#1
So i recently picked up a new Randall rg1503 212 and it sucks. Its got a decent clean sound and thats it. Both gain channels are super fuzzy and generic sounding.
I just picked up a Friedman be-od pedal and it fuckin rocks. Its not half bad sounding on the clean channel of the Randall.
My question is, should i buy a amp with good cleans and use my friedman pedal, or buy a high gain amp and fiddle around with it?
I mainly play thrash metal stuff(metallica,megadeth, etc).
I also enjoy playing clean stuff as well. If its possible, id like an amp with a headphone jack for them late night jams.
You guys know more than me.
Price range around 600
Doesnt matter if its a head or combo
Thanks.
Last edited by discobiscuitttt at Oct 19, 2016,
#2
A good high gain amp will generally, to most people, sound much better than any distortion pedal. That's not objective though, but rarely will you hear a metal band that recorded with a distortion pedal as their main tone.

I played a Blackstar ID in guitar center, and for a modeling amp it sounded really great. The Fender Mustang and Peavey Vypyr are good cheap amps that will most likely blow the Randall away.

But for $600 you can find some really good stuff. 6505+ 1x12 comes to mind, but I don't believe it has a headphone jack. Most tube amps aren't going to have one.
#4
The answer is - whatever works for you!

For metal it will be best to look at high gain tube amps as generally overdriven tubes get you better high gain tones than distortion pedals into clean. On the other hand some bands have done something like a crunch amp sound overlapped with a distortion pedal on top and have had success, mainly the Swedish Death Metal movement (HM-2 on top of an overdriven amp).

I'd suggest for you to look at Laney Ironheart combo (20 watt and up, has recording and headphone option I think) or a 6505 combo as already suggested.
#5
Were talking $600. Sorry about that.
I just found out about Peavey Windsors. They have pretty good reviews and are pretty cheap.
#6
^^A Peavey Windsor might be a great option for thrash. It is basically a Marshall JCM 800 clone. You'll probably want an OD pedal to go with it to tighten it up and push it into thrash territories -- otherwise it's got a great hard rock tone, but a little "loose" for fast, tight riff playing. An OD should sort that out.

Another thing to consider with that amp though, is that I've heard, like a JCM 800, that it really needs to be turned up pretty loud to start sounding good. I don't want to perpetuate the myth that "tube amps need to be cranked to sound good," because in my experience most of them don't -- but the JCM 800 and clones I've heard in particular hold true to that statement. I would at least try one before buying if you can.

Or if you're in a situation like mine, you can crank that shit as loud as you want without bothering anyone...
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#7
Quote by discobiscuitttt
So i recently picked up a new Randall rg1503 212 and it sucks.

If that's the case, why did you buy it? You should have tried it first and known it wasn't for you.

That said:
Quote by discobiscuitttt
I just picked up a Friedman be-od pedal and it fuckin rocks. Its not half bad sounding on the clean channel of the Randall

Sounds to me like you've already found a way to get the sound you like.

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#9
KailM I mean, in the day time i can make it as loud as i want without hearing anyones bs. But with the Windsor, i can barely find any negative reviews. I can only find about 3 of them for sale, at least on websites that i know and trust. none are being sold in my state so i dont believe ill be trying them out before i buy them.
Last edited by discobiscuitttt at Oct 19, 2016,
#10
For that budget you can get a lot of amps on the used market that would be good for metal

Peavey XXX/3120, XXX ii/JSX, 6505, 6505+, 5150, 5150 ii,
Carvin V3 or V3M
Randall Diavlo, Thrasher
Mesa Single Rectifier (maybe)

as noted above most of these, if not all, will not have a headphone jack, they will also required a cab if you get just the head. For the headphone issue you can get something like a behringer ultra G or H&K redbox to provide cab simulation and run them from the FX loop out, that way no signal is getting sent to the power amp so essentially silent practice/recording if you need it. For a cab unless you already have one, you could use the speakers for your 212 combo.

before you totally write off the amp you might want to make sure you have properly EQ'd the amp, do you have too much presence, do you have all the mids scooped? do you have too much gain - believe it or not sometimes less is more when it comes to gain. Also some of it may be the speakers in the combo, if you can plug into a cab with different speakers you could see if that changes anything for you.

I did a quick search and found this demo by Ola Englund - he does tend to be able to make most things sound pretty good but it might be useful to you - if you like his sound it means you just need to tweak the amp a bit more.

Last edited by guitarsngear at Oct 19, 2016,
#11
you'd really ideally need to try both options first to see which you prefer. personally, i'd prefer the high gain amp. but not everyone agrees.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#12
Quote by discobiscuitttt
Were talking $600. Sorry about that.
I just found out about Peavey Windsors. They have pretty good reviews and are pretty cheap.


single channel amp (at least the head version not sure about the little combo) so you'd have to choose clean or distorted which may not work for you. it is as mentioned basically a JCM 800 but that may not be enough gain wise for thrash without an overdrive in front.
#13
I have one as spare head, definitely needs a boost or it could be set up as clean, well...it is never really clean but mildly crunchy...and you can use distortion pedal on it.
I used its fx return to stick in my rack gear/floor processor setup (PSA-1 preamp and Boss GT-10 for effects and as controller), so just its power amp and it was a touch under-powered for my needs.
#14
I used lower gain amps on the clean channel with pedals for YEARS and swore by it. But it was completely out of ignorance. When I got my first high gain amp, a 5150, I never looked back. I still use pedals, but never for gain.

Like stated above, there are quite a few very good high gain tube amps available on your price range. The Randall Diavlo series, Peavey 5150/6505, 3120, XXX, JSX. The 3120 and XXX are the same amp with a facelift and different stock tubes, but you can pick up a XXX for under $300. My 3 main amps are a 6505+, XXX, and Randall Diavlo. All of them I picked up in excellent condition for under $600.

The XXX is INSANE in the gain department. Even with the gain on "1", it's more then enough ... Even too much some times. I don't even use the Ultra Channel on it .... And I play mostly 80s hair and Thrash metal. It's bright sounding and has three true separate channels, and it's a super cheesy/ugly amp lol. The 6505+ is voiced slightly different than the 6505 with it's extra preamp tube and extra controls. It's darker and warmer than the XXX and s bit easier to dial in with it's passive EQ versus the XXX active EQ, though doesn't have a true clean channel. The Randall Diavlo meets them somewhere in the middle, and is the sexiest looking of the bunch.

The Peaveys are crazy modable too, if you're willing to put the money into them.
#16
For $600, high gain amp all day (and night).

Peavey 6505+ 112 is the standard at that price - just remember that the crunch channel with the gain up is very, very thrashy. Check out the Laney IronHeart 30W combo - think it has a headphone jack. The IronHeart will be more versatile than the 6505+ too if that is a concern.

I've never gotten along with headphone jacks on amps - they always sounded like crap to me. Much prefer Peavey ReValver on the computer with headphones.

Your $ goes farther used.
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Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
#17
I guess it totally depends on what your going for. I for one think the best tone I've ever heard is Greg Anderson's tone from Goatsnake and Sunn 0))) and he runs a ProCo Rat 2 through a clean amp (Sunn Model T) and a Gibson SG with P90's with his sound. Before i heard him play I would have never thought about trying single coils for metal or such a set up in general.

My advice, try stuff out and see what works for you. You might come across something that breaks the norm that you really like.
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#18
^ bear in mind though that p90s are a whole different kettle of fish from, say, strat single coils. p90s are basically paf output and sound (to my ears at least) more or less gibsony. they sound closer to humbuckers to my ears than fender-style single coils.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#19
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ bear in mind though that p90s are a whole different kettle of fish from, say, strat single coils. p90s are basically paf output and sound (to my ears at least) more or less gibsony. they sound closer to humbuckers to my ears than fender-style single coils.


Very true, I've recently just bought an SSS MiM Strat and the tone is much less humbuckery than my mates' P90 bearing Les Paul. Still sounds good, just very different!
Gibson SG 2016 1960's Tribute
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Marshall DSL100H
Marshall 1960B 4x12
ProCo Rat 2
#20
^ yeah definitely. although i said in that other thread that I struggle with an SSS strat for higher gain tones, I do still really like an SSS strat.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#21
grr double post. the forum seemed to lose the run of itself there for a minute
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

Last edited by Dave_Mc at Oct 21, 2016,
#22
Personally I try to aim for an amp that does both, but I absolutely lean towards good cleans. I go nuts without them. Either way it kind of stinks not to have both, but at this point I have a very heavy distortion pedal, if necessary, and active pickups to fall back on
#23
Windsor is ok op, but for price close to that you can get Valveking which is 2 channel amp with decent cleans and good gain which does thrash with overdrive.

The XXX to me has only one good channel which is the crunch. Exodus used it on the Rob Dukes albums, you can hear it there. I think it has a bit unpleasant quack in certain registers that I even hear on the Exodus albums.
#24
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ yeah definitely. although i said in that other thread that I struggle with an SSS strat for higher gain tones, I do still really like an SSS strat.


the struggle often comes from trying to get it to sound like a humbucker guitar is that your issue? Strats have what I call a hollow sound when used with high gain. what I mean is that although you can hear the distortion you can still hear the notes in kind of a cleanish manor. you don't get that really thick sustain where the notes kind of blend like a humbucker.
#25
yep pretty much. and yeah agreed about the hollow thing, that's how I'd describe it too- even though it's distorted it's still almost clean as well. I can't really get that really saturated tone that I need out of them.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?