Poll: What should I get
Poll Options
View poll results: What should I get
New amplifier
7 88%
Some pedals
1 13%
New multi fx unit
0 0%
Voters: 8.
#1
I sounded the horn of depair calling for aid from across the endless ocean.

Hello, I am a odd one.
I have been learning how to attempt to play guitar for 15 months now. And need advice because I cannot go try gear myself.

I have a new jackson king V that I bought second hand and I love it!! But... my gear still lacks amplification quality. I play on a fender mustang 1 and don't have any pedals or extra effects.

I am looking for the best way to get a better "metal" tone most importantly, and have a budget of 400$, up to 600$ if I sell stuff.

The thing is I have lived on a very small island my whole life, the "music shops" here have like 3 fenders guitars, 0 pedals and NO amps above 250$.
AND I can't get anything from second hand because there's NOTHING.

It's a metalhead's nightmare.


I have been asking myself for months should I...

-Get a new Amp
-Get a distortion pedal
-Get a multi fx unit/pre amp (like a boss GT100)

My new favorite "band" is Dethklok. I came to worship brendon small for his smooth yet brutal tone and amazing songwriting.

Other bands I love in order are

- Amon Amarth
- Insomnium
- Slipknot
- As I lay Dying
- Parkway Drive
- Silent Civilian
- Sentenced
- In Flames
- Trivium
- Five finger death pucnch
- DevilDriver
- System of a down (childhood favorite and got me away from rap actually(priceless))


I need your honest opinion on what would get me a great distortion and a good tone.
I can't tell you how precious your answers are to me, thanks a lot and lead a great life.
Last edited by DavidHox at Nov 26, 2016,
#2
What is available to you locally and are you able to order things online? I mean in general the biggest noticable upgrade would be to get a better amp (and one more suited to metal) but that might be tough depending on what you can purchase in your area. Do you have a mainland or bigger city that might have more to offer?
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#3
Locally the best amp is probably a thr10, there are also spiders IV 15W and some Stagg amps.. and like 1 reverb 1 delay and 1 overdrive pedal from somewhere
.
I can try to order things from the mainland which is Portugal, either myself or have the music shop order them for me if it's too heavy.
But no way im buying something second hand from across the sea, im way too scared to put all my money on a random person.
#4
Well what brands does the music shop carry?
Quote by Axelfox
my mom and i went to a furry con and on the second day she said she didn't come and pay money to go see dumb shit.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#6
I have never seen or heard a tube amp in person, but don't valves need replacement? There's no way I can get a new fuse out here

And hater they're a jack of all trades really, it's like a guy who opens a shop and orders stuff online.
#7
I've heard some good things about the Yamaha THR10.
There are a few people here that have them.
Avoid the Spiders like the plague.

Effects or a Multi FX unit isn't going to make your current amp sound better.
But most Multi FX units have a headphone out option and maybe an Aux/CD input option which might suit you.
#8
How loud do you want to play?

The Yamaha THR series gets good reviews, and the Boss Micro Cube is another candidate in the same style. However, they would be tonally limited by the size of their speakers, so I would be thinking in terms of one of the bigger Boss Cubes
#9
I usually play it real quiet in my bedroom. But still want something powerful if one day I need it.
#11
Because you're practicing quietly now, I would advise that you buy some decent headphones and something like a Line 6 POD, Korg Pandora or similar portable digital modeler and save your money until you can either buy yourself a decent tube amp or one of the higher-end modeling devices, like an Amplifire.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#12
The $400 price tag makes things difficult. Maybe consider adding a $200 more and going for high gain combo, like the 6505.
The THR is very good low budget dealthat sounds pleasant so I'd suggest that. They also have a metal version of that amp, so get that one.
#13
Quote by diabolical
The $400 price tag makes things difficult. Maybe consider adding a $200 more and going for high gain combo, like the 6505.


Especially since shipping the amp may cost $100+.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#14
I could keep saving up until I get there. Can someone tell me how long tubes last? I usually play real low and at least 2 hours everyday. Does the amp keep running if one valve dies but the others keep it going? Can you tell which valve died easily?
#15
My Fender HRD is a 40w amp. Very loud- never pushed the volume on mine past 4. But I don't ply it every day, and in all honesty, most of my practice time has been racked up on portable digital modelers and similar devices.

That said, it's still using its original tubes from at least 10 years ago.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#16
10 years?? that's very good to know, I'm going to get a tube amp then.

Suggestions can be up to 600$(I'll sell all I have) - Has to be 1st hand(if you find it on thomann it helps me),
#17
Tubes are quite unreliable in how long they last. It could be anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years. But normally they last 1-2 years.
If you get a tube amp I recommend getting a spare pack of tubes.
When soild state amps go wrong they a nightmare to fix.
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#18
I had my eyes on a randall SS rg1503 combo but they dont make them anymore.

And 6 months to 2 years isnt much for having 5 tubes. But one should be fine, would something like a bassbreaker / superchamp/ vox 40tx or something get me a high gainy sound? Also randall rg80is the only combo thomann has atm.
Last edited by DavidHox at Nov 26, 2016,
#19
Quote by DavidHox
10 years?? that's very good to know, I'm going to get a tube amp then.

Suggestions can be up to 600$(I'll sell all I have) - Has to be 1st hand(if you find it on thomann it helps me),


I've seen 40+ year old Fender amps on Craigslist that claimed to still be working with the original tubes in them.

New tubes can die on the first day (which is very rare, but that sort of thing is a possibility with ANY electronic device) or can last 5+ years.

The tubes in my Vox AC30 are about 5 years old. Although I haven't played in much in the last few months.
And the AC30 generally runs very hot, which does shorten tube life.
But I rarely run the master volume past 5, unless I want to piss someone off or if I want to vaporize the local wildlife.
#20
I'd say get one of these, although I'll be honest I've not bought an amp for a while but I've heard lots of good things about Jet City stuff - I know Dave_Mc is a fan, or at least I think he is!

Certainly this would be a lot more suited to your metalhead needs than a a superchamp or Vox which are honestly way off the mark.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/jet_city_amplification_jca5012_combo.htm?ref=search_rslt_jet+city_270766_7

[Edit] Yeah like Ippon recommended!
Actually called Mark!

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#21
Seems like an amazing amp for the price, never even had seen it.

Last questions when a fuse dies does the amp still work and can you tell which one needs replacement? And how much for replacement fuses?

And solid state wise what would be the best suggestions?
Last edited by DavidHox at Nov 26, 2016,
#22
yeah the jet city stuff is very nice

you have to bias them to change tubes, though- might be difficult if you're isolated (i.e. there might not be an amp tech nearby to do it for you). cathode-biased or single-ended amps don't have to be biased (so you can just plug and play tubes so can pretty much do it yourself, at least if you're careful) but then they often have a different sound as well so it's a judgment call really.

if the fuse dies you have to replace the fuse or the amp won't work

if a tube dies (i.e. completely dies) i don't think the amp will work at all until it's replaced- depending on the circuit, at least. I suppose if you had an amp where some of the preamp tubes were used on channel 1, and different preamp tubes were used on channel 2, then if some of those died you could use the other channel. but preamp tubes usually don't die (at least as often as power tubes)...
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?

#23
Im sure there is no way I can get a fuse expert out here. Guess solid state is the only way.

Only good SS I saw was the rg1503.
Suggestions for a cheap cab or recommend another combo/head?

Sorry to be such a pain in the ass. If only I could find myself I would.
#24
I'm not an electrical engineer, but I believe SS amps use fuses too. so don't base your decision on that.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#25
yeah pretty much everything has a fuse in it. granted, i imagine some things are more likely to blow fuses than others.

i don't think i've ever had to replace a fuse, or replace tubes. but i only play at home. (and, to be fair, i had a couple of genz benz amps die on me well within the return period so i just sent them back- it's entirely possible it was just a tube/fuse problem with them but being inside warranty I didn't want to mess with them much).

but as people are saying, they're a bit like lightbulbs- you can get lucky or you can get unlucky. just because i've been lucky doesn't necessarily mean you will, etc. etc..

FWIW it's very easy (and cheap) to change tubes on a single-ended amp (i.e. the little 5 watt tube amps* which have one power tube and one preamp tube). it's basically just a matter of unscrewing the back, taking out the old tubes and putting in new ones. or those lunchbox type heads are normally even easier again to change tubes on since the whole top screws off when you remove a couple of screws and the tubes are very easy to get at (they're often cathode-biased too, but not always i guess).

i know i said above that i'm not sure it's wise to get a cathode-biased or single-ended amp if it doesn't do the tones you want... but i suspect that if those were the only tube amps which were possible because of where i lived, i'd rather do that (and use pedals) than have to do without tubes completely. but that's just me.


* exception- the Blackstar HT5, HT1 etc., as their "single power tube" is actually two tubes in one and actually does need to be biased.
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?

#26
Quote by diabolical
The $400 price tag makes things difficult. Maybe consider adding a $200 more and going for high gain combo, like the 6505.
The THR is very good low budget dealthat sounds pleasant so I'd suggest that. They also have a metal version of that amp, so get that one.

There's a few on the bay right now for >$450 shipped.
#27
Quote by DavidHox
I sounded the horn of depair calling for aid from across the endless ocean.

Hello, I am a odd one.


Need help, im stuck on an island.


First, light a giant bonfire; if you're anywhere near a shipping lane someone might come and pick you up. Happens in movies all the time.

Second, tube amps' tubes have variable lifetimes. No one will *ever* guarantee a tube. I've had them go out in under six months, and I've had them last forever. If one dies, you have to figure out which one it is and replace it; but the amp will often not work at all when a tube dies. The best idea is to change the tubes out about once every two years, and replace all of them. I usually order "matched" tube sets or a complete retube set from a vendor. And I've learned to keep a stock of backup tubes (they never go DOWN in price) for what I own.

When a fuse goes, your amp stops working. There are often fuses integrated into the PC boards of some amps that need to be replaced by a tech.

FWIW, I have a lot of tube amps/preamps, but I'm mostly using solid state stuff these days. Very few folks are able to get anywhere near power tube distortion due to volume/noise constraints, so it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have a tube power section. Those who are getting distortion out of tubes are doing so in the preamp section, so having a solid state power section makes sense. Generally speaking, solid state amps are lighter, more powerful and less fragile than tube amps. If you're not moving them around, that doesn't matter all that much, either.

At home, I'm using a modeler into headphones OR a set of powered speakers (like nearfield recording monitors) if I want others to hear what I'm doing.
#28
dspellman
Agree 100%.
And modeler shave come a long way. Some produce very convincing "tube-like" sounds, and at any volume.
Also, a lot of "tube" preamps are gimmicky. They either run along side a solid state preamp, don't run enough voltage through the preamp tube to make it effective, or both.
#29
I used to be a tube guy. Mesa studio pre and Simul 295.
Now I'm a solid-state guy. SansAmp PSA-1 and Rocktron Velocity 250.
Zero regrets.
Well, I wish I still had the Mesa gear, tbh...but not to replace my solid-state gear.
#30
Holy crap I found the solid state guy on UG.
What SS do you have/love?

I cant get fuse replacements nor can I have someone replace them for me. Tubes are a no go even if the quality is better.
#32
I have a PSA-1 in my live rig going through tube power amp.

Op, the bands you post use mostly high gain distortion, thus the 6505 suggestion.

The ss amps on the market just can't get you that tone. Maybe some of the better ones like Tech21 TM30 or TM60 with distortion pedal in front might. Maybe the Orange Crush as that is the only proper ss amp (besides Randall and Carvin) I'm aware of.

Or maybe a small tube amp like Fender Blues Jr with something like Wampler Triple Wreck distortion pedal.

If you have TV or radio repair tech on the island they should be able to fix tube amps, if you gave modelers then the garbage bin is the only repair.

As far as tubes go, I have had few fail me during the years than ss amps and I've constantly played live the last 20 years or so. Actually the mist failures I've had gigging with Marshall VS8100 head and when I played bass with Peavey bass combo.

I've had only one tube amp in the shop and it was Peavey Windsor for blown fuse. It was factory cert. repair.
The small tube amps usually hold well and don't require much maintenance. For the most part I change more tubes tone chasing than due to failure.
#34
Quote by dspellman
First, light a giant bonfire; if you're anywhere near a shipping lane someone might come and pick you up. Happens in movies all the time.

Then he'll be on a boat.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#35
Just get a Peavey Bandit and be done with it.
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." -some dude
#36
swim to shore? lol.

I would just get something shipped in. I have bought tons of stuff sight unseen and have been happy.
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#37
I think a randall RG1503 head is the way to go honestly

-Sounds great
-Great reviews
-Is solid state so no maintenance required
-It looks great


Anyone knows shops that sell the combo and ship for cheap in europe?
And affordable cabs for good melodic metal tone on thomann(100-250$)?
#38
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Then he'll be on a boat.


And when he comes back home: