#1
Hi everyone,

Here's my situation - I currently have a Fender Mustang v2 40W amp and I just can't get on with it. I am a learner and I struggle to get a nice, clean tone or a half-decent crunchy one. There's oodles of effects, but I just can't get the simple tone I want.

I have a Yamaha Pacifica 311 and was looking at going for either a Marshall MG30CFX or a Roland Cube 20GX. I had a go on a Cube a while ago and against my better judgement, I went with the "name brand" Fender.

I have heard good things about the Marshall, but I had a 15W Marshall and that didn't impress me at all.

Also - in terms of volume, both replacement amps are lower wattage than the Fender - 30 and 20 watts respectively. How badly is that going to hurt for a bedroom guitarist?

Many thanks for your help in advance!
#2
For a bedroom guitarist, I think 20-30 watts is plenty. I can't speak for the Marshall, but I recently had a basement jam session at low-moderate volumes with a guy who had a Roland Cube. Obviously any of the amps in this price-range can't rival other more quality amps in upper tiers; however, I thought the Roland Cube sounded about as good as you could expect given the price limitation.
#3
Quote by Nemesis44UK
Hi everyone,

Here's my situation - I currently have a Fender Mustang v2 40W amp and I just can't get on with it. I am a learner and I struggle to get a nice, clean tone or a half-decent crunchy one. There's oodles of effects, but I just can't get the simple tone I want.

I have a Yamaha Pacifica 311 and was looking at going for either a Marshall MG30CFX or a Roland Cube 20GX. I had a go on a Cube a while ago and against my better judgement, I went with the "name brand" Fender.

I have heard good things about the Marshall, but I had a 15W Marshall and that didn't impress me at all.

Also - in terms of volume, both replacement amps are lower wattage than the Fender - 30 and 20 watts respectively. How badly is that going to hurt for a bedroom guitarist?

Many thanks for your help in advance!
The MG is considered around here to be one of the worst amp lines of all time. Avoid it. The Roland Cubes are better, but in comparison to your Fender Mustang, neither of them will be much an upgrade. Do not waste your money on something that maybe marginally better or even worse. Save up for something much more worthwhile. The Mustang series is one of the better bedroom-level modeling amps on the market. Sorry to say, but I imagine a lot of your trouble to get a reasonable tone out of them is not the amps fault. Sit with it and really learn how to work with it and get used to it. As far as wattage goes for SS modeling equipment in the bedroom, do not worry about it. Especially not from 40w to 20w. If it was 40w to 5w, then maybe- although 5w can still be silly loud.

If you just want to buy something, your next step up would be to get a more focused amp. Something like the used V1 Peavey Valvekings or a Jet City model. The Valveking has a Fender-Voiced clean channel, and a Marshall-voiced lead channel. It is much more simple than a typical modeler amp. If you can swing it, a used Peavey Classic 30 is excellent as well. Either way, do not buy another item in the same "tier". Save up some money ($350+ USD), buy used, and the quality jump you will experience will be much more worthwhile and inspiring for you.

EDIT: Musician Friend's Stupid Deal of the Day is a VOX AC4 for $219, which will be intensely more simple than the Mustang. It is a loud 4w. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/stupid?source=3WWRWXGT&gclid=CjwKEAjw3fG4BRDsn9GAv7T2zEkSJACNJdjg46VeYhz0_M7o1TE-IhJuwDkjl8tofIgg8JDEBrEdpBoCmoTw_wcB&kwid=10864765092x12421751420x143913380
Last edited by Will Lane at Oct 25, 2016,
#4
Based on your choices it sounds like your not looking for a high gain amp.

I second staying away from the MG series. Marshall makes some great amp ... Excellent amps even for their price, but the MG is just horrible in comparison to the amps in their class.

I would also second the Peavey Classic 30. Fender Twin Reverb would also be a good option.

If you're looking at a higher gain amp, the Peavey 6595 MH, Randall RD20 or RD45 are great amps. The 6505MH sounds great but was prone to some overheating issues, not sure if theyve fixes it yet, though I know Peavey is aware of it.
#5
^^ yeah a roland cube is probably a sidestep, and the MG is arguably a step down from what he already has.
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?

#6
Nemesis44UK compared to the two and amps you mention you won't be upgrading by much if all.
Maybe try dialing it better, checking some patch exchange/forums on the amp.
Small tube amps might be a good option to upgrade to, Fender Blues jr, Orange Tiny Terror, and so on.

If you want easy to dial bedroom practice amp, you can also look up Tech21 TM30 or TM60, these are tone machines, all analog solid state path, sound and are very easy to dial.
#7
If you want tone then how about a tube amp?
Parker PDF30
Fender Rumble 25 bass
Vox VT40+
Roger Linn Adrenalinn III
#8
Thanks to all for your replies, they're much appreciated. I have read on UG that the MG30CFX is amazing with a 9/10 score, so that was tempting me somewhat.

I have a neighbour who wants to sell me a tube amp - a Redwood 60W for £20. I've done some checking and even at that price, I think I will leave it, because it seems to be a no-name Chinese thing, even though I'm curious to how a tube amp may sound.

A tube amp is going to be way too expensive for me, I suspect. My wife is pushing me for Christmas ideas, which is why I was thinking about getting a new amp. The Fender is very complicated, but from posts on here, I might be better off persevering with it for now, until I can do a "proper" upgrade.
#9
A 5 watt amp are going to be at a reasonable price and they can be pretty loud. A single ended model with one 12ax7 and one 6bq5 (el84) offers many choices to tone shaping. Different brands and types of tubes gives different tones and gains. I use ANOS (almost new old stock) and NOS tubes for their excellent tones.

Once you heard them you will never go back.
Parker PDF30
Fender Rumble 25 bass
Vox VT40+
Roger Linn Adrenalinn III
#10
You can pick up a Peavey Valveking for under $300 all day long, sometimes under $200. They're highly modable and pretty decent quality. Don't settle my friend, trust me. I've bee. In your shoes. It's WELL worth it when you buy your first quality amp. Opens your eyes to a while new world.

I used to spend all my time buying and selling guitars. Even had about 40 at one point, but was still pushing them out of a Peavey Transtube amp. Great sounding amps, don't get me wrong, their just not tube amps ... You just can't get the sound. Then I picked up a 5150 ... And my guitar collection has pretty much stayed at my favorite 6, while I've been having a blast, and pulling my hair out, tone searching through amps, cabs, and other gear.
#11
Quote by Nemesis44UK
Thanks to all for your replies, they're much appreciated. I have read on UG that the MG30CFX is amazing with a 9/10 score, so that was tempting me somewhat.

I have a neighbour who wants to sell me a tube amp - a Redwood 60W for £20. I've done some checking and even at that price, I think I will leave it, because it seems to be a no-name Chinese thing, even though I'm curious to how a tube amp may sound.

A tube amp is going to be way too expensive for me, I suspect. My wife is pushing me for Christmas ideas, which is why I was thinking about getting a new amp. The Fender is very complicated, but from posts on here, I might be better off persevering with it for now, until I can do a "proper" upgrade.
At that price, if it works and will not kill you, I would get it just to kick around with it. Are you sure it is a tube amp? 20 pounds is not a 60w tube amp price.
#12
^ yeah

dawsons (chain in the UK) sells redwood stuff, i seem to remember there was a tube amp sold by them for quite cheap (a 5 watter), but i'm also not sure if it had any solid state shenanigans going on (and I may well be misremembering the brand name and amp).

fwiw as old rocker said ( haven't seen you around for a while, nice to see you back ) you can get the little single ended 5 watt tube amps starting at around £100- cheap, and also since they're single-ended you don't have to bias them, tubes are plug and play (and also since they usually only take two tubes, retubing is about as cheap as it can be- around £25 maybe). The only flaw is that (a) corners have often been cut and they normally don't sound as good as more expensive amps (though some do sound better than others) and (b) a lot of them don't have a master volume or gain control- they only have a volume control and the only way to get distortion out of them is to turn them up which is really, really loud, even when they're 5 watts (well over 100dB).

Now, at the price they go for you could pick up a couple of cheap-but-decent overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals so you can get distortion at lower volumes and you may well have a much better-sounding rig than going the solid state route, especially for more vintage-style tones. Or you might not... a lot of it is personal preference, after all.
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?

#13
Nemesis44UK try your neighbor's £20, it might actually surprise you.

There are actually some really hceap tube amps that sound great, might want to look at Laney LC15, Epiphone Valve Jr or Valve Standard migth also be great choice if you're looking for clean to blues breakup sounds. Laney Cub series also might be what you're looking for.
https://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.html?bf=&sw=laney+cub

Kustom Defender amp+cab might be another you haven't considered:
https://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.html?bf=&sw=kustom+defender

http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/Kustom_defender/Kustom%20Defender15H_KustomDefenderGuitarSpeakerCabinet.htm
#14
I second the preset idea someone had above. Hook that Mustang up to a computer, use the software, and see what it can do.

If you want a tube amp buy a used Mesa F-30 ~$400-$500 and enjoy it for many, many years.
Guitars:
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
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims