#1
I was wondering if there is a particular brand of amp that is known for it's reliability. I don't need a lot of power 10-15 watts would be enough but I have heard that there have been some reliability problems with the amp I bought, so if I replace it I'd like to get something that is made better.
#2
That's pretty open-ended. Can you help us out with a budget and what you'd want it to sound like? A Matchless Lightning is a great, bulletproof amp but it doesn't do you much good if you're playing black metal and have $400.
#3
Agreed more info. As kind of an answer I considered Peavey and Mesa to be pretty reliable, Marshalls tend to be pretty solid though there are select models with some issues (though same came be said for the other two).
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#4
Fender, Mesa, Marshall, Laney, Orange, Peavy are all mainstream amps that are pretty damn reliable. Dozens of other tube amps are also very reliable. Tube amps are generally very reliable.

I played an outdoor gig last night for a local city car show and street fair. We were on generator of unknown output capacity and during the first set my Mesa was fading in and out. Low voltage on one ext cord with heavily used power strip. I switched to a dedicated circuit for my amp 2nd set and the amp sounded great. No damage, just weak output from too little juice.

Name your:

3 favorite guitarists tone wise, your intended use (bedroom jammer, local gigs, world tour), your nearest city, and your budget. Folks will chime in with good suggestions.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#6
I'd say Orange, Traynor, Mesa seem to be very well built, study and reliable. Some of the big tube Fender amps have been pretty reliable as well.
Out of what I own the pinnacle of sturdiness is the Orange Tiny Terror combo.

I could've said for older Marshall, Peavey and Laney amps but lately the Chinese version of the same amps are of a flimsier construction. In other words US Peavey and UK Vox, Laney and Marshall are very well built. I'd rather go for an older one of these than buy their products brand new nowadays.

One exceptionally well built Chinese amp that I own is the Ashdown Fallen Angel. This thing is a tank, I opened it up and all the inside works is of great quality, actually I was a little surprised, as I didn't expect that at this price point
Last edited by diabolical at Apr 10, 2016,
#7
Quote by Sunfist
I was wondering if there is a particular brand of amp that is known for it's reliability.


Nope.

Most are pretty reliable (ignore forum comments until you have empirical evidence that yours has issues. It might not). Most of my amps have been dead reliable (in my hands, anyway) and some started their lives in '65 and '67. Most of the issues I've seen with tube amps have come about through stupidity and accident. Sometimes both combined.
#8
I agree with dspellman on one count but not the other.

Some companies are more reliable, period. Bugera and mesa? Much different.

I agree that most failures resulted from something from somebody doing something stupid or just not knowing what they are doing. User error resulting in big repair bills.

Also a tube amp (to a certain extent) is only as reliable as the tubes that are in it. But that is maintenance, not reliability.
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#9
It's always tough to wade into these issues, because manufacturers have a vested interest in not telling us how often their products fail, and consumers have a vested interest in figuring out which products are actually going to last.

When some numbers were released by Thomann a few years ago, Bugera came out looking bad. There were some problems with the figures, and a few caveats, but they certainly had a poor reputation at the time and I think there was reasonable cause for concern. Bugera has definitely made a lot of changes since then, and I don't think it's fair to say that we know they have a less reliable product. So now we're stuck: we don't want to unfairly say that they're less reliable, but at the same time it's unfair to Mesa to pretend that their higher-quality product is identical to Bugera's, simply because we have no concrete answers.

We don't know that Bugera, as of 2016, has a higher failure rate than Mesa. I can guess, based on having seen the insides of both of those amps, that most Bugeras appear to be made to a lower standard. But that's not the same as calling them unreliable. Peavey amps often look kinda shitty on the inside, and they cut some weird corners, but they don't generally get treated the same way that Bugera does. I have an issue with calling Bugera unreliable across the board while letting Peavey off the hook. For example, a Bugera V55 is a pretty simple amp, and seems to be made decently enough for its price range. A 6505 112 is far more complicated, and is built pretty cheaply in its own right. I wouldn't want to bet as to which one would be more likely to fail in ten years, but I know which one I'd rather fix (the V55), and I think painting one and not the other as unreliable based on its brand is a bit broad.

So I get that some people take issue with the "less reliable" tack, because we really don't know, and that's a fair thing to admit to. On the other hand, anyone with any experience with these things can look inside a 6262 and a Mark IV and notice that one is made a bit better. Where does that leave us? I know the question is "what's more reliable" but given that any amp can have issues, and models and even production runs can make a huge difference, I think my answer is (thanks to Spellman here) "try a different question" - first look for known, concrete issues (early Bugeras catching fire; DSL40s frying the rectifier; Mark IVs coming in Snakeskin), then try not to worry about it too much beyond that.

If you've got enough cash that you can look for a higher-end build quality, you already know what you're doing. If you don't, then it doesn't matter that much anyway. I don't know of anyone who is deciding between a Bugera and a Mesa, which is good because then we don't have to answer those uncomfortable questions above. In some situations where there is some overlap (used 5150 vs new Bugera; DSL40 vs. Classic 50), that's a more concrete, specific question, and certainly one for its own thread. We cannot hope to answer them all in sweeping terms in one discussion.
#10
Quote by Roc8995
It's always tough to wade into these issues, because manufacturers have a vested interest in not telling us how often their products fail, and consumers have a vested interest in figuring out which products are actually going to last.

When some numbers were released by Thomann a few years ago, Bugera came out looking bad. There were some problems with the figures, and a few caveats, but they certainly had a poor reputation at the time and I think there was reasonable cause for concern. Bugera has definitely made a lot of changes since then, and I don't think it's fair to say that we know they have a less reliable product. So now we're stuck: we don't want to unfairly say that they're less reliable, but at the same time it's unfair to Mesa to pretend that their higher-quality product is identical to Bugera's, simply because we have no concrete answers.

We don't know that Bugera, as of 2016, has a higher failure rate than Mesa. I can guess, based on having seen the insides of both of those amps, that most Bugeras appear to be made to a lower standard. But that's not the same as calling them unreliable. Peavey amps often look kinda shitty on the inside, and they cut some weird corners, but they don't generally get treated the same way that Bugera does. I have an issue with calling Bugera unreliable across the board while letting Peavey off the hook. For example, a Bugera V55 is a pretty simple amp, and seems to be made decently enough for its price range. A 6505 112 is far more complicated, and is built pretty cheaply in its own right. I wouldn't want to bet as to which one would be more likely to fail in ten years, but I know which one I'd rather fix (the V55), and I think painting one and not the other as unreliable based on its brand is a bit broad.

So I get that some people take issue with the "less reliable" tack, because we really don't know, and that's a fair thing to admit to. On the other hand, anyone with any experience with these things can look inside a 6262 and a Mark IV and notice that one is made a bit better. Where does that leave us? I know the question is "what's more reliable" but given that any amp can have issues, and models and even production runs can make a huge difference, I think my answer is (thanks to Spellman here) "try a different question" - first look for known, concrete issues (early Bugeras catching fire; DSL40s frying the rectifier; Mark IVs coming in Snakeskin), then try not to worry about it too much beyond that.

If you've got enough cash that you can look for a higher-end build quality, you already know what you're doing. If you don't, then it doesn't matter that much anyway. I don't know of anyone who is deciding between a Bugera and a Mesa, which is good because then we don't have to answer those uncomfortable questions above. In some situations where there is some overlap (used 5150 vs new Bugera; DSL40 vs. Classic 50), that's a more concrete, specific question, and certainly one for its own thread. We cannot hope to answer them all in sweeping terms in one discussion.


Damn, you are knocking it out of the park lately!!
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#11
Mesa Boogie has 5-year warranties on their amps, or at least they did when I bought mine. Most amps, like Fenders, have a 1 or 2 year warranty at best. This doesn't necessarily translate to reliability, but it says something!
#12
Quote by reverb66
Mesa Boogie has 5-year warranties on their amps, or at least they did when I bought mine. Most amps, like Fenders, have a 1 or 2 year warranty at best. This doesn't necessarily translate to reliability, but it says something!


Bugera has a 3 year warranty.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#13
a 71' ampeg v4 head.

-besides an expensive power quartet, it has about 2 dozen other tubes you can't get anymore,
-rectifiers!, (plural)
-reverb lock,
-chassis lock,
-solid wood,
-tolex, chrome, and idiot lights
-about 30 pounds overweight
-gigantic transformers.
-made in 'Jersey
-two channels of 120 watt clean, un-distortable, thunderous, power!
-sounds "unique" to say the least

i will never buy one ever again.
Last edited by ad_works at Apr 11, 2016,