Apr 1 2011, 09:26 AM
Hi everyone! I have a short break in work, so decided to write about my concern.
Till now I have a Roland Cube-15 that I use for band rehearsing and Line6 Gearbox GX that I use for recording stuff and practicing at home.
Because I accumulated some considerable amount of cash, I am thinking is it possible to spend it in a way that will affect my playing/sound/effect of my playing. I of course know that nothing beats finger skills, but surely the same person will sound a bit better on better gear...
Having said that, I am lost in terms of what I need. The sound I love the most if of my favorite band Blind Guardian. This band uses Mesa and Engl amps. Marcus uses Mesa, and lead guitarist uses Engl Powerball. Of course I am also a fan of more vintage sounds, like Metallica/Iron Maiden/Judas Priests have, but am unsure if it is possible to have all of these in one amp/setup...
The gear listed by most famous players are big amps, like the above mentioned Powerball that is a 100watt amp. I suspect that a guitarist that started rehearsing not to long ago, and won't gig in places bigger than bars in the near future doesn't need such power...But at the same time most reviews do tell about big amps superior sound, and it isn't easy to "settle for something poorer" after reading few of those...
As You can see I am really clueless about what direction I should take.
When it comes to money, it isn't a very big issue, I've been saving money for ages, so I could muster as much as 1500-2500 euro. Of course while buying a big amp+cab for such money is acceptable, buying 20 watt super uber boutique amp isn't. I don't want to sound like a rich boy that has to much money to spend, I just prefer to buy something that can last for years until my needs change, than change gear often.
Sorry for such a long text. If it isn't readable I can try to rewrite it.
Apr 1 2011, 10:42 AM
Just an idea, havn’t tested it myself but maybe you should try out Mesa Boogie Transatlantic 30. Switchable from 15 up to 40 watt.
The Engl super duper metal amps are fun for like what, 5 minutes? Until you realize you got that sound.
Apr 3 2011, 05:52 PM
Have you checked out Mesa Boogie Express series? There's Mesa Boogie Express 5:50 combo, it's around 1799e with 1x12" Celestion speaker on a Polish Thomman store.
Here's the combo:
This amp has lot's of versatility, and it has Mesa tone and quality. It has 50W for gigs which is plenty, and 5W option for room or studio playing. Definitely practical. It also has lots of unique features.
I've really read nothing but good words about it. Check out the specs and reviews, there is even some reviews here on GMC:http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...?showtopic=5013
Apr 3 2011, 06:27 PM
You could try to find a Marshall TSL 60 watt head and mate it with a 412 cab, it is possible to find both of those for around $1000. The 412 cab will give you a huge sound, and thats what you want in metal \m/ 60 watts should be plenty for most situations.
Apr 3 2011, 11:10 PM
1. don't get a combo without a back - it will sound good in the store but not out of the store
2. do you use pedals or are you looking to use just the amp
3.some might not like this but I have digitech 2101 running through a Laney 120 watt lead head - this amp only has 1 channel
but is powered with four 6l6,s- the tube really sounds through with a clean setting and again with my preamp driving it has never let me down , except when I need new tubes
and that leads to the next question, do you want tubes that regularly need to be replaced
Apr 4 2011, 08:53 AM
A lot depends on you of course
Are you planning on using the Amp for most of your tone or do you use pedals, multi boards, emulation, etc? If you plan to use the Amp/Head to get all of your tone, it's worth it to overspend a bit. If you use a multfx board with cab/head emulators in it, the going crazy on a Mesa boogie is semi pointless as all you really need is clean amplification which can be had pretty cheap.
So if you go with the first plan, (tone from amp/head) get a really nice Head. You can skimp a bit on the cab depending. You can get a one by 12 cab that will sound great. More speakers doesn't add tone so much as volume. So a 4x12 will be much louder but arguably won't sound that much "better". The cabinet is bigger and that's a factor, but live, you get one SM57 shoved in front of your cabinet and in the house whatever you are using sounds a lot like the SM57 and whatever single speaker cone it was shoved in front of. Something to consider.
Apr 4 2011, 10:58 AM
I'd just make sure you go for a class A amp, preferable hand/point to point wired.
I generally find lugging cabs and heads round to be a massive pain in the *
If the sounds are not quite heavy enough you can always put a pedal infront.
I would personally go for a 5w-20w boutique amp... whats wrong with that? the sound is superior and it's a little different...
Plus you would never get a 100w marshall past 4, even when playing live (at big gigs too) because the onstage sound would be too loud... much better to have a smaller amp cooking away at 7 or 8 then you get that great tone
Apr 4 2011, 11:15 AM
Heh, I should have known that I will get all kinds of tips
Thanks for all of them.
I would most probably prefer to have not many outside effects/pedals. Also prefer to have amp gain instead of running a clear amp and effects to make the sound distorted.
I read somewhere that when it comes to metal, poweramp tubes don't have to be "cranked" because most of the sound comes from preamp tubes, or so I recall...Things would be so much easier if I could just visit few shops in my city and test stuff, but unfortunately there won't be almost anything one might propose here. Most probably there will be some solidstate cheap stuff, and biggest tube amps of few manufacturers, like Marshall, Peavey, Fender and Bugera. But I must do the "gear trip" even so probably, no better way
Apr 4 2011, 11:30 AM
A good, and fairly cheap start could be to get a Peavey Valveking. We giged a month ago in a place where they had one of those and my fellow guitarist bought a used one after that. The one he bought was modded with a better speaker and an extra footswitch input (or something).
I've only tested one years ago in the shop and thought it sounded good. Now that I heard on during our gig I was even more convinced and now that he's rehearsing on one I'm sold on the sound too.
So as a first step to a great sound it could be an option. First modification that will make the biggest impact is to switch the speaker for something better. He runs a reverb pedal infront since the 1x12 he got lacks reverb. The 2x12 has more options so getting a new amp I'd go for the 2x12 combo.
Feels to me it's quite a lot of tone for less money. I always thought that about the Valveking but now that I'm experiencing one in the rehearsal room, even more.
Apr 4 2011, 05:05 PM
Just to add an information that is worth considering. MickeM gave a very good advice for a first tube amp. ValveKing is definitely an amp that is worth getting as your first tube amp. However, I wouldn't get 212 tube combo ever. They are very heavy.
For example VK 212 combo's weight is 31Kg. Now that's a lot. I had Marshall TSL601 combo that was around 30Kg, and carrying it around was difficult. I would also advise against Marshall TSL series, as channel switching has delay, and the overall sound is good only if you crank it a bit, and 60W is a lot to crank, so the good tone will never be there.
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