#1
Hello all,

I've been looking to simplify my guitar setup a bit, starting with downsizing my pedalboard. With three different OD pedals (for light to medium to high gain) taking up space, I was hoping to start by looking for combo amps that either have three channels, or other means of changing options within the amp that'll give me access to different stages of gain. Having a boost option would be icing on the cake, but not a dealbreaker.

Combos only please.

Carvin V3CM and Marshall JVM have already been suggested to me. What other amps fit the bill?

I don't really play anything metal, hard rock MIGHT be the heaviest I go but I rarely venture into it.

I live in the U.S. I usually play with in a church setting, amp mic'd to PA. Currently use an Egnater Tweaker 15 amp, pedals Fulltone Fulldrive 2 and Visual Sound Open Road for OD with an Catalinbread Topanga Reverb (which also is set to an "always on" preamp boost).

Budget is $700. Used or new.
Last edited by Always-Ben at Jan 17, 2016,
#2
Would help to know what kind of gear you have now (specifically the amp and the OD pedals you're using) what your budget is, where in the world you are (roughly speaking, helps with pricing, availability, and used options, but don't give us your address or anything like that), whether you're gigging/strictly for bedroom practice/etc. or not and if you can or are willing to buy used gear.
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#3
Quote by Kevin Saale
Would help to know what kind of gear you have now (specifically the amp and the OD pedals you're using) what your budget is, where in the world you are (roughly speaking, helps with pricing, availability, and used options, but don't give us your address or anything like that), whether you're gigging/strictly for bedroom practice/etc. or not and if you can or are willing to buy used gear.


Good point. First post edited.
#4
Besides the functionality of the Egnater, is there anything you don't like about the sound you're able to get out of it? Any thing else you can tell us about the tone you're going after? Are you going for a clean, crunch, and lead type of sound with your stages of gain or is it something else?

And, as an aside, I realize I'm more questions than answers right now, but I'm just trying to get you to get more info to the people who have more experience with the gear out there so they can give you better answer.
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#5
Quote by Kevin Saale
Besides the functionality of the Egnater, is there anything you don't like about the sound you're able to get out of it? Any thing else you can tell us about the tone you're going after? Are you going for a clean, crunch, and lead type of sound with your stages of gain or is it something else?

And, as an aside, I realize I'm more questions than answers right now, but I'm just trying to get you to get more info to the people who have more experience with the gear out there so they can give you better answer.


Nothing wrong with the Egnater. I just want a combo where I can get all the gain from the amp itself. Nothing quite like it that can be replaced by pedals.

Yep, something like that. Clean, crunch, and lead type.
#6
Cool, well I think the two amps you have listed so far can definitely do the trick for you. Although, the JVM is probably out of your price range and Carvins are generally pretty tough to find in person to try out (in my experience). I also think you should consider 2 channel amps. You'd still probably need a boost to do crunch to lead (or clean to crunch) but it would definitely eliminate a pedal or two off your board.

Other than that, I don't have much more as I'm a bit out of the loop on what is out there these days. I'll just suggest going to your local Guitar Center or music store and trying out what they have and see what you like. Good luck my friend.
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#7
Maybe something like a Peavey Ultra, or JSX? You should be able to get one used for under your budget.

They have great cleans, and 2 gain channels. They both have tonnes of gain on tap. You could dial the gain back, and either would be perfect for you. Just because an amp can get real gritty, doesn't mean that you need to always have its gain cranked up
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#8
This has JSX written all over it.
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#9
I have the Carvin V3m head and like it a lot , it's hard to beat for the money ...... if you go Carvin you have 10 days to send it back if you don't like it , no questions asked
#10
yep Peavey JSX fits the bill nicely
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#12
The Fender Mustang IV (v2) 2x12 (with optional EXP-1 Expression & Volume Pedal) will do all you seek and more in a durable versatile package!

The 150W Mustang IV (and Mustang V) has 17 Modeled Amps ranging from Cleans to High Gain, 12 Cabinet Simulations, 100 Memory Presets, and 44 FX in 4 Banks (Stomp, Modulation, Delay and Reverb) all easily controlled right from the amp and from the included 4 btn 4 mode fsw. The fsw has: 1) Quick Access Mode to 3 assigned Memory Presets, 2) Navigation Mode to all 100 Memory Presets, 3) Stomp Mode for Stomp, Modulation and Delay switching, and 4) Tuner Mode. The optional EXP-1 Expression and Volume Pedal gives 100 more individual configurations - one for each of the 100 memory presets in the amp.

With a bit of customized tweaking to the Advanced Amp settings (Sag, Bias, Noise Gate, Cabinet Simulation, etc.) and Gain for each of the Modeled Amps and Presets you use, the Mustang takes on an entirely improved character beyond what it sounds like and how it responds right out of the box.

There is a bit of a learning curve, but the payoff is well worth the effort!

Fender includes the Fender FUSE software (PC/Mac) for amp configuration, control, and access to the vast online FUSE community of existing Presets. If you have an Android device, the REMUDA app is available from the Google Play Store for full Amp control and features FUSE lacks, such as easy Drag & Drop Preset reorganization and Drsg & Drop Signal Chain repositioning, and a fantastic Performance Mode with Preset Assignments for Songs in Set Lists.

All the above is well within your budget (MIV is around $400 on sale & EXP-1 is about $80). Should you prefer a separate Head and Cabinet, the Mustang V (v2) head and 4x12 Mustang cabinet is another albeit bulkier way to go. MV head is about $300, MV 4x12 Cabinet is about $300.

Both models are single channel instrument, with Stereo FX, and Stereo FX I/O Loop, plus Stereo XLR outs.

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Last edited by MusicLaw at Jan 17, 2016,
#13
The Fender Mustang in the post above is a good call. Or perhaps a spider valve? I wish I never sold mine as they are great amps.

Another option is a good all round combo with a cheap second hand multi effects. I currently gig with a dsl40c and a GT-100 using 4CM. I play classic rock and after a lot of dabbling can get pretty much any level of crunch/high gain that I need for gigging. Even without the DSL I can still get decent gigging tone using the GT amp models alone. I've never had any complaints anyway!

I would seriously look into a modelling amp if I was you as I see this as the cheapest route. Ignore all the haters. Digital is really starting to kick ass nowadays.

I hope this helps.
#14
You could try modelling amps, they usually have a lot of options that you can preset, like the fender already mentioned or you could try a roland cube or maybe vox makes some usable modelling amps too
#15
carvin v3m is almost ideal. or something like the mesa mivi mark 5 or mini recto but those are over budget.

i have a v3m. it can do metal (check youtube) but i would say its not ideally suited for metal only as say something like a 5150 or something, or even a recto. i would definitely take a mini recto if i was only playing high gain.

that being say, its FANTASTIC for higher gain hard rock type stuff, and yes metal, cleans are good. for the price you pay you can get very nice tones out of the amp in all levels. people would argue that because it tries to do everything, it does nothing well. well, if you compare its channels to a mesa recto, fender twin, etc etc yeah no duhh. but its like a 600 dollar amp all in its tiny glorious package.

the boost works well. keep in mind this is NOT a pre-amp boost, this is a digital boost to the power section and will be VOLUME / LOUDNESS ONLY. there is still use for a boost / OD in front of the amp to add mids, add saturation, etc etc what everybody has still always used ODs for. but, most guitarists still have a volume boost method (like a clean boost in the FX loop) and this eliminates that need.

the channels could definitely be configured so that channel 3 is your lead, or your boosted channel with high mids for solos, etc. so perhaps the channel could take the place of an OD.

but yes, its a superb little swiss army knife and gives a great tone. good place to start if you want to simply your setup by packing more qualities into the amp. thats exactly why i bought it.

mine came with JJ tubes in it all around. i generally swap for a 12at7 in the last preamp tube position. this amp didnt really seem to take that with any effect so i kept the 12ax7 in there.

i put a JJ 5751 in V1 preamp tube (which i also always do) and i think it adds a touch of clarity back into the amp.

____

@ carvin return - yes. its amazing. my first go with the v3m i got a defective one. it was making crazy sounds when i got it. i called carvin and was trying to explain the issue for a return and before i even explained the issue they just said "we will replace it". i was literally like "so my amp has an issu...." i didnt even need to finish the sentence. i kept trying to tell them to be helpful and they are like, "no we got it. we will return/replace it right away." of course i had to provide my order information and serial number to verify it was within the 10 day period but thats it.

i had pictures and videos ready to go in case i had to put up a fight. it really is a "10 day NO QUESTIONS ASKED policy."

(when i bought my guitar i beat them to death with this. i said "what if i dont even open the box, i just want to return the guitar without opening it just because? what if i think the guitar smells funny and i dont like that?" stupid questions like that. their answer to every one was "we take it back.")
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Last edited by ikey_ at Jan 17, 2016,
#16
Why do you want to downsize your pedal board? Most 3-channel amps are 2x12 combos that weight more than twice as much as your Tweaker. So while you might be getting rid of your pedal board, you'll be getting a much bigger amp. The Carvin V3M is the exception but it doesn't do low and medium gain well. Channel 3 can do it but then you lose your clean channel. But most 3-channel amps don't low and medium gain well. They're usually high-gain amps and it doesn't seem like that's what you're looking for.

You might be better off with a 2-channel amp and one overdrive pedal. You can use the pedal on both channels giving you 4 very usable tones. My other recommendation is something like an Atomic Amplifire. You can go straight to PA and get great low and medium gain sounds. It also has overdrive and distortion pedals built in. You can also run it through the effect loop of your Tweaker if you want.
#17
just watch you don't dump your pedals for the sake of it- if you like pedals and are used to pedals, you might prefer pedals (you might get a wider range of tones, for example), and also plenty of people with multichannel high gain amps still use pedals as well (e.g. as boosts etc.).

not trying to talk you out of it or anything like that, it's totally up to you, just pointing out that a 3 channel amp may or may not work for what you want.
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#18
Mesa F-30 has 3 foot switchable levels of gain along with excellent Fender-style clean. Small and easy to transport but big on tone. Mesa 5:25 is very similar.

SupeChamp is worth a look. Several amp voices with varied gain levels including Fender Blackface, Tweed, Vox, Marshall plexi. If you are always mic'd when you gig this could work. It also has useful delay and reverb on board so I don't need pedals when using it.
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jan 17, 2016,
#19
Mesa lonestar

May still want to use a boost into the overdrive channel for some sounds, but it does excellent clean, low gain, medium gain tones. Also has individual reverb controls for each channel and built in volume boost
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#20
JSX would be fantastic. I like mine quite a bit.

Mesa Mark would be a good option too. MKIV and MKIII combos can be found cheaply used.
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