#1
Alright, so I've been playing the guitar for about 10 years now, I've previously owned, bought and sold a ton of gear but I've never actually had a real amp. At home, I play through VST plugins so I've no need for a practice amp, what I'm looking for is something to gig with - something that's loud enough and that will give me the tone I want live - I won't be using it for recording.

My situation is kind of specific on account of the fact that I never use the drive channel on an amplifier. I have a little distortion pedal by MXR called the '78 Badass distortion and it gives me exactly the kind of sound I want. I've used numerous amps, tube, solid state and DSP and it's never let me down no matter what I plug it in.

What's more, I almost never turn the damn thing off; if I need a cleaner tone I just turn down my volume pot and play with a lighter touch, that's just how I like to do it. The point is that no matter what amp I get, I will not be using its drive channel - only the clean channel with the distortion pedal turned on.

My budget is around $300 to $400 as I'm kinda broke these days, so I'm wondering if I can get a good amp in this range. Should I go for tube, solid state, DSP? Common sense tells me to go with solid state as it will give me the least amount of coloration in the sound, but I've used so many amps over the years I've lost track of which sounds the best. Furthermore, as I said, they all sounded pretty good, and I'm glad to say that I've had quite a few compliments for my distorted tone for which my little $100 stompbox is solely responsible

Does anyone here have any experience with playing distortion pedals through amps and can impart some general wisdom as to where I can start? Cause I'm kinda lost, to be honest. Ideally, I'd like to get a combo, 2x12 solid state with at least 75W that's not too heavy so I can lug it around, but of course sound goes before convenience. So, suggestions?
#2
Sounds like Peavey territory, either a VK or Windsor. You need about 50 watt tube. I wouldn't go solid state unless you can score a Tech21 Power Engine 60.
Alternately, you can try power amp stombox size pedal like EH 44 Magnum or ISP Stealth floor power amp and you'd just need a speaker.

Personally, I'd go with a loud tube amp if I can.
#3
Peavey Classic 30 at GC if you are in the US. I played a new one at GC a month or so ago and thought the clean channel was pretty good.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Peavey/Classic-30-112-30W-1x12-Tube-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp-112516480.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKEAiA8JbEBRCz2szzhqrx7H8SJAC6FjXXpn0PcK7MWVyD5WZru5S-FBz0NNWduRTHuCGgr9ke0hoCZuHw_wcB&kwid=productads-adid^66736785762-device^c-plaid^172968896682-sku^112516480@ADL4GC-adType^PLA
#4
Quote by Dzamija
. Ideally, I'd like to get a combo, 2x12 solid state with at least 75W that's not too heavy so I can lug it around, but of course sound goes before convenience. So, suggestions?


50w is enough with a 2x12 combo. Also, be aware that 2x12 combos are heavy. The Top brands use solid construction material which adds weight. I think My 2x12 combo is close to 80lbs. It's no joke lugging it around.

Some of the lower end stuff uses thinner/lighter materials.
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '95 Fender MIM Strat
Helix Rack, Jetcity JCA50H w/ JCA24s+
#5
on the cheap i would feel good recommending a Peavey valve king.
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#6
+1 Valveking if you go Tube. However, I used a 100w Bandit with a 112 ext cab for years just going through the clean channel with a pedal board. Sounded great. But my style changed and I really needed a high gain amp. So I switched to tube head/cab.
#7
Quote by DirtFarmer
50w is enough with a 2x12 combo. Also, be aware that 2x12 combos are heavy. The Top brands use solid construction material which adds weight. I think My 2x12 combo is close to 80lbs. It's no joke lugging it around.


Meh.
Carvin Belair is 50W of EL84 power. When I bought it used, the faux tolex had been torn off, the cabinet beaten up and spraypainted flat black. I restored the cabinet and mistakenly covered it with real tweed and then lacquered it. Nearly structural. Two Vintage 30's and the whole thing is 50 lbs, extremely loud and not particularly large (26 inches wide x 10.25 inches deep x 17.75 inches high). Some "Top Brands" toss a lot of wood on their combos to give them the perception of substantial size and price worthiness. I have a 100W (EL34s) XV112 from the late '80's. Single 12" with either a Brit-voiced speaker or an EV-L. Very loud, clean (if required), and in this case it's the transformers and speaker magnet that give it the weight: 70 lbs.

Either of these all-tube amps can be had on eBay or some local Craigslists for around $350-400 used and, if in good shape, are SO worth it. The Carvin XV112E design has active controls, assignable 5-band EQ and will remind you of an early Mesa...
#8
Valve King, Classic 30, Blues Jr, Carvin.
"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