#1
Hi all,

My guitar sounds awesome on other peoples' gear, but like crap on mine, so I'm thinking it is time to make a sound upgrade (I have an old pod floor mod). I was looking to get a tube head that performs well for hard rock/thrash, and treble-y cleans. I play mostly 90s rock and metal (ie, AIC, GNR, metallica, megadeth, slayer, anthrax, etc) and have found the particular place that I notice a quality, vs poor, amp is usually on fast solos, so something that performs well there would be awesome as well. My price range is about $1000-1200 or so for the head, and I was thinking I'd spend about 300 on a used cabinet (since I don't want to break the bank on a cabinet just yet, but I felt like 300 used gives a good performance/price trade off as long as i can find something relatively quality). Is there anything you guys can highly recommend looking into, for either category?

So far, I was looking at the hughes and kettner grandmeister 36 head (my cousin has one of their combo amps, and I absolutely loved the tone, so I figure the head is probably even a step up yet from that?). Also, I really like the ease with which it would (appear?) as though you can use the rig for recording/controlling tones with android as well with some of their software. Does anybody have experience/can recommend for metal?
Last edited by ericwb95 at Jan 23, 2017,
#4
^+1
Whatever you get, don't skimp on the cabinet. There is nothing worse than getting a kick ass head that's supposed to sound great, and then pair it with a shitty cabinet to reduce the head to lackluster at best. Speakers are very important, and the Marshall JCM2000 DSL with a 1960 cab is a great combination, and if you ever decide to buy a new head, that cabinet will pair well with most amps.
Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute
Jackson King V
Peavey Valveking 100
Ampeg VH140C
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
MXR ZW-44 Overdrive
Dunlop ZW-45 Wah
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech JamMan Solo XT
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
#5
Splawn QR Is in your range.

but I agree that i wouldn't skimp on the cab.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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#6
Off the top of my head:

Marshall JCM900 SLX
Marshall Jubilee 2555X (Should be able to find one in your price range)
Bogner Uberschall (MAY be able to find one in your price range)
Peavey 5150 II / 6505+ (My main amp. I play the same music. Sounds great matched with the right apeakers. Downside is no TRUE clean channel. But it gets pretty close.)
Peavey Invective (Just announced, no price yet that I'm aware of. Supposed to be a 6505+ with a 3rd true clean channel, built in noise gate, and built in OD)
Randall RD100h Diavlo (Use this as well. Has true clean channel)
Randall Thrasher
Randall RD1003/1503/3003 (Also use one of these at times. A solid state, not QUITE as good sounding as a good tube amp, bur best damned SS I've played through. I wouldn't be embarrassed by its tone to use it for a show and its WAY cheaper than everything else on this list.)

For cabs .... Pretty much anything loaded with v30s or G12Ts will get you that Sound . Some cabs are obviously made a little better than others.

All the amps I listed are great for that 80s Thrash sound as well as other styles. I tried to pick ones that you could pick up used in your price range. The Uberschall would probably be a bit over though.
Last edited by Xander_X at Jan 23, 2017,
#7
Thanks for the feedback guys. As a follow up, how significantly better is the JVM 205H than the DSL100 of the marshalls? Obviously the 205H is only 50W, but I only plan to use this for smaller gigs and home anyway, and 50W is probably PLENTY for any gigs I would do (sub 200 people mostly) anyway. I have read mixed reviews on the DSL100, but absolute RAVES on the 205h; if I can find a used one for sub $1000, is it worth it? If you guys think used amps aren't a bad idea, what should I look for in a used amp that would be a sign of it potentially being poorly maintained or in not so good shape from a hardware standpoint (ie, particular hums I should be aware of that indicate a valve might be bad, what to look for aesthetically in head itself other than scratches obviously, etc). Obviously I know to look for scratches, but as my current amps are all SS, I've no clue what to look for in tube amps. Thanks!
#8
The JVM voicing is different...I find it a bit more flutey and less bitey, with which I associate the Marshall sound, which the DSL100 is closer to. Not that it is a bad amp, slightly different. I'd be fine with either of these. One thing to be aware is that the new DSLs are China-made as the older ones are UK, you can take a wild guess which ones are the ones that are sought after
The initial Brit run actually did have some issues with overheating, so there were some years to avoid on the DSLs, I don't remember which. The JVMs are technically more complex, so from repair standpoint they're a bit of a mess to get worked on, one of the main reason why I don't like that model of Marshall as much as the DSL series.
As far as tube amps - problems with tubes are to be expected on older amps so a tube service/replacement/rebias might be something you should factor in anyway. Usually you want to test the amp for about 30 minutes at decent volumes to see if there won't be any problems, like volume fluctuations, weird buzz/noise issues. Don't be surprised if you have to change some tubes on it, that's par for the course, but usually the seller should be upfront with things like that so if you hear strange behaviour and he hasn't been forthcoming, expect a more major issue might be lurking and they're looking to unload.

http://www.rivera.com/checking-for-microphonic-tubes/

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/24275-how-to-buy-a-used-amp
#9
I would take a DSL over a JVM any day. I would take a JSX over a jvm too, at a third of the price.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/