#1
Greetings, I believe this is the first post I've ever made on UG, and, as the title says, I'm looking for advice on purchasing an amp head.

To make sure I don't get a warning, I'm going to attempt to provide as much information as possible, but please let me know if I don't include something pertinent. To be perfectly honest, I'm a bit green when it comes to the technical/equipment side of music.

I currently have a Crate cabinet (specifically: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/crate-g412-100w-4x12-cab) and I'm looking for a good head to pair with it. I'm willing to spend up to 900$US on an amp head, as I value tone far above affordability, but, of course, the more reasonably priced the solution, the better. I don't know if it's overly important, but I exclusively use analog effects pedals in my chain.

As far as the specifics for the type of music I'm trying to play, I would be mostly Heavy Metal/Hard Rock (Machine Head, Metallica, Motorhead, Sevendust, Five Finger Death Punch, Black Label Society, etc.), but I would like something versatile enough to sound decent clean with my acoustic-electric plugged into it. If it makes a difference, I play Ibanez and Schecter guitars with humbucker pickups (I don't know the specific pickup models, sorry.)

I'm willing to buy a used amp head, so long as it's from a reputable source, if anyone wants to factor that into my budget contraints. Lastly, I've always loved the sound metal guitarists have gotten from the Peavey 5150, if that gives any kind of indication of my mindset towards what tone(s) I like.

I can get more specific about many details, but I'll leave it here for now. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide!
#4
Guitar Center has the 6505+ for $999, I have a 6505+ 120watt head and it's a damn good head for high gain metal.

I chose the 6505+ over the 6505 because it has a separate eq for the clean channel which is a must for me. My 6505+ don't get switched on much since I picked up a Mesa Dual Rec Roadster 2x12combo but it is still a damn good amp
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#5
To get a good balance of cleans and metal tones I'd look at a used Peavey JSX or XXX II - same amp.

Peavey 3120 (Dual rectifier-ish), XXX, Ultra, Ultra + would also work but test drive them.

Mesa Roadster would be awesome but out of budget. I'm not too familiar with the cleans on a regular Dual Rectifier.

You will need to make sure the cleans on the 6505+ is what you're looking for and you can dial that in along with the crunch and full bore drive sounds.

A Laney IronHeart would also be a decent option and a bit more out of the box.
Guitars:
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
6505/6505+ or a mesa rec of some form is what i would go for.

JSX may be worth a shot too. i paid $350ish for my JSX head a few months ago. the JSX has significantly better cleans than the 6505/6505+ too i may add.
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#7
Seems pretty simply. You love the tone of 6505s, you have $900, you can buy 6505s for <$900 so seems like you should do the thing my dude. I love my 6505+.
"Stormwitch" 2008 Gibson Explorer w/EMG Het Set
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Epiphone 2005 Les Paul Standard Ebony (C Standard)
Peavey 6505+ Head
Marshall 4x12
#9
I agree with all of the above suggestions, I'll add that if you go used you could have enough money left over for a speaker swap or maybe even a better cab altogether.
The JSX would leave enough on the table to do that, I have also seen 5150/6505s go for around $500 as well.
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#10
6505 with the acoustic electric requirement? No way guys.
Guitars:
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. . .
#11
Quote by bobafettacheese
I agree with all of the above suggestions, I'll add that if you go used you could have enough money left over for a speaker swap or maybe even a better cab altogether.
The JSX would leave enough on the table to do that, I have also seen 5150/6505s go for around $500 as well.


I didn't want to be the first to say it... but that crate cab is going to need to go at some point. It's from a solid-state series of budget amplifiers. The speakers will do a disservice to any amp you run through them. The cab construction itself is likely MDF and will probably give out in time if you start gigging regularly. This isn't about snobbery either. Not all cabs are created equal.

Used Marshall 1960 cabs can be found in the 350-450 range all day long.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#12
No budget? Get a SLO.
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#13
I actually had that cab as backup, gutted the speakers, changed to 2 Greenbacks and 2 Eminence in x pattern, still sounded shoddy, then I lined the innards with old pillows and it got somewhat better...but still no cigar. Traded it out with its original speakers in it and am glad to be rid of it.
#14
If I had $900 to work with, I'd hunt for a used Jet City JCA100 or JCA50 and a used Marshall 1960 cab and call it a day. The Jet City will have a better clean channel than a 6505. And if you toss a boost in front of the JCA it will get you into crazy metal territory.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#15
Yeah, Sell the Crate for about $100-$150 to increase your budget to $1000-$1050 and you can get a Marshall 1960 cab used and a used Peavey JSX or XXX-II. That Crate cab isn't going to do any head justice. I would venture to say you are better off getting a used head and used cabinet for roughly $500 each than spending $900 on a really nice head if you're going to use that Crate cab.
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#16
type in guitar amp on your local Craigs List ..... you never know what deals are on there .....

I just paid 1200.00 for a 3 channel Dual Rectifier with the big foot switch , 2 foot switch cables , road case for head and a mesa 4x12 cab ........

the 4x12 cab new is just south of a thousand bucks , the heads generally bring 900.00 + on ebay used , the road case is a couple hundred new ...... add it all up and I got a great deal , and it was right down the street about 15 miles , got to play with it before I bought it .... so check your local CL
#17
Wow, guys and/or girls, you have given quite a bit of feedback and tons of great information for me to mull over. While it seems many are divided on the head, from what I've seen almost everyone agrees my cab is trash. I will factor that into my decision, and, of course, ultimately let you all know what I went with.

Thanks again to all the great community members who took the time to answer so quickly.
#18
Lots of different routes to go here. I am a big fan of the Mesa Road King 2. The large transformers for this 120 watt beast yields one of the most stellar clean sounds ever and we need not discuss the high gain channels, they speak for themselves.
The Friedman Double J Jerry Cantrell signature amp is also monstrous, and Jerry is right when he says the clean channel sound is slightly voiced like a Vox AC 30. And like all Friedmans, the high gain channel rocks.
The Reeves Super 78 100 watt version is another amp that rocks as it is based on Eddie Van Halen's 1978 Plexi and it does that in spades.
There are so many ways to go here, so do your research and find the one that makes you happy.
#19
Agreed with Kendall.

I was looking at a Mesa DC-5 (Poor man's Mark III) for about 400USD. .50 Cals and Nomads also go for about the same.
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