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GMC Forum _ GEAR & PRODUCTION _ Gear Buying Philosophy

Posted by: Goliath Mar 11 2008, 01:25 PM

EDIT: Crap! Wrong board! The time change is still screwing me up! Oh friendly moderator, could you kindly move this to the gear board?

I'm not really asking what I should buy so much as advice on how I should buy it.

Ultimately, my dream head is a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier. It doesn't make a ton of sense to own one at the present as I'm not in a band and live in an apartment. I am sick of playing through my headphones so I have a couple options.

I could pick up an Atomic Reactor amp off of ebay and utilize my PodXTLive for tones, which is cool, but I know when I do finally join a band/start playing with others, the 18w that I would get wouldn't really cut it. So that way I know I'd have a good amp to play around with at home, but I would ultimately end up with a ~400 amp sitting in my room down the line that will be eclipsed by a more powerful amp.

The other option is shell out the cash for a Line 6 Spider Valve. I've played through one of these in the store and was pretty pleased with the range of sounds I could get out of it. Ultimately, I'll probably just play through a couple models that I like (like Dual Rectifier tongue.gif or "Treadplate Dual" if you will). I know the Valve can play at bedroom levels and still sound decent but still has enough testicular fortitude to handle playing live. I would also need to come out of pocket probably for an avatar cabinet 2x12 for another $300 + the $800 for the head. I would likely end up with the foot controller for it as well, which is another couple hundred I believe, but that can come later down the line. I like the idea of a head/cab over a traditional combo where I have the option to go bigger if I need to. Were I to pick up this head, then years and years down the line I probably would end up with a Mesa head as well.

And the third option being a Dual Rectifier. There are no Mesa dealers in my area, I luckily got to play one once that was used at a local shop, but that was brief and it was a while ago. Less versatile and more expensive than the Spider Valve, but I'm sure the Spider would spend a majority of it's time pretending that it was a Dual Rec tongue.gif. Do these play well at bedroom levels? I played with it louder than you typically do in music stores so I don't really know haha.

Last but not least, I could really put some pennies together for an Engl E645 Powerball. This amp amazes me with how much it can do, plus a built in noise gate is a plus. I've not gotten my hands on one but was wildly impressed with the review on May's Guitar World cdrom. The cleans really are incredible on this thing. This is as expensive or as professional as I would likely need. If I were to decide to save up straight for the Dual Rec or the Engl, it would likely be a year+ away from a purchase and I would probably pick up an Atomic Reactor in the interim and trash my Peavey Bandit 112.

What would you do if you were in my position. ONLY recommend additional gear if you think it fits in to my style of play and goals as a guitarist (I enjoy playing metal mostly and looking to get a rig that I can gig with eventually in your typical bar environment). For instance, the type of recommendation that is not helpful is recommend me pickup a Fender Twin Reverb. That's a fine amp, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't do anything I need it to besides amplify the sound of my guitar. I don't have a ton of interest in a Marshall as most that I've played with don't sound good unless they're played really loud, which doesn't really fit my situation. I figure I'll go ahead and say I am open to the idea of an H&K Switchblade head but you'll need to sell me on it tongue.gif

I'd just like to hear thoughts of other folks who have been down a similar path I appreciate everyone's input but I'm really looking for the opinions of folks who gig regularly.

Posted by: Goliath Mar 11 2008, 06:35 PM

Well, dual Recs are that much on eBay I have discovered, run between 900 and 1100 typically. I'd gladly shell out the extra cash up front and get the amp I really want I think, unless someone can think of an argument otherwise?

EDIT: Quick question, new they're about $1800, but used they go for 50-70% of that, while other amps like Engls typically fetch 75-90%. Bad comparison, sure since Engl is boutique, but I believe Marshalls even fetch close to that.

Posted by: Marcus Siepen Mar 11 2008, 07:56 PM

Well, I am using a Tripple Rectifier since about 13 years now and for me it is the ultimate amp, so the Dual Rectifier would for sure be a great amp for you, as long as you play it in a rehearsal room, those amps are not really built for bedrooms. The Powerball is also a very nice amp, but again, those amps are there to be played loud, so if you want to play it at home the Line 6 might be the better option, even though the emulated Rectifier in the Line 6 amps doesn't even come close to the real thing, it is not bad though.

Posted by: Goliath Mar 12 2008, 02:24 AM

I mean I'll be able to put some volume on it, but nothing too crazy, obviously. so you really think a L6 w/ a 2x12 cab would be better for my situation until I buy a house and create a studio, huh?

That's the thing I look forward to most about home ownership is being able to build it to suit my needs tongue.gif

Posted by: Tjchep Mar 12 2008, 02:59 AM


Just to keep your ultimate tone at practicing volumes, but with the amp cranked.. Drop some money on this.

I'm really starting to hate modeling stuff, no dynamics what so ever and really annoying..

This, if you didn't know will act as a speaker load and then if you do need to record something, but you don't want to get your neighbors mad, you can just use this and it will be really quite, but with that cranked sound.

Posted by: Goliath Mar 12 2008, 03:26 AM

Yeah I'm not a stranger to attenutors, they've always been part of the plan as well, i guess I should have mentioned that tongue.gif

Posted by: KRmachine Mar 12 2008, 08:50 AM

Get a Krank Revolution JR, They're small enough for playing at home, while still being loud enough for practice, and they sound awesome. You can even get a full stack which has two 1x12" cabs, and it's super cute!
Here's a video of it being played:

Posted by: MickeM Mar 12 2008, 09:45 AM

I think that if you're set on the Dual Rectifier, go for it. Forget about keeping it in your bedroom though, it won't sound good. Maybe it will dound ok but if you don't put it to work volumewise you'll feel like playing a $2000 at $200 worth.
Ant say you're in a banc and you're rehearsing 1-2 times a week. Would you carry that 30-35 kg head and a 4x12 cabinet back and forth every week? Carrying heavy stuff isn't that funny and even if it's your choise to do that it's unhealthy for a tube amp to be moved around too much.

And about an attenuator, it's a good tool but I rather have a less teriffic sound for my bedroom and the tubes will stay fresh longer.
Bedroom playing with an attenuator could wear them out in 6-12 months depending on how much you push the amp.
If you keep the volume down to 1 - I tell you 2 for bedrooms is way too loud for my Switchblade already, last gig (which was my first with the Switchblade) I just got a little ober 4 on the knob... insane! And the geeks who rather sat in the bar talking about work complained the entire session was too loud blink.gif It's 100W, 50W would do.
So if you skip the attenutaor and stick to bedroom playing instead of 6-12 months you'd see 6-12 years wink.gif

I've been carrying my deal of stuff and it's worthless, especially the day after a gig when everything goes back to the rehearsal room and you're tired (at the least).

If it was me, I'd get the rectifier and put it in the rehearsal room as soon as you get a band, and just keep it there.
For home use I'd get something small, solid state amp or a floor board like a POD, Boss, Korg etc to plug into the Hi-Fi unit.

Why not a 5W tube amp for the bedroom? It's loud! There are 1/2-1W amps you could use but in your heavy metal case I don't really see that as an option.

Posted by: KloCkWorXx Mar 12 2008, 02:53 PM

i keep a 5150 half stack in my bedroom, which is only 10x10 i just pulled two of the power tubes, drops it down to 60 watts n sounds great n doesnt have to be that loud, and ive never had a prob with the transformers

Posted by: Tjchep Mar 12 2008, 06:58 PM

I'd go for a spider valve for practicing..

The smallest one of course..

Posted by: Milenkovic Ivan Mar 12 2008, 08:58 PM

+1 for a small tube amp. No need above 15W for room really.

Posted by: Goliath Mar 13 2008, 12:35 AM

Yeah but I'm the kind of guy where if I compromise my gear then I end up buying what I initially wanted anyway further on down the line, so I was seeing if anyone else has the same problem and would pipe up from a similar experience. I did look at the Rev Jr and was pretty impressed with the sound, but the one thing that absolutely turned me off is it didn't have a foot switch. I think a 20w head makes plenty of sense. I like the head/cab scenario.) Plus it can be described as "cute" so not metal dude (jk, I don't really care about that).

I had considered a Mini Colossal or a Tiny Terror but I thought they were super overpriced when something like the Rev Jr is comparably priced and a much better value and comes closer to the sounds I want.

Basically, bottom line is I don't want to buy gear I know I'm going to have to upgrade, which turns me off to the Spider Valve head, because I know if I end up with that, I'll probably buy a Dual Rectifier out of spite anyway. I still know that the valve head is playable at bedroom levels (not really all that concerned with that)B. But I guess I kind of would go for the 112 combo instead, that way I knew I could always have it as a practice amp then maybe pull the trigger on more pro gear as the need arises. I'm just not all that thrilled with that prospect, I wish I had another option of that price range/power level. It might just be my stigma about the brand. Yeah, 112 makes sense, but I'd just as soon get a 212 cab from and an L6 head. My friend has a vintage Fender Bassman head/2x12 cab and it suits him fine.

So does anyone have any other recommendations that you think might suit my needs better? I've researched it to some extent and really didn't see it any other way.

See, I probably WILL start gigging within 2 years, and i don't see the point in buying another amp again so I could buy the L6 head /cab and be set for a while, or get a combo that I don't know would do me. Maybe the Spider Valve212 would work out for me, I could see it being enough to get the job done. But if I went that route, they also make a dual rec roadster, which I think would probably make pretty good sense, can be 50 or 100 watt so if I needed another 212, it wouldn't be so ridiculous.

Hooray for thinking outloud, I think I might have a solution!

So if I got a DR Roadster and kept it in 50w mode, thoughts?

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