#1
what is the best mini head for metal. My definition of metal is a range from 80's Metallica, in flames (new and old), Trivium. Also, if its possible be able to play things like rise against and other kind of hard rock/punk stuff. Im sort of leaning towards the dark terror. I like the simplicity of it but am concerned whether it will be heavy enough? The peavy 6505 mh seems like a nice option to but some reviews suggest it to be a lot of option at the expense of some of the quality u can get with maybe the 5150LBX.
Last edited by psychotron94 at Jan 30, 2017,
#2
How much do you want to spend. I mean, my first thought was the 6505MH. I know Corey in Trivium uses the 6505. Metallica has ties to Randall, but I think they use some rack amps live.
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#3
bjgrifterthe peavy looks like t goes for about $500 American which is kind of where I would want to be. I cant remember what the dark terrors go for but I think I've seen them for sale used and thinking they were pretty reasonably priced. Also Ive seen the blackstar ht-5 are substantially cheaper but question if it can go heavy enough. Keep in mind I'm not going to be bringing this to shows so low wattage is fine.
Last edited by psychotron94 at Jan 30, 2017,
#4
^ i question whether the ht5 is all-tube. that being said, acoustic mirror has suggested pretty convincingly that the mini 6505 might not be all-tube either.

i'm a bit wary about these mini heads for metal. more headroom and better bass response are usually useful for heavier tones, and you get that with more power...
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#5
Look at the Peavey 6505mh, Mesa Mini Rectifier, and the Laney IRT-Studio (I have one of these on the way).

Check the available channels in the EVH 5150LBX and LBXII offerings - I think they are only 1 and 2 channels, not 3 like the 50W and 100W options.
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#6
budget?
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#8
Dark Terror is a fine amp, nothing bad to say about that one. Laney IRT series is another good option, Mesa Mini Rectifier would probably optimal as it has the wide range that can cover the heavier stuff but not take a dump on the clean sounds.
#9
Mesa Boogie Mark V 25 is perfect for what you described but at about $1000 used, it is twice the price of a new 6505 mini. The Blackstar HT-5 head and Dark Terror aren't bad and, with an OD, should work. There are quite a few amps in the $500 - $600 from Panama, Engl, H&K, and Randall, I would try a few before just making a quick decision.
#11
Definitely try a Dark Terror before you buy. They certainly have great tones, but for the bands you listed I'm wondering if it will be a tight enough amp for what you're after. Every time I've played an Orange amp (including the Terror series), but also the Rockerverb -- I loved the tones when chords were left to ring out, but for tight, intricate riffing they just weren't tight enough for me. Maybe that would change if an OD pedal were put up front to tighten them up.

I would think a 6505 or 5150 III would be a better option. But I'm kind of with Dave_MC on the mini-heads -- for metal you want more headroom and power to reproduce low-end. Modern metal amps like the two mentioned above get their tone from the preamp and don't need to be cranked to get good tone. You can turn a big amp down, but you can't turn a little amp UP and expect it to behave like a higher-wattage amp. I think those 6505 Mini heads and the 5150 LBX are quite expensive for an amp that would struggle to keep up in a gig setting. Unless you absolutely need a very small amp for convenience sake, you might as well buy a larger 5150/6505 variant used that has some headroom and definitely doesn't "cheat" at getting its gain from transistors or clipping diodes.
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#12
The 5150 lbx is the real deal. The issue comes down to if you can mic or not.
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#13
I agree with all of the above.

These high-gain mini heads make me roll my eyes a little. The strength of their presence in the amp market demonstrates what little the average consumer accurately understands about wattage.

Loads and loads of good metal tones have a lot of bass response in them and the mini heads just don't have enough wattage to produce that bass at decent volumes. Any high gain mini head that's relatively inexpensive makes me skeptical that it isn't all tube. I gravely doubt the 6505MH is all tube for the level of gain it produces with what few tubes it has.

The EVH is expensive, but that's because all the gain it produces is done legitimately. But I'd still never get one; being all-tube doesn't fix the fundamental problem of it lacking wattage. There's nothing wrong with liking that kind of sound, but people who think they're literally the big boy heads in a smaller box are victim to the marketing wank.
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#14
It's actually more about just having the right tools for the job. You can absolutely get proper bass response out of 15 watts if you are mic-big properly.

If you can't mic then the 50 watt head is only 30 more.
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#15
Sure you can compensate with micing, but most of the time I'm playing my amps at home and I'm not recording anything. So most of the time I'm just not going to do that. It's much better if you don't have to use mic positioning as a crutch in the first place.
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#16
How is that a crutch. You'll never run into the difference unless you have a completely soundproofed room. The small amps are good for portability. If you don't need portability the they won't have any benefits over the big amps. But saying they automatically sound worse is just wrong.
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#17
Why would I necessarily need a completely soundproof room to hear any difference? All I'm saying is that I'd rather just not need to mic the amp to make it have good bass response in the room I'm situated in.

I never said they were necessarily worse either. I actually said that there's nothing wrong with liking how they sound, but it would be false to expect them to sound like the big heads but only in a smaller box like a lot of the marketing from the manufacturers that makes these amps claim.
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#18
I really enjoy the Dark Terror, it has a Valve in the preamp and has that classic "Orange" overdrive. Push it with a maxon OD 808 and you get some filthy tone for the best of chuggage
#19
EVH 5150 III 50W is a mini, right? Easily enough power to not lose low freq at higher volumes and keeps up with a drummer without breaking a sweat.
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#20
MAChiefs yeah and that's part of the reason I opened up to the forum. I would love to be able to spend the money and get a "proper amp". I probably should have prefaced my comments by saying dialling in the"perfect tone" is probably not a reasonable expectation and am willing to accept that given my price range. Im more concerned about being able to have something with enough gain (even if that means not all tube!) and still has a respectable tone. ill definately look into your suggestions and see if I can't give some of them a try next time I'm out of town!
#21
I own the 6505mh and while it's got a great tone it wasn't made to respond like a 50 or 100 watt metal head. It sounds great for my uses but it lacks low end when you crank it due to the el84s I knew this when buying it but for a bedroom only metal amp for the $ used now $350 or so it's hard to beat.
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#22
DKailMthis is actually a helpful comment. I was under the impression that these mini heads were the answer for at home playing. The explanation I kind of got was that its better to push a low wattage amp then to try and tame a 100w. Am I just being naive?
#23
psychotron94 I also get usable bedroom tones out of a Mesa Rectoverb and a Randall RM100 so big amps are very capable of getting great tones without destroying your eardrums or your neighbors the mini heads have there place but don't perform exactly like the higher wattage amps.
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#24
Quote by psychotron94
DKailMthis is actually a helpful comment. I was under the impression that these mini heads were the answer for at home playing. The explanation I kind of got was that its better to push a low wattage amp then to try and tame a 100w. Am I just being naive?

It's a misconception pedaled by marketing in the sense that wattage only correlates weakly with absolute volume. A Vintage 30 has a speaker sensitivity of 100db @1 watt of power. That's loud. and that is only at 1 watt. Not to mention that you need to double the amp's power to increase its volume by only 3db. A 20 watt head really isn't much quieter than a 100 watt head. They're both louder than you'll be willing to tolerate without long-term hearing damage.

If you want to clip the power section of the amp, the smaller amp will not do it a whole lot more readily, and it'll lose bass end an awful lot faster in order to get there.

And for that matter, if you're looking for a modern metal tone, you don't want power amp clipping anyway. That sort of tone is all created in the preamp.
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#25
IDK I have a 6505+ 12watt head through a 4X12 as well as a mesa Roadster 2x12 100WX50W switchable power amp and have no issues with either one of them getting killer metal tones at low volume.
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#26
Randall Diavlo worked well for me for years.. even if it has 50 watts of tube power i could still played it at really low volumes, and it still sounded great. i play lots of old metallica stuff and it works great for that. you can look at 20 watt version and i think you would be ok with it for bedroom playing or jams.
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Last edited by Sabbath_84 at Jan 31, 2017,
#27
Keep in mind the 6505 has a clean channel the 5150 Does not.
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#28
I agree with T00deepblue- I don't have anything against lower wattage amps either (I own several), for certain things they're absolutely useful, but the marketing is iffy. Especially when they're marketed as being suitable for bedroom playing even if you want to crank them. They aren't.
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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.

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

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Et tu, br00tz?
#29
Quote by DarthV
EVH 5150 III 50W is a mini, right? Easily enough power to not lose low freq at higher volumes and keeps up with a drummer without breaking a sweat.


I wouldn't really consider it a "mini." It's smaller than most 100+ watt heads, but is still a pretty high powered amp that can compete with a full band. I consider "minis" to be in the 20 watts or less category. IME 50-60 watt tube amps with 6L6s or EL 34s are damned near as capable as 100+ watters. Below 30 watts is where you start to see the low end struggle when high volumes are needed. But if high volumes aren't needed, then yeah, buy whatever sounds good.
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#30
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I agree with all of the above.

These high-gain mini heads make me roll my eyes a little. The strength of their presence in the amp market demonstrates what little the average consumer accurately understands about wattage.

Loads and loads of good metal tones have a lot of bass response in them and the mini heads just don't have enough wattage to produce that bass at decent volumes. Any high gain mini head that's relatively inexpensive makes me skeptical that it isn't all tube. I gravely doubt the 6505MH is all tube for the level of gain it produces with what few tubes it has.

The EVH is expensive, but that's because all the gain it produces is done legitimately. But I'd still never get one; being all-tube doesn't fix the fundamental problem of it lacking wattage. There's nothing wrong with liking that kind of sound, but people who think they're literally the big boy heads in a smaller box are victim to the marketing wank.


I think the mini heads can be a great option for someone looking for a rectifier sound without paying $2k for a dual rec. Or, a Mark V 25 head at half the price of a Mark V. Not saying these mini heads are exact duplicates, but they are great amps at a fraction of the price that deliver great tone. Whether Friedman, Mesa, Bogner, Engl, etc, these mini heads offer similar tones at an affordable price point.

Also, 25w heads are extremely loud and just like larger wattage amps, some produce great high gain tones at lower volumes and some don't. I think the TS should try a few, along with some 50w and 100w heads. I think they can be a very viable option, again, IMO.

I did want to add that I understand the concern regarding bass response. For example, those considering the mark v 25 should note that the 10w setting has significantly less bass than the 25w setting. I only play in the 25w setting, but with the master volume, you can still get great high gain tone at extremely low volume levels.
Last edited by MAChiefs at Jan 31, 2017,
#31
Quote by KailM
I wouldn't really consider it a "mini." It's smaller than most 100+ watt heads, but is still a pretty high powered amp that can compete with a full band. I consider "minis" to be in the 20 watts or less category. IME 50-60 watt tube amps with 6L6s or EL 34s are damned near as capable as 100+ watters. Below 30 watts is where you start to see the low end struggle when high volumes are needed. But if high volumes aren't needed, then yeah, buy whatever sounds good.


I'd take a used 50w "mini" over a brand new lunchbox, that's for sure :P
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#32
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ i question whether the ht5 is all-tube. that being said, acoustic mirror has suggested pretty convincingly that the mini 6505 might not be all-tube either.


It has a solid state phase inverter and loop per a peavey rep on their forum. While I'd consider this different than Blackstar's games it is what it is.

Mini heads aren't quite bedroom amps but they do allow more play with the volume knob to find a low volume sound you like.
#33
I used to own both a dark terror AND a 6505+ years ago when i played precisely that kind of music. I would 100% get the 6505 for what you play.. Here's the problem with the Dark Terror - it's an absolutely fantastic amp but it wont get you the sound you want for that new american metal stuff. It has a much darker, warmer tone that Orange is pretty renowned for. It has a much more powerful and aggressive sort of low end that's better suited to low tuned darker sort of metal. It can't exactly be explained, you just have to try it.
All that being said, as an overall metal amp i personally prefer the Dark Terror. It has a sound that I've always loved, but if you're playing your kind of music then no question the 6505.
Best of luck
#34
Quote by Baconjerky
(a) It has a solid state phase inverter and loop per a peavey rep on their forum. While I'd consider this different than Blackstar's games it is what it is.

(b) Mini heads aren't quite bedroom amps but they do allow more play with the volume knob to find a low volume sound you like.


(a) That's actually pretty similar to Blackstar... though I know what you're saying, Blackstar is arguably even worse since it also has SS gain stages as well.

(b) I think it depends on the amp. It's true that lower wattage amps are a little easier to get to the sweet spot... but in my experience that's still way too loud for home playing (even if you don't have neighbours sharing walls). And some higher wattage amps actually sound pretty good turned way down, and have nice tapers on the master volume.
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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?