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  • Time to go tube, what should I do?

    I am a noob to the forums, although I have read through them on numerous occasions. I am also new to all tube amps.

    I currently have a Marshall AVT150H and a Crate 4x12 cab with Celestian Seventy 80s. The head has more power than I need and sounds too cold for me. I play a variety of music, Metallica, Megadeth, A7X, GNR, Zeppelin and lots in between. I'm a hobbyist and play at home only. I do like it loud on occasion though.

    I am looking for a versatile amp that can cover a range of sounds well, but doesn't have to be perfect. For a long while I was set on a Fender Super Champ X2 head as it seems to have the variety I am after. 15 watts through my cab should be more than enough. I have also thought about a Bugera 333XL. I can get a head for around $400 or a brand new combo for $500, (old stock).

    My budget tops out at $500 and please keep in mind that I am in Canada so pricing on used stuff seems to be more that what it goes for in the US. 

    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Rob.

     


  • #2

    I sound like a broken record in all of these 'which amp' threads, I always recommend some Fender or Marshall, no matter what style of music

    They're the two brands I happen to have a bit of experience with.

    But I can't think of many Marshalls or Fenders that are both somewhat versatile, as well as affordable:s

    Haven't even messed with Blackstar enough myself, but a lot of people -including a buddy of mine- seem to love 'em. One of those HT-5s for sintance...Sounds okay in the online clips, it's versatile, cheapish,...

     

    Comment


    • PRS_JRW
      PRS_JRW commented
      Editing a comment

      Look for a Marshall JCM2000 DSL (dual super lead) head used. You may be able to find one in your price range. Just looking at the type of music you're playing, you could use a smaller wattage, but the price point is hard to hit. A lot of those lower wattage tube amps still come with a heftier price tag. The Orange Tiny Terror is close, and you should find one used in your price range. There are other small heads like those made by Vox and Peavey, and you really want to try them out personally to see which fits your style of playing best.


  • #3

    From the music you play and the fact you only play at home and never need to be real loud, Id say you dont really need a tube amp. But if you want one go ahead. Id get something simple and learn how to use it.

    For heads A Tiny, Jim Root, or Dual Terror,  Vox Night Train, Fender Greta or Micro Terror. Those Hughs and Kettner heads that light up might me pretty cool. Just depends on your budget and if you ever think you'll play out with it.

    For combos, The DSL Marshalls look nice. A Vox AC15 would do it too. If you want to explore older American sounds, the Fender Excelsior, or even the Greta would meet your requirements for pretty cheap. So would a BLues Jr, or something from Peavey like a classic 30.

     

     

     

    Comment


    • #4

      All great suggestions. I have some listening to do. I have checked out the Blackstars and am impressed, but unfortunately my local dealer has told me that the Canadian supplier has gone bankrupt so now he can't get them.

      Anyhow I will be having a listen to those suggestions and see if they will do the trick.

      Thank you! 

      Comment


      • #5
        I am currently looking at a Blackstar HT-5 or 20 and a Jet City JCA22H. The Blackstars sound like they could do it all for me and the Jet City maybe with a tube screamer would work.
        Anyone have experience with these?

        Comment


        • HKSblade2
          HKSblade2 commented
          Editing a comment

          Try used 6505, etc.

          The Bugera amps seem to have reworked the molex problem. See if you like them. I know some that say just changing output tubes was enough. Some like teh Chinese stock tubes just fine.

           

          Blackstar has the new ID series. I played one and it was pretty cool. Try one of those too.

          HT-5 will be too soft for your liking.


        • thom
          thom commented
          Editing a comment

          Orion_99 wrote:
          I am currently looking at a Blackstar HT-5 or 20 and a Jet City JCA22H. The Blackstars sound like they could do it all for me and the Jet City maybe with a tube screamer would work.
          Anyone have experience with these?

          Don't know if the HT-5 would be 'too soft', not if you put the right pedal in front of it. I've personally never messed with Jet City amps, but I'm sure someone else can shime in here...They seem pretty popular around these parts, it's like they're selling like hotcakes. 


        • DeadNight Warrior
          DeadNight Warrior commented
          Editing a comment

          Orion_99 wrote:
          I am currently looking at a Blackstar HT-5 or 20 and a Jet City JCA22H. The Blackstars sound like they could do it all for me and the Jet City maybe with a tube screamer would work.
          Anyone have experience with these?

          I own a HT-5 (head), but haven't tried the 20 or the JCA. The HT-5 is a great little amp. I use mine with a V30 loaded 1x12 cab, and it sounds great. My main rig is an Axe-FX rack set up, and I don't consider the HT-5 any great step down in sound quality. Certainly it's not quite as flexible, being just a two channel head with a shared EQ, but it still sounds great. The FX-loop is certainly handy to have, and even the 5 watter s pretty damn loud. If you wanted to play with a drummer though, I'd probably look at the 20, at least.

          There's supposed to be some new model that's aimed more at the metal crowd, but I dunno what the difference really is. I'm guessing they tightened up the low end a bit, maybe the mid-voicing is a bit different. The HT-5 for high gain isn't super tight in the low end on its own... a TS-9 or whatever other boost can of course quickly sort that out if you're more into those kinds of tight sounds. I've run a Bad Monkey, TC Integrated Pre, Boss PQ-4 and a Mooer Hustle Drive as boosts with mine, and all of those have worked nicely in their own ways. That said, when I use it at our smaller band practices (where I can't be bothered taking the bigger rig), I just go straight in for my main heavy sounds, and the pedal out front is actually to drop the signal going in for lower gain sounds (an anti-boost of sorts). And I'm playing 7-strings, with the gain on the amp at maybe 1 o'clock.

           

          That said, if I were you, I'd probably do something about that Crate cab. Either get rid of it and get something smaller with better speakers, or maybe just swap 'em for something else... Personally I'm thinking of just picking up a bunch of different speakers to try with the HT-5. Maybe get another 1x12 to swap speakers in and out of and leave the V30 one as is. But the speakers do make a big difference to the sound. I don't at all like the HT-5 through my usual 2x12 with Classic Lead 80s.


      • #6
        I have now tried the 333xl combo and its way too loud. I also much preferred it through my cab rather than the combo.
        It seems that the Blackstar distribution for Canada issue has been worked out as Korg USA has taken over, but it will be a while before the dealer close to me has anything to try out. Patience is a virtue.
        There's also a Peavey dealer about an hour and a half away. I will have to pop in there and try out a few things.
        I have a feeling this will be a long search........

        Comment


        • DeadNight Warrior
          DeadNight Warrior commented
          Editing a comment

          Another one, although I think it goes for $600 over there, is the Carvin V3M. Mini-head, 3 independent channels, 50W (but switchable down to 22W or 7W), FX loop, footswitchable boost.

           

          A bit over the budget you were aiming for, but you certainly get a lot for it.


      • #7
        So I have now sold my head and cab. My budget is now $600 - $800. I've tried a Tubemeister 5, nice but not a lot of versatility. The Marshall DSL 15H through a single V30 was awesome.
        I have come across a Blackstar HT-60 Soloist combo for $550, could be negotiable. This is probably again way too much power. Anyone know what this is like at lower volumes?

        Comment


        • #8
          Judging from your description of the kind of music you play I say the Fender Super Champ or a Blues Jr if you choose a Fender amp. But might I suggest a Peavey Classic 30.

          Comment


          • #9

            I have the Jet City and think they sound amazing (actually I have both 22 and 100 and am trying to sell one!). Had the HT-5 combo and thought it sounded particularly terrible and muddy. Very interested to try a Bugera 333xl or a 6262. I don't know that any of these amps would be considered versatile; they all have their sound and while there's a lot of range to dial in, they are voiced a particular way. Egnater's also popular, though I haven't heard a demo I liked yet. Last is the Orange Terror series, also popular and also sounds mostly awful to me. I do love the JCA22h though, and it does amazingly well at most any volume.

            Comment


            • DeadNight Warrior
              DeadNight Warrior commented
              Editing a comment

              Promit wrote:

              Had the HT-5 combo and thought it sounded particularly terrible and muddy.


              I'm guessing that's maybe partly because of whatever cheapo speaker they probably use in those. My HT-5 head with a V30 1x12 doesn't have any problems with muddiness, and actually sounds pretty good. My band mates laughed when I first brought the miniature half-stack to band practice, but once they heard it they loved it.


          • #10
            I think I have found what I'm looking for in the Egnater Detroit 18. Of course it is not available yet.
            I am going to try a Bugera V22 and see if that will do in the mean time. It seems to be a good bang for the buck.

            Comment



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