#1
I have been playing my Line 6 spider IV for years now. I've decided that it's time for an upgrade and I'm having a hard time nailing down what I want. Firstly I'm not planning on gigging any time soon but in the event that I do end up gigging in the future I figure a small head (like 50W or so) and a 2x12 cab would be a good compromise. I play predominantly modern metal including but not limited to: dream theater, periphery, unearth, Killswitch Engage etc. I actually ordered the Peavey 6505+ combo out of impulse and ended up sending it back. It was alright but I just wasn't satisfied. If I'm going to invest in a tube amp I want it to speak to me. One of my buddies had a Randall hybrid years ago that I remember really liking but I don't remember what it was.

Then of course is the budget issue. Not trying to spend over 700$ on the head. I've looked around at samash and guitar center and just can't seem to find something I like. The only amp I played for more than 2 minutes today was actually an Orange amp but...it would have to sound like heaven for me to buy one of those things...Probably stupid to judge on the looks but they look like toys. Anyhow, advice appreciated!
#2
Well, if you can't get a modern metal sound (especially a KSE or Unearth type of tone) out of a 6505, you're doing something wrong, or the amp is not the problem. Maybe you're expecting album tone out of a guitar alone. You should know that those bands are notorious for using A LOT of studio magic, guitars tracked 4 or more times, compress it all to hell and back, etc. And then there's also the fact that there is a bass guitar in there as well...

But...maybe you knew that. The 6505+ combo is not perfect in stock form, but it can slay with the right combination of tubes, a speaker upgrade, and a few pedals (mostly just an EQ pedal in the effects loop). It has a few quirks that hold it back, but once you remove those it can sound ridiculous.

I don't know what else to suggest, honestly. With your budget, maybe a used Peavey JSX (especially for Dream Theater or maybe Periphery). But there again, the 6505+ will beat the JSX for ultra aggressive rhythm tones. JSX has better cleans though. A 2X12 cab will be just fine -- you don't lose much going with an oversized 212 vs. a 4 X 12.

One more thing, if you're playing these amps at bedroom volumes, just know that the tone will change a lot if you crank them and get some real speaker movement.
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#3
like kailm said if that amp didn't do it for you....im not sure what else to suggest. the 5150/6505 is on just about every modern metal recording so I'm not sure what the issue is.

what guitar are you using?

my best suggestion is get out there and try anything and everything you can get your hands on. eventually something will speak to you. here are a few brands and models that you can find used within your budget

Peavey: xxx/3120. (they are kind of the same amp but the 3120 can use either 6l6 or el34) killer tones though
peavey 5150 combo: seriously you cant beat them. give it a try
jet city: jca50
marshall : dsl100 used all day long under 700 bones
randall rd20/40

good luck and happy hunting.
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Last edited by iheartgun at Mar 24, 2016,
#4
Amps are tools and there is always a learning curve to get great tone. 6505 is a good one for hi gain stuff. If you like Petrucci, find a used Mesa. Even an old 50 cal can get it done with world class OD tone. Also Jet City, Dark Terror, Laney, Marshall DSL give you a British voiced amp with balls. Any of these will be a huge leap in credible guitar tone compared with the Spider.

Figure out who your favorite players are tonewise. What are they using? Try that.
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Last edited by Cajundaddy at Mar 24, 2016,
#5
Quote by ryane24
I have been playing my Line 6 spider IV for years now. I've decided that it's time for an upgrade and I'm having a hard time nailing down what I want. Firstly I'm not planning on gigging any time soon but in the event that I do end up gigging in the future I figure a small head (like 50W or so) and a 2x12 cab would be a good compromise. I play predominantly modern metal including but not limited to: dream theater, periphery, unearth, Killswitch Engage etc. I actually ordered the Peavey 6505+ combo out of impulse and ended up sending it back. It was alright but I just wasn't satisfied. If I'm going to invest in a tube amp I want it to speak to me. One of my buddies had a Randall hybrid years ago that I remember really liking but I don't remember what it was.

Then of course is the budget issue. Not trying to spend over 700$ on the head. I've looked around at samash and guitar center and just can't seem to find something I like. The only amp I played for more than 2 minutes today was actually an Orange amp but...it would have to sound like heaven for me to buy one of those things...Probably stupid to judge on the looks but they look like toys. Anyhow, advice appreciated!


I'd recommend trying to get a second hand Mesa Boogie or something similar- 25 or 30 watts is WAY more than enough for any situation with those amps.

Mesa is probably your best bet for the genre - and they are very popular so you should be able to find a good used one for a good price.

Also, Orange makes great tube amps, so don't judge by the look.
#6
Quote by reverb66
I'd recommend trying to get a second hand Mesa Boogie or something similar- 25 or 30 watts is WAY more than enough for any situation with those amps.

Mesa is probably your best bet for the genre - and they are very popular so you should be able to find a good used one for a good price.

Also, Orange makes great tube amps, so don't judge by the look.


The Mesa mini rectifier has been haunting me...I've heard so much about it but when I see that price tag + a cabinet I feel pain haha. What makes it more difficult is I can't find these anywhere to try out. I've been to like 4 different music stores and never seen a rectifier of any kind. With everything I've seen online though I'm really starting to think about it...I suppose I can always send it back if I don't like it.
#7
Quote by Cajundaddy
Amps are tools and there is always a learning curve to get great tone. 6505 is a good one for hi gain stuff. If you like Petrucci, find a used Mesa. Even an old 50 cal can get it done with world class OD tone. Also Jet City, Dark Terror, Laney, Marshall DSL give you a British voiced amp with balls. Any of these will be a huge leap in credible guitar tone compared with the Spider.

Figure out who your favorite players are tonewise. What are they using? Try that.


Very true. I got a Mesa Express 25 a few years ago and was extremely disappointed with it for about a year. Finally I buckled down and started experimenting with the EQ and contour settings. I learned that it is actually extremely sensitive to tone settings, and that the EQ does not behave at all like a dual rectifier. Now with the mid wide open and the contour wide open, along with the correct tone, bass and gain settings, I get an awesome Mark-like tone.

The learning curve should not be underestimated on a new amp.
#8
I have both a 120w 6505+ head and a Mesa Dual Rec Roadster 2X12 combo, both produce killer metal tones. The 6505 combos that I have tried didn't sound as good as my head the head is made in USA the combos are Asian built, but I am also playing through a 4X12 closed back cabinet with Eminence speakers.

I'd suggest the 6505/5150 combo with a speaker upgrade and a tube screamer it will get all the metal tones you want.

For the record looks can be decieving Orange amps are beasts.

All that being said my vote is for Mesa. My Roadster smokes my 6505+ and the Peavey is an absolute beast in it's own right!
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Last edited by Evilnine at Mar 25, 2016,
#9
Well I ordered a used Mesa Mini Rectifier 25 and after putting it through the paces there is actually a lot I don't like about it. For rock and stuff it sounds amazing, don't get me wrong. But I really haven't been able to find a metal tone I like. Also, the thing is just too damn loud. 1 is like not loud enough to really get a good sound and 2 is like neighbors probably about to get pissed. After looking at some demo's of the 6505 I'm really starting to think I had a lemon. I even tried one in the store that I liked a lot better. Sooo..I decided to keep the cab and order both the 6505 mini head and the H&K Tubemeister 18. I still have the mesa so hopefully one out of the three will rub me the right way and I'll return the other two.
#10
Don't take this the wrong way but did you read the manual? It explains how the gain and EQ interact with each other. You can't EQ a Mesa like a Peavey. . .
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#11
Quote by metalmingee
Don't take this the wrong way but did you read the manual? It explains how the gain and EQ interact with each other. You can't EQ a Mesa like a Peavey. . .

Haha no offense taken. I didn't read the manual. I figured after trying a bunch of different settings I should have happened upon something I like, its not like theirs a million nobs. I'll make sure to do that before I make a final decision to send it back though.
#12
Yeah with a Mesa you have to read the manual then read it again. The controls are very sensitive and each interact with one another. Don't be afraid to not let your eyes dial in the sound, let your ears do the work. The settings that work on my 5150 aren't even close to my Mesa, just have to tweak and then re-tweak. It's all part of the fun though.
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#13
Quote by bobafettacheese
Yeah with a Mesa you have to read the manual then read it again. The controls are very sensitive and each interact with one another. Don't be afraid to not let your eyes dial in the sound, let your ears do the work. The settings that work on my 5150 aren't even close to my Mesa, just have to tweak and then re-tweak. It's all part of the fun though.

+1

You should have no trouble getting a good (great) metal tone out of your Rectifier. Maybe post your current settings. Where is your Channel volume / Output volume / and Gain set at? Try running the treble at '0' and then bring your Presence up slowly. Are you using an OD as a boost (clean boost)? Also try an EQ in the loop. What pickup do you have? Read the manual at least two times if not three
#14
for the money your spending you should have just got a new Mesa MK V-25 or used MK V in the first place

on Mesa's you have to read the manual
#15
I have a Mesa Mini and it is fantastic, you should be able to dial in whatever tones you need. If you want to experiment add a TS clone in front and you can dual dual gain staging, dial less gain on the amp and bring in the gain through the overdrive, maybe that'll get you there? I have no trouble getting a great aggressive metal tone through the Mesa itself:
https://soundcloud.com/egregoreband/mesa-mini-goofing-off-2
#16
Quote by diabolical
I have a Mesa Mini and it is fantastic, you should be able to dial in whatever tones you need. If you want to experiment add a TS clone in front and you can dual dual gain staging, dial less gain on the amp and bring in the gain through the overdrive, maybe that'll get you there? I have no trouble getting a great aggressive metal tone through the Mesa itself:
https://soundcloud.com/egregoreband/mesa-mini-goofing-off-2



nice sound clip
#17
Quote by diabolical
I have a Mesa Mini and it is fantastic, you should be able to dial in whatever tones you need. If you want to experiment add a TS clone in front and you can dual dual gain staging, dial less gain on the amp and bring in the gain through the overdrive, maybe that'll get you there? I have no trouble getting a great aggressive metal tone through the Mesa itself:
https://soundcloud.com/egregoreband/mesa-mini-goofing-off-2


Yup, sounds just like mine. I don't know what it is but I just don't like that tone. Im not well versed enough in Toneology to describe what it is i dont like. Your lead on the other hand sounded awesome. I already sent it back and now I've been messing with the tubemeister 18 and the 6505mh. One of these two is going to be the one and ive put hours through both and can't decide. My JP70 sounds awesome through the hk but kinda shitty through the 6505. My schecter (EMG's) sounds great through both but better through the 6505.
#19
Ever give one of the EVH 5150 amps a try? The 50 watt head blew me away and they also have a little 15W that is plenty loud. Killer tones though.
Last edited by Danitarium at Apr 4, 2016,
#21
I would look at a JSX. Solid amp through and through. The cleans are fantastic and the two OD channels give a lot of flexibility. I paid around $350 used for mine and am very happy with it. FWIW I have a block letter 5150, a rectifier, and a Rockerverb too, and the JSX holds it's own.
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#22
Quote by trashedlostfdup
I would look at a JSX. Solid amp through and through. The cleans are fantastic and the two OD channels give a lot of flexibility. I paid around $350 used for mine and am very happy with it. FWIW I have a block letter 5150, a rectifier, and a Rockerverb too, and the JSX holds it's own.


Is there like a "lunchbox" version of that amp? One thing that I do like about the two amps I'm playing with now is the powersoak. It still doesn't sound as good but its a good compromise later at night so I don't piss off the neighbors.