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  • Decent Solid State amps?

    I've been out of the amp buying and even researching game for about 4 years now at least. Over that time, I'm sure some decent stuff has come out

    I live in an apartment so volume is obviously an issue. While the voice in my head is screaming TUUUUBES! and there seem to be some good low wattage amps out there now (Dark Terror, OR15, Tubemeister 18, etc), I just don't know how well they would work for an apartment and for the sound I'm looking for.

    I primarily play metal and am looking for that incredibly heavy chunky rhythm sound. I'd like to know if there are any Solid State amps out there that have a great metal sound without being muddy and annoying. I'd like definition in the distortion, but I'm not sure if the metal sound and clarity/definition can go together.

    Have any SS amps come out in the last few years that fit what I'm looking for? I would be looking for a head as I still have an Avatar 2x12 that I fortunately never sold. For reference, I've never owned an amp and said to myself "this amp has too much gain"

    Thanks for any help or insight you guys can give. Like I said, I've been away from these forums and from the amp scene for at least 4 years, so I'd just like to know if anything has hit the market or even existed before that I may have missed. I've never even considered SS amps before, so I know very little about what's available.

    Gear :Ibanez RG3EX1QM, FA Sheena, No amp and all other gear was sold to pay bills Good Dealings are listed in my Bio

  • #2

    I have never played a SS or digital amp that I really clicked with for high gain stuf so my knee jerk reaction is "no".  As you stated, there are plenty of low wattage tube amps out there that can do the high gain thing very well.  I personally live in an apartment and play through a 100 watt Marshall JCM 2000.  It sounds great at low volume and if I ever want to jam with a band I can blow the roof off if needed.  

    Comment


    • VTEC_Dreams
      VTEC_Dreams commented
      Editing a comment
      Short list:

      Ampeg VH-140C.

      Gallien-Krueger 250ML.

      I'm using both right now, running stereo, with the GK going into, of all things, an Avatar 2x12.

      You'd love it. Super, super badass rig. Both amps rule face.

      I used to be a tube guy until I got sick of them ****************ting out on me all the time.

  • #3
    I would just get a Line 6 and be done with it.
    God, that's beautiful man! And they say romance is dead!

    Comment


    • Elric
      Elric commented
      Editing a comment

      Cornholio Farquarth III wrote:
      I would just get a Line 6 and be done with it.

      +1. There is absolutely no reason to get anything but a modeler for low volume metal. They absolutely excel at that application: they are comparatively inexpensive, they sound MUCH better than a traditional amp at low volume, and they get fantastic metal tones. Heck a lot of pro metal players use high end modelers as their main tone source.

      If you supplement with a head later, the modeler will still be useful for recording or as an FX unit.

      This isn't 1998. Modelers kick ass now.

       


    • Steve2112
      Steve2112 commented
      Editing a comment

      Cornholio Farquarth III wrote:
      I would just get a Line 6 and be done with it.

      FWIW.....The Mustang III sounds better than the POD HD500. Mustang also sounds better and is more reliable than any Spider.  If you want to sit and tweak forever and not really get anywhere...that's fine. If you want instant amp-like tones, use the Mustang.

      If you check a lot of presets, just look at the blocks used. If you have to load up on EQ's and engage effects JUST to make it sound good, might be something wrong. Look, I'm a tweaker...love playing around. I understand the capability of having comprehensive parameters. And, to be fair...there are good tones to be had in the HDs, especially if you have to go direct to computer. Those EQ's I spoke of, as well as other sims, help dial that in.

      But...if you want a simple grab and go amp that is truly versatile, plays great at low volumes AND adequate on most stages, and no tubes....Mustang III is a clear winner.  I will run the FX send to my old Fender Twin to put that flexibilty into tube tone. Really nice!

      The Mustang has some issues. No external cab output kills me! But it still is a great product I'd take over ANY Line 6.


    • dogjaw14
      dogjaw14 commented
      Editing a comment

      I would do the line 6 pod HD 500 or HD 500X(the newest addition to the series)  because I play the HD 300 and after seeing what the HD 500 and HD 500x can do I wish I could afford to buy it.  the main reason is that the HD 500 and HD 500X have this system called L6 Link which allows you to use their DT series tube amps to add tube warmth to the digital amp modeling. It's a bit expensive to buy this stuff brand new but you can find the Pod HD 500 and atleast one of the amps in the DT series.  the L6 link requires an XLR cable to allow the communication between the Pod and DT series amp.  

       

      I Hope this helps


  • #4

    I don't personally think going solid state will help you with your volume problem. A tube amp played quiete will have no power section distortion, but a solid state amp wont have it either. At least with a tube amp it has the potential for good sounding power section distortion if you ever do get to turn it up. And i'm sure that any amp can be turned down quiete enough for an appartment, but i'm not 100% sure on that. And for a lot of low wattage amps they might not have been made for extreemly metal tones, keep an od pedal in mind, that could make or break the amp for you.

     

    Look into yellowjackets a bit. They replace a full sized tube with a much lower wattage el84. I don't know if they sound good, and you wont get any transformer distortion using them in a high wattage amp, but i've always wondered what they could do. I guess at bedroom volumes you won't get close to power section distortion unless you are using a 1/4 watt amp or something though.

     

    The mesa mark v has an adjustable power section so you can run it at 10 watts but that's a very expensive amp. A really nice amp though. perhaps look at the tiny terror? It has a solid state power section and tube preamp. Ola Englund did a demo of one and it sounded good, but all of his demos sound good. Also look into the blackstar HT-5 and HT-15. I have no idea on what you want to spend, but the Engl gigmaster would probably be quite nice. I think it's 15 watts but adjustable down even lower watts (but that only works with a certain ohm cab, i forget if it's 8 or 16, not sure why). Also definatly look into the vypyr series by peavey. I think they actually sound very good and they are extreemly versatile. maybe the 30 watt solid state 1x12 would do you well? Though you could go with a tube one for the potential for power section distortion when you do turn it up. A 2x12 is no louder then a 1x12 with the same speaker if given the same watts unless the ohms are different, And a higher wattage amp pushing 1/4 watt would be as loud as a lower power amp pushing 1/4 watt. Also you could consider running a mesa twin tube pedal into a cheap power amp, and then into a guitar speaker.

    Comment


    • #5

      There's a lot of misconception and bias in this....your question is really more important than you realize. So much to consider: volume, genre, reactance, feedback, ease of use, versatility (the MOST overused-misused term in amp history!). Not to mention, though I just did...personal taste.

      I think Randall makes good SS amps. (The RG80 Deluxe is pretty dman nice amp). Ampeg makes good ones. Crate does too. Roland and Pearce make some of the most important ss amps ever. Even Marshall and Fender make good SS amps. But you cant be a blind snob and you have to have some playing and tweaking adeptness. Sometimes the equipment is so bad it won't let you do what you want...but that includes tube gear too. I have heard just as much sh!tty sh1ttiness from tubes as I have from solid state.

       

      Two bands that come to mind IMMEDIATLEY are Rush and Iron Maiden. Alex loves his Marshalls, Hiwatts and H&K's..but both him and Iron Maiden made some good songs with Gallien Krueger. Holdsworth seemed to like the Pearce amps. Lab Series had some decent stuff...until Gibson cheesed them out. Remember Legend amps? in the beautiful wood cabinet? Not bad.

       

      I do agree that if you cant crank it up...a solid state amp does just as well. But...you don't ALWAYS need H-C/TGP approved (tube) gear to make good music or become a very good guitar player. One of the best guitar players I know uses a Behringer GDI21 for some of his gigs- DIRECT! No amp at all. He could use whatever he wants....but knows the value of simple gear and adept enough it use it.

       

      Anmd based on you "never seen an amp with too much gain"...my first thought is you need to trun down the gain.

      Comment


      • Clonexx
        Clonexx commented
        Editing a comment

        Steve2112 wrote:

        There's a lot of misconception and bias in this....your question is really more important than you realize. So much to consider: volume, genre, reactance, feedback, ease of use, versatility (the MOST overused-misused term in amp history!). Not to mention, though I just did...personal taste.

        I think Randall makes good SS amps. (The RG80 Deluxe is pretty dman nice amp). Ampeg makes good ones. Crate does too. Roland and Pearce make some of the most important ss amps ever. Even Marshall and Fender make good SS amps. But you cant be a blind snob and you have to have some playing and tweaking adeptness. Sometimes the equipment is so bad it won't let you do what you want...but that includes tube gear too. I have heard just as much sh!tty sh1ttiness from tubes as I have from solid state.

         

        Two bands that come to mind IMMEDIATLEY are Rush and Iron Maiden. Alex loves his Marshalls, Hiwatts and H&K's..but both him and Iron Maiden made some good songs with Gallien Krueger. Holdsworth seemed to like the Pearce amps. Lab Series had some decent stuff...until Gibson cheesed them out. Remember Legend amps? in the beautiful wood cabinet? Not bad.

         

        I do agree that if you cant crank it up...a solid state amp does just as well. But...you don't ALWAYS need H-C/TGP approved (tube) gear to make good music or become a very good guitar player. One of the best guitar players I know uses a Behringer GDI21 for some of his gigs- DIRECT! No amp at all. He could use whatever he wants....but knows the value of simple gear and adept enough it use it.

         

        Anmd based on you "never seen an amp with too much gain"...my first thought is you need to trun down the gain.


         

        I can assure you that I never dime the gain I usually keep it on around 7 on most amps I've had. I'm just saying that I have never played an amp and felt that there was too much gain, that's all. I guess I have a certain tone in my head that I just can't explain well and that I have never been able to achieve so far.

        I can't spend a ton of money, I just spent $800 picking up an EBMM Silhouette because I wanted that awesome neck feel back again. I used to have an Axis SS, but was forced to sell it to pay bills and now they have gone way up in price..I bought mine for $1400 new and they sold for $800 used but now it looks like they are almost $2k new and $1300 used for any of them that were made in the last 4-5 years.

        I was looking to spend up to about $600 max. I used to own a Peavery Vypyr Tube 1x12 when they first came out. I returned it but I sort of regretted doing so. Some of the models on that amp sounded really good and you can get the power section distorting without massive volume because it has channel and master volumes. If you crank the master volume but keep the channel volume way down, you push the power section. There are of course things that I won't get that you would if you could crank it properly, but I remember some of the models sounding really good using that trick.

        Then I get to thinking that I returned the Vypyr for a reason and wonder if trying to pick up the head version or another 1x12 version would be the right way to go. I have also been considering a used Mesa Recto or Mini Recto, even though they are a bit more, I've always kinda wanted one. It's all just typical GAS with no money to alleviate it except for one little amp purchase

        I was also checking out the Dark Terror and possible the H&K Tubemeister 18 (though I don't think that has enough gain for me). I'd love to try out a Tri-Amp but it's way out of my price range.

        I've even been thinking about saying to hell with all of that and just getting a POD HD500 Desktop model. Later on I could always get a tube power amp and run it through that to my 2x12. The one thing stopping me from getting the POD is the fact that I would like to use my damn 2x12 that has been sitting here for over 2 years without being played =P I guess I'm really conflicted and was just looking for opinions. I know it ultimately comes down to personal preference and I really don't have a bias one way or the other. I just want something that chugs like a madman and has clarity. That hasn't been easy to get in my experience when dealing with very high gain amps without spending a lot of money (Diezel VH4 comes to mind).

        I was thinking along the SS lines only because I've never tried them and I thought I remembered being told that they could be tighter and have more gain, especially at lower volumes, and for far less price. I'm not dead set on an SS amp, I am actually open to whatever.

        Sorry for the long post, I'm just putting my thought process into words. I'm gong to take a trip to GC at some point this week to try out as many amps as I can, but there are a lot of amps that they don't carry that I've been recommended/have my eye on. For those amps, I would just have to pick one and buy it and hope I like it..or have to return it if I don't. I am hoping to avoid that scenario

        Thanks for the help, I really do appreciate the time that any of you put into just replying and helping out.

         


    • #6
      Randall t2 or v2....killer amps for metal and sound great at any level.
      I also had a dean dime d100 that didnt sound too bad but no where near as good as the randalls.
      Randall V2N
      Peavey 6505
      Dean D100
      Marshall 1960B
      Jackson RRPro w/81&85

      EXCELLENT TRANSACTION LIST: Norton666, BYONDtheEMBRACE, BillCheckrules, LUKE978, thefyn, strato-rich, DracoAran, darkcide, rockitsauce, DOUBLEBARRELL(2X), knucklefux Jauggernaut, Daveborn2rock, Guitup, Used666. Orygun, jdj8282, ringecore, senor_penguin, killa J

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    • #7

       

       

       

      http://www.customtonesinc.com/

       

      Ethos.png

       

       

       

       

      When this guy shuts up and starts playing, around the 6 minute mark, well some fine stuff. If you like Robben Ford and Larry Carlton, and their respective Dumble amps, hard to top an Ethos for $450.  There is plenty of gain available too, much more than in the demo. Even metal might be possible.

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