#1
Hey guys,
I just picked up a new guitar, an Epiphone 1960's Tribute Plus, and it showed that the sound I was looking for was to be found in the amp too. I am looking to pick up a tube amp (or if there is a solid state which is that good, I am open) which can push band practices and some smaller gigs. I play both lead and rhythm to rock (think AC/DC, Def Leppard). I have a POD HD500 that I can use purely for effects, so those aren't a selling point for me. I would love to be rocking an LP - Marshall rig, but I'm sure there are other effective options for the limited budget. I'll do combos or small stacks, don't want or need a 4x12 unless I'm not sacrificing tone. What would you recommend? So far, all I have found is the VOX AC-15 and Marshall DSL40C. Am willing to buy used from sites like Guitar Center or locally at Craigslist deals or shops, but not eBay. Thanks!
#2
JSX
Charvel So-Cal (SH6TB/N, killswitch), Jackson RR5FR (TB6/Jazz, Drop C). Joyo pxl pro.
Loop1=Crybaby from hell, Boss PS-5, Seymour Duncan 805 or Green Rhino, EQD Hoof or Earthbound Audio Super Collider. Loop 1 into ISP Decimator II.
Loop 2 (FX loop)-Line6 M9, TC Spark Mini. Loop 2 into mxr 10band. All into a Peavey Triple XXX 212, Ibanez IL15.
#4
Marshall DSL40, Orange, Mesa. They will all get you in the game with varying flavors. Choose a budget and go shopping.
"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
#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
New I would recommend Jet City.

Used I would recommend DSL40.
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#7
Krank Chadwick or Nineteen80 combo if you can find one. Another vote for the DSL40 as well.

You could use the POD HD500 for its amp modeling with a powered monitor, since you already have it. There are some good sounds, I wouldn't hesitate to use one live.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#8
Try to find a JCM 2000 DSL40 combo. They're roughly around that price.

The DSL40C is good too, but spend the extra for the JCM if you can stretch it
#9
Quote by guspac88
Hey guys,
I am looking to pick up a tube amp (or if there is a solid state which is that good, I am open) which can push band practices and some smaller gigs. I play both lead and rhythm to rock (think AC/DC, Def Leppard). I have a POD HD500 that I can use purely for effects, so those aren't a selling point for me.


Two choices for you:

I have a Carvin Belair (50W, EL84, two channels, 2x12 with V30's, open back) that I found used and seriously trashed. In resurrecting it, we modified it with the Stage II Hasserl Mods (google them). A lot of long-time Nomad and Belair users consider those mods "shoulda been like this from the factory." In any case the Belair is LOUD, broken-in vintage 30's are the perfect speaker for it, and the mods give you, on the gain channel, "sounds like a vintage Marshall, but with more gain than any vintage Marshall ever had." It's a relatively lightweight and pretty compact amp for a 2x12, and it's solid as a rock.

Better yet, use the Pod HD500 to its full capabilities. That means running it through a full-range flat response speaker system and using the amp/cabinet component of the unit. The Park amplifier is more Marshall than some of the Marshall choices there (Park, as you probably know, was an amplifier brand name used by Jim Marshall to get around some contract restrictions, and there are some who think these amps may have been better than a lot of the Marshall-branded amps of the time). There are people on the Line 6 and Vettaville forums who can lead you through some tweaks that will have that thing singing.

One surprisingly inexpensive FRFR speaker (you'll still need a power amp) is the Carvin LS1503 (discontinued just this year, but available for under $300 on Craigs, etc.). The LS1503 has a 15" LF driver, a 6.5" mids driver, and a 1" tweeter, and will handle up to 800W. The follow-on version of this available new is the LS153. the main difference is that this cabinet has one corner whacked off, which allows it to be used as a tilt-back floor monitor. In the $330 range new. Both cabinets include pole mounts, which allow you to bring them up to ear level (if you have absolutely no respect for your ears), and for small gigs where you're not running instruments through a PA, it's a bit like having a full stack at your back, but with better bass response. Compared to a 4x12, these have very wide dispersion and won't give any audience member walking in front of it a dose of skull-splitting treble. To go with it, I'd look for a good used Carvin HD1500 power amp. It will be well under $300 used and will put out as much as 1500W RMS (bridged, mono, at 4 ohms) or limited to 185W, depending on how you use it.
#10
Funny someone already mentioned Carvin. The belair is a ok amp. Sold my dsl40 after a week . As someone who has been through more tube amps than anyone should admit. Get yourself a Carvin X100B or X60B and a ultimate attenuator. You will thank me later. Best bang for the buck , great cleans nice crunch and good for some metal as well when pushed with a boost. Crank that master volume to 8 and roll the atenuator back it will give you goose bumps even at apartment volumes.
#11
Quote by 6BQ5
Funny someone already mentioned Carvin. The belair is a ok amp. Sold my dsl40 after a week . As someone who has been through more tube amps than anyone should admit. Get yourself a Carvin X100B or X60B and a ultimate attenuator. You will thank me later. Best bang for the buck , great cleans nice crunch and good for some metal as well when pushed with a boost. Crank that master volume to 8 and roll the atenuator back it will give you goose bumps even at apartment volumes.


Some comments on the X100B (since I have a late-80's XV112B as well as the Belair).

This is a remarkably versatile 100W amp (EL34-based, *active* controls, assignable graphic EQ, much more) that will remind you very much of a Mesa Model 1 or 2 (there was even a solid oak cabinet with cane speaker cover/cloth at one point). This was Steve Vai's choice of amp when he was making a reputation for himself. I don't think they offer a 1x12 combo any more, but mine came with a 100W "British-voiced" speaker, which was swapped out for an EV-L for a while, and which now has its original Brit version back. There are TWO versions of the X100B -- the original, which was discontinued in the 90's, I believe, and a reissue that was introduced in around 2005-2008. The reissue has made changes (smaller transformers, not as loud, digital reverb, only a 2x12 combo available). I think the digital reverb actually sounds better than my Hammond spring tank, but I'm not a fan of the new transformers. Some versions came with Celestion Rocket50 speakers, which are among the cheapest that Celestion makes and which are so inefficient that the amp sounds a bit emasculated.

If you can find the original X100B on ebay, it'll usually go for $350 or so (be sure to get the foot pedal with it), may need a retube (I'd pick up a full JJ retube kit from Eurotubes dot com) and will SO be worth it. Those big transformers make it seriously loud. I'd haul it out when I needed to show a Marshall Stack who its daddy is. I fairly often unplugged the internal speaker and plugged in a full stack (mostly for looks, but what the hell). Very impressive. But versatile, since I hauled that 1x12 to practices. I've never used it with an attenuator, honestly.
#12
dspellman
It really is a versatile amp and all to often over looked. The X60B is the one i still have , it has adjustable power switching on the back so you can run it the full 60 watts , 30 watts or 15 watts. They are a little harder to find than the X100. Some of the X100B's came stock with 6L6's for the power tubes like in my X60 others with the El34's you mentioned The originals were good enough for Frank Zappa , Steve Vai, Craig Chaquico , Steve Fister and many others. I never tried a reissue so i can't really comment on them. I think they are on MARK IV version you can still order them direct from Carvin and amazingly they are still made in the USA.
#13
Sorry I've been inactive, things came up but now I'm back on the hunt with a budget of UP TO $1000, would rather go new at this point although used from Guitar Center might be alright assuming I could go play it. Thanks for the suggestions. Been listening to some sound recordings and I'm definitely thinking Orange, Blackstar, or Marshall. What do you guys think looking for a used Orange TH30 or new OR15? I LOVE the tones, but would they be loud enough unmic'd playing through a 1x12 with a drummer, or should I look elsewhere? I feel like the Blackstar ht40 would do everything well, but nothing spectacular, while that is fair enough at just $600. Still haven't had the chance to play a DSL40c, but I'm hoping I love it. Only issue is the footpedal only switches channels. At this point I'd buy the DSL new at Sweetwater with the Creamback if I go that route.
Last edited by guspac88 at Jan 21, 2017,
#14
The Orange TH30 has a lot of punch. (I have one payment to go on mine- buying new.)

I've noted lately that some used examples of the better Carvins for hard rock & metal are showing up for good prices on Reverb & eBay. I've seen V3 heads, V3M heads & combos, and head or combo (early version 1 or 2) Vai Legacy amps. Some are priced to move.
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
Quote by guspac88
Sorry I've been inactive, things came up but now I'm back on the hunt with a budget of UP TO $1000, would rather go new at this point although used from Guitar Center might be alright assuming I could go play it. Thanks for the suggestions. Been listening to some sound recordings and I'm definitely thinking Orange, Blackstar, or Marshall. What do you guys think looking for a used Orange TH30 or new OR15? I LOVE the tones, but would they be loud enough unmic'd playing through a 1x12 with a drummer, or should I look elsewhere? I feel like the Blackstar ht40 would do everything well, but nothing spectacular, while that is fair enough at just $600. Still haven't had the chance to play a DSL40c, but I'm hoping I love it. Only issue is the footpedal only switches channels. At this point I'd buy the DSL new at Sweetwater with the Creamback if I go that route.


The Blackstar has a more modern gain in my opinion and although it does crunch and lower gain fine, it is not spectacular. It wouldn't be my first choice for what you mentioned (and I own an HT-20). The Orange and Marshall seem better options. I find the Orange to be a little more fizzy and the Marshall high gain to be shrill, but both deliver a great rock/hard rock British tone. In playing all of them, I probably would go Marshall. If you can push your budget a little, you can find a Friedman Runt 20 for $1,000. Add a 1x12 or 2x12 and you would be set. But you are looking closer to $1300 all in (used). That would give you exactly what you want and more, in an amp that you would keep. I fear you may outgrow the DSL40c.
#16
MAChiefs Thanks so much for the input. While I was leaning towards Marshall or Orange, it's nice to hear from a Blackstar owner. The Friedman looks like a pretty good option. What's the story behind Friedman, do they pretty much remake Marshalls or is the styling just similar?
Would their 20 watt runt combo with a creamback be loud enough? If not, what 2 by 12" cabs would you suggest checking out?
#17
Friedman is a boutique amp builder that starting off modding marshalls. There is quite a bit of info and YouTube videos on Friedman amps. And yes, Friedman amps are loud. The 1x12 should be fine. Good luck, let us know what you end up going with.
#18
Thanks for all the inputs guys, I really appreciate them, especially since I couldn't get out to try all the amps I wanted to. I decided to pick up a DSL40C from Sweetwater, with the free creamback swap. Only have about 5 hours on the amp so far through my Epi Tribute (57 Classics), but it sounds GREAT on all channels. I noticed it really lets me shape my tone well with the pickup switch and tone/volume controls. Thanks again guys, this community is the best! Will be posting regarding pedals now that I've sorted out my guitar and amp.