Hard Rock/METAL, class A or AB, single channel or 2???....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by manimal, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. manimal

    manimal Member

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    Hey everyone.
    Hopefully my title says it all
    I'm primarily a hard rock to crushing metal player. I'm going to be in the market soon for an ultra high gain amp, has to be musical, has to be machine like tight capable, and has to clean up nicely.

    So far I've tried a class ab/hybrid Blackstar HT50 head thru matching 4x12. I loved it!!!! It does everything I want in an amp, although I was only with it for 45 minutes at a music store. Loved it though.
    Then there's you typical JCM 900 or DSL 50 on Craigslist in the same price range, not to mention some new Jet City offerings.

    Then, for $549 there's the new Diamond Amps Assassin.
    Single channel, class a, 18 watts (rates max at 26), and all hand wired on a turret board. Birch cabs.
    This amp is "sexier" to me on paper, from a quality and reliability stand point.
    BUT in the end I can't buy amp that doesn't work totally for me this time around.
    Again, I like regular classic rock, hard rock, up to machine head, anthrax, fear factory, prong, slipknot types of tight metal. I understand that boosts, od pedals, and noise gates may need to be used.
    Overall, could an 18-26 watt class a high gain single channel amp be made to work for modern metal?
    Thanks, any info/input is appreciated.
     
  2. ken374

    ken374 Member

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    5150III, 6505+ are decent
     
  3. donnievaz

    donnievaz Member

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    I may be completely wrong but I can't see a 2x EL84 amp having the kind of balls I'd want for metal.
     
  4. manimal

    manimal Member

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    On the peaveys, I'll test em' thanks!
    Hmmm good point on the el84's....
     
  5. Rockyrollercat

    Rockyrollercat Member

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    Class A amps are for girls, you want an AB push pull type. The Splawn Street Rod would do everything you described.

    RRC
     
  6. ungarn

    ungarn Member

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    Scan craigslist for a used Marshall DSL or Peavey 5150/6505 halfstack, Laney AOR, Mesa Mark III, and especially an Ampeg VH140c...thank me later.

    Class A is NOT metal.
    EL84 is NOT metal.
    Modeling is NOT metal (unless you are Meshuggah!)
     
  7. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    EL84s not good for metal?

    Maybe if the Mini Recto didn't exist, or the Orange Dark Terror, or the Jim Root Terror...

    Any of the above EL84 amps will deliver lots of gain, enough for metal.
     
  8. shanesiegle

    shanesiegle Supporting Member

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    For that price range here are what I would recommend. As far as tight goes I am a huge fan of running a clean boost or overdrive in front of an amp to tighten it up. Any tube screamer, boss sd-1 variant with the level maxed and the gain at zero will do. You only need one channel unless you are going to do clean stuff too, I like having two channels myself but I do a lot more than just metal these days. For that price range here are what I would recommend.


    Peavey 5150\5150II (6505 and 6505+ are the same amps)
    Peavey Ultra Plus
    Peavey XXX
    Blackstar HT100
    FRYETTE Deliverance 60 (I have seen these used for $700 or so and are killer)
    Marshall DSL
    Mesa DC-5
    Laney VH100r
    Laney Gh100l
    Genz Benz El Diablo (I have one of these stellar head but take some no how to sound good so if you aren't a tone nerd might not be the one for you).
    and a lot of others I can't think of at the moment.
     
  9. donnievaz

    donnievaz Member

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    Who said anything about gain? I said balls and IMO 2x EL84's aint gonna cut it. FYI, most of the gain in a high gain amp is coming from the preamp.
     
  10. axelfoley

    axelfoley Supporting Member

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    Those amps will deliver the gain but won't have the headroom to deliver tight palm muted at high volumes and will get buried by a heavy handed drummer.

    Can't go wrong with the staples. Jcm, dual rec, and nothing has more gain volume and cut on tap than the original 5150 for the money. If you want class a a/b flexibility check out the fender prosonic.
     
  11. earthlydescent

    earthlydescent Senior Member

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    For what you're considering, I'd agree with the Peavey 6505-II, Triple X and the 3120 recommendations. I had a Triple X in my metal days, it worked quite nicely. They're cheap used. The ENGL Fireball would be a great choice too. A little better quality than the Peavey amps, but not that incredibly better.

    The Diamond 18 watter is a really bad idea. Class A isn't gonna hit the metal/hard rock tones.
     
  12. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you found what you were looking for.
     
  13. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    5150 vs Blackstar? 5150 or 6505 I/I/+ etc any day.

    There is a reason why the majority of metal bands use a 5150/6505. Huge, crushing and brutal with the ability to be played at home volumes...even baby sleeping volumes...and then blast at a gig.

    Did I meantion that they are dirt cheap too?
     
  14. manimal

    manimal Member

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    I guess I need to hear from the experienced abot the lower powered like the el84 diamond. Maybe a fun amp to add later.
    I really gotta try some peaveys I guess.
    The blacstars and marshalls are right there too.
    The ampeg vh is appealing, and, there is a Randall rg100es in my area for $150....
     
  15. shanesiegle

    shanesiegle Supporting Member

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    I had a Fireball for a while and I have to disagree on the quality thing. That was the poorest build quality of any amp I have ever owned period. The XXX and JSX I had were both much better built. I never had problems with it but it was flimsy, it did however sound killer. It's also a bit out of his price range too.
     
  16. ken374

    ken374 Member

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    Had a fireball 100 head it was a beast! smooth distortion great clean channel, built fine to me! didnt read much bad about engl's on there boards about problems, kill a peavey for in tone. My Vox isnt really high gain but it sounds better then most I ever had, engl was next then JVM. Im itching for a 5150 III mini!
     
  17. ken374

    ken374 Member

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    VHT handwireds are really decent for a low price also
     
  18. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    The mini recto is actually very loud. It does have balls, not to mention he is looking for something in the 18-26 watt range. But it sounds to me like you have not heard one in person...

    If you do want to push a lot of air you need something in the 50W+ range, but instead of talking about amps that have more watts and are much more expensive than his range I decided to mention amps that are within his range.

    Oh, and thank you for telling me where most of the gain comes from in a tube amp. I really didn't know that...
     
  19. rspencer

    rspencer Member

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    You could buy a $3K boutique amp that's based on a....

    $1200 Marshall that's been modded to sound like...

    a $600-800 Laney.

    But me, I'd just buy the Laney.

    I'd go for a GH100L. Two channels. Master volume. Five gain stages. Plenty of gain & balls to spare.
     
  20. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    Twenty-five watts is not metal, either, but sometimes ya gotta go with what ya gotta go with. :)
     

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