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Should I spend more than $1k on an amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Shinrock, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

    Aug 25, 2019
    West By God Virginia
    As much as you need to.
    Tim S, Electric Warrior and Hpilotman like this.
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    I didn't think the OP was asking about high end amps, I can't think of any high end amps that have all the specs the OP listed and cost much less than $1000 new retail.
    Tube amps with those specs that are really high end or boutique are another $500- $2000.
    I didn't read "more than $1000" as meaning $1500- $3000, but that's unclear.

    I think all those specs come in at IDK maybe $750- $1500 among amps used by musicians.
    As opposed to collectors/ cork sniffing gear heads/ wealthy divorcee/ dentists types.
    Cork sniffer amps would be "more than $2000", not "more than $1000".

    What medium size tube amps, with both clean Country and distorted Rock channels, that cost much less than $1000, do you suggest?
    I think there are some but not a whole lot in that category.

    Maybe you mean the OP should change his specs?
    Fair enough but we're trying to answer his question, not tell him his question is wrong.

    Some fair answers came in for tube amps that are only clean pedal platforms, or do dirt at full volume and clean at low volume.
    Fair enough but that's not what the OP requested either.
  3. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    That's a pretty nice list of amps for under $1K. None of those will "hinder" a player in any way!
    IMO... price does not matter! Get an amp that provides the tone and options you want.

    $500? $1500? Who cares. Just don't spend more because you think it will gain you more respect! Get the amp you want, at the price you want!

    I do a lot of festivals and fly in gigs! IMO - take advantage of backline every chance you get! If they have a list of amps you can live with it gives you a chance to try something different every now and then!
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
    MilwMark and DrPepper like this.
  4. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

    Oct 18, 2020
    I would also take into consideration if you or someone else will be handling / moving your amp. Generally speaking hand soldered - point to point amps are more reliable than most wave soldered PCB amps. There are exceptions such as Mesa Boogie or Soldano.
    I have owned several Fender Blues and HR Deluxes over the last 20 years and they are excellent sounding amps. Here's my experience with reliability. The inputs jacks will fail from frequent use and eventually they will need replaced as well as the wave soldered circuit card needing re-soldered. I paid an amp tech $60.00 to re-solder by hand the whole circuit card and the tube socket circuit card. Why you ask? I was playing at an open jam session and after about 20 minutes my amp went silent. The heat caused the circuit to expand and open the circuit. No problems after the PCB was hand soldered.This amp was handled carefully since new and never rough handled or dropped. The HR series Deluxes sound great when you have the right speaker match up for your pickups.In my opinion too many of the important parts such as jacks and tube sockets are soldered directly to the PCB. The Tube Sockets have their own PCB. I would not reject buying one of the HR series amps but just be aware of potential problems. In fact one of my several amps is a Fender Blues JR. IV with an Eminence Red-White- Blues and it sounds great with my Teles and my Strat.
    When you move up in price point the better constructed Fender Amps such as the DRRI and PRRI - 68 Custom Series - have tube sockets mounted directly to the chassis. They still use PCBs but at least some of the upgraded construction methods contribute to improved reliability.

    If you can afford a DR.Z - U.S. Bad Cat - Milkman - ECT - I would certainly give them a look.
    If not look at Mesa Boogie or the Upper End Fender Amps $1000 ++

    Of course there are some decent Used Prices to be had on the above mentioned Amps.

    Construction Methods do affect the cost of guitar amps.

    PCB Amp VS Point to Point Amp

    Notice the input and effects loop jacks on the Blues Deluxe are soldered directly to the circuit card.



    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  5. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

    Dec 19, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    My philosophy is the exact opposite of "buy the most expensive gear you can afford." I advise people, "buy the least expensive gear that meets your needs."

    $1,000 is a wholly arbitrary benchmark. It has no significance beyond our human love of round numbers. Try to put it out of your mind.

    Shop around, try different amps, then buy the one that's the best combination of satisfaction and price. Don't make your life more complicated than it needs to be.
  6. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

    Feb 17, 2019
    abilene, tx
    ^^^ somewhere in all of this is why my bicycle won't have electronic shifting or (unless i somehow move to colorado or the alps) disc brakes: too much stuff that i've seen go wrong at inopportune moments when I have maybe once in 35 years seen a cable fail.

    if you want tubes, you want, at a minimun, an amp with a stout circuit board if pcb, tube sockets separate from pcb boards, filter caps that are reasonably easy to access and replace, and jacks that are easily sourced and replaceable (or better, are durable from the beginning).

    dig around this site and others enough (the premier guitar story about that swede or dane or other nors guy who turned Linda Ronstadt's deluxe into, essentially, a Super in a deluxe case), will show you that with a little knowledge, some soldering skilll, and depending on whether or not new transformers are involved, not much $$, you can customize an amp to do pretty much whatever you want: except make a deluxe sound like a twin or Kurt Cobain's poor abused showman.

    so, i'd say, look around for an old ampeg reverberocket & start haunting garage sales looking for compactron tubes.
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 18, 2014
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    It looks like your set lists cause you to have a big pedal board.
    No sense messing with tubes if you're front-loading them with a pedal canoe.

    Get an Orange 35RT, yes it's solid state. Been quite a few players and TDPRI using them for gigs.

    Light, no tubes to burn out, rugged.

    Or any of these.

  8. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Mesa Rectoverb. Does exactly what you ask even up to metal.

    Great tube reverb. As BF Fender clean as any other modern amp. Does classic-80s-90s easy with multimodes per channel. Will go louder than you need. Really cuts in band context.
    Tim S likes this.
  9. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 27, 2017
    Tampa Bay
    Awhile back there was a NAD thread from a guy who scored an older Mesa Boogie combo (I don't recall which one) but it had 3 separate channels each with it's own volume, tone, and drive controls that you could switch back and forth between with a footswitch. It also had some powerful EQ and was capable of serious volume when needed. With all the genres and styles you need to cover, it could simplify things.

    BTW, welcome to the forum… and which did bands do you play with, I'd like to come listen. -TP
  10. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

    Mar 4, 2009
    Kinda late to this conversation. I used to use Fenders and had a Marshal and a Carvin all tube amps all loud honestly in a live setting all sounded pretty much the same. I forget who said this in this thread , but live it all those so called Nuiances gets drowned out at home you hear all of those things playing a simple chord or doing a few licks . Live I heard very little of that . I haven't played out in awhile but my main amp is an AMPEG 70 watt Solid state. cheap and gets me every sound I need or want with a few pedals.
  11. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

    Mar 6, 2009
    He'll yeah, got a grand? Get a Marshall blues breaker..
  12. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 2, 2006

    I would say it is a little arbitrary to set the bar for "pro-grade" at the $400 CV Squier.
    Of you step up to the MIM Players Series the hardware and electronics are far better quality than the CV.
    And in the Player price range of $600 to $700 that puts it in the price range of amps such as the Blues Junior, Peavey Classic 30 and AC30 that have been used by countless professional musicians.
  13. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 6, 2014
    Yep... long term mesa boogie user.. 35yrs... bombproof, multichannel, eq, fx loops, evm speakers.. pro gear in evey sense of the word. i love my JMP and DSL, but virtually everything I’ve ever recorded or used in the most demanding gigs and theatre productions has been Mesa.
    Pontiaddict and telemnemonics like this.
  14. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2016
    40 watts
    Under 50 lbs
    1x15 speaker (easier to mic than mulit speakers and packs a lot of punch)

    Something like a Fender Pro or Fralin VVT would work great....should be able to find something like that around a grand or so.
    telemnemonics likes this.
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Well sure, CV is a cheap guitar among usable guitars.
    But similarly a lot of the 30-40w tube amps with two channels for clean and dirty sounds, under $1000, are made with cheaper hardware and components to get into the lower price range.

    Players who own any of the 30 some odd versions of the reissue AC30 amps, frequently report issues due to various cheap parts to keep the price reasonable. Those are not super reliable over the decades, and not that cheap either!
    Depending on which one those run well over $1000 for import pcb consumer builds.

    If you prefer guitars that have none of the cheaper parts, AND you want a medium size clean & dirty channel tube amp that has all better parts, then you need to go over $1000.

    Blues Jr is a small single channel tube amp, the OP wants a medium size tube amp with both clean Country and dirty Rock sounds.
    Peavey Classic 30 might do it for the OP, but that is generally made with the similarly cheaper components like the CV Squier.
    Going by consumer satisfaction and market share, the CV might rank higher than the Classic 30?
    Still not a bad amp to look at, keeping in mind that it's a cost cutting product, that's just a basic fact, same as the CV Squiers.

    I chose the CV Squier because it is in that cheaper but pretty good range, comparable to the question about less than or more than $1000 for an amp with the listed specs.

    I preceded all that by saying the amp is MORE important than the guitar in the end sound you get.
    And then tried to illustrate the sort of guitars on par with well under $1000 tube amps with the specs the OP listed.

    I'm not alone in thinking it's crazy how many players choose several $1000 guitars, $600 in pedals, then run all that through a $400 amp.
    I'm also not alone in the belief that the amp should consume the majority of the electric guitar budget.
  16. Masmus

    Masmus Tele-Meister

    Feb 21, 2018
    San Jose
    One of the most underrated amps is a Peavey Classic. The tweed all tube ones are newer and the old black ones with silver stripes on the side of the speaker grills are the originals from the 70's. The 70's ones have SS preamps with 6L6 power tubes and are indestructible and cheap. Buy two and keep one as a spare.
  17. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

    May 15, 2018
    Some here have reminded me about the Supersonic 22 DR based amp. If not fussed about H/W definitely try one. Very underated it seems as far as $$$ go.
  18. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

    Mar 19, 2014
    Pärnu, Estonia, EU
    A good guitar in a bad amp sounds BAD

    A bad guitar in a good amp can sound GOOD

    Said that, I have been gigging all my life with a Twin Reverb and/or a Bassman 59LTD... BUT last two years I started gigging more often, 2 or 3 a week, and I changed to a Marshall Origin 50. It can do the Bassman thing but it can go further. 50W, 20W and 5W switch and the DI output is OUTSTANDING

    Actually I changed the Twin Reverb and the Bassman for TWO Origins (head and combo)
    telemnemonics likes this.
  19. Informal

    Informal Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 16, 2013
    Yes.... Buy a Kemper (used or new)

    Now you own every amp in the universe!

    Keep a backup amp....Don't expect to gig it a week or two after you get it, the learning curve is.... uhhh... A little steep.

    But if you have the patience, it will reward you!

    /puts on "OMG TUBES OR DEATH!" flame suit.
    Frodebro likes this.
  20. Jazzerclean

    Jazzerclean Tele-Meister

    Jan 31, 2019
    Agree, you nailed it, it's about the player. Laugh at sanctimonious cork sniffing statements like you can't play expensive instruments through cheaper (priced) amps (or the other way around). Pffft.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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