Ibanez JEM Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking for a practice amp recently. I can't get a big great tube amp because of my apartment and that I am not gigging. So i wanted to find an amp that has decent tone, is small, it NEEDS AN EFFECTS LOOP and a headphone jack. The biggest thing was that ithe controlls had to be to be real time not like a Line6, when everytime you touch a dial the whole program goes funky. I can use those amps but, I don't really want to.

So, I found the Trademark 30 and thought it has what I want, but I have heard it's noisy and other mixed reviews. Also it's only one channel at a time and that sucks. I play rock and metal for example: Led Zeppeling, Paul Gilbert, Aagra, and As I Lay Dying. Tell me what you think please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
I had a trade mark 120 and thought it sucked. No clarity, not much gain, didn't like pedals at all, etc. Granted it was my first solid state amp in a decade but I couldn't stand it. I have a Flextone III that sounds better to me but I can't stand it either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had a trade mark 120 and thought it sucked. No clarity, not much gain, didn't like pedals at all, etc. Granted it was my first solid state amp in a decade but I couldn't stand it. I have a Flextone III that sounds better to me but I can't stand it either.
Dude that doesn't really help me. The Trade mark 30 isn't the 120 and telling me the Flextone sucks doesn't help either. I know they don't sound as good as a boogie or laney or whatever but I can't afford or use one in my situation.

Please don't just be a tube snob and assume I'm a noob because I have question about an affordable practice amp. I know this topic isn't about a swirl JEM, but I still wold like adequate help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
He is not being a tone snob. This man has a lot of knowledge in all kinds of amps, and if you had taken the message for what it was, he was kind of giving you a hint to stay away from solid state amplifiers. I personally think you should try the Peavey JSX Mini Colossal all tube amp. I am pretty sure it has a head phone jack and it's become quite popular since it's release. A lot of serious tone in a small sized combo amp.

Don't ask us to pick the amp for you mate. Most of the people on here will simply give you a track record of their experience with said amp and maybe if you're lucky, they'll be followed by an anecdote.

Best thing to do is to visit many shops and try as many amps as you need to be able to distinguish which among of them that you really want/ can afford and that advice will be more valuable than anything we can tell you about a particular amp. Like i said, you might not agree, but i think that if i was in your situation, the amp that best correspond my needs would be the Mini Colossal.

Good luck, but have respect too pal!

Let us know if you get closer to your amp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
He is not being a tone snob. This man has a lot of knowledge in all kinds of amps, and if you had taken the message for what it was, he was kind of giving you a hint to stay away from solid state amplifiers. I personally think you should try the Peavey JSX Mini Colossal all tube amp. I am pretty sure it has a head phone jack and it's become quite popular since it's release. A lot of serious tone in a small sized combo amp.

Don't ask us to pick the amp for you mate. Most of the people on here will simply give you a track record of their experience with said amp and maybe if you're lucky, they'll be followed by an anecdote.

Best thing to do is to visit many shops and try as many amps as you need to be able to distinguish which among of them that you really want/ can afford and that advice will be more valuable than anything we can tell you about a particular amp. Like i said, you might not agree, but i think that if i was in your situation, the amp that best correspond my needs would be the Mini Colossal.

Good luck, but have respect too pal!

Let us know if you get closer to your amp
Let me rephrase then, what do people with experience with a trade mark 30 say about it in the long run?

I know about the JSX mini colossal but honestly it's 60000¥ ($600 or about 299 pounds) That's a bit pricey for a 5 watt practice amp with only moderate gain and no three band EQ.

Look just so you guys know, I've been playing 16 years I have owned Half Stacks, combos, and all in between. I just wanted to know about a specific amps performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
I owned a Trademark 300 head and the the 10/30 has a completely different preamp than Tech21's other amps. If the TM300 had the 10/30 preamp I'd probably still have it. The Trademark 30 actually great sounding. The only reason I went for a Vox AD30-XL over it for a practice amp was that I wanted built in effects.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
I've had lots of Tech 21 products. SansAmp GT2, Trademark 10, Trademark 30, and Trademark 60. I have also spoken with Tech 21 reps about the differences between some of their amps. I should note that my TM30 was the LE model, which pre-dated the current TM30. Same amp, but the LE had an oak case and a Weber speaker.

I think that all of the above, except the 60, offered a very good Marshall-esque tone, and they'd be great for Zeppelin. I don't listen to any of the other bands you listed, so I can't speak to those - though I think Gilbert uses a Marshall, so it ought to work for that, too. The 60 is a different animal, with less gain on tap - I'd avoid that one. The Tech 21 rep told me that the TM10, TM30 and TM120 all have the same preamp setup and should sound similar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
If you're wanting to do metal the Tech 21 stuff isn't for you.

IMO, Buy a POD or a used flextone and be done with it. If you pick up a flextone you can gig with it later. If you get a POD XT you can use it plugged directly into a board later on down the road. The little kidney shaped POD's don't have a MIDI jack so you'll have to buy a L-6 foot controller if you ever plan on using it live and they're overpriced junk (The floorboards that is)

What's your budget?

Used flextone, or a Roland CUBE will do it nice. Better yet a VOX AD series, the old blue ones, or a Tonelab. Much more natural sounding than the POD's and whatnot.

Can't go wrong with an Epi valve junior and a hotplate. Killer tube sounds there.

ETA: Forgot the VOX multi-effect thingie is called the Tonelab, not the Valvetronix... DOH!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you're wanting to do metal the Tech 21 stuff isn't for you.

IMO, Buy a POD or a used flextone and be done with it. If you pick up a flextone you can gig with it later. If you get a POD XT you can use it plugged directly into a board later on down the road. The little kidney shaped POD's don't have a MIDI jack so you'll have to buy a L-6 foot controller if you ever plan on using it live and they're overpriced junk (The floorboards that is)

What's your budget?

Used flextone, or a Roland CUBE will do it nice. Better yet a VOX AD series, the old blue ones, or a Valvetronix. Much more natural sounding than the POD's and whatnot.

Can't go wrong with an Epi valve junior and a hotplate. Killer tube sounds there.
Thanks I hope I didn't offend you earlier.

My budget is $300-500. I was looking at the flextone III mabea buit out of my range but it might work. I like the cubes but, none of them have an effect loop. I was also looking at the Boss GT-8/10.

I heard that the VOX amps can be unreliable. I heard that too about the Trademark 30.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
I'd sell you my Flextone. I never play it, and as such it clutters up my living room which bugs me. PM me if you're interested. I see you're in Japan. Are you an American living there or a Japanese Citizen? I spent quite a bit of time in that part of the world and really enjoyed it. I miss good Yakisoba.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd sell you my Flextone. I never play it, and as such it clutters up my living room which bugs me. PM me if you're interested. I see you're in Japan. Are you an American living there or a Japanese Citizen? I spent quite a bit of time in that part of the world and really enjoyed it. I miss good Yakisoba.
I love Yakisoba. I'm an American citizen. My wife is Japanese. I teach English. A very obvious and typical lifestyle of an english speaking person in Japan.

I think the shipping would make it really difficult to buy it from you, but thanks.

Yakisoba is great especially shio yakisoba.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
That's cool. I recently shipped an amp to Canada which while the mechanics of shipping internationally is a PITA, I got to know the buyer really well and now consider him a friend. I'm looking to get $300 plus shipping and for another $100 I'll throw in a mint Rocktron Midimate to control the thing. I know that often times, buying gear from folks in America is still a winning deal even with taxes/duties and all that just because stuff costs less here.

BTW... I was in Okinawa about 10 or so years ago and the Yen took a serious dump so naturally I went electronics shopping. Bought the most incredible Sony stereo. I still use it to this day and nothing I've seen around here can touch it for even 3 times what I paid for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's cool. I recently shipped an amp to Canada which while the mechanics of shipping internationally is a PITA, I got to know the buyer really well and now consider him a friend. I'm looking to get $300 plus shipping and for another $100 I'll throw in a mint Rocktron Midimate to control the thing. I know that often times, buying gear from folks in America is still a winning deal even with taxes/duties and all that just because stuff costs less here.

BTW... I was in Okinawa about 10 or so years ago and the Yen took a serious dump so naturally I went electronics shopping. Bought the most incredible Sony stereo. I still use it to this day and nothing I've seen around here can touch it for even 3 times what I paid for it.
Well, I would like to continue looking for a while. I'll keep it in mind though.

Also, it wouldn't sound to it's optimal potential because our power runs at only 100v.

Thanks a bunch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
The new Vox XL-series rules for the metal, BTW. :) The older Chromes sound a little muddy to me, but these grey/black ones rock.

Though, I've had the thing less than a week, so "new amp hype" is still in effect. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Hey kotornut, here are my two cents, as they say. Not quite TM30, but I do own a TM10 here - and, believe me or not - will not trade mine for any other amp/modeler mentioned in this thread (played all, owned most). Now TM10 is discontinued, and supposedly TM30 is the same thing: if that's the case, I recommend you getting one without any hesitation.

Equally, I recommend getting one of their SansAmp stomps, say GT-2, and feeding it into anything, really - cheapo mixing board, headphones amp, any clean combo, or even home stereo, you will be surprised. By the way, 2008 NAMM brought new SansAmps: http://emusician.com/ms/namm08/video/tech21_character/ - check them out.

Disclaimer: my enthusiasm about the above mentioned products is purely personal. You mileage may vary!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I played one and it sounded pretty good. The only problem is the one channel thing. I need 2, I can't be stopping and using my hands to switch channels an so on.

Does anyone know if just by using an EQ pedal you can clean up your sound?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,200 Posts
I've been using a Tech-21 Trademark 30 as a practice amp for the better part of a year now - I saw one for $180 used in a music shop, so it was an absolute no brainer.

The short review is, I love the thing. It dumbfounds me that something so small can sound so good.

It's got enough power to keep up with a quiet drummer, but it's not really intended as a gigging amp. It's not dead-quiet, but I haven't found the noise prohibitive or anything so I wouldn't worry over the noise thing you've heard. Then again, it has a LOT of useable gain on tap - the best lead sounds I've gotten from it have come from the Brit mode in the middle gain voicing with the drive around half way, but you can max the gain out without it sounding fizzy/flubby, unlike a lot of amps I've played - so I'm sure some of these noise complaints are just a product of too much gain.

Tonally, I've gotten the best results from keepign the speaker emulation on "flat" and keeping the EQ almost straight up. In fact, one of my few big complaints with this amp is the active EQ - I've never cared for active EQ, and it's really a bit TOO powerful. It begins to sound pretty exaggerated at either extreme of a given knob's throw. Likewise, the reverb gets pretty absurdly "wet" at the extreme end of the throw.

The direct out is so-so - it sounds, well, like a Tech-21 Sansamp straight into a board, not surprisingly. It's not as realistic as a dedicated modeler direct to tape, but to be fair I've never played a modeling amp that sounded or felt as good as this does through a speaker.

My favorite mode is the Brit one, strangely enough since I'm a Mesa player from way back and my "main" rig is a Rectoverb. Set everything right down the middle (flat eq, mid gain mode with the gain at the midpoint, speaker at flat, and maybe a little bit of reverb), plug in my UV, and it's instant gratification - think Crystal Planet era Satriani, very chewy and juicy, dark but with a lot of harmonic overtone "burn.' The Tweed modes are great too for Rolling Stones/Led Zep sort of grunginess, although of course the Brit mode handles this well too. And the Cali mode wiill certainly cover your metal grounds.

If you want to hear some stuff I've recorded with it, "Windowpane Demo" on my Myspace page was recorded entirely with the Tech-21 on Brit (though some of the cleans might have been Tweed), and in fact the bass track was biamped through a T21 pre direct, with a clean send going into the input of the Trademark 30's Tweed mode for a mic'd signal to get some grit in the midrange. http://www.myspace.com/drewpeterson7

For durability, my reverb is currently not working. To be fair, this is because I dropped it onto a stone patio while trying to carry more gear at once than I really could, and I'm sure it just needs something to be reconnected inside - really, the fact it's an amp that CAN be dropped onto a surface like that and still works more or less as intended is kind of cool, I think.

I say go for it. If you don't go super-high-gain, you can do the Tool thing and roll back your guitar volume to go from clean to distortion. Aside from that, do you really need realtime channel switching ina practice situation? It's nice for gigging, but these days I find I don't miss it when I'm just screwing around on my own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I say go for it. If you don't go super-high-gain, you can do the Tool thing and roll back your guitar volume to go from clean to distortion. Aside from that, do you really need realtime channel switching ina practice situation? It's nice for gigging, but these days I find I don't miss it when I'm just screwing around on my own.
Well yeah I do need to switch during practices, because I record my practices. But, things have changed and I've ben asked to join a band. So after I try out my gear quest could take a big turn.

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate the time and effort you put into that wonderful review.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top