#1
Hello everyone, first time poster here. Been playing guitar for about 11 years now and am looking for some recommendations on an amp. Apart from some rather bad 15 watt solid state practice amps, the only thing I've ever actually owned has been a Line 6 TonePort UX1 interface I use with software on the computer. It's fine for recording riffs for later on I want to remember but as most will probably attest...Line 6 anything isn't exactly "great" gear.

There have been a few times I could have picked up an amp, but I've never been quite 100% sure what I wanted to get, and I want to wait and get something that will serve me for a good while. Most of what I play is metal; everything from Metallica to Decapitated, The Sword to Sleep. I realize there isn't one golden amp that will do it all (and do it all well), but I want to get something well-rounded enough to be able to cover a good majority of styles if need be.

For the longest time I was dead-set on getting a Dual/Triple Rectifier, but in recent years I've really grown to like Orange amps as well, specifically the Rockerverb and the Dual Dark. Both of those amsp seem kind of one-track to me though; you have the Mesa with the tight, high-gain American style sound and the Orange with the fuzzier, more loose and crunchy British sound, both of which I like. I have seen videos of people playing both and getting fuzzy tones from Mesas and more tight sounds from Orange, but I haven't had the chance to play on either fully (have played on both, but not "wide open").

Apart from these, I don't really know what else might fit the bill for something I'm looking for. I would like to get something that is good but I don't want to spend a small fortune on an amp either. With that said, does anyone have any recommendations about either of those amsp, or possibly any others that might fit what I'm looking for? 
#2
What kind of budget are you realistically looking at?
Not taking any online orders.
#3
Look into the higher end more versatile Mesa Dual Recs - the Roadster and RoadKing II.

The power wattage and rectification options will be very useful for switching between tight and saggy tones.

You get more preamp modes across 4 channels - Clean, Fat, Tweed, Brit, Raw, Vintage, and Modern with most repeated across channels for more options.

Lush spring reverb with a great FX loop and most of the power options assignable per channel.

I picked up my Roadster used for a great price.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
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. . .
#4
If you're looking for something really nice, but also small, try out the Victory Kraken. This is my favorite metal amp and I own a couple (including more top-range expensive Diezels).
It has two Gain channels, one more vintage style metal and one for modern tones. But don't be fooled, you roll back the volume on your guitar or using a volume pedal and this thing really cleans up nicely. It is so dynamic and responsive. It's a little pricey but it's great for home use and for gigging. 
It's 50 Watts, has an effects loop and can be put in a lower power mode for home practice. 
It can cover a lot of metal genres. Definetely try it out.
Hooper drives the boat chief...
#5
I would recommend the Mesa Boogie Marv V 35w or 25w amps. They have 2 great clean modes, a phenomenal crunch mode and 3 hi-gain modes (IIC+, mark IV and Extreme). You should be able to cover a very wide range. 

IMO, the dual rec is a great amp but not as versatile as the Mark series.  Again, IMO, the regular dual rec also need a little volume to sound optimal. As mentioned above, the road king or roadster are more flexible, however, more costly. I still prefer the Mark, but you may like. 

As for Orange, they are fine but again, not extremely flexible. Can be a little fizzy at lower volumes. 
#6
Mesa, Laney, Orange.  Pick one and learn to master the tool.
"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
#7
Find a Randall RM100. Then populate it with modules from either of these guys.
http://salvationaudio.com/index.php?page=modifications
http://www.jadedfaithmods.com/mts-mods.html
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
#8
So will you be feeding pedals in on this amp?  pedalboard, or a digital multi-effect board?
Fender Lefty Stratocaster
Ernie Ball Super Slinky Purple Strings
Vox AC15
Misc. Pedals
#9
I'm glad you guys mentioned the Mark series beacuse I totally forgot about those, but have looked at them in the past.  I've never been able to plug into one and play though.  As far as price...stuff like Diezel or boutique amps like that would be out of what I'd be comfortable spending on a first "real" amplifier.  I'd say stuff like the Orange gear is honestly probably pushing it in terms of price, but if it was great I wouldn't be totally opposed to spending something in that range.  It would just have to really be something great.

A friend of mine has a Roadster 2x12 and from what I heard of it, sounded pretty good, but then again, I've never heard a Mesa I didn't think sounded at least decent.  Can't say I have any experience with either Victory or Randall, but a lot of popular guitarists I follow on YouTube have had positive things to say about Randall amps and mic'd up correctly they always seem to sound good.  

As far as pedals and whatnot, that's a whole other thing on its own.  Starting off I'd probably just want something like a noise gate and OD pedal, but there are some indie pedalmakers out there (Dunwich Amps comes to mind) that make off-the-wall stuff I think is really cool I'd like to get in the future.  I'm really into stoner/doom metal, which is why I was considering Orange amps, but like I mentioned before, I still like to riff on thrashy/fast stuff too.
#10
Randall 667
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#11
Look into the Blackstar HT Metal amps.  They play clean but can also go to those metal tones. emulated out also.
Fender Lefty Stratocaster
Ernie Ball Super Slinky Purple Strings
Vox AC15
Misc. Pedals
#13
The RM100 has a great power amp. You can throw just about any octal power tubes you like into it. Biasing is all available on the back panel. Seriously, a monkey could be trained to do it. So not only is the preamp completely tailorable, the power amp can be tailored to fit too. Want 6L6 sound? Maybe some 6V6's to play some blues. It will take anything. The don't even have to be matched sets, there is a bias pot for every power tube.
And as for the preamp, well just look at how many amps you can buy for it. I have two SLO, Marshall plexi to JCM800, Mesa Mark 2C and Fender bassman. And because they are real tube circuits, they sound bang on. You want versatile, well you can make an RM100 into just about any amp you want.
 I just need to pick which three modules I want to run and I'm ready to roll. 
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 Jul 14, 2017,
#14
There's a rumor that Randall is not doing well financially right now, so they might be going under...again...something to watch out in case you're buying new amp.

It really depends on how much wattage you need, but can't go wrong with Mesa. I own Mesa Mini Recto - great amp, and it has two modes for distortion so you go modern or old school, which is 80s thrash.

The Mark V is probably the most versatile and a great amp. IF you think you're going to gig, go for the bigger version as it has a step down attenuation so you could use that for home practice.

Can't go wrong with Orange tube either, the Rockerverb II and III are fantastic amps, or their smaller ones, I love everything they do as well.

My 1st pick for overall versatility would be the Mark V line. There's also the Petrucci Mark series which is off of mkII I think - great amp as well, some cooler stage features than the mark V for more stage pedal control such as solo boosts, eq sections, etc. Look into that one as well. In my case - it is a matter of either / or - I like the markV a little bit more tonally, but the Petrucci has a lot more stage control.

I would advise against any Blackstar purchase, unless you're getting Artisan series but they've been discontinued.

You can look at Friedman amps if you want more of a Marshall tone, they're a proper take on a Marshall amp nowadays.

The Marshall line is also decent but I wouldn't put it against Orange or Mesa. Honestly, my first pick will be Mesa Mark V.
#15
It doesn't matter if Randall go belly up. An RM100 will be used anyway and you don't use Randall modules, the third party ones I linked to are much better.
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
if you can find a MESA DC-5, they have a hotrod fender clean channel w/ pull boost and a high gain channel w/ more gain then you will ever need. and go for about $650 used. I swear by mine
#18
If you want flexibility - Mesa is probably the best "affordable" choice if you want a truly flexible amp.  The new Rectoverb 1x12 sounds great.  The Express, Mark V also sound great. The Mark V combo is probably the best bet but it's expensive. They've released a new line called triple crown as well - those sound great. 

I have the Mesa Lonestar Special 1x12 and I adore it.  I play in a blues band and a prog/metal type band and it kills in both scenarios.  However, for very high gain music it's not ideal - but it can still pull off heavy tones. The cleans are jaw dropping on it.
 
#20
Kinda hard to beat the 90w Mark V for versatility, but not sure the OP has the money to buy one :P
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#21
 I'd second the blackstar amps. They have a built in option that'll let you switch between american style amps and british style amps for clean or overdriven channels, plus all the standard knobs and switches.  
#22
The Mesa Mark V 25W. The most versatile you'll ever get. Boutique cleans, amazing crunch channel that with a nice fuzz/distortion can get those awesome stoner metal crunchy tones, and it's three hi gain modes (Mark IV for nice leads, IIC+ for the thrash stuff, and Extreme for the heavy modern stuff) all sound excellent. It also has a really useful mid boost knob. Rumour has it that if you play around enough you can manage to get a Dumble like tone. Seriously, it can do anything... for $1400.

The second best for you would probably be the Roadster.
#23
Another vote for the Mark V. But at that price, you could also spend about $200-300 more and get a Kemper. Then you could just try out all the high gain amps you want without worrying that you're stuck with a particular sound. 

Another option is a used Axe FX Ultra. They're discontinued, but the tone seemed to be good enough for bands to use them on actual records. But keep in mind that some people love the Axe, and some hate it passionately. 
Strandberg Boden 8-String Ibanez RG2228
Fender HM Strat ESP Horizon-II Five-String Bass
Roland TD-30K Mesa Boogie Mark V:25
EVH5150III 50-Watt Yamaha Motif Rack XS
Access Virus TI Snow Polyend Perc Pro
#24
I'd take a 667 over a mark v any day for modern stuff but they are holding their price pretty well.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#27
Quote by dspellman
There's a rumor that one of those companies has done modules for my old Egnater M4 preamp....


All these modules work in the m4
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#28
Quote by BFG_9000
as most will probably attest...Line 6 anything isn't exactly "great" gear. 


I'm not one of those who will attest to that, sorry. But if you're using the cheap end of the stick, you get what you deserve.

That said, it's a brave new world. A modeler and a power amp and you're good to go. Axe-FX, Amplifire, Kemper, Helix, HD500 -- all will offer a wide variety of amp sounds. Power amps are cheap and lightweight (I think that Seymour Duncan now has a new line of compact power amps "designed specifically for guitar players," yada yada). Huge array of options there.

If you can find an old Egnater M4 like mine, you can do the Randall-style modules (Egnater invented and licenses the modular technology to randall). It's a tube preamp, so you can run almost anything behind it, from a tube power amp (there are still lots out there from Marshall, Carvin, Mesa, etc.) that weighs 25-50 lbs to a 2000W rack mount that weighs under 10 (and costs considerably less than the tubers).
#29
Quote by AcousticMirror
All these modules work in the m4


I think you missed it. I'm using them.
#30
Quote by dspellman
I think you missed it. I'm using them.


What eve happened to Bruce. Those new modular amps were supposed to be done years ago.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#31
metalmingee best variety amp i have ever used is the fender g deck,you can get any sound you want from it. to get it louder put a bypass jack into the back of the speaker cabinate and plug it into a marshal
#32
Quote by Cathbard
Find a Randall RM100. Then populate it with modules from either of these guys.
http://salvationaudio.com/index.php?page=modifications
http://www.jadedfaithmods.com/mts-mods.html


IMO, this is the best option.