#1
So after finally saving and buying my dream drum kit (I am primarily a drummer) I am selling off my old kit. I have a buyer lined up, and figured I should take the money from the sale and finally focus on acquiring some better guitar gear.

I have a cheap head and cab (Fender FM100 as a clean head with pedals for gain, and a B52 LS400 cab) that has gotten me by for just jamming with friends, but after always being the drummer in bands, I haven't been able to do band work on the guitar side of things and want to start my own projects.

Right now my budget is at about 450 and I would prefer to buy new for warranty reasons. I am okay with lower budget equipment as it isn't my priority to have the best.

I am looking for versatility from a gritty clean to high gain as I typically play Rock, Punk, Death and Black Metal. Mostly Black metal, and no I don't prefer a "garbage" tone, if so what I have would be more than suitable. Gig-ability is a must, from practice room to small and medium venues. Larger venues I have played always mic cabs/kicks and such.

I have narrowed my search down to a few amps, and I am open to suggestions. But please no "used 5150/6505" answers. I have tried them and they weren't doing it for me.

I can do any searching for local sales/ebay/reverb on my own when the time comes, but as is I am stuck.

There are two in what is listed below I am particularly fond of, but will wait for the general consensus.

SS or Tube doesn't matter to me. If it sounds good to me that is what matters.

In no particular order.

Randall RG1003h
Pros: Its a Randall SS amp. Three channels. High gain. Budget leaves room for an NS2 and accesories.
Cons: From what I hear an "OK" reverb. Have heard from some local guys that even their tube amps crap out easily, one went through three amps under warranty

Bugera 1990 Infinium
Pros: Switchable reverb per channel. Separate master volumes per channel. Can be pushed to metal levels of gain. Easy tube changes/monitoring. Level for the effects loop.
Cons: Their history of reliability.

Jet City JCA50H
Pros: Soldano-esque gain and tone. Lighter weight. The crunch channel can be used as a dirty clean. Less bells and whistles so (hopefully) better internal components for the price. More clean headroom in the power section compared to the 20 watt versions, but can get some power tube mojo at volume.
Cons: Location of the effects loop in the signal path. No reverb (I am a sucker for reverb).

Orange CR120H
Pros: Amazing reverb, has three kinds built in. Good tone for a SS amp (Played one in store). Clean channel can get dirty.
Cons: The low end was quite loose when I tried one (but it growls), perhaps my SD1 can compensate. Haven't heard much about reliability. Have heard it doesn't cut in a live band situation, but I am unsure.

For what I haven't been able to play, I have searched for any samples and listened through many headphones and speakers of various qualities to get the best idea of their capabilities. But at this point I am stuck choosing.

If those who have tried any of these please chime in.

TL/DR: Lulz wut amp shud I gat?!?1?!!1
Last edited by Liaztraht at May 10, 2016,
#2
The only one of those amps I'd buy is the JCA.
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
#3
Quote by Cathbard
The only one of those amps I'd buy is the JCA.

Well that is one of the two I am quite fond of at this point. So that is a good start haha!
#5
Quote by diabolical

Have you looked at the Valveking?

I haven't recently, and played around on one some time ago. Was able to get some cool sounds, just not the sound I was looking for. Could have been what it was tubed with or the cab. I definitely preferred it over the typical 6505 sound. Not too fond of the extra features like the recording out. Messing with those where a pain in the butt!

I almost forgot about them, but will put them on my mental list if a budget extension happens in the near future.
#6
i wouldnt use a valve king for death or black metal. which bands sound do you like the most?
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#7
Quote by romeozdistress
i wouldnt use a valve king for death or black metal. which bands sound do you like the most?

I would have to say Banewreaker. They are a kind of blackend hardcore band. At least from a production stand point.
I have a hard time picking because there are too many I like haha.
Last edited by Liaztraht at May 11, 2016,
#9
With that budget it'd be really hard to top what you already have. Maybe if you squeeze out a little more dough, a JSX or Orange Tiny Terror with overdrive.

BTW, that's pretty bad production. You sure you don't want a 6505 or XXX? Those amps should get you there.
Last edited by diabolical at May 11, 2016,
#10
look into engl. get your inner abbath on.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#11
but with your budget check into peavey vypyr tube 60. the higher gain jet city amps are good in that price range as well.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
#12
Quote by diabolical
With that budget it'd be really hard to top what you already have. Maybe if you squeeze out a little more dough, a JSX or Orange Tiny Terror with overdrive.

BTW, that's pretty bad production. You sure you don't want a 6505 or XXX? Those amps should get you there.

Yeah. Live it was good. I am sure about not wanting either of those amps. Unless it was a killer deal. In which case I would probably end up flipping them.
I preferred the XXX. And I do have the option on a deal for an XXL a friend is selling.
look into engl. get your inner abbath on.

I like Immortal, but I prefered Mayhem tone wise. Euronymous is the reason I enjoy Les Pauls.
Last edited by Liaztraht at May 11, 2016,
#13
My friend offered his old XXL half stack for 350. I will try it out this weekend. It is tempting.
#15
Quote by Ippon
No!

You can get a JSX head or 212 combo from 400-600.

Any reason for the no?
#16
Quote by Liaztraht

I like Immortal, but I prefered Mayhem tone wise. Euronymous is the reason I enjoy Les Pauls.


OK, so that's more of the "cat into a grinder put into bulldozer" type of sound then...or what I guess I'd call the lo-fi buzzy BM tone. The XXL might actually get you there

Euronymous uses/used Les Paul? He doesn't sound anything like Slash!
#17
Buying an XXL because you like the XXX is like buying an MG because you like Marshall JCM800 2203's. You are destined for disappointment.
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
#18
Quote by diabolical
OK, so that's more of the "cat into a grinder put into bulldozer" type of sound then...or what I guess I'd call the lo-fi buzzy BM tone. The XXL might actually get you there

Euronymous uses/used Les Paul? He doesn't sound anything like Slash!

Indeed he did. At least some of the time. I also believe he used a JCM800 with a TS and Arion Metal Master.

Buying an XXL because you like the XXX is like buying an MG because you like Marshall JCM800 2203's. You are destined for disappointment.


I liked it better than the 6505.

Tone wise, I'm looking to keep note clarity and separation because I use a lot of full chords. High gain, but able to dial down just enough that there is at least a somewhat noticeable difference between light picking and really digging in for the more intense distortion on heavier parts.
I prefer a good mid growl and some upper mids to help cut. And I like it tight, but with just a hint of looseness in the low end while staying punchy. Highs must be manageable. I have played with some who have highs so shrill its like a drill in your ear.

I usually just play whatever tone. But the past year I have been noticing things I want.
#19
Buy the JCA50, man.
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
#20
Quote by Cathbard
Buy the JCA50, man.

Sounds good to me. Just waiting on the sale of my old drum kit.
Then eventually a 2x12 to get rid of that cumbersome B52.
#21
Grab yourself a nice overdrive and a cab with V30's in it.
Think about swapping out some tubes too. Just a new one in V1 would raise the game. Throw a JJ in there.
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
#22
No on the orange SS junk (tube stuff is nice, but out of budget for you).

No on the randall (yes i did own one).

I am not really a fan of bugera for reliability reasons, but that head won't get the tone you are looking for.

i also don't know how well the jet city would do for death metal. but out of your list it would be my choice (yes i have owned JCA's).

i wouldn't really recommend a VK either for what you are looking for (i tried that route for a while).

i would also pass on the XXL.

as far as amps go, i would look into a XXX or JSX (own one). i have a feeling that the XXX you tried wasn't EQ'd well. XXX's can be a little bitchy when it comes to that. maybe look for an older peavey ultra or ultra + or butcher, etc. they are an extremely good for not a lot of money.

mayyybe look for a marshall DSL combo if you can find one cheap enough? though it will need some boosting.

maybe a laney? i don't have much experience with them personally though.

try for an orange TT if you can squeeze it. you won't have cleans though at loud volumes (i own a dual terror which is a two channel version that is 30 watts).

i did try a randall diavio that was OK, but may be great for what you like. i think they make a smaller one.

also, i would never buy a new amp again. you get so much less for you money (i am sitting on about 15 tube amps between my house in studio and have owned a dozen more). you walk out of guitar center with a $600 amp, two days later it won't go for $400 on CL, don't buy into the 'its only two days old' so its worth more, that bullshit doesn't work.
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#23
The JCA50 will do death metal just fine if you stick a nice overdrive pedal in front of it as I suggested.
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
#24
Quote by Cathbard
The JCA50 will do death metal just fine if you stick a nice overdrive pedal in front of it as I suggested.


i had one a few years ago and didn't remembering it to be that heavy, but maybe i don't remember as clear as i thought. (i had the 50h, 2112RC, and a 22h)
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#25
Hasn't the 50H got a SLO preamp?
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
#26
Quote by Cathbard
Hasn't the 50H got a SLO preamp?


i thought so? i am not sure. from what i remember the gain stopped at more of an 80's metal/thrash.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#27
Well the tone I currently play with has that 80's thrash vibe, stacking an OD into a cheap distortion. I dig it other than the fact that the head I play through seems to hate mids. They practically cannot be adjusted at this point. I have been in and out of the amp too many times to bother fixing it haha.

I have an OD already, and also plan to try boosting with an MT2 (Cannibal Corpse style) using the eq on it if needed. Mine is just collecting dust at this point.
#28
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i thought so? i am not sure. from what i remember the gain stopped at more of an 80's metal/thrash.

SLO's have easily as much gain as a 6505. Sure its tubes were ok?
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
#29
Quote by Cathbard
SLO's have easily as much gain as a 6505. Sure its tubes were ok?


it was brand new. i don't know. maybe i am not remembering it right. i don't think SLO's have as much gain as 5150's though. however i have only had the blessing into a SLO once. my 5150 has too much gain on 4 out of 10 with a boost.

OP - i must have just skimmed over your first post. i saw that video and answered that a JCA couldn't do that. it couldn't do it as far as i remember. for rock and punk it would probably do quite well.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#31
Quote by diabolical
You're right, SLO maybe has about 70% gain or even a bit less in comparison to the 5150/6505.
Much better amp though.


as far as better amp, yes. but they have different nitches. a SLO would not nail deathcore like a 5150. but a 5150 doesn't have that clarity and heaviness of a SLO.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#33
Quote by diabolical
I dunno, once you play one of those SLOs you would feel like all these Marshalls and Peavey are 2 dimensional toys. That's how I felt, also felt that way when I played Matchless on cleans and a Sig X.


i wish i had more experience with SLO.

i have a SIG:X and love the damn thing, the 'bloom' mode on the clean channel is absolutely orgasmic.

the first time i plugged into my splawn promod i felt that way to.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#34
Well if the JC has only 70 percent of the gain as a 5150, that's more than enough. Don't most people keep the gain lower and boost anyway?
And it's fine if it doesn't get that deathcore sound. I'm not after that sound.
Infact, if I recall properly, another of my favorite tones was an HM2 into a Marshall DSL50. I also eventually plan on getting an HM2 for some applications.
#35
I'm going to hop on the Jet City band wagon. I had the little 20 watter for a while, that thing was sick. It begged to be played.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.