Well guys, Im able to play again after a full recovery of my fretting hand, I started to play a lot more and Im discovering new sounds for myself and have changed up my play style somewhat. Heres the backstory, a friend of mine who is a musician had offered to begin recording with me and to create our own two project albums. The first being a more technical and faster side of metal, and the second a doomy type of progressive death metal. I'm looking to create both sounds with ease. I like higher mids, but not a lot of gain as it gets too fuzzy for me but I do enjoy a little bit of "disgusting" guitar tone for the slower, "heavier" stuff. If this matters I'll be recording in E standard and Drop D for my first project and B standard with a 7 string guitar for my second. I feel as if these details may be useless, but I'm trying to give some insight on the sound I want to create. Here is where I am stuck. There is A LOT of amps to choose from all built for a different purpose it seems. I've been doing light research on tubes and how to maintain them properly, but my main concern now is what amp to even get. I'm having trouble locating an amp because either I'm not searching correctly or every amp can be used to get whatever sound I desire. I'll narrow down my desires here: (Im not technically knowledgeable so please bare with me) -Good clean tone -Simplistic controls -High mid range -Good with distortion -Good low end I'm not sure how to really explain my desires as I am all self taught and never really dove into the tech side. I do want to clarify that I won't really be gigging, I will play as a band though and I do want to hear myself over the drums while keeping my tone clear. I do run pedals. I run distortion, chorus, delay, and a flanger. Now some amps I have found for example are the orange micro darks, Fender combo amps, peavey micro stacks, and marshal micro stacks. My problem is I don't know if the "bigger is better" term fits here because most of the amps in my $500 range are all "micro" which seem to be for getting that tube sound in a smaller space at lower volumes. I'm not trying to be cranked for large venues, Id just like to be able to record and jam with a band while sounding good. Included in that $500 range would be a cabinet as well so I will settle for combo amps. With recording, I'm more for that raw sound rather than the digital over edited sound you get with most modern metal bands today. I enjoy bands such as Lamb of God, older Machine Head, Death, Obituary, old KoRn, and others to give you an example of my influences. If you guys don't think a tube amp is necessary for my desires please feel free to post suggestions to others. Im trying my hardest to not ask for spoon feeding. I'm just stuck. If you also feel the need to call me out for my lack of knowledge or ignorance, feel free I accept all forms of criticism. TL;DR: Looking for an amp and cabinet under $500 that will satisfy my wants in producing a good metal tone as well as clean tones. I will push up to $600 if need be, Im trying to leave room to upgrade my strat. I will consider any suggestions. Thank you for reading! EDIT: Im more than willing to buy used.