#1
Okay. So I've been playing guitar for going on 11 years. I started with a Crate GX15 (1x8, 15-watts) , used that for about 2 years. Sold that off and got a Peavey Backstage (1x10, 40-watts). I've been stuck using that same Peavey all these years.

I'm finding myself desperately looking to upgrade to something nice. I'm all of my reading and research thus far, I've discovered the following.

- UG users seem to be heavily biased towards tubes over solid states models.
- UG users seem to hate Line 6 more than anything ever.
- UG users seem to discount the reviews on either Guitar Center, Musicians Friend and sometimes on Harmony Central.

I haven't personally sat down at any shop to really "test" any amplifiers out, I try to sample as much "sounds" online that I can. I realize that this will truly only give me a basic idea. As the effects and type of pickups I run in my guitars will change the tone along the way.

I understand pretty clearly the difference between solid states and tubes as far as the "loudness" is concerned dealing with the wattages. What is not clearly stated on these forums is what levels of wattages are suggested for what setting (bedroom, small venue, large venue, concert hall, stadium, etc). My 40-watt Peavey is more than enough for my bedroom, but what about a small venue? I never turn the pre and post gains up past half. More than that is too much for my condo.

I am all about buying used gear when I feel it's justified over spending mad cash on something brand new. So, I've been scouring ebay for solid state and tube heads. I am looking to take my playing to another level in the next two years and preparing to play with a group down the road. I like the idea of a head with a 2x12 cab.

I am becoming more interested in my tone. I have a feeling that at this crossroads if I do not buy a tube unit, I'm going to kick myself. But, JUST how much better is a tube unit over a solid state, provided you buy the right gear?


I'm looking at these used models:

- Crate GT50H Stealth Head (Tube, 50-watts)
- Fender Stage 100 DSP Head (Solid State, 100-watts)
- Peavey Ultra 60 Head (Tube, 60-watts) - Was the Ultra 212 combo converted into a head.


Any positive input is suggested. Thank you.
#3
depends on what style your looking for, personally, I'd say a crate head with a well suited cab, that'd do upto moderate size venues. the fender, although loud will be 100% shocking if your looking for tone, keep to analogue amps and stay away from modelling as there is a big difference in quality, think ipod compared to live band. 100watt in solid state will do large venues, and in tubes, go for a 60-80watt and remember...the more speakers, the better
#4
What amplifier do I need?

That depends on whether you want a valve or solid-state amp. That decision is a matter of nothing but personal taste, but its important as follows.

One of the differences between valve and SS amps is valves sound louder to the human ear (they aren?t actually any louder they just sound it).

As a rule we have for SS:

10-30W: practice on your own.
30-50W: practice with a band or recording.
50 to 100W (or more): Gigs (as much wattage as you ever need)

And for valves:

<20W: practice on your own
20-30W Band practice/Recording
30-50W Gigging.
>50W Hearing damage.

Note there are overlaps because you can use any given wattage of amp at different volumes and for different purposes (!).

Don?t get an amp just for a tremendous wattage. Get one that you like the sound of and suits your needs. And when considering gigs, remember that the largest venues always have a house PA, which you can mike a small amp up through.


I copied that from the the "Amps Q and A thread and Only Which Amp Thread"
#5
Quote by boomyouscream
what type of music do you play?
what is your guitar setup?


Currently I'm just playing classic rock, hard rock, a little bit of metal tossed in there good measure. I figure I want to get more into progressive rock/metal as I improve as a player.

As far as guitar setup, my three playable guitars at the moment are: 1997 Ibanez 270DX, 2006 Schecter Omen-6 and a Les Paul knock off with a set neck. The only gear I'm running currently is a Korg AX10G effects processor. This unit isn't too bad, but I'd like to try some other stuff out. I intend to change to something else down the road.
#6
Quote by guitarplaya1331

I copied that from the the "Amps Q and A thread and Only Which Amp Thread"


I do recall reading that now. Thanks for the refresher. However, if > 50-watts on a tube model is deafening, why are there units sold with much more? I see tube heads running 100-120 watts.
#7
I don't know about the 3 you listed but for rock/hard and some metal. I'd probably suggest you look at marshall, ENGL, Orange.. They should be versatile enough for those types of genres. The ENGLs are mainly about super high gain but the cleans on them are pretty good for that. I quite like them.

Marshall are marshall..

And Orange has amazing clean/crunch and overdrive but depending what kind of metal you play it might not be quite high gain enough.
#8
Quote by TheDev01dOne
I don't know about the 3 you listed but for rock/hard and some metal. I'd probably suggest you look at marshall, ENGL, Orange.. They should be versatile enough for those types of genres. The ENGLs are mainly about super high gain but the cleans on them are pretty good for that. I quite like them.

Marshall are marshall..

And Orange has amazing clean/crunch and overdrive but depending what kind of metal you play it might not be quite high gain enough.


Just did a quick peek on ebay for what might be used.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ENGL-SCREAMER-50-HEAD_W0QQitemZ260017658764QQcategoryZ43375QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem
$1200 for what I assume is 50-watts.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Orange-AD30TC-30-Watt-2x12-Combo-Guitar-Amplifier-Amp_W0QQitemZ200090053823QQcategoryZ10171QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
$1800 for a 30-watt combo

http://cgi.ebay.com/Marshall-AVT50-Namm-100th-Anniversary-Collectable-Rare_W0QQitemZ200088664497QQcategoryZ38075QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
$400 for a 50-watt combo

http://cgi.ebay.com/Marshall-TSL-601-all-tube-1x12-combo-EL34s-w-Celestion_W0QQitemZ230106010809QQcategoryZ38075QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
$800 for a 60-watt combo


Thank you for the input. I'm not quite sure we're on the same budget level here. The $400 Marshall unit is closest to what I'm looking to spend. Out of the three to mentioned, Marshall is what I would be interested in most due to price and appearance. I am not a fan of the "vintage look". While I realize that has nothing to do with tone, it's somewhat important to me when I spend my money.

I don't think that my wallet could handle anything like these for quite sometime. On top of that, I don't think my current status of playing would do these justice. Seems like a waste at my current ability.
#9
^Don't get the AVT.

Look into the TSL, DSL series. Depending on what you want in metal though...

And ENGL is just metal...period -_-. Anyway, as for orange, the AD series are real nice amps--but in all means, not suited for metal at all. They have less gain than the rocker series and the rocker series can't do hardxcore metal on their own either. From devoid, it sounds as iff the thunderverb is quite metal itself. But like he said, it all depends on what type of metal you'll be playing.

And don't worry about your playing not being able to do your new gear justice...I feel the same way and so do a lot of others with GAS. If you can afford it and you like it, then you deserve it!

For the cheaper price, Marshall would best suite you (as I would think)
Co-Founder of the Orange Revolution Club


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#10
Quote by Jinskee

And don't worry about your playing not being able to do your new gear justice...I feel the same way and so do a lot of others with GAS. If you can afford it and you like it, then you deserve it!

For the cheaper price, Marshall would best suite you (as I would think)


Thank you for the comment. But, I still think all of that stuff is above my price range and would be for awhile.
#11
So you'd rather go and buy another amp only slightly better than your amp now, than wait a while and buy an amp that you can keep as long as you like and it's not going to start sucking when the new amp feel has worn off?

What size gigs are you doing? Or are you just playing in your bedroom?

Either way I'd suggest a tube amp, but we need to know how many watts you need.

So you play metal. I'm no expert, but from scouring these forums for quite a while now, I've seen recommendations, and I'm sure someone could back me up on atleast some.

Marshall DSL401.

B-52 AT series. Various sizes, heads or combos.

Crate amps (not sure which)

Traynor amps (not sure how high gain these are, I've heard about them being compared to Marshall).

As I say, I'm not in America or anything so I won't be the best guy to ask, but I figured I'd try to help as much as I could based on the knowledge I've gained.

good luck!
Fender 60th Anniversary Standard Strat,
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#12
Quote by This_Kidd
So you'd rather go and buy another amp only slightly better than your amp now, than wait a while and buy an amp that you can keep as long as you like and it's not going to start sucking when the new amp feel has worn off?


Maybe we're not on the same page. Going from a 40-watt solid state that is something like 20 years old to a 50 or 60-watt tube unit that isn't as old is only slightly better? From everything I've read so far about the differences in SS vs. Tube, that isn't the case - from my perspective. What am I missing?

Quote by This_Kidd

What size gigs are you doing? Or are you just playing in your bedroom?


I stated that currently I play in my bedroom. I am planning for the short-term futu re with this purchase. I intend to play with a group shortly and would like to see myself playing live in the next two years.

Quote by This_Kidd

Either way I'd suggest a tube amp, but we need to know how many watts you need.


The only reference point that I truly have is my person 40-watt solid state unit that I've been using for 9 or 10 years now. It's served me well and it's own purpose. I have a friend with a new 60-watt Line 6 solid state combo that I've played with a little bit, but not entirely satisfied with it's performance. I see many tube heads that are 100-120 watts. Yet, according the copied text in this post from the stickied thread about tube amps anything great than 50-watts in a tube unit is deafening. It's hard for me to say exactly what I need in the way of watts (assuming we're referring specifically to a tube unit). That's why I settled on the two used tube heads I found on ebay. They're in the same ball park as my current amp with power, only tube and not solid state.

Quote by This_Kidd

So you play metal. I'm no expert, but from scouring these forums for quite a while now, I've seen recommendations, and I'm sure someone could back me up on atleast some.


I put metal last on my list of what I play. I'm not sure I'd put that as a priority when it comes to my amplifier choice.

Quote by This_Kidd

As I say, I'm not in America or anything so I won't be the best guy to ask, but I figured I'd try to help as much as I could based on the knowledge I've gained.

good luck!


I do appreciate the input, but I think you skimmed over my posts in this thread a bit.
#13
ah yeah sorry, I did skim it quite abit.

I said about you buying one that would only be slightly better, because you were saying that the only one in your price-range was the Marshall AVT, which is not a tube amp (and has a bad reputation round here).

Sorry I don't know why I thought you were only after metal. I still think my recommendations are alright for what you want. the Marshall DSL401 will be perfect for what you want. It'll sound good at low volumes (tube amps DO NOT sound bad at low volumes) and it'll be loud enough for pretty much anything you want to do (anything that is too big to use the amp in should have a PA).

Hope I've been of some help :s.

Edit: whats you price limit?
Fender 60th Anniversary Standard Strat,
Epiphone Les Paul ES,
Line6 Flextone III,
Laney VC15,
Some pedals,
Some recording gear.
Last edited by This_Kidd at Mar 19, 2007,
#14
Marshall DSL 401, great little combo, you should be able to pick one up in your price range. Or maybe check out a Laney VC 30...not sure of the price on that one though

EDIT: the Laney could be slightly above your budget at £374(british) but i wuld seriously recommend it
MIA Fender Strat
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Last edited by Bossman123 at Mar 19, 2007,
#15
^The laney vc30 is a great amp, however I feel it might not be high enough gain, and for him to buy an amp that is designed for clean, blues and classic rock seems a waste of 2/3rds of it's potential as opposed to buying the Marshall which is designed for exactly what he wants.

edit: yeah and it'd be more expensive in America than The UK anyway, as they're manufactured in England.
Fender 60th Anniversary Standard Strat,
Epiphone Les Paul ES,
Line6 Flextone III,
Laney VC15,
Some pedals,
Some recording gear.
#16
What exactly is your price range?

If you have about $600 you could get a Fender Blues/Hot Rod Deluxe and then later you could buy a overdrive to add more distortion. From what I gather from your situation I don't think your going to need anything more than 50w tube. I think something in the 30-40w tube range will suit you best. Look into the epiphone tube line. The standards are supposed to be real nice but their only 15w tube which would be great for practice/bedroom but I don't know about gigging. You would probably need to mic it.

Make sure you know exactly what tone you want and be sure of your sound.
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#17
You should also look at Mesa Boogie amps like the Dual Rectifier( there is also a single and triple rectifier).
#18
Quote by This_Kidd
ah yeah sorry, I did skim it quite abit.

I said about you buying one that would only be slightly better, because you were saying that the only one in your price-range was the Marshall AVT, which is not a tube amp (and has a bad reputation round here).


Out of those I picked out from ebay, sure. But, I created this thread asking for input on the three heads in my first post.

Quote by This_Kidd

Edit: whats you price limit?


I figure I don't really want to spend more than $300-400 for a used head. I intend to build a 2x12 cabinet myself.
#19
Quote by Bossman123
Marshall DSL 401, great little combo, you should be able to pick one up in your price range. Or maybe check out a Laney VC 30...not sure of the price on that one though

EDIT: the Laney could be slightly above your budget at £374(british) but i wuld seriously recommend it


I'm afraid that the Marshall DSL 401 is quite a bit out of my price range. $575 is what I see for a used unit.

The Laney VC 30 is right at the edge of my budget for a used model. I see about $400. Not crazy with the cosmetic aspects of it. But I will consider it. I just fell more interested in a head with 2x12 cabinet.
#20
Quote by Supernova5
What exactly is your price range?

If you have about $600 you could get a Fender Blues/Hot Rod Deluxe and then later you could buy a overdrive to add more distortion. From what I gather from your situation I don't think your going to need anything more than 50w tube. I think something in the 30-40w tube range will suit you best. Look into the epiphone tube line. The standards are supposed to be real nice but their only 15w tube which would be great for practice/bedroom but I don't know about gigging. You would probably need to mic it.

Make sure you know exactly what tone you want and be sure of your sound.


As stated, I don't really feel like spending more than $300-400 for something used. I *could* spend $600 if I really wanted to. I plunked down $600 to a friend recently for the 60gb Playstation 3. But $600 seems like quite a bit more than I really need/should spend for an amplifier right now.

You're correct, I feel like I'm zoning in on about 50-watts (at most) on a tube unit.

I think it's difficult to accurately describe what tone I would like. That is unless I said "I want to sound like...", and that would make me a rip off. I play different things, I like different sounds.
#22
50+ watt amps are for large areas- joe satriani uses 3 or 4 120 watt halfstacks.

carvin makes great budget amps, no compromise. the MTS series would be a good all-arounder.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#23
Sorry to say that for a decent tube amp/head, you're not going to get much cheaper.

I didn't like any of the three amps you listed in the opening post, either.

At the $400 level, used, you should be able to find a Peavey Classic 30 or Crate V30 head. Both decent classic rock amps. There are combos in that range, too, like the Fender Hot Rod, or the Peavey or Crate.

If you're willing to go a little more vintage, you could find Fenders, Traynors, Ampegs, Silvertones, etc., in your price range on eBay that could be fantastic. Just gotta make sure you read the ads carefully, and buy from people with as close to 100% feedback as possible. My main amp is a 20+ year old Fender combo, and I love the thing.

You are at the point where you'll kick yourself if you blow your wad on a SS or hybrid amp. I'd implore you not to do it. You may also want to rethink your budget up a little if you're looking to buy the amp that's going to last you for a while. Your amp is the most important item in your tone chain, it's no place to try to get off cheap.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#24
The ultra u listed isnt bad at all. Its very nice for the price.
I traded in my Real Books for Robbins and Cotran Pathology Textbooks
#25
Quote by mexican_shred
The ultra u listed isnt bad at all. Its very nice for the price.


I liked that unit. But unfortunately someone already bought it with "Buy It Now". I've definitely ruled out anything solid state at this point.

I've been looking a bit more in depth at new and used stuff the past few days. I came across a used Randall RM100M MTS Module Tube Head without any modules. Going for $130 with 2 days left I believe. I think I saw these for $999 brand new, loaded with three modules. I see that each module runs about $200/each brand new.

I've been reading up on this unit a little bit, I like it's versatility. I figure perhaps if the auction doesn't run up too high, it would be something to look into. I can evenly spend my cash for this. I can purchase one module to start me off. Build me a 2x12 cab after. Buy a second or third module later.

There are sound clips on their website. They also have two very informative videos explaining every feature of the unit.

- Front: http://www.randallamplifiers.com/products/amplifiers/mts/video/MTS_Front_web.wmv
- Back: http://www.randallamplifiers.com/products/amplifiers/mts/video/MTSback_web.wmv

Does anyone have experience or knowledge of this unit?


Also:

I came across the Peavey Supreme XL, new for $450. It has a selectable power switch (25-watts, 50-watts or 100-watts). I think that's a fantastic feature.

Any thoughts on this one?
Last edited by thomasgrant at Mar 21, 2007,
#26
Quote by guitarplaya1331
You should also look at Mesa Boogie amps like the Dual Rectifier( there is also a single and triple rectifier).


wayy out of his price range, and probably not suited toward the classic rock tone.
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#28
Quote by MrCarrot
I'd suggest an Orange Rocker 30.


Also, way above my price range. Did you miss what I was aiming for?

Quote by A7XRemenissions
wayy out of his price range, and probably not suited toward the classic rock tone.


Yea! I think a few people on here are just jumping in trying to give their personal suggestions without even reading my posts. There have been a few good suggestive posts, but not many.
Last edited by thomasgrant at Mar 25, 2007,
#29
^Try out amps even out of your price range...
Co-Founder of the Orange Revolution Club


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-2-channel Titan
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#30
I've become quite frustrated at the prices of this tube technology. I am on the verge of giving up on the constant research and following of used items. I missed out on two items on eBay by being outbid. Several times I've wanted to throw my hands up and buy a solid state unit. I really like the versatility of the Line 6 Spider III line and feel that I could benefit by the extras. The only thing that has deterred me from going this route is that this entire forum hates (and blasts) them with a passion. And of course because I care about the music, I am interested in getter the better technology over features.

I am looking at some new used items as the three I posted about originally are no longer for sale.

- Crate Stealth 50 (head or combo) -- I believe this may have been one of my original items. There are more for sale.
- Fender Supersonic 60-watt head
- Epiphone SoCal 50
- Carvin Valvemaster 100

Based on comparing each of these with the reviews on Harmony-Central I've established that they are ranked overall in the following order:

1. Carvin Valvemaster
2. Epiphone SoCal 50
3. Crate Stealth 50
4. Fender Supersonic


Does anyone have disagreements with this ranking? Anyone want to comment on these units?

Thanks!
#31
Quote by Jinskee
^Try out amps even out of your price range...


I *could* afford something in the $800-1000 price range, but I am just not comfortable spending that. I am more interested in picking up something used. Even if that means discontinued / old items. I see myself finding something used in the $300-500 price range.
#32
So I'm assuming you don't have GAS?
Co-Founder of the Orange Revolution Club


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-Oversized Bogner 2x12 Cabinet
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#34
Gear Acquisition Syndrome, i myself have it badly.

Look dude calm down, its easy enough once you get the hang of it.

The Laney VC30 is the perfect one for you really, way better then all those others you listed and really looks are very much unimportant if you're serious on playing.

I suggest that one again and if you really want one out of your new list get the epi but it won't do metal without a pedal though.

Seriously just give it a bit more time before you spend, if not you'll be stuck with the Spider and will be in two months time "man this blows, now why didn't i listen to UG? "
Last edited by Chinomaster182 at Mar 25, 2007,
#35
Quote by Chinomaster182
Gear Acquisition Syndrome, i myself have it badly.


Ha. First I've heard of this term. But I can certainly relate, yes. But I am typically very careful about my purchases. Which is obviously why I am here looking for some input.


Quote by Chinomaster182

The Laney VC30 is the perfect one for you really, way better then all those others you listed and really looks are very much unimportant if you're serious on playing.


1. In your opinion, why is that item perfect for me?
2. I am serious on playing. Yes, for me looks are less important than how it plays. But obviously some (if not all) care about the cosmetic appearance of what they buy at some level.

Quote by Chinomaster182

I suggest that one again and if you really want one out of your new list get the epi but it won't do metal without a pedal though.


I'm not quite sure what the fear of pedals/effects units are. Unless it has to do with preserving the original tone. I pretty much go into this amp purchase with the assumption I will be using a effect or two for distortion and such.

Quote by Chinomaster182

Seriously just give it a bit more time before you spend, if not you'll be stuck with the Spider and will be in two months time "man this blows, now why didn't i listen to UG? "


I've already kept myself from going over the edge. I would much rather find a good used tube unit over a solid state model.
#36
Quote by thomasgrant
1. Carvin Valvemaster
2. Epiphone SoCal 50
3. Crate Stealth 50
4. Fender Supersonic


Does anyone have disagreements with this ranking? Anyone want to comment on these units?


I haven't tried them all. I have played the Fender Supersonic combo in the store, and I thought it was pretty cool. For a guy who might be leaning towards a Line 6 Spider, I'd think the variety of voices on the Fender would be a major plus. Keep in mind that the Fender's new, and is the most expensive, so it's held to a higher standard than the others by it's three reviewers. You should be able to try out that one and maybe the Epi in a store near you. It'd be worth it to do that.

It's good to look up other people's opinions, but when an item only has 3 or 8 reviews, that's not a great cross section.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#37
Quote by slatsmania
I haven't tried them all. I have played the Fender Supersonic combo in the store, and I thought it was pretty cool. For a guy who might be leaning towards a Line 6 Spider, I'd think the variety of voices on the Fender would be a major plus. Keep in mind that the Fender's new, and is the most expensive, so it's held to a higher standard than the others by it's three reviewers. You should be able to try out that one and maybe the Epi in a store near you. It'd be worth it to do that.


Well, the *only* reasons the Line 6's appeal to me is first their appearance strikes me as "clean" and "well made". Obviously that's not the case if everyone hates on them. Secondly, seeing the sheer versatility they feature as far as options onboard + pedalboard and such. But as a careful shopper, I don't run right out and buy the first thing I like.

I am DEFINITELY most interested in tone, sound quality and the likes. And I'm willing to trade off some versatility and features for going tube versus solid state if I have to.

I know the SoCal 50 is a new model, and it appeals to me visually. I wasn't aware the Supersonic was a new model at all. I will see about going and checking them out locally this week if possible.

Quote by slatsmania

It's good to look up other people's opinions, but when an item only has 3 or 8 reviews, that's not a great cross section.


Yes, I agree with you on that. Not much to really go on.