#1
So after a few years of not playing guitar at all due to varying factors (hand injury/work/daughter/unsupportive ex partner), I'm back in the game as of a few months ago.

My current rig (which has been living in my dad's garage and collecting dust since 2013) is a Randall RH50T head and Orange 2x12. The cab is sweet, the head is nice but it's not really what I'm looking for at this point. And since I have some money to spend I figured what the hell let's upgrade.

Originally I was tossing up between a (new) Marshall DSL100H (about $1100AU) and a used Mesa Stiletto (guy's selling for $1500AU).

Pros for DSL:
- new so less questions off the bat (yes I know the build quality of the Mesa v a VIetnam-built Marshall means the Mesa may still be a better option in this area, whatever, peace of mind with new is real)
- prefer the high gain tone of the DSL, to me it cuts through better and sounds better for metalcore rhythms
- cheaper

Pros for Stiletto:
- Mesa quality as mentioned above (put it this way, I have no concerns with a used Mesa, I would if it was a used DSL)
- Clean channel (to me) has a bit more sparkle and character than the Marshall (it sounds like a good British clean)
- bit more exclusivity/cool points than the Marshall and let's be honest that's worth something.
- sounds better at low volumes than the Marshall to my ears - matters because I live in a block of units with all old Greek ladies who I don't particularly need to annoy (hell hath no fury like a pissed off yiayia)

So I was originally tossing up between these two amps, then I found something even cooler. A Soldano SLO (my dream amp) clone that would ship to me. It's not an exact copy of a SLO - it doesn't have the DeYoung transformers - but a clone of my favourite amp, at a price I can (in a couple weeks) afford...albeit more than the Mesa (by my maths it's gonna be a little over $2kAU when shipping and import taxes are included).

So basically help me out here - do I go with best value (DSL), shoot for the moon (SLO clone) or split the difference with the Mesa?

Also just the usual info:
- I jam in a band that plays a hybrid of 80s hardcore and newer metalcore, I mostly play lead in that band
- I'm starting a project of my own that's basically an emo/alternative rock power trio where I use a lot more clean/crunch sounds
- if it wasn't obvious, I prefer British to American voicing
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#2
boy do i know a guy that could really use that cab.

the slo clone gets my vote, but i've not played a stiletto to say how that would suit you. cath runs a slo preamp module into a randall RM100 with big success and great toanz. another option.
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#3
Hey Shadow 666!

Long time no see. Hope all is well. Sorry to hear about your hand and x-wif

I think the big thing for you is that you are down under. What I mean by that is that you are probably not up to hearing about different amps? So if it is just down to those 3 I think you have a tough choice to make. Greg brings up a good point about what Cathbard is doing. He doesn't play the same style of music per say but he does do some punk'ish stuff. More notably is that he is also is Australia as you may or may not remember.

I personally did not get along with the SLO/SLO clones/Jet Cities etc that I've played. I only know a hand few of people that feel the same way so I know I am in a rare camp as the SLO is a highly regarded amp and Warren Demartini in particular has a tone I completely lust after

Maybe it wasn't that I didn't get along with it as much as I didn't feel it justified the price tag

The Hot Rod Avenger on the other hand I did really gel with and had a happier price tag in my budget range at the time. I gave it serious consideration when I got my Splawn instead. I know you don't want to hear this but a Splawn is what you want. It hits right in the middle of everything you are looking at right now. So, if you happen to see one used in AUS then buy it.

OK, so I'm a little off track now. Back to your scenario. I guess I'd get the Mesa simply because you can't really go wrong. I like the DSL for sure and would pretty much buy one sight unseen because I know what I'm getting (stay away from the rev1 versions that overheated or whatever). I'm just not sure the new ones are as good as the older ones - but there is some benefit to buying new. I'm basing my Mesa recommendation on the fact that I bought a used Rectoverb head (no reverb) for $500 and it pretty much nails all the stuff you are looking for. The Pro's you listed above for the Mesa are all things I agree with.

So in the end, if you can get a Mesa in AUS that fits your budget, works as stated, and ticks all of your boxes then I would do that. I feel that resale wise, you'd be better off flipping it later down the road if needed as DSLs are more readily available in Australia. Does that make sense?

Good luck mang!
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Feb 28, 2017,
#5
as 311ZOSOVHJH implied, jet city does soldano clones for pretty reasonable prices. that might be worth considering rather than an unknown 9to me, anyway) SLO clone which is pretty expensive.
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#6
Thanks for the tips guys

Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Hey Shadow 666!

Long time no see. Hope all is well. Sorry to hear about your hand and x-wif


The Hot Rod Avenger on the other hand I did really gel with and had a happier price tag in my budget range at the time. I gave it serious consideration when I got my Splawn instead. I know you don't want to hear this but a Splawn is what you want. It hits right in the middle of everything you are looking at right now. So, if you happen to see one used in AUS then buy it.


Good luck mang!


Not ex wife thank God haha. (Thats a bit harsh - shes a good lady and a a great mother to our child, we just had different plans in life).

As for the Splawn, Ive never even seen one in this country haha. So thanks A-hole 😂 because I checked out the site on a whim and emailed Scott about shipping and payment options just out of curiosity. Not only did he get back to me within 10 minutes like a deadset gentleman, his deposit policy means I could realistically think about ordering one in the next week or two. I particularly dig the Nitro with the KT88s from what ive heard.

So now another one to add to the list. Youve forgotten more about Splawn amps than I know...is it worth it?
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#8
Haha. I also asked the SLOClone guys to send me some clips, they said they would in the next few days
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#9
I love my kt88 nitro. as well as my promod (also kt88), i agree with 311,that is what you want.

311 convinced me to buy mine.

Oz is different though.

I would never buy a clone untested, as very few people do a good job.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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alright "king of the guitar forum"


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


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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/
#10
I can't say with a 100% straight face that buying a brand new Splawn and having it shipped to AUS is something I would do. I only buy used amps so paying probably close to $2,500 USD for a brand new Splawn including shipping doesn't seem worth it to me but then again, you can buy a used Quick Rod in the $1,000 range all day long in the States.

Also, the Nitro might be up your alley but they suffer from a lot of bass and a lot more saturation. Quick Rod will be more versatile (Gears) and almost just as brutal. They make a KT88 version QR too. KSE gigged with Quick Rods prior to Disarm the Descent. That's when they went to Laney IRT combos. Lots of clips out there if you need any help finding clips.

Honestly, I would personally take a Splawn over a Stiletto, DSL or SLOClone but was also trying to recognize what is considered a good value for you.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Feb 28, 2017,
#11
I think you'll absolutely hate yourself for not jumping on that SLO clone when you had the chance.
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#12
I don't think the DSL/Stilletto are really spectacular sounding amps, good workhorse amps but every Splawn I've heard makes them sound quite average. I mean I think the issue is here you have a dream amp you want, you should shoot for it.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
#13
The RM100 can give you all of those tones with the right cards. It fits three so you could buy these to go in it.
http://www.jadedfaithmods.com/sl-od100.html - SLO
http://salvationaudio.com/index.php?page=mash-all - Marshall
http://salvationaudio.com/index.php?page=loneclean - Mesa Lonestar cleans.
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
Last edited by Cathbard at Feb 28, 2017,
#14
While normally I'm all about a Mesa, I don't think the Stiletto is really the best example. They still sound good, but they are pretty bright. If you like the "British" sound then it will probably work for you, but it doesn't share much with the other Mesa lines.

If you can get the Splawn, do it. All amazing amps, and honestly just a better version of what the DSL and Stiletto are going for.

I'd be curious about the SLO-clone, but I'd absolutely have to play it first. Those xfmrs are a big part of the sound.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#15
Not as big as you'd think. My RM100 is running a fairly ordinary transformer and an E34L output stage. It sounds very much like a SLO. You'd pick it in a back to back test but on its own it sounds like a SLO. The SLO sound is all in the preamp, duplicate the preamp, you get a SLO pretty much.
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 played a Soldano 44 recently and for the crazy price I didn't like it very much. Apparently it had SLO crunch mode, to me it played like a slightly less gainy Traynor YCV50B, used they were asking upper $1000, I think around $1800. I've gotten along good with the Avenger and the SLO-100 and almost sold off some organs to get a SLO-100 once upon a time (it was gone from the store when I was ready to buy), but again...sight unseen, I wouldn't risk it.
#17
So after a lot of amp tests, listening to clips and thinking, my new amp has been bought.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#18
Damn it the pics wont share. But I got a Marshall 2555x (Silver Jubilee reissue). Best 2k I ever spent
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#19
Congrats!  If you try shutterfly or some other sharing site, it will provide a link to the pic for everyone to view. 

Enjoy the amp. 
#20
Quote by shadow__666
Damn it the pics wont share. But I got a Marshall 2555x (Silver Jubilee reissue). Best 2k I ever spent


I have always wanted to try one, but I haven't ever seen one around here.

Marshall pron plz

clips?

on the new amp!
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/
#21
right on shadow__666 ! for whatever reason, these dropped pretty far in price in a few select places around here and were had cheap. congrats!
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.