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  #1  
Old 04-10-2003, 01:41 PM
Jupiter  is offline
 
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A good, high-gain amp head...


Hello!
I'm currently shopping around for an amp head. I play in a prog metal band, and i use 7-string guitars. Our sound is a little bit like 6 Degrees-era Dream Theater { well, the first disc anyway }. I also play lead in my band. I need something with a lot of gain for my rhythm work, and lots more gain for my solos. Plus, it has to retain clarity with a low-b or low a string. I'm not really picky about brands, but the cheaper i can get it, the better ! I also have no problem buying used gear, so don't worry about that either. It needs to be loud enough to play gigs with, for sure! I'm not picky about solid state vs. tubes, but i think i need a tube amp.
Any suggestions are welcome!!!
Thanks!
Ben
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2003, 01:54 PM
BucketBot  is offline
 
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One of my favorite high gain amps is the Peavey Ultra 120 Plus. 3 channels, plenty of gain and you can find used ones for fairly cheap.
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  #3  
Old 04-10-2003, 01:56 PM
darren wilson  is offline
 
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The Marshall Mode Four has been getting really good reviews, and it seems to be geared towards extremely high gain with low tuning and 7-string use. I believe it has tube preamps and solid state power.

http://marshallamps.com/images/products/mf/mf350.html
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  #4  
Old 04-10-2003, 02:13 PM
Dan D Mahnn  is offline
 
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Hey. Im no big fan of these amps but it seems like Dual Rectifiers are the king of modern, 7-string, drop-tuned rock/metal. 100 watts. A used 3 channel Recto solo head could be had for around 1200$ on ebay I think.

I play a Bogner Estasy 100B. Thats a fantastic high gain 3 channel amp. 100 watts. Expensive though. At least 2000-2500$ used.

I wouldnt recomend modern marshalls. Maybe a later JCM800. Thats the cheapest bet. Maybe $800.

If your really seriouse about the dream theatre sound I think John Petrucci plays early 80's Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ amps. He uses a Tube Screamer as a boost for solo's. You can still find them on Ebay every once in a while. I think you can pick one up for around $1400. Most of the expense comes from collectabilty though. Thier considered the best sounding clean and hi gain boogies. Make sure it has the + becouse the regular IIC is different. Thier 80 watts. The simul class version has a switch for 15 watts class A or 75 watts class A/AB.

Soldano SLO100. Thier very nice. 100 watts. \

Thiers also the Preamp+PowerAmp route. Some preamps are really great.
Ive owned all these amps. Id be glad to give you some details.

What do you play now? Whats your limit for spending?

Most pro's have a trick with amps to add a gain boost for leads. Thats to put a booster pedal before the input. Some popular ones are Ibanez Tube screamer, Boss DS1/SP1, Fulltone OD pedals, Etc... Rule is turn up output and turn down drive.
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  #5  
Old 04-10-2003, 02:15 PM
trouble311  is offline
 
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Well, if you can afford it, look no further than VHT. Also, playing devil's advocate here, you could check out a Mesa Recto, or even (once again, very pricey though) a Bogner Uberschall.
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  #6  
Old 04-10-2003, 02:21 PM
The_Grindfiend  is offline
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High-Gain Amps


Other people have said it, and you're probably sick of hearing it, but a Mesa Dual Rectifier is really worth checking out. I've had no experience with VHT, but I'd check them out, too. Pricey, though.
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2003, 02:24 PM
Dan D Mahnn  is offline
 
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What are you playing now and how much power do you need? Anything over 100 watts is waaaaay overkill unless your playing a stadium. Ive played some of the biggest rooms (short of stadiums) in Philly, NJ, DE and NY and 100 watts was always more then enouph.
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2003, 04:27 PM
nocebo  is offline
 
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check out


check out the Yamaha T100. it's a design based on the SLO100 that michael soldano designed for yamaha.
also the Sovtek Mig60!!! lots of hard-core converts on the Mig60! check the harmony central reviews, no frills, few bills, massive gain!

colin
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2003, 06:32 PM
Timanator  is offline
 
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Re: check out


Quote:
Originally Posted by nocebo
check out the Yamaha T100. it's a design based on the SLO100 that michael soldano designed for yamaha.
also the Sovtek Mig60!!! lots of hard-core converts on the Mig60! check the harmony central reviews, no frills, few bills, massive gain!

colin
T100 might work (soldano's are very sweet toned) But a Sovtek for heavy metal?
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  #10  
Old 04-11-2003, 12:41 AM
nocebo  is offline
 
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Re: check out


Quote:
Originally Posted by Timanator
But a Sovtek for heavy metal?
damn right!!
the Sovtek Mig60 has a hi-gain input and since it's less than 100 watts you can turn it up higher to get the power section distortion as well the preamp distortion. with a 100 watt head in a club you won't be cranking it to 11 every nite.

colin
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  #11  
Old 04-11-2003, 01:51 AM
Jupiter  is offline
 
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Wow!
Thanks for the quick and informative responses, guys!!! I really appreciate it.
As for the question of what kind of amp i use right now, i've had the Line 6 AX212 for over a year now. It sounds incredible, and records amazingly well. However, it just doesn't sound too great cranked up. I mean, it's alright, but not nearly what it is at practice volume, or in the studio. Plus, i haven't really been able to cut through volume-wise when i play with my band. I'm also shopping around for a good 4X12 cab to run it through while i save up for a head.
You all have gotten me interested in a few heads; the Sovtec { because it's so uncommon... a unique sound is always good }, the Peavey Ultra { the other guitarist in my band has a 5150 that i think is great, so i trust Peavey }, and especially the Yamaha T100 { uncommon, not too hard to find, based on a Soldano, and dirt cheap!!!! }. If anyone has any firsthand experience or info on these amps, let me know!
Keep the suggestions coming!
Thanks,
Ben
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2003, 08:43 AM
metalmarty  is offline
 
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Engl Savage Special Edition! Expensive, but my god what a sound. Check it out if you can.
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2003, 11:39 AM
Dan D Mahnn  is offline
 
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Loud volumes and solid state/digital amps never work. They just get annihilated by live instruments like bass, drums and the other guitar players tube amp.

You still didnt say what your spending limit was. Im sure the T100 sounds nice but if you want the sound of a Soldano and you have the money only the Soldano will sound anything like a soldano. But if you only want to spend $1000 or less, and you tell us that, we can make MUCH better suggestions based on price.

The Peavy XXX is a very popular cheap alternative.

Remember though you get what you pay for though.
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  #14  
Old 04-11-2003, 12:31 PM
Mr Orange  is offline
 
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If Devin Townsend's using 5150, I'd give one a shot.
Mesa stuff usually excels at hi gain.
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  #15  
Old 04-11-2003, 02:38 PM
nocebo  is offline
 
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re


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan D Mahnn
Im sure the T100 sounds nice but if you want the sound of a Soldano and you have the money only the Soldano will sound anything like a soldano.
to clarify, the T100 is not a cheap version of the SLO100. It was designed by Michael J. Soldano, who designed amps in a specific way as did the engineers as Fender and General Electric. His soldano amps are all mostly hi-gain, but different in several ways, also. The T100 was another project that was created for reasons like the SLO100: hi gain rock or metal, clean channel with lots of headroom, rock-solid durability, and very few miscellaneous controls to complicate things.
He came out with an amp that was very close to the SLO100, but was cheaper to make because it used imported tubes, or whatever, and Yamaha has already had mass-production capacity for years, in Thomaston GA. They simply made up the design and could easily use their existing machinery, materials, and labor to crank out 500 or 5000 or however many. Soldano uses very hi-quality and cost parts, all hand made, and just in general uses more money to make the amps. The costs reflect that.
in conclusion, the yamaha T100 is similar to the SLO100 but not the same amp. if you want the genuine soldano sound, you know where to look.

colin
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