#1
Hello! I'm quite confused over choosing pickups and amp.. I had in mind getting EMG's, More specifically a 81/60 set but the problem that I'm having is that I live in apartment and I was thinking about getting a Randall solid state head that I could potentionally plug my headphones in. I'm very concered if the EMG's does sound good with SS amps and if I have to get a cab for the amp head to even work. I have a budget around 500$ for the amp so I would appreciate suggestions for other amps. If you didn't notice by the choice for the EMG's or my profile picture my music style is mostly metal.
Gear:
Schecter stealth c-1
Blackshitter ID core stereo 10w
Last edited by jonahlin01 at Aug 29, 2016,
#2
What's the point of buying an amp head if you're not going to run it through a cab? It kinda defeats the purpose if you're just going to plug in headphones. I think it would be better and cheaper for you to buy some kind of digital modelling device that you can play with headphones plugged in. Saves space, money, and is way more flexible if you don't plan to gig or practice with loud drums! As for the pickups, the pickups all have their own specific sound but it doesn't seem to me like they matter too much when you're thinking of buying a certain amp in combination with them because the amps all have their unique tone, so most of the tone comes from the amp anyways.
Who needs shred when you've got rhythm guitar? :^)
Guitars:
Jackson King V (With a Wilde L500XL in the bridge)
Ibanez Iron Label RGIX27FEQM (7-string)
#3
adexder I was thinking about buying a cab later on for light gigging and band practice.. What digital modelling device would you recommend?
Gear:
Schecter stealth c-1
Blackshitter ID core stereo 10w
#4
If you are going to buy a head, yes, you need a cabinet.

I don't know why EMGs wouldn't work with a solid state amp (I don't think it's about the technology the amp uses, it's more about whether they will work with the particular amp you want to buy), but the best way to figure that out would be going to a music store and trying the Randall amp with EMGs.

If you are going to buy a new amp, I wouldn't worry about upgrading pickups yet. See how your current pickups will work through the new amp. If it sounds good, why would you want to upgrade them? Also, if your current guitar has passive pickups, it's not as simple as just buying EMGs. You need to find a place for the battery and you may also need to change your pots. It's just not a good idea.

If you are not satisfied with your tone, the first thing you want to upgrade is your amp. And as I said, after you have bought a new amp, you may notice that you may not need to change the pickups after all.


For $500 a combo amp would make more sense than a head and a cab.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 29, 2016,
#5
I feel like a extreme beginner right now reading this XD, The pickups that are in the guitar right now aren't really made for metal I've heard and it kinda feels that way, perhaps I should just focus on getting a better amp.

The thing with the EMG's and a SS amp is that I've heard complaing about the amp clipping and making quite awful noice. So that's why I was a bit confused but I'm gonna get to my local shop and see what amps I can try out, They don't have any Randall amps which makes me feel sad... Are tube combo's good for apartments?
Gear:
Schecter stealth c-1
Blackshitter ID core stereo 10w
#6
Quote by jonahlin01
I feel like a extreme beginner right now reading this XD, The pickups that are in the guitar right now aren't really made for metal I've heard and it kinda feels that way, perhaps I should just focus on getting a better amp.


I guess we all have to start somewhere! One word: Craigslist. Craigslist is amazing for cheap items sometimes because you can try them out in person if you're at the edge of committing to buy. None of the shops in my area sell Randall amps but I saw an old Randall Warhead on craigslist in my area (That I almost bought 'cause I love the sound). Don't always look to buy new gear if you can save money buying used operational gear!

Amp clipping and noise is not always to do with the combinations. It could be due to flaws in the amp or the guitar itself. The combination shouldn't be a problem. Also, if you're starting to look at modelling devices I would suggest looking at the Line 6 POD. Line 6 also have modelling amps that can help you attain the sound that you're looking for without having to buy multiple amps.
Who needs shred when you've got rhythm guitar? :^)
Guitars:
Jackson King V (With a Wilde L500XL in the bridge)
Ibanez Iron Label RGIX27FEQM (7-string)
#7
If you want a Randall SS buy a Randall RG. I had one for a while and the volume knob worked well.

Look used though - SS Randalls don't hold their resale value - I sold my RG100SC 212 combo for around $250 I think.

If you want the headphone route look into amp sims on the computer with a Guitar to USB cable. I use Peavey ReValver for this.

If you want to use the headphone gear with a real amp look into a POD HD500X ($300ish) used or an Atomic Amplifire ($500ish) used.

You may also want a Randall RG13 pedal which is their RG preamp with a headphone jack and low wattage to hook up to a speaker cab.

Edit: and my 81/85 worked fine with the RG. You do need to replace everything when switching to actives and most times there is plenty of room in the cavity for the battery.
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. . .
Last edited by metalmingee at Aug 29, 2016,
#8
How much can you get a 6505 mini head for? That can be played through headphones without a cab, so you can save up for one?
#9
luke.g.henderso
Yep, that's a good call. My RG didn't stay around long.

Laney IronHeart Studio would be good too - direct headphone and USB output.
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
Quote by luke.g.henderso
How much can you get a 6505 mini head for? That can be played through headphones without a cab, so you can save up for one?


i am not sure if it is correct (not saying you are wrong). but i would check for sure before hooking it up.

i have had a few RG's throughout time, including two RG100ES's, and i currently have a century 100. they are nice, but they aren't overly flexible, and i would advise something else. also worth noting that i didn't pay much (if even) over $50-$60 for any of them.

i would go for a POD. you can hook them up to powered speakers, which can be very affordable and a nice thing to have around.
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#12
Thanks for all the replies! I'm having a hard time picking over these extremely good suggestions! I think I still want to get a set of EMG's but I'm still quite unsure over getting a amp head and cab (used ofc) or getting those digital modelling/pedal things you guys are recommending. I have to say that I really like the amplifire!

I feel a lot more confident getting a solid state at least.
Gear:
Schecter stealth c-1
Blackshitter ID core stereo 10w
Last edited by jonahlin01 at Aug 30, 2016,
#13
The Atomic Amplifire is an amazing piece of kit for the money. It uses the same modeling technology Fractal uses for their Axe FX rackmounts. I'd get one of those over any of the amps that have been suggested. They're also super convenient for recording with. You can buy a power amp and an extension cabinet to supplement it when you have the cash.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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#14
Get the amp first, only after that worry about pickups. Amp makes the biggest difference to the tone and a good metal tone has mostly to do with the amp, not the pickups.

BTW, have you tried an EMG equipped guitar against your current guitar? If not, I would suggest going to a music store and doing the comparison. That way you will have a better idea of how the pickup change would affect your tone.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#15
trashedlostfdup

I've heard that from a few sources. This is from a Guitar World review:

The Mic Simulated Direct Interface (MSDI) includes an XLR output jack, ground lift switch, headphone jack, and a speaker enable/defeat switch that engages a load circuit so you can use the amp without speakers without damaging the transformers and circuitry. There’s also a mic simulated USB audio jack for connecting the 6505 MH directly to a computer.


http://www.guitarworld.com/reviews-amplifiers/review-peavey-6505-mh-guitar-amp/28894


But the POD or Amplifire would be a much more flexible solution.
#16
Quote by luke.g.henderso
trashedlostfdup

I've heard that from a few sources. This is from a Guitar World review:
http://www.guitarworld.com/reviews-amplifiers/review-peavey-6505-mh-guitar-amp/28894
But the POD or Amplifire would be a much more flexible solution.

The MSDI is just a fancy marketing term to state that it's just the amp's preamp out in an XLR format as far as I'm concerned. And being just the preamp without any power amp or speaker cabinet coloration, its going to sound like ass. That could be excessively cynical though.

Get an Amplifire if you need to record conveniently.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 30, 2016,
#17
T00DEEPBLUE

Well, MSDI stands for Microphone Simulated Direct Interface, so I would imagine there's some form of cab and mic simulation on them, at a guess?
As there's a dummy load, it's probably from the power amp, like the Mesa Cab Clone.
#18
I've analyzed the schematic for the 6505+112 (which has exactly the same feature, apparently) and I couldn't find what part of the circuit actually models the microphone and the cabinet like Peavey says it does. So that makes me rather cynical.

Not that I really care though; when it comes to actual amps, you're far more likely to get better results if you mic them properly with an actual cab anyway.
Roses are red
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 30, 2016,
#19
I seem to be having some bad luck at the moment.. The amplifire pedal I was looking in to isn't in stock anywhere I look, Would It be better for me to expand my budget from 500$ to 700$ and just ignore changing pickups?
Gear:
Schecter stealth c-1
Blackshitter ID core stereo 10w
Last edited by jonahlin01 at Aug 30, 2016,
#20
luke.g.henderso I'm sorry for not replying to your question earlier, I can get a Peavey 6505 mini head for around 600$ (not used)
Gear:
Schecter stealth c-1
Blackshitter ID core stereo 10w
#21
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I've analyzed the schematic for the 6505+112 (which has exactly the same feature, apparently) and I couldn't find what part of the circuit actually models the microphone and the cabinet like Peavey says it does. So that makes me rather cynical.

Not that I really care though; when it comes to actual amps, you're far more likely to get better results if you mic them properly with an actual cab anyway.


Well, reviews and demo videos would indicate that it has that feature, and Peavey aren't the only company that offers that kind of thing.

The whole point is that you use that feature when you can't mic up a cabinet. Which is relevant in a thread asking about running an amp head through headphones.

jonahlin01, here are some examples of amps running silently with speaker/ mic emulation on. They won't be as versatile as the Amplifire or a POD though, and they won't sound as good as the would through speakers. But they will get you a decent sound to work practicing with headphones while you save up for a cab, or whatever the case may be.





#22
Quote by luke.g.henderso
Well, reviews and demo videos would indicate that it has that feature, and Peavey aren't the only company that offers that kind of thing.

The whole point is that you use that feature when you can't mic up a cabinet. Which is relevant in a thread asking about running an amp head through headphones.

Well if you're going to be using the Peavey so often with headphones because noise is a major constraint, then get something that is actually designed from the get-go to sound good with headphones. Mic-simulated direct outs are useless (in my opinion) because it takes away your ability to take the raw preamp signal and taking advantage of the flexibility with running your own simulated cabinet impulses from something like a DAW and play the guitar silently that way. I see that as a far nicer solution than just being stuck with something that's a failed attempt at packaging a cab sim and being left with a wet blanket that no amount of post-processing can fix.

I can understand the existence of the feature on paper for the sake of sheer convenience, but its execution is a joke. The Amplifire laughs in the face of amps that try peddling that MSDI crap. It contains a number of built-in cab impulses, with each impulse allowing you a good amount of adjustment. And if you wish to run software independently, you can just run it as a direct line-out to your PC and do whatever you want with it from there. It gives you the choice to exercise both options and it executes both of them far better.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 30, 2016,
#23
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Well if you're going to be using the Peavey so often with headphones because noise is a major constraint, then get something that is actually designed from the get-go to sound good with headphones. Mic-simulated direct outs are useless (in my opinion) because it takes away your ability to take the raw preamp signal and taking advantage of the flexibility with running your own simulated cabinet impulses from something like a DAW and play the guitar silently that way. I see that as a far nicer solution than just being stuck with something that's a failed attempt at packaging a cab sim and being left with a wet blanket that no amount of post-processing can fix.

I can understand the existence of the feature on paper for the sake of sheer convenience, but its execution is a joke.


There's an effects loop send jack for that. Plus, there's obviously the speaker output for you to run the power amp out into something that can take it, like a Torpedo.

So no, it doesn't take away any options.
#24
Quote by luke.g.henderso
There's an effects loop send jack for that.

The dummy load for the amp won't be connected to the effects loop, so you still need to get around that problem if you want to play silently. It could be as simple as plugging an XLR plug into the socket to fool the amp into running the dummy load, or it may require the signal on the other end of the cable to be fed somewhere before the dummy load runs. No way of knowing without actually trying it.

One might also require a DI box to run a guitar signal out from a buffered effects loop too. So that's an additional cost.
Plus, there's obviously the speaker output for you to run the power amp out into something that can take it, like a Torpedo.

So no, it doesn't take away any options.

That solution forces you to buy Torpedo, which AFAIK costs more than what the amp itself is worth. So that's a non-starter.

Seriously, Amplifire is way more viable than this.
Roses are red
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 30, 2016,
#25
T00DEEPBLUE Why would he need to do any of that when he just wants to play through headphones? Like I said, the Amplifire will give better results with headphones, but a lot of what you have said is just untrue- the MSDI does not take away any options available from a guitar head that doesn't have it, which is what you stated.
#26
Quote by luke.g.henderso
T00DEEPBLUE Why would he need to do any of that when he just wants to play through headphones?

He doesn't. it's all a given that tone is subjective, But if I bought a 6505 MH, that's what I feel I would need to do if I wanted a tone that was remotely passable with headphones. Especially considering what else can be bought for a similar amount of money.
Like I said, the Amplifire will give better results with headphones, but a lot of what you have said is just untrue- the MSDI does not take away any options available from a guitar head that doesn't have it, which is what you stated.

Well if you're actually using the MSDI the way its intended, then I firmly stand by that statement.

I suppose it doesn't restrict options in so far that you could try and compensate for the blanket it puts over the amp by using absurd amounts of post-processing. But that modus operandi is utterly self-defeating; the entire principle of MSDI is that you shouldn't have to post-process the crap out of the signal to get a decent tone out of it. It is too criminally ironic for me to take seriously. It would be so much easier if the 'feature' just didn't exist.

Pragmatically there's a possibility of just running a signal directly from the effects loop and bypassing the MSDI nonsense altogether. But the mere concept of doing that when there exists just a few inches away from the effects loop output, an MSDI output that was meant to serve that very same purpose is just... Ironic. Principally it's just... wrong. It's like constructing a skyscraper from the top of the building down rather than the bottom of the building up.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Aug 31, 2016,
#27
I believe I've made up my mind now, If I can't find a amplifire I'm going to get a amp head and cab. I was thinking about that peavey and a cab for it but I'm quite uncertain about it, I really want the Randall RG but I like the features of the Peavey...

Is the sound the same at lower volumes compared to having the volume at like 7 on a half stack for example?
Gear:
Schecter stealth c-1
Blackshitter ID core stereo 10w
Last edited by jonahlin01 at Sep 1, 2016,
#28
Quote by jonahlin01
Is the sound the same at lower volumes compared to having the volume at like 7 on a half stack for example?

No. The MH has fundamental design differences from the 120W head, so it's not going to sound the same. And wattage doesn't really reflect how loud an amp is going to be compared to a higher wattage amp either.

This post from a very similar thread helps explain why.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Quote by MarkCorriganJLB
I have heard that the 6505+ will be unable to achieve a proper tone at lower volumes. What is your input?

This misconception originates from the days when christ was a cowboy and there was no practical way to achieve high levels of gain without turning the amp to awfully high volumes. Those days are long gone. A 6505+ gets almost all of its distortion from the preamp, which means you can have the amp's master volume be as low as you want.

Speakers play a much bigger role overall for how something sounds at higher volumes over lower volumes than the amp does. What speakers are in the cabinet?

And when all is said and done, it is also worth pointing out that ALL amps sound better when they're louder because humans just like things being loud in general. Has nothing to do with the amp.
Quote by MarkCorriganJLB
luke.g.henderso
I certainly don't need a rig that powerful for home use. That said, my friend is offering the gear at prices unmatched online. I was thinking about just buying the cabinet off him and pairing it with a less powerful peavey 6505 mh. What do you think about that idea for home practice? Still a bit too extreme?

Again, this is another common misconception. Lower wattages don't make amps sound better at lower volumes. What it actually does is reduce your headroom and reduce the amp's ability to reproduce bass frequencies, an effect that's especially apparent at higher volumes.

The amp's wattage has relatively little to do with its volume. To get just a 3db gain in volume, you need to double the wattage. A 100 watt amp is only 3db louder than a 50 watt amp. a 25 watt amp is only 6db quieter than a 100 watt amp. In fact if you have a speaker like a Celestion Vintage 30, you only need 1 watt of power to drive the speaker to 100db. That's loud. You don't need higher wattages to achieve enough volume, but you do need it to reproduce bass at those volumes.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Sep 2, 2016,
#29
T00DEEPBLUE So, you'd rather just not have that feature at all, than have it there but not as good as you'd like it to be?
Or any option that you don't like, but that you're not forced to use, and that has no impact on the rest of the functions of whatever the product is?

jonahlin01 From what I can tell, the Randall RG series has very similar features, as it also has a headphone socket and and XLR output with speaker emulation.

With any amp that has a master volume control, that control should only be affecting how loud the sound coming out is (how strong the signal from the amp is), it should not be affecting the tone (unless at extreme high levels, possibly). The power amp section of a guitar amp basically acts the same way that a power amp section of a PA system or stereo does, because they're designed with the same purpose in mind- to give you more volume with minimal impact on the tone. The pre-amp section is what makes your tone. The 1 watt RG amp should give you the same tones as the others in the series, just not the same potential output power.