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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. JWH7

    JWH7 Tele-Meister

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    Get you a monoprice stage right 30 watt amp head. It cost you $299. for an all tube amp and have money left over for other stuff you want. get 3 new 12ax7 pre amp tubes that are balanced. like the tubestore.com prefered series. plenty of volume for gigs.
     
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  2. JoeTX

    JoeTX TDPRI Member

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  3. Yuro

    Yuro Tele-Meister

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    I'm not going though 8 pages of responses. I agree with the guy who doesn't like Hot Rod Deluxe. I also bought a Blues DeVille once...and hated it. Quickly re-sold it to my guitar teacher, who was happy to have it. I put all those hot-rod fake tweed amps in the same catagory. You can get decent sound out of them if you tweak very carefully, but it's very easy to ice-pick your audience without realizing it. They just go off the rails too easily. I saw a very good country player with one...His tone was disgusting...Just because of this amp he had...a Deville, I think.

    I bought a used, partially restored Twin Reverb with the money I got for my Deville, had it serviced and it still sits in my studio. It's got great sound but I would never gig with it. The thing weighs near 100 lbs. Has wheels, but wheels don't get it up the stairs or in the car.

    I really wanted a Super Reverb, which, 20 years later, I still haven't purchased. They don't fit in my car. They're almost heavy as a Twin, but the extra height actually makes them easier to handle.

    I bought a Laney LC30 with 1x12...made in UK...for under $400. Had it serviced ($150) and put new, not NOS, EL84s (4) in it. It's a great amp. 30Watts, reverb, 2 channels that are both useable and good. I would leave it in the back of the bar where we jammed for over 10 years. Other guys from other bands would use it and return it during the week. Since covid, I've brought it home. It still sings. You can plug straight in to them, no pedals and get very nice sound out of them. I bought a second one with 2x10...and a "knobs up" configuration...I think it's even older. Had that one serviced and it also is a winner. If you can find them, they're really good amps.

    They come with a metal grid on the back that nearly prevents you from storing anything in the back. I cut mine back to about half-size....protects the tubes and I can still stash a cord and a "first aid kit" in the bottom. If you can get the 1X12 with the front controls, I think it's a little bit easier to see and use on stage. Both are excellent.
     
  4. Burl

    Burl NEW MEMBER!

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    Check out the Bogner Alchemist. It's one very bad ass, versitile amp. 40 watts? Yes made in china but so are Infinity vehicles and Nissan.
     
  5. steviemac

    steviemac TDPRI Member

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  6. steviemac

    steviemac TDPRI Member

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    My Goodsell Valpreaux ticks all the boxes....built to last a lifetime and has awesome tremolo.....Premier Guitars amp of the year in 2016.... Look no further.....
     
  7. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    I could give you probably 157 examples of amps well below $1,000 bucks (especially used) that will do what you need and sound great for gig or home use. And most of them have been listed here already... lol

    Also Not sure why so many people kill the Hot Rod/Blues Deville and Deluxe series. Those are really good working amps. Plenty of really good tones to be had out of those amps. Especially with a couple of pedals (EQ especially)

    And my secret weapon for gigging backline provided stuff was a DOD EQ pedal. I could dial in a tone I liked in any setting on anything provided with that pedal and a stock BD-2. And I bought the DOD off of ebay for like $30 bucks.
     
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  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Agree re: HRD. If the backline has a Twin/DRRI or a HRD, I'll take the HRD every time.

    I think part of why people run them down is they need to be at band volume. They are not quiet/home amps.

    Also, the new IV series is a big leap/improvement over prior ones.
     
  9. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    [Sorry, didn't have time to read all 9 pages above...]
    There are some good tube amps out there with adjustable power that might help fitting different venues. I'd look at Mesa for reliability, or Dr Z (not sure about power options with Dr Z).

    But... I've been gigging a solid state Roland Blues Cube Artist for over two years and other guitarists are amazed by the tone and that it's solid state. New they are $900. Adjustable power settings are 0.5, 15, 45 and 80W, and it weighs 35lb. You ought to give one a try if possible. I can send you a link to a performance video if you want to hear it in context (classic & southern rock).
     
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  10. Tim Hicks

    Tim Hicks TDPRI Member

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    Get the best sounding amp you can afford, but that may not be the most expensive amp. The way I see it, if you play a $5,000 guitar through a bad amp it just sounds bad but if you play a $100 guitar through a great amp then it will sound good, maybe not as good as the £5,000 would sound through the great amp but much better than great guitar + bad amp will ever sound. To put it another way seek out the best sounding amp you can find and it will pay you back pretty much regardless of what guitar you play through it.

    Speakers make a huge difference too and sometimes people spend $$$$ on a new guitar when all they need is a speaker upgrade.
     
  11. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm really confused why so many people seem to believe that: More money = better tone.

    Yes. At the "toy/junk" amp category (like amps that come free with a cheap starter guitar) that applies. (Though you can get some cool, unconventional tones from them). But once you are into the non-toy category, what something costs is irrelevant to how good you can make it sound.
     
  12. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    Those BC Artists are killer. I love a lot of the SS stuff out now.... I have only gigged a Quilter (which was amazing) but the Roland stuff, Orange, and Katana stuff is great. I have a Kat 100 and I love it but I gig 100% acoustic (well, before pandemic) now so I haven't been able to gig it and can't give an opinion on how it gigs. I'm sure I could make it work though... lol
     
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  13. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    I can only tell you what I have done.

    As far as multi-genre cover music a clean amp and the pedals needed to cover the sounds, distortion/fuzz/overdrive, modulation (flange, phase, chorus, tremolo), volume pedal, wah... etc, etc, etc. I really haven't done typical "play it like the CD" cover music for several decades. I did however give it a go at a mega church that served 18,000 people on the weekends. That was the first cover music I had done in ages. Having most every type of effect pedal was necessary as they gave us 3-4 new songs (I had never heard before) every week. We got the music on Thursday night (MP3's and chord charts), had that weekend to practice, had no rehearsals and met in the green room at the church 6am Sunday morning. Met each other for the first time, played through the songs a couple times, did a sound check, and performed the service. Having any and mostly all kinds of effects was key to pulling that off.

    I have had the same Mesa/Boogie combo (a 1x10", 22w, Subway Rocket Reverb that weighs only 37 very loud pounds) for something like 15-16 years. Its a joy to lug around and it has an incredible direct out. My philosophy since buying this amp was "if it needs to be any louder than this, send it to the P.A." I'm 58 years old, and I haven't lugged around a 4x12 cabinet since owning a Peavey Musician head and 4x12 when I was 17 years old. Technology has replaced size. Bigger is not better.

    I gave $500 for that Boogie off of eBay in around 2004-2005 and its been a flawless workhorse since day one. Boogies are workhorses. Here's a picture of it...
    DSCF0372 - LP FF Boogie- good one.JPG

    I really only use the clean channel. It has a footswitch on a DIN plug but I don't use it for switching channels but could if that was my thing (amp distortion, etc). My philosophy has been get a good clean amp that won't blow up, and do the rest with a pedalboard.

    I also have another Boogie and I've played Boogies for around 30 years. I've never had one break, fail, or do anything but give me a great amp. I also have an Express 5:25+ 1x12" combo. Its sinilar to the front panel of my Subway Rocket Reverb, but it has 2 sets of knobs, one for each channel. I also bought it because the store had had it for ever and gave me a great deal on it since it was NOS. It's in vanilla taurus with a cane grill. My one "pretty" amp... But it wasn't under $1,000... I just love Boogies. (stock photo of same amp).
    MesaBoogie Express 525 1x12 Vanilla Taurus - 01.jpg

    As far as under $1,000, easy to lug around, and tubes (but no reverb, I have a Source Audio Ventris reverb, so not necessary on the amp)... I also have a new Orange Rocker 15, 1x10", 15 watt combo. These are $799.00 MAP and the one I have had a small finger poke divet in the front of the grill and had sat at Sam Ash for a long time so they cut me a deal on it. Its my newest amp, so I have the least experience with it... it has an effects loop if you're into that, and has 2 channels if you're into that. Sounds great cranked up, takes pedals very well... It also has a selectable 15-, 7-, 1-, and 0.5-watt thing going on if you're into that...

    If you don't like Chinese people this amp isn't for you as Orange has them made over there... to some, that is a turn off... to me globalization means the company that makes stuff controls the quality control in every country. It's 2020 and America has some competition. So does the U.K.

    Weighs 29.9lbs... I love light gear... My old feeble man frame loves light gear. Technology has replaced size... Here's what it looks like from the front and from the top (the controls)...

    Orange Rocker 15 - 01.jpg


    Orange Rocker 15 - 02.jpg

    If you like cheap and loud both... For $75 I just bought a Peavey Bandit 65 (1x12, 65 watts) at the pawn shop across the street. Its not light and its not tubes, but it is loud as hell and was cheap. Its clean as a whistle and I am actually an anti-Peavey guy for decades but it was cheap. It has a nice reverb and it was cheap. It also has a cast frame Peavey speaker of some kind (might be a "Scorpion"). All the pots are scratchy and needing some CRC cleaner... JUst mentioning this amp because its just ridiculous I got it for $75 and what it does. It is Made in USA (not China)... and has the typical 80's Peavey controls across the front...

    Pre (gain), Saturation (distort-yuck), Post (gain), Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence and Reverb. There are at least 5-6 different Peavey amps in this era that have the exact same controls, just different power amp values and different model names. My discovery was that Peavey re-packaged the same amp design over and over to spread the same thing across the market share at different price points. Here is what this behemoth of Peavey-ness looks like:
    Peavey Bandit 65 - 01.jpg

    I'll need to take the Peavey in to have it gone through, but I think the scratchy pots are a quick fix, and only scratchy because it has sit in somebody's closet for decades (most likely). Its not an amp at the top of my recommended list, any Peavey (for me) would actually be the last amp I'd ever tell someone to go buy. I'm just adding it here to make a point that it is possible to spend less than $1,000. I spent $75 on this thing, LOL. In a pinch it would do. But if it's gonna wait until my Boogie blows up, its gonna sit in a line like hoping to be first on the new roller coaster at the theme park.

    As far as doing cover music, you might also want to have (or maybe already do) have multiple guitars with multiple different kinds of pickups.
    - Single coils
    - P-90s
    - Humbuckers
    - Mini humbuckers
    - etc, etc,...

    IMHO, a $500-700 USED Mesa/Boogie combo of some type will last you the rest of your life.

    That's my 2 cents, I wish you luck in your quest.
     
  14. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

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    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister:

    "IMHO, a $500-700 USED Mesa/Boogie combo of some type will last you the rest of your life."[End Quote]

    I completely agree.
     
  15. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

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    One of my earlier postings #84 shows the difference in construction features between amps as the price increases. This posting focuses more on reliability than tone. The original poster asked about an amp for gigging. Mesa Boogies are built rugged with the touring musician in mind and are very reliable amps. There is a reason one of their amps cost $2000 New and Brand X-Y-Z cost $500.00 In most cases you get the quality you pay for. [DR.Z - U.S. BAD CAT- MILKMAN- Upper End Fender amps - and Many more]
    One of my guitar buddies bought a USED Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special that was like new for $1000.00 This thing is built like a tank. I'm equating Quality with Price and NOT Tone. The player still has to deliver. I want reliability as #1 amp feature at a gig because a dead amp does nobody any good.

    Most of the tone comes from the player and not the equipment anyway.

    Never even mentioned that the Amp Cabinet materials and Construction techniques have an effect on quality and tonal response.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
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  16. erobillard

    erobillard TDPRI Member

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    Whatever amp sounds good enough at the volumes and tones you want to run through it, and carry an extra set of tubes and a backup amp that you can run to a shared cabinet, or wire up a secondary input if your primary is a combo.

    For live work, unless you're getting audiophile recording treatment, no one needs their best pedals or amps, reliable and a solid performance wins every time.
     
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  17. Mr Manch

    Mr Manch NEW MEMBER!

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    VOX AC30.

    Bags of headroom.

    2x12..full sound good spread.

    Great sound some call chime.

    But it's bloody heavy
     
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  18. jorbjorb

    jorbjorb Tele-Meister

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    Deluxe reverb. If I was a professional musician I'd bring two of them to the gig. One to play and one as a backup.
    Starts to breakup around 5. I've never had a sound guy let me turn up past 4. Good thing overdrive pedals exist.
     
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  19. GibAnn

    GibAnn TDPRI Member

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    Hi There, Greetings from New Zealand, would you like to put up a video of you playing so that we can see your style.
    here is one of my playing styles regards, Gib
     
  20. GibAnn

    GibAnn TDPRI Member

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    Hi there can you post a video of you playing, so that we can see your style,,, Here is one of my playing styles
    Gib New Zealand
     
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