#1
I have two kids playing electric, and I'm looking for a second amp that will offer more than our first practice amp.

They both have strats with 3 single coil pickups, and are likely to stay there for several more years. I started them on a Fender Mustang I v2. That amp is fine in the spare bedroom music room, but I want a second amp, and would like to get something that has a fuller sound at higher SPL and is more useful outside the practice room for performances. We have a drum set at home too, and an amp that sounds good at louder volume would help when we're playing with the drums.

At the shop where they take lessons, they're using a Crate 120W 2x12, and a 150W Behringer. The Crate sounds pretty fat in the small shop, but it's not a current model and I don't think it's so awesome that I would go looking for one. But I think it's closer to what I'm looking for than another 1x8.

I went to Guitar Center to try a few amps. I tried a Bugera, an AC15, and a bigger Fender. Honestly, I had a hard time hearing the amps since the store was so noisy and there were three or four other people trying amps around me. Otherwise I would have tried more. I'll go again, but it's a 2 hour drive and I want to have a better idea of what I'm looking for.

On our Mustang I, we typically play clean (which I created using the USB interface), and the '65 Twin Reverb or '59 Bassman models. I thought I would be interested in a VOX but I don't know. The local music store has an AC4TV I've been eyeing.

Then I came across the Tech 21 Character Series SansAmp pedals, and got a demo on a "Liverpool" pedal. I wanted to try this on my PA to see how that would go. At the moment, I have a 2000W amp, and 15" 2-ways plus two 2x18" subs. I'm pretty sure I can get it louder than an AC30, but I'm not sure how it should sound. With the subs, it thunders, but since most guitar cabinets are 12" I don't think it's supposed to sound like that. I tried it with just the 15" 2-ways. The SansAmp pedal should tame the harmonics in the tweeters. It sounds ok, but I can't A/B it with anything but the Mustang I.

Besides VOX, I'm interested in Fender, Marshall, Orange? and I don't know what else. Those just seem to be the popular brands out there.

Obviously, I'm not looking for a particular tone since we haven't been playing long enough to develop a particular style. I like the simplicity of the presets on a modeling amp, but I could deal with a few more knobs as long as I can find a good tone and focus on playing.

By the way, I play classical guitar and brass myself, which explains why I'm so clueless about the amps. I understand a fair amount about sound reinforcement and live sound engineering, but not much about guitar amps. One of the reasons I was interested in the Tech 21 Character pedals is because they promise to make electrics work on a full-range PA that's also good for acoustics, vocals, and just about everything else.

We play all kinds of music -- whatever is fun to learn and play. My personal goals are for contemporary and classical Christian music -- anything but that devilish rock'n'roll from MTV that I grew up on. Although I can only imagine myself doing Christian music live, I think my kids just want to focus on their skills and have fun for now and they'll make decisions about what they want to devote their musical abilities to in due time.

My demands are not so particular as a hand wired AC30 with Alnico Blues, or a Marshall double-stack, so I think I can get everything I'm wanting for around $500, maybe quite a bit less, maybe a little more. Any suggestions?
#2
Well, do you want a modeling amp- an amp that can emulate pedals and other amps (IOW, something like the Mustang but better)- or something that has its own tonal characteristics you customize via pedals?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 28, 2016,
#3
i would look at a peavey classic 30/50etc.

i would also look into a peavey valveking combo. <$200 all day, everyday, for the combo.

marshall DSL40c, a little more pricey than the others, but more geared to overdrive than the others.

vox ac15/30's are nice, especially for worship, a little more pricey.

or a fender HRD with OD pedal to taste.
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#4
That's a good question I haven't decided the answer to. I like the simplicity of presets (modeling amp) because I want to focus on playing and not searching for a tone. But even the Mustang 1 probably has more presets than I need. I can't imagine scrolling through a hundred presets, plus various preamps, power amps, and cabinets. So I have no purpose for the widest variety of models. But I could make a modeling amp work if I set it up with two or three usable presets. On the other hand, I also believe I could use a regular amp. I could dial the gain/drive from clean to slightly dirty, or get two channels. That would probably be enough. I don't even think I need a board full of pedals, but I have tried an acoustic sim which broadens the repertoire even more than various cabinet models.

Right now they're sharing the single 1x8 Mustang, and when they play together (through a simple two channel mixer I made), they have a hard time hearing themselves over one another. They need another combo so they can separate themselves. It would also help if they can each dial in a more distinct tone than what the pickups and tone dial will do. It helps to put a pedal on one input, but it would be even better if they were totally separate as well as having different tones. But I don't want another 1x8. I want nice tone, but I also want at least 7dB more SPL than the Mustang 1. We'll probably be doing a lot more jam sessions than gigging anytime soon, but we could be jamming with drums, keys, brass, and vocals, and we need a bass. The Mustang worked ok when we put everyone in a small room and used brushes on the drumset, but if we open it up, it won't cut it. We'll probably be jamming with two or three people more often than a full band, but even then I want some headroom. But I don't need to fill an auditorium. I have a PA if I need it.
#5
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#6
How do you feel about buying used? Especially over the Internet?

I ask because it can be a great way to find deals. For example:
https://reverb.com/brand/carvin?category=guitar-combos&product_type=amps&brand_slug=carvin&sort=price%7Casc

Assuming they are in good shape, used amps may be hundreds of dollars cheaper than comparable new amps. If they're a discontinued model, thee bargain may be even more pronounced.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 29, 2016,
#7
dannyalcatraz Actually, the 16 watt "Vintage" Carvin looks like the most fun of any of them, and $449,95, is the list price, brand new:

It also looks like a simple plug n' play to get decent sound out of it.

Although allegedly, those 40 watt Fender "Hot Rod Deluxe III's" can be had fairly cheap, since people buy them, and then discover they're too damned loud to play in the house. Fenders always have good cleans. Plus, I don't think a few decibels are going to be an issue at this destination..

Both of those amps though are basically single channel, so you still have to mix out in front of them for two players.

The Carvin acoustic amp shown, does have 3 channel mixing, and well, if you're going to tag effects to each input, you don't truly need those super, extra high gain channels either the little Carvin or the Fender would supply.

The situation would be far from ideal, (at least for a hard core metal head), but to get it to there, ya gotta buy 2 amps, plain and simple...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 29, 2016,
#8
Quote by colabnoti
That's a good question I haven't decided the answer to. I like the simplicity of presets (modeling amp) because I want to focus on playing and not searching for a tone. But even the Mustang 1 probably has more presets than I need. I can't imagine scrolling through a hundred presets, plus various preamps, power amps, and cabinets. So I have no purpose for the widest variety of models. But I could make a modeling amp work if I set it up with two or three usable presets. On the other hand, I also believe I could use a regular amp. I could dial the gain/drive from clean to slightly dirty, or get two channels. That would probably be enough. I don't even think I need a board full of pedals, but I have tried an acoustic sim which broadens the repertoire even more than various cabinet models.

Right now they're sharing the single 1x8 Mustang, and when they play together (through a simple two channel mixer I made), they have a hard time hearing themselves over one another. They need another combo so they can separate themselves. It would also help if they can each dial in a more distinct tone than what the pickups and tone dial will do. It helps to put a pedal on one input, but it would be even better if they were totally separate as well as having different tones. But I don't want another 1x8. I want nice tone, but I also want at least 7dB more SPL than the Mustang 1. We'll probably be doing a lot more jam sessions than gigging anytime soon, but we could be jamming with drums, keys, brass, and vocals, and we need a bass. The Mustang worked ok when we put everyone in a small room and used brushes on the drumset, but if we open it up, it won't cut it. We'll probably be jamming with two or three people more often than a full band, but even then I want some headroom. But I don't need to fill an auditorium. I have a PA if I need it.


If you're not going to be practicing without the PA, I'm sure those Tech 21 Character pedals would be fine. If one had a Liverpool and one had a Blonde, for example, and both ran into the PA system, you should get two decent, slightly different, guitar tones. But if you're going to be playing without the PA, you'd be better off with combos.
#9
That 16 watt Carvin is a true tone machine, and is the basis for their Nomad & Belair.

I have a Fender HRD myself- a real workhorse with killer cleans, not so much for the drive channel. But if you're getting most of your dirt via pedals...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Quote by colabnoti
...[ ]...My demands are not so particular as a hand wired AC30 with Alnico Blues, or a Marshall double-stack, so I think I can get everything I'm wanting for around $500, maybe quite a bit less, maybe a little more. Any suggestions?
Well, your "master plan for world guitar domination", has one very glaring flaw, the idea that you can accomplish what you want to do, with a single amp. You either need 2 amps, or a single stereo amp.

Here's why, no matter how loud you turn up, or how many extension cabinets you hang on a mono amp, you can't mix the other guy's signal out of your own. So, you're always stepping on one another's toes trying to play, trying to get the tone you want, trying to hear yourself over the other guy, You hang an extension cab on the system, the other guy is still in "your channel".

In fact, I'd go so far as to say another one of those 8" el cheapo amps, would work out as well as as another mono amp. That's even an amp such as a Twin Reverb", whic has 2 discrete channels, yet still mixes back into the same cabinet.

To sing into one channel of a Twin while playing out of the other is one thing. To try and mix 2 guitars into it's inputs, quite another.
#11
With the PA setup you have I'd strongly consider the Atomic Amplifire for $600 new or around $525 used.
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. . .
#12
Two new amps is not a problem, but have to find what I'm looking for first. The 1x8 works fine for bedroom practice, and plenty of practice is done one player at a time. For jamming, the player with the 1x8 will be at a disadvantage, but there's no reason I couldn't get yet another amp. I haven't had a techinical problem mixing two guitars into one amp, but having only one combo means each player's amp/monitor can't be closer to them than the other's, and there's no separate mix. I totally get that, and that's exactly why I'm looking for a second amp. So I know I definitely want two "monitors" most likely in the form of two combos (the other option being each having their own pa speaker/monitor without mixing or with individual mixes). But I don't want to buy two AC15's and then realize that's not what we want. So I intend to get one, and then soon enough get another of the same kind or different.

Used amps are not a problem either. I really need to know what I'm looking for first, and then I'll shop for the source. I believe what I'm looking for doesn't need to be very expensive, so I could afford two of them new. I'm more concerned about getting the right thing. It could be I buy two new Mustang III's. That's totally affordable. Two new AC15's? Well, I have some doubt that's what we need at all, but it's doable. Of course, buying the wrong amp used is less regretable than buying it new.

I've considered all the recommendations, and I wonder if any kind of all-tube amp is right for us or not. I've read things about tube warm-up, replacing tubes, and the inability of some tube amps to play quietly. I don't know how much of an issue tube warm up really is. I don't think tube lifespan would be an issue unless I bought used and had to replace them soon, in which case it's just a little more expense. But I'm sure we need to be able to play quietly. Some jams are in people's living rooms and without drums. We have acoustic guitar, and violin that are not amplified. Tube amps that switch down to 1W or less would probably be fine, and they'd work for practice too. But bear in mind we're not recording or playing concerts where all-tube tone is somehow vital. I think we'd be ok with the tone from a decent solid state or modeler, but probably not if it's just 30W and coming through a cheap unit.

I think the Peaveys, VOX 15/30, and HRD mentioned so far are probably all too loud. We probably need 15W of tube, but also need it to switch down to less. I don't know, maybe they'd be fine with a clean tone at a lower volume. I see the Carvin switches down to 5W. But we might be better off with SS, or a modeler playing through powered speakers.

The "Liverpool" pedal we're using now is working good. I could get a Blonde and be set for tone. But I'd probably also want new PA speakers because what I have now are 15" two-ways that weigh 60 pounds, and the amplifiers are in a rolling rack case. But if I got some powered speakers, I could probably put a Tech 21 Character pedal and a microphone into each one for guitar and vocals.

I'm considering some amps as an alternative, though they may not handle the vocals at all.

Maybe an Orange CR120C
Marshall Code100C
VOX VT100X

Could blues type tube amps work at quieter volumes?

Fender Blues Jr.?
Peavey Classic 30
Carvin Vintage 16/5

Bear in mind I'm pretty clueless, so I won't be embarrased if I'm badly mistaken about anything and you point it out. Thanks
#13
tubes are not expensive, in most cases they will last years. you don't actually NEED to warm them up, but 10 seconds is all you need. they do quiet fine, just as most SS amps do.

don't fuss about wattage, it doesn't make as big of a diference as you think it is. a 100 watt amp is only TWICE as loud as a 10 watt amp. and that is turned up.

the power-scaling IMO is more often than not a gimmick.

why would you want to put vocals through an amp? that is wha PA's are for.

i would pick two:

Peavey VK
Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC15/30
Fender HRD
Orange tiny terror
etc.

they are all easy to find and cheap. that is what i would do,
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/
#14
1) Tube amps do require a little warm up time. It isn't much, though, mere minutes will do. By the time y finish plugging in and tuning up, it'll be rarin to go.

2) my HRD is more than 10 years old, and running on its original tubes. Now, I don't gig, so it has largely stayed immobile over that time, in a nice, temperature controlled environment,

3) tube amps do sound different at low volumes than they do at high ones. So do SS amps. While it is true you won't get tonal breakup at low volumes, that doesn't mean it won't sound good. My HRD has never been above 4. Sounds just fine at that level.

That said, some amps- like my HRD- can have a big jumpy volume change from 0 to 1 or 2. Others may have little difference between settings 8-10. Someitmes, there are easy mods to change that.

4) Some SS amps sound great. There's a reason why jazz players often use them. While I generally favor tube amps- both the one I own and almost all the ones at the top of my shopping list- there are SS amps I'd love to own. Quilter makes stellar SS amps. So does Carvin. In fact, they may be right up your own alley, as opposed to your kids' tastes.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#15
Quilter SS amp demos:





http://www.quilterlabs.com

Note that if you go looking, Quilters ain't cheap.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 30, 2016,
#16
Carvin's SS amp lineup currently only has this...for $400:
http://carvinaudio.com/collections/sx-series
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 30, 2016,
#17
Quote by trashedlostfdup

why would you want to put vocals through an amp? that is wha PA's are for.
,


Thanks for answering some of my questions and doubts about tubes. I'll definitely continue to consider them as probably the best choice for guitar.

A couple of SS modeling amps like the Marshall Code or Vox VT have "aux in" for music players that could be used for vocals, but generally I agree it's a bad idea. They're still 12" only. Most guitar amps don't have an aux channel, and would distort the mic signal the same as the guitar. I have fooled around with a mic into my 1x8 Mustang, and I get it.

My dilemma isn't whether to run the vocal mic into a guitar amp, but whether to run the guitar into a PA speaker. With a guitar amp, I will likely need to have the PA speaker as well for vocals. But using a Tech 21 pedal or some other amp sim like the "Amplifire," then I'd just need that pedal and a powered speaker. Most of them have a couple of inputs and wouldn't even need a mixer to take vocals and guitar.

So part of my question is whether the guitar amps being proposed, whether its a Peavey Classic, HRD, Carvin or VOX, is better for my situation than some pedals and a powered speaker. For example, I was looking at an EV ELX112P or a QSC K12. These are lightweight plastic speakers that weigh less than a HRD and we might end up toting them around for vocals anyway. With guitar on a separate amp, I might get 10" or even 8" speakers for vocals. Remember this isn't a PA for FoH, but more like personal monitor for jams and get-togethers with ten to twenty people. I've got PA speakers now, but they're 60 pounds each and the amps are in a rolling rack case. So I've got to get something different no matter how I look at it. I know I also don't want a couple of 70 pound AC30's or Fender Twin Reverb's, especially since I'd be toting speakers as well. A 40lb. amp and 40 lb. speaker would be ok, but I'd want to weigh the benefit of that compared to just the 40lb. speaker and a pedal.
#18
dannyalcatraz Well, I listened to you "3 amp shoot out", and I drew a few conclusions.

The Quilter still is "tighter", or perhaps "cleaner" sounding despite the attempts they have make to make that not so.

I actually like the Quilter's reverb better than either of those Fenders, surprise, surprise, surprise.

The biggest Fender has whole ranges of frequencies, (mostly in the lower mid range and upper bass, which are completely "missing" in the Quilter. (I full well realize that the Fender's response isn't "flat", but I suppose it's up to the individual how he or she wants the frequency spectrum of their amp to sound).

And a question, "does anybody actually play that annoying jazz/blues shit if they're not trying to demo amps"?
#19
A goodly part of that may have to do with the speakers. That was just a 2x10 Quilter, after all, facing off against a Fender 2x12 and a 4x10. If it HAD produced the same low end as the bigger amps, Mr. Quilter may have had to face accusations of witchcraft.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#20
colabnoti check out Tech21 - the TM30 and TM60, both are very versatile and have the pedal modeling built into them. They are awesome solid state amps, sound great and are workhorses. TM60 if you want more volume which seems to be the direction you're heading for live performances.

Last edited by diabolical at Sep 3, 2016,