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So, I'm going to make my first major upgrade in gear.


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Suggestions:

1) You really should look at Engl, Soldano, Bogner, etc. If you can find a used example in your budget, any of these might be a better fit for you than a Mesa. The Mesa is a great amp, but like a Marshall, it's a bit of a one-trick pony - tough to be really versatile with it. The JSX is also a fairly versatile amp that merits consideration.

2) I STRONGLY suggest getting a decent 4x12 cabinet and then picking a head. As you develop your taste in amps (which will happen once you get a high-end rig and start to develop the feel), you may find it easier to trade out heads and keep the same cabinet, rather than continually swapping out the whole thing. Also, I find that I leave my bottom cabinet at our rehearsal space and my top cabinet at home, so only my head goes back and forth; a head is MUCH lighter than a 2x12 combo.

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The XXX is a great value and with some good tubes can do that kind of music with ease. A 2x12 should be sufficient for just about everything and as long as you have your mids up enough you would be surprised how loud that kind of setup can get. The 5150 cabs are decent but for my money I would get a used Carvin Legacy cab or a used Avatar cab. Both should be around $300 or so used and come with quality speakers.

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Originally posted by SteinbergerHack

Suggestions:


1) You really should look at Engl, Soldano, Bogner, etc. If you can find a used example in your budget, any of these might be a better fit for you than a Mesa. The Mesa is a great amp, but like a Marshall, it's a bit of a one-trick pony - tough to be really versatile with it. The JSX is also a fairly versatile amp that merits consideration.


2) I STRONGLY suggest getting a decent 4x12 cabinet and then picking a head. As you develop your taste in amps (which will happen once you get a high-end rig and start to develop the feel), you may find it easier to trade out heads and keep the same cabinet, rather than continually swapping out the whole thing. Also, I find that I leave my bottom cabinet at our rehearsal space and my top cabinet at home, so only my head goes back and forth; a head is MUCH lighter than a 2x12 combo.



ENGL? Soldano? Bogner? On a $1000 budget? Good luck!:wave:

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Originally posted by SteinbergerHack

The Mesa is a great amp, but like a Marshall, it's a bit of a one-trick pony - tough to be really versatile with it.


Are you insane?
A Mesa is a 1-trick pony, but a Soldano isnt?
There are very few tones that can't be squeezed out of a Mark IV, and the recto can do a lot more than the metal thing too.

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Originally posted by taken

this is all you need my friend...


http://www.carvin.com/products/single.php?ItemNumber=V3&CID=V3A



I was looking at that before, sounded pretty good, but pretty close to the ends of my budget. I was actually considering buying it. Looks funny though. <_>



2) I STRONGLY suggest getting a decent 4x12 cabinet and then picking a head. As you develop your taste in amps (which will happen once you get a high-end rig and start to develop the feel), you may find it easier to trade out heads and keep the same cabinet, rather than continually swapping out the whole thing.



Kinda hard to try a cabinet without a head...

There are a lot of gear whores on here in your area (no offense intended guys). One of them is bound to have something that are looking to unload that will work with your budget and you can also try it out first and get a little lesson on how to run it from them. That will eleviate the buy online hang up with the folks. Most people on this forum are good to go when it comes to buying and selling gear between each other too.



I might've done that, but the classifieds are a bit difficult to navigate, and if you thought the folks were bad about ordering online, just think about me going to a person from a classified's house...

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Well.. based on your budget your options are somewhat limited. Definitely work on the used market, there are some great deals out there.

But it seems that you have some misconceptions that some have addressed.

1. 4x12 not good for low volumes... WRONG. I use my full stack at home all the time to practice with. It is usable definitely. And at volumes to be heard over drums, it does very nicely no matter how loud or quiet the drummer is.

2. Your 1x12 will be drowned out based on 4x12's getting drowned out... WRONG. There are so many other factors involved. I run my ENGL through a 1x12 at practice, and it gives a full stack (ie. 2 4x12's) a run for its money. It sounds like you are in High School, which is where most of us would cut our mids which gets lost. My Fender HRD which is only 40 Watts can hold up with 100 Watt full stacks as well if they cut their mids. With a Metal Zone and my HRD, I gigged and all with no problems.

Also you heard this in a Gymnasium which is probably the absolute worst representation of acoustics. You were hearing young players (which often just go bigger is better) and in a Gymnasium. Every band sounds bad in a Gymnasium typically. Stuff is really directional and everything except drums and vocals were probably lost.

So the bottom line is this: You are in a band now. Can your current amp be heard over the drummer?
If not try adding some mids.
If so then don't worry about it. When you gig places where you need to be louder than the drummer, you can get miced. Then with that, a full stack sounds the same as a 1x12 combo since they only mic one speaker.

I only bring full stacks for the "look" and some fullness in the sound, my 1x12 can do the job just fine. Especially when they mic me, they typically want lower stage volume anyway, then my 1x12 will handle that just fine.

So if you want an amp, get an amp, but configuration is a non-issue.

The typical metal guy goes with a half-stack. Head + 4x12. It looks cool and typically sounds good, and has many tonal configuratoins and options. Ie. later you can get a 2x12, or 1x12 and use the same head. Or buy other heads and keep the 4x12.

For speakers I would try to get VIntage30's. Not everyone's cup of tea, but the speakers color enough that just about all amps sound great with them. Plus they are sort of the industry standard premium speaker, used by Slash, Petrucci, Vai, and the like.

For heads in your price range: used Mesa MKIII for Petrucci and Symphony X sorta sounds, Peavey JSX, XXX, XXL. Line 6 Vendetta, HD147, Flextone, etc. Madision, ENGL Fireball, Marshall Valvestates. A lot of usable stuff out there, SS and tube.

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Originally posted by aortizjr

1. 4x12 not good for low volumes... WRONG. I use my full stack at home all the time to practice with. It is usable definitely. And at volumes to be heard over drums, it does very nicely no matter how loud or quiet the drummer is.



Yeah, I just realized I wouldn't be able to put it where volume would be a huge concern (den) due to space concerns so I guess it's all good.

2. Your 1x12 will be drowned out based on 4x12's getting drowned out... WRONG. There are so many other factors involved. I run my ENGL through a 1x12 at practice, and it gives a full stack (ie. 2 4x12's) a run for its money. It sounds like you are in High School, which is where most of us would cut our mids which gets lost. My Fender HRD which is only 40 Watts can hold up with 100 Watt full stacks as well if they cut their mids. With a Metal Zone and my HRD, I gigged and all with no problems.



I only cut my mids when covering stuff where it sounds cut (IE: Metallica, Megadeth, Children of Bodom). I've learned from reading here about having fuller mids to cut through a band setting so, yeah. The Spider's open back so bass will probably get lost since it most likely be pressed against the wall like I have now. And...I thought 4x12 will project the sound better?

Also you heard this in a Gymnasium which is probably the absolute worst representation of acoustics. You were hearing young players (which often just go bigger is better) and in a Gymnasium. Every band sounds bad in a Gymnasium typically. Stuff is really directional and everything except drums and vocals were probably lost.



They were all pretty generic high school bands. The most popular amp of choice was the Marshall MG half stack I believe, and yeah, I couldn't hear anything. There was a guy there with either a 1x12 or 2x12 combo that sounded really loud/full, though I'm not sure what it was. It may also be that there were no vocals/backup guitar. And yeah, vocals were miced across four speakers located throughout the setting.

So the bottom line is this: You are in a band now. Can your current amp be heard over the drummer?

If not try adding some mids.

If so then don't worry about it. When you gig places where you need to be louder than the drummer, you can get miced. Then with that, a full stack sounds the same as a 1x12 combo since they only mic one speaker.



I wouldn't know, we haven't practiced with one in a while, because our old one quit and we're testing a new possible one. When we did play, our old practice amps (the ones with starter packs) did fine, though it may have to do with the acoustics of the room (small basement with amps facing and surrounding us) and that he was a quiet player. There were no PA's at the places we've watched/played at.

I only bring full stacks for the "look" and some fullness in the sound, my 1x12 can do the job just fine.

...

The typical metal guy goes with a half-stack. Head + 4x12. It looks cool and typically sounds good, and has many tonal configuratoins and options. Ie. later you can get a 2x12, or 1x12 and use the same head. Or buy other heads and keep the 4x12.



Yeah, I'm guess I was partially in a half stack for aesthetics (which is probably why I want a Divinity :p) and believed the stuff about size I mentioned.

For speakers I would try to get VIntage30's. Not everyone's cup of tea, but the speakers color enough that just about all amps sound great with them. Plus they are sort of the industry standard premium speaker, used by Slash, Petrucci, Vai, and the like.



Fair enough, but are the G12-T75's good as well?

For heads in your price range: used Mesa MKIII for Petrucci and Symphony X sorta sounds, Peavey JSX, XXX, XXL. Line 6 Vendetta, HD147, Flextone, etc. Madision, ENGL Fireball, Marshall Valvestates. A lot of usable stuff out there, SS and tube.



Like I've said, used will be a problem for me unless it's in a store. Not sure I'm into modeling amps anymore either. Plus, those Line 6 models are pretty expensive.

My friend's looking at the Marshall AVT, though.

Thanks for the lengthy response.

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Alright, so...

If either Guitar Center doesn't have good prices on the Mesas (used or new), I'll most likely go with a Divinity.

As far as for the cab, I'll probably go either with a...

http://www.avatarspeakers.com/Vintage%20Premier.htm
With two Hellatone60L's or Vintage 30's.

or

http://www.avatarspeakers.com/g412.htm
With four Hellatone60L's or Vintage 30's, or maybe some other combo of 2 on top and 2 on the bottom?

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Originally posted by DemiFrost




They were all pretty generic high school bands. The most popular amp of choice was the Marshall MG half stack I believe, and yeah, I couldn't hear anything.



The perceived volume of a solid state amp like the Marshall MG100 doesn't seem as loud as an amp with a tube power section. The problem with hearing your friends was probably also due to the amps not being mic'd up. If you're planning on getting a 50W or 100W tube head, that's more than enough power to gig.

The Marshall AVT series have a solid state power section, so that is something to take into account. Your friend would be drowned out more easily by a tube amp.

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Originally posted by bikescene



The perceived volume of a solid state amp like the Marshall MG100 doesn't seem as loud as an amp with a tube power section. The problem with hearing your friends was probably also due to the amps not being mic'd up. If you're planning on getting a 50W or 100W tube head, that's more than enough power to gig.


The Marshall AVT series have a solid state power section, so that is something to take into account. Your friend would be drowned out more easily by a tube amp.



=/

I think his budget is slightly lower at around $800 for the head. He digs the four channel and acoustic simulator thing.

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Originally posted by DemiFrost

Alright, so...


If either Guitar Center doesn't have good prices on the Mesas (used or new), I'll most likely go with a Divinity.


As far as for the cab, I'll probably go either with a...


http://www.avatarspeakers.com/Vintage%20Premier.htm

With two Hellatone60L's or Vintage 30's.


or


http://www.avatarspeakers.com/g412.htm

With four Hellatone60L's or Vintage 30's, or maybe some other combo of 2 on top and 2 on the bottom?




G12T-75's are great as well. Pretty much the standard for thrash. I think with Vintage 30's though you will get more mids which is better match the tones you are going for. Now mixing the two is brutal, Bogner does this.

I am sure either of those would be great. I would probably go with closed back.

But open back also will still work. I use my Open Back Avatar 2x12 with Metal bands also.

Personally I would go with something like this:

http://www.avatarspeakers.com/G412%20black_carpet.htm

The black carpet and metal grill looks more METAL.

Loaded with Vintage 30's are great. I also personally like mixing the Emi. Governors and Manowars (basically Vintage 30, and G12T-75 mix but sweeter and made in USA). Very punchy and versatile. Or G12H30 and Vintage 30. Lots of options...

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Originally posted by taken



ENGL? Soldano? Bogner? On a $1000 budget? Good luck!
:wave:


I suggested this to him before, but the Yamaha T100 ( the 2 channel 100 watt head that Mike Soldano designed for Yamaha back in the late 80's) can be had for wayyyy cheap and does the Soldano overdrive sound pretty well. I owned one before I got my Soldano, and while it didn't sound as good, it wasn't too far off and the clean channel rocked too. I agree with what the other fella said about getting a good 412 and just trying different heads out.

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Originally posted by aortizjr




G12T-75's are great as well. Pretty much the standard for thrash. I think with Vintage 30's though you will get more mids which is better match the tones you are going for. Now mixing the two is brutal, Bogner does this.


I am sure either of those would be great. I would probably go with closed back.


But open back also will still work. I use my Open Back Avatar 2x12 with Metal bands also.


Personally I would go with something like this:


http://www.avatarspeakers.com/G412%20black_carpet.htm


The black carpet and metal grill looks more METAL.


Loaded with Vintage 30's are great. I also personally like mixing the Emi. Governors and Manowars (basically Vintage 30, and G12T-75 mix but sweeter and made in USA). Very punchy and versatile. Or G12H30 and Vintage 30. Lots of options...



EarCandy Cabinets also looked good. I never thought about mixing speakers, but which of those would work on the top/bottom? Also, if I do go EarCandy instead of Avatar, are the Eminence Wizards a good choice?

Regarding the head, I remember seeing the Mesa F series when I went to GC the other week, and researching into it, it seems like another good choice. Buying it at GC would be good because I can put some money towards it by trading in my ol' Spider and getting some time to try it.

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