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Best Amp for live Performances under $600?

Messages
3
I lead worship at a church, and am making the switch from acoustic to electric. I don't care too much about watts, as my amp will always be mic'd and running through the main system.

I was wondering a few things:
1. What wattage do I need?

2. What's the best amp (tone wise) for under $600

3. Do I need a pre-amp or do amps like the ac15 have one built in?
(obviously I don't know much about pre-amps)


I was looking at the ac15 but its still a little expensive for me and I want to see what else is out there that won't sacrifice tone. Acoustically, I'm a taylor guy and I love those bright tones, but can appreciate the warms ones as well.

I'll probably be using a Fender Stratocaster Modern Player

Help please?

Thank you
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
Save a little bit money and get a Vintage 68 Fender Custom Princeton or Custom Deluxe. Maybe the only amp you need then in this lifetime. I would go with the Custom Deluxe for the 12" speaker myself.
 

jerryfan6

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,372
If you are able to buy used, any of the following would be worthy to consider:
Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC15C1
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe or Blues Deluxe
Egnater Rebel 30
 

wrxplayer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,566
With a little patience you can find a Reverend Hellhound 40/60 for $500-600. Tough to beat for a gig ready combo at a great price point. Good in big rooms, good in small rooms, very portable, sounds great, blah blah blah
 

xinu

Member
Messages
60
...
3. Do I need a pre-amp or do amps like the ac15 have one built in?
(obviously I don't know much about pre-amps)...
Like most electric guitar amps, all of the amps recommended so far have built-in pre and power amps.

A 15 - 30 watt combo should suit your needs nicely.
 

andy474x

Member
Messages
763
Egnater Tweaker 15 combo would fit your budget nicely and be the perfect amp. I had one for quite a while and loved it, and have a friend that uses one at church every week as well. Fenders are great amps, but I found that their brighter, snappier tone usually doesn't sit in a worship mix very well, they grab a little too much attention for themselves sonically. Makes it hard for the vocals to be the dominant sound. The Tweaker can get some warmer tones, and really accentuate well, especially mic'd.
 

porticoguitar1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
585
Unfortunately, my friend, you have entered the endless debate on this topic. I will say that if you are new to the electric side of the world, the best thing you can do is to play as many amps as you can to get an idea of how they respond to your playing style and needs for overdrive, feel and all that jazz. Here's why I say that:
1. If your used to "chunking it out" on the acoustic and are going to translate that rhythm style to the electric, you might find an amp that feels great for that
2. If you're going to play stereotype worship electric guitar - that's another story and you'll most likely be aiming down the Vox road.
3. There's far too much hype and hoopla associated with all this crap and I the amp has to mesh with you.

Egnater makes cool stuff with lots of sounds and good overdrive so you might not need too many pedals to get a good crunch/lead sound
Vox is classic and can be a little more forgiving for certain players transition into more electric stuff. And they take pedals well.
Fender Princeton and hot blues jr can give some nice low gain stuff, but I think they sound a little less than desirable without an OD pedal.
Alright, my baby is crying. More later.
 

ifailedshapes

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,518
Man, for a first amp, I'd compare a Fender Blues Jr vs. a Vox AC15. There will always be more expensive amps, but in your budget, I'd be looking at those two.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
Yes classic 30 with right tubes and speaker is prefect.

Pick up a old Fender Champ 12 for < $300, upgrade to Tone Tubby 40/40 speaker, use clean channel, drop couple "amp in a box"/delay/chorus/reverb pedals in front and your set. Perfect clean platform, its a chameleon, does what you feed it perfectly. 12w of pure clean 6l6gc goodness with a perfect 12" speaker. Chime, grunge, metal, sparkling Fender clean are just a pedal push away.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,276
Blackstar HT5R. It's "only" 5 watts but it has a 12 inch speaker and is plenty loud if you're going to mic it. Plus it has an emulated speaker out which you can run directly into the board. To my ears that sounds better than putting a mic in front of it. And it's very lightweight.
 

david henman

Senior Member
Messages
3,433
...you just cannot go wrong with a traynor head or combo

just huge value, especially on the used market
 

droptune

Member
Messages
150
I would go with something from the Roland cube series. They are solid state but sound vey tube-like. Look for a used Cube 60 (discontinued) or a new or used Cube 80. They never break down, they are loud, and not very heavy. I have a Cube 60 and I use alot more than my other 20 amps.
 

Roccorobb

Member
Messages
1,232
OP

These days "I lead worship" is as specific as "I play in a rock band". Churches are all over the map musically. Can you tell his a little more about your context?

For instance, Are you in an "all rock all the time" church where you can stand some volume (as loud as an acoustic drum kit, for example) or will you have to keep volume down low? Are you playing Christian radio tunes like hillsong/Jesus culture or heavier or tamer stuff? Is there another electric guitar or are you it? Do you have in eat monitors or wedges?

I have worked as a worship leader in lots of churches from 75 people to 5k and the situations called for radically diffent gear. In my current church of about 350 we have a modern band w a Roland kit and in ear monitors so stage volume is pretty low. Front of house hovers around 90-92db. I have used an ac15 and a matchless clubman clone at half power but both those amps were really too much for our context and I had to keep volumes so low it didn't make a lot of sense. Most recently I used a VHt 12/20 but even then I had to keep the power scaling back to about 9:00 on the dial (about 5 watts)

It may not be what you're asking for BUT I'd say if you're brand new to electric guitar and you're only using it for church I'd recommend a modeler like the line 6 pod hd 500. It'll let you experiment with different tones until you know what "your sound" is, and it sits great in a mix. Often times I'll use an old pod x3 live just for fx and turn the amp modeling off, but I also have presets that allow me to play my acoustic through on exile out and my electric through the other xlr out straight to the house. That way there is no extra sound on stage (all into our inears) and I don't have any gear to deal with but one box and my guitars.
 

bbutler123

Member
Messages
2,648
I lead worship at a church, and am making the switch from acoustic to electric. I don't care too much about watts, as my amp will always be mic'd and running through the main system.

I was wondering a few things:
1. What wattage do I need?

2. What's the best amp (tone wise) for under $600

3. Do I need a pre-amp or do amps like the ac15 have one built in?
(obviously I don't know much about pre-amps)


I was looking at the ac15 but its still a little expensive for me and I want to see what else is out there that won't sacrifice tone. Acoustically, I'm a taylor guy and I love those bright tones, but can appreciate the warms ones as well.

I'll probably be using a Fender Stratocaster Modern Player

Help please?

Thank you
Used Blackstar Club 40. (700 new) or Bugera V22 (the best-sounding amp I've ever heard under $1000). The Blackstar is more heavier duty, and louder, which is why I put it first.
 

JohnSS

Member
Messages
932
Peaveys are mainstays in churches across the country and for good reason - they are reliable, sound good, and are priced reasonably - tube snob cork sniffers may avoid them, but the congregation and the Big Guy upstairs couldn't care less. (Luther Dickinson got turned on to old Peavey Artists through Robert Randolph and Sacred Steel players). I would suggest a transtube Peavey Bandit. Plenty of power, you can run it clean enough for your acoustic and dial in the required amount of gain for electric. It's a good platform for pedals as well if you are so inclined. Peavey Transtubes are Fenderish sounding to my ears. I use a pair of small Peavey Blazer 15 watters cranked up to about 1:00 with my Hamer Special and G&L ASAT. Sounds very much like cranked Fender Princetons to my ears. They can hang with drums, bass, piano, horns and singers and won't assault the congregation with excessive volume. Best of all, their QC is good, so if they get damaged or stolen (my church is in NYC, so these things happen) they can easily be replaced.
 






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