#1
Okay, I'm pretty much giving up on finding a $500 tube head with enough gain to "do metal." It just doesn't f*cking exist. So, it looks like I'm going back to plan 'A', and thinking about buying another Engl E530 preamp for $510 USD, then buying the best-matched, solid-state head for it. Yeah, I know, I should buy a good, tube power amp, but those damn things cost as much as a whole good regular amp head.

• Not looking for a combo.
• Not looking for an expensive power amp that costs as much as an expensive tube head.
• Only considering solid-state heads.
• Driving a 4x12 cabinet (TBD).


Yes, I know, for $510 + the cost of an SS head, I could buy something "good" instead. But the Engl is a known quantity (I already own one). I know that I can get any type of tone I want out of it, plus it has the most gain of anything I've heard.

Now, since I'm only "amplifying" my already pre-shaped, high-gain, preamp signal, what would you all suggest in an SS head? In this PARTICULAR case, is the Marshall MG head that "bad" of a choice?
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 1, 2007,
#2
Quote by LEVEL4
Okay, I'm pretty much giving up on finding a $500 tube head with enough gain to "do metal." It just doesn't f*cking exist.


Of course it does... 5150s (used), Windsors, B-52 ST something or other, Ashdown Fallen Angel (used, I think)...

If you really want the best SS head for metal, it's going to be something made by Randall...but honestly, if you look into combos instead you'll find a lot more things that will do what you want...
#3
IMO you shouldn't bother with the MG, it is as bad as everyone says. A much better option is anything made by Randall and also a brand called Hiwatt make great sounding reasonably priced heads that can do metal but you'd have to try one out
#4
Possibly if you didn't want to buy a pre-amp, even though that Engl does look nice, I would look into a Vetta or HD 147. They are expensive, but sometimes you can find deals on them. Also, try looking into a Tech 21 Trademark 300. It is out of production now, but, that thing is a beast. (I am buying one on Ebay very soon.)

Otherwise, if you get the pre-amp and need a good sounding cheap ss head, B-52 LS 100 head, Kustom 100dfx head, or Peavey Supreme XL head would all have good sound, for a cheap price.
Quote by LuthierofTexas
You have no experience with racks??? What kind of guy are you?
#5
Oh. I misread...

If you're going to be using it solely as a power-amp for another ENGL pre-amp, just get something like a Crate Powerblock.
#6
^ +1, it's cheap and does the job of a 150watt power amp as well as the others.

i'd still rather see you go with a tube poweramp, because right now a tube preamp and a ss poweramp seems like you're cheaping out..
Gibson SG Standard + 18volt EMG-81 & 85
Mesa/Boogie Mark IV + Recto 2x12
Keeley Modded BD-2
Vox V847a
Quote by one vision
Bureaucrats gonna crat.

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2008
#7
Yes, unless you're after a practice amp, the MG is always a bad choice.

The thing is, a substantial part of good guitar tone comes from the power section (and the way it interacts with the speakers). Using an SS head with your ENGL you'll end up with loads of gain, but it'll sound like s**t.
It seems a shame having a decent rack preamp and then wasting its potential by running it into a piece of s**t. You can easily get a valve power amp for under £500 - the 6L6-equipped Peavey Classic 60/60 is quite easy to pick up for around $400 and would do the job fine.
#8
Why not just get a tube head, and run your engl preamp straing into the effects loop, as in straight into the "return" or "insert" jack? That'll route the signal from the preamp into the tube power amp. Don't really matter what head you get then, cause you'll have your own preamp, instead of having to rely on the low gain head's preamp.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
Last edited by Reincaster at Nov 1, 2007,
#9
I've just thought...if you're going to spend $510 on another ENGL and buy a solid state head...it might be better to up your budget for a valve head instead. Because you're going to be paying at least $350 for an SS head on top of that. So you'd have $840 for an all valve head that could do metal...

Or you could just get a Peavey Windsor for $400, provided you don't need a good clean tone...
#10
Quote by Denthúl
I've just thought...if you're going to spend $510 on another ENGL and buy a solid state head...it might be better to up your budget for a valve head instead. Because you're going to be paying at least $350 for an SS head on top of that. So you'd have $840 for an all valve head that could do metal...

Or you could just get a Peavey Windsor for $400, provided you don't need a good clean tone...


Did you not read the first post?

Yes, I know, for $510 + the cost of an SS head, I could buy something "good" instead. But the Engl is a known quantity (I already own one). I know that I can get any type of tone I want out of it, plus it has the most gain of anything I've heard.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#11
Quote by LEVEL4
So, it looks like I'm going back to plan 'A', and thinking about buying another Engl E530 preamp for $510 USD, then buying the best-matched, solid-state head for it.


Yes, Reincaster, I did.
#12
He WANTS another one. Having two is never a bad idea, in case one breaks down. He's going to ignore youre suggestion anyways, because he's already thought of it, and decided against it.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#13
Well, perhaps...but from reading his other threads, the ENGL is going to be in one location whilst the head he was looking for was going to be in another, which is why I'm assuming that he is going to buy another ENGL along with an SS head here.

I guess we'll just have to wait for LEVEL4 himself to clear it up
#14
Thanks, guys! Great suggestions! However . . .

• Crate CPB PowerBlock 150 is discontinued. Any substitutes? How much was it?
• Peavey 5150s always seem to get bid up to at least $750 on Ebay.
• Ashdowns are apparently pretty rare beasts, here in the U.S.

Now, I'm back to thinking about the Peavey ValveKing 100 head again. I mean, it's ALMOST "there." I'd just hate to put anything "in front" of it to get it TOTALLY "there." But, that may be finally, the least-cost solution for an actually pretty good amp. I'll reply to your other posts in a few minutes . . .

Meanwhile, I'll be researching your other suggestions! Thanks!
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 1, 2007,
#15
Exactly. He wants another one, to use with a separate head. He's already said he doesn't want to buy an all tube head that can do metal, because he can't find one that's right for $840

level4: http://www.amptone.com/g195.htm
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
Last edited by Reincaster at Nov 1, 2007,
#16
Quote by Denthúl
Well, perhaps...but from reading his other threads, the ENGL is going to be in one location whilst the head he was looking for was going to be in another, which is why I'm assuming that he is going to buy another ENGL along with an SS head here.

I guess we'll just have to wait for LEVEL4 himself to clear it up
CORRECT!
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
#17
The powerblock was $100

Again, I'm supporting Level4 when he's already stated that he doesn't want an $840 head that might do metal, because there aren't many at that range, new or used that would stand up to his Engl. Therefore, an ENGL preamp with a powerstage of somesort would outweight any $840 head out there.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#18
Damn! Found one on Ebay for $99. Wow! I'll save a whole DOLLAR! Sounds like a pretty neat (and cheap) solution, if I go the second Engl route. Thanks, Rein, Denthúl, Unsigned, et.al. Really appreciate all the input!

In fact, that's looking like a MIGHTY NICE solution, if I can get it, and if it works as advertised. Hell, for $99, it's totally worth a try. But it's only at auction. I'll actually have to bid, and try to "win" the damn thing! Hopefully, no one else knows what the hell they'd use it for!

Quote by Reincaster
Again, I'm supporting Level4 when he's already stated that he doesn't want an $840 head that might do metal, because there aren't many at that range, new or used that would stand up to his Engl. Therefore, an ENGL preamp with a powerstage of somesort would outweight any $840 head out there.
That's kinda EXACTLY what I've come to conclude, Rein . . .

By the way, I'm NOT gigging. I don't need "venue" volume. I'm just trying to hit a sweet spot with a 4x12 cab (and perhaps, a few others). I'm placing this stuff in a very live room in my home to do some cabinet-miked recording. Thanks again for everyone's help!
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 1, 2007,
#19
I don't know dude, tube power amps such as the Peavey 60/60 or Marshall el34 power amp have had problems. Tube power amps have a tenancy to change tone, power output, biasing problems, I don't know for sure. I built a rack once with a Rocktron Preamp and Peavey 60/60 and every time I played the tone was different, I had to adjust it every time. Finally, I got sick of lugging a rack around and ditched it for a combo amp.

Now, since I am getting back into a band, I am looking for a head. I do want a head that can do metal and sound good doing it at high volumes. But, I don't want to have the inconsistency and fraigleness of a tube amp. They do sound quite good, I have a Traynor YCV 80, and cleans are amazing, but, the idea of having to take care of something like a baby when you are on the road or just moving it down the stairs is ridiculous. Especially if you are playing or in a metal band, it is just silly.

Many pros only used SS power amps. Now, if they used tube preamps or tube pedals etc., that is beyond me. But for you, I would just pickup a standard SS head. The tone of your rig, especially with the pre-amp and G Major, will be very good for metal and many others.
Quote by LuthierofTexas
You have no experience with racks??? What kind of guy are you?
#20
Quote by CarbonDeath
I don't know dude, tube power amps such as the Peavey 60/60 or Marshall el34 power amp have had problems. Tube power amps have a tenancy to change tone, power output, biasing problems, I don't know for sure. I built a rack once with a Rocktron Preamp and Peavey 60/60 and every time I played the tone was different, I had to adjust it every time. Finally, I got sick of lugging a rack around and ditched it for a combo amp.

Now, since I am getting back into a band, I am looking for a head. I do want a head that can do metal and sound good doing it at high volumes. But, I don't want to have the inconsistency and fraigleness of a tube amp. They do sound quite good, I have a Traynor YCV 80, and cleans are amazing, but, the idea of having to take care of something like a baby when you are on the road or just moving it down the stairs is ridiculous. Especially if you are playing or in a metal band, it is just silly.

Many pros only used SS power amps. Now, if they used tube preamps or tube pedals etc., that is beyond me. But for you, I would just pickup a standard SS head. The tone of your rig, especially with the pre-amp and G Major, will be very good for metal and many others.


I dunno man, Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine, Meshuggah, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Motley Crue, slipknot and others used tube/hybrid preamps with tube poweramps.

Tube poweramps are SUPPOSED to change tone, where do you think the perceived volume, and tube saturation come from? the powersection.

A tube amp isn't any more fragile than a solid state amp. Throw a pcb amp, SS or tube down the stairs, it might crack the PCB, and you're screwed either way. Sure, you might break a tube, but replacing a tube is a hell of alot easier than locating a cold solder joint. Most tube amps can be fixed by replacing a resistor or capacitor or tube. Pretty much it.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
Last edited by Reincaster at Nov 1, 2007,
#21
Quote by LEVEL4
Damn! Found one on Ebay for $99. Wow! I'll save a whole DOLLAR! Sounds like a pretty neat (and cheap) solution, if I go the second Engl route. Thanks, Rein, Denthúl, Unsigned, et.al. Really appreciate all the input!

In fact, that's looking like a MIGHTY NICE solution, if I can get it, and if it works as advertised. Hell, for $99, it's totally worth a try. But it's only at auction. I'll actually have to bid, and try to "win" the damn thing! Hopefully, no one else knows what the hell they'd use it for!

That's kinda EXACTLY what I've come to conclude, Rein . . .

By the way, I'm NOT gigging. I don't need "venue" volume. I'm just trying to hit a sweet spot with a 4x12 cab (and perhaps, a few others). I'm placing this stuff in a very live room in my home to do some cabinet-miked recording. Thanks again for everyone's help!


And Denthul was suggesting the exact opposite.

Like I said eariler, it might be best to get a low wattage head, like the valve junior or something, and then add an effects loop, which is easy to do. Then plug your engl into the effects loop, bypassing the preamp, and voila, engle with a 5 watt poweramp.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#22
I still don't know. IFsomething goes wrong with a tube amp, it will cost money to fix it, most of the time, a lot of money. I have had a lot of problems with my Traynor. It had just given me so many problems, I am switching from that to a high end SS head. The technology has gotten to the point where it is very close to perfect, wither or not it is "tube sounding", I don't care. What makes people think with our technology we can't come out with a SS that sounds better than tube?
Quote by LuthierofTexas
You have no experience with racks??? What kind of guy are you?
#23
It costs just as much to fix an SS amp than it does a tube amp. I've got a traynor as well, never had a problem, not to mention traynor's 2 year warranty on it, no matter what happens to it.

Honestly, most people don't really want tube tone, especially on these boards, it's usually 13 year olds who want a fackin' loud amp.

I mean, I'm sure you'll be happy with your head, whichever it is your getting. I like modeling, and great SS amps as well, but for me, nothing beats the volume and powertube OD that a power tube section provides.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
Last edited by Reincaster at Nov 1, 2007,
#24
True, I am 19. I have had 6 different amps and the best so far is the Traynor. But, I have tried a Tech 21 Trademark 300, ISP Theta, and Line6 HD147, and those heads had better distortion and crunch tones than the Traynor. For this guy, with the Engl preamp, pretty much anything with power will do. Your idea with the 5watt EPI VJ is good for practice, anything past that, he will need some more power.
Quote by LuthierofTexas
You have no experience with racks??? What kind of guy are you?
#25
Well, the traynor YCV80 is not a metal amp. It's meant for huge clean headroom. I can get a decent crunch sound on my traynor, i'll upload it onto my profile. keep in mind, it's slightly less fuzzier in real life, I may have overloaded the mic slightly.

He said he's not gigging, and just driving a 4x12 to mic it for recording. 5 watts should be plenty.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#26
Quote by Reincaster
Like I said eariler, it might be best to get a low wattage head, like the valve junior or something, and then add an effects loop, which is easy to do. Then plug your engl into the effects loop, bypassing the preamp, and voila, engle with a 5 watt poweramp.
Yeah, gotcha, Rein. I was JUST about to try a Valve Junior tonight at Guitar Center (when I almost bought the 4x12, and realized the Engl's built-in, 1.5-Watt stereo power amp can't power a mono cab), but I had to run back to work. I really never considered the Valve Junior, because it didn't have a master volume. But, with the Engl, I wouldn't need it. Does the Valve Junior have an effects loop, or would I have to mod the Valve Junior to use the Engl with it?
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
#27
Quote by LEVEL4
Yeah, gotcha, Rein. I was JUST about to try a Valve Junior tonight at Guitar Center (when I almost bought the 4x12, and realized the Engl's built-in, 1.5-Watt stereo power amp can't power a mono cab), but I had to run back to work. I really never considered the Valve Junior, because it didn't have a master volume. But, with the Engl, I wouldn't need it. Does the Valve Junior have an effects loop, or would I have to mod the Valve Junior to use the Engl with it?


You'd have to mod the VJ, however, it's just a matter of tapping the center pin on the volume knob, pretty simple stuff, tons of mod sites are out there. Actually, maybe the VJ by itself, unmodded would work. I think the preamp tube is just there as a driver anyways.

Carbon, I uploaded my ycv40's crunch mp3. It's no EL34 amp, so there's not as much midrange as I'd like.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#28
Ah gotcha. Well, I am still getting a SS due to its weight and cost. As for ts, ah, sounds like he is getting a Crate. It's alright, but I still wouldn't recommend it.

Fast posts! VJ would be a better alternative for recording than a Powerblock, so, that wouldn't be too bad for that. I will take a listen to the clip in a bit; did you ever use a Tube Screamer with the crunch on the Traynor at all? Mine just doesn't want to work with it, hence the preamp.
Quote by LuthierofTexas
You have no experience with racks??? What kind of guy are you?
Last edited by CarbonDeath at Nov 1, 2007,
#29
Quote by CarbonDeath
Ah gotcha. Well, I am still getting a SS due to its weight and cost. As for ts, ah, sounds like he is getting a Crate. It's alright, but I still wouldn't recommend it.



A crate? where'd you get that?
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#30
Just edited post.

Crate Powerblock from the 1st page.

Just listened to the clip, sounds good. I actually got that sound before re-tubing my Traynor. After I tubed it, I realized that my auto-biasing on it was shot. Therefore, it would need to be fixed or replaced. I emailed Traynor and said it would cost $200 to ship back and forth from Wisonsin to Canada. Otherwise I could do it my self and screw it up even more. Ever since, I have been blowing tubes every 1-2 months. Plus, it weighs 80lbs.
Quote by LuthierofTexas
You have no experience with racks??? What kind of guy are you?
#31
Quote by CarbonDeath
Just edited post.

Crate Powerblock from the 1st page.

Just listened to the clip, sounds good. I actually got that sound before re-tubing my Traynor. After I tubed it, I realized that my auto-biasing on it was shot. Therefore, it would need to be fixed or replaced. I emailed Traynor and said it would cost $200 to ship back and forth from Wisonsin to Canada. Otherwise I could do it my self and screw it up even more. Ever since, I have been blowing tubes every 1-2 months. Plus, it weighs 80lbs.


i have a fulltone ocd, but the only thing I used on the clip as my MXR Dynacomp. I can get pretty much every tone I need with the fulltone though.

That's odd about traynor's warrranty though.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#32
Wow! I've been reading about the mods on the Valve Junior combo that this guy did at valvejunior.com. One added benefit of the Valve Junior head, I found out, is that it has a "DC-filament supply" which elminates much of the hum these amps are apparently known for (maybe the current version of the combo does too, now). What a great site! Cool little amp! Yes, I see LOTS of possibilites with this inexpensive little amp. Time to get out the soldering iron!

[NOTE: STARTED NEW THREAD ON EPIPHONE VALVE JUNIOR MODS—PLEASE REPLY TO THIS TOPIC BY CLICKING HERE]
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 1, 2007,
#33
Quote by LEVEL4
Wow! I've been reading about the mods on the Valve Junior combo that this guy did at valvejunior.com. One added benefit of the Valve Junior head, I found out, is that it has a "DC-filament supply" which elminates much of the hum these amps are apparently known for (maybe the current version of the combo does too, now). What a great site! Cool little amp! Yes, I see LOTS of possibilites with this inexpensive little amp. Time to get out the soldering iron!


Just remember to read the safety bit very carefully. The VJ can kill you quite easily...
#34
Quote by Denthúl
Just remember to read the safety bit very carefully. The VJ can kill you quite easily...
HA! Thanks, Denthúl! Yeah, I gotta try to remember my 7th-grade electronics stuff. I gotta drain all the capacitors, and somehow get the voltage relieved from the tubes, right?

If anyone's wondering what my Engl does sound like, I finally made a "chug-chug" kinda track, with some pretty treble-ey leads in my profile, called, Track 21: "Acid" recorded direct, with no cabinet emulation. Signal path:

HSS Strat humbucker position —> Engl E530 preamp —> G•Major "Detune" preset
.
American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

.
Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 1, 2007,