#1
Hi all,

I'm currently in the market for a new amp. I play mainly metal type stuff, think Trivium, Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Metallica etc.

Looking for a head and 2x12 cab (cab already pretty settled on), as I'd like to be able to save space later on rather than having to find space for various combos.

Budget is around £1000 max although I'd prefer to keep it closer to £800 with £200 of that going to a cab (Harley Benton 2x12 with vc30's)

I'm fine with used or new.

It's for home playing atm but would like to be able to play smaller gigs with it. I have 4 main contenders currently:

1. Laney Ironheart 60w (or the 15w, but I'm unsure how it would stand up to small gigs)
2. Peavey 6505+ (although with it being 120w I'm worried it'll be overkill)
3. Engl MetalMaster
4. Laboga The Beast plus (30w, switchable to 15w)

I live in Edinburgh, but the only amp I can actually find to try out in person is the Laney. So far in terms of tone my favourite is the Laboga. I love the 'dryness' that it has to it, and I also really like that it's something a bit different that you don't normally see. The 6505 and Ironheart from clips I've heard sound slightly muddy, but playing the Laney in person I did enjoy its tone.

I intend to be getting some form of tubescreamer style boost and an MXR 10-band eq to go with them in the near future. An FX-loop is pretty much a must have.

What I'm really looking for is as much note clarity as possible with high gain. Guitar wise I have an LTD EX-400 (EMG 81/60) and an Ibanez arz307 that I will be upgrading with new p/ups, tuners and bridge after the amp is out the way with. Looking at some bareknuckles for it, or the Nazgul/Sentient Seymour Duncan set.

Thanks for any help in advance.
#3
Peavey 6505+... 120 watt means if you crank it full ... You will not gonna do that in your house... So your 2 x 12 cab will be fine...
#4
If I were in your shoes I wouldn't even consider the Peavey. It's gonna sound pretty sterile unless you crank it which you won't even be able to do in small gigs. The Laboga will be much useful at home at 15w (still incredibly loud) and loud enough for gigging at 30w. Engl would be perfect at home but would struggle in a band context, particularly any pristine cleans. The 60w Laney would be pretty solid for shows but not close the Laboga at home.
Originally Posted by evening_crow
Quoting yourself is cool.


WARNING: I kill threads.
#5
I play the 6505+ aaaaall day with volume on 1 or under at home. Its a preamp voiced amp. Sounds better opened up, but still sounds amazing at low volumes.
#6
To play at home the 6505 is overkill and they sound a bit fizzy/bland when you don't have the air moving (aka volume up a bit), but to play live it's probably your best bet for that kinda sound. But you should check out some Marshalls too like the DSL or a used JVM, Trivium were using Marshalls when I saw them and Metallica were using Dual Rectifiers (too expensive in the UK).

No idea what an Engl MetalMaster is, I played a few shows with an Engl Powerball though while my 5150 (aka 6505) was out of comission and it was a lot more flexible than my 5150 with a more refined sound, but honestly it felt a bit too sterile for me and lacked the raw untamed madness of the 5150 that I loved, I mean objectively the Powerball was probably a better amp and it did more stuff, but I just didn't fall for it and went back to my 5150 as soon as I had it repaired. If the metalmaster is like the Powerball (maybe someone can confirm?) it's a good option for what you want, but not my thing.

Laney Ironheart I felt was a more versatile amp, sensitive to playing dynamics and very to my tastes, but for raw balls out metal It leaves something to be desired and I think you can do better, you kinda need a high gain tightly compressed amp for that stuff, like a 6505. But maybe you should check out the EVH (Fender) 5150III too.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 18, 2017,
#7
These amps and a 2X12 for mostly home use and some small gigs? Everything on the list is overkill. 
#8
I think the Laney is a great choice. You should also have Orange amps available - look at their gamut of options, there might be one for you. I love the Rockerverb MkII. It might need some cleaning up with an OD pedal in front but overall it is a very tuneful amp.
#9
Been keeping an eye on eBay a bit. Powerballs seem to go within my price range so that's an option.

Going to go retry the Laney in the next couple of days. I need to get out to guitar guitar at some point. I keep forgetting it exists because it's not central.

I don't know what it is about Orange I'm just not a fan of their high gain sound at all.

Thanks for the help so far guys.
#10
embryo.synthesi 

If i were you, id seriously look into the Powerball. I play pretty much the same music as you do, and mine is pretty much the perfect amp for the job. It sounds massive, and the built in noise gate is great. You just have to fiddle with the settings, especially the presence knob, a bit, to get it to sound great, since it is pretty responsive to controls. But yeah, its great, it eats the 6505 for breakfast. 
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#11
Well I have a 6505 as well as a bunch of other Amps, and the first thing I'll say about it is, unlike the other amps you mentioned, it's a modern classic. Youll find one at just about every heavy gig on the planet, and still after 20 years it's the weapon of choice of many professional bands. This is a huge deal when it comes to resale and also when it comes to advice when servicing, tube choice etc. 

 With that being said though, although I will say that it's great at what it does, it does one thing well and pretty much one thing only. It also doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles (it's a essentially still a 90s design), which is why it's a lot cheaper than many other metal amps on the market today.

Obviously, what I mean is that its designed for high gain, so its going to be good for metal, hardcore, and even some heavier punk stuff. It even does a half decent impression of being a good 80s rock amp, but in saying that you plug into a vintage marshall and then the 6505, you'll see it's no contest.

For just about everything else, your going to be underwhelmed, so if your looking for versatility, then it's not the amp for you. If all your looking for is a good high gain sound though, well its easily in par with much more expensive 6l6 based high gain amps (Dual recs etc), and in some cases, it's probably even better.

PS: In reply to one thing in your original post, 60watts is more than enough for any live gig. I've toured extensively with 50watt marshalls and even an AC30 with no worries at all.
'66 Fender Bassman, '82 Marshall JCM800 4210, '86 Laney AOR 100, '90 Marshall JCM900 MKIII 2500, '97 Marshall JCM600, Silverface Mesa Dual Rectifier, Peavey 6505, Marshall JCM2000 DSL-100, VOX AC30CCH, Marshall JMP-1 + EL34 50/50
#12
Quote by BillyEatWorld
PS: In reply to one thing in your original post, 60watts is more than enough for any live gig. I've toured extensively with 50watt marshalls and even an AC30 with no worries at all.

 My worries are more with the 15w Laney and the 20w Engl Metal Master, however there is a 40w metal master available which I could hopefully find used/on offer at some point.

I'm saving for this amp so at the moment I'm not too worried about hurrying my purchase, happy to wait until the right deal comes around when I have the money.

Listening to more powerball stuff and it's seeming a strong contender. Going to go along to Guitar Guitar tomorrow and see what I can try out.
#13
embryo.synthesi Ah sorry, I misread your original post.

Generally speaking the problem with lower wattage is less about volume and more about tone. I mean for example a vox AC30 will happily reproduce higher frequencies when you're in standard tuning, but will struggle when it comes to detuning in a metal band etc.

The reason most metal amps are 100watts or more is because they have the headroom to give you the low end you're looking for In that style of music. So yeah I guess what I'm saying is even if those smaller amps are loud enough, they probably won't sound right for you anyway.

On that point; a peavey 6505 won't be overkill because they're not the sort of amp you want to push the power tubes into clipping on anyway. Sure they will sound better loud, but it's not like a night and day difference like it would be on a vintage marshall or something.

As for saving up for the right thing; definitely a wise choice, especially when it comes to high gain amps. The 6505 is at a great price point for a no frills workhorse amp, but for a bit more money you'll be buying into a lot of well respected brands with a lot more features.

PS: If you haven't already, you should definitely check out Blackstar series one line. They're very highly regarded in the metal scene.
'66 Fender Bassman, '82 Marshall JCM800 4210, '86 Laney AOR 100, '90 Marshall JCM900 MKIII 2500, '97 Marshall JCM600, Silverface Mesa Dual Rectifier, Peavey 6505, Marshall JCM2000 DSL-100, VOX AC30CCH, Marshall JMP-1 + EL34 50/50
#14
The 2 main tunings I use are standard (with the low b) and drop c# on the ex.

I know there's a lot of good advice in this thread and I don't want to seem like I'm ignoring it but I think I'm in love with the Laboga. There's something about it's tone that just clicks with me.

Plus I get brownie points for going with a Polish amp as my fiancee is from Poland, haha

Maybe she'll let me get a Skerversen or Mayones one day...

Laboga tones (no idea how to embed video on mobile)

9v8NhCCRdPY

2jPAs5nP3ck
Last edited by embryo.synthesi at Mar 22, 2017,
#16
embryo.synthesi 5150iii's are great man. Not the same tone as an original 5150/6505 but as good or better in a lot of ways.

Even as someone who owns a 6505, if I was in your situation I would probably go with a 5150iii over all the other options you've mentioned. It's way more versatile and definitely top tier when it comes to high gain sounds.
'66 Fender Bassman, '82 Marshall JCM800 4210, '86 Laney AOR 100, '90 Marshall JCM900 MKIII 2500, '97 Marshall JCM600, Silverface Mesa Dual Rectifier, Peavey 6505, Marshall JCM2000 DSL-100, VOX AC30CCH, Marshall JMP-1 + EL34 50/50
#17
If it's still available next week I might go for it. Downsides for me on the lbx are no effects loop or true clean channel. Plus the shared eq.
#18
embryo.synthesi If I recall the LBX doesn't have all 3 channels. . . . I think you'll want that high gain channel for what you want.  
Guitars:
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. . .
#19
If clean is important to you then they are definitely big downsides. I'm a big fan of single channel amps (they usually have a more raw, pure tone), but after many years of touring I know how frustrating they can be. 

No FX loop really sucks too, especially if you like to use reverb and delay on your dirty sounds. Reverb especially sounds terrible before preamp distortion.

Honestly though it depends on the kind of guitarist you are, and what you think you'll need the rig for. 10 years ago I could survive any gig with a Gibson straight into a single channel Marshall. As the years went on though and I needed more options and added a vox in just to do cleans. Eventually I ended up retiring them both and now I run a JMP-1 and power amp, into a rack of midi controlled fx.
'66 Fender Bassman, '82 Marshall JCM800 4210, '86 Laney AOR 100, '90 Marshall JCM900 MKIII 2500, '97 Marshall JCM600, Silverface Mesa Dual Rectifier, Peavey 6505, Marshall JCM2000 DSL-100, VOX AC30CCH, Marshall JMP-1 + EL34 50/50
#21
If you want cleans, again, i suggest a used Powerball. The clean channel is pretty great. It has an fx loop, excelent hi gain channel with 2 modes... 
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.