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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

Hi guys!

I'm looking for a new amp to buy for both home practice and jamming with a drummer so I've narrowed down my choice to some 50w amps (guess they can still be used for home practice at low volumes and the power is there for more demanding situations).
All these are combos (I don't want to carry a cabinet around) and I want them to reach high tight gain territory without pedals.. sounds like Dream Theater, Mudvayne, Papa Roach are welcome.

Aditionally I want the FX loop chain to work nicely as I've got a POD x3 and I can use some of its effects and models for different situations. So a stereo effects loop would be handy..

These are the models I came down to..

- Mesa F-30
- Engl Screamer
- Engl Sovereign
- Koch Twintone
- Marshall JVM 410

I've read mixed reviews about all of these. The F-30 seems to be really good but some people complain the distortion is too fizzy.
The ENGL screamer seems to be a very good all rounder but may not carry enough gain.
The ENGL sovereign seems to do the job just perfectly but it's a bit expensive...
The Koch twintone seems a quality product but again I wonder if it reaches the high gain territory..
The Marshall JVM 410 seems to be a very good product (very flexible) however I've read people complaining about the distortion channels being too fizzy ?

What are you thoughts on these ?

Thanks a lot!!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

Personally id have to say that you should go with either the Engl Sorveign or the Mesa f-50....those sound like they can get up their but personally id just go with a Engl Sorveign that just my opinion............Engls have great tone and flexabillity.......But yeah only draw back is price
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

MESA MESA MESA for DT you want the Mesa.... but Im biased :P
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

I say look into ENGL. The screamer has plenty of gain. Just as much or more than the Mesa F-Series. Consider the ENGL Thunder too. Not sure if there is a combo version though. I played the head through a 2x12 and it sounded great.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 10:14 AM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mindwalker View Post
- Koch Twintone

The Koch twintone seems a quality product but again I wonder if it reaches the high gain territory..
Although it is a great amp, and it has some of the best cleans I've ever heard, it doesn't really reach high gain territory. I also can't really get along with the accutronics spring reverb. I think this amp is more suited for some mellow crunchy stuff, and needs a few pedals in front of it to make it come alive.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 11:12 AM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

^^^^
The Koch is an AMAZING amp, but it probably won't suit your needs for super high gain.

The F-30 isn't going to sound just like a Mark III, Mark IV, or a Mark II+C just because it has the Mesa nameplate.

The Engl Screamer has alot of gain but for the price you could probably find a Engl Powerball or Fireball 50 (or 100)... very high gain, good resell value, and looks to boot.

JVM is a good amp, different than the others but the 410 is super versatile with all the channels,MIDI, and modes etc.
The difference between most 50 and 100watt heads in volume isn't that big, and i'd advise getting one with a hot plate, or built in power cut for bedroom use.

......but with your list it's hard to go wrong.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

Have to agree that the mesa is going to be your best bet for DT type stuff, hard to emulate that with other amps. However, I'm unfamiliar with Kock and Engl. The Mesa Nomad series is also a good choice, as are the rectoverb combos. I think the Nomad 55 and Rectoverb are mesa's best sounding combos.

As an alternative, since you already have a POD X3, you could just get a simple keyboard amp, or even a powered PA speaker or powered monitors and save a lot of money. 50watt tube amps are ridiculously loud.

Tech 21 makes something called the Power Engine, made to plug your POD into. It's like $300 or something. For your needs, that would be the way I would go, that is unless your jonesin' for a nice tube amp (which is always nice to have).
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

the F-50. The F series are based off of Mark architecture. The sound great, plus the contour control acts like the graphic EQ on the Mark series.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

The engl has more than enough gain to do tight metal and every thing in between.The f50 and f30 that I had didn't quite get in that territory without a boost.But may make a nice platform for the x3.Keep in mind the mesa stuff uses a brand specific footswitch cable if your thinking of switching channels with the x3, as well as engl except for the thunder which is just a normal balanced cable.If you can try these amps out as they all have certain preamp voicing which you may or may not like.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

I own a JVM 410 and, yeah, it's absolutely amazing.

Ultra hi-gain may be a bit difficult to handle but I don't know any hi-gain amp that is completely free of hiss and feed-back (just see how many famous metal heads use noise gate in their rig).

If you like the JVM 410 versatility and options, go for it and add a decimator G-string pedal. You will have THE tone without any fizziness.

And I think that the cash to put on the table for the JVM+the G-string will still be less than any other of your choice.

You can hear the JVM in action in my band's recordings:
www.myspace.com/vantagemetal

...or on the last Megadeth : )
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

Hey guys, thanks for the answers so far!

Vinco, I like your sound samples.. the JVM 410 seems nice indeed. Regarding Megadeth I got the feeling that Chris Broderick was endorsed by ENGL amps ?

As for the PA, it's a possibility however I don't want to carry PA speakers, POD and guitar around to jam with friends... so I would still need an amp! So I might as well just get a good one! And hopefully one that can take pedals nicely so that I can still use it just the power amp section on the effects loop to amplify the POD (however what I will want to be doing the most is to use the POD to apply effects to the amps signal, because I obviously want to use the good tone of the amp itself

Now for something more that came to my mind.... recording
I've seen that the ENGL Screamer and the Mesa F series have a record output (sort of line out). How does this work ? It records straight "as-is" coming out of the amp ? Meaning.. if you want to do some recording, you have to crank up the amp to get to the tone ? Because if you do, then recording at home with a 50w amp might be totally unrealistic! Seems like the Mesa series have a speaker mute thing for recording.

How do you guys do this with a real amp ?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 07:10 AM
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

Only MESA ... !! For me , it just like investment. I think I can sell my MESA and feel no hurt me so much. :-)
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

I have a JVM410H and it does get a little "transistor" sounding with higher gain. My recommendation would be the Mesa Mark V. I have the combo and it's one of the best I've ever heard. Go play one and I think you'll be sold.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 02:40 PM
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Re: Which amp ? Engl, Marshall, Koch or Mesa ?

I would always say get the amp with the best clean sound if you are going to play different styles. You can always distort the piss out of a signal but it's a lot trickier to clean up a distorted signal

I haven't played one yet, but I've heard the Engl Fireball 100 has a fantastic clean sound as well as very high gain.
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