#1
Hey guys

Im looking for a Metal Guitar Amp to play at home. (Costs 500-1000€ / 550-1100$)
I found the following amps and would like to hear your opinion on them and if you have any other suggestions:

Peavey 6505 mh
Engl Ironball E606 / Engl MetalMaster Head / Engl RockMaster Head
Orange Dark Terror / Orange Jim Root Terror / Orange Dual Terror

Thanks!
#2
Metal could mean a lot of different things. What are some bands/albums whose tone you'd like to approach? The reason I ask is that you'd want a different amp for playing Iron Maiden-style metal vs. Decapitated/Cannibal Corpse/Burzum, for example.

All of the amp choices you've mentioned could be good, but they are different from each other.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at Dec 12, 2015,
#3
Quote by KailM
What are some bands/albums whose tone you'd like to approach?


I really like playing stuff like Lamb of God, Slipknot, Tool, Rage against the machine, Five finger death punch, Megadeath.

I think they all sound great but something in direction LoG, Slipknot or FFDP would be very nice

Albums would be.. Resolution, American Capitalist, Grey Chapter
#4
^^Okay that clarifies it a bit. (Though, all of those bands/albums sound different and most of them aren't what I would really call 'metal.' Except Lamb of God and Megadeth, of course.)

Any reason you're looking at mini-heads, in particular? I'm assuming you know you'll need a cab with any of those, which might get into the top of your budget range without leaving much room for pedals and/or tube upgrades, etc.

As for their particular tones -- I'm a big fan of the 6505+, though I haven't tried the mini-head. I'm a bit skeptical about mini-heads for metal because I think they are underpowered, and I've heard a lot of complaints lately about them not being able to match their higher-wattage brothers when it comes to tight, brutal chugging. This is unrelated to volume. Higher wattage helps keep the low-end tight, clear, and HUGE even at lower volumes.

I've gotten good LoG tones out of my 6505 with the right bridge pickup. What you want is a medium-high output passive bridge pickup (not a super-hot pickup), a boost pedal like a tubescreamer, and set the gain pretty low on the lead channel.

For Megadeth/Metallica-type tones, I use the rhythm channel boosted with the the gain pretty high. That channel is often overlooked but is really the more "Marshally" of the two, which is what you want for old-school thrash.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#5
Like Kail said, mini-heads can lack the oomph that bigger amps provide... I still like them, but I wouldn't want to let go of my 50w if I got a mini, y'know? The difference is audible at low volumes, too.

Anyway, good mini heads! For "classic" metal tones, this one:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/jet_city_amplification_jca22h_guitar_head.htm
Or for a straight up modern metal sound, this:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/laney_irt15h.htm
Also comes in a rack-version with recording-functions, worth it if you think you'll ever need that:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/laney_irtstudio.htm

Now for their "big brothers", the preamps are similar enough, but the power amps are much more powerful:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/jet_city_amplification_jca50h.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/laney_irt60h_ironheart.htm

The Jet City amps might benefit from a boost up front, the Laneys can do without. There's also a whole range of Bugera amps that are within budget.

Also get this cab along with it:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_g212_vintage.htm
It's seriously good for the money. Imo better than many cabs twice as expensive.


The Engl Rock/Metal-Master I haven't tried, but going by brand alone, chances are they'll be competent. However, looking at the specs their preamps are very likely hybrid, and we don't really know what those circuits look like or how they'll behave. The Ironball is probably all-tube though.

Never liked the entire Terror-range much, but I seem to be the outlier on that.

Maybe consider the Engl Thunder head as well:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/engl_e325_thunder_head_topteil.htm

Also, if you consider combos as well, a Screamer is just slightly over budget, but is seriously versatile and generally just a good amp:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/engl_screamer_50_roehrencombo_e330.htm

Would have to mention used stuff as well; I've seen Fireball 100 heads go for as little as 700€ on ebay, combined with the cab mentioned above you'd have an absolutely killer setup.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Dec 12, 2015,
#6
If you can find a deal, go with the king of all metal amps: the Mesa/Boogie Dual Recitifier. Or the Triple Recitifier if you can find one.
#7
Quote by KailM


Any reason you're looking at mini-heads, in particular?



Well I thought minis are better at home because you can turn the Master Volume up and get into the zone where the Tube starts sounding really good (Im German idk the term for it). I am not sure if its possible to play with something like an 6505+ at home and get a good sound because I simply never played a big amp.

And i have EMG Pickups btw.
#8
Quote by TheQuailman


The Jet City amps might benefit from a boost up front, the Laneys can do without. There's also a whole range of Bugera amps that are within budget.

Also get this cab along with it:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_g212_vintage.htm
It's seriously good for the money. Imo better than many cabs twice as expensive.

Would have to mention used stuff as well; I've seen Fireball 100 heads go for as little as 700€ on ebay, combined with the cab mentioned above you'd have an absolutely killer setup.

I really wouln´t want to buy something like a Jetcity or Bugera because I don´t consider them "cool" so I wouln´t want something like that in my room. Same for Harley Benton. ENGL for example is kind of German quality which I think is nice to have (Sure not everything is made in germany).

Would I be able to get a good sound at home with a Fireball 100 with moderate volume?
#9
Quote by iamadoorknob
If you can find a deal, go with the king of all metal amps: the Mesa/Boogie Dual Recitifier. Or the Triple Recitifier if you can find one.

Or the mini?
#10
Some of the Mini's out there sound great for what they are but my basic MO is small headshell = small transformers = small everything else = smaller tone




not all the time but you can get a Rectoverb mkII for liek $500 - 700 ish.


Is it just me or do all the Jet Cities have a vintage tone that cannot be dialed out - even on the bigger ones?
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Dec 13, 2015,
#11
Quote by slayer87lp
Well I thought minis are better at home because you can turn the Master Volume up and get into the zone where the Tube starts sounding really good (Im German idk the term for it). I am not sure if its possible to play with something like an 6505+ at home and get a good sound because I simply never played a big amp.

And i have EMG Pickups btw.


That is largely a misconception developed and PUSHED by the marketing staff of every amp company producing mini heads. And the marketing has been so powerful that even some people who own them are starting to believe it. /Rant.


A majority of these new mini heads are high-gain, modern designs. They get most of their tone from preamp distortion. Preamp distortion does not need to be loud to do its job. Power tube distortion, popularized in the 60s and 70s, does rely on pushing the power tubes into clipping by pushing them hard (i.e. -- very loud). This is NOT the type of distortion you want for most metal tones, because it is a very loose, slow-responding type of tone more ideal for big chords allowed to breathe and ring out -- rather than tight, fast riffing. Power tube distortion is a glorious thing, but it's not what most metal players need. Anyway, back on the preamp distortion/modern metal topic -- for those types of tones and playing you actually DON'T WANT your power tubes to get pushed into distortion. You want them to stay clean. Because then the tone generated by your preamp stays tight and faithful to what you're playing. If you lower the wattage of the amp, which is an option on most of those mini amps, you are effectively making it more likely that your power tubes will clip and add that sag and looseness to your tone -- which might make it harder to hear the intricacies of your riffing. The reason a lot of high-gain full-sized heads are 100-120 watts IS NOT so they can blow the walls down with volume (though, they can, lol). It is to keep their power tubes clean in order to have massive low-end and mids that track tightly. Low wattage cannot reproduce tight low-end.

Anyhow -- I play at home through a 4 X 12 cabinet loaded with some of the loudest speakers on the market, driven by a 60 watt 6505+ head (made from the 112 version). With the right EQing, I can play it down at whisper volumes and still very much enjoy the tone when sitting right in front of it. I can play it and not wake up my 2-year-old daughter at 3 o'clock in the morning. When I turn it up loud, it does sound better, but it's mainly because the speakers are getting to add their color to the tone and it starts to fill up the room better -- it has very little, if anything, to do with "pushing the power tubes." That said, when sitting right in front of the speakers, with the amp turned down low -- the tone is very similar to what I'd hear from 10 feet back with it cranked.

Probably more info than you wanted, but there it is.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#12
Quote by KailM
That is largely a misconception developed and PUSHED by the marketing staff of every amp company producing mini heads. And the marketing has been so powerful that even some people who own them are starting to believe it. /Rant.


A majority of these new mini heads are high-gain, modern designs. They get most of their tone from preamp distortion. Preamp distortion does not need to be loud to do its job. Power tube distortion, popularized in the 60s and 70s, does rely on pushing the power tubes into clipping by pushing them hard (i.e. -- very loud). This is NOT the type of distortion you want for most metal tones, because it is a very loose, slow-responding type of tone more ideal for big chords allowed to breathe and ring out -- rather than tight, fast riffing. Power tube distortion is a glorious thing, but it's not what most metal players need. Anyway, back on the preamp distortion/modern metal topic -- for those types of tones and playing you actually DON'T WANT your power tubes to get pushed into distortion. You want them to stay clean. Because then the tone generated by your preamp stays tight and faithful to what you're playing. If you lower the wattage of the amp, which is an option on most of those mini amps, you are effectively making it more likely that your power tubes will clip and add that sag and looseness to your tone -- which might make it harder to hear the intricacies of your riffing. The reason a lot of high-gain full-sized heads are 100-120 watts IS NOT so they can blow the walls down with volume (though, they can, lol). It is to keep their power tubes clean in order to have massive low-end and mids that track tightly. Low wattage cannot reproduce tight low-end.

Anyhow -- I play at home through a 4 X 12 cabinet loaded with some of the loudest speakers on the market, driven by a 60 watt 6505+ head (made from the 112 version). With the right EQing, I can play it down at whisper volumes and still very much enjoy the tone when sitting right in front of it. I can play it and not wake up my 2-year-old daughter at 3 o'clock in the morning. When I turn it up loud, it does sound better, but it's mainly because the speakers are getting to add their color to the tone and it starts to fill up the room better -- it has very little, if anything, to do with "pushing the power tubes." That said, when sitting right in front of the speakers, with the amp turned down low -- the tone is very similar to what I'd hear from 10 feet back with it cranked.

Probably more info than you wanted, but there it is.



+1

Really, the only plus low wattage tube miniheads have is if you live in a tiny bachelor box already full of stuff and space is a true concern. Also they have a bit smaller tube costs because 6V6 and EL84 tubes are cheaper than EL34 and 6L6 equivalents but honestly thats only a few bucks/euros difference.

But for preamp driven metal tones a big 100W is the way to go even for low volumes.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#13
Since you are European, forget about Mesas, they are ridiculously overpriced here.

Quote by slayer87lp
"cool"

Sofern du Geld nicht kacken kannst, würde ich vorschlagen, diese Einstellung zu überdenken. Unterhalb von 1000€ kann man sich bereits eine sehr gute Anlage zusammenstellen; aber man muss auf das Preis/Leistungsverhältnis schauen und weniger auf's Firmenlogo.
Die HB-Box ist eben sehr gut für den Preis und würde reichlich Geld für ein gutes Top übrig lassen. Ist mMn besser als beim Top Abstriche machen zu müssen, mit dem Ergebnis, dass man das Top dann bald wieder ersetzen möchte.

Spürbar bessere Boxen bewegen sich um die 500€ oder drüber (neu). Eine gebrauchte Engl 212 Pro kostet ja schon locker 400€. Kann man kaufen, aber dann wirds nix mit dem Fireball.


Quote by slayer87lp
Would I be able to get a good sound at home with a Fireball 100 with moderate volume?

Yes, easily. To be clear, no guitar amp I have come across so far has been able to achieve good sounds at absolute whisper volumes. You'll be audible throughout the house, unless someone's vacuuming I guess.
That said, all guitar amps, big and small, suffer from this. But you can play a modern day 100w amp at home without the windows shattering.

The only hands-down advantage I see with small hi-gain heads (outside of price), is portability.


Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH

Is it just me or do all the Jet Cities have a vintage tone that cannot be dialed out - even on the bigger ones?

Seems like it, but I think that's intentional? Not like it's a bad thing necessarily, it suits a lot of people pretty well, even metalheads.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Dec 13, 2015,
#14
Quote by KailM


Probably more info than you wanted, but there it is.

Thats perfectly fine! So what would you suggest me if i want to have a better Sound like my Roland Cube 40xl (was about 250&euro. Im sure that i will play metal in the future so should i just go and buy a real "big" amp? I dont need the best Sound possible.. I just want to upgrade a little actually
#15
Quote by TheQuailman


Sofern du Geld nicht kacken kannst, würde ich vorschlagen, diese Einstellung zu überdenken.


Naja ich bin halt der Meinung es sollte schon auch gut aussehen sonst lass ich es lieber bleiben. Ich kann definitiv auch mehr dafür ausgeben. Eigentlich wollte ich das nicht aber wenn es sich doch so sehr lohnt dann muss ich das wohl tun ^^
#16
Quote by slayer87lp
Naja ich bin halt der Meinung es sollte schon auch gut aussehen sonst lass ich es lieber bleiben. Ich kann definitiv auch mehr dafür ausgeben. Eigentlich wollte ich das nicht aber wenn es sich doch so sehr lohnt dann muss ich das wohl tun ^^

Wie gesagt, ein Fireball 100 kostet 7-800€ gebraucht, eine 212Pro ca 400€. Das ist dann schon ein feines Setup. Kannst auch nach einem Engl Blackmore Ausschau halten, die findet man gebraucht häufig, öfter auch unter 700€ und mit Z5-Fußschalter dabei. Nicht so hyper-aggressiv wie der Fireball, aber immer noch sehr gut für Metal jeglicher Art.
#17
Quote by TheQuailman
Wie gesagt, ein Fireball 100 kostet 7-800€ gebraucht, eine 212Pro ca 400€. Das ist dann schon ein feines Setup. Kannst auch nach einem Engl Blackmore Ausschau halten, die findet man gebraucht häufig, öfter auch unter 700€ und mit Z5-Fußschalter dabei. Nicht so hyper-aggressiv wie der Fireball, aber immer noch sehr gut für Metal jeglicher Art.

Werd ich machen vielen Dank!
Ich werd ihn glaube trotzdem neu kaufen ^^ Ich kauf nicht so gern gebraucht..
#18
Quote by TheQuailman


Seems like it, but I think that's intentional? Not like it's a bad thing necessarily, it suits a lot of people pretty well, even metalheads.


Indeed. I dunno how its in modern metal and metalcore but even in oldschool Thrash and Death metal genres the JCM800 (and such) + boost remains popular even today. And it seems Blackstars are also quite popular (judging from lurking the Metal Archives musician section) since they do have that vintage high gain thing going on. Jet City with its Soldano sound + boost should fit the same bill just nicely.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#19
^yup.

Quote by slayer87lp
Werd ich machen vielen Dank!
Ich werd ihn glaube trotzdem neu kaufen ^^ Ich kauf nicht so gern gebraucht..

Dann tu dir aber selbst einen Gefallen und fahr in einen größeren Laden um die Dinger mal auszuprobieren. Die Geschäfte in Köln, Treppendorf, Frankfurt und Ibbenbüren kennst du wahrscheinlich - die haben dutzende Tops zum antesten bereit, die Fahrt lohn sich allemal. Ist auf jeden Fall besser, als die Katze im Sack zu kaufen.
Viel Spaß dann noch.
#20
Well im just gonna skip all the german here, since im very bad at it, but ill say this: my JetCity JCA50 sounds great. I run a bad monkey overdrive into it and play it trough a randall oversized cab with vintage 30s and it just sounds phenomenal. That being said, it is ugly as sin, so i decied to change the faceplate with one that i made my own, and now it looks pretty badass. So dont just discard a piece of pretty great gear (and jet city amps offer the best bang for buck in europe) just cause you dont think its "cool".

Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#21
Quote by slayer87lp
Thats perfectly fine! So what would you suggest me if i want to have a better Sound like my Roland Cube 40xl (was about 250&euro. Im sure that i will play metal in the future so should i just go and buy a real "big" amp? I dont need the best Sound possible.. I just want to upgrade a little actually


Well, you don't necessarily need a "big" amp as in a halfstack; there are plenty of combos that can sound crushing in their own right.

Since your preferences are somewhat varied among metal tones, I'm going to suggest a used Peavey JSX and/or a XXX II combo (supposedly they are exactly the same amp; they just look different). At least here in the states, you can find them all day for $450-600. They were made in the U.S. and built like tanks.

For anyone not sure exactly which metal tone they like, a JSX would be perfect, because it's versatile and sounds pretty amazing on every channel. It has a really nice crunch tone for lower to mid gain stuff (as in older Megadeth, Metallica, and hard rock, etc.). The ultra channel can do death metal, I don't care what anybody says. When I tried one, I found it nearly as gainy as my 6505+. Finally, the cleans are very, very nice -- something you won't find in a 6505.

But don't rule out those Jet City amps just because they're not "cool" or popular. I haven't tried them, but I've never heard of anybody complaining about their tones or their reliability. I think they are a real value.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood