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What is the best tube amp.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Rock on, Nov 25, 2006.

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  1. Rock on

    Rock on Tele-Holic

    Nov 4, 2006
    Barrington, RI
    what is the best tube amp you can buy that will let you play a tele for an array of music styles. Being the novice at amps i am i know nothing. The name marshall is the best ive heard. I also know that tube amps are supposed to be really good. Thats all i know.

    I aim for a zepplin classic rock, regular rock, some emo, alternative, metal, thrash metal sound. Mostly rock stuff though.

    So its basically the best amp for Rock and areas of music around Rock.


  2. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's

    For the sounds you describe you'd probably want some version of a Marshall or Boogie, but to make a specific recommendation we need more info. What guitars do you play? Do you play in a band with a loud drummer, or other guitarists with high-volume amps? Do you play only at home? What's your budget? What have you got now and what do you think of that?

  3. CountryShawn

    CountryShawn Tele-Holic

    Aug 14, 2003
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    There is no such thing as the "best" amp.

    They are all different flavours, textures and tones. It needs to fit the music AND the player. You need to just find an amp that speaks to YOU.

    Just about every amp brand and model imagineable has been used to play the kind of music you describe.

    Head out to the store, bring YOUR guitar with you, and try out as many different amps as you can. You'll find great offerings from:
    Dr. Z
    Top Hat

    The list goes on. All of these amps are very capable of great rock, classic rock and blues tones. Let your ears be your guide.



  4. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

    i would start with a small fender, peavey, or crate tube amp and see how you like it

    going with a marshall tube amp right now, if you are a novice at amps, may be overkill

    i know many a player who got at least a marshall 4x12 amp and ended up trading down to a smaller combo amp...heck, i did that and i couldn't justify having all that volume and actually found hauling something that big around very annoying

  5. Joe-Bob

    Joe-Bob Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 6, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    CountryShawn is right. The best tube amp is the one that's best for you and the way you play. Get out there and start playing some amps.

  6. Dave_O

    Dave_O Friend of Leo's

    Jul 27, 2006
    offline and IRL
    good Lord, what a can-o-worms question....
    Considering the best way to get a sweet tone out of a tube/valve (sorry, I'm a stubborn Aussie) amp is to get all of it cranking, I'd be looking at the sort of venues you will be using it at, and buy accordingly. I use a Vox AC30 combo, and I find it loud enough to play to 200-300 people. It's too loud for 30-50 people, so I just got a Fender Pro Junior, 18watts. If, however, I was playing to 2000-3000 people and doing outdoor gigs, I'd be looking at, probably a Marshall JMP 100watt with a quad. I've used the Vox in those sort of gigs, and lost it on the stage. Sounded great through the PA, though....
    But the key to what makes a "good" amp is simple.
    And Quality don't come cheap, my friend....
    CountryShawn's list is on the money for sound, but none of 'em are inexpensive

  7. Markl8

    Markl8 Tele-Meister

    Nov 3, 2006
    +1 on all the above PLUS being a novice where do you play? If at home is it an apt a house cause what may seem to be a little 40 watt amp will rock your world and your neighbors as well which my be a problem as well.

  8. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 13, 2004
    Garden City, KS
    Everyone has had some good advice so far, but I might add that even if you don't play anywhere but home, you can still enjoy bigger amps as long as you're not annoying your neighbors.

    If you're a beginner I would recommend something that allows you to use preamp distortion for the distorted sounds.

    I am going to take the liberty of recommending a Peavey Valve King 112 to start. It's a reasonably priced 50 watt, two channel tube amp. The Clean channel doesn't knock me off my feet, but it's not terrible. The Lead channel, on the other hand, did knock me off my feet. It's extremely versatile and sounds very good at the price point. The unique feature of the Valve King is that it has a knob that allows you to play it in Class A or A/B or anywhere in between.

    Actually, I tried the 100 watt 212 model, but I doubt the 50 watt model would be much different.

  9. Gr8tfulEd

    Gr8tfulEd Tele-Holic

    Aug 9, 2006
    Lake Oswego, OR
    I'm a tube fan now, but my first amp was a modeling amp (modeled many different types of amps. it was the Cyber Deluxe) and you might think about going that route so you can experiment with many different types until you finally dial in the sound you are looking for. The Cyber is discontinued now, but Vox makes a great modeling amp (Valvetronic series, AD30, AD50, etc) which has some real nice variety and is actually a hybrid amp (it uses a tube to help make the tones).

    Now that being said, I have to say: You might consider the Fender 65 Super Reverb Reissue. It's got clean head room down cold and you can put almost ANY pedal in front of it for distortion or drive. Try it with an English Muffin or Vox's Big Ben and I think you'll be suprised. But that's just me and what I like. :cool:

  10. Soldano ROS

    Soldano ROS Tele-Meister

    Nov 23, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Sounds like a Marshall JCM2000 is in order here.

  11. daviddoubleu

    daviddoubleu Tele-Holic

    Jun 29, 2006
    Taipei, Taiwan
    I just got myself a Fender Pro Junior and it's all I'll ever need as far as a tube amp in terms as loudness and tone. If I want to tweak the tone it's very easy to switch out the tubes and speaker. For in house practice/ noodling there are some very good modelling amps- Roland Micro Cube being just one.

  12. FraKcture

    FraKcture Tele-Meister

    Sep 8, 2006
    I play a mesa/boogie DC5, and i love it..
    It sounds great (just takes a while untill you find the tone you're looking for)
    and is loud as hell... (sometimes a little to loud i guess... )
    Didnt cost that much, and suits my playing style very good.
    I needed an amp that covered alot of styles and i feel that i found it.

    I play prog, post-rock and it works for me.
    I guess you could be playing the stuff that you want to on this amp too..

  13. nvosmeier

    nvosmeier Tele-Meister

    May 7, 2006
    with a thd hot plate attenuater...

  14. daddyopapa

    daddyopapa Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 27, 2005
    BC Canada
    Heck, what a question. Paisley plays a Bad Cat - they'll do anything asked of them. I've heard from other forums that a Bruno UG30 will do all things well. I know a Fender Twin Reveb with a few pedals will cover all bases. My Traynor YCV 40 can cover a fair amount of ground. The Marshall Silver Jubilee will do jazz to GnR. That's like asking what's your favourite kind of girl?

  15. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 13, 2004
    Garden City, KS
    Let's not confuse the guy! That's why I recommended a cheap tube amp with two channels. Of course, pedals are a rite of passage, but an attenuator?

  16. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 12, 2005
    Fullerton, CA
    Give a Peavey Classic 30 or 50 a ride at a local shop.

    They can get the sound you described and they're inexpensive tube amps.

    Tube amps respond a little more naturally/organically and dynamically than transistor or Solid State amps... it would require a lot more typing to fully explain why :)

    Tube amps overdrive or distort in much cooler ways than harsh brittle solid state amps (which can be a good thing to folks that like SS amps). Usually the clean sound out of a tube amp are much warmer and less harsh as well.

    As far as "best"... it depends on your tastes. A lot of opinions differ as to what works best for each of us... Joe Perry even used a solid state Roland JC amp on SOME classic tracks (though he prefers tube amps most of the time), BB King preferred a solid state amp as well for a while (he still might)...

    Read more, learn as much as you can. If you're aiming for a tone that some classic album used, try to test drive the amp used on the album.

  17. maestrovert

    maestrovert Poster Extraordinaire

    One of THD's offerings would be a very versatile amp, indeed....they're designed to allow tube swapping for varying gain & tonal characteristics, and they're built like a tank....well worth looking into....

  18. The Amazing Phil

    The Amazing Phil Tele-Holic

    Jun 7, 2006
    Luton, England
    From the diversity of sounds you've suggested, no tube/valve amp will do that as well as a good modelling amp will unless you spend rather a lot of cash. It might be worth looking into the Vox AD series amps, or prehaps Line-6.

  19. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 12, 2005
    Fullerton, CA

    Try a Peavey Classic 30 or Classic 50...

    For the Metal stuff, throw a metal-ish distortion pedal in front of the amp.
    For clean stuff use the clean channel.
    For Classic Rock overdrive use the dirty channel.

    Done. Cheap amp, plus OD pedal, pretty affordable and flexible.

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