pedals?


It's very dependent on what speaker(s) you use with it. with the boost off it's blackfacey, so (especially with jenseny-style speakers) can get a bit tinny with dirt pedals.

it probably does sound a little generic-sounding (dodgy values in the tonestack don't help with that), but probably one of the best of the cheapo low-wattage MIC tube amps I've tried in terms of sound out of the box (I haven't tried them all, though). QC can be iffy, though.

I agree with Rob- especially in Europe, Jet City is where it's at (assuming that's the type of tone you want).
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#15
Quote by Leather Sleeves


Crate. Crate sucks.


Utter nonsense. Some Crate, like most other manufacturers, sucks.

Their Vintage Club and Palomino series (among others) are damn good amps, and can be had for cheap because of attitudes like yours.

So on second thought, keep it up!!

Quote by Robbgnarly
No 2 of those are the same company

Behringer is crap, shitty build quality, so deff not a good cheap amp company

Bugera is owned by Behringer so they get less than good marks for quality, they do sound very good when they work correctly



Nope. Bugera and Behringer are two separate companies, and Behringer doesn't own Bugera.

They are both owned by Music Group, which also owns Midas, Klark Teknik, Eurotec and Turbosound.
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Last edited by Arby911 at Jul 17, 2015,
#17
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I'm not sure if I want to post in here or not.


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#18
Roland Cube
Vox Valvetronix
Fender SuperChamp

All cheap amps with some digital modeling and all sound pretty good for under $400. I have owned all three and currently gig small shows often with the SuperChamp XD. My Mesa gets jealous sometimes.

These all have more of a vintage vibe than metal thrash so if you need monster gain look at Peavey and Jet City.
"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

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#19
Quote by Vaernima
What MIC I refer to is not VHT and Orange....nor Blackstar, nor Marshall.....most of the main competitors manufacture in China. But I'm referring to companies originally Chinese - or - companies from China that have bought brand names.

Go round the Asia section of Frankfurt Messe (good fun time in Germany too ) and you'll see what I mean.


you won't find amp companies that were originally chinese in most markets outside of china. you will find cheap amps that are all the same despite being branded differently as that is a service offered by some chinese companies that will put your brand on an amp (or other gear). pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to find any that would even remotely qualify as good though. electric guitar isn't very popular in china.
#21
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
The Peavey Vypyrs are made in China and upon inspection - they seem to be decently made and I don't hear too many complaints on them. Reliable for what they are.


this is why you have to differentiate between an amp made in china and an actual chinese amp. amps made for US or European companies are built to a price point using material desiganted by the company they are being made for. in some cases the factory is only making products for one company. this isn't the same as a brand who totally has it's origins in china. the cheap no name amps more often than not fall into this catagory.
#22
Peavey Transtube seems to be popular. Again - I think Peavey are solid builds.

I think the whole debate of sound - it goes down to the player. From a design/manufacture perspective if you're rebranding eastern OEM products I guess you'd have to have a healthy QC department, and....do some fine tuning on sound/build quality from the existing product.

+1 on the Roland...it's super popular in UK

The Crate stuff....still not found anything I like.

Are you fella's all USA based?
Do you think there's a distinction in sound - at this entry level price - when we're talking about the British and American sound??

You can obvs get the difference in Brit/USA sound when we're talking about higher end Vox versus Peavey sound, for example.
But can you tell the difference (if there is, in fact, any...) on the cheap price amps...??
#23
Quote by Vaernima
Peavey Transtube seems to be popular. Again - I think Peavey are solid builds.

I think the whole debate of sound - it goes down to the player. From a design/manufacture perspective if you're rebranding eastern OEM products I guess you'd have to have a healthy QC department, and....do some fine tuning on sound/build quality from the existing product.

+1 on the Roland...it's super popular in UK

The Crate stuff....still not found anything I like.

Are you fella's all USA based?
Do you think there's a distinction in sound - at this entry level price - when we're talking about the British and American sound??

You can obvs get the difference in Brit/USA sound when we're talking about higher end Vox versus Peavey sound, for example.
But can you tell the difference (if there is, in fact, any...) on the cheap price amps...??


not to sure what the purpose of this thread really is. for the most part low end solid state amps don't have a distinct sound so no not a Brit/US thing. if you paid attention you'd have noticed that at least couple of responders were from the UK.

dude what are trying to really find out?
#25
Nothing in particular.
Most conversation has a massively pertinent point to it. As most threads on this site.....this....is just for pure interest.
And most of us aren't rich and have to settle for cheaper amps from companies like Peavey, Carlsbro, Crate, Roland, Bugera....etc.

Although - I dunno about the statement on the solid state amps being non-distinct.
You could probably describe and quantify the differences between a cheap Peavey or a cheap Carslbro or Marshall. I think it's interesting what happens in this area of the market.

We can all get elitist and wank off about our super modified expensive amps.
But I think this is a cool discussion of tone chasing in the consumer market. It's for fun
#27
Quote by Vaernima
Nothing in particular.
Most conversation has a massively pertinent point to it. As most threads on this site.....this....is just for pure interest.
And most of us aren't rich and have to settle for cheaper amps from companies like Peavey, Carlsbro, Crate, Roland, Bugera....etc.

Although - I dunno about the statement on the solid state amps being non-distinct.
You could probably describe and quantify the differences between a cheap Peavey or a cheap Carslbro or Marshall. I think it's interesting what happens in this area of the market.

We can all get elitist and wank off about our super modified expensive amps.
But I think this is a cool discussion of tone chasing in the consumer market. It's for fun


if you say so. what gear are you using and how long have you been playing. there is a difference between "cheaper" and total crap which is what you were talking about earlier. perhaps ther eneeds to be some distinction here or the conversation is pointless.
#28
not gonna lie, the fender mustang (bought one for practice amp); is a solid workhorse. sounds 1000000000.765 times better than what I expected.
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No.


Well, technically it could be done, but only in the same way that you could change a cat into a hamburger. It's an unpleasant process, and nobody is happy with the result.
#30
Monwobobbo, yeah there's distinction between expensive and crap even at that end of the market.
But I don't think we have to define and set what we're talking about here and box-in the conversation.

It's interesting to hear about those interesting little amps like Rocknroll93 just posted hahaha
#31
Quote by Vaernima
Monwobobbo, yeah there's distinction between expensive and crap even at that end of the market.
But I don't think we have to define and set what we're talking about here and box-in the conversation.

It's interesting to hear about those interesting little amps like Rocknroll93 just posted hahaha


first off it's not about expensive it's about quality. yes even on the lower end of things amps can be decent quality for the money. crap is crap.

tough to have a productive converstion without any definitions. you still haven't posted wht you are using either.
#32
Quote by monwobobbo
first off it's not about expensive it's about quality. yes even on the lower end of things amps can be decent quality for the money. crap is crap.

tough to have a productive converstion without any definitions. you still haven't posted wht you are using either.



Oh yeah....that's true. I got so caught up in the convo I didn't even realise I hadn't said what I have.

Well my cheap combo is a Carlsbro VAC15 Classic.

http://www.carlsbro.com/product-view/vac-15-classic/133/

It's actually quite a fun little unit from a company who's annoying tinny sounding amps I always found in practise rooms. I can't find any video links.
But it's very very tweed sound. For what I paid I'm happy at least.
#33
Quote by Vaernima
Oh yeah....that's true. I got so caught up in the convo I didn't even realise I hadn't said what I have.

Well my cheap combo is a Carlsbro VAC15 Classic.

http://www.carlsbro.com/product-view/vac-15-classic/133/

It's actually quite a fun little unit from a company who's annoying tinny sounding amps I always found in practise rooms. I can't find any video links.
But it's very very tweed sound. For what I paid I'm happy at least.


can't really compare lower end tube amps to some starter pack SS amp though. you weren't clear at the beginning of this thread and it's still not clear as to what you really want to talk about
#34
Wow man. You're beyond pedantic.
Everyone else is just having fun talking about lower priced amps....SS, Valve...who cares.
Again...this is 'fun' thread.
#35
Quote by sfx


+1 on that
Actually I kinda like some of Joyo's stuff. They seem to put a lot of effort into their quality control. There's another Chinese company that makes NuX pedals...haven't tried the amps.

Some of the products though....urrrgh. hahaha