#1
Hey everyone...

Right, first of all, yes I've searched the forums, and no I can't find anything that exactly matches what I'm after.

So... I've decided it may well be time for a new amp. My faithful Ashdown Fallen Angel 60 2x12 (the one before they put DSP on them... DSP in a VALVE amp!!?? Jesus...) has served me well for a good couple of years now, but I think it's time for a change. My reasons for changing amps...

1) I'd rather have a head than a 40kg+ 2x12
2) While its never crapped out at a completely inappropriate time, its still not the most reliable of beasts. Had a couple of "loss of volume" problems, and its currently blowing mains fuses all the time (I think the valve heaters on the output valve has shorted).
3) For the money its an amazing amp, but I could do with something with a little more tone.

So I'm looking to spend about £400-£800 on an amp, preferably an amp and a 4x12 but I'm not too fussed about the cab at the moment. I have a homebuilt 2x10 I can use until next year, when I should be able to get a decent cab. I'd rather get the cab now, but not at the cost of amp quality.
My style: I play a lot of heavy punk/metal, a lot of powerchord work, so I need something with a good tight low end (ooeer!). However, I do graduate onto some lead stuff on occasion, so a good singing clear lead sound is also required. To confuse matters even more... we also use several clean cut out in our songs, so a decent clean channel with plenty of headroom is another requirement (this is another problem with the Ashdown)
My gear: Pedal-wise, I use a Crybaby 535Q, an EHX Holy Grail, and a Boss DD-6. On my "to buy list" are a Boss TR2, a chorus pedal of some description (probably a Russian Small Stone), and a Zvex Fuzz Factory.
My guitar is an old BC Rich, looks like an STIII body with an Assassin neck, thought to have been made for a certain Mr. Tony MacAlpine. However, I'm not entirely sure if this is the guitar for me, so I may be selling it and changing guitar sometime. This one has 3 Dimarzio pickups, HSS configuration, not sure on the models. Will be changing to something with a similar config, probably a Jackson DK2T or similar.

Amps I've looked at so far:

Marshall JCM 2000 TSL 100:
I love the versitality on it, with the 3 channels. It also has the Marshall quality guarentee. Saw one of these go on ebay for £400 the other day, so I could afford that and a cab.
Peavey 5150:
Not too sure on the price of these. My problem with them is I've heard the clean channel is mediocre at best.

Would also like to know more about other amps in that price brackets, off the top of my head, B52, Engl, etc.

Any help you guys can offer is greatly appreciated. Cheers!!
#2
engl blackmore, laney tt/vh100r would be worth considering, i think.

if you're willing to order from, say, thomann, i think some of the kochs might come in just under budget too (engl would be cheaper from thomann too... bear in mind you'd need to get your own power lead though (about £15?)...)

I'd definitely get the head first with all your money- amps generally start getting really sweet, just about the upper end of your price limit. and if you have a cab which'll do the job, you can wait a while for the cab. just make sure the speakers are rated for a high enough wattage...

EDIT: what type of metal?
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?
#3
Thanks dude!

As regards type of metal... Its quite heavy stuff but not usually super-fast. Kinda difficult to classify really. The recordings are AWFUL but take a look at www.myspace.com/rosethornmusic for an example. I'll just say, in my defence, that the band name, web page, and recordings, are severely out of date!


EDIT: Also wanted to say I'm perfectly willing to go second hand.
#4
ok, i'm checking those out now. any metal bands whose tone you like/want to be able to nail etc.?

second hand would allow you just to basically up your price range a bit. so you could probably look at amps up to the £1200-£1300 price range (depends on how much someone is willing to accept for it, basically)... engl savage, invader may be worth a look, koch multitone/powertone, cornford mk50h, soldano avenger, framus cobra/dragon, diezel einstein, bogner shiva etc., etc.

bear in mind i haven't tried all those.
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?
#5
Those are some big names, will have to have a look. Depends on what you can find on ebay really! Band whose tone I like... gonna get flamed for this I can tell... Avenged sevenfold (combination of rhythm and lead tones), Atreyu (anything after the curse), AFI, going to stuff like Dream Theatre (Petrucci's tone ins "Forsaken" off the new album being a good example), Coheed and Cambria, etc... I have quite a range of tastes tbh, so I suppose versetality is important to me. Clean tones, look no further than Mr. Jeff Buckley. I know I won;t get anything like that sound from a primarily metal amp, but thats the ideal to strive towards.
#6
a 5150/6505 would actually do most of those distorted tones pretty well. problem is its cleans are pretty mediocre, at best.

engl is a little brighter in tonality, though it'd do them at a pinch, and obviously different engl models sound different...

most of those tones are mesa-ish. problem is, mesa are awful dear for what you get in the UK. and something like a recto doesn't have great cleans either.

framus cobra may be worth a look, if you can find one cheap enough. I haven't tried it, but by all accounts it's darker-sounding, and has nice cleans. Erock503 has (had?) one, he might be worth pm-ing.

you're in london, yeah? (according to that myspace page, you were)

I'd hit up the wembley guitar centre- you can try engl, laney, peavey, mesa, hughes and kettner, marshall there (might as well try the jvm and jcm2000's while you're at it).

holiday music stocks cornford and koch, though they rarely have all the models in stock at any given time. The twice i've been there, they only had one or two of each. but it's reasonably easy to get to, if you're in the eastern part.

rivera might be worth a look too, i always forget about them- chandlers near kew is a dealer, i think...

if you can travel, the oxford guitar gallery is awesome. loads of boutique brands there, but you may find your budget skyrocketing!

genz benz el-diablo would probably be worth a try... i'm not sure of any dealers anyway handy to london, though. www.sutherlandtrading.com has a list of the genz benz dealers in the UK, i think.

EDIT: a brunetti xlr-evo is very nice too, but again you'd need to find somewhere to try, and you'd need to find one second-hand at a good price.
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?
#7
Awesome mate, thanks for your help, you're a star!

Actually... I'm no longer in London (as I say, old page), I'm actually living in Birmingham at the moment. The only decent music store I've found so far is PMT (short for Professional Music Technology - pissed myself when I first heard the name), they have Marshall, Engls, Randalls, Mesa's.... that I'd be interested in. Should be in London for a week next week though, so I'll try and get round to some of those places.
Whats the general opinion on Marshalls? As I say the TSL looks like it has the versitality, which is important for me - being the main guitarist in a fairy varied band, I have to do a lot of wierd and wonderful things. The other amps I saw that I don't think you've mentioned are Hughs and Kettner?
As I was saying, the cleans are pretty important, there's one song on there that's 90% acoustic which live I'd have to do with the clean electric. There are also two songs that aren't on there, one of which has a clean interlude, and the other has clean verses, so the clean is pretty important. Unfortunately I think that rules out a 5150/6505.
I'd be happy to look at more expensive amps, IMO its worth trying absolutely everything out so you can make an informed decision. Of course that isn't possible, which is why I posted here


EDIT: Is there a Mesa other than a rec worth looking at?
#8
h&k would be worth a look. trilogy is probably the one to try, problem is, it's one of their amps i haven't tried! I hate the switchblade, it sounds like a solid state if you ask me, the triamp is nice but too expensive for what it is if you ask me, while the duotone probably isn't versatile enough. plus has quite a unique tone, which you may hate.

most of those amps i mentioned have good cleans (at least for high gainers, and in my opinion). Obviously some will be better than others, and you may like one more than the other, etc. etc. it's just basically a matter of trying all you can. I'm not too well up on the guitar shops in birmingham... i've heard of pmt, but that's about it. Randall would be worth a try, but i'm not too sure if any are in your budget. there's the rg50tc at about £300-£400, but with your budget you can do better, then it shoots up to the mts, which is nice, but IMO over-priced in the UK. The cool thing is that you can pick and choose which pre-amp modules you want, though.

EDIT: i don't really like the tsl. The jvm is a lot nicer, if you ask me, and more versatile, for very little extra cash. if you must go marshall (and i'd strongly advise you to check out those other brands i mentioned, if at all possible- if you ask me, they're much nicer than any current marshall), i'd go with the jvm. Of course, it never hurts to try everything you can, just in case you disagree with my assessments...

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?
#9
Ooo I like the idea of picking pre-amp modules - as it happens I'm currently trying to design and build an amp at the moment, as a prototype for some custom amps, built to buyers spec. Any verdict on the lower priced Mesa's, F50/100. 50 Calibre, etc or Marshalls?
#10
i'm not fussed on the f-series, to be honest. like most mesas over here, they'd need to cut the price in half before I'd be interested. obviously try one, you may disagree, even in the UK plenty of players swear by mesa. I'm just not one of them...

i don't think i've tried the 50 calibre.

lower-priced marshalls? you mean like the dsl401?
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?
#11
No sorry I meant lower priced mesa, or any Marshall, didn't see your edit! Gonna try and get to PMT before I go back to London, try out a few amps there, and then go on a binge one day in London . Thanks again for your help mate, you've been a star!
#12
no problem, glad i could help.

there are probably some amps I've missed/forgotten about. If you see something that's close to your budget that I haven't mentioned, definitely try it!



EDIT: oh i haven't tried the new mesa expresses yet, they'd be worth a try too. vht has a combo around the £1000 mark which is worth a try, and if you could find a second hand deliverance, it'd hopefully be under budget too, and again would be worth trying.
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?
#14
A little out of my price range I think! At the moment I'm looking at a Framus, Rivera Knucklehead, Engl Powerball or H&K Trilogy