cheap vs expensive amp dilemma

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by deicide100, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. deicide100

    deicide100 Member

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    First, some background info- I've wanted to get a small high gain combo amp for a while and based on many good reviews on here, other forums and sound samples I bought a new Engl Screamer 50 Combo almost a month ago. Since the first day I wasn't overly impressed with it. I thought the clean channel was very dry/cold sounding and the high gain channel sounded very nasal but I figured I'd play around with it for a while and see if I can get used to it since all the reviews were completely the opposite of what i was hearing. Yesterday I went out to a small music store and tested a Peavey Prowler for about an hour. I had never even heard of that amp before but I thought it sounded WAY better than the screamer in both channels. I was pretty shocked at the difference in quality of sound for less than a quarter of the price of the screamer. Now my question is, am I crazy for even considering to send the brand new screamer back and get this used 8 year old discontinued prowler?
     
  2. James Knox

    James Knox Member

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    I think you already know what to do!

    Selecting your Sonic Signature Tools based on what "sounds better" shows that not only are you NOT crazy, but that you are growing and moving forward in your music journey...

    Proud of you Bro!

    Peace,

    James
     
  3. mlongano

    mlongano Supporting Member

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    Choose with your ears...if it sounds good, it is good.
     
  4. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    I believe in general, quality amps cost more than cheap amps and a good one is totally worth it. It sounds like the Engl is not for you. Trust your ears.
     
  5. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I have expensive amps and cheap amps. My Crate V32 is one of my favorite sounding amps! My Rivera Chubster that I recently tweaked to my liking and fought me for quite a while still doesnt sound better than the V32 to me.

    Now heres the thing-which one would I trust to gig with? The answer is the much better built Chubster- so quality is an issue if you would use it for playing out. Are you crazy for liking the sound of a much cheaper amp over a much more expensive amp-no not in my book.

    Other thoughts....
    The Engl may not be your cup of tea. However perhaps the speaker isnt broken in yet. It can make a big difference. The prowlers speaker is probably well broken in. What about the Engl's tubes? Better ones might also help.

    Another thing is its hard to really tell without A/Bing amps right next to each other. My memory never serves me well.

    Maybe you can purchase the Prowler and keep the Engl too? Good luck.Bob
     
  6. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Dude, you're not crazy at all. I play through a couple of low life amps, according to most gear-heads. I don't care, I dig 'em. A new speaker and set of tubes, it sounds great to my ears. Contrarily, I've played though amps which cost 5x more, that did nothing for me.

    If you're going to be gigging with the amp, I'd make sure it has a decent reliability reputation, though.
     
  7. tats_dragon

    tats_dragon Member

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    The Prowler is a great amp. I use the Bravo which has the same preamp with EL84s. The only complaint I hear is the lack of overall volume when cranked. With two 6L6s, owners say the amp should be louder.


    Jun
     
  8. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    Did you see the YouTube video of the guy throwing a Crate amp at least 10' and it still worked. I understand it 5 throws before it broke. I have had a lot of vintage amps but I doubt that any would have survived that. My next amp is going to be a V30H or V3112. I need something to complement my $3,500.00 amp and these amps sound great...not just great for the money.
     
  9. rooster

    rooster Member

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    Always take the amp that sounds better to your ears, or you'll spend half a lifetime trying to tweak it in.

    rooster.
     
  10. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I'm all for buying expensive amps-cheap! :D
     
  11. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Yes-not just great for the money! Im glad there are others who realize just how nice the V32/V3112 sounds! I will be the first to admit theres no comparision in build quality between it and my Chubster though. Bob
     
  12. Flux

    Flux Member

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    Hey, wait a minute, this is TGP - get 'em both!! :dude
     
  13. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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  14. doc

    doc Member

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    One of the hobbies I have to avoid actually practicing and getting good at guitar is to try tweaking my cheap stuff to sound like my good stuff. I'm a little paranoid about playing the good stuff out in certain places. Its pretty cool how close you can come sometimes to the sound of the expensive gear using the cheap stuff.
     
  15. freaksho

    freaksho Member

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    +1. this is a very important consideration. i don't know why but amps sound great in stores. if you can, put them next to each other and make sure the amp is the ONLY variable when comparing. it's just good science! :D
     
  16. freaksho

    freaksho Member

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    this advice is practical and frugal and therefore has no place here.
     
  17. Jay Strange

    Jay Strange Member

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    Whatever works! Just be sure to A/B the amps side by side.I'm a bit of a tone freak now and whenever I get excited about a low end amp I 'll bring my Boutique amp for comparison and everytime after this test my Boookies win hands down in the tone department.
     

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