#1
I'm gonna be getting a new amp, soon, so I thought I'd ask UG's opinion on this. The general opinion I hear is that tube amps are better then SS amps, but I was wondering if this still applied if I was going for something in the 300$ range (AKA the blackheart) rather then say, a top notch Mesa Boogie or Marshall.

I currently use my cheap solid state fender the most, just because I find it gives me more versatile tone then the piece of crate crate I have right now. I was wondering if I should still get the tube amp if I'm staying in a tight price range. I'll probably be running the YJM308 distortion, an orange squeezer compressor and some sort of reverb thru whatever amp I use, but I want to get a variety of tones out of my setup with enough volume to keep up with a garage band. Will a 5 watt tube amp be able to give me decent cleans at this kind of volume? Also, would a cheap tube amp sound ok at a low volume with distortion added by pedal without driving the amp? I want to keep this fairly cheap, but get something that will last me a while. Should I just go for a solid state amp for the versitility?

Any amp recommendations welcome as well.
My current ghetto setup:

Crate VC508 (Needs new speaker and pots BADLEY.)
Fender R15
Peavey T-60
Original LPB-1
BBE Sonic Maximizer (rack)
Last edited by Thelastrilo at Jun 26, 2008,
#2
Valve Standard FTW.

Also, it depends on what you need exactly. If you want pure tone, go for something like a Palomino or a Pro Junior, especially if you are going to run effects into it. If you want something with a lot of versatility, an AD50VT would suit you.

However, if you are a high gain man, a Tube combo in that range will not give you what you want. The Valveking can pull it off with an OD, but I think that's it, unless you go to around 500 bucks, used.

If you want a good 15 watt tube, which would be ideal for a garage band situation for playing rock, blues, or alternative (basically, things with lighter gain), a Valve Standard, a Palomino V16 or a Crate V18 would be your best bet.
#3
Hm, define lighter gain?

I don't play anything like metallica, primus etc, but I do play a lot of hair metal, and occasionally heavy metal ranging from early sabbath to priest..

EDIT: Also, as far as effects go, all the features I would really want at most on an amp would be channels, EQ and reverb, I intend on buying pedals, and I don't intend on playing TOO many songs with the auto-wah on high.
My current ghetto setup:

Crate VC508 (Needs new speaker and pots BADLEY.)
Fender R15
Peavey T-60
Original LPB-1
BBE Sonic Maximizer (rack)
#4
^When I say High Gain, I mean modern metal. A 15 watt tube can pull that off (hair metal and Sabbath) with a pedal.

Like I said, another option is a AD50VT. It can pull those off without a pedal and has built in effects, if that is the route you choose to go.
#5
VoxDA(series) amps are extremely versatile for your price range, a lot of tone varieties. I use the DA20, it does indeed RAWK. It is a solid state amp, gets awesome volume, can easily go loud enough for a garage band, possibly a small gig. But the most important thing is you go with your guitar to your local music store and crank it up in there and try em out.
#6
If you plan on playing live, or doing professional, serious recordings, then go tube.

If you just want to play in your bedroom, or just a practice amp, then a SS would be fine.

It's all based on personal preference.

I always go with a tube amp, because I don't have any use for an SS,
but if you have no use for a tube amp, then don't get one.

They're meant to be loud.
Member of UG Gain whores.
PM Gpderek09 to join!
#7
Low end tube will be better than low end SS, unless you really want effects built in, than ss is the way to go. A 5W tube will keep up with your band, unless your drummer is really loud. There's no way you'll be able to play clean at those levels though. If you want clean tones you'll need to look into atleast a 15w for some more headroom.
Yamaha RGX 520FZ
Squier Affinitys Strat (customized!)
Johnson 620 Player Acoustic

Boss HM3 hyper metal
Boss CH1 super chorus
Zoom G1X

Peavey Valveking Royal 8
New: Peavey JSX Mini Collosal
#8
Quote by HeliuM
Low end tube will be better than low end SS, unless you really want effects built in, than ss is the way to go. A 5W tube will keep up with your band, unless your drummer is really loud. There's no way you'll be able to play clean at those levels though. If you want clean tones you'll need to look into atleast a 15w for some more headroom.

True. An MG is far worse than a VK or other low end tube amps, but considering that an AD50VT is cheaper than the VK and has better tone, I wouldn't say that's the general rule. It all depends on what you need/what you want. A SS amp can pull off a good tone, if you know what you are doing with it. The low end tube amps are generally one trick ponies until you get over 500 bucks, and even then you are splitting hairs.
#9
Thanks for all the posts guys, but I'm still rather undecided... Mainly, I understand 5 watts of headroom is not much, but I was told that if I turn down the volume on the GUITAR, It'll somehow give me cleaner tones at higher volumes...

Also, wouldn't separate effect pedals give me a more versatile range of tones since I would be able to control the effects seperately..?
My current ghetto setup:

Crate VC508 (Needs new speaker and pots BADLEY.)
Fender R15
Peavey T-60
Original LPB-1
BBE Sonic Maximizer (rack)
#10
basically, as already said, the cheaper tube amps are quite nice, as long as you accept that they're pretty much one-trick ponies. if you need a variety of tones, a modeller may be a better plan.
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
i would buy nice solid state instead of a little limited tube amp...but thats just me
Quote by Jack Off Jill
Better than hooked on crack, I suppose. I'd rather know my kids are safe at home beating their meat than out in the world robbing old women for their crack fix.

Quote by *sigh*
What a huge coincidence. I have a butthole also.
#12
i got a 65 watt ss, and am very pleased by it. I'm not a professional, and just play small gigs...it allows me to get a bigger range of sounds than a tube at that price. So I'd say for the price go SS.
'I love her, but I love to fish...I'm gonna miss her"
#13
Just putting it out there: Vox Valvetronix are NOT tube amps, they have a tube pre-amp (this is off the top of my head but I'm sure I'm right) but they're still very much a SS amp.
#14
Quote by Wakisazhi
Just putting it out there: Vox Valvetronix are NOT tube amps, they have a tube pre-amp (this is off the top of my head but I'm sure I'm right) but they're still very much a SS amp.

The latter is correct, to a degree, but the former is not.

The Valvetronix has a digital pre amp, and a full solid state power amp. The valve circuit is between the two and takes a dummy load from the pre amp and sends it to the power amp to be amplified to usable volumes (so it's in the power stage of amplification, not the pre amp stage).
#15
You should go to your local guitar shop and try out some amps at the volumes at which you'll be gigging.

I would be inclined to recommend a "low end" tube amp, but I can't really be sure that it would suit your needs: 5 watts tube can definitely be loud enough to be heard over drums (especially through a 4x12 cab), but it does give very little headroom. Through my Valve Junior running into a 4x12, though, I can actually get pretty good (read: decent) cleans even with the amp dimed if I let up a little on the volume knob and play with a softer pick attack.

Honestly, though, if you save up just a little more cash, you're heading into used Classic 30 range, which I'm betting would work out great for you.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
BC Rich Mockingbird Supreme (USA Custom Shop)
BC Rich NJ Neck-Thru Series Mockingbird
Epiphone Elite Les Paul Standard

Laney TT50-112
Peavey Classic 30
Epiphone Valve Junior
Roland Microcube
#16
Quote by imgooley
The latter is correct, to a degree, but the former is not.

The Valvetronix has a digital pre amp, and a full solid state power amp. The valve circuit is between the two and takes a dummy load from the pre amp and sends it to the power amp to be amplified to usable volumes (so it's in the power stage of amplification, not the pre amp stage).


Ah, I got them mixed up (like I said it was off the top of my head).
#17
Blackheart handsome devil 15W is 300 for the head and 400 for a 1x12 combo.
A 15W head can power a 2x12, or a low-power 4x12.

For 600, you can get the handsome devil and a fender FM412 cab, which will be a nice match for someone who needs clean headroom.
VERY good setup for live.
Or a used epiphone blues custom 30, also quiet nice.
...
Please do not insinuate anything sexual from that.

Quote by cobain_is_king
If your friends don't like your guitar, cover it in stickers and it'll be teh rawks!
#18
Thanks again for all the help guys, but I wanted to ask about some specific amps I found. Anyone have any experience/knowledge on the Marshall valvestate amps or the Bedrock 1202 combo?

Thanks-
My current ghetto setup:

Crate VC508 (Needs new speaker and pots BADLEY.)
Fender R15
Peavey T-60
Original LPB-1
BBE Sonic Maximizer (rack)
#19
avt2000 valvestates, or the older valvestates?

i haven't tried the older valvestates (and allegedly they're a bit better than the newer ones), but the newer ones aren't very good. at all.
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?