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#1
Hello, everyone! This is my first post on here, and I'm very excited to join the UG community!

So, I've decided that my rig needs an upgrade. I've already thrown out my crappy Squier and gotten myself a Fender American Standard HH Telecaster! It feels amazing.

So now I need an amp, and I'm a little stumped My budget is 2k-3k, and I'm fine with buying it used from Reverb.com or eBay. It should have fairly decent cleans, as I love to play jazz and blues. The distortion channel should be versatile enough to do bands like Radiohead, Incubus, Muse, Placebo, etc, and I also like to play some heavy metal occasionally  

If you could recommend a cabinet to go with your amp suggestion, that would be very much appreciated. But combos are fine too.

I don't mind the wattage, as long as it's not crazy low with no headroom or mind numbingly loud with too much headroom, :P Also, I would like all the distortion to come from the amp, as I'm not a very big pedal guy.

I hope this is enough information for you guys

Thanks!
Last edited by kalops at Jul 18, 2017,
#4
It is quite personal at this point and your budget is great for a good quality amp.

You'd have to decide if you like combos and exactly what wattage you're after.

Personally I'd go with a head + 2x12 cab, probably my first pick would be Mesa, Mark V probably with its 2x12.
Orange Rockerverb MkII or MKIII 50 watt would probably be my 2nd pick.

Some other amps to look at after that would be Fryette Sig X or Pitbull, Soldano SLO 50 or 100 watter, Friedman amps, Marshall DSL JCM2000 or JVM.
I think you're also in the price range of Bogner which are also fantastic amps, can also look into some of the H&K range as well. There is also ENGL, maybe the Blackmore amp, which can cover everything as well.

Maybe even look up some more boutique brands like Metropolos or Dr. Z., like the EMS:
http://drzamps.com/product/ems/

As far as one package with almost unlimited versatility, I'd say the Mesa Mark series, you can evnego back a bit and pick the older iterations, but the Mark V can cover anything, from country to death metal and do it well. Same thing with the Orange which will probably be my 2nd pick. They're not as flexible / with as many channels as the Mesa Mark V but with volume variations and tone knob and maybe a bit of boost (for death metal) it could probably do everything as well.

You might also take some time and discover whether you prefer the Marshall punchy piercing tone or the more rounded slightly fuzzier and warmer tone of a Mesa, then go from there.
#5
I'll 2nd a mesa mk 5. With that kind of budget though you really out to have a better idea of what you want. I'd really try to check out as many amps first hand as you can.
#6
Mesa Royal Atlantic 100w heads (discontinued, so used only) go for @$1000 on eBay & Reverb. Their new Triple Crown is a 50w beast, and goes for @$1800.

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!
#7
you have a lot of options at that price range IMO. i would look around for a bit before dropping the cash.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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****** NEW NEW NEW!
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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/
#8
Quote by kalops
AcousticMirror 
I see you recommending that amp a lot!

It looks pretty complicated, is it easy to figure out?


It just has 6 normal channels. It's about as good as any amp I've ever played. Great value if you can find one used.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#9
With that list... Jazz to Metal and a 2K-3K budget, maybe two good amps might be a better route...
#10
Kemper or Bogner Helios.  I've really been thinking of selling all my amps and just going to a Kemper myself.
#11
If you want the most extreme versatility, with that budget I would probably go Kemper as well. If you're really averse to the idea I think you'd probably be better off getting two or three solid amps that each do a certain range of the tones you're looking for really well (like maybe an Ampeg for jazz and blues with a Splawn or JCM2000 for crunchier sounds, or something like that), but I think a Kemper is probably going to be your best bet.
#12
Mark v. I've got a mark iv and it was pretty much my end game amp. I get GAS for a new amp occasionally but after some listening I realize that nothing really sounds better than my Mark and it can go from super clean to high gain and nice crunch too.

I don't need a thousand tones though. If I have a good high gain, clean, and crunch tone than I am 100% covered. if you need the versatility than something like a kemper or axefx would be nice.
Last edited by risingforce1 at Jul 18, 2017,
#13
Xander_X LysanderSpoon 

I tried a Kemper once... it didn't feel as nice as a normal tube amp would. Idk why, I just didn't really like it too much :/

The Ampeg/Splawn/JCM 2000 mix doesn't sound too bad. I've heard that the JCM 2000's have reliability issues though :/ What Ampeg amp do you recommend for good cleans? Also is Soldano a good option for the distortion? I've heard pretty good things about Soldano amps, especially the SLO-100 and Hot Rod 50+.

The Mark V also looks like a good option. I'd have to get it used though.
#14
I have a late-60s Ampeg Jet and it's fantastic for cleans. There were a couple of variations; early production used 6V6s, I think (maybe 6L6s, I don't really remember, but they're low-wattage so I assume not), and got better early breakup/drive sounds, but the jazz players they were marketed to didn't like that and later production, like mine, used 7591s. It has a built-in tremolo that's quite good as well. The Reverberocket has more power and, naturally, a built-in reverb; tonally, I think it's fairly similar, but I've never gotten to use one so I can't say with complete confidence. Either could be found for less than half of your budget. (There's a reissue Reverberocket from the late 90s/early 2000s as well; I've seen some people insist that the reissues are garbage compared to the originals, but I'm not sure how much of that is cork-sniffing. Since I've also seen people insist the reissue is perfectly fine, and I can't tell a difference from demos, I'd guess mostly cork-sniffing tbh.)

For the JCM2000s, my understanding is the DSL models are pretty good, the TSLs considerably less so. I've played DSL 2000s, but never owned one, so I can't completely vouch for the reliability. Of course with your budget you could also do a JCM800 combo even with buying a Reverberocket, so that might be worth looking into too. And then Splawn has a lot of models that do basically "classic Marshall, but with modern improvements and consistent quality"; I've never owned one, but they were all the rage here for a long time and I'm sure somebody who owns (or owned) one can chime in with more about them.
#15
Quote by kalops
Hello, everyone! This is my first post on here, and I'm very excited to join the UG community!

So, I've decided that my rig needs an upgrade. I've already thrown out my crappy Squier and gotten myself a Fender American Standard HH Telecaster! It feels amazing.

So now I need an amp, and I'm a little stumped My budget is 2k-3k, and I'm fine with buying it used from Reverb.com or eBay. It should have fairly decent cleans, as I love to play jazz and blues. The distortion channel should be versatile enough to do bands like Radiohead, Incubus, Muse, Placebo, etc, and I also like to play some heavy metal occasionally  

If you could recommend a cabinet to go with your amp suggestion, that would be very much appreciated. But combos are fine too.

I don't mind the wattage, as long as it's not crazy low with no headroom or mind numbingly loud with too much headroom, :P Also, I would like all the distortion to come from the amp, as I'm not a very big pedal guy.

I hope this is enough information for you guys

Thanks!


Strong recommendatiom for the Lonestar Special 1×12 combo. I play in a blues bamd and a proggier band - it covers a ton of ground. It instantly sounds professional.
#16
Bad Cat or Budda.  Super glassy cleans, very easy to crunchify, very responsive amps imo, and easily approach metal tones (depending on model).  Two brands I've always been super impressed by, yet don't often get plugs by anybody.  Something worth checking out.  
"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."
-Matt Fucking Pike
#17
Some other options:

Mesa Roadster - It's the Dual Rectifier family but with way better clean and tweed options - 4 Channels
Budda Alex Skolnick Signature - he uses this for the Jazz band and Testament.  
Engl PowerBall II or Invader II
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. . .
#18
Quote by Badluckpalms
Bad Cat or Budda.  Super glassy cleans, very easy to crunchify, very responsive amps imo, and easily approach metal tones (depending on model).  Two brands I've always been super impressed by, yet don't often get plugs by anybody.  Something worth checking out.  


+1 i would love me a budda superdrive. nice amps. shame that they don't get mentioned more.
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/
#19
kalops

The SLO is godly. It has one of my favourite high gain tones. More 80's boosted mids kind of tone than the darker modern type. I don't think it's versatile though and it's pretty expensive for what it is. With 3K you could always get a nice amp for clean/blues and get a used 5150/6505 head for metal which can be had for around $800 used.

With guitar amps, I find that for the most part the popular amps are popular for a reason and every modeller tries to copy them for same reason. JCM 800, Recto, Mark 2c, AC30, 6505, SLO, etc. Listening to at least some samples of all of these will give you a good idea of what you like And the ability to describe it to us.
#20
Quote by trashedlostfdup
+1 i would love me a budda superdrive. nice amps. shame that they don't get mentioned more.

Seriously one of the best amps I've ever played
"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."
-Matt Fucking Pike
#22
Alright so these are the options I'm considering:

1. Ampeg Jet/Reverberocket and DSL JCM 2000/Splawn Quickrod (I've heard that the QR sounds much better than the JCM 2000 though)
2. Mesa Lonestar
3. Mesa Mark V
4. SLO-100
5. Budda Superdrive

So now we've gotta boil these down to one option to find the perfect amp for me! Which ones should I rule out?
Last edited by kalops at Jul 19, 2017,
#23
The only one that's versatile out of those is the mark v.
The slo is really good but it only does 2 things.
The splawn does three things.
And the mark v does everything the lone star can do.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#24
Quote by AcousticMirror

And the mark v does everything the lone star can do.

The Lonestar Special has a specific tone that you won't get from any other Mesa amp - it's more geared towards clean, but the distortion is still good.  For blues or punchy vintage tones the Lonestar can't be beat in Mesa's lineup. If you're primary concern is clean and dirty clean, then the Lonestar Special is a great option which is worth checking out.  The Mark obviously kills it for heavy tones and overall versatility and if you're more geared towards heavy tones it's the better amp.

   
#26
Fryette Sig:x would be a contender too.

FYI i also have a mesa mkiv and they are both great.
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/
#27
Quote by AcousticMirror
The only one that's versatile out of those is the mark v.
The slo is really good but it only does 2 things.
The splawn does three things.
And the mark v does everything the lone star can do.

The Lone Star was my first amp and the circuit was recreated in the Road King II. It does sound closer in my Road King II than my Mark V. I believe the Roadster has the same circuit and comes close to the original Lone Star.

kalops, you can snag the Roadster for ~$1000 (check the Mesa thread).

You also need to consider the Suhr/CAA PT100 and/or OD100SE+. I've seen these go as low as $1350 in the SF Bay Area but you can find them regularly for ~$1800 if you're patient.

Buy the Diezel VH4 or the Bogner Uberschall Twin Jet if you're more into brootz.

A used ENGL SE E 670 would be in your budget and is quite versatile and bullet-proof.
#28
Quote by Ippon
The Lone Star was my first amp and the circuit was recreated in the Road King II.  It does sound closer in my Road King II than my Mark V.  I believe the Roadster has the same circuit and comes close to the original Lone Star.


Note that the Lonestar Special is a completely different amp than the regular Lonestar - they use different tube types ( 6L6 v.  El 84) 
#29
Quote by kalops
Alright so these are the options I'm considering:

1. Ampeg Jet/Reverberocket and DSL JCM 2000/Splawn Quickrod (I've heard that the QR sounds much better than the JCM 2000 though) The Reverberocket you can get for $350 all day long. The JCM2000 and QuickRod will be meh compared to some of the other recommendations. Check out the Bogner Ecstasy 101B
2. Mesa Lonestar (only if it's the older/original version) but you can get this with the Road King II
3. Mesa Mark V or Road King II or ENGL SE E670
4. SLO-100 not as versatile as the CCA PT 100 or OD 100SE+
5. Budda Superdrive Rivera KTre or KTre Reverb would be more versatile

So now we've gotta boil these down to one option to find the perfect amp for me! Which ones should I rule out?

FTFY
Quote by jackmiddlemiss
DIEZEL VH4 - a hard beast to tame but it's worth it!

Channel 3 is pretty easy to master. Channel 1 can do a passable Clean.
Quote by reverb66
Note that the Lonestar Special is a completely different amp than the regular Lonestar - they use different tube types ( 6L6 v. El 84)

Yep, mine was the original and is better than the new version, an opinion. The Road King II has the original Lone Star tone.
#30
For the distortion, the two main tones I'm gonna try to replicate are the distortion tones from the album "S.C.I.E.N.C.E." by Incubus (a Mesa Tremoverb) and the crunchy tones from the album "Showbiz" by Muse (a JCM 2000).

And the cleans aren't THAT important, I'm more interested in the distortion. So... what amp can accurately get an american Mesa type tone and a british Marshally tone? I'm guessing the Soldano cause it's american distortion, but is also based off of a Marshall...

I think I'm leaning towards the SLO.
#31
Maybe also look at these - Rivera Knucklehead Tre
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KnuckleHeadT?SID=-1&utm_source=MSN&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=none&utm_term=rivera_knucklehead&creative=78202787196660&device=c&matchtype=e

Bogner Shiva
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ShivaHDRV

I think these are kinda in between, the Rivera is closer to Mesa, Bogner closer to Marshall.

I still think Mark V might be able to go these sounds.
#33
Any decent Mesa amp should get it done.  Most can be found used under $1200 if you are patient.
"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
#35
kalops

Hey! You and me have pretty similar music tastes! I love science and showbiz, one of my two favourite albums. I don't really like Placebo too much though. I'm looking to get an SLO myself
#38
Good luck sir!

I'd have recommended a Mark 5:25 or TC-50. Only because I own both and they can both do everything you listed.
Guitars
- Strandberg OS6, Strandberg CL7, Gibson LP Studio, S570DXQM, RG7421, Mayer Strat, Partscaster

Amps
- TC-50, Mark Five:25, Invective (soon), Vypyr 60
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