Help me choose an amp! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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Help me choose an amp!

Hi guys!, I'm looking to buy my first tube amp in near future.
I'm looking for amp that sounds good on bedroom volume, but also loud enough for band practice session.
I play two kinds of music, one is blues, so it must have good clean/break up sound. (Big S.R.V Fan)
Second is hard rock, so it must be capable of saturated hi gain sound with tight low end for rhytm, and good sustaining, harmonically rich lead tone.
I really like the lead tone of Gary Moore (R.I.P) in the song "blues for narada", and "cold day in hell". That might give you better idea what I'm looking for.
I never owned a tube amp before (poor me..!), so I don't know yet what to expect (maintenance, realiability, etc.), I prefer an amp that is self-biasing, or fixed bias, because I don't know a thing about electronics, and I don't know where to find a tech where I live.
After playing for 5 years, I've owned numerous multi-fx pedal (Zoom 707, Korg AX1500, POD XT Live, BOSS GT-8, Tonelab LE), on all of them, I tend to favor the british amp models, my favorite is the "plexi variac" on the Line6 POD.
My main guitar is a Fat Strat style with alder body and duncan pearly gates. I also have an Ibanez AR300 with duncan TB-5.
I'm willing to spend amount equivalent to 2000$ maximum
Right now I'm thinking either small low wattage tube combo, in particular the cornford carrerra, or a high watt amp that able to sound good at low volumes (mesa mk v?) Which one do you think will suit me best?

Any suggestion is highly appreciated! (pardon my english!)
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowie8889 View Post
Hi guys!, I'm looking to buy my first tube amp in near future.
I'm looking for amp that sounds good on bedroom volume, but also loud enough for band practice session.
I play two kinds of music, one is blues, so it must have good clean/break up sound. (Big S.R.V Fan)
Second is hard rock, so it must be capable of saturated hi gain sound with tight low end for rhytm, and good sustaining, harmonically rich lead tone.
I really like the lead tone of Gary Moore (R.I.P) in the song "blues for narada", and "cold day in hell". That might give you better idea what I'm looking for.
I never owned a tube amp before (poor me..!), so I don't know yet what to expect (maintenance, realiability, etc.), I prefer an amp that is self-biasing, or fixed bias, because I don't know a thing about electronics, and I don't know where to find a tech where I live.
After playing for 5 years, I've owned numerous multi-fx pedal (Zoom 707, Korg AX1500, POD XT Live, BOSS GT-8, Tonelab LE), on all of them, I tend to favor the british amp models, my favorite is the "plexi variac" on the Line6 POD.
My main guitar is a Fat Strat style with alder body and duncan pearly gates. I also have an Ibanez AR300 with duncan TB-5.
I'm willing to spend amount equivalent to 2000$ maximum
Right now I'm thinking either small low wattage tube combo, in particular the cornford carrerra, or a high watt amp that able to sound good at low volumes (mesa mk v?) Which one do you think will suit me best?

Any suggestion is highly appreciated! (pardon my english!)
I have a Mark V and it definitely covers your requirements other than being just over $2000. However, it's pretty complex in that it takes a while to dial in your sound. It's an awesome amp that covers an insane amount of ground but be prepared to spend some time with it. It does quite well at low volumes even on the 90 watt setting. I live in an apartment and play mostly after my 2 toddlers are asleep . That being said though, I had trouble getting the sound I wanted at low volumes through Black Shadows in my 2x12 (I mention this in case you get the combo which comes with a Black Shadow). I swapped in two V30's yesterday though and it sounds much better. This is a good example of how low you can play it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCm7-G1zlWI

You might also want to take a look at the Mesa TA-15 which does both British and American sounds very well. Either way, I would try to find them locally and actually play them.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Be aware that you'll have trouble really cranking any wattage tube amp and keeping it at or below talking levels. If you need quiet, stick to solid state stuff (for practice) and then crank your tube amp when you're jamming out.
I'd look at the Blackstar Venue series as they are in the marshall vein without the marshall price tag and would be a lot less than your allotted budget.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smooth55 View Post
Be aware that you'll have trouble really cranking any wattage tube amp and keeping it at or below talking levels. If you need quiet, stick to solid state stuff (for practice) and then crank your tube amp when you're jamming out.
I'd look at the Blackstar Venue series as they are in the marshall vein without the marshall price tag and would be a lot less than your allotted budget.
Not entirely true. I use my Blackstar HT-5 for home and band, and it sounds awesome for both. Plenty loud for gigs, rehearsal and home practice.

To the OP, I'd suggest a Blackstar HT-20, but try a HT-5 and see if it will do what you want at high volume. I don't use the clean channel with my band, just roll the volume down on my guitar.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowie8889 View Post
(maintenance, realiability, etc.), I prefer an amp that is self-biasing, or fixed bias, because I don't know a thing about electronics, and I don't know where to find a tech where I live.
FYI - fixed bias doesn't mean that it's not adjustable. It's usually the opposite. Cathode biased amps do not require bias but they sound different and are less common than fixed bias. Also, cathode biased amps are more for bluesy sounds since they compress more than fixed bias amps which makes them sound more creamy than fixed biased amps. Since you want tight low end for rhythm, that rules out cathode biased amps. Some manufacturers (like Mesa) use fixed bias which is preset to certain value so they can force you to buy their output tubes only, but majority of fixed bias amps have bias pot somewhere.
The bottom line is, if you want a fixed bias amp that does not have a bias pot you're pretty much stuck with mesa. Which is not a bad thing if you can afford one. If Mark V is not an option, express 5:50 is also a nice amp.
Cheers
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 06:36 PM
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Take a look at the Epiphone Valve Jr.



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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

how does that fit?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 07:07 PM
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

It's a 5 watt class A tube amp, and fits right in with the OPs requirements. Plus, it sounds great...



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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 09:07 PM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Mark V, Mark V, Mark V.

Switchable 90w, 45w, and 10w should be able to cover a whole range of volumes from bedroom to stadium (plus give you a little extra possibility for tube breakup for blues) PLUS there are some fantastic sounds to be dialed in with the given time. However, this beast has a total of 12 tubes (4x6L6 (or 4xEL34), 7x12AX7, 1x5U4)...which can deal a pretty big blow when it comes time to change out the tubes. That's about the only downside i've found.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 02:59 AM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Second hand Genz Benz Black Pearl 30, switchable to 15 or 7.5 watts. Footswitchable boost, EL84's self-biasing.

Or how about a used plexi and a good OD pedal?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 04:08 AM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Or a used Plexi clone, Ceriatone? If you get a 50 watt you can fit a Variable Voltage Regulator to turn the power down without losing the tone.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Matchless Lightning. Best amp I've ever had. And I've owned a few!!!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 12:52 AM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Vox NightTrain and a decent OD pedal
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 01:33 AM
 
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Ive been loving hughes & kettner lately.....the TriAmp MK1 is a great amp with plenty of gain and the cleans are sweeeeet and sexy. They used to be really expensive too but since the MK2 came out, the price dropped. You can find them around for about $900 used. And made in america too (back says Cory Illinois to be exact). Only problem is i dont know how well it holds up at low volumes

Oh, and its one damn good looking head
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 02:24 AM
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Re: Help me choose an amp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBZRG1527prestige View Post
Ive been loving hughes & kettner lately.....the TriAmp MK1 is a great amp with plenty of gain and the cleans are sweeeeet and sexy. They used to be really expensive too but since the MK2 came out, the price dropped. You can find them around for about $900 used. And made in america too (back says Cory Illinois to be exact). Only problem is i dont know how well it holds up at low volumes

Oh, and its one damn good looking head
When are you going to snag your old man's B-52???



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