#1
Hi guys, 
So not long ago I asked you all about amp help and got my hands on some heads since but I'm back at square one, not satisfied with what I've been using. 

Boring backstory:
I had a Blackstar HT-5 which was great but not loud enough. 

I sold it and played a Blues Junior which I liked. I went to buy one but ended up with a good deal on a Blues Deluxe instead. The Blues Deluxe was garbage for higher gain so I got a refund. 

You guys on the forums reccomended the CR120H or a JCM 2000 DSL. Luckily, a guy very local was selling a JCM 2000 50 DSL with a cab for cheap. I bought it and liked it. However, I found some problems with it. Through the speakers (Celestion G12T-75s), the amp sounded horrible. In hindsight, now I have a Vintage 30 2x12" it would probably be perfect, but ignorantly I sold it as when I asked around, people again recommended the CR120H for my needs. 

I'll be honest the CR120H was super appealing. I don't like the idea of having the maintain a tube amp. But now, I've just sent the CR120H back to the shop. I hated it. It sounds very okay. Maybe even good for a solid state amp but it was nothing more than okay. But I like a lot of mids and brightness and turning up the treble on my amp just resulted in fizz and all individual notes being lost in the distortion. So now I'm back at square one. 

I play in a punk band, I use humbucker guitars and have a 2x12" with Vintage 30's in. 
I'm looking for a head to go with my cab that is preferably: 
  • 20-60w -  Any less than 20w will likely not cut it with a drummer and any more that 60w will be too loud for nice power tube gain
  • All tube - after my run in with the CR120H, I want to steer clear from SS or even diode clipping, I will put up with the maintainence
  • Master Volume - I want to be able to get nice preamp gain so I can still play the amp at home without defeaning the neighbours
  • JCM 800 Crunch - I want something thats bright and has a lot of mid range bite like a JCM 800, however, naturally I can't afford the real deal
  • Can also take some fuzz/dist. boxes - I love my RAT 2 for stoner/doom sounds to be honest

I've been looking around and in my price range there is:
  • Jet City Amps (100HDM, Amelia)
  • Blackstar HT 20/40
  • H+K Tubemeister
  • Laney Cub Head
  • Engl Gigmaster
  • Egnater Tweaker 15
  • Laney Ironheart 15
  • Laney Ironheart Studio
  • Randall RD 20H 

Alternatively, there's a guy on eBay selling a Laney AOR Pro Tube 30 which I've heard is a JCM 800 clone? 
Any experience with these amps would be a godsend as I have no local stores that stock anything like this and thus can't try them out. 
Any help would be really appreciated as I've been looking at amps and have come to no conclusion, thanks!
#2
Know that the correlation between low wattage and volume is a weak one at best. To get louder, you require an exponentially greater amount of power. The difference in volume between a 50w amp and a 100w amp is only very, very marginal indeed. To shed some perspective on how power and volume are only weakly correlated, a Vintage 30 speaker only requires 1w of power to create 100db of volume. That is a LOT of volume for such a small amount of power. The solution to getting more volume is not wattage. It's a variety of things such as speaker sensitivity (that 100db @1watt thing) preamp design, power amp design that'll give you loud volumes. For outright volume, power actually isn't that important.

It is also the case that power valve saturation doesn't necessarily occur with amps of a lower power either. It's got more to do with the kinds of valves that are being run in the power section and the bias current they're being operated at. The large majority of the overdrive you hear in guitar amps comes from preamp clipping, not power amp clipping.

If you really want a JCM800 tone on the cheap, a Laney AOR isn't a bad amp to do that with. It isn't a clone, but more accurately a modded derivative of the JCM800 circuit.
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#3
We need a budget for starters. Power amp distortion isn't likely what you really want
It requires volume levels that are often to high to deal with.Peavey Windsor head will get you JCM 800 type sounds fairly cheap. Down side is its a single channel amo
#4
T00DEEPBLUE monwobobbo Thanks, thats super insightful, I never really looked into the whole wattage to volume correlation but I was aware that It didnt make a drastic differece at all above a certain point until you start increasing it by large margins.
I was always under the impression that the benefits of a lower wattage valve amp was that power tube breakup can be achieved at much lower volumes, so is this false?
As for budget anything up to about £550 really, Im fine with buying used but will have to account for new tubes
Also, there really isnt that much selection nearby, living in rural south west England haha
#5
solclayton2000

Power tube break up can be achieved easier at lower wattage but again the volume needed to do so is really high and often not practical. Many clubs these days won't let you crank an amp up far enough, to loud. Why do you feel you need power amp distortion?
#7
solclayton2000

Not really the best. It has a sound that's cool but again not practical. Don't worry about getting that and concentrate on getting an amp that does the sounds you need
#8
The Quilter Mach 2 is solid state, but:


Specs:
http://www.quilterlabs.com/index.php/productpage/micropro-mach-2-head

If you're interested:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/QUILTER-LABS-MicroPro-Mach-2-Channel-Guitar-Amplifier-Head-/361968596971?hash=item54470277eb:g:KkYAAOSwLF1YAR-T

Note: don't worry about it being the US version. Quilters are made to handle most voltages worldwide, and come with plug adapters.
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#9
Speaker size and amount of speakers makes a difference as well. The more you have more soundwaves go out. You can get 2× 100-150 watt car speakers at 4 ohms but I seriously doubt it will be anything close to my vox ac30 VR with 12 inch celestions at 16 ohms.
#10
I play punk, mainly DBEAT.  I can tell you now, you should be able to get a good sound out of that.  To answer though, I played a Jet city for a while and it sounded great.  Not really sure what style of Punk you're playing, but if I were you I'd be thinking "push air and get a good gain"
"I definitely don’t write all my music in a blackout, like I used to, although I did come up with some good stuff in a blackout."
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#11
Out of what you listed, I'd lean towards the Laney cub head. Fitted to 2x12 cab should give you a good range.
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#12
Badluckpalms I play in a hardcore/d-beat band too (Discharge, Minor Threat, Bad Brains etc.) but I also do my own stuff and songs and I want that kinda Dag Nasty and Descendents sound

Picking a Jet City is hard, the 20 watters have EL84s, the 100 and 50 watters have 6L6s and the new Amelia is EL34s
#13
Quote by solclayton2000
Badluckpalms I play in a hardcore/d-beat band too (Discharge, Minor Threat, Bad Brains etc.) but I also do my own stuff and songs and I want that kinda Dag Nasty and Descendents sound

Picking a Jet City is hard, the 20 watters have EL84s, the 100 and 50 watters have 6L6s and the new Amelia is EL34s

Won't be a big difference in sound because of tubes
#14
If the tone was right in your blackstar ht5 and the only issue was that it wasn't loud enough then I think you would be happy with the ht20.  It'll give you a reasonable boost in volume and has pretty much the same bells and whistles and it's still got the signature HT sound, just a fuller version of that sound.  I'm not saying it's the best option, just saying that is the path I'd probably take.
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#15
Laney Ironheart, Orange, Jet City.  I like the Cub but it is more vintage voiced than the modern hi gain you crave. Egnator sucks rocks to my ears.

Ignore the tubes and just trust your ears.  Unlike marketing hype and sales puffery, the ears don't lie.  On a tight budget, Jet City is a slam dunk IMO.
"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

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Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 14, 2017,
#16
Just get the Jet City 100.  Which, I think, is what I recommended that last time around.  
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#17
Have you ever tried out one of the newer digital solutions? Something like a Kemper, or an Axe FX, or a Bias Head? 

You may really like these solutions, since they can be used at bedroom volumes without worrying about the tone suffering. 

I can't record a miced up amp to save my life and pushing something like a JCM at volumes that make any sense are just impossible in my apartment. 

I went with a Kemper and I'm quite happy with it. They have a version with a power amp section that allows you to drive a real cabinet as well, if that floats your boat. 

It is expensive, but probably cheaper in the long run than continuously buying amps. I have Marshalls, PRSes, Mesa Boogies, EVHs, ENGLs, Bogners, you name it. 

There is a bit of a discrepancy versus tube amps, but the feel is there and even guys like Andy Sneap and Michael Wagener use them. 

The Axe FX and Bias head are also supposed to be good, but I have little experience with them.
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#18
i dunno who around here recommended that orange, but it wasn't me

if you're in the UK, the jet city stuff is very good value

the laney gh series (the older ones, i dunno about the new ones) is more or less a modded jcm800, and can usually be got cheap used, if you're ok with used.

there's that new yerasov jcm800 clone too, but i haven't tried it.

Quote by Cajundaddy

Ignore the tubes and just trust your ears. Unlike marketing hype and sales puffery, the ears don't lie.


I dunno about that, what with the placebo and nocebo effects etc. i'd say they likely do

Quote by CorduroyEW
If the tone was right in your blackstar ht5 and the only issue was that it wasn't loud enough then I think you would be happy with the ht20. It'll give you a reasonable boost in volume and has pretty much the same bells and whistles and it's still got the signature HT sound, just a fuller version of that sound. I'm not saying it's the best option, just saying that is the path I'd probably take.


that's a fair point, actually. I don't like their advertising, very strongly implying (IMO) that hybrid amps are all-tube*, but if he knows he likes it, that's probably the safest option.

(* and they're not the only ones in his list of amps who are guilty of that, unfortunately )
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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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Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 15, 2017,
#19
I haven't any advice on what to buy, but I would say don't denigrate yourself because in this World there are plenty waiting to do it for you, so you would be better off talking up what you've done that's good.
Everyone makes mistakes, I gave away my 1970's Fender Princeton reverb amp because I didn't know all it needed were new tubes.

I would add; do you have to sell these amps you have had to finance a new amp? I would hang on to them.
#20
Tubemeister or Laney IRT studio. You sure you can't try for a JCM2000 DSL? That'd be perfect for your needs. Also look at Orange Tiny Terror lunchbox heads used, that'd also be perfect for your needs.

Did someone again mention Quilter?
#21
Quote by diabolical


Did someone again mention Quilter?

That youtube demo doesn't do either of those amps justice, he needs to take a class on amp micing.
#22
ThunderPunk Yeah at this point, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go for the 100HDM, thank you

Dave_Mc There's a few Laney's somewhat near me
Laney GH100L for £400 plus £20 shipping and the same guy is selling a 
Laney AOR Series II 8 knob 100w for £450 plus £20 shipping (or a 2 hour drive)
Can't say I've ever heard of Yerasov if I'm honest

33db Money's pretty tight for me, I'm a student and with any gear, it has to be 'the one'. I can't afford to have multiple heads or guitars or anything like that unfortunately
I spent weeks researching the right distortion pedal for me as theres no places near by to demo stuff hence why I ask a lot on forums and such

diabolical I had a JCM 2000 DSL but I sold it because the speakers I was playing it through made the amp sound awful, luckily, I didnt lose any money on it but there arent any more for sale any where near me  
Also, I dont like the idea of only having 1 EQ knob on those Orange Amps. I get that its supposed to be like 'But it sounds good wherever man' but I like to fiddle and tweak with my EQ's to get different sounds and stuff, I'm sure I'm not alone


Thanks for your replies
#23
solclayton2000 

little piece of advice. shopping for "the one" isn't the way to go especially if you can't try out the item (be it amps , fx etc) you tube videos and advice here are fine for starters but you are the only one that knows what works for you. i've found over the years that sometimes you just have to luck into things. i've bought a couple of guitars and amps over the years that i tried just for the hell of it and it turned out they were great for me. not ones i'd ever thought of buying or did any research on. 
#24
Quote by Dave_Mc
i dunno who around here recommended that orange, but it wasn't me


I found the old thread. One guy suggested it and both diabolical and I confirmed it as a suitable amp. Sorry it didn't work out man. I had more trouble getting it bright until switching to a British flavor cab. And the only time it fizzed was with EMGs with my current cab, but it could be dialed out.
Quote by diabolical

Did someone again mention Quilter?

I think they did!
I have been eyeballing them a lot lately, but same thing with with Jet City.

Could also throw a JCA50h on the list. If ordered from Amp Factory, a little extra dough can get you the HDM mod on one with a metal grill.
#25
That was a dig at me. I've recommended them a lot lately.


...partly because Reverend stopped making Amps a long time ago.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#26
Quote by Liaztraht
I found the old thread. One guy suggested it and both diabolical and I confirmed it as a suitable amp. Sorry it didn't work out man. I had more trouble getting it bright until switching to a British flavor cab. And the only time it fizzed was with EMGs with my current cab, but it could be dialed out.


haha no worries, i'm just lucky people don't post back what they thought of my advice

(fwiw I haven't tried the orange )
Quote by solclayton2000
ThunderPunk Yeah at this point, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go for the 100HDM, thank you

Dave_Mc There's a few Laney's somewhat near me
Laney GH100L for £400 plus £20 shipping and the same guy is selling a 
Laney AOR Series II 8 knob 100w for £450 plus £20 shipping (or a 2 hour drive)
Can't say I've ever heard of Yerasov if I'm honest


They're russian... I haven't tried them either, but they seem to have a good rep on the forums and in magazine reviews (not that i trust magazine reviews, but you know what i mean).
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#27
Hi, So im in talks with a guy about buying a Marshall JCM 2000 100 DSL Head

He said in the eBay listing that it was serviced by Marshall a couple years ago with new preamp and power tubes to boot. However, it wasnt him that serviced it, it was the previous owner, thus he dosent have any proof of this. Tried to get in touch with the previous owner but his eBay account is long gone

I asked him to show me the tubes themselves to see if I could date them from some markings on them Theyre marshall tubes alright but I cant tell if theyre newish or not

Also, as he has taken the tubes out from their sockets, will they need re-biasing or do tubes only need biasing when theyre replaced with new ones? Sorry, bit of a noob

http://imgur.com/a/ANyvw

Thanks