AR15.Com Archives
 Little help with amp selection
CIB  [Member]
4/14/2011 9:39:55 PM
Never have gotten around to getting a new amp, sold my other stuff, and now I'm down to just my Vox AC4, but I need something a tad bigger. Don't really want to go bigger than 50w if I can help it. I need 2 channels, one for cleans, the other for dirt. Here is what I'm looking at so far.
Kustom Defender V50
Bogner Alchemist 40
Jet City JCA 5212RC
Blackstar HT 60

Oh yeah, needs to be tube driven!
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cmjohnson  [Team Member]
4/14/2011 11:00:34 PM
Check out one of David Bray's 45/50 watt Plexis.
Gone_Shootin  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 2:07:13 AM
One word: Marshall.
Cozmacozmy  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 2:14:42 AM

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Check out one of David Bray's 45/50 watt Plexis.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T16KaD9L_L0

Here is the link to his site, WOW! nice sounding amps!
http://davidbrayamps.com/index.html
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 11:15:16 AM

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
One word: Marshall.

A good Marshall is a great starting point.

But, the GOOD Marshalls ar the expensive ones. All tube, point to point or hand wired.
No TSLs or JCM 2000s or other complex computerized trash.

CJ

Gone_Shootin  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 11:34:25 AM

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
One word: Marshall.

A good Marshall is a great starting point.

But, the GOOD Marshalls ar the expensive ones. All tube, point to point or hand wired.
No TSLs or JCM 2000s or other complex computerized trash.

CJ


I happen to be absolutely infatuated with my JVM.
CIB  [Member]
4/15/2011 6:57:14 PM
LOL! You guys always take me to some really nice stuff.................stuff that my wife would beat me to death for buying! It's best if I try to stay under $1k. Marshal does make one in the price range of the ones that put up there, it's a Haze 40 IIRC, I gave one a listen a couple months ago, and it sounded aweful. Way too muddy. It's hard for me to go somewhere, and listen to things, since I live in the sticks.

That is a nice sounding amp you posted up CMJ, but I like my balls attached to me, and if I bought that they'd be in jeapordy of coming off. Not like a nice rifle project that you can piece out ya know.
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 8:23:31 PM
Well, let me give you another way to go:


Just last weekend, purely by chance, I found a Behringer Bass V-Amp Pro in a pawn shop and got it for 95 bucks
out the door. That's half what they go for on ebay.

It's a digital modelling amp with lots of classic amp models in it.

It does require a separate power amp...but you can use your stereo as your power amp,
via any spare set of inputs.

The thing kicks ass. I mean, REALLY. I'm one picky SOB when it comes to tones, and this thing got
me grinning from ear to ear once I had it all dialed in right.

I know a guy who has a rather nice 100 watt JCM 900 half stack for sale. I have played it,
and played it with the gain cranked and the master volume at seven.

I kid you not, I would not trade this V-Amp rig for that half stack in an even trade. I get a richer, more
aggressive, more tasty tone out of the V-amp with the greenbacks.

I use a separate power amp and am driving a pair of Celestion Greenbacks in a pair of 1x12 cabinets,
and transferred over my other effects from my other amp for use with this, and it SLAYS. Once I turned
off the cabinet emulation, which you'd leave on if you were using your stereo system, the tone came
absolutely to life. The only problem with the V-Amp is that the cabinet emulation models are not dynamic,
as if they were modelled only at a single volume level. So use real cabinets and shut off the emulation,
and the problem goes away.

I'm getting tones that are awfully close to what I expect out of the custom all-tube amp that's being built
for me now, which will be in a class equal to the David Bray amps.

Find a V-Amp. Play with it. You might love it. And they're not very expensive.

CJ

larkinmusic  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 8:32:01 PM
I may get flamed for this but, if you are on a budget the older Crate Vintage Club series amps are a great deal. I have the 30 watt single twelve version and it is a great sounding amp.
kissfan  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 8:52:03 PM
If you can find a Marshall JCM602 you won't be disappointed.
Gone_Shootin  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 9:11:27 PM

Originally Posted By larkinmusic:
I may get flamed for this but, if you are on a budget the older Crate Vintage Club series amps are a great deal. I have the 30 watt single twelve version and it is a great sounding amp.

If you're talking about the ones that have a big wide chrome "V" on the front like a '57 Chevy, I've heard a couple & you're right, they sound good.

But then again, I don't know how much gain CIB wants, so it may not fit the bill if he wants high gain metal tones.

But if it does, one the Crate amps you mentioned, one of the newer Peavey vintage style amps or a used Fender Hot Rod Deluxe would work.

And if you're feeling adventurous, CIB, you could always build an amp (either a www.Ceriatone.com kit, or from scratch with instructions & parts from AX84.com).

ETA: I found this on Ceriatone's website: http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/HRPChupacabra50/Chupacabra50Main.htm It's a complete, modded, Plexi style amp for $1000.

Sound clips are here: http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/HRPChupacabra50/Chupacabra50Docs.htm
larkinmusic  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 9:20:24 PM

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:

Originally Posted By larkinmusic:
I may get flamed for this but, if you are on a budget the older Crate Vintage Club series amps are a great deal. I have the 30 watt single twelve version and it is a great sounding amp.

If you're talking about the ones that have a big wide chrome "V" on the front like a '57 Chevy, I've heard a couple & you're right, they sound good.

But then again, I don't know how much gain CIB wants, so it may not fit the bill if he wants high gain metal tones.

But if it does, one the Crate amps you mentioned, one of the newer Peavey vintage style amps or a used Fender Hot Rod Deluxe would work.

And if you're feeling adventurous, CIB, you could always build an amp (either a www.Ceriatone.com kit, or from scratch with instructions & parts from AX84.com).

ETA: I found this on Ceriatone's website: http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/HRPChupacabra50/Chupacabra50Main.htm It's a complete, modded, Plexi style amp for $1000.

Sound clips are here: http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/HRPChupacabra50/Chupacabra50Docs.htm
This is the model I'm talking about. Mark Knoplfer endorsed and used the 50w version on a few tours.

You're right though, if he's looking to play metal this isn't the amp.



divkat9  [Team Member]
4/15/2011 11:32:59 PM


Try the Marshall Class 5. 5 watt all tube, no digital, no effects.
CIB  [Member]
4/15/2011 11:50:41 PM
Yeah, I prefer a higher gain amp, but...........I suppose I could get more by using a pedal, I have an AMT Tube Platinum. Don't want to go that route if I don't have to though.
The Ceriatone is interesting, first I've heard of them, anyone dealt with them I think I read they are in Malyasia?

The Kustom is out, made in China. I don't mind buying asian, but not from China.
distortion9  [Member]
4/16/2011 11:08:25 AM
I beg you to stay away from anything Peavey and anything Crate.

Anyway, I just picked up a Marshall Class 5 and I'm head over heels in love with the tone. Doesn't fit your bill at only 5 watts (it IS a loud 5 watts though) and it's not a high gain amp...more of a Plexi'ish, Bluesbreaker type tone. Works REALLY REALLY well with an Ibanez Tube Screamer in front of it.

What DOES fit your bill is a used Mesa Boogie Nomad 55 2x12 and I happen to have one I might be selling. You can find them used for under a grand...All tube, 3 channels (clean - crunchy - high gain) with a "boost" channel for solo's. Each channel is foot switchable and has two voicings, modern and vintage. Reverb controls on back of amp for each channel....also foot switchable. Has a single, overall volume control so you can set your three channel anyway you want then control the overall volume with one knob. 55 watts with a switch on back that cuts it in half.

By far the most versatile, flexible amp I have ever owned.

Edited to add

The Orange Duel Terror is a sweet amp too but I was bummed to find out that it's made in China.
ThePitbullofLove  [Team Member]
4/16/2011 2:59:35 PM
The Peavey 6505+ combo sounds pretty good if "high gain" is what you're after. It actually sounds better than the 6505+ halfstack!

However, surprisingly enough, one of the best sounding brands of tube amps I've found is ....Bugera. Yup, the same Bugera that's owned by Behrenger.

Bugera is making handwired copies of classic amps. They've got their own versions of Marshall's Plexi and JCM900 (The Bugera 1960 & 1990), as well as their take on Boogie style rectifier amps (the 333 & 333XL), and even the Peavey 6505/EVH 5150 style amp (6262).

For the money (none of the heads sell for over $600) the sound is amazing. Really close to the brands they emulate.

A buddy of mine has a $3200 Custom Audio boutique and a Diezel Herbert, and was actually blown away and "...taken aback" that the Bugera that we heard and played through cost 1/5 of what his high dollar heads cost.

For the money, they're really pretty nice, if those sounds appeal to you.

They even have 22 watt & 5 watt Class A amps that are impressive.



I like 'em, and I'm looking to pick one up (probably a 333xl), but I actually went cheap and got a a used Crate Stealth 50, and all tube Lee Jackson design. I got the head and 4 x 12 for $200. It's pretty nice....I like good tone on the cheap...
CIB  [Member]
4/16/2011 7:01:34 PM
The 6505 is nice, but you can't get much of a clean tone out of them. I'll check into the Nomad. Thanks!

ETA: Well, after a bit more research, looks like the only amp on my list that is'nt made in china is the Blackstar.
RickFinsta  [Team Member]
4/23/2011 10:54:41 PM
Get a Boogie Mark IV, load it with an EL34/6L6 combo and never look back. Cost last I looked was around $1300 used to $1500 new. You might be able to pick one up in the $1K range if you've got time to shop and wait.
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
4/24/2011 1:50:48 AM
You will never get a Marshall-esque tone out of a Mesa/Boogie Mark-anything. They're totally a different tonal animal.


I used to be a die-hard Boogie enthusiast, but like so many other players, I no longer have much affection for the midrange-centric,
annoying Boogie tone. It just wears on you after a while. Once you're exposed to a truly good Marshall tone, there's no turning back
to the mistakes made by Randall Smith. These days, I like Boogies for their clean tones but when it comes time for overdrive, I want
a Marshall type tone. 50 watt modded Plexi preferred.


CJ
macro  [Team Member]
4/24/2011 4:57:08 PM
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Check out one of David Bray's 45/50 watt Plexis.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T16KaD9L_L0


That tone......just.......yeah.
I just want to buy the amp, cab, and guitar from him.....as a matched set.....obviously it works

Sometimes I use the excuse that I'm just not a good enough player to extract those tones from my gear....other times (like right now) I'd sure like to drop a couple of grand on an amp / cab and find out for sure
cmjohnson  [Team Member]
4/24/2011 5:10:04 PM
So you're not a great player? So what? Neither am I. But I'm so demanding of my tone that I've been using custom amps for
over a decade, and before that, even my first amp soon got some mods done to make it more like what I wanted to hear.

If you can afford it, and you want it, don't let your assessment of your skill level dictate whether or not you should have it.

It's not like a high performance car, where if you're not driver enough for the car you could kill yourself while taking it for a spin.
It's a guitar amp, and the worst that can happen is it can make your eardrums bleed.


If I really want a modded Plexi tone, I'll get it, even if that takes a lot of money. I'm not going to deny myself the things that
I want, so long as the cost is within a reasonable budget. My skill level is irrelevant. I don't need to justify my purchase to anyone
but myself.



CJ
12B1P  [Member]
4/24/2011 8:52:05 PM
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
One word: Marshall.

A good Marshall is a great starting point.

But, the GOOD Marshalls ar the expensive ones. All tube, point to point or hand wired.
No TSLs or JCM 2000s or other complex computerized trash.

CJ



Ive heard plenty of people get good tones out of circuit board Marshalls, most JCM800's are pretty revered by players. The 900 and 2000 series have a bad rap from a lot of people but they are very good sounding amps IMO. I have never tried any of the modeling ones yet so I cant really comment on them.
Matt_Krush  [Member]
4/24/2011 9:34:05 PM
B-52 can give a wide variety of tones, and the cleans are better than Marshalls.
I owned and played on many big name amps...
Last time I went amp shopping i went with "money is no issue" attitude. The Last amp I tried, the B52 AT blew away 3 Marshalls, the Randall, and 2 different Mesa's..(Mesa and the B52 were very close, but for a $1000 price spread..not close enough, and that was what I thought I would end up owning...The Mesa Tri Rec).
Tekka  [Team Member]
5/1/2011 1:08:37 AM
Find a Peavy Windsor head or a Fender Super Sonic. If you get the Windsor match it with an amazinf mid range speaker like the Celestion Vintage 30, Celestion Blue, or Celestion Gold that can cut through the sound of a band and give you an amazing tone that will wow people.




cmjohnson  [Team Member]
5/1/2011 9:02:12 AM
The thing about a JCM 900 is that it's limited in terms of what you can do to it to improve it.
It's not as moddable as an 800, or a JMP, or a JTM 45 chassis.

If you like what the 900 does for you, that's great, and it's really a pretty good sounding amp,
but if your plan is to start out with a Marshall and then get it modded to become the amp you REALLY want,
a 900 is not the best chassis for the purpose.

A lot of amp builders and modders won't mod 900s. They'll tell you to bring them a JMP or 800 instead.


CJ
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