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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread was created for everyone to talk about all amps, not just amps that sound good for steve vai tone's. So here's a question to get it started: What is the best (in your opinion) tube or solid state amp out there for the 7 string guitar? *Remember* this thread is for all your opinion's, question's, comments, facts, etc. Anything amp related, such as info should go here also. Just trying to post a great amp thread! Hope you all like it. :D Thanks!

My Opinion:
Pesonally, I like the Line 6 HD 147 Head with a Marshall Modefour 4X12 Cab.

Info:
8 Coveted Vintage Amp Models, 10 Essential Modern Tones, 14 "Other Worldly" Custom Tones from crystal clean to grinding mayhem. Mix and Match cabinet models. Award-winning amp tone available at the stereo XLR direct outputs, 300-watt Stereo Current Based Power Amp .
 

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my nomad sounds great with my RG7. heavy as hell! also played it through a soldano avenger.... a little bit dryer but great defenition.
 

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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.

Peavey:
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.
 

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Gex said:
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.

Peavey:
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 .
 

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I didn't say you had to like Marshall, I said "It may not be your thing, but you WILL definately be impressed by the raw power and tone they possess" By that, I simply mean, even if you dont really like the tone, they will still blow your mind by the sheer brute power they have (LOUD!)

Peavey has always been the "musicians" amp at a musicians price, but now they are making amps that IMO stand up to the best of them. I agree, I think the XXL is the most tube sounding solid state I've ever played, its ingenious. However, my old Classic 30 never seemed to accept overdrive pedals very well, not as good as others at least. It was a pretty cool amp when you had the EL84's driven hard.


(BTW, I have a Peavey JSX, a Laney AOR Pro Tube 100w (I actually traded in my Peavey Classic 30 in for it, no regrets!) and I will have a Marshall JCM 800 someday very soon. I've played JCM 800's before, and never really took to them although I was always facinated with their extreme loudness, no other amp seems as loud, but oddly enough, I walked into the store today and hit the opening riff to "Erotic Nightmares" by Steve Vai and I was completely blown away AND sold! It sounded EXACTLY like the recording, and that song has some of my most favorite tones ever. Ive been planning on getting a Carvin X-100B in the future as well, but I'd like to play one first, I've unfortunately never come across one, but it sounds like a very cool, inexpensive amp from what Ive read)

yeah, that sweet Paul Gilbert tone is a perfect showcase of what the Laney sounds like in its most pure form. My Laney gives me tones that are spot on to Paul's, which makes me very happy since Paul has some of my most favorite tones as well. My Laney was only $350 (thats what the sticker said, I just handed them my Classic 30 and out the door I went with my new old Laney head. . .sucks for Guitar Center, because I got the better amp!) That glassy twangy overdriven tone that Paul Gilbert has is exactly the tone you get with a tube Laney amp.

Crates ARE cheap, low quality amps. But that doesnt mean I havent come across a few (and I mean . . .VERY FEW) that were pretty cool. The combo's usually sound terrible regardless, but I played a GLX something head on a Fender 4x12 with celestions and it sounded impressive for solid state (at the time, may not sound nearly as good on a second go, probably not) but that old 80's Crate had some very sweet cleans, and it was quite cheap ($150)
 

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i have a 1960s laney supergroup 50w head. its all tube and sounds wonderful. if i had to buy a modern replacement it would cost me 1500-2000 pounds. this cost me nowt from a mate, then 130 pounds to have serviced and retubed. and it sounds wonderful.
 

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See, the reason you probably think that Mesas sound "dry" is that most of the Rectos come without reverb. ;)

I'm a Nomad devotee, too - it's like a smoother, more liquid, more dynamic rectifier, with similar depth but a lot of that Mark-like smooth saturation that, for me, defines the "mesa" sound.

Not a huge fan of Vai's tones with the exception of ALS-era, but I can NAIL the Die to Live tone with my Nomad and UVPWH...
 

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I use a Legacy with my seven strings and it sounds great. Not very crunchy but hey, I'm happy.

I honestly am not a Mesa fan. I love John Petrucci's tone on almost everything he's done, but when I do into a store to play on a Mesa, they sound brittle, thin, and horribly, horribly bright. It bugs the heck out of me. I wish I liked them but I just can't. The Road King was the amp I liked the most. I suppose I would like it more if I had some tweaking time. Oh, I guess I should mention these were all Rectifiers I played, and a Stiletto, I think a Nomad too.

My personal favorite amp maker is Bogner. I think their amps have a clarity that is very rare in the amp market. They sound absolutely beautiful. However, they cost more than what I have, so I don't own one.

I hope I didn't lose track of what this thread is about.
 

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I haven't had an amp in years (I play direct to my Digital recorder, thru monitors).
I do remeber an Ampeg I had with 4x12 Celestions, that I really liked the clean tone on, laways had trouble finding a head that had good overdrive sound for me though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hughes and Kettner is another good company that makes quite descent amps, I think. The Matrix 100 Half Stack is a good Half Stack for the price. Great for the person who dosen't have much money or doesn't want to spend alot of it. BTW, keep the amp stuff rolin' on in! :D Thanks
 

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Hey, what happened to the boutique amps?

Soldano, Cornford, Budda, THD, shouldn't anyone talk about these brands?

I just have a Line 6 Spider 2, but I just like to read what you guys post just for the hell of it. :)

Anyway, lets drop the rant between Marshalls and Mesas and let's go boutique.
 

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Botique? a Dr. Z Carmen Ghia had the best clean tone I've ever heard. Neil Zaza describes his Dr. Z Route 66 as sounding "like angels flying out of your speakers," and that's pretty much spot-on.
 

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Drew said:
Botique? a Dr. Z Carmen Ghia had the best clean tone I've ever heard. Neil Zaza describes his Dr. Z Route 66 as sounding "like angels flying out of your speakers," and that's pretty much spot-on.
Trouble is, as the angels fly past they nick your wallet! Have you seen the prices for these things!
 

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Drew said:
See, the reason you probably think that Mesas sound "dry" is that most of the Rectos come without reverb. ;)
Neither do most any amp head. My JSX doesnt, XXX's dont, my Laney doesnt, the JCM 800's dont. None of my amps have built in reverb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kamikaze_1 said:
Hey, what happened to the boutique amps? Soldano, Cornford, Budda, THD, shouldn't anyone talk about these brands?
THD amps are nice as I've heard before in this board and in magazines. I like the THD amps over any other botique amp, mainly the Flexi 50. The 212 cab extension has great reviews as well. A good 212 cab extension test would be nice. Compare the THD 212 Extension Cab and the Genz Benz 212 G-Flex! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm also in favor of Tech 21 guitar amps. I have interest in the Trademark 300 head, but I have never seen any reviews on it. Maybe someone (if anyone) has played with the Tech 21 300 Head could make a review of it, or even give it a rating for its features. The Trademark 30 or 60 is also quite awesome too! Great sound from a 30 watt ss amp, and even better sound found in the bigger 60 watt ss model! Thanks :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The Spider II vs. AD50VT. Compare those amps and tell which one you would buy and why? Just a comparison test.

AD50VT
Features:

Vox Valve Reactor circuit delivers real tube tone
11 amp models
11 high-quality effects (including composite effects)
User program storage
2 channels
Preset amp models
Knob-based interface for quick and intuitive editing
Line and headphone jacks for home recording or late-night practice
Operates as a conventional amp in manual mode
Adjustable output wattage of the power amp
Optional VFS2 dual footswitch controls programs and effects
Specifications:

Number of amp types: 11
Number of effects: 11, Noise reduction: 1
Number of programs: 11 preset, 2 channel
Input/output jacks: guitar input, footswitch input, and line/headphone output
Power amp output: 50W RMS @ 8 ohms
Speaker: 1x VOX original (12 inch, 8 ohm)
Signal processing A/D conversion: 24-bit, D/A conversion: 24-bit,
Sampling frequency: 44.1 kHz
Power supply requirements: AC, local voltage



Spider II
Features:
My Rating:
12 unique amp models
7 different effects with 3 available simultaneously
Smart FX knob for easy tweaking
Delay times can be set via tap tempo
Custom Celestion 12" speaker
Front-panel tuner
Spring and room reverb
Headphone out
75W
25-1/2"W x 22"H x 15"D
43 lbs.


Something like this, give a reason why. --

The Vox AD50VT is powered by a tube delivering 50 watts with modern modeling built-in. Effects and amp models built into a small TUBE amp. That's more bang for your buck! :D
 
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