Any amp recommendations?

exalted

Senior member
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723
I had a Line 6 Flextone III that I enjoyed well enough, but it was stolen.

I decided I should go for an amp that has its own distinct voice rather than another modeling amp. I bought an Orange Tiny Terror and absolutely loved the tone, but the lack of a switchable channel killed it for me. I didn't see the point in using a distortion pedal with the TT, since the clean was only 'so-so.'

I also really love the Fender Twin Reverb, but I'm hesitant about how damned loud it is and how difficult it is to overdrive it.

My price range is 650-1100, and I'm definitely not opposed to used gear/ebay. I want something I can play small to medium-sized gigs with.

I play alternative/goth type stuff, so moderate amounts of distortion and a decent clean channel would be ideal. The guitar I'm building has 3 P-90's.

Any recommendations/suggestions?
 

mayfly

Senior member
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8,167
Hmmm.  Based on that I'd get myself a nice deluxe reverb and put a pedal in front - I'd use a RAT (it's well matched to fender front ends). 

Good clean, nice overdrive, not to heavy, and just right for small gigs.
 

exalted

Senior member
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723
Hmmm...I was just at the local GC trying out amps, and they had a VOX AC30CC head and 4x12 on clearance for 700 bucks.

Also a pretty damned nice Marshall 1974x, but I'm not sure if I can justify going that far over my budget for something that might not be loud enough for my purposes.
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
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8,256
The Vox will be enough loud for any stage (well, stadiuns usually have PA :laughing7:)

But they don't have switchable channel via footswitch (AFAIK) too, so...
 

exalted

Senior member
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723
Yeah, but the Vox is more known for its clean, right? I couldn't really get it to distort, but I always feel a little weary cranking stuff up at music stores.

I don't mind if I get an amp with a nice clean and use a stomp box for overdrive/distortion. The Orange, on the other hand, was all about the distortion tone, so a stomp box would have been redundant.

For 700 I'm wondering if I can do better than the Vox.

...

EDIT - Actually, now that I'm reading about the Vox AC30, a lot of people are talking about how amazing its overdrive is. I turned it up to a moderate level and it was still mighty clean...so I'm pretty confused.
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
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8,256
Not only Vox, it's usually (and best) used from cleans to light overdrive... from light/middle overdrive to up, it's usually better have a Marshall Plexi... Heavy overdrive is like JCM800 and other moderns amps...
 

rightintheface

Senior member
Messages
326
Don't be too buzzed out by the "loudness" of an amp. i play a 50w hughes and kettner switchblade combo, and now run that through a 2x12 avatar cab as well. even running just the combo alone (1x12" speaker), it has NEVER gone past 4 on master volume. and that is getting LOUD. i play a huge variety of venues in terms of size/professionalism/stage setups, and have only ever played two gigs where the FOH guy did NOT mic up the guitar amp. In this day and age, using a house PA will generally mean you will be mic'ed up. if you're doing you're own PA and not mic'ing guitar, 50w tube amp with decent speakers will do just about anything short of wembley.

within reason of course  :icon_biggrin:

that said, the H&K stuff is very good, especially if you can get a cheap catch on ebay. awesome cleans, awesome overdrive, awesome dist. check them out if u get a chance.
 

exalted

Senior member
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723
For the most part, I'm not too worried about volume...but the Marshall seemed to break up at pretty low volumes. Its overdrive was wonderful, but I don't think I could get a clean sound out of it at any respectable volume.


I might have to break down and get the Orange AD30 if it's anything like the Tiny Terror.
 

NonsenseTele

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8,256
It's not 100% different, as they uses the same tubes (EL84 power and 12AX7 pre) but they're designed to completely different things...
 

Patrick from Davis

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2,197
The Fender Blues or HotRod Deville 2x12 should do what you want.  It has an excellent clean channel, and the overdrive is OK.  Not like the Orange or the Marshall.  Not really designed to be a Killer overdrive amp, but the cleans and the reverb are great.  I will say the one thing you really should do if you buy that amp is replace the volume pot with an audio taper pot.  Then is it a very versatile amp.  If you want to go more for the VOX sound of tube distortion, you can always drop in a set of THD Yellowjacket/EL84's in place of the 6L6 output tubes and it will drop the wattage, but allow you to turn it up a lot more.  The second most useful mod on those amps.  That runs about 100 bucks and you just pull out the old tubes and put in the Yellowjackets.  Very simple and quick.  At 60 watts, it is more than enough power for anything you'll run into.  If you put in the Yellowjackets, it will drop to about 30 Watt's but that is still more than enough power.  And if you are running the Yellowjackets, you will probably have the volume turned up way higher.  Musicians Friend has the Hotrod Deluxe for $799, so putting a little more into it is within budget.
Patrick

 

Patrick from Davis

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2,197
I forgot to add that the Blues and Hotrod Deville's and Deluxe's were two of Fenders best selling amps, which means they often pop up used.  If you get a used one then you can look into getting new preamp tubes and other fun stuff with the money you save.  Just in case you haven't noticed, I like to play with the insides of tube amps.  Almost as addictive as building guitars.  I will say it now, it is dangerous, so ask first before you go poking around the insides of an amp.  But, the folks around here are always ready to chime in with tips and fun stuff to do.  If you don't care about all of that, the amp is still pretty nice for what you are asking it to do.
Patrick

 

greywolf

Senior member
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1,085
Mesa Rect-O-Verb   in that category

I've been running a Studio .22 for 20 years  and still haven't had a need for more, alas they don't make it anymore , the closest is a Lonestar Special.
 

mullyman

Senior member
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1,857
greywolf said:
Mesa Rect-O-Verb   
]

I second this opinion. I've got a Rectoverb combo. It's got enough to handle almost any situation. Plug it through a 4x12 cabinet for bigger places. Anything bigger than that then you're going to be mic'd through the PA.
MULLY
 

exalted

Senior member
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723
I think I played a Hot Rod Deville/Deluxe last night (it was some Fender with 4 10"s), and it seemed to lack the magic the Twin Reverb for me. I might go back and give them a second chance, though.

Has anyone ever tried anything from Budda? I found a nicely priced head online, and everyone on Harmony Central seems to glow about it.
 

jimh

Senior member
Messages
1,344
I was this close to buying a Budda (Superdrive 18 I think it was called - combo). Friggin great amp. Drive sounds were awesome.
The only reason I didn't get it is purely egotistical. I got a Cornford Hurricane instead, which is handmade here in the UK.

I loved the Budda, but found that the Cornford was everso slightly more natural, in that it let a fraction more of the guitar's tone through. My strat sounded a bit more stratty, and my Les Paul a bit more LP'ish. Don't let that take away from the budda though. Fantastic amp and actually a lot more versatile than the cornford with a switchable boost.

Try one. And try a Cornford if you can find one.
 

hailstorm350

Active member
Messages
34
if you have tons of money, get an Engl or bogner amp.
If you have a medium amount of money ie 800-1200 range, get a Mesa Amp, try em all out, the stiletto head is awesome, and I own the mark IV which is incredibly versatile.
If you have a low amount of money, well, god help you :) I don't know anything about low end amps anymore.
 

shanejw

Senior member
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698
I have a Carvin MTS and it is great for everything in my opinion.  They recently stopped making them, but you should be able to snag one on ebay. 
 

mullyman

Senior member
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1,857
hailstorm350 said:
if you have tons of money, get an Engl or bogner amp.
If you have a medium amount of money ie 800-1200 range, get a Mesa Amp, try em all out, the stiletto head is awesome, and I own the mark IV which is incredibly versatile.
If you have a low amount of money, well, god help you :) I don't know anything about low end amps anymore.

I used to have the Stiletto, traded for it Dual Rectifier. EL34's just don't do it for me. It's a good amp if you like that sound though.
MULLY
 
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