#1
Hi All,

Looking for some suggestions here. First off let me explain what I am looking for.

I have done some upgrading to my gear recently as a lot of it is old and tired.

Firstly, I put some EMG 81 active pickups in my Jackson guitar and they really are impressive. More recently I bought a Boss GT 10 and a Roland VG 99 as I got a Roland GR 20 a year earlier. The VG 99 is really inspiring in that the sounds I can get from a Korean telecaster Squire are unbelievable. The acoustic sounds, clean sounds, leads sounds are really cool. Also the alternate tuning is really useful, I found just using it to drop my start down to e flat was a god send. But there is one thing I cannot seem to get right and this is not specifically a criticism of any of the gear I have mentioned.

I am currently using a Line 6 Spider III combo which in the main is a very versatile amp. I am jamming with a few friends and my intention is to leave this amp over at the friends house to save me lugging it about as it is quite heavy.

Anyway what sound I am missing is a cool rhythm sound. If you listen to some Metallica albums, Master Of Puppets just as one example I have always been blown away by the sound these bands get. The palm muted lines are to die for. I know that first of all when these songs are recorded they is no restriction to volume levels and the amps used are cranked all the way up and also these tracks are overlayed to build the sound. But the rhythm sound of bands like Metallica and Megadeth etc is some thing I have never really managed.

I know that EQ wise the trick is to scoop out the mids. But as I am in the market for a new amp I was wondering what sort of setup played at low volume levels would come close to what I am looking for. To be honest I have always used solid state amps like the Line 6 amp I have got preceded by Peavy Bandits in the past. But I was looking at the Marshall JVM series and wondering if the Power Brake would be a good invsetment if I went that way. I am totally open to using valve amps the only reason I have never had one is the valve amps I have tried in the past haven't really done much for me even though most of the music I have ever listened to would be valve driven, total contradiction I admit!

I know that this is some kind of holy grail and I might never get that sound, but I know it is worth asking you guys.

Cheers, Red.
Last edited by RedFred at Oct 24, 2008,
#2
Quote by RedFred
Hi All,

Looking for some suggestions here. First off let me explain what I am looking for.

I have done some upgrading to my ear recently as a lot of it is old and tired.

Ironic typo, funnily enough.
Firstly, I put some EMG 81 active pickups in my Jackson guitar and they really are impressive. More recently I bought a Boss GT 10 and a Roland VG 99 as I got a Roland GR 20 a year earlier. The VG 99 is really inspiring in that the sounds I can get from a Korean telecaster Squire are unbelievable. The acoustic sounds, clean sounds, leads sounds are really cool. Also the alternate tuning is really useful, I found just using it to drop my start down to e flat was a god send. But there is one thing I cannot seem to get right and this is not specifically a criticism of any of the gear I have mentioned.

I am currently using a Line 6 Spider III combo which in the main is a very versatile amp. I am jamming with a few friends and my intention is to leave this amp over at the friends house to save me lugging it about as it is quite heavy.

The Spider III in particular is really beginners' equipment, used to get a range of different effects and tones for beginning guitarists to see what kind of sounds the guitar can make. The EMGs aren't, naturally, but it's like sticking a V8 engine in a Fiat Punto rather than a Ferrari.
Anyway what sound I am missing is a cool rhythm sound. If you listen to some Metallica albums, Master Of Puppets just as one example I have always been blown away by the sound these bands get. The palm muted lines are to die for. I know that first of all when these songs are recorded they is no restriction to volume levels and the amps used are cranked all the way up and also these tracks are overlayed to build the sound. But the rhythm sound of bands like Metallica and Megadeth etc is some thing I have never really managed.

This is where we'll need to know your budget . Metallica have generally used big Mesa/Boogie stacks that cost thousands of dollars, but are very good at deafening stadiums. That would be a bit excessive in your case, I think.
I know that EQ wise the trick is to scoop out the mids. But as I am in the market for a new amp I was wondering what sort of setup played at low volume levels would come close to what I am looking for. To be honest I have always used solid state amps like the Line 6 amp I have got preceded by Peavy Bandits in the past. But I was looking at the Marshall JVM series and wondering if the Power Brake would be a good invsetment if I went that way. I am totally open to using valve amps the only reason I have never had one is the valve amps I have tried in the past haven't really done much for me even though most of the music I have ever listened to would be valve driven, total contradiction I admit!

So, are you just playing at home? Do you do small/pub gigs? Do you see yourself gigging at all in the next year?
#3
To add to the above, Metallica gets their tone by using multiple amps at the same time (slaving preamps etc.) and using many microphones along with multitracking the parts (in addition to plenty of other equipment).
#4
The power brake is crap, there's better attenuators out there - however there's little point you getting one if you're going to rely on all that digital gubbins for tone shaping.

The Spider is a really poor amp - given how you're set up your old Bandit was a far better amp for you. If you want to get the Marshall then you'll have to rethink the way you set things up somewhat to get the best out of it, a digital modelling guitar going into a digital FX box isn't a great recipe for tone.

You'd be better off either using a conventional guitar with the GT10 or the VG strat with a conventional amp but not both. And you shouldn't be using any of them with a crappy digital modelling amp like the Spider, you're just asking for trouble.

My advice is go for the Marshall or something similar with an attenuator if you want to make things less complicated, but to get the best out of it you'll pretty much want to take the GT10 out of the equation except for modulation effects...you do NOT want to be using it for distortion.

The other option is to get a better amp suited for use with what you have at the moment, either a cleaner, simpler tube or solid state amp. A Roland JC120 would work well with the GT10 or even *shudder* a keyboard amp .
Actually called Mark!

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#5
Thanks for all the advice so far.

The typo was quite amusing and also no more.

Budget wise I am ok to spend up to around say £700.
#6
Quote by RedFred
Thanks for all the advice so far.

The typo was quite amusing and also no more.

Budget wise I am ok to spend up to around say £700.


If you are in a situation that you can play rather loud, then that would (in the US) get you a 5150 and 2x12 or 4x12 cab. I'm not sure what they cost in the UK.
#7
For most of the time this amp will not be played that loud. Probably asking a lot but I am trying to get a tight rhythm sound a low volume level.
#8
Quote by RedFred
For most of the time this amp will not be played that loud. Probably asking a lot but I am trying to get a tight rhythm sound a low volume level.


Some tube amps sound fine on low volume, but for the most part, you won't get what you want without a tube amp and some volume (though you seemed to realize this in your initial post mentioning cranked amps).

If you didn't like tube amps you'd tried before, then you probably didn't turn them up enough to sound good, and/or didn't give them time to warm up enough.
Last edited by 4regt4 at Oct 24, 2008,
#9
So what tube amp (say 1x12 combo) sounds reasonable good a lower levels?
#10
Quote by RedFred
So what tube amp (say 1x12 combo) sounds reasonable good a lower levels?


I have a Traynor YCV50 Blue (1x12 combo) that doesn't sound bad at low volumes. This Sunday I'm hoping to have some time to do some recording clips (mostly for my new Mesa). Perhaps I'll do a few Metallica clips on the YCV50 as well and send them your way.

I'm not sure what those would cost in the UK.