#1
Hello,
I'm looking for a new head amp, as I stated in the title for playing death metal and I'm planning to buy either marshall or a randall amp only.
My budget is 1500$.
I've been searching for amps in past days and I found some models.
they are:
Marshall Valvestate 8100
Marshall Valvestate VS100
Marshall JCM 800, 900 or 2000
Randall RH150 G3 (btw can someone tell me what is the difference between RH150 and RH150D ?)
Randall RM100
Randall RT100

I'm waiting for your recomendations, informations and your opinions about the amps which you gonna recommend or the one which I wrote above. I would also be pleased to hear your opinions about using SS amp or Tube amp for death metal. Cheers.
Last edited by wingsoftheraven at Jan 21, 2017,
#2
When you say death metal, what do you mean? The genre has become so huge that there are depending on what you want, your amp could vary quite a bit. Also, where in the world are you located? Prices can differ greatly depending on location, as does reliability.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#3
dementiacaptain
I like mostly technical death metal but also 90's death metal as well. I like the sounds of these albums ;
Death - Symbolic
Cryptopsy - Whisper Supremacy
Necrophagist - Epitaph
Spawn of Possession - Noctambulant
Carcass - Heartwork
and I'm gonna buy the amp in europe.
Last edited by wingsoftheraven at Jan 20, 2017,
#4
What is your budget in your currency? US prices are very different from European prices. $1500 would easily get you something like a Mesa Mark head while it wouldn't even get you a Single Rectifier in Europe. A Peavey 5150/6505 is probably the classic Death Metal Amp but they're a little harder to find/more expensive in Europe.

I know Chuck Schuldiner used a Valvestate, but if your budget is really that high I wouldn't even consider one. Same with the RH150. Not a bad amp, but there's much better in that price range. I believe the Randall RM's have been discontinued (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong) so they might be hard to find.
Member #10 Of The Black Tooth Grin: Dimebag Memorial Club. PM Narmi To Join
#5
Hmmm okay, so for those sounds you'll want some serious grind.

The JCM900 SL-X (it would be used) would be good, that was one of the amps used on Heartwork.

A 6505/5150 is a good bet.

An Ampeg VH140C is a good amp for some of those sounds, but it is very VERY grindy amp, and definitely more nasty than the others.

The usual Mesa Rectifier recomendation. Always good.

A Marshall JCM2000 DSL is a good bet, but IMO the others may be better suited.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#6
Dark Terror or 6505
"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
#7
Marshall Valvestate 8100 - Wouldn't touch that.
Marshall Valvestate VS100 - Wouldn't touch that.
Marshall JCM 800, 900 or 2000 - 800 with a boost might get you there. 900 SLX is getting closer. 2000 DSL is best of the three for your taste.
Randall RH150 G3 (btw can someone tell me what is the difference between RH150 and RH150D ?) - Difference doesn't matter, wouldn't go there.
Randall RM100 - Great option as long as you have access to the preamp modules.
Randall RT100 - Not that good of an amp.

I'd point you towards the Randall Diavlo RD100 if you are thinking Randall.
Peavey 6505 is always a good choice. New it might be out of your range. You could save up longer though........ as it might be worth while to hold out and see what comes out regarding the upcoming Peavey Invective 120.
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.
#8
Between Marshall and Randall for death metal I'd go Randall Thrasher line or Satan (even the name is death metal).

Marshall I'd look at the JVM.

The Peavey 5150/6505 is a classic for a reason.

Last time I saw Carcass they were using EVH 5150 III 50W heads and 412s. Sounded killer.

I'd look into the Laney IronHeart as well. I have a IRT-Studio on the way but can't really comment in person yet but it should be way under budget.

ENGL should also be considered - Savage or Invader II come to top of mind.

And for Randall solid state look at the RG.
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
Thank you guys for all your comments, I will consider all of them carefully.

ThunderPunk
I heard that Chuck Schuldiner of Death was using a Marshall Valvestate 8100
I've found this sound sample for vs8100, sounds not bad I think
#10
True, he did use Valvestate and for those tones it works but its not an amp that works for everything. Its hopelessly thin and small sounding when put against better amps. But since it is so cheap in used market nothing stops you from buying it as secondary amp when you do want that Valvestate sound.

I vote for used Peavey XXX or new Peavey 3120. (Same amp, latter is just without the trucker girl theme). Lead channel is excellent for the insane, fizzy death metal tones. Think of Suffocation which actually used this amp in their later records. And crunch channel (with a help of overdrive pedal boosting it) is great for the oldschool death metal, the thrashy stuff where Marshalls were often used.


ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Jan 21, 2017,
#12
Quote by wingsoftheraven
Thank you guys for all your comments, I will consider all of them carefully.

ThunderPunk
I heard that Chuck Schuldiner of Death was using a Marshall Valvestate 8100
I've found this sound sample for vs8100, sounds not bad I think


Bear in mind that Valvestate video has been well recorded, multi-tracked, mixed, EQ'ed, edited etc...It may be the kind of sound you can get from it in an ideal setting, but I wouldn't consider it representative of what you can just turn on and get from it in a practice/live situation.
Member #10 Of The Black Tooth Grin: Dimebag Memorial Club. PM Narmi To Join
#14
It's important to remember that the Valvestate series was entry level solid state (with a preamp tube - ooooo!) kids amp when in production. Used they have very little market value aside from some kid who might over-pay just to get something with the "Marshall" name on it. They sell used for 150-200 bucks here in the states. As far as I am concerned, that's probably still too much. They are on par with the old Randall ss, Peavey Supreme Transtube, Fender RocPro, and numerous Crate ss amps of the time period. Entry level big amps for kids who wanted a half-stack... that's it. Studio magic and an impressive front of house voodoo magic can probably help those amps along for recording or live purposes.

With your budget and only needing an amp head, you can do significantly better as some folks have suggested.
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
The RM100 can become practically anything you want. However, each preamp module will set you back around $300 each, So factor that into the budget.
I love my RM100 but I have spent well over a grand just on the modules.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#16
I would second the ENGL. Bands like Obscura, Beyond Creation and Necrophagist all use ENGL's and the clarity they get on all those millions of notes is always impressive. Plus you get good cleans and, of course, heavy-as-satan's-balls everything else
#17
Guys, I decided to buy either a jcm 900 slx or a jcm 2000 dsl and I'm thinking to buy a 1960a cabinet as well.
Which amp I should go on ? and what are the pros and cons of these amps for you ?
Last edited by wingsoftheraven at Jan 24, 2017,
#18
Whichever you may get cheaper. I'd probably go for jcm2000 first because its more versatile. I have not tried SLX personally, just recordings, but it seems to be one trick pony. One very good trick, but something DSL is also capable off easily.

You may find this comparison interesring. Lasse Lammert compares almost every big Marshall amp (including SLX and DSL) and tells his opinion of them. Music is Thrash but its only a step away from death metal.


ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#19
If you want anything other than a heavy sound get the DSL, the SL-X is single channel and therefore it isn't practical to achieve a balls out metal sound and a clean sound.

If you are just looking for delicious grindy death metal tones, I think the SL-X is the one for it, and particularly if you can find one of the older models running EL34 tubes (a bit harder to find). The 5881 models are still good, but for some reason those EL34 models really had some balls.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#20
Boss HM-2 into a DSL50.
Bloodbath's Nightmares Made Flesh is THE death metal tone IMO.
#21
^ That IS a good death metal sound.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#22
The VS8100 that Chuck used has that dense crunch and a little bit of tube goodness, definitely not a bad amp, I own one. However, I prefer tube heads.

I'd say you can look at a budget Pysdyawot distortion through a some kind of Marshall, like JCM DSL2000 head, dialing little crunch on the head and Pysdyawot for the main metal sound, or just go with something like 6505 or XXX, even the new EVH 5150 III. Engl as suggested above and Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier would work good too.

Fortin Tanas or Randall Satan would also be appropriately named and voiced to deliver thy hellish racket.