Hey everyone.
In the next few days I plan on going to the local music shop (Billy Hyde) that have a pretty big selection of gear and I was wondering what amps you could recommend me try out. If you'd like me to, I could possibly try and review some stuff for you but I'm not 100% sure if I can or not, depending on how long I get there. Also when I am actually able to go is unclear, it may be the next few or days or next week. The brands I have to choose from are:
-Genz Benz
-Jackson (EVH)
-Line 6
-Mesa Boogie

What I've been looking for in an amp is heavy, bone crunching chugs, a real searing lead tone, stunning cleans, and an ability to hit some classic rock tones well. I've been steered in the direction of the Mark IV, but what else can you recommend from the following, or anything else? If I had to sacrifice some tones, I would sacrifice the classic rock tones, but I really would like the chugs and lead tone the most. Cleans are of course important as well, but I can survive without Fender-like cleans. So tell me which amps to try. Thanks in advance
From that list, I would look into the Engl Fireball and Powerball, Krank Revolution, Line 6 Spider Valve (although not for everyone), Marshall JCM2000, and Mesa Dual and Triple Rectos. What kind of budget are you lookin at?
Heads will roll. Throats will be slit. Blood will flow like springs of water.
Which Billy Hyde are you going to?
A lot of the Billy Hyde's around Melbourne aren't exactly helpful. They're more in it for the cash.
Where abouts in Melbourne are you? I may be able to recommend some stores.
In response to mafropetee, my budget is around AUD$2,500, but I'm buying used anyways. And in response to Moe, I'm going to the Blackburn one, the staff will let me plug into most of the amps there, won't they? Oh, and I live in Rowville, South-Eastern suburbs.
Last edited by digger35 at Apr 11, 2008,
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Mark IV
Engl Fireball and Powerball
EVH 5150 III if they have one
Marshall Kerry King Sig

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Peavey XXX 60 watt combo
Ibanez TS9 Tubescreamer

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And in response to Moe, I'm going to the Blackburn one, the staff will let me plug into most of the amps there, won't they?

They should, just ask politely.
You could always check out KC's rock shop in Boronia if you don't mind traveling a little.
Or Drum power in Bayswater. They stock Randall amps if you're interested in them. And of course there's that store in Knox O-zone. Heard nothing but good things from shoppers who went there.
So yeah, look around hey, and good luck with finding an amp.
Thanks Moe, I'm familiar with all those shops and I'm happy with all of them, except KC's. I bought my B.C. Rich from there but I wasn't happy with the guy working there, he sold me a "case" for $50 but it was sposed to come free with the guitar, or at least it said that on the side, as I'd found out when I got home. Thanks for the recommendations
Lol, yeah. I've heard mixed stories about KC's.
Have you been to five star music in Ringwood by any chance?
Nope, can't say I have but my friend recommended it to me with pretty high regard. What's the range like?
It's not too bad. My mates friend works there, So I get 30% off most items.
They stock Randall, Hughes and Kettner, Orange, Ulbrick, Framus, Matchless, Hiwatt, Vox, Drive, Epiphone, and Ibanez amps.
30%?! Niiiiice. I just checked out their website, they seem to have a pretty good range there.
Also, to everyone, if there's any amps that require tweaking (like the Mesa's) does anybody have links to a site with some settings, or their own personal settings? Thanks guys
Try out the Genz Benz El Diablo, they dont get enough attention in my opinion.

Really, try ALL the amps out, but buy used on Ebay.
For those who care.
Current Gear
Cort Zenox Z42
Flextone II
Charvel USA So-Cal
Farida M2 Parlour Acoustic
Admira Hand-built Spanish Acoustic
Blackstar HT-5H
Line 6 M13
Oh, and do me a favor. If they have the new Hughes & Kettner Warp X, see how it sounds for a metal amp. I can't find any sound clips or videos of it. Not even a decent review anywhere.
Heads will roll. Throats will be slit. Blood will flow like springs of water.
Ah, I don't think that they stock Hughes & Kettner, but if they do have some, I'll let you know.
Kay so I went to Billy Hyde's and unfortunately I only tried out TWO AMPS, disappointing, I know. But what I did try out blew my mind, both good and bad. I tried out an ENGL Screamer 50. I think I read they get really bad raps but GOD DAMN it was one hell of an amp. Absolutely insane distortion, even though it was set, I'd definitely consider buying one if I didn't have the dough, and because of this the ENGL Fireball is seriously making me reconsider the Mark IV. The cleans I didn't play with much, but I heard another guy that was using cleans and he had a nice spanky clean tone from the amp, nice and twangy. I liked that about the amp and I figure you can get more tones from EQing, so that's a plus.

The other amp I tried, Spider Valve. The sales guy was really behind this one, saying how meticulous Bogner is with his amp's construction, but this amp was poor IMO. The distortion was too fuzzy for me, I wasn't a huge fan at all. The twang setting was a nice, good for blues. The blues setting, funnily enough, wasn't too great. As always the insane setting is just overdoing it, the metal channel was pretty good, but again fuzzy. There were tonnes of presets on the amp, which I found pretty good, and the effects were pretty good. But does that sorta stuff belong on a tube amp? I thought how the amp lit up like an Uberschall (kinda) was pretty awesome... but that's not really too important is it?

So all in all, EXTREMELY happy with ENGL, my first high gain tube, and disappointed by the Spider Valve.

Sorry to everyone that wanted amps tested out but next I go, I'll see what happens. Also, because of my foray into the world of all things ENGL, I was wondering what you guys could recommend for my next amp, and if ENGLs would indeed be better for metal than an ENGL. I figure I'll pick up a fireball or powerball from the states with a step down trasnformer, or buy a fireball on special from Billy Hyde and then save up for a Mark IV later on. I'm definitely considering the fireball as my next amp, and the screamer as well, despite the lack of versatility. I really love the low end of the ENGL. So I guess this just turned into a which amp thread. I'll make a new one if things don't turn out well.
Do you want my Hughes n kettner? I just wanna sell it as i need quick cash..
I can meet you in Melb. I bought it for $4.500 few years back..Works perfect!
But too late you bought an amp! LOL