I own one, for the price its a fantastic value. That said, you have to like that "Marshall" sound. Though a speaker swap is not required, they went cheap on the speaker that would be the key upgrade/change. I upgraded tubes just because i had some better ones around and biased a bit hotter than stock.
It is a great blues, crunch rock amp. LOUD, great effects loop.
Sell it, save up and get a modeler. If you want loud rocking, tube/amp tone, you're not going to get it from an amp in your bedroom. 10W Tube amp is massively loud and as you know tubes require volume up to sound their best.
If you are doing home recording mostly you should save for an AxeFX, trust me, I have one and their new AX8, I've owned many tube amps over the years...its as good and in many cases better.
If you can't afford an AxeFx ultra right now, get a Line6 HD PRO X, again with the plan to sell and get that AxeFX
If that amp has an effects loop, yes, simply run it in the loop. The Nova System when properly set up (input gain mainly) will be transparent, not affecting incoming tone which you can easily verify by playing and then bypassing it to see the difference.
Since you have direct experience with the GSystem, perhaps you are not aware that with all new systems challenging it now, their used pricing has dropped by almost 1/2. You can get them all day for $800 or less virtually anywhere.
In fact in SoCal - here there is the red one in mint condition with a ton of accesories listed on CL for $800.
Still alot more than a NovaSystem but as you know it gives a lot more for that money.
Amptweaker - choose for your application. Though I don't own one I was at Namm last Jan...his stuff is awesome, he created the 5150 and other legendary amps...his pedals are no joke, super flexible and reasonable for all that you get.
Definitely check out what the "TightDrive" or "TightDrivePro" can do.
Get a modeler and powered FRFR speaker two devices and your set.
If you're on a budget get the Line6 HD500X or Boss GT100, run all your presets with the amp modeling and cabinet modeling turned on.
Get a budget wedge or cab style powered FRFR (full range/flat response) speaker. Either used on CL or new depending on your budget.
Don't get anything smaller than a 10". I would recommend a QSC K10 ($600-700), EV ELX112p ($500) or EV ZLX112p ($399), hugely powerful 800-1500W depending on the model, some have dsp so you can tune for the room. Don't underestimate the power/influence the cab has on your sound. If you want a consistent tone you have to control the cab, forget the poweramp because these FRFR's are clean powered, super simple setup.
Basically this is an AxeFX "lite" setup. You'll love it and you will sound the same every gig.
Of course there is a simple, inexpensive solution to do exactly what you want and it works fantastically. Go get this...I have it with about 6 pedals and midi capable JVM and it handles everything in one footswitch press.
I just got the Line6 Sonic Port VX, it is awsome comes with mobile POD (loaded with effects, presets and access to tone sharing.) Has built in mics for recording vocals or ambient sounds, whatever. Only $199 and charges your ipad while plugged into usb charging adapter.
Used recent MiM Strats under $370 is a good deal. I just sold one of mine for $350, in fantastic condition. The recent MiM Strats are made to same specs/tolerances of the US Fender products and across the board they rate very well. Do you want all single coils? I ask because I had the HSS (Humbucker Brider, Single middle, Single Neck) with the 5 way selector and that is a crazy versatile guitar which will fit better for the alternative stuff you're playing while still handling the blues/rock.
I'll second the recommendation of the Peavey Classic Amps, also I would highly recommend the Marshall DSL40C. Swap the speaker and it is a fantastic amp at a great value. New $699, but on CL you can find them used for $400-$500.
I have the Nova System and the Boss GT100, both have Midi and both can control your amp no problem.
However keep in mind that the Nova System cannot be run in 4 cable method, which means you either have to have all the Nova System effects in the loop of your amp or up front. If you run it in the loop then you will lose access to its all analog drive/distortion circuit. If you just want awesome effects and want them all in the loop the NS is a great choice.
If on the other hand you want solid-great effects, want to be able to run effects in front of your amp (compression, OD/DS, wah, etc) and modulation/delays/reverbs in the loop than the GT100 is an awesome choice.
The added bonus of the GT100 (and the previously mentioned L6HD) is that you also have amp modeling available so that it can function as a back up should you amp die. You can run it direct to the PA or a powered speaker and have a set of presets that use the amp modeling which you can access should you ever need to.
I used to own the L6HD500 and imho the GT100 is way better if you gig. Better screen(s), way easier pedal board mode to preset mode, and more robust for gigs.
Your best bet if you just want to get a feel for the different types/styles of pedals out there, beyond listening to YT video clips are:
1) Amplitube3 2) JamUp Pro or JamUp ProXT from Positive Grid 3) Garage Band, if you have iOS or Mac already, it has some decent models.
That all said, if you have a genre you're mostly playing it should be easy to simple to research players you like and get gear/pedal rundowns on what they're using.
Then hit Craigslist or buy yourself a multieffects pedal initially like a POD HD500 or Boss Gt100 or Zoom G5 or Digitech RP500 which have hundreds of effects "simulations" in them which will allow you to get an ear for what you like, don't like etc...then you can start looking at the picking up the actual pedals...
I would strongly recommend checking out Proguitarshop.com and you may also consider a very cool service called pedalgenie (www.pedalgenie.com) its like Gamefly for pedals, you pay ~$30/month and they send you a pedal of your choice you play it as much/as long as you want and send it back or buy it and they send you another pedal...so over the course of a few months you can really either decide or build a perfect board.
Finally - as others have said focus on having the proper guitar and amp to meet your preferred genre style, then...I'd focus on an overdrive, distortion, a delay and a reverb and you will be 90% of the way there.
I have the SoulFood, as a clean boost it works well if the amp is pretty clean. If it is already pretty driven it doesn't have a ton of head room. For example I use it on my Marshall JVM Clean and Crunch channels, excellent but once you switch to OD 1 or OD2 (which you really don't need an OD pedal anyway) but the SoulFood is a non factor on those channels.
If you have a daw (digital audio workstation) program for recording...like reaper, pro tools, audacity, cubase, etc......you can simply connect the GT 6 open a new project select the GT 6 as the input.
Next add two tracks, one is the GT6 the other in an import of the mp3 you want to have playing then you're set.
Another key point that often is overlooked about the SS v Tube debate when it comes to distortion/gain is that generally (depending on size of the tube head) most of them require that their master volumes are run pretty high to actually get the power tube distortion which is what most tone chasers lust after and are talking about. Many owners/users of tube amps don't get the opportunity or setting often to really crank their tube amps and are hearing preamp tube gain/distortion.
All this being said to say, a good SS amp can sound excellent, just like some tube amps can sound like crap.
You can do this two ways; 1) Software (Amplitube, GuitarRig, ReValver, etc), or 2) Hardware: Multitude of MultiEFX boards with Amp/Effects sims from Boss ME25, 50, 70, 80, GT10, GT100, Line 6 has desktop POD/Rack format POD and floor POD HD300, 400, 500, there are others from Xoom and the list goes on and on.
If you go for a hardware solution use is as simple as plugging in your guitar, headphones, dialing up a preset or creating your own and playing. Depending on your level of familiarity and confidence with amp tweaking and effects settings, virtually every hardware unit can provide tones that will satisfy if not delight you. Some are better at amps some are better at effects but if you go with Boss or Line6 you will have thousands of sounds available between what comes on the unit and the online user patch exchanges and manufacturer updates.
Also, if you want to amplify your tones (no headphones) w/o pissing off neighbors a decent sent of monitors is a great addition. This would apply for a software solution as well, though you will need an interface to connect your guitar to PC/Laptop/Tablet...SEE SOFTWARE
If you go Software I personally recommend Amplitube 3, the free version is pretty robust and comes with a number of amps, effects and rack effects. The primary consideration here is that you will need an interface to connect your guitar to your mac/pc/tablet...again, sound quality will depend on 1) Interface you buy, 2) Tone tweaking ability.
Hope this helps, I do both extensively as well as full analog pedal board/amp setup at home so feel free to ask any questions and I'll be glad to further assist.
I would highly recommend the TC Electronics Nova System, run it into the loop of your amp and you can run it in pedal mode so all footswitches turn on/off their labeled effect. I have one and it sounds very, very good.
If you are not happy with the gain of your ValveKing a reasonably easy fix would be to find a distortion or Overdrive pedal that gets you the tone you like and run through the ValveKing Clean(est) channel/settings.
So in effect you would potential be adding additional channels/sound options to the unit.
Depending on where you are you should be able to get a used Nova System for well below $300.
And...(a bonus IMHO of with the Nova System) it as a very solid, programmable Noisegate that is very effective. So in addition to giving you virtually every modulation, delay, reverb you get EQ, noisegate etc....great value for money. Midi as well so if you ever get a midi capable amp you can create a very versatile/preset based setup.
I actually use a Decibel Eleven Switch Doctor to handle front end effects and control the Nova System via midi...what's cool about that is I get the advantage of having presets for the Nova System via the Switch Dr., but because the Switch Dr is handling that I can leave the Nova system in Pedal mode....killer.
I also have the Boss GT-100 as my back up, great unit, blows doors on the POD 400, I actually had the HD500 and upgraded to the GT-100, and now the new Ver. 2 update adds Boss' latest pedals...run it 4 cable method you get to use your amp on patches you want or use the modeling if you want.
The Nova System can run direct to a PA as well because it has an analog OD/DS circuit up front and a cabinet simulated mode out for those cases where you might need a backup for want to simply your rehearsal setup.
Make sure you don't have the effects loop switch engaged on the back (unless you have stuff plugged in) of course. Make sure you guitar lead is plugged in both to amp and your axe (all the way in) and lastly make sure your guitar volume is rolled up all the way.
Aside from that if you are sure you off standby and the volumes/gains are all turned up past 1-3 range so that you are sure there should be volume and you get nothing then there may be a problem with the amp.
For that price and I what I could quickly google (H&K cabinet reviews) they are not dove tail jointed but rather glued, so as a result the overall build quality is likely to be considered good to fair, but again for a 2x12 w/V30's $599 is not a bad price.
If you listen to his continued comments he says the guitar lead goes to the rack, not technically to the amp input jack. He has all his pedals going into a pedal switcher (box with a bunch of loops) and the main output of that feeds his amp input. If the effects are not "on" as far as engaged in a preset or whatever his signal routes through the switcher directly....very similar to having a pedal switcher on your pedal board at your feet, difference is his is racked, and likely midi controlled so he can still run some pedals at his feet if he wants.
How about the ISP Theta - tremendous flexibility, clearly you'll need a wah so you might as well get Tremonti's wah from Morley as well. I'm sure if you look Tremonti up there are rig reviews on him so that you can cop a lot of his pedals.
Yes that will work with you cab. Your cab can handle up to 200 watts in mono which is the way you will most likely run your head. As for Ohms, you may just check Randalls website for that head to confirm what speaker out Ohm load is called for on those jacks, there are different mismatches that are ok, they don't have to be exact.
Look it up in the net....head, cab speaker impedance matching and you will see the different Ohm out (amp head) to speaker cab (ohm in) that will work.
As for wattage, as long as your cab can handle (in mono) more watts than the head produces you are fine.
I literally just got back from GC, tried it on my amp (Marshall JVM), though I've never played through a Klon Centaur, I have to say this thing (especially on the various Clean and Crunch sections of my amp really is terrific, and the ProguitarShop.com reviews are the closest to its true performance.
Cost aside, this pedal would put a smile on virtually anyone's face, IMHO, and then when you see that it cost you ~$60, its ridiculous.
Its going on my board, going to run in combinations with my SP Compressor and EP Booster, should be even better.
Only you can truly decide what you really need for your specific situation. As long as you have a decent DAW (digital audio workstation) program for recording (Reaper, ProTools, Cubase, etc) you simply need an interface to get your guitar into your PC/MAC/DAW to get tracks down.
The primary difference between the BR80 and the MicroBR is that BR80 has Boss' E-Band feature which is rhythm tracks, GT processor effects etc....basically look at Boos' E-band on their site and that product has been jammed into the BR-80 in addition to its primary feature set.
The guitar effects in the BR-80 as a result tend to be more intuitive to use than the BR800...spend some time on Boss' site, the differences are rather clear between all three as well as their feature sets.
Personally, I think that if you can deal with the smaller form factor the BR-80 is a great solution.
As for monitors - again very subjective, I have the M-Audio BX5a Deluxe set, for the money they are fantastic....spend whatever you can afford because they are critical.