This ^. I have a Mesa TA-30 and it covers A LOT of tonal ground overlapping with what you're looking for.Mesa TA15 (or TA30, they have slightly different features. And I believe they have power scaling or whatever the Mesa name is for it. But the TA15 meets your requirements for 15w.)
There's lots of amps that claim to be able to go from 'Vox-y to Fender-y', either claimed by the builders or people who have bought them. But most of these amps don't really sound too convincing to me. They sound nice! Don't get me wrong. But the Mesa TA and the 3rd Power amp I checked out both seemed to be head and shoulders above the others.
... do-it-all amp to replace my AC30S1 and 65' Twin Reverb RI. ...
I’d stand pat and run those magnificent beasts together in a stereo and/or wet/dry configuration.
Otherwise, I’d be looking at one of the 3rd Power options others have mentioned, or one of the Mesa TA amps. But, really, my reason for looking at those amps in the first place is that I don’t already own both an AC30 and a Twin Reverb…
Tweed. Original, RI or LTD… they all are great sounding amps alone or as a foundation for pedals.
I believe Doug Gillard plays a Mesa Boogie (if I am remembering correctly) so that would be a good bet if you are interested in that GbV sound. I love the way his set up sounds.Hi guys!
Once again instead of playing and practicing I'm racking my brain trying to come up with the perfect do-it-all amp to replace my AC30S1 and 65' Twin Reverb RI.
I like having both options, but I'm dreaming of a world in which I could consolidate down to one lower-wattage tube amp, so I wanted to see if you all had any recommendations.
I can already get most of these tones between my two amps. The biggest problem is that switching between them is annoying at home and unfeasible for any gigs I might do. Also they're both pretty damn loud, so I wouldn't mind getting something closer to the 15 watt range.
First I'll give you some tonal examples so you can see what I'm after:
Bright AC30 style dirt
REM - Sitting Still
Chris Cohen - In a Fable (specifically the solo part around 1:55 in)
Blur - She's So High
Placebo - Every You Every Me
Lush spacey Fender-y cleans
The Vines - Mary Jane (the intro)
Lush - Sweetness and Light
Los Hermanos - Último Romance
Guided By Voices - Tour Guide at the Winston Churchill Memorial
Sunny Day Real Estate - Seven
I'd like to be able to do all of that stuff with one amp, if that's even possible. Obviously I plan on using pedals etc. My signal chain (so far) is listed in my signature.
I'll probably be targeting a budget 2k or less (ideally around 1400), which likely means going used for anything boutique. I'm fine with that!
Would be nice to have two channels with separate EQ, but I know that's probably unrealistic with the types of amps I'd go for.
I've heard good things about Dr. Z, Matchless, Benson, Divided By 13, etc. I just have no hands-on experience with any of them so I'd love some recommendations on what to look out for.
Presumably I'd have to do some considerable driving to get to any sort of store that would stock boutique amps like that. So it'd be nice to have some idea of what I want to look for before I make that kind of trip.