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#1
I'm looking to purchase a combo amp.

Specifics:
- Preferably a valve amp, but will certainly consider solid-state or hybrid
- Somewhere in the range of 30-50 watts
- Cost must be below $1000 Australian ('bout 750 US, I think)
- Must be easily transportable
- Used for practising with a band, or small gigs, such as private parties
- I play a wide range of genre's, such as: classic rock, blues, punk

Compatability:
The amp must work with:
- Epiphone Les Paul Standard (stock, no mods)
- Zoom G1X Multi-FX

I currently play a Laney HCM15R practise amp, but need a larger amp for gigs.

Other things to consider:
- A stack or half stack is not an option, because I couldn't transport it
- I am Australian, bear that in mind.
- My level of skill is fairly amateur, having only played for about a year and a half. I intend on keeping this amp for several years, until I can justify purchasing something larger.
- Preferably, something under $700AUS. $1000 is the absolute highest I'd go.

To summarise:
The questions are these:

1. Is the Line 6 SpiderII-112 a good amp, does it have anything that sets it apart from other amps of it's kind, or does it have anything that makes it worse?

2. Would this amp last me for two or three years?

3. If you were in my situation, what other amps would you consider?

4. Does my level of skill justify spending the money, and if I did spend the money, would it be worth it?

Updates:
- So, the Marshall MG50DFX has some bad reviews from members.
- I've been advised that the Fender Blues Junior and the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe are both good amps. Comments?
- I'm also looking at a Line 6 SpiderII-112. Comments?
- Concerning hybrid amps, are they worth the money? Specifically, the Kustom HV100.
- I'm hearing good things about the Epiphone Blues Custom.

Current competition:
At the moment, the two frontrunners are:
1. Epiphone Blues Custom
2. Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Last edited by snot_foster25 at Mar 25, 2007,
#2
1. No. The MG is all solid state, and quite frankly, it's muddy, and has horrible gain. My buddy has one and hates it.

2. It will last you longer, because it needs to tube replacing, but it's not a good amp.

3. What kind of music do you play? As in which one that you listed do you most heavily play?

4. Yeah, it does. You do it right the first time. You can buy cheap stepping stone amps, but eventually you'll want an all valve combo or stack. Go to a local guitarcenter or something and ask them to show you the difference between valve and solid state.
#3
Do you have a link to a guitar store in Australia so I can get a better idea of the prices over there? I know they're crazy, but how crazy?

Please avoid the MG. You'll be glad you did.

For the styles of music you list, there's a wide variety of amps that might suit your needs. Ideally, you'd find a nice 30W tube (or is it "valve" there, too?) amp that'll last you for well more than the next 2 or three years. If the budget's as tight as I fear it might be, you can get by with a 15W tube combo for band practice and small parties. A Blues Jr is probably as loud or louder than a Marshall MG50, but the tone at those volumes from the BJ blows away the Marshall. Not even close.

You have a Laney, so maybe look into their tube combos in the meantime.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#4
i got my marshall when i had been playing as long as you.
save more, the only things you could get tube is either a second hand combo (the other day i saw a jcm900 combo on ebay at around $500 but it would hvae went up) or a a ashton combo.
so yeah i suggest saving more money no point at all in getting a crap amp now and having to save money again in a couple months time. buy something good now and you will be set for a couple years. buy something crap and you will regret it.

so save up money.


oh and dont get the mg their ok but are easily crushed by other amps that are in the same price range as them.
#5
Quote by slatsmania
A Blues Jr is probably as loud or louder than a Marshall MG50, but the tone at those volumes from the BJ blows away the Marshall. Not even close.



+1 Blues Jrs are great for what they are, loud enough to get it done for what you're describing, and the tone is excellent.
Quote by kcdakrt
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#6
Thanks for that guys.

With my band, I play mostly punk rock, nothing really heavy.

I am familiar with the difference between solid-state and valve, I just wasn't sure if the MG was valve or not. I was under the evidently mistaking assumption that Marshall only dealt with valve stuff.

Local guitar store

I'll avoid the MG at this stage then. Fender Blues Jr, I'll certainly have a look at.

Would something like a Kustom HV100 Combo be worth spending money on?

I believe they have a tube in the preamp, other than that, they're solid state.
#9
Randall RH75G2 are pretty killer amps and going cheap. They'll do a tight punchy punk sound well.

Keep an eye on eBay there's some great amps on there sometimes. Like whomever it was Metal_Injection I think, got a 60W El Diablo combo for a little over $1000.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Legacy-30-watt-amplifier-with-dsp-effects-combo-amp_W0QQitemZ150105347386QQcategoryZ10171QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

^^ These are 30W all tube. The same as the epiphone firefly? I think. I played one at Billy hyde in Sydney and it's a killer amp. The effcts aren't all that great but the tone and volume are amazing for the price.
Last edited by TheDev01dOne at Mar 25, 2007,
#10
Yeah, I have heard that hybrids aren't worth it, but I haven't ever tried one.

Would something like the Blues Jnr be suitable for playing punk rock, though?
#11
Okay, so I'm having a look at the Review section of UG, specifically, at the MG50DFX review. It has an overall rating of 8.6, which doesn't seem bad.

KingDave and Slats, any chance that the MGs you've seen have been defective or faulty?

I might go down to the guitar shop sometime and have a look at them anyway.

What do you guys think about Line 6 Spider-II amps?
#12
Quote by snot_foster25
Okay, so I'm having a look at the Review section of UG, specifically, at the MG50DFX review. It has an overall rating of 8.6, which doesn't seem bad.

KingDave and Slats, any chance that the MGs you've seen have been defective or faulty?

I might go down to the guitar shop sometime and have a look at them anyway.

What do you guys think about Line 6 Spider-II amps?

ALL MG's are faulty. There is a reason they are so hated on this site, and that reason is that they are crap formed into a box with a speaker.
I have a Spider II, and it is definitely better than the MG, but is still blown away by most other amps in it's price range.
I think in your price range you could get a nice Fender Blues Deluxe or Hot Rod Deluxe. The only difference in the two is that the Hot Rod has an extra overdrive channel, but it doesn't really do much.
But what I think you need to do is get yourself to a music store and try out a bunch of different amps, using your guitar or one just like it, and see which one you like best. Only use what other people say as guidelines, in the end you have to decide what you get.
#13
Yeah, I'll certainly be heading down there at some point. One week until the school holidays, so I'm having a look at some stuff now, getting a feel for things, then I'll go down there with a mate when there's no school.

I'll certainly look hard at the Hot Rod Deluxe, I'm just not sure if it's in my price range or not. But I'll investigate.

Your Spider II, whats the distortion or overdrive on it like?
#14
Line6 Spiders = Toys.

I wouldn't say they're real guitar amps. They're fun to play with but at the end of the day they have shitty tones. (A whole lot of them)

IfI was you I would be seriously looking into the Epiphone Valve standards/the Legacy branded one I linked above.

The all tube tone will slay any spider of MG or any SS combo really. And they're about the same price. Then you can build off that with pedals if you have to have some ultra crushing high gain distortion. Other than that though they should do everything else awesomely.

$400 for a 30W all tube combo leaves you $300 for pedals, a new speaker if you so desire, save it for abetter guitar or something. You can't really go wrong.


EDIT: wait cancel most of that. Forget that Legacy thing, it's SS.


Epiphone Valve special or standard are great options though.
Last edited by TheDev01dOne at Mar 25, 2007,
#15
Try Ebay for a second hand Marshall tube amp, ive seen DSL 401's for around $700 - 800, i got a Marshall DSL 201 for $700
My Gear

Guitars:
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender MIM Standard Strat

Cort Acoustic

Amp:
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 201

Pedals:
Dunlop Crybaby From Hell
Boss DD20 Giga Delay
Boss CE 2 Chorus
#16
by the way, good on you for providing so much info unlike half of the jerks on here eg. im a N00b I need an amp, i play metal.....
My Gear

Guitars:
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender MIM Standard Strat

Cort Acoustic

Amp:
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 201

Pedals:
Dunlop Crybaby From Hell
Boss DD20 Giga Delay
Boss CE 2 Chorus
#17
Looking for something maybe a little larger than the Epiphone Valve Standard, maybe an Epiphone Blues Custom, that's 30W.

I already have a Zoom G1X Multi-FX which does the job for the moment, but I'd be looking to buy some additional pedals in the future, that's a while off yet though.
#18
Quote by guitar_guru_28
by the way, good on you for providing so much info unlike half of the jerks on here eg. im a N00b I need an amp, i play metal.....

But it's still a double post.
Any the distortion on the Spider isn't very good, very digital sounding. I can get some OK clean, blues and low overdrive sounds, but it just gets pwnd by a tube amp with pedals. I hear the Spider III is better, but it too gets blown out of the water by a quality all tube amp.
#19
I would still suggest a Blues Jr., seeing how it's the best amp out of all the ones you have listed. The Spider is a terrible amp, and the MG sucks. Hybrid amps are basically a marketing scheme. They just have a tube in the preamp, which really means nothing. Just a little improvement, overall.
Sent from my iPad.
#20
Quote by guitar_guru_28
by the way, good on you for providing so much info unlike half of the jerks on here eg. im a N00b I need an amp, i play metal.....


Thanks. I figure, if I explain what I need, and what I want to know, the chances of me finding it out are higher than if I run the whole stock standard n00b shit.

At the moment, competition seems to be between the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe or Blues Junior, and the Epiphone Blues Custom.
#21
If you keep your eye out, there's some real bargains in the classifieds. I saw a DSL401 for $700, Peavey Deuce (110w with a SS pre-amp and tube power amp) for $400 and I've seen numerous other good quality amps for really cheap. I'd actually use Ebay as a second option, you're much better off being able to play the amp (especially if it's tube) before you hand over the cash.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#22
Yeah, I'll be having a look in the classifieds, trading post, that kind of thing. I'm pretty hesitant on eBay, yeah, because I could be forking over money to get a shit sound. I'm gunna take a look around the second hand dealers when I get the chance.

Question. If an amp doesn't have a 'line out' input, is there still some what I can connect a cabinet or speaker without running it through a mixer?
#23
Quote by snot_foster25
Yeah, I'll be having a look in the classifieds, trading post, that kind of thing. I'm pretty hesitant on eBay, yeah, because I could be forking over money to get a shit sound. I'm gunna take a look around the second hand dealers when I get the chance.

Question. If an amp doesn't have a 'line out' input, is there still some what I can connect a cabinet or speaker without running it through a mixer?

The line out generally goes to a mixer or the line in on another amp, while the speaker out goes to the speakers. Unless you're talking about running it through an external cab?
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#24
Quote by snot_foster25
Would something like a Kustom HV100 Combo be worth spending money on?

I believe they have a tube in the preamp, other than that, they're solid state.


I think the Vox AD series is the best of the hybrid/modelers.

Quote by timo1


And after looking at those prices, the Vox might be your best bet if you can't find a decent tube combo used.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#25
Quote by snot_foster25
Okay, so I'm having a look at the Review section of UG, specifically, at the MG50DFX review. It has an overall rating of 8.6, which doesn't seem bad.

KingDave and Slats, any chance that the MGs you've seen have been defective or faulty?

I might go down to the guitar shop sometime and have a look at them anyway.

What do you guys think about Line 6 Spider-II amps?


The only people who would own a Marshall MG are total noobs who don't know any better, think their amp is the shit, and then write a shiny review using all the latest words they've learned in the 7th grade. You gotta understand that the people rating Mesa Lonestars are different from the people rating these intro level amps.

I live in NY. I have an 11 year old son who plays guitar, and we go to a wide variety of guitar shops. We go to Guitar Center or Sam Ash just to kill an hour on a Saturday as a regular thing. He has a tendency to plug into these MG's and Spiders, so I hear a bunch of them at different places. They all suck. At least with the Spider you get some wattage for your money (so your shitty tone can be really loud!), the MG is a complete ripoff.

For the record, we had a Vox AD30VT that he was using in his room, but he learned and was constantly plugging into my tube stuff. Now he has his own Crate V16. Even if these amps sound pretty good in the store (and I can understand how they might), they get stale very quickly at home.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#26
Quote by the_random_hero
The line out generally goes to a mixer or the line in on another amp, while the speaker out goes to the speakers. Unless you're talking about running it through an external cab?


Yeah, I mean, running the amp itself directly into a cabinet. Say, if I bought the Epiphone Blues Custom, could I run it into an Epiphone So Cal cabinet.

I must confess, it was rather more the Marshall logo and look of the amp that attracted me to the MG in the first place, I haven't actually plugged my guitar into any of these yet.

If I was gunna buy something in the Vox AD series, I'd probably just buy a Fender FM212R, and some pedals to get the best tone I could out of it, then save up progressively for a really good tube.

Contrary to my other band members opinions, except for the drummer, who's the best of the lot, I'm concerned with the tone I'll get out of this amp, rather than how loud I can make it go.
Last edited by snot_foster25 at Mar 27, 2007,
#27
Quote by snot_foster25
Contrary to my other band members opinions, except for the drummer, who's the best of the lot, I'm not concerned with the tone I'll get out of this amp, rather how how loud I can make it go.


Perhaps you could plug into a bullhorn or something.

May as well check your local classifieds and find the biggest, cheapest SS amp, so everyone for miles around can hear bad tone. No reason to seek advice if volume is all you're after.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#28
Gah, sorry, massive typo there.

What I meant to say, is that I AM concerned with tone, not how loud it can go.

The majority of my band is concerned with volume, not tone.

I apologise for that.
#30
I could've sold my Powerblock
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#31
Quote by the_random_hero
If you keep your eye out, there's some real bargains in the classifieds. I saw a DSL401 for $700, Peavey Deuce (110w with a SS pre-amp and tube power amp) for $400 and I've seen numerous other good quality amps for really cheap. I'd actually use Ebay as a second option, you're much better off being able to play the amp (especially if it's tube) before you hand over the cash.
NO ITS MINE !!!!!!!!!
#32
that shire website on the first page has absolutely shit all. in the marshalls - only mgs? wtf. and about 2-5 amps in total per company. ffs, go to www.allansmusic.com.au for prices...
#33
I didn't see that Billy Hyde link the first time I went thru here. Definitely a confirmation of some tough pricing down there. I may have to come to Australia to start a manufacturing plant.

The Crate V15 is $1099! Yikes. Your estimate to American was off quite a bit. That amp sells for less than half that here. It's an amp that'll do what you're looking for if you could raise your budget a bit.

I don't know shit about the Legacy Blues Twin, but it's a switchable 15/30W all tube 2x12 for $900. Probably worth a test drive. They also make a 15W amp for $600. Same size as the Crate above or the Blues Jr.

Off the Allans site, I found another amp I never heard of (I'm just looking for tube combos in your price range, now): the Ashton VP30. 30W, all tube, again, worth a look. They have a 50W model under $1000, too.

They also have the Epi Valve Standard, which is a decent brand, for $789. If you have speakers available, their SoCal 50 might be the best choice going for volume AND some tone. If you can stretch a little, they have the Epi Valve Custom, 30W 2x12, for $1079.

They have the Vox AC15 and the Blues Jr for under $1000, too. Very nice amps there. Much better deals than the Crate from Billy.

That's about all the leg work I feel like doing this morning. There's some stuff worth looking at. No doubt in my mind you should do whatever you can to find something used, though. Those prices are nuts.

Good luck! Glad to read that you're interested in tone after all!
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#34
Billy Hyde Music aren't my choice of musical equipment, but I can only get over to the shop I like to go to when my dad can drive me, so I go to Billy Hyde out of necessity. The place I usually go to only stocks Gibson and Epiphone guitars, and Epiphone and Orange amps.

I <3 that place.

Anyhoo, holidays in three days. I'll certainly go hunting around then. Thanks for all the advice.
#35
Quote by slatsmania

ashtonmusic.com.au
Off the Allans site, I found another amp I never heard of (I'm just looking for tube combos in your price range, now): the Ashton VP30. 30W, all tube, again, worth a look. They have a 50W model under $1000, too.



you probably wont know much about ashtons ashtonmusic.com.au theyre a cheap brand based in australia but are often under estimated
#36
I haven't heard much good stuff about Ashton, but I haven't tried any of their stuff personally.

I'm having a look for a head that could go with that Epiphone SoCal cabinet now.
#37
^ Why don't you like Billy Hyde? The guys at Billy Hyde in Blackburn have always been great to me. They always have the time to have a chat, and they are snobs like the guys at Allans music. Where do you live, if you're in Melbourne I can give you a bunch of stores to check out. Also, try going in at weird times like Tuesday morning to avoid crowds, and bring you own guitar.

I know you said $1000 is you max budget, and I understand that.

But, if you can spare an extra $200 you can get a Vox AC30 CC1, it's so much better than anything else in your price range, for pretty much any style.

If you want, join the Eastern Football League as a Goal Umpire (you don't need to know anything about AFL footy at all, you'll get trained.) You get paid $40 a match, after four or five games you'll have the money. (Boundry and Field Umpires get paid more if you're fit enough to do it.)

I really suggest you take a look at it.

Or, look used. If you're willing to buy used to can get:

Vox AC30 CC1 (dunno how much, probably less than $1000)
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (Seen em go for $700-$900)
Peavey Classic 30 (Seen em go for as low as $450, rocking amp)
Possibly a Marshall DSL401 (but the AC30 or Classic 30 are better)
Laney VC30 (Or LC30, I might be getting the names mixed up)

You can also afford:
Blues Junior (But won't have much headroom with a band, the Hot Rod Deluxe is a btter choice.)
Peavey Valveking (stay away form them, they suck and are unreliable)
Vox AC15 (Basic features, the AC30 is a better choice, also, not much headroom in a band situation)
Epiphone Valve amps (never played em)
Ashton Valve amps (never heard em, but eveything Ashton is usually crap.)

There may be a few I missed.

Check out all those amps, even if I said they were crap, you might like them.


If you're in Melbourne:

Billy Hyde stock Marshall and Fender.
K.C.'s Rock Shop in Boronia has Peavey
Gallins Guitars and Allans music has Vox. Gallins has the best prices on new vox amps.
I'm not sure who stock Laney, but I know there is at least one store in Melbourne that does, look through the yellow pages and ring up stores.

A few more things:

Don't get a solid state or hybrid amp if you're gonna spend that kinda of money. They're ok as a practice amp, but not for gigging or playing with a band. Modelling amps can be good, but only if you can afford a high end one and you can't.

A 30 Valve amp is more than enough for you, it can keep up with a drum kit just fine. I wouldn't go for a 15w amp though.

And we do get ripped off down here. Americans pay half as much for Fender Hot Rod amps for example.
"You can practice to attain knowledge, but you can't practice to attain wisdom." - Herbie Hancock
#38
Quote by snot_foster25
Billy Hyde Music aren't my choice of musical equipment, but I can only get over to the shop I like to go to when my dad can drive me, so I go to Billy Hyde out of necessity. The place I usually go to only stocks Gibson and Epiphone guitars, and Epiphone and Orange amps.

I <3 that place.


Anyhoo, holidays in three days. I'll certainly go hunting around then. Thanks for all the advice.



Yay for Gallin's!
#39
Quote by TGM


If you want, join the Eastern Football League as a Goal Umpire (you don't need to know anything about AFL footy at all, you'll get trained.) You get paid $40 a match, after four or five games you'll have the money. (Boundry and Field Umpires get paid more if you're fit enough to do it.)


What does AFL got to do with amps??

EDITh sorry,money.
Last edited by timo1 at Mar 28, 2007,
#40
Yeah, Gallin's rocks.

I already have a Sunday job at football actually, I do my clubs medical/first aid stuff for the juniors. 100 bucks a day, not a bad earner.

The only thing I have against Billy Hyde is that I think they tend to sell higher, and they don't cut their prices to get a deal.

Do you have any specific places in Melbourne for second-hand amps and stuff?

I've heard about some kind of swap-shop, I think in Fitzroy. Heard about it?

I live in Essendon, by the way.
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