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Decent Solid State amps?

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  • Clonexx
    started a topic Decent Solid State amps?

    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.


  • VagueSubscription
    replied

     

     

     

    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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  • detunedman
    replied
    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.

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  • Steve2112
    replied

    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.

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  • manvspig
    replied

    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.

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

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  • codecontra
    replied

    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.  

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