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Posted: 12/27/2013 9:54:51 AM EDT
For Christmas this year I was given my first Gibson. Wow what a great guitar I love it. My old solid state 8 inch amp just leaves me wanting better tone. Especially now with an amazing sounding guitar. I'm basically a newb again as I just picked uP my old guitar again about 6 months ago after 10+ years without playing. I think I want tube tones and they are expensive for what I saw at guitar center $599 for a fender tube with a 12" speaker plus a pedal to get crunchy so it would be a 700-800 total cost. After Christmas my budget is really only 350 ish.

Can I get something in my price? I play classic rock to metal.

Wants;
1. Good tube/tube ish sound
2. 12" speaker,  I feel like the sound is much fuller out of a speaker this size vs. smaller
3. Priced 300-400 maybe up to 500

My ideas so far;
1. Vox combo-  ac15vr $379
2. Orange micro terror head $149 + vox cabinet with 12 celestion speaker $169 $318 total
3. Fender mustang III v.2 $329  no tubes but tons of presets and programmable stuff, wouldn't use most of the features but nice to have, sounded pretty good at the store anyone have any expierence?

Open to other suggestions as well.
Link Posted: 12/27/2013 10:22:53 AM EDT
[#1]
Looking for Tube tone?  On a Budget?

Look at the VHT Special 6 Ultra head (should be under 300 new... under 200$ used via Guitarcenters website... so shop around) and the cabinet of your choice.
Hand wired point to point tube amp (imported) with almost limitless modification potential.
VHT is not "boutique" and it isn't big name, but they offer good value and tone is pretty amazing for the price.


That or troll craigslist for used.  Tons of great tube amps out there that sell used below 500$.

In regards to your suggestions:
Vox... played one quite a bit and sort-of want... something was "off' about the tone, can't quite put my finger on it.
Orange.  Seriously pondering getting that little head... it's only a pseudo-tube head but it does the Orange tone pretty well for the price.
Fender... I've heard bad, bad things about the Mustang series.  It would seem that Fender has cut too many corners.  I'd suggest checking the older Super Champ XD out... 250$ or less used, effects and amp modelling, but has tubes in the preamp area and the tone shows.  I bought one recently and so far absolutely love it.
Link Posted: 12/27/2013 6:18:22 PM EDT
[#2]
Thanks for the reply and great info. Off too look at the vht offerings.
Link Posted: 12/27/2013 6:29:02 PM EDT
[#3]
I have been very happy with my Blackstar HT5 amps.  Blackstar amps are tube amps....designed by a number of people that left Marshall amps.  

I find myself using my Blackstar HT5 head and HT5 Combo even more than my Boogies and Marshalls.  I find them on Craigslist for around $200-$300.  Love mine..I actually keep one in my vehicle for when I travel.....small, powerful and great sounds

PS...I have two Marshall 69' Plexi heads....I LOVE tube amps.....my Blackstars get MUCH more use than my Marshalls...even in my band

Skip to 12:35 on the video to hear it in action



Link Posted: 12/27/2013 6:52:29 PM EDT
[#4]
$350 will get you a nice little tube amp. I have a Fender Super Champ XD that I like real well.
Link Posted: 12/27/2013 7:36:52 PM EDT
[#5]
Ibanez TSA15

Check one out in the store to see if it's the sound you're looking for.  They're inexpensive, but surprisingly good.  I bought one (the 15W head model, combined with the separate 12" speaker...) over many other options in the 5-15W tube amp category.  It's Chinese-made, but that's kind of a fact of life with the sub-$500 head market these days, it seems...  I've been pretty happy with the Seventy-80-loaded Ibanez 1x12, and plan on adding a second in the near future.
Link Posted: 12/27/2013 9:48:04 PM EDT
[#6]
I was surprised by the new fender ramparte, only 9 watts, but good tone for $399
Link Posted: 12/27/2013 10:02:57 PM EDT
[#7]
Buy used.  Plenty of good deals in the $350-$400 range.  Craigslist is your friend.



That said, a new Bugera V-22 sounds pretty good.  They even like 'em over at The Gear Page....and they don't like cheap amps!










Link Posted: 12/27/2013 10:51:43 PM EDT
[#8]
I like my Super Champ XD as well.



But my new amp is a Bugera X-22, and it's got tone the Fender simply doesn't have.
Link Posted: 12/28/2013 3:57:33 AM EDT
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
$350 will get you a nice little tube amp. I have a Fender Super Champ XD that I like real well.
View Quote


Above in my ramble... I mention the same.

Recently got one used for 200 with a footswitch, cover and several sets of spare tubes.
I'm really liking that amp.

Note:  The Super Champ XD is different from the current model the Super Champ X2.  Most reviews put the XD as having far superior tone.
Link Posted: 12/28/2013 4:20:34 AM EDT
[#10]
Fender Hotrod Deluxe. 40w tube with 12" speaker. Very clean sound until you get into the natural overdrive somewhere around 2.5-3.0 on the volume knob. You can bias them for more clean tone very easily with a quick google search. Great amp. I run one with a Schecter C-1 Hellraiser.

I got mine 7 years ago for 599.99. This one is over-priced, IMO.
Link Posted: 12/28/2013 6:37:13 AM EDT
[#11]
Wow, thanks all I have some homework to do! I'm looking at all suggestions you all have given me as alot has changed in my time away.
Link Posted: 12/31/2013 9:09:54 AM EDT
[#12]
It might sound crazy but I've recently been hearing good things about the Marshall AVT 20 lately.  You could grab one of them up for a song on ebay right now.
Link Posted: 12/31/2013 9:21:46 AM EDT
[#13]
Here is a guy who nails the guitar tone of Slash with a freaking AVT20!

Link Posted: 12/31/2013 11:54:36 AM EDT
[#14]
I play almost entirely through orange amps and cabinets because they have the sound I like. With that said, I can not recommend the Micro Terror. It sounds like a toy.
Link Posted: 12/31/2013 12:31:10 PM EDT
[#15]
It will cost you about $800 all said, but I see used Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amps regularly going for $400. So if it were me I would get one if those and then save up another $300 for either of the Bogner Extasy pedals. I tried a Red in front of a Hot Rod Deluxe and it sounded absolutely fantastic! If I didn't already have the amps I have, I would definetly be rocking those pedals.
Link Posted: 12/31/2013 3:54:55 PM EDT
[#16]
If you go the hot rod deluxe route I highly recommend the newer models. I have a second generation one and it's not very good.
Link Posted: 1/3/2014 5:00:37 AM EDT
[#17]
I have a '96 US made tweed Fender Blues Deluxe (12" Eminence/40watt). The last I checked, the older US made ones ($400ish) for some odd reason, are still cheaper than the newer MIM reissue Deluxes.
I love my amp. The trick with many tube amps (mine especially) with mild distortion channels, is to let the tubes get warm/hot. Mine starts out weak and tinny, but after about 30mins. it starts screaming. No need for any extra pedals for me (however, I don't play metal, I play heavier blues and jazz. But if I did, I'd simply put a Tube Screamer in the chain and still keep my Blues Deluxe)
Link Posted: 1/3/2014 4:53:26 PM EDT
[#18]
Seriously...check out the new Roland cubes...3 channels you can save the settings & call up with a footswitch, on board effects, built like a tank, light as can be & if you have an ipod/iphon/ipad they have an app that you can use to jam along with. The best part is no tube maintenance which saves $$$ down the road and I'm most assuredly a tube tone snob with a stable of Fender & Rivera amps to prove it.   BUT...if I could only have one amp for all around use, it's my cube 80GX.

 
Link Posted: 1/3/2014 5:12:13 PM EDT
[#19]
Fender Blues Jr, Marshall Class 5...



Either can be had used for less than 500.
Link Posted: 1/4/2014 7:30:31 AM EDT
[#20]
The Blues Jr leaves something to be desired. And yes, I own one.
Link Posted: 1/4/2014 10:49:36 AM EDT
[#21]
I played a Vox at Guitar Center and it sounded amazing even with my lack of guitar skills.
Link Posted: 1/4/2014 12:04:40 PM EDT
[#22]
I picked up a 6505+ 112 combo off of craigslist today for $300.  It is fucking loud and has tons of gain.  On a break right now for my ears' sake.

Don't discount used!
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 7:21:34 AM EDT
[#23]
Thanks for the help all. I've been reading and saving. Going to check out a blackstar 1 watt head and cab from Craigslist today for 200.
Link Posted: 1/31/2014 6:06:38 PM EDT
[#24]
Did you pick up the Blackstar?
Link Posted: 1/31/2014 6:53:45 PM EDT
[#25]
I did it's a ht1rh head and ht408 cab. I like it sounds great, atleast a lot better than what I had. Being only one watt it breaks up at lower volume and also has od. The cab has 4 8s in it. I wasn't sure if I'd like it but it really sounds nice although I still want a 12 just to compare.  It's enough for now cuz I'm still getting my skills back. My teacher really likes it he said he wants one for home but he said he needs an fx loop which this doesn't have.  My only gripe would be the reverb, it's ok and doesn't feel as we'll thought out as the rest.

It has a surprising amount of tones for so few knobs  for 200 for the set I'm happy,  until I can play better

Eta.  I suck for not updating sooner sorry guys.
Link Posted: 2/1/2014 10:11:48 PM EDT
[#26]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I like my Super Champ XD as well.



But my new amp is a Bugera X-22, and it's got tone the Fender simply doesn't have.
View Quote
I have heard that the new Bugera's have a clean tone

 
that will hold their own with most anyone.
Link Posted: 2/2/2014 5:09:04 AM EDT
[#27]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I did it's a ht1rh head and ht408 cab. I like it sounds great, atleast a lot better than what I had. Being only one watt it breaks up at lower volume and also has od. The cab has 4 8s in it. I wasn't sure if I'd like it but it really sounds nice although I still want a 12 just to compare.  It's enough for now cuz I'm still getting my skills back. My teacher really likes it he said he wants one for home but he said he needs an fx loop which this doesn't have.  My only gripe would be the reverb, it's ok and doesn't feel as we'll thought out as the rest.



It has a surprising amount of tones for so few knobs  for 200 for the set I'm happy,  until I can play better



Eta.  I suck for not updating sooner sorry guys.
View Quote




 
He may like the HT-5, its a little 5 watter with an fx loop.
Link Posted: 2/2/2014 5:10:51 AM EDT
[#28]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



I have heard that the new Bugera's have a clean tone  
that will hold their own with most anyone.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



Quoted:

I like my Super Champ XD as well.



But my new amp is a Bugera X-22, and it's got tone the Fender simply doesn't have.
I have heard that the new Bugera's have a clean tone  
that will hold their own with most anyone.




 
Until it breaks down. Seriously, Google Bugera's reliability issues.
Link Posted: 2/17/2014 1:21:25 AM EDT
[#29]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Looking for Tube tone?  On a Budget?

Look at the VHT Special 6 Ultra head (should be under 300 new... under 200$ used via Guitarcenters website... so shop around) and the cabinet of your choice.
Hand wired point to point tube amp (imported) with almost limitless modification potential.
VHT is not "boutique" and it isn't big name, but they offer good value and tone is pretty amazing for the price.


That or troll craigslist for used.  Tons of great tube amps out there that sell used below 500$.

In regards to your suggestions:
Vox... played one quite a bit and sort-of want... something was "off' about the tone, can't quite put my finger on it.
Orange.  Seriously pondering getting that little head... it's only a pseudo-tube head but it does the Orange tone pretty well for the price.
Fender... I've heard bad, bad things about the Mustang series.  It would seem that Fender has cut too many corners.  I'd suggest checking the older Super Champ XD out... 250$ or less used, effects and amp modelling, but has tubes in the preamp area and the tone shows.  I bought one recently and so far absolutely love it.
View Quote


Do you have any links for the ultra version of that amp for that price?   All of the ultras I have seen were quite a bit more than that.  VHT has a head without the ultra channel that is cheaper.  I think the ones on the GC website are that one.
Link Posted: 2/17/2014 12:21:12 PM EDT
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Do you have any links for the ultra version of that amp for that price?   All of the ultras I have seen were quite a bit more than that.  VHT has a head without the ultra channel that is cheaper.  I think the ones on the GC website are that one.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Looking for Tube tone?  On a Budget?

Look at the VHT Special 6 Ultra head (should be under 300 new... under 200$ used via Guitarcenters website... so shop around) and the cabinet of your choice.
Hand wired point to point tube amp (imported) with almost limitless modification potential.
VHT is not "boutique" and it isn't big name, but they offer good value and tone is pretty amazing for the price.


That or troll craigslist for used.  Tons of great tube amps out there that sell used below 500$.

In regards to your suggestions:
Vox... played one quite a bit and sort-of want... something was "off' about the tone, can't quite put my finger on it.
Orange.  Seriously pondering getting that little head... it's only a pseudo-tube head but it does the Orange tone pretty well for the price.
Fender... I've heard bad, bad things about the Mustang series.  It would seem that Fender has cut too many corners.  I'd suggest checking the older Super Champ XD out... 250$ or less used, effects and amp modelling, but has tubes in the preamp area and the tone shows.  I bought one recently and so far absolutely love it.


Do you have any links for the ultra version of that amp for that price?   All of the ultras I have seen were quite a bit more than that.  VHT has a head without the ultra channel that is cheaper.  I think the ones on the GC website are that one.


The head only version seems to have climbed a bit, I got mine for 260$ via Amazon... Is 329$ now.
Keep an eye on GC's used gear page, they come up occasionally ... When I made that post initially they had two different Ultra's for 199$ in the used gear.

Just looked... 339$ for new head, used not avail. . Keep an eye out, great basic tube amp.
Link Posted: 2/24/2014 9:45:06 AM EDT
[#31]
Peavey Classic 30
Link Posted: 2/28/2014 2:04:57 AM EDT
[#32]
Marshall Class 5 and a Tube Screamer will cover a lot of ground.
Link Posted: 2/28/2014 7:13:32 AM EDT
[#33]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Marshall Class 5 and a Tube Screamer will cover a lot of ground.
View Quote



Tried one of those out at a LGS and they sound really good for the price.  Was told they were actually made in England too!
Link Posted: 3/2/2014 6:13:59 PM EDT
[#34]
I'll +1 the idea of buying used. If you time it right, you can find some good deals.

I got a dirty but working Peavey 5150 combo on craigslist for $350 not long a go. It's hated by many amp aficionados, but is an American made 60w tube amp with a closed back 2x12. It's clearly a preamp gain monster but can be pressed into duty for general purpose playing.

It's very heavy. I decided to fire mine up again this week. In so doing, I strained a groin muscle loading into my pickup bed from storage, unloading it at home, then lifting it up over a couch.
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 1:37:25 PM EDT
[#35]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I'll +1 the idea of buying used. If you time it right, you can find some good deals.



I got a dirty but working Peavey 5150 combo on craigslist for $350 not long a go. It's hated by many amp aficionados, but is an American made 60w tube amp with a closed back 2x12. It's clearly a preamp gain monster but can be pressed into duty for general purpose playing.



It's very heavy. I decided to fire mine up again this week. In so doing, I strained a groin muscle loading into my pickup bed from storage, unloading it at home, then lifting it up over a couch.
View Quote




 
Nice score.




I used to have one but never could get it dialed in. In hindsight I imagine it was due to the stock speakers, because everytime I've tried out a 5150 head, it's always ended up being a Marshall 1960 with Celestion G12T-75s and they sounded great.
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 4:27:20 PM EDT
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I'll +1 the idea of buying used. If you time it right, you can find some good deals.

I got a dirty but working Peavey 5150 combo on craigslist for $350 not long a go. It's hated by many amp aficionados, but is an American made 60w tube amp with a closed back 2x12. It's clearly a preamp gain monster but can be pressed into duty for general purpose playing.

It's very heavy. I decided to fire mine up again this week. In so doing, I strained a groin muscle loading into my pickup bed from storage, unloading it at home, then lifting it up over a couch.
View Quote


The 5150/6505 2x12 is one of my favorite combo amps, period.  Be judicious with the preamp/post settings on the "clean" channel, and you can actually get a respectable sound out of them.  Not the ideal jangly-'60s-pop sound, but they'll do it.  

I'd like to A/B the Sheffields in the 5150/6505 combos with something voiced differently.  I'd *really* like to hear the WGS Liberator 80s in that thing.  Jakezor (above) actually has the 6505+ 1x12, and has just ordered a WGS speaker of some sort for his, and I await the results as eagerly as he does, I'm sure!  

And yeah, they're heavy.  It's a Peavey!  I'm pretty sure the fine folks that build them take a special pride in making amplifiers and cabinets that have their own gravity well!
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 4:53:48 PM EDT
[#37]
I was digging back in the storage unit to find my 1960a cab to mate with a Diamond head I was going to buy. The 5150 took less spelunking through old clothes, so I decided to play with it instead of dropping a thousand bucks on yet another amp I'd never fully use.

Re: clean. One of my practice partners just brought me a guitar he had sitting in the closet, suggesting that I might like how it sounded and played. At least to my ears, a PRS Custom 22 through a 5150 combo judiciously dialed clean with a post-preamp graphic EQ can sound surprisingly nice.

He doesn't play that Artist C22 much since he's a Fender fan and got a custom shop strat. "The strings are about 7 years old. I could probably be persuaded to sell it." I wonder how long it will take him to forget about the PRS again...
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 6:56:13 AM EDT
[#38]
I'm guessing gain has weight with the way Peavey builds em.

That 6505+ 1x12 combo weighs around 65 pounds.  Only cost me $300 on craigslist. And prompted purchase of a noise supressor pedal (ISP Decimator2 - really good), and now a speaker upgrade, and possibly some tube upgrades.
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 12:41:04 PM EDT
[#39]
I've got one of those 6505+ 112 Combos.  Running it through an Orange 412 cab and it sounds much better than with the stock 12" speaker.  GC had them for $420 a while back.
Link Posted: 3/10/2014 7:00:16 AM EDT
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I've got one of those 6505+ 112 Combos.  Running it through an Orange 412 cab and it sounds much better than with the stock 12" speaker.  GC had them for $420 a while back.
View Quote


$420 for an Orange 4x12 with Celestions of some sort is a pretty good deal.

I got the Retro30 installed on Saturday,  should have A/Bd it better,  but I like it a lot more than the stock, and was only $70.
Link Posted: 3/10/2014 10:43:17 AM EDT
[#41]
I suppose I wasn't very clear on that.  $420 for the amp.  Those cabinets are $900+ new.  
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