#1
Hi, I need help deciding on an amp head for playing metal and gigging with. Preferably a simple one with 1 or 2 channels, with clean and lead, 3 band EQ and reverb and/or presence but they're not essential. I'd like to be able to have decent cleans so I can get clean sounds like the clean on Master of Puppets interlude and on One by Metallica. I'm unsure about having an amp with great brutal gain for metal or if I shouldn't bother about that and just use the clean channel with a distortion or overdrive pedal? I think I would prefer using a pedal with the clean channel so then I can switch to clean sound easy(?) And would 20w tube be sufficient for gigging with a loud drummer or should I go for more? My budget is around £500. I had been looking at Randall RD20H, Randall RD45H (45w version of RD20H), Bugera 6262 Infinium, Bugera 333XL Infinium and Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18. Could you guys give me an opinion on what I should go for or give me suggestions?

I'd mainly play '80s thrash metal, old school black metal and death metal

Thanks! this is also my first post on here
Last edited by dayledunlop1998 at Dec 2, 2016,
#2
Instead of a Bugera 333 you should look for a used peavey XXX. I belive the bugera is basicly a cheap clone of that amp, and a used one should fall right into your budget. Actually id just stay away from bugera completely, because everyone i know that has one, has some sort of a problem with it.

I would also look into the Laney Ironhearts.

But what i would recomend the most, is a JetCity. A JCA50 head would be under our budget, and you can use the rest to invest into a decent cab with good speakers. It has 2 channels, and the clean really isnt anything to write home about, but it gets the job done, especially if you fiddle with the guitar volume knob a bit, but the gain channel is great.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#3
^+1 Jetcity, I own the JCA50H and absolutely love it. The one thing that kind of surprises me is how loud it is with a JCA24S 2x12" cab... its nuts. It doesn't have the same feel/look as higher end amps but its an amazing product for the price. The SLO channel on it is a bit much over 3-4 gain. I've never pushed the amp over 5 volume with about 3.5 gain. Its just a beast as soon as you turn the volume knob. I don't use the clean channel so I can't really attest to how good/bad it is. But I bought this amp knowing I was getting it for the SLO channel.

See if you can locate a used Peavey Windsoar in your area. They tend to be fairly cheap and get a ton of great reviews. 200-250$ usd for the 100w head.
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '15 Epi LP Standard with 57/57+ Gibbys
Blackstar S1-45, Marshall DSL100H, JetCity JCA50H
#4
gorkyporky

Great, thanks! The Jet City models look the part. I had been looking at the JCA50H but I noticed it has a crunch channel rather than clean. Is the crunch channel capable of producing clean tones?
#5
DirtFarmer

Thanks! I had been looking at the JCA50H too and there is also a bundle with the same cab you have. I was considering it but I just wasn't sure if the crunch channel was capable of doing clean.
#6
Its not crystal clear but it sounds good.

this guy has a decent sounding video of some cleans with the amp.
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '15 Epi LP Standard with 57/57+ Gibbys
Blackstar S1-45, Marshall DSL100H, JetCity JCA50H
#7
DirtFarmer

I actually watched a few JCA50H demo videos earlier and that was one of them the clean sounds good enough to me.

What do you think of the Bugera 6262 Infinium? I've narrowed it down to that and the JCA50H.
#8
The Bugera 6262 is a copy of the Peavey 6505+. Check out the cleans on the 6505+ and see if they will work for you. There are some tube swapping tricks to clean up the cleans a bit more as well.
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. . .
#9
metalmingee

I have done that I know the 6505 has a rhythm channel (I don't know if that means clean or not) and the 6262 has a clean channel. I read in reviews that the cleans on the 6262 are apparently better than the cleans on 6505. Has that maybe to do with the 6505 having a rhythm channel rather than clean?
#10
the issue with Bugera is quality control. it seems older amps have a higher rate of failure, newer ones not so much. if you buy one that works it will probably sound good and kick ass.
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '15 Epi LP Standard with 57/57+ Gibbys
Blackstar S1-45, Marshall DSL100H, JetCity JCA50H
#11
dayledunlop1998

I have a 5150 so I can compare to that. I've never used the Bugera clones and am only going by what I've heard.

The 5150/6505 shares the EQ between the Rhythm and Lead channels. The Rhythm Channel as a Crunch button that when engaged and the gain is turned up goes well into Thrash territory. The 5150 II / 6505+ have independent EQ's and the Crunch button is foot switchable for basically 3 channels where Rhythm (Clean) and the Crunch engaged share and EQ including the Gain setting.

The newer EVH 5150 III (by Fender) has a dramatically cleaner channel and is bit more tame but still brutal.
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. . .
#12
DirtFarmer metalmingee

I'm thinking about going for a Bugera 333 Infinium (not 333XL). I found a couple on Gumtree (UK Craigslist) for £150, in immaculate condition. They're around £400 new.

I like the simplicity of it and the Peavey XXX. It's pretty much what I'm looking for. Clean channel and lead channel, with an independent crunch channel, and reverb!

I read reviews for it and people say it's great, and I definitely trust CSGuitars on YouTube if he says it's great, and it sounds brutal in his videos.

What do you guy's think?
#14
I wouldn't fuss with the Bugera stuff unless you feel confident that you can afford/repair anything catastrophic that might happen. I know a few people who have Bugera amps that have never had an issue... then I know others who weren't so lucky. Peavey stuff is pretty stout. You have a lot of great recommendations already. If you want a XXX, don't settle for a Bugera copy. Get the real deal and call it a day. That and the re-sale will be easier/better on the XXX if you get tired of it down the road.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#15
Quote by gorkyporky

But what i would recomend the most, is a JetCity. A JCA50 head would be under our budget, and you can use the rest to invest into a decent cab with good speakers. It has 2 channels, and the clean really isnt anything to write home about, but it gets the job done, especially if you fiddle with the guitar volume knob a bit, but the gain channel is great.


+1

the clean channel's more of a crunch channel (it's the lead channel with one fewer gain stage, though you have independent gain and volume controls so they function as separate channels) but it's hard to beat (new) for the money.
Quote by dayledunlop1998

I read reviews for it and people say it's great, and I definitely trust CSGuitars on YouTube if he says it's great, and it sounds brutal in his videos.

What do you guy's think?


I quite enjoy his videos but I've definitely seen him say things which were objectively incorrect when it came to technical info. I'd be very wary of trusting anyone, especially anyone who's kind of a celebrity (even a (presumably) fairly minor youtube version of that).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
To be honest? Within your price range your looking at Made in China, doesn't matter whos name is on the grill , If you like the Bugera then that's fine. Just expect it to last as long as the next POS Made In China amp on the market, Be it Peavey, Jet City, Marshall , Blackstar or whoever,
#17
I have a 120w Peavey Ultra Plus, a predecessor to the XXX, that does really nice. I've got it plugged into my SWR 810 bass cab. The clean channel is very clean and pleasant. The crunch channel has a nice chunky edge. And, the ultra channel is straight up beasty. I found the crunch channel dimed has ample gain for pretty much anything, with the ability to step up to the ultra channel if I really want to wail. I was able to get mine with the footswitch for $250. Fantastic high gain amp with a great clean channel.
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
Last edited by deeptubes at Dec 3, 2016,
#18
Id go with the RD45h. Great gain for metal and a true clean channel. I find I can get a near perfect general 80s Metallica sound from my 6505+, but it lacks a true clean channel and I have to do some fancy foot/hand work to go into/out of the clean parts in their songs.
#19
Thank you all for the replies!

I have taken all those amps that I first listed out of consideration. I've done some good research on the Bugera amps and in conclusion they can sound good but they're highly unreliable, like yous said. So I'm definitely staying away from them. I'd actually think I'd like a Peavey 6505 but it's way out of my budget, I could get one used but I'd still have a 2x12 cab to get, so I'd be looking for an alternative to that then. I've been looking into Jet City amps a lot more, in particular the JCA100HDM (the one I'd go for), and I mostly see good reviews about them - it sounds enticing. I'm really drawn by how simple they are for me like the 6505; two channels, clean/crunch and overdrive/lead with presence and resonance controls. I'm just not sure if it's capable of producing brutal and thrashy high gain metal sounds? I'm thinking I could put an overdrive or distortion pedal in front of it anyway, or what about a boost pedal, would that work in increasing the gain? Maybe that would be better because if I'm going to use any modulation pedals I'd rather have them go straight into the front of the amp rather than the FX loop, and one review mentioned how when using the FX loop some of the volume seems to get lost.

Also I'm not actually bothered about having a good clean channel now, I can get the clean non-distorted sound I want just by switching to the neck pickup and having the volume turned down a bit.

And let me reiterate. I play '80s thrash, old school black and death metal, progressive metal, alternative metal, some modern metal, grunge and classic rock by the way.

Thanks!
Last edited by dayledunlop1998 at Dec 3, 2016,
#20
Quote by dayledunlop1998
Also I'm not actually bothered about having a good clean channel now, I can get the clean non-distorted sound I want just by switching to the neck pickup and having the volume turned down a bit.


You may want to reconsider that. A lot of high gain amps are designed to be just that. Many don't do clean very well and come nowhere near pure clean. CleanER maybe, but not clean. If you don't have enough grit you can always add it. But, you can't subtract it if it's too much when already rolled off. Just a thought. Good luck!
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
#21
deeptubes

The clean channel on the 6505 and the JCA100HDM will be good enough for me now I don't actually need super clean like I thought
#22
I can confirm the distortion itself on the JCA100HDM isn't so heavy, it's more rock than metal, so I'd have to use a pedal me thinks

#23
^ the high gain jet cities have plenty of gain for metal, it's just the voicing. it's more 80s-voiced. It's heavy enough for me, but then i mainly play 80s stuff.

bear in mind that that vid is using crappy speakers.

Quote by deeptubes
You may want to reconsider that. A lot of high gain amps are designed to be just that. Many don't do clean very well and come nowhere near pure clean. CleanER maybe, but not clean. If you don't have enough grit you can always add it. But, you can't subtract it if it's too much when already rolled off. Just a thought. Good luck!


plenty of high gain amps have genuinely clean channels, and also your point about not having enough grit and being able to add it is a bit of an oversimplification. That might be true if you're nearly at enough gain (plus if the voicing is right, too, which isn't always the case). You'll struggle to turn a Fender Twin into a Peavey 6505 just by adding grit.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
I may settle on the JCA100HDM and Harley Benton G212 Vintage 2x12 cab. The JCA100HDM seems ideal for my first inexpensive amp head that I can gig with, until I can afford to get a Peavey 6505, and I did try to find used ones but didn't find any within my budget. It has just what I'm looking for, and both the amp head and cab would come under £600.
#25
I think thats the best choice you can make on a budget. My jca50 was plenty heavy enough for me, and i played modern metalcore on it (a lot of dropC chugging). Just put an overdrive in front of it and you will be fine, but it works well without it anyway.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#26
JSX' are awesome. can be found cheap if you look. i love mine, and it can get an honest sparkly clean, and has way more gain than you would ever need. i have a lot of amps, and it gets the most play. it is similar to the XXX, but i like it better, its a little less harsh.

i also have a 5150 (peavey block letter version), and i love the thing to death. the clean is the issue. the 6505+ (owned one too) is nicer for cleans because you have the footswitchable crunch, and an EQ on both channels.

i like the 5150 though.

i did own a JCA 50h, and it never really did it for me. try one out if you can.

good luck!
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#27
^ peavey stuff's not anywhere near as cheap here. in the usa, sure.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?