Best "Jack-of-all-Trades" Amp (Cover band content)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by myaudiodna, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. myaudiodna

    myaudiodna Supporting Member

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    I just recently started a cover band and need an amp that can cover a lot of territory. I guess conventional TGP wisdom would probably be get a good clean platform and let pedals do all of the work, but I'm not really a big fan of pedal overdrive, or pedals in general for that matter. So what I am looking for is a good multi-purpose combo that would neither break the bank nor my back and preferably be channel switching so I can do clean/gain without the need for pedals.

    By "won't break the bank" I mean in the $1000 range and by "won't break my back" I mean 40lbs or less. Wattage probably anywhere in the 15-30 range is fine.

    I need to cover all kinds of territory, so just a good generic clean and a good generic OD that will be medium gain normally, roll of the volume knob back for low gain/crunchy blues, and kick in a boost to get into high gain Satriani/vai territory.

    I know this is a lot to ask for from a single amp and I'm sure there have been other threads asking a question like this, so I would really appreciate it if you would not respond with "Buy these 5 amps and you'll be set" or "Use the search function". If I wanted to carry 5 amps to every gig to get every specific sound I would do so, but I don't, I just want to be in the ballpark of the sounds I need. And if everyone on TGP used the search feature, there would only be 10% of the threads that are on here now.

    So, let the games begin, whatcha got? And thank in advance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  2. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never really considered channel switching in a low cost 15 - 30 watt combo, but maybe something like this?
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/jet-city-amplification-jca2212c-20w-1x12-tube-guitar-combo-amp

    And maybe if you are thinking of buying used the options would open up more.

    Anyhow I'm also interested to see what people come up with.

    Edit: oops, I see even this comes in at 38 lbs. The 30 lb limit is going to be tough I'd think. Even a Blues Jr weighs 31 lbs according to the Fender specs.
     
  3. sutherland

    sutherland Member

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    Mesa Boogie Express comes immediately to mind.
     
  4. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never weighed one but I'd be shocked by a 30 lb mesa combo amp. Possible I guess but even my 1x12 speaker cab from Mesa comes in considerably over that.... yep just checked, 38 lbs for the small (10" speaker) 5:25 model.
     
  5. Telebluze

    Telebluze Gold Supporting Member

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    The Boot!!
  6. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

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    Link?
     
  7. dave_mc

    dave_mc Member

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    slightly more than 30w, but engl screamer, kustom coupé, traynor ycv40/50b would presumably all be worth a look. if you can get mesas under budget they're probably worth a look, too. i quite liked the express i tried, but i know a lot of people don't.
     
  8. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

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    Looks like plenty of 2 channel combos out there.... IF you can live with 40 lbs.

    Egnator, Blackstar, Bogner, Bugera, JetCity... lots of chinese made amps out there that would fit your bill if you raise the weight limit.
     
  9. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

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    Fender Supersonic 22 (new for $1000), Mesa Heartbreaker Head + Fulltone OCD (what I'm using, can find for $600 used, mint). If doing country, classic rock/blues up to hard rock, this would be the answer.

    As much as they are not loved, a Mesa Nomad covers a tremendous amount of tonal territory....from Fender Deluxe to Bassman tones, to Marshall JMP to high gain JMP, to Marshall JCM thru Rectifier, all on a 3 channel amp....about $700 for a 55W combo. Weakness: reverb, and power amp is voiced on the thin side, so you need power tubes and speakers a bit more aggressive in the bass frequencies. It'll get you there for cheap. If you're doing more modern hard rock recto-style tunes this would be the right one.

    Also, Mesa Tremoverbs...blues through Rectifier. Also, as mentioned the Express is an awesome amp.
     
  10. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Supporting Member

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    I had a marshall dsl 100 and fender prosonic that covered a lot of ground.
     
  11. boldaslove1977

    boldaslove1977 Member

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    there are a few bogners that can do this... although they will push you past your price range. i also have a rivera chubster... those can be had for less than 1k used.

    also... don't be so quick to dismiss the clean platform/pedals idea. i use a bassman with pedals... and i have several cover band friends who do the same. you can get those for well under 1k used. buy a few good OD pedals with the money you save and you are good to go.
     
  12. myaudiodna

    myaudiodna Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions! I'll make a quick update to the OP:

    I'm ok with 40 lbs, but nothing more.
    I've owned about 10 Mesa's and never played one I liked, so I won't be going that direction.

    Had a supersonic 22 and dug the sound, but there was a lot of noise. Has this been solved with the updates to the amp?

    Egnater, Bogner and Rivera all look very interesting. Definitely interested in all of those.

    And for the record, I'm not quickly dismissing the pedal platform idea, I've gone that route and just didn't really like it, I much prefer a channel switching amp.
     
  13. brianr0131

    brianr0131 Member

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    Kemper or Axe2 would be great if you're not opposed to modelers. I think they're great for cover bands.

    I get the impression you're not into modelers though.
     
  14. playthecray

    playthecray Supporting Member

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    A used Budda Superdrive 18
     
  15. dave_mc

    dave_mc Member

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    that's absolutely fair enough. I don't think pedals compare to a good tube amp's OD channel, either (though i like using a boost, but that's complementing/adding to what's already there, rather than generating all the distortion).

    if you know distortion is the main thing, then i'd get an amp aimed at that and put up with the cleans. i know some people will say, "you can dirty up a clean amp better than you can clean up a dirty amp" or "i find a clean amp to be a good foundation for dirt pedals", but in my experience that's not true. A dirty amp won't do cleans anywhere near as well as a good clean amp, nor will a clean amp do dirt anywhere near as well as a good dirty amp, so IMO you get whichever one you need the most. And if you need a 50:50 mixture, there are several amps which do both pretty well.

    I also can't believe i forgot about rivera- that's a good call and also worth a look.
     
  16. thirsty one

    thirsty one Member

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    Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with an Omega mod. This mod costs about $250 & a footswitchable mid boast can be added for more versatility. The mod turns the drive into a poor man's dumble and the more drive into decent Marshall territory. I have had two amps with this mod and sold them to fund two different AxeFxs. They weigh 45, but a lighter speaker might trim some of the weight off.
     
  17. mcdonaldkd

    mcdonaldkd Member

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    I used to use a Rivera for this. Great prices used and they are built like tanks. Terrific cleans and a great OD. Covers the Fender and Marshall sounds very well, which along with you guitar's volume and tone knobs, will get you a long way in a cover band.
     
  18. Stike

    Stike Member

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    That's what I was going to say. I use a GSP1101 (V.63) in my cover band and love it.
     
  19. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

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    Peavey Classic 30 all day.
     
  20. krueger

    krueger Member

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    I've been really satisfied with a Bugera V22 for coverband duty
     

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