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#1
Hey guys,

I am looking to step into tube amps and I have been watching youtube videos and reading comments and forums about a multitude of amps forever it seems now. I am no pro musicians by any means nor do I do any gigs. I am simply a bedroom musician that is looking to do some light recording and just playing guitar to relax. I do play alot of metal, it can range from killswitch engage and all that remains to some old school metallica and megadeth. So, needless to say, I am looking for a good metal amp that can sound good at lower volumes. I have looked at a H&K tubemeiester 18 and 20 which sound great with a tubescreamer for metal and i love they have a built in power attenuator.. I have also looked into bugeras but the lower watt bugeras (V22, G20, and T50) do not seem to have good reviews for metal. The bugera 6262 has an absolutely amazing sound and I would have already bought that if it had power attenuator built in, but alas i do not believe it does, I would blow the roof off my apartment and I have read that those 120W tube amps do not sound as good at lower levels. Any input here would be much appreciated. Keep jammin guys
#2
Orange Dark Terror is worth a look. Excellent Brit hi gain tone and does it at low volume pretty well. If you never gig you probably don't really need an amp though. Hi gain shred is accomplished very effectively with a modeler these days.
"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
#3
I have been enjoying a vypyr 20w a buddy of mine owns these days. A lot of effects and options for 1 combo amp and it sounds pretty damn good but I'm not sure if the tube like sound would have higher gain for metal overall.
#4
SS amps are more suited for metal than tubes and since you're going to play at low volumes you're better off with an SS amp.
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#5
Please humor my ignorance as I stated before I am new to tube amps, but why are solid state amps better suited for metal than tube amps? It seems like most prominent metal bands play with tube amps and some type of overdrive?
Last edited by bridges1990 at Dec 18, 2016,
#7
Thank you guys for the input! Truly appreciate it! I'm looking into H&Ks and Blackstars at the moment. I'll look into the Orange lineup. I have heard good things about them, i'll look into some review videos on youtube.
#8
Quote by bridges1990
I have been enjoying a vypyr 20w a buddy of mine owns these days. A lot of effects and options for 1 combo amp and it sounds pretty damn good but I'm not sure if the tube like sound would have higher gain for metal overall.


Trust your ears. These dudes can be found for $100 used and they do metal shred pretty great.
"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
#10
Quote by diabolical
Blackstar


Yea I've seen some hit or miss reviews on blackstars. Some love them, some hate them. I feel like H&K or Orange is more in the area of tone I'm looking for.
#11
bridges1990
Quote by bridges1990
Please humor my ignorance as I stated before I am new to tube amps, but why are solid state amps better suited for metal than tube amps? It seems like most prominent metal bands play with tube amps and some type of overdrive?


I heard otherwise but I could be wrong. I thought big name metal bands used SS amps like Soldano, Ampex, etc.

I had tube amps and when I played low volume I wasn't impressed. Where the tube amp shines is when you saturate the tubes. Then again if you find a tube amp where you have gain and level controls you might get something out of it.
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#12
OldRocker
Quote by OldRocker
bridges1990

I heard otherwise but I could be wrong. I thought big name metal bands used SS amps like Soldano, Ampex, etc.

I had tube amps and when I played low volume I wasn't impressed. Where the tube amp shines is when you saturate the tubes. Then again if you find a tube amp where you have gain and level controls you might get something out of it.


I have heard the higher the volume and the more you push the tubes the better the tone you get out of the tube amp, hence why I backed off on the bugera 6262 but I feel like if you had a smaller watt tube amp you could get a good tone, it might not be different enough from a good solid state to matter enough though.
Last edited by bridges1990 at Dec 18, 2016,
#14
Speaking of built in attenuator my Vox VT40+ has that. As a modeling amp with a 12ax7 tube in it I can tell you it's a sweet amp. Interesting Valvetronix technology where they put the 12ax7 tube in the power amp circuitry it certainly has good sounds. I replaced the Sovtek 12ax7 tube with an NOS RFT 12ax7 tube it sounded really sweet. Clean and metal it's got it all.

Because of the attenuator (Power Level) I can saturate the tube and keep it in the bedroom level (yep, I'm a bedroom jammer too) and I can promise you you would love this amp.

print screen windows xp
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Last edited by OldRocker at Dec 19, 2016,
#15
The Valvetronix tech is definitely the closest I've heard to the real thing, I think that tube is in the last stage before the power amp, as well as another one in the first preamp stage and they do make a difference.
I wonder what that attenuator does as it is all solid state, maybe just inject a bit more tube grit in there. It is definitely fakery though as there's no tube power amp to cook.
#18
Quote by diabolical
The Valvetronix tech is definitely the closest I've heard to the real thing, I think that tube is in the last stage before the power amp, as well as another one in the first preamp stage and they do make a difference.
I wonder what that attenuator does as it is all solid state, maybe just inject a bit more tube grit in there. It is definitely fakery though as there's no tube power amp to cook.


The schematic here shows the tech behind the Valvetronix tech.

uploading pictures
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#19
one of the 20 watt Jet Cities. Or look at the Randall RD20. Or even RD5.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#20
For the tones you want, basically all of the tone shaping happens in the pre-amp. The power amp is never driven to overdrive and high wattage, high gain amps are designed with this in mind.

Can you deal with shouting volume? That's where my Mesa and old 5150 stayed most of the time and they did just fine.

For high gain metal tones you actually WANT a higher wattage amp - it's about tightness and tone NOT volume. All of the modern high gain amps have a master volume knob - use it.

Here's an exercise - crank the Post Gain and Master Volume on the Vypyr. I bet your ears will ring like crazy after 30 minutes if even that. And that's with a 15W-30W amp depending on the model. It should be "stupid" loud.

Where in the world are you and what's your budget?

The world is your oyster for modern bedroom rigs:

1. A high gain tube amp with a master volume - Peavey 6505 family, Peavey XXX family (JSX, XXX II, XXL, etc), Mesa Rectifier family, Laney IronHeart family (including the very cool 15W Studio amp with recording interfaces), ENGL, Randall, etc.
2. A high gain SS amp with a master volume - Randall RG series.
3. A modeling amp - Peavey Vypyr, etc, up to a Kemper.
4. A modeling floorboard - Line6 POD HD series, Line6 Helix, Atomic Amplifire, etc.
5. Amp Simulations on the Computer - BIAS, Amplitube, Peavey ReValver, etc.

You can get going for under $100 or you can spend $5,000 and anywhere in between.
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
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#21
OldRocker
Quote by OldRocker
Speaking of built in attenuator my Vox VT40+ has that. As a modeling amp with a 12ax7 tube in it I can tell you it's a sweet amp. Interesting Valvetronix technology where they put the 12ax7 tube in the power amp circuitry it certainly has good sounds. I replaced the Sovtek 12ax7 tube with an NOS RFT 12ax7 tube it sounded really sweet. Clean and metal it's got it all.

Because of the attenuator (Power Level) I can saturate the tube and keep it in the bedroom level (yep, I'm a bedroom jammer too) and I can promise you you would love this amp.

print screen windows xp


I looked into these, read some reviews and listened to some demos on youtube, they do sound exceptionally sexy. I'll keep doing research into them.
#22
metalmingee
Quote by metalmingee
For the tones you want, basically all of the tone shaping happens in the pre-amp. The power amp is never driven to overdrive and high wattage, high gain amps are designed with this in mind.

Can you deal with shouting volume? That's where my Mesa and old 5150 stayed most of the time and they did just fine.

For high gain metal tones you actually WANT a higher wattage amp - it's about tightness and tone NOT volume. All of the modern high gain amps have a master volume knob - use it.

Here's an exercise - crank the Post Gain and Master Volume on the Vypyr. I bet your ears will ring like crazy after 30 minutes if even that. And that's with a 15W-30W amp depending on the model. It should be "stupid" loud.

Where in the world are you and what's your budget?

The world is your oyster for modern bedroom rigs:

1. A high gain tube amp with a master volume - Peavey 6505 family, Peavey XXX family (JSX, XXX II, XXL, etc), Mesa Rectifier family, Laney IronHeart family (including the very cool 15W Studio amp with recording interfaces), ENGL, Randall, etc.
2. A high gain SS amp with a master volume - Randall RG series.
3. A modeling amp - Peavey Vypyr, etc, up to a Kemper.
4. A modeling floorboard - Line6 POD HD series, Line6 Helix, Atomic Amplifire, etc.
5. Amp Simulations on the Computer - BIAS, Amplitube, Peavey ReValver, etc.

You can get going for under $100 or you can spend $5,000 and anywhere in between.


Shouting levels would probably be tolerable. I currently live in the U.S. and my budget is around $500-600 for an amp. I recently looked into the 6505MH and it sounded like the area of tones I'm looking for. As for amp heads currently from what I have looked at its either between the 6505MH or the H&K deluxe 20. The 6505 has better metal tones and is about 100ish dollars cheaper but that H&K has a certain feel to it too.

On your comment about the tightness and tone I realize the higher wattage amps usually have that tighter bottom end and that real chunky thud compared to the lower wattage amps but with a lower volume on such a higher wattage amp, would you be pushing the tube enough to really take advantage of the expectable tones to come from such an amp?
#23
At rehearsal I am pushing it there but I have to put in earplugs and it is a specialized building. I get good thud with Mesa Mini 25 watt through Jet City 1x12 Eminence cab with open back enclosure, so it is also up to amp design.
#24
the hughes and kettners aren't all-tube, they're hybrid.

also their attenuators won't get quiet enough, 1 watt is still really, really loud if you're in an apartment.

those blackstars are hybrid as well (well, the HT and HT-metal series anyway).

Not your fault, it's the marketing

As metalmingee said, if you can get up to shouting volume those higher wattage high gain tube heads may well be worth a look- there's not really any definite correlation between wattage and how things sound at really low volumes, at least if you're after modern high gain tones. it's really a matter of trying everything you can (including those other, non-tube options he mentioned) and seeing which you think sounds best at the type of volumes you're usually playing at. just beware, it'll sound a lot quieter in the shop than it will at home...

Quote by OldRocker
(a) SS amps are more suited for metal than tubes and (b) since you're going to play at low volumes you're better off with an SS amp.


(a) disagree, it depends on what you mean by metal

(b) again, it depends on exactly how low you mean by "low volume"
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.

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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Dec 19, 2016,
#25
bridges1990
It depends on the amp. My 5150 was 60W and my Mesa is 100W.

For $600 I'd look into a used 6505+ 112 combo and save some $ for pedals and a speaker swap.

The best advice is to try it out and see how you like or at the volumes you will play. The 6505MH and 6505+ 112 are both common so you should be able to A/B them.
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
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#27
I'd love to test some amps out at the local music shop but none of them are peavey dealers. They deal a lot more in Roland cube kinda stuff and a lot of cleaner toned amps. So I'm somewhat flying blind here as far as testing some out
#28
Quote by OldRocker
bridges1990

I heard otherwise but I could be wrong. I thought big name metal bands used SS amps like Soldano, Ampex, etc.

I had tube amps and when I played low volume I wasn't impressed. Where the tube amp shines is when you saturate the tubes. Then again if you find a tube amp where you have gain and level controls you might get something out of it.


stuck in the 70s seems very accurate . while certain death metal bands (and similar) do indeed use SS most still use tubes. you can certainly get a decent tone out of tube amps at lower volumes. Soldano doesn't make SS amps and Ampex used to be a brand of recording tape not an amp builder (pretty sure you meant Ampeg whose amps were tube back in the day).

that Vox is fine for certain things but not even close to my first choice for high gain metal. oh and nice to come across another Grand Funk fan
#29
I got a bit confused about another thread. . .

For 100% bedroom I'd really look at amp sims on the computer or one of the modeler floorboards with a set of monitor speakers and/or monitor headphones.

I like the tones I get out of Peavey ReValver and some ATH-M50X headphones way better than the tones out of my Peavey Vypyr 30W (1st Gen).

But I can crank up my Mesa when I want to make noise. I wasn't happy with just making noise or just a headphone setup - for me I need both and a set of monitor speakers wasn't going to happen with my wife (just one - two actually - more things sitting around).

Try out the 6505MH. There are used ones on Reverb all the time. The headphone output is supposed to be good if that feature matters to you.

For a low volume only amp (I had it in my head that you were wanting to gig with this as well) I'd look into the 6505MH and the Laney IronHeart Studio15 with the versatility going to the Laney.

It all comes out to your budget really and what features are the most important to you.
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
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#30
monwobobbo
Quote by monwobobbo
Soldano doesn't make SS amps


I guess you haven't heard of Soldano Rectifiers. And yeah it's Ampeg.
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#31
Quote by OldRocker
monwobobbo

I guess you haven't heard of Soldano Rectifiers. And yeah it's Ampeg.


yeah it's a tube amp. the rectifier may be solid state but the rest is tube.
#32
Quote by monwobobbo
yeah it's a tube amp. the rectifier may be solid state but the rest is tube.


All this time I thought Soldano called their SS amps Rectifiers. Duh!
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#34
Quote by OldRocker
All this time I thought Soldano called their SS amps Rectifiers. Duh!


well try the 80s some time you might like it . Soldano has never to the best of my knowledge made any SS amps. many tube amps have a solid state rectifier bt that's not the same as being solid state. oh and I'm a huge BOC fan as well.
#35
I don't think a lot of people realize when an amp has a master and channel volume controls there's really no need for an attenuator. Simply turn down the master and crank up the channel volume, Same thing is accomplished just a little differently, It actually goes a bit deeper but in the end there's a reason some amps don't use a master volume, being the same reason attenuators are snubbed in some circles, they kill tone and dynamics, But to what extent? That's for you to decide,
To be honest I don't have an amp under 100w, either tube or SS, Actually have a Bugera TriRec, well not at the moment as its at the amp guru's being repaired, But hey it went 5 years before taking a shit, Although it did kick ass when it worked, But the attenuator on top of being a master volume amp confused me a bit, Like OK lets add some more circuitry for the signal to get lost in, Right? Personally I couldn't tell the difference between the attenuator and lowering master volume on this amp, Basically I think its there for bling and those who want as many knobs and switches as possible, Other than that as useless as tits on a butterfly.
In your case if you want low wattage buy low wattage, or buy big wattage with a master volume, Thing you'll find with master volume amps is they're generally advertised as high gain amps, Its the nature of the beast and circuitry, Single or channel volume only amps need to be cranked to saturate the valves to obtain the desired distortion,
#36
Quote by monwobobbo
well try the 80s some time you might like it . Soldano has never to the best of my knowledge made any SS amps. many tube amps have a solid state rectifier bt that's not the same as being solid state. oh and I'm a huge BOC fan as well.


My man!
Parker PDF30
Vox VT40+
#37
I tried out a laney at the local shop and it was oh so sweet. Usually i am unimpressed with tube amps because the hype is so swelled but this one really had flavor. Too bad the maximum gain only got it into slightly crunchy breakup territory but it was nice.
#38
Quote by bridges1990


I am looking to step into tube amps and I have been watching youtube videos and reading comments and forums about a multitude of amps forever it seems now. I am no pro musicians by any means nor do I do any gigs. I am simply a bedroom musician that is looking to do some light recording and just playing guitar to relax.


I'm not sure that it makes sense for you to "step into tube amps," give what you're doing. MetalMingee said it best: For 100% bedroom I'd really look at amp sims on the computer or one of the modeler floorboards with a set of monitor speakers and/or monitor headphones.

I've got tube amps, but I'm mostly using a modeler and a set of KRK Rokit 8's if I want noise in the room and a pair of AKG240 headphones if I don't. The Rokits are neutral nearfield monitors with power amps of 100W each and response that extends well beyond normal guitar speakers. Since all the guitar amp sounds are generated by the modeler anyway, what you hear is what the modeler feeds it. "Nearfield" means that they're designed to deliver best sound in the 6-8' range (normal bedroom), and they'll get loud enough (over 100dB) if you want them to.
#39
Thanks for all the feedback guys! Didn't think I would get this much input! Each and every one of you guys are awesome! Gonna scan over each post again and see what I can find in each amp/sim. I'm really leaning toward the 6505mh with a 112 greenback
Last edited by bridges1990 at Dec 21, 2016,
#40
Quote by bridges1990
Thanks for all the feedback guys! Didn't think I would get this much input! Each and every one of you guys are awesome! Gonna scan over each post again and see what I can find in each amp/sim. I'm really leaning toward the 6505mh with a 112 greenback


Greenback? Why that?

Thought about a Celestion V30? They sound much better I think, but I haven't tried the Greenback, someone else can chime in on that.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
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