Now I want a tube amp..

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by axlej11, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. axlej11

    axlej11 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Location:
    US
    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.
     
  2. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,152
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    Turdcaster, WA
  3. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,963
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
    Wow, great news that your hand is back to 100%. Go to some music stores and try out as many amps as you can get your hands on. Maybe a Super Champ would do the trick.
     
    axlej11 likes this.
  4. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Location:
    Philly
    I'm a fan of the Peavey Micro heads, especially for the kind of music you are considering. They are equipped with a line out for recording.

    Around here a lot of 4x12 speaker cabinets show up in the marketplace for cheap if they don't say "Marshall", "Orange", "HiWatt" or even "Fender" on the front. Recently a local pawnshop had 4 4X12s cabinets available at $99--a Peavey Windsor, Carvin, Behringer and Crate. The Peavey and Carvin were picks of the litter but the Behringer and Crate were still bargains. So you could have a decent fairly loud tube rig for cheap.

    Even I was tempted with 4 $25 12" speakers and a free cabinet thrown in. Of course a 4x12 might be a little much to handle. The previous owners of those 4x12s apparently felt so.
     
    axlej11 likes this.
  5. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,452
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Tennessee
    My amp of choice & IMO the best bang for the buck is a Pro Jr.
     
    axlej11 likes this.
  6. johnnyha

    johnnyha Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,404
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    You might wanna check out a Jet City 20W head, they are kinda loud but good cleans and the metal Marshall tone. Any kind of 18W Marshall clone might float your boat.
     
    Nickfl and axlej11 like this.
  7. Saint Frank

    Saint Frank TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    47
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I dig the Jet City. Designed by Soldano...yeah, they'll do metal.
     
    axlej11 likes this.
  8. axlej11

    axlej11 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Location:
    US
    Thank you for all the suggestions guys. Theres a music store with a plethora of used products about 20 minutes from me and its the size of a guitar center but not a corporate business. Im really tempted on those peavey heads. Ill also check out the other suggestions such as the Jet City, Pro Jr., and Super Champ.
     
  9. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,799
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    New England
    That is super important!

    The range of a normal guitar goes down to 80hz while a bass goes down another octave. It's simple: Double the frequency, go up an octave. Divide in half, go down an octave.

    Hassle is most guitar speakers are struggling to reproduce 80hz.



    My Rig of Doom:

    Double stack with whatever in the top cabinet. Celestion G12-65s, WGS Veterans, any of a dozen choices from Eminence.

    Bottom cabinet gets 2x EVM15Ls. There's room for them in there for two of 'em on a custom baffle.

    Bi-amp it if you really want to kill. Feed the top cabinet with an old 50 watt Marshall or a Peavey Windsor or sumthin' if you're on a budget. Feed the bottom cabinet with one of those new fangled Gallien-Krueger bass amps.

    Like this:

    .


    .
    Not exactly a hardcore tone but the bottom end is there. "Find the missing bass player!"

    The way the Reverend does it is a 100 watt Fender Rumble Bass Amp holding down the bottom end and a WeberVST Princeton Reverb clone for the rest.


    Next, a lesson from Uncle Ritchie. This Uncle Ritchie couldn't be less interested in sellin' you a Chrysler. :D

    .


    .
    Check out the riffage towards the end. Point is Blackmore played astonishingly clean. Clean can be heavy, too.


    Next, one from Uncle Rob. Pay attention to the intro. Listen to how they drop instruments from the mix and it gets heavier.

    Less is more.

    .


    .
    My advice: Buy as much clean tone as you can afford. Your clean tone is the foundation for everything else, your pedals for example. Within your budget track down a good used Carvin X100B head or maybe a Peavey Windsor. You want some power to push the bottom end. Bear in mind your clean tone is your foundation for everything.

    The old X100B has an FX loop for your time based effects. If you pay more than $300 you're overpaying. Unless you buy mine... :D

    Like they said off brand 4x12" cabinets are dirt cheap. I bought a Bugera 4x12" for a dollar. Yup. I've crossed over to the Dark Side now that there is a Bug in my camp. Hey! I got it for a buck!

    I loaded it with antique organ speakers. Don't do that for Dropped D Doomage.

    If you're using pedals for distortion keep doin' that. Earmark part of your budget for a few killer pedals.

    Remember: Keep your low frequencies relatively clean. You'll move furniture if you run your bottom end through a modern bass amp.
     
    Peter Rarebit, Abu Twangy and axlej11 like this.
  10. Bortyeast

    Bortyeast Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    726
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Televille
    Take out a loan and buy an Engl. It'll be the amp you keep forever.

    Barring that, another vote for Jet City.
     
  11. axlej11

    axlej11 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Location:
    US
    Thank you for the very informative post muchxs!! Ill look into it! Very informational. Helps a bunch.

    As for taking out a loan borty, ehhhh haha. Id settle with the jet city in that case. But anyway Ill check out that Carvin. I have the whole day to watch and learn.
     
  12. johnnyha

    johnnyha Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,404
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Only thing I keep reading with that Jet City is the volume is LOUD even at 1, it doesn't do bedroom level.
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,782
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Why not just get a good headroom SS head and cab + pedals? I don't play that music but as Muchxs noted, CLEAN POWER is king. I can't see tubes mattering much. Seems like the cost/benefit would weigh for SS.

    I can't imagine things like the Pro Jr. (a fine enough amp I guess) being responsive to this particular question.
     
    axlej11 likes this.
  14. axlej11

    axlej11 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Location:
    US
    That's why I asked for any other suggestions other than tube amps, because I wasnt sure if I exactly need one. I was looking at some of the orange SS heads as well, such as the CR120H. Any suggestions for an SS head?


    Also Im really liking the sound of the Peavey Windsor and Im finding good deals for it on ebay with a 4x12 included.

    I have another question regarding the use of pedals. Isnt putting a distortion pedal on a clean channel a no-no because you lose midrange? And it sounds very compressed? Or is that only an issue with cheap pedals like the metal zone? Because the best results Ive seen are boosting distortion through an over driven channel with a pedal such as the Tube Screamer. But my question is how would I be able to switch from clean to dirty with a boost, since its boosting an already dirty sound?
     
  15. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,056
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Back in South of England !!
    ^^ Two channels, perhaps. ^^ ;)
     
    axlej11 likes this.
  16. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,799
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    New England
    You're welcome!

    Just as an experiment...

    I assume your bass player is using a high powered solid state rig. If you can split your signal and send part of it to his rig and the rest of it to a "guitar" amp, try that.

    Also...

    You can try some extreme EQ settings on the bass amp. For instance boost the bass and turn the rest of the EQ knobs down.

    What we're trying to do is emulate the crossover on a P.A. system. The bottom end might seem bloated and poorly defined if you mute the mains and only play through the subs. In context of the whole it sounds huge.

    Ah. We're talking about at least two different types of pedals. We might even be able to break it down further.

    Overdrives aka "Tube Screamers" mostly work as advertised by overdriving a tube amp. Sure they provide distortion of their own but they're primarily intended to enhance the tone of a tube amp. Otherwise they would be called "transistor screamers". :D

    Distortion and fuzz pedals are roughly similar but not the same thing as overdrive pedals. Fuzz pedals can trace their lineage all the way back to the original 1960s Maestro FZ-1 as heard on "Satisfaction". "Distortion" pedals came along later and are meant to sound more like a distorted tube amp and less like the broken amp / broken speaker tone from a fuzztone. The old Distortion+ tends to sound thin and harsh under many circumstances. I have two of 'em. They sound good when they're used as a distortion / overdrive, when they're used to push an already overdriven amp. The classic example is Crazy Train. Like the proverbial Crazy Train itself, Randy's guitar wants to whistle while he tries to keep in under control.

    .


    .
    Geezers like me also enjoy vintage Rat or Big Muff distortion pedals although I always thought the Big Muff should have been called "Big Mud" instead. Like bad shellfish the memory sticks with me long after the fact.

    My boutique pedal builder buddy Matt builds all 144 versions of the Big Muff. While that might seem like one of my trademark exaggerations, there has probably been that many variants over the years.

    Even though I'm a traditionalist I'd jump on one of the new (ish) multi- distortion pedals like it was... well, insert the metaphor of your choice. Thing is Radial builds multi- distortion pedals I would have traded my motorcycle and my souped up Nova for if they were available "back in the day". A Radial Tone Bone Tri Mode? Kewl! :cool:

    Still a traditionalist, I tend to avoid modeling pedals. Here's the thing, though: As the name implies digital modeling converts your nice guitar signal to buzzy nasty computer language and processes it in the digital domain. I will admit that's useful for über tweezed tones that may be tricky to achieve through a strictly analog signal path. For example Randy's tone on Crazy Train. In the analog domain too much gain is barely controllable and the EQ needs to be yanked around to make the tone controllable and palatable. Modeling pedals can puke out some fairly extreme tones while sidestepping some of the constraints of an all analog signal path.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
    axlej11 likes this.
  17. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,806
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Up North
    Closed-back, w/15" Speaker.
    Those extra Lows will need more Wattage to make them come alive.
     
  18. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Location:
    Central PA
    axlej11 likes this.
  19. axlej11

    axlej11 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Location:
    US
    Thanks again for the valuable info, I understand now. I may try out that experiment you suggested!

    Im having a little trouble finding peavey 5150 mk1s, I did find one listed for like $750, out of my range.

    I found a Windsor at the local musicgoround from their website. Im not sure if they allow testing there however.

    As for a solid state head, how are Randall 1003h's? Cant find much information about them but I did find a few videos on them and they sounded decent low and loud from the few videos Ive found.
     
  20. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Location:
    Central PA
    I see them on sale for 500 all the time!

    The 6505 is the same exact amp. Different name. The 6506+ is a 5150II

    There are also combo versions that can be had cheaply.

     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.