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I'm thinking about a new amp...thoughts?


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Long story, but I was going to buy a new guitar to replace a strat I sold recently. I've thought about another strat, maybe a tele deluxe/custom, a LP w/P90s, a Jazzmaster, nothing is really resonating, so instead of another guitar, I might be another amp.

 

Here's the parameters, and what I have currently.

 

* Guitars: CS Tele, Gibson SG, Epi LP Tribute, Agile Harm1.

* Amps: Vox AC15c1, Fender Mustang III (solid state/modeling)

* Uses: Home/recording use only at this stage.

* Wants: 15 w or less, combo or head is fine, but if a head, I need matching cabinet. Definitely want tube, something that can do ok with pedals as well. An effects loop for reverb/delay would be nice. A built in master volume/attenuator/power scaling feature would be very useful

* Price, $800 or less. Can be new or used, with some models i want new.

* Music/genre: Varies, rock, blues, alternative, heavier stuff but not metal, jazz?

 

The Mustang III is cool in that multiple tones are achieved, but as usual, I don't use 99% of its features, I don't like how it works with pedals, and the headphone feature that I thought would be useful for me with small kids/keeping peace in the house, doesn't sound that great. So I may sell it. I would prefer to keep the AC15, and run amp #2 in stereo, but I might not, just keep it mono and play the 2 different amps now and then. The AC15 is loud, but it manageable enough. Anything more would be overkill.

 

So a list of possible contenders is forthcoming, of these, which do you like and why? There are a few that have little reviews and I can't play most of these locally, and the Reeves is custom order so I would have to take a leap of faith. All could be returned so I would be out only shipping costs. And the Vox AC4hw1 is not out yet, but expect it to be soon.

 

TL;DR, might get a new amp, here are the choices:

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Also, the VHT amps look interesting, I thought I'd post them here just to see. Look good on paper, the few reviews on MFriend are quite positive, but not many. The Vox AC4hw is brand new, not out yet, but seems like a big step up from the AC4tv which I did not like. The Tweaker is the front runner in my mind at the moment, but fellow forumite Tattoedsailor has had both the Tweaker and the Mesa TA-15, and loves the Mesa much more, so I'm torn. Certainly the TA-15 is twice the price, though I see a used one on ebay for $650.

 

The Reeves Custom 12PS had been my favorite, but it is a budget buster, and that's the combo, forget the head and cabinet. Also it doesn't have an effects loop like the Tweaker. Either does the Mesa. The Fender PRII is a very different amp in this bunch, but used they're a pretty good value, and they just sound so nice, just not very feature laden which is ok. Good contrast to the Vox. But having an amp that can do pretty good dirty tones like the Tweaker would be nice.

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I'd add the Orange Dual Terror to that list. It's seems lower wattage is what you're looking for, and the DT can do 7, 15, and 30 watts. It's been great for me to jam at home (relatively quiet, but you still can't crank it at 7 watts), low volume rehearsal, full volume rehearsal and club gigs. 2 channels, both of which sound great IMO.

 

Just to add to your dilemma.... :lol:

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Yeah I should have added an other category and probably the Orange TT, oversight. I did try one of those out some time ago, along with a Marshall Class5 combo, wasn't sure I loved either of them, but I really need to try them again. Having a the right cab/speaker would help I think too. I listened to a Sweetwater video of the Dark Terror the other day, holy {censored} that thing had a ton of gain, and very little else. Would be cool for metal, but not much else. But it did include an effects loop that the TT doesn't for some reason, only $50 more too.

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I've owned my tweaker (15w head and 1x12 lopo cab) for about 9 months, and it is a great amp and will more than meet your various needs. Effects loop is great, and the different tonal options make it incredibly versatile. I have not tried the Mesa TA-15 in a while, so I don't know if it is better or not, but the Egnater is a solid option compared to your other options listed.

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princeton or deluxe reverb

 

 

 

I was concerned the DRRI might be too loud, not that 22w vs 15 is a huge difference, but maybe enough for home use. DRRI is pretty good with pedals? I know a couple of people, namely Catalinbread crew are not big fans, but I've always thought it sounded pretty good. I'd get either one used since they've been on the market a while now. Certain tubes that work better for these amps?

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Since the Princeton seems to be popular, for purposes of this poll the PRRI and DRRI will be lumped together for one vote, but make your comments specify one or the other if you want to. Those amps I do have locally to test out.

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I'm happy with the Special 6 Ultra.

 

 

Head or combo? Does it have a particular tone, ala USA, Brit, voxy, etc. VHT seems fairly underrated for what they're making these days. New ownership, isn't it? I recall them being at one point a very heavy metal oriented only amp company, and now a lot of what they're selling seems completely opposite of that, more geared towards classic rock, blues, alternative, etc.

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{censored}, if a DRRI is an option, go for that. For real.

 

 

Well it would have to be used, unless I sell the Vox, which I really don't want to. But if a good used one comes up, I'd definitely consider it. I like cleans, which is what Fender excels at, and I like cleans more than I used to for sure, most of my time though I spend playing a dirtier type of rock/blues, sort of Black Keys sound. Sometimes a little Mastodon thrown in there for good measure. I use a Pharoah for my muff type sounds, and a SuperDrive for my heavier Marshally type tones. Both good pedals that will be used with any new amp I get.

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DRRIs sound amazing, but they don't take pedals that well in my experience, especially dirt and especially on the vibrato channel.

 

I know plenty of people will say "Why the {censored} are you running pedals through that amp anyway? It sounds so killer on its own!" and that's very true, but I was looking for a main amp at the time and I needed it to be more versatile. Daddy needs his fuzz, children.

 

I still love my Tweaker head. I didn't buy the matching cab, and instead run it with a few different cabs as the spirit moves me. I haven't found a bad setting in it yet.

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Head or combo? Does it have a particular tone, ala USA, Brit, voxy, etc. VHT seems fairly underrated for what they're making these days. New ownership, isn't it? I recall them being at one point a very heavy metal oriented only amp company, and now a lot of what they're selling seems completely opposite of that, more geared towards classic rock, blues, alternative, etc.

 

 

I have the combo. I don't use the Ultra (dirt) channel, preferring pedal dirt, so just run it clean.

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DRRIs sound amazing, but they don't take pedals that well in my experience, especially dirt and especially on the vibrato channel.


I know plenty of people will say "Why the {censored} are you running pedals through that amp anyway? It sounds so killer on its own!" and that's very true, but I was looking for a main amp at the time and I needed it to be more versatile. Daddy needs his fuzz, children.


I still love my Tweaker head. I didn't buy the matching cab, and instead run it with a few different cabs as the spirit moves me. I haven't found a bad setting in it yet.

 

 

I haven't extensively tried a DRRI, but I think a lot of the PGS vids were through a DRRI, didn't seem like too bad of a pedal platform.

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I do like the versatility of the Egnater, something about it seems pretty cool. I don't need it to do vox like tones either, but the other 2 flavors would be cool. How good is the effects loop? I've heard it has some issues with analog delays, but I'm all digital at this point.

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