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#1
This thread will feature (all pertaining to metal amps!) will feature first, general info, second, reviews and additional information for probably upward of 150 amplfiers eventually, good and bad, in all price ranges, then possibly in the future, rack gear, cabs, and speakers. I will start on my articles today, and I'm open on suggestions for them as well.


Articles:
Solid State Or Tube

This is a MAJOR debate among amp guys, and my answer is, IT DOESN'T MATTER! Both have advantages and disadvantages. Solid states have a more consistant sound over time, as tubes age, and circuits don't. Solid states are often more reliable, as they have less parts that are generally going to wearout. With solid states though, if something does break, it often means replacing the entire circuit of the amp. Also, solid states "crap out" at high volumes, (clipping, which in turn makes the sound worse), which is why solid state amps often have very high wattages. Tube amps generally have a more dynamic sound. They have parts like tubes, which will generally wear out over time. They are normally easy to replace though, and in general, any part of a tube amp that breaks is pretty simple to replace. Tube amps also generally sound better at high volumes, since the power tubes start to breakup and add to the tone. Ulitmately, just find an amp that you like the tone of, and don't worry about if it is solid state or tube.

Combo Or Head

One of the big debates among amp owners and purchasers is whether to get a Combo, or a Half/Full stack. Both have inherent advantages and disadvantages to them. I will start with combos. The major advantage to combos is that they are more portable than a head & cab. This is true to an extent. I'll explain why when I talk about head and cabs. The other major advantage to combos, is that in dimensions, they are smaller than a head & cab. This is especially useful in relatively cramped practice spaces or small stages. The main advantage to halfstacks is that they are more versitile than combos. You can mix and match heads and cabinets to increase or reduce bass response or other aspects of your tone. Many combos are open-backed, which generally has a lower bass response than a closed back cabinet. A combo, is generally cheaper than a Head + cab as well. Also, in a way, particularly with a 2X12 cabinet, heads+cabinets are just as portable as combos. While the combined weight is heavier, each piece is generally lighter than the combo. Thus, it's basically would you rather one heavy-weight trip, or two medium-weight trips. Also with a halfstack, you can use a power attenuator between the speakers and head to push the tubes harder at lower volumes, but some combos won't let you do this. The final advantage that I can think of at the moment for a head+cab is that if something happens to one piece, the other piece may be fine. With a combo, if something happens to it, it's gone--the other piece won't be fine (examples of what could happen--stolen, baseball bat/axe damage, fire, flood, failing components, shipping damage, etc). Another not, is that with most combos, you can add extension cabs to them if you choose. Whether you get a combo, halfstack, fullstack, 2X12 stack, whatever, is up to you, but make sure you do it because of what it offers, not because its cool.

Speaker #'s

Wattage

People get....very emotional about wattage sometimes on here. I see many going "I'm gigging so I NEED 100+ watts" and others going "Anything over 30 is WAY too much". In fact, neither of these are true. First, wattage comes primarily from the Power tubes
of the amp (i say mostly, as other features may have slight effects). With more wattage comes more volume, more headroom, and less ability to attain powertube distortion before reaching un-godly volume levels. Lower has the opposite effects. Volume due to wattage is much debated. First, generally solid state amps of the a wattage will be quieter than tube amps of that volume. Also, while more watts is generally louder (this is not true--other things effect volume, so some lower wattage amps will outperform other higher watt amps at volume). In general, many say that you must increase the wattage by 10 to double the volume. The problem I recently noticed in this is that I believe that this would be measured in decibels, which grow somewhat exponentially. Based on a class a friend of mine took, average ambient noise somewhere (like....breathing, perhaps an AC) is about 45 decibels. Conversations run at about 70 to maybe 90 decibels. Then a boeing 747 can hit around 140-150 decibels. And apparently the human ear will implode at 147 decibels. Thus, the perceived volume increase from wattage could be very great, but like I said. Also, many amps effectively peak-out on the volume dial much before the end of it. Some high watt amps will be quiter than other, lower wattage amps. Now. Head room is the ability for you to push the amp harder/louder without altered tone/breakup. For example, with a 100 watt amp, it will be able to get much louder on a very clean sound than a 3 watt amp before it starts to distort. The same idea applies to solid state amps and being able to get louder before they clip. Finally, there's power tube distortion. Where to start. Once a given amp is pushed hard enough, the power tubes begin to distort. This is the goal of many tone fanatics. Others, such as many metal players will want more preamp distortion, and less from the power section. In a higher wattage amp, to push the power tubes hard enough to get distortion from them, you will have to be much louder than a low wattage amp. In general though, power tube distortion is a good thing. Some more notes. In general, higher wattage amps will also have larger/different transformers, which affect the sound. This will be discussed in internal components. Also, few people actually crank their amps all the way. Also, attenuators can be used, which lower the signal strength between the head and speaker, allowing you to push your powertubes harder at lower volumes. The amount of watts needed for gigging is very debatable, depends on your PA systems, cabinet/speakers, etc. Many say even with tube amps, you need 30 + to gig, but I've gigged successfully in a band at a relatively small club with a 15 watt vox valvetronix. Honestly, I don't worry too much about wattage, like the other debates on here. TONE IS MORE IMPORTANT. Do NOT let wattage get in the way of the sound you want. If you love the sound of a 2 watt amp, buy it, and get a PA. If your favorite tone came from a Meteoro MAK3000 (280 all tube watts!) buy it and if you choose, an attenuator.

Internal Components
Just to start this, here's a quick little list of the major components to a guitar amp. I'll explain a bit about what they do and what to look for in them in time:
Resistors
Signal Capacitors
Electrolytic Capacitors
Input Transformer
Output Transformer
Solid State or Tube Rectifier
Tubes
Potentiometers
Switches
Input Jack

Amps:
Ashdown Fallen Angel
B-52 AT100
B-52 ST100
Basson Guitar Amp
Black Star Series One
Bogner Uberschall
Bogner Ecstasy
Bogner Shiva
Brunetti XLR-Evo
Brunetti Pirata
Brunetti 059
Cameron CCM-100
Cameron CCV-100
Carvin V3
Carvin Legacy
Carvin MTS
Cornford Hellcat
Crate Blue Voodoo
Crate GX130
Diamond Spec op
Diamond Phantom
Diamond Nitrox
Diezel Herbert
Diezel VH4
Diezel Einstein
Egnater Mod-50
Elmwood 60 Modena
Elmwood M90 Modena
Elmwood 3100
Engl Fireball
Engl Powerball
Engl Savage
Engl Invader
Engl SE 670
Engl Raider
Engl Steve Morse
Engl Blackmore
Engl Screamer
Epiphone So-Cal
EVH 5150 III
Framus Dragon
Framus Cobra
Genz Benz El Diablo
Genz Benz Black Pearl
Hughes & Kettner Warp 7
Hughes & Kettner Warp X
Hughes & Kettner Trilogy
Hughes & Kettner Switchblade
Hughes & Kettner Triamp Mk. II
Hughes & Kettner Triamp MK. II Alex Lifeson
Ibanez Thermion
Ibanez ToneBlaster
Ibanez MMX
Ibanez Valbee
Krank Revolution 1
Krank Revolution 1 +
Krank Krankenstein
Krank Krankenstein +
Krank Rev 1 SST
Krank Revolution Jr.
Laboga Mr. Hector
Laboga Anhilator
Laney AOR
Laney TT100H
Laney VH100R
Laney GH100L
Laney GH100TI
Line 6 Spider III
Line 6 SpiderValve
Line 6 Vetta II
Line 6 HD147
Line 6 Flextone
Mako Mak2
Mako Makoplex
Mako Custom
Marshall JCM800
Marshall JCM900
Marshall 6100 LM
Marshall JCM2000 DSL
Marshall JCM2000 TSL
Marshall JVM
Marshall MG
Marshall Mode Four
Madison Divinity
Mesa/Boogie Stilletto
Mesa/Boogie Dual/Triple Rec
Mesa/Boogie Roadster
Mesa/Boogie Roadking
Mesa/Boogie Roadster
Mesa/Boogie Mark IV
Mesa/Boogie F series
Mesa/Boogie Dual Caliber
Meteoro MAK3000
Meteoro MHA2000
Orange Thunderverb
Orange Rockerverb
Peavey Ultra Plus
Peavey VTM
Peavey 5150/6505
Peavey 5150 II/6505+
Peavey Triple XXX
Peavey JSX
Peavey Windsor
Peavey Valveking
Peavey Ultra
Peavey Triumph
Randall T2
Randall V2
Randall Warhead
Randall Cyclone
Randall RM100
Randall RG50
Rivera K100
Rivera K100 MK II
Rivera KR100
Rivera K-Tre
Rivera KR7
Roldand Cubes
Roland Microcube
Soldano SLO100
Soldano Decatone
Soldano Avenger
Soldano Lucky 13
Sovtek Mig 60 and 100
Splawn Quick Rod
Splawn Pro Mod
Splawn Nitro
Splawn Competition
VHT Deliverence
VHT Pitbull UL, CLX, and CL
VHT Sig X
Vox Valvetronix
Vox Valvetronix XL
Vox Classic Plus


There's the current list of amps I'm going to cover....let me know if you have more that should be added. I'll start writing articles tomorrow....then these amps, then speakers/cabs, and possibly rack stuff.
Last edited by TheShred201 at Jun 10, 2008,
#22
Nice, finally made it. Let me know what you need reviews on and I'll do my best. I call the Cobra one once I get mine!
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#23
Wow, lots of great information! Thanks a lot! Keep up the good work.

(i'm not editing when TheShred edits, just being prepared is all)
|~| Iron Maiden addiction |~|
\m/ \m/


gear in profile
#24
Fatso, thanks for the support.

Matrixclaw, feel free, though other people can give cobra info too. With more peoples opinions, I would be more likely to explain how the majority feel.

Sendrith, thanks for the confidence.

I would LIKE to start work tomorrow, but I have visiting family members arriving tomorrow and may not be able to.
#26
ENGL Screamer not metal enough?

EDIT: you're missing the Sovtek Mig, although probably no one in UG played one including me...
RIP Jasmine You.

Lieutenant of the 7-string/ERG Legion

Quote by FaygoBro420
Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
#28
And since the Crate GX130 is there, it's probably worth mentioning the Ampeg VH140C.
RIP Jasmine You.

Lieutenant of the 7-string/ERG Legion

Quote by FaygoBro420
Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
#29
I'll write a review on the Carvin Legacy. I've got plenty of experience with mine. I can even provide sound clips for anyone who requests/wants them. If I've got the time, I can also write a review on the Peavey JSX, Mesa DC-5, and Line6 Spider Valve.
#30
I'll add in the ampeg tomorrow. Guitarmeister, i would love for you to write reviews and make clips. As I said, reviews may be combined if I get enough, but more is better. Also a note for reviewers!!!! While the thread focuses on metal, and your review should cover metal stuff, don't leave out info on the cleans, mid-gain, etc.
#31
Specially shred .

J/k man, it's your thread.

And why the MG? I understand Chuck from Death used Marshall solid-states, but I think he used Valve-states (whatever 6100 is).
RIP Jasmine You.

Lieutenant of the 7-string/ERG Legion

Quote by FaygoBro420
Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
#33
Save up a little more and you can get a metal tube amp.
RIP Jasmine You.

Lieutenant of the 7-string/ERG Legion

Quote by FaygoBro420
Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
#35
Quote by aznrockerdude
Specially shred .

J/k man, it's your thread.

And why the MG? I understand Chuck from Death used Marshall solid-states, but I think he used Valve-states (whatever 6100 is).

jah you're right.
#36
A: The 6100 is one of the most versitile and supposedly best sounding all tube marshalls ever. I've never played one, but almost bought one since the reviews were saying that it was what the JVM should have been. I never understood why they discontinued it.

B: I will cover how it sounds, and versitility, but I don't want to "rate" how it sounds, as tone is subjective--i don't like 5150's very much, but a lot of people do. If I'm going to rate tone, I need a LOT of HONEST votes from people, then I'll do the averages.

Oh, and I have the MG as some new guitarists may want it for metal since zakk wylde and kerry king both "use" it. Like I have in my original post--I'm doing the good AND the bad.
#37
Quote by TheShred201
B: I will cover how it sounds, and versitility, but I don't want to "rate" how it sounds, as tone is subjective--i don't like 5150's very much, but a lot of people do.

Off topic: around the 5150 price range, what would you recommend for shred and death metal?
RIP Jasmine You.

Lieutenant of the 7-string/ERG Legion

Quote by FaygoBro420
Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
#39
so like 1300 or less??
For shred, carvin legacy and peavey JSX, but I don't like the JSX for metal and I've never played a legacy. I have heard a LOT of good things about the Carvin V3, but have never played one--it's worth a look. Also, if you don't need cleans, look into a used Soldano Avenger. Also ideas for used--Engl Fireball, possibly if you could find a good deal, the Mesa Roadster is a great amp. That's about all I can think of off the top of my head. I'll let you know if I come up with other ideas. Oh, you could get a used Mesa Dual/Triple Rec, which can be nice for death metal, and actually, based on Buckethead, can be (though isn't normally) good for shred as well. If you look into used recs, look for the older two channel ones, as they are generally regarded as having MUCH better tone...One final reccomendation...a used Mesa Mark IV could be nice for you. Oh, I hope by the 5150 price range you meant of a new 6505...if you meant like a used 5150, my post probably doesn't help much.
#40
My main concern is metal so the JSX is out. The Avenger doesn't have an FX loop (this bothers me). I didn't like the Recto I tried. I don't know how much the older Rectos/Roadsters go for on ebay. I'll have to try out the Fireball: nobody has a shred clip for the FB.

Have you tried the Blackmore?
RIP Jasmine You.

Lieutenant of the 7-string/ERG Legion

Quote by FaygoBro420
Yo wassup, I'm trying to expand my musical horizons if you know what I mean, so can anybody reccomend me some cool Juggalo jazz?
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