Good Metal Amp for Smaller Gigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by LightSpeedMangler, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. LightSpeedMangler

    LightSpeedMangler Member

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    Hello,

    I play lead guitar in a metal band, and we only play small gigs if we do at all.
    I have been using a Peavy valveking 1 112 for practice/shows, and a Peavy blazer for bedroom playing. The blazer destroys the valveking every time i try to use the vk. The vk to me, is very dull and toneless, to point where a 15w ss sounds better to me.

    I've been looking around at amps for sale, and I know a place where I can get used Randall heads for around 150$ each, and cabs for about 200$. I like the sound of the nicer solid states that I've played, and I use pedals for all of my gain and distortion, so the amp's gain really is not crucial to me.

    I like the idea of getting a big amp for cheap, but
    1) Are there better options for getting a decent metal sound that's easier to use than a big head an cab?
    2) Are there ways to make the Vk sound more like a traditional tube amp?
    3) Should I spend more on tubes and speakers to make the Vk better?

    Thanks, any answers would be appreciated
     
  2. ryanougrad

    ryanougrad Member

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    What kind of metal, modern,black, 80's etc.? Low cost look for a used 5150 or check out the Laney Ironheart and Randall Diavlo amps. These are all modern metal amps.
     
  3. LightSpeedMangler

    LightSpeedMangler Member

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    I play more like classic like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and alot of thrash and death metal. I know what are the great metal amps like like the 5150 and Laneys and Marshalls, but that didn't really answer my questions
     
  4. Russ73

    Russ73 Member

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    I would look into the 6505 mini head and a 1x12 cab, or a 5153 1x12 which is an awesome amp, I had a randall diavlo 40 watt head that I ran through a 1x12 and I liked it but the 5153 craps all over it, also the diavlo really didn't have a lot of gain....some of the low watt Laneys smoke as well..
     
  5. garret

    garret Member

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    I had a VK for a few weeks. Like you I found it lifeless, cold and to my ears quite fizzy. The higher the volume the worse it sounded. New tubes and different speakers didn't help it at all.

    Ditch the VK. Like others have said the 5150 or 6505 amps sound far better and will cover the genre your playing.
     
  6. Hugh_s

    Hugh_s Member

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    I don't know anything about the valve king, but a 112 EVH 50-watt is pretty cheap. The 112 Mesas sound like they'd be good candidates too. the little 25-watt Archon rips.
     
  7. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    Buy a Randall RG80 from the 1980's. It is solid state, but it was made for those 80 metals tones. It can sound good at low or high volumes. If you need more modern metal tones, buy a pedal to put in front of it. These amps were used by a few touring pros back in the day.

    Not the greatest video but this is the amp I am talking about.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVq3n294_BE
     
  8. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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    I like the Carvin v3m combos for this.

    3 channels.

    relatively lightweight, compact.

    50 watts at max, so you can actually play a larger gig, but has built in attenuator (7w, 22w, 50w) so you can get good overdrive at lower volumes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    The VK was never meant for metal. Not sure why people keep trying to use it for that...

    6505/5150 would be a far better choice.
     
  10. guitarsngear

    guitarsngear Member

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    I agree that the VK is not a metal amp, there are however numerous mods that can be done to make it more conducive to metal or just better sounding in general. check out the info here http://ultimate-guitar-valveking.wikispaces.com/?responseToken=c5dd65b69d3ff9e036efee5b05681950

    The easiest and cheapest 'mods' are to put a dummy plug into input 1 and then plug your guitar into input 2 and put a jumper cable in the FX loop. Next to those a speaker swap is a good start. For more follow that link.

    Also are you using an OD in front of the VK to push it, that will improve the sound as well.
     
  11. Lost_Cause

    Lost_Cause Member

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    Peavey Bravo or Ultra.
     
  12. analogsystem

    analogsystem Member

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    If you play in a metal band and plan on continuing on, you will need a larger amp. You can run a 50 or 100 watt head with a decent master volume into a 2x12 cab at reasonable levels, and you will sound "big" in a band context. It is always a good idea to have some headroom available and the bigger amp will have a tight, big bottom for your chugga chugga riffs. I wouldn't mess around with 1x12 or 25 watt amps. They sound great alone, but will never work with a metal band, in my experience.

    Rock on!
     
  13. LightSpeedMangler

    LightSpeedMangler Member

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    Ok thanks everyone for the input, I now have a better idea of what will suit my needs
     
  14. greatmutah

    greatmutah Member

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    I'd go with a 5150/6505 myself, but for low cash cost I would also consider the Peavey Ultra/Ultra Plus/XXX.
     
  15. LesPaul70

    LesPaul70 Member

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    I'm afraid analogsystem nailed it. The kind of metal sound you're trying to produce, sorry, there's just no way a low-power 1x12 is going to give you that at band volume. 2x12 (preferably closed back in this case) is the bare minimum, 4x12 is what you probably want. They will simply sound bigger and ballsier. Also, while a low-power amp can give you enough decibels, a more powerful big-iron amp, with its increased headroom, will - again - sound bigger and beefier, at the same overall volume.

    The benefits of tube rolling would be fairly marginal, almost cosmetic, in this case. The same goes for speaker swapping. You could try adding a 1x12 extension cab, though, if your setup allows for that. Not quite the same thing as a 2x12 cab but a definite improvement over a single 1x12.

    As a final point, based on my experience, for the sound you want, tube amp preamp distortion would probably work much better than a solid-state distortion pedal. Even a modest tube distortion can work wonders if you boost it with an overdrive pedal. Solid state distortion tends to be kind of bland and lifeless and lacks the dynamics and the edge that tube distortion can give you.

    Fortunately, there are lots of reasonably priced high-gain tube amps on the market today. The 5150/6505 is an industry-standard solution but if you are on a tight budget, the Bugera 6260 is a budget-priced alternative, essentially a Chinese replica of the 5150 (can't vouch for them, though, I've never owned a Bugera - keep hearing that some players have had reliability issues with their Bugeras). The Chinese-built 6505 models are not exactly expensive either, of course.
     
  16. mesa/kramer

    mesa/kramer Member

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  17. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    While agree there are some things you do to help along valveking, like some Rayhteon Blacklate 12ax7 in pre and move up to a Tone Tubby 40/40 speaker. That weak el84 power section is not what you need.

    Big powerful 6l6 glass/iron like 6505 and closed back cab is in a whole other league here, it's got MV to reign it back if needed. Getting right size cab/speakers for your venues is important, a 2x12 will probably just right for you. Add a 4x12,in future if you move up to bigger venues as a option.
     
  18. LesPaul70

    LesPaul70 Member

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    Oh, yes, I forgot we were talking about gear for "smaller" gigs. That being the case, a 2x12 would indeed be ideal. A 4x12 would be overkill (plus a PITA to lug around).
     

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