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#1
Are the 5 Watt amps? (Epi Jr.; Royal 8; Blackheart) really that bad for metal? I've been looking into possibly buying one, but i know i'd play alot of metal, and i've heard that theyre bad for that kind of thing.

So should i get something else? I really would need something for practice, should i just go SS?

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Ibanez RG370DX
Peavey Valveking 112 (w/ Bad Monkey and GE-7 EQ)
#2
stock, straight out of the box, no pedals, they're useless for metal.
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#3
What pedals would i need, and after that would it not even be worth it?

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#5
For metal you need wattage and the headroom it provides so your sound stays tight and doesnt muddy up or turn creamy. Metal is not a blues or brown sound type of genre so smaller amps just dont have the headroom.

You would need a straight up distortion pedal to get metal out of a small amp.
#6
Quote by MakeItWitChu
What pedals would i need, and after that would it not even be worth it?


If you cranked it and used an overdrive, it still wouldn't be enough. Two overdrives plus cranked amp might do it for lighter metal...

If you want, you could get a good distortion and that would be that, but a lot of people don't like wasting their "tube-yness".
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#7
get a 5 watter and a tube distortion pedal maybe?
then its still all tube goodness, but for metal.
try maybe a Seymour duncan twin tube mayhem
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#8
Metal Muff for pedals. Cheap and cheerful. Or you could buy a Valvetronix distortion pedal, one with a valve in it. That will certainly apply the needed grit for metal. But they are costly. You can almost afford a new amp for their prices.
#9
So would i basically just want to get an SS, maybe a Cube?

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#11
Honestly for metal and small wattage it might be a better shot for you. One option is getting a Randall thats there thing and they do it well... I have two tube amps that i use for metal but right between them is my randall SS. The thing is brootal as hell in its own right...
#12
umm the peavey jsx mini colossus would certainly do, but then again its a bit more pricey.
#13
How much do you play metal? 50% of the time 90% of the time?

I think a 5 watter with a Distortion pedal would sound better then most SS amps, and if you play blues/classic rock some of the time then for sure the 5 watter will sound better
#14
Quote by AngryGoldfish
Metal Muff for pedals. Cheap and cheerful. Or you could buy a Valvetronix distortion pedal, one with a valve in it. That will certainly apply the needed grit for metal. But they are costly. You can almost afford a new amp for their prices.


I don't know about the Valvetronix pedal, but I don't like the Metal Muff. It's harsh and unnatural. It's like they just tried to add more distortion to the Big Muff and called it metal, rather than actually giving it the decent low-end and tightness that metal requires.
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#15
Pick up the newest guitar player there is a 21 distortion pedal review in there. It reviews most of the newest and greatest. One of my favorite pedals is also in there Protone Body Rot mmmm mmm so tasty...
#16
Quote by Sonicxlover
I don't know about the Valvetronix pedal, but I don't like the Metal Muff. It's harsh and unnatural. It's like they just tried to add more distortion to the Big Muff and called it metal, rather than actually giving it the decent low-end and tightness that metal requires.



Haha, thats funny mate. I agree totally! The only reason why I said it is because a lot of people actually like it. I don't. It does its job but it feels fake and unballanced. But thats just me. Your the only other person I know that has expressed captious thoughts towards to it. I'll give the pedal one good trait though... its fairly diverse.
#17
Quote by stangconv
How much do you play metal? 50% of the time 90% of the time?

I think a 5 watter with a Distortion pedal would sound better then most SS amps, and if you play blues/classic rock some of the time then for sure the 5 watter will sound better

I would say more than half the time, and i would like a good tone for it.


PS: Spider III at the moment.

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#18
Metal Muff for pedals. Cheap and cheerful.

Perfect description of a metal muff.... And exactly what you never want your distortion pedal to be described as CHEAP and CHEERFUL...

You want expensive and brootal not a thin and buzzy as hell Metal muff....

And not going at you directly poster but so many fall into the metal muffs are great syndrome/band wagon...
#19
Quote by MakeItWitChu
I would say more than half the time, and i would like a good tone for it.


PS: Spider III at the moment.


Check out some Randall clips online.. You can hit up the RH and RG series they can go from close to tube sounding blues and classic rock to shearingly brootal.
#20
I had a VJ combo and thought it was next to useless for everything.

Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
stock, straight out of the box, no pedals, they're useless for metal.


And once you've spent the money on the pedals you need for it to make any kind of passable attempt, you could've just bought an amp that could do metal by itself.
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#21
I just got a Valve jr half stack today and am using it mainly for metal.

for the meantime im using a boss metalcore with it which sounds pretty good but could use some eq as it sounds a bit muddy. im going to try out a danelectro fish n chips with it and see what kind of noise i can make.

i spent awhile trying out amps and came to the conclusion that even through a distortion pedal and with no eq the tube amps just have a warmer more organic sound that you can feel. of the ones i tried i liked the blackheart the best, i think the closed cabinet helped get the tone i was looking for, but everyone and their dog is trying to get a little giant right now so i went with the next best and easy to find valve jr.

i plan on modding the head in the future. maybe put in the bitmo attenuator so i can utilize that sweet dirty sound, when the jr starts to overdrive, at lower volumes.
#22
Quote by IbanezPsycho
Check out some Randall clips online.. You can hit up the RH and RG series they can go from close to tube sounding blues and classic rock to shearingly brootal.

So would that be their SS line? How are the cleans?

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#24
sonicxlover, where did you get ur conclusion that a blackheart cranked + OD pedal COULDN'T do metal?

now if you're talking KSE or COB soudning metal then yea you're right, but it's a different voicing. I can easily play thrash and even get shred tones out of it w/ an OD.

maybe you haven't cranked one and tried it yourself? if not you should, maybe you just thought it was like the peavey royal 8 or somethin, but it really can get heavy. it's just brighter and british voiced, so it's not gonna have the dark sound needed to sound more 'evil' i guess is the word.
My MAIN Gear
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#25
Quote by IbanezPsycho
Perfect description of a metal muff.... And exactly what you never want your distortion pedal to be described as CHEAP and CHEERFUL...

You want expensive and brootal not a thin and buzzy as hell Metal muff....

And not going at you directly poster but so many fall into the metal muffs are great syndrome/band wagon...



HAHA! **** YEAH!
#26
Quote by IbanezPsycho

You want expensive and brootal not a thin and buzzy as hell Metal muff....

well, it's definitely not thin or buzzy, at least the one I have...

On a side note, I concur the real reason that there is not enough distortion is that there are at most 2 gain stage for most 5 watters. You need 4 high-gain configured triode (meaning it will have a good cathode cap-resistor match up and grid resistor) in order for it to be good enough for metal.

EDIT: actually, 3 high gain-configured triode would do the trick for heavy rock/early metal.
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#27
I can play thrash with my palomino v8(< $200) + bad monkey(< $50) + danelectro eq.($30). The bad monkey pushes it over, and then the eq pedal really helps a ton. Tho i don't use this combination too much cause i have my triple xxx. But the amazing tone you can get on a 5w tube amp you shouldn't pass up, even if its not metal lol.
#29
Quote by lockless7x
when u say practice u mean by urself or with a band ?

Myself...

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#30
Quote by slash_rocks2005
sonicxlover, where did you get ur conclusion that a blackheart cranked + OD pedal COULDN'T do metal?

now if you're talking KSE or COB soudning metal then yea you're right, but it's a different voicing. I can easily play thrash and even get shred tones out of it w/ an OD.

maybe you haven't cranked one and tried it yourself? if not you should, maybe you just thought it was like the peavey royal 8 or somethin, but it really can get heavy. it's just brighter and british voiced, so it's not gonna have the dark sound needed to sound more 'evil' i guess is the word.


I haven't tried one, you're right. From what I've heard (good quality sound clips + demos) it'll do light classic rock cranked, so I assumed with an OD it could do some harder and 80's rock and delve into light metal (Sabbath) at best. But IMO that's not enough.

Oh yeah, forgot about the V8. That'll probably do it with an OD and an EQ like the guy above me said.
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#31
Hey sonicxlover, how does the Blues Jr. do for metal? Is that what you used in the death metal riff clip?

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#32
Quote by MakeItWitChu
Hey sonicxlover, how does the Blues Jr. do for metal? Is that what you used in the death metal riff clip?


Well sort of. I was actually aiming to get a bad tone though. I plugged in my MD-2 and turned up the distort and gain a bit higher than I would normally have it. Then I plugged in my GE-7, cut all the mids as far as I could (-15 db), and boosted the gain as far as I could (+15). Then the settings on my amp were like Bass 10, Mids 0, Treble 12 or something like that.

I was trying to be obnoxious. But on its own it will definitely not even get close. With my EQ as a boost of about +5 db, it'll get a heavy blues tone, very crunchy but that's the most of it. I use my distortion for now, which I'm happy with because I max the bass control on it. But when I get my Carvin Legacy head the Blues Jr. will be relegated to portable amp duties for practices and gigs.
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Last edited by Sonicxlover at May 28, 2008,
#33
I'll just repeat what everyone else has said and say they won't do metal without help.

That being said, I've managed VERY gainy metal by using a Solid Metal pedal. It actually sounds pretty good when you balance it out so that the amp is doing some of the gain, as in having somewhat low gain settings on the pedal, but with the level fairly high, (around 1 o'clock), and the amps' volume up high. Add an EQ between them and you've got a nice rig. My setup is definitely not cheap, the VJr half-stack + SM pedal + my EQ, (MXR M-108) costs over $500, and you're getting close to the low-end metal heads in that price range.

The strange thing about this arrangement is that the VJr quickly loses its vintage voicing as the gain goes up. Not in a bad way, it just sounds more modern voiced to my ears. Clicking on my Bad Monkey with the gain all the way down adds back some vintagey-ness if I want it.

The only thing I'm thinking about doing to enhance what I have now is adding some power buffering in the VJr to tighten up the bass a bit.
#34
sonicx,

w/ my blackheart dimed on 5 watt setting i can pull of GNR tone/gain perfect. and they're a lil more than just mid gain. Put on OD on that gain level and you can get heavy sounds for sure, but i understand why you'd assume that they couldn't pull off anything heavy.

so i'll say this to the TS:

IF you're using high output humbuckers (which mine are) then that'll help you achieve a lil' more dirt in your tone, which is prolly what the case is for me.

though i respect his input, sonicx hasn't tried the blackheart specifically so until he does, don't use his judgement as the primary, but keep it in mind b/c he isn't speaking out of his ass, he's giving a good judgement based on most reviews which is how it should be if you haven't actually played a certain amp yourself.

remember that the output of your pups, distance away from your strings and picking dynamics all play a part in the amount of gain that is produced from your amp.
My MAIN Gear
____________
"They call him the 'Sand Spider.' -Why? -Probably because it sounds scary"
*Agile AL3000 Les Paul w/ Alnico IIs
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*Dunlop CFH
*fellow LEO feel free to give a shout out
#36
i should mod my blackheart to have a gain knob that says 'Balls'.


that way when i want more gain i'll just tell my jam buddies, "Hey wait a sec, gotta give it more Balls!"
My MAIN Gear
____________
"They call him the 'Sand Spider.' -Why? -Probably because it sounds scary"
*Agile AL3000 Les Paul w/ Alnico IIs
*Randall RM50
*Dunlop CFH
*fellow LEO feel free to give a shout out
#38
Sorry Slash have to interject on this one.... There is no way adding a OD over the top of GNR tone is going to get you metal. Its just going to get you a dirtier GNR tone... Metal is not more dirt, more dirt is more dirt. If that was the case why doesnt everyone with an amp just dime out there gain to achieve metal? Its not as easy as that. Theres a reason they make Fenders, Blues Juniors and 5150's Each have there own voicing.

Also check out the dudes profile he isnt talking about Black Sabbath style metal... He is talking about Thrash-Modern pretty hardcore metal bands here.

Favorite bands :
Children of Bodom, Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, Pink Floyd, Lamb of God, it goes on and on, i'm not naming everything. lol

Sorry but there is not a way to push a 5 watter into that realm of music with out it being total muddy, nasty, haze of what might be a metal song.

Now that said Pink Floyd he might be able to pull off lol
#39
IbanezPyscho,

if you'd like i can get some recording up sometime soon of my blackheart doing some thrash. is it really that hard to believe that it can do thrash? lol. my point wasn't that an OD over GNR will get you instant metal, just that the gain level GNR use (on a typical gain scale of say one to ten) which is prolly a 7 plus a bad monkey overdriving that level will get it enough gain to do trhashy metal. i never claimed that it could perfectly do modern metal. but anything that sounds like metallica, Slayer or BLS should be achievable if you know what you're doing.

i mean it could just be that my ears are untrained and i don't know what i'm hearing, but im pretty sure it can do thrash.

i'll have to get a sound clip up so that i don't seem like i'm arguing for the sake of it.

and as far as those other bands, i don't think i ever disagreed the fact that they're tone is achieved from a different voicing. i know that for a fact. my randall is awesome for hardcore type sounds and heavy death metal, but not as great as the blackheart for vintage sounds. but if he can only afford one amp and decides to get the blackheart, he should get a seperate distortion pedal for anything that's american voiced.

when my RM50 is fixed i'll prolly get an A/B box so that way i have instant variety of tones .
My MAIN Gear
____________
"They call him the 'Sand Spider.' -Why? -Probably because it sounds scary"
*Agile AL3000 Les Paul w/ Alnico IIs
*Randall RM50
*Dunlop CFH
*fellow LEO feel free to give a shout out
#40
Get me up some clips and ill let ya know. And an untrained ear might be the issue im going on like 12 years of listening to nothing but Thrash and now Modern metal bands. Theres a difference in getting a muddy mess that sounds like thrash and actually getting a tight clear thrash tone. If your wanting to butcher a tone and dont care what it sounds like then why waste the money and time just get a Spider hell it can do everything.

My main point is the amp is made for light tones like blues, some classic rock and things of that nature. Once you take an amp out of its element its just going to mud up and sound like ****. I know i own a Valveking lol

And metal needs the headroom its not a creamy type of tone so all your doing by adding more gain and more level is overdriving the hell out of the tubes and turning any notes that come out into mush and there coming out creamier and creamier which your precieveing is metal and gain but it is not. Metal is a tight to the point non power tube saturation tone. Which is a reason SS amps can even compete in the metal market. So unfortunalty turning a creamier then hell blues tone into an even creamier then hell blues tone is not metal my friend....
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