I am pretty new here and could use some advice. I am getting old and want to get a smaller rig. I am considering an Aiken, Reinhardt, Retro King, Suhr or Avatar 18 watter, but they are a lot of money and I have some doubts and questions. I love my 50 watt and 100 watt marshalls and 4x12s, and I won't get rid of them, but the gigs where I can use them (or want to carry them) are getting fewer and farther between. I play lots of small clubs these days. I want a rig for small clubs, rehearsals, recording, and that is pretty good in the bedroom (and will maybe inspire me to practice!). However, my regular band still thinks its 1984. We play a lot of hard rock and heavy blues (ZZ, Zep, SRV, ACDC, VH etc - among other things) and the band is often pretty stinkin loud in terms of stage volume (we're 3 piece). My other band plays modern country at reasonable levels so no problem there. I need to know if any of the above heads with a 2x12 (or 2 1x12s?) can do the job in terms of volume and headroom. I have never owned a marhsall 18 watt circuit, but I have owned some 18 watt el84 1x12 combos - mesa studio 22, peavey bravo, for example - (peavey classic 30 was better for volume but meh) and they wouldn't cut it even in rehearsal - not even when plugged into a 4x12. I know people always say how loud their 18 watters are (and yes I know the watts to db math), but its hard to believe. As I'll be ordering the amp sight unseen, I'd like to hear form people who gig with these amps. Do you ever feel overpowered by bass and drums? Also in my experience, el84s can get brassy when cranked. Anybody experience that with these kind of amps when cranked. I mostly live for dirty or in between tones. I rarely need loud cleans and prefer my cleans a little dirty anyway. However some cleanish headroom is important. On the other spectrum, I don't much need modern metal rhythm chug and fizz, though I love "vintage metal" tones like early maiden and sabbath stuff. I wouldn't mind a little more vintage vibe and warmth than my jcm 800 gives but I'd still like some of the fullness of the big rig. I like simple riggs - a single channel set to crunch using guitar volume to clean up and a boost for leads. I like harmonically rich sustaining lead tones (who doesn't?). I also like the intangible magic when guitar amp and room are in sync. I'm not really getting that with a JCM800 turned down. I sometimes use an effects loop for delay/reverb/solo volume boost. Am I right in thinking that isn't much of an option with 18 watters? I'd also like to hear about speakers. I've always used and liked greenbacks, but I've never worried about volume before. Are there high efficiency speakers with a similarly warm tone? Finally, am I even in the right ballpark, or is there something else I should consider for my Marshall fix in a smaller package? At the moment I am leaning towards the Aiken invader (attinuator, xlr out, reverb) but there is no way to test the tone other than clips. The Suhr seems more modern high gain. Reinhardt sounds good but I cant find one. Avatar is little less money. Any opinions, especially on low end frequencies and gain would be nice. Sorry about the long post. I figured the more info I give the better.