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#1
Budget - $1400 MAX

Location - Raleigh/Durham/NC

Used all day y'all already know

Gear - I'll be playing a Musicman Sillhouette through this amp, with an EHX B9, Fulltone Fulldrive 2, Zvex Fuzz Factory, Corona Chorus

Style - im looking for a good, fun amp with a tasty drive channel (I want some HEAVY tunes to be available), but I want this to be an all-rounder. I play lots of shit, but my most common tones are like a BTBAM-type metal tone, a Foo Fighters rock sound, and a lush clean sound (I'm probably going to keep my Silverface, so not too much focused on the cleans)

I've been looking at a few things: Mark IV/V, Roadster, Stilleto, Egnater Vengeance/Armageddon, maybe something from Fryette? Really I just want something really cool and fun to tweak at this point (hints my gravitation to Mesa).

I am kinda hoping that this turns into an extensive search, so I'm going to keep it nice and open for now. Suggest away guys!
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#2
The first thing when considering these Mesas is whether or not you have a preference in in tube or SS rectification. The Mark IV is the only one you listed without a tube rectifier. All of the others have both. You can switch between the two modes on the back. If you want the option of low end sag, I'd go ahead and take the Mark IV off the list.
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#3
Eh I don't care. I've had a Dual Rec and honestly I hardly ever used the tube rectifier.

I was also thinking, maybe a Stilleto might be nice...
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#4
https://reverb.com/item/1702119-mesa-boogie-stiletto-trident-head
You're aware that the Stiletto is voiced more like a Marshall and has weak Mids, right? A cab with V30s or Governors would pair nicely with this amp and solve the Mid problem and easily fit into your budget if you don't already have one.
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Pidgeot of the Pokemon Club
PM Calebrocker to join.

92% of UGers jump on annoying bandwagons. Don't put this in your sig if you're one of the 8% with an opinion.
#6
^^ I knew it was voiced like a Marshall, that doesn't particularly bug me, I hadn't heard the "weak mids" part... Almost seems contradictory. Cab isn't an issue though if I have extra cash I may splurge for a Port City.

^ Not crazy about the Express, the JVM is a thought but probably not a top contender. Rockerverb is cool, though I have a love-hate with the Oranges I've played. Couldn't stand the Dual Terror, thought the TH30 was cool, played an OR15 and that was pretty bland...
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#7
Based on the bands you listed, great choices IMO, but that seems like a Dual Rec all the way. I know Foo have played dual recs a lot live and when BTBAM wasn't using Fractal, they were using Dual Recs. I would look for the older duals not the 3 channel. I just got rid of the 3 channel and opted for a Rectoverb. With your budget they are all pretty much doable.

I have never played a Roadster, but they tend to get a lot of love around here.

Have you looked into the RA at all?

Based solely off the bands you listed I don't think Marshall or Orange at all.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#8
^^Good call on the Royal Atlantic. They sit kind of in the middle ground between the Mark series and the Recto sound. One of the best amps I've ever played, hands down. Nice thick crunch/distortion, but pretty tight (not too tight and dry like I find the Mark series). Leads are gorgeous. Cleans are legendary. That amp could definitely do the tones/styles you're asking about.
#9
This has Mesa Roadster written all over it though I'm not familiar with the other amps you listed.

Try one out and a Mark V and see which one you like better. For even more versatility look for a Mesa RoadKing II.

If you test drive a Mesa take a copy of the manual with you. The EQ is not like a Peavey.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
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. . .
#10
Oh I know all about Mesa EQs, I've had three of them

As far as the Foos tone, I'm much more into their Vox tone than their Mesa tone, otherwise a Dual Rec might scratch the itch.

What I DO want though, is versatility. While I loved my 2 channel Rec, I always found that I got one or two tones that I liked and that was it. More than ANYTHING ELSE, I want something that has a tone of usable sounds in it. The BTBAM and Foos thing was just to give an idea of the amount of gain I commonly use and what type of music it might be used for, I don't necessarily want to cop their tones.

The RA is a thought, though they seem to be pretty high in price right now. I played one once at GC and I didn't get a long time with it, but it was a bitchin' amp.

Keep the ideas coming guys, definitely don't discount anything just because it may not fit into the sounds I listed. When I get a bit of time I'm going to do a post listing all the amps I've had that I liked and what I liked about them... It's going to take a while so maybe at lunch
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#11
Well then... maybe a Randall RM and a load of modules. You can get a Mesa Rec module, Vox module and another to fit your needs all under budget!!!
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#12
I've also done that The Randall was cool, but I don't miss it. The whole module thing was neat, but really I want an amp that does it's own thing, not try to cop other amp's tones. That being said, I'm not ruling it out completely (for that matter I haven't ruled anything out yet) I'm just putting it lower on the list. It does have the potential to be REALLY expensive, because I'm going to want some sweet modules from some of the custom guys.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#13
That is exactly why I got rid of mine. It just became a money pit, because all I wanted was more and more. I agree with you on wanting an amp to do its own thing, although the RM was a great amp.

Just for diversity and away from the Mesa recommendations, what about a 5153?
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#14
I was going to bring it up if no one else did Yeah I think that would be a pretty sweet rig. I've played the 50 watt and it was nucking futs how awesome it sounded. I'm not 100% convinced that it is the sound I want, but it is definitely an option.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#15
Hey I use a Music Man Silhouette Special through a Mesa! I use a Blue Angel, though, which is a very different sort of Mesa.
Mesas are hard to try out as the controls are highly interactive, and months can go by and you will still find new sounds on the thing. A slight adjustment can completely change the sound of the amp, which is both delightful and frustrating. They all have different general voicings, so more than other amps, you have to try them out (or listen to good advice) before you buy.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#16
Fryette Sig:X?
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#17
Mincer: Musicman guitars are the best! Blue Angel is a sweet amp too. I definitely agree about the controls, they can be a bit finnicky.

Trashed: I thought about that one too, I know you love yours, but they are tough to come by for a decent price! I'd like to give one a go though, I imagine it would sound pretty unique.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#18
Good modules for an RM100 cost a lot less than a new amp.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#19
Yeah but I have to buy the RM too you know I respect your opinion man but me and the RM just didn't click. I could spend my days getting fancy modules anytime I wanted a new amp but that just doesn't interest me. I want an amp with its own sound that I can tweak till the cows come home.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#20
You can definitely get the Mesa Roadster or RoadKing 1 (2 if you're lucky and/or patient) with your budget.

Other amps to check out are:
* Soldano HotRod 100 Plus, Decatone, Lucky 13 (need a nice boost like Suhr Kokoboost)
* Rivera Knucklehead Tre Reverb, KR100, KR7. The original Knucklehead will work with a nice boost, too. All have very nice Cleans and take pedals well.
* Diezel Einstein, Lil Fokker, duh.
* Bogner Shiva will be amazing
* Hughes and Kettner Warp X (not the SS 7)
* Fryette Deliverance
#21
And Ippon comes in on the GAS train Very good. I liked the Lil Fokker a lot, thanks for reminding me (I'd think that finding that in budget could be tough though...)

The Knucklehead is cool idea. That one has a really nice clean, right? How's the medium gain?

Deliverance is another cool idea. Same thing, how are the non-metal tones?

Thanks dude, lots of good choices to investigate.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#22
Double post: This is the list I mentioned earlier (what I have had and what I liked) -

Mesa 2 channel Dual Rec - The chunkiest metal sound ever. I liked this for rhythm a lot, but I really never found a good lead sound (my priority)

VHT Pitbull 45 (the 2x10 combo) - Awesome, awesome low/medium gain. This probably had the best general "rock" tone I've ever played

SLX - I got a pretty sweet lead sound, but not quite "sweet" enough

Krank Chadwick (single channel) - bitchin' dino-rock sound. Real fat, real full, a bit messy. I dug it

Mark III - Very articulate amp. Probably my favorite lead tone of any amp I've owned

6505+ 112 - That green channel with a boost is awesome for metal riffage.

I've owned a lot more but these are the ones that have made a lasting impression. As far as cleans, again, I have my Super Six Reverb and that keeps me pretty happy, but if I could get that quality of clean tone in another amp in addition to the other stuff, that would be great.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#23
diezel used?
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#24
Even used they are pretty damn expensive, and not as easy to come by. I need to be like Ippon and stalk the classifieds at all the various forums.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#27
Engl Retro Tube 100?

That amp doesn't get a lot of press, and I think it's because of the name. I played one for about 45 minutes one day and got all sorts of awesome tones out of it -- even without any pedals. The name suggests a lower to mid-gain type of amp -- but I found it brutal enough for death metal as well, again, unboosted. Just a really thick, meaty, and mean tone -- but still quite tight. And the cleans were outstanding as well. If I could have a dream amp to "do it all" it would be this one or a Mesa Royal Atlantic. I have played a Mark V a couple times as well, and liked both the RA and the Engl RT 100 quite a bit better.
#28
Engl in general is a thought.

I'm surprised no one has an opinion on the Egnaters, I figured SOMEONE would have something to say.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#29
Alright so I'm going to try and eliminate some stuff:

No Fryette, I don't think that I could gel with one long-term as my main amp.

No Engl, too much of an unknown quantity.

Top contenders:

Mark IV/V (from what I understand the IV has a slightly nicer lead but R2 suffers)

Royal Atlantic

Lil Fokker (If I can find one in budget)

Roadster

5150 III
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#32
Quote by dementiacaptain
But how's the mid/low gain?

not that bad, that is the one with a dirty and a clean channel I think.
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
#33
The 5153 would hands down be the cheapest one out of all the amps in this whole discussion. I haven't tried one, but I've heard nothing but good things. The clean channel is supposedly worlds better than previous incarnations. And it seems to be more versatile than any of the other 5150s or 6505s. Hell, you could buy that new and have money left over in your budget. Then again, pretty much all of those Mesas are good options. I've always gravitated towards Mesa, myself, but I've never owned one.
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Pidgeot of the Pokemon Club
PM Calebrocker to join.

92% of UGers jump on annoying bandwagons. Don't put this in your sig if you're one of the 8% with an opinion.
#34
Well only if we are talking about the 50 Watt model.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#35
That's true, but the 100W goes for $900-1200 used. The independent EQs would probably be worth the price jump since you're after versatility.
Click for charity.

Pidgeot of the Pokemon Club
PM Calebrocker to join.

92% of UGers jump on annoying bandwagons. Don't put this in your sig if you're one of the 8% with an opinion.
#36
I'll definitely keep an eye out, though at that price it's definitely more even with other contenders. I've got a lot of solid options, at this point I need some folks to comment on amps they have experience with.

So:

Any Royal Atlantic owners in the house? I need to know exactly how nice the clean is and what range of tones I can expect (Voxish, more Fender, Marshall, does it crunch nicely), I need to know how chunky the dirt channel is, what range of sounds I can expect from that, is it more a lead amp or rhythm, pretty much the low down.

If anyone owns a 100W 5150 III I would appreciate your insight on that amp as well, and also the Roadster. I realize that the Mark is really a "whatever you like" type deal, and I have a pretty good understanding of what it is all about.

If anyone wants to argue a particular amp for being the most versatile or "the best" at a particular application then please do. I don't have a lot of options to try amps out because of the lousy stores available to me, I've always had to rely on my gut, but I want to involve other people's opinions in this one.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#37
^^I don't own an RA, but the store in my town had one for a few months, and I made it a point to play it every time I went in (to the point they almost had to pry it away from me, hehe...).

I would describe the cleans as a warmer, lusher Fender cleans with some of that sparkle and chime thrown in. Just the right balance of brightness and warmth. Absolutely stunning. The onboard reverb is lush as well. I've never heard better cleans, in fact.

Lighter crunch was amazing, and high gain was sort of Marshally, but thicker and had a little more low-mids. It definitely got into Slayer territories and a bit beyond -- without a boost. With a boost, you'd have no trouble getting BTBAM tones. You really oughtta try one if you can.


I didn't like the EVH 5150 III (100 watt version), and I'm a 5150 fanboy. I could not get a decent "thump" out of it, compared to a 6505+ or especially to an original 5150. The cleans are good, but not nearly as good as an RA, Mark V, or that Engl I told you about. There's something about the EVH 5150 that is just a little too clinical/clean/refined that I don't like. I've heard the blue channel boosted is a little better in that regard though. Anyway, I know it's not just me or my dialing of the amp. I went to a Decapitated show and they were playing the EVH and it sounded the same. Not a terrible tone by any means -- just not my cup of tea.
#38
Right on, I appreciate the insight. I've played an RA once before, but it was a while ago and only for a few minutes. The nearest one to me is a 3 hour drive and I work 6 days a week with band practice on the 7th day, so I doubt I'll be making the trip soon.

Interesting to hear about the EVH. In clips they always sound to me like a more round and mellow version of the 6505 (at least in terms of metal sounds).
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#39
Quote by Haha, Crackhead
The 5153 would hands down be the cheapest one out of all the amps in this whole discussion. I haven't tried one, but I've heard nothing but good things. The clean channel is supposedly worlds better than previous incarnations. And it seems to be more versatile than any of the other 5150s or 6505s. Hell, you could buy that new and have money left over in your budget. Then again, pretty much all of those Mesas are good options. I've always gravitated towards Mesa, myself, but I've never owned one.


Wasn't that upgrade to the JSX? BTW, the JSX is a great amp if you like somewhat Marshall tuned crunch and gain section, the clean is pristine and superb. That's an amp that covers everything. Laney also had a HT and TT 100 watt heads that might rock in the right direction but to me sounded like you're in the mood for a darker amp.

Another one to look at would be the Traynor 50 or 100 watt heads:
http://traynoramps.com/guitar/ycs/product/ycs50h/
http://traynoramps.com/guitar/ycs/product/ycs100h2/

They have great cleans, made in USA or Canada, built like a tank, the lead channel is more of a darker Marshall sound, I'd describe it gain like a Marshall voiced more like a Mesa, or maybe closer to Bogner.

I personally like the JVM, it has a nice throaty growl, reason why you're skipping that one? Price?
Last edited by diabolical at Mar 4, 2016,
#40
I'm totally in love with my 100 watt EVH. I've been using it the most out of my amps. The cleans can stay really clean with the pre-gain low, and you can get a nice breakup if you push it a bit.

I really like the blue channel. I leave the pre gain at about 1/2 way, and I got a solid in your face rock tone. I actually found the amp to have an amazing thump when you get it eq'd properly. Right now mine feels like someone's punching you in the chest when you get her cranked up to a decent volume It's super present in the mix, when playing with a band.

The red channel is just insane. I leave the pre-gain on about 3ish, and use it for my lead tones. I switch it up between using the red channel, or the blue + and OD pedal for my leads. This channel just gets insanely dirty.

I find that however the red and blue channels are voiced on this thing, it just sings in the mix; Especially leads. Every note has so much definition and umph to it. Its by far the loudest amp I've ever played too. I guess I've only every owned 1 other 100watt tube amp (Silver Jubilee), and this things seemed tremendously louder then it. I rarely take any channel past 3-4 with an attenuator.
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
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