Originally Posted by Gex
Here we go! . . . . (warning!!! very raw opinions here, please dont get to offended)
Line 6. I dont touch any of this stuff, trying to find a usable tone that sounds clear and natural is very close to impossible. I dont like the fake sounding overdrive, and I dont care at all for the whole digital thing. Id rather have 1 great tone from a tube amp than a truckfull of lousy ones from a Line6. If you like it, cool, but no thanks. I'll take a real amp.
Marshall: Well, lots of contravercy here. There is a major mis-conception with Marshalls. Word has been passed down from decade to decade that Marshalls are the end all, be all to amps. This, of course, is an opinion and subject to change among every individual. The mis-conception doesnt lie there, but in the fact that "ANYTHING THAT SAYS MARSHALL ON IT- ROCKS!" this is simply not true. Marshall has put out MANY MANY amps. The old plexis and JTMs and JCM 800's were incredible beasts. When you play one of those, you cannot deny that it is an incredible amp. It may not be your thing, but you WILL definately be impressed by the raw power and tone they possess. No other amp is that way. I hear many complaints about Marshalls nowadays. I can understand why, the MG series is a solid state NIGHTMARE, the AVT's are lame and not very cool, the JCM 2000 series are borderline decent amps, but they sound weak and muddy compared to their predecessors. the JCM 900 series were alright, but nothing special at all. The JCM 600 is one of THE WORST amps Ive played to date. If you want to know what Marshall is all about, find yourself an old 80's JCM 800, crank the gain all the way and crank up the master volume, and hold onto your ass. With an overdrive pedal, IMO nothing can top the JCM 800 for rock/metal tones. The new ones are terribly UN-reliable, the old ones are pretty reliable if you take care of them.
Again, also very contravercial. Old Farts grew up knowing Peavey as "the poor man's amplifier" They've made many models during the years, some good, some not so good. Few have created any tones that were very spectacular, most were pretty basic. Times have changed, the 5150 put Peavey on the map as far as good amps go. The XXX and JSX have came out, and they make the 5150 sound like a disgruntled chipmunk. The XXX and JSX are GREAT amps, and people who have a prejudice against peavey have a difficult time admitting it. One thing is true about peaveys, and always has been: It will always turn on when you hit the switch. They are some of the most reliable amps made.
Mesa: They offer a different tone, that isnt very marshally at all, which is very appealing to some people. I personally dont care for them much. I think they sound rather dry, but thats my opinion. They are well made for the most part, the newer ones
ive heard are in the shop frequently. They tend to sound really thick and dry. dont care for them much
Laney: HERE is an underrated brand! Quality British amps for great prices! only problem - good luck finding one in the states. Paul Gilbert and Andy Timmons use them, and IMO both have fantastic tones.
Carvin: Carvin has been somewhat in the same pit that Peavey was in, they were the workhorse brand. But they have made some good amps, some bad amps, and they've recently started making some fine amps, like the Carvin Legacy.
Crate: Most kids start out with one of these. Pretty reliable, I guess. Some of them sound really cool for solid state. Most sound absolutely terrible. They have a bad rep, but thats because Marshall purists poo-poo the inferior solid state tone. Some kids aren't fortunate enough to buy a Marshall, so they make do with a good Crate. Nothing special. The best clean tone ive ever heard was from an old 80's Crate G100 head. Overdrive. . .eh.. .was another story.
i dont really like marshall at all, played the jcm800 and dsl along with the avts and mgs, and was unimpressed .
peavey is still the poor mans amp, only the amps kick nuts . the price of the xxx is pretty reasonable for the amp your getting . The peavey xxl is the most tube sounding soild state i have ever played and is extermly nice all around, not to point out the fact you can get one used for around 300. The classic series has some great cleans and excellent vintage style distortion, throw an overdrive and boss ds-1 in front of a peavey classic and you got a nice setup
mesa's , from the reviews and from other people mesa is a love hate thing, you either like their amps or you dont. I love thier amps, i played a dual and road king, and fell in love.
Fender , the tube amps have great cleans, as it has come to be expected . Overall fender has some really nice tube amps out . The little fender G-Dec is a good idea, i am supprised line 6 hasn't done somthing like it .
Line 6, amp simulators are still a newer thing, they really got more popular after around 96 with the release of the line 6 pod. I am not sure about exactly being able to recreate the tube sound and feel, but modeling amps will only continue to advance and sound better as new technology is aplied to them and into thier sound. I look for great thing from companies like line 6 in future but for now they are sort od hit miss.
I will say i have a riff tracker, a line 6 guitar port that can record and i am really impressed with how well it sounds and the options it has .
Crate: no real experience with them, they have always struck me as a cheap low quality brand but i can't actually say that, i have onl ever had one crate amps and i ahve never played any other crate amps .
laney: never played one, paul gilbert uses them and gets some sweet sound, he pluggs stright in too. I'd really love to try one .
Carvin : i had an x-100b, it was a cool vintage amp that could kick a marshall in the nuts, it was extermly extermly loud. The tone was good as well. I haven't played any other carvin amps, the legacy has to be something, if it can hold up for Vai like it does .