help me find the PERFECT amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by shawnshack, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. shawnshack

    shawnshack Supporting Member

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    Ok, I know the perfect amp isn't out there, and if it is, I'm sure it's out of my price range. Here's where I'm at...I have an Epiphone Valve Junior I aquired through a trade that I use for practice, a B-52 AT 112 that I picked up at a ridiculously low price that doesn't get much use (I like the cleans a lot and the drive is great for a high gain situation, other than that not useable enough for my needs) and a Hot Rod Deluxe. The HRD is my main amp. I usually keep my OCD on and use my volume knob to change the amount of drive. I will occasionally use my Rat or boost my OCD with my MXR Distortion III. The various effects used with this are irrelevant to the help I need.

    At times I feel like my tone is wonderful, other times I feel like my tone isn't smooth enough. I rarely keep things clean, usually I will just roll back my volume knob and get cleanish. But I want to be able to go to shimmery clean if I want to.

    Here's what I've done. I changed the tubes in the HRD (which is a '96 MIA if that matters) to JJ/Tesla tubes in the pre and power amp. I just put in an Eminance Swamp Thang. I know speakers require a break in period, but I really didn't feel like it helped much at all. I've got mixed reviews on whether or not the Omega Mod would help me. I think I want more gain than it would provide. Also, the last few months it seems as though I haven't had as much clean head room.

    The OCD is the basic concept of drive I want, so I guess I'm looking for a cranked Marshally sound. I tried the Marshall Haze and liked both cleans and the drive channel, but I can't get consistently good reviews. If I like it that's the main thing, but when I hear so much negative I wonder if my ears were screwed up or if it would be a reliable amp (it did seem a little cheap on construction).

    Here's what I want and need: I want a combo amp (1x12, but I guess I can consider a head/cab unit, but I'm sure I don't want a 4x12 cab). At least 40 watts (I want plenty of clean head room). BTW, I mostly only play at a church. I want a classic rock drive sound for my main tone and would like it to come straight from the amp. I can use another drive pedal or boost to add to that or change it for other sounds. I need 2 channels (more is fine, but preferably independent controls for the channels). I need an effects loop. I don't care about any onboard effects like reverb or tremelo, but they don't hurt to have either. I need the channels to be switchable via a footswitch (I don't know that there are amps that can't do this, I just want to be clear).

    Here's what I'm willing to do: I will sell all my amps and go to just one. I will sell all my pedals and just keep my M13 to use for effects (as long as the amp has great drive). I will spend in the neighborhood of $1,500 (less is better, more makes me want to cry). I will gladly buy used to get a better deal.

    I don't live near a Guitar Center, but will be at one this weekend. Since I don't live near one I don't get to try a large variety of amps, I typically go off what I hear here, and on my few and far between trips I give those amps a try. I'd like to get in Guitar Center this weekend with a list of amps that meet these parameters and either walk out with something, or have a good idea of what I will want. I don't have to sell my other gear first, it'll just have to go in the near future so my wife doesn't kill me.

    Can you help me?
     
  2. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    U gotta play a lot of amps to find yours. That's all...
     
  3. shawnshack

    shawnshack Supporting Member

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    that's helpful...

    Here's some thoughts from what I've heard or been told about.

    -Budda Superdrive 18. Just don't know if I'd have enough clean head room
    -Bogner Alchemist

    I just would like some help being pointed in the right direction because I only have one day to try amps and want to make the best use of it though.
     
  4. joshua1

    joshua1 Member

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    I think the Marshell Haze is one of the best sounding amps i've hearded. Good luck.
     
  5. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    I would try a Peavey Classic 30 or Classic 50. Bring your OCD pedal, and maybe try it with another boost/fuzz pedal.

    For a bit more money, a Rivera sounds like it could work for you.

    dk
     
  6. shawnshack

    shawnshack Supporting Member

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    I'm gonna give the Marshall Haze another try, I'll take a look at the Peaveys as well (I had a friend with one and it wasn't quite what I wanted at the time).

    What current Marshall has that classic rock voicing in a combo version?

    DK, Which Riveria would you recommend?
     
  7. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    Start selling your amps and in the meantime, take many many days to try as many different amps as you can. Don't settle for the Guitar Center fare only. Try to find a local shop that has some boutique offerings. Honestly though, what exactly do you mean by shimmering cleans? The Fender HRD is a nice, clean sounding amp. What is it not doing for you in the clean department? If you like it's cleans, then maybe you should try the Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret, ZVEX Box of Rock, or some other Marshally, smooth sounding pedal to get you where you want to go. It may not be that you need a new amp as much as you need to try a different drive pedal.
     
  8. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Where at in Missouri are you? St. Louis should have some decent stores. Sadly I don't know of anywhere in the Joplin or Springfield area that has much of anything.
     
  9. teleman1

    teleman1 Member

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    Don't be a chump and buy cause you can. Explore & research. Investigate Carr amps, Fuchs and look to buy used.
     
  10. SamsDaddy

    SamsDaddy Member

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    I have owned both the Budda SD18 and Bogner Alchemist. I'm not sure how loud you want to play, but I can tell you that the SD 18 will not have enough clean headroom to keep up with a drummer. It is a hell of a loud amp, but it gets dirty pretty quickly in my experience. If you need very pure cleans, it might not be the best amp for you. The drive is spectacular though and it is a great amp for crunchy rhythm work. It is an amp that I will keep forever.

    The Alchemist is also a very nice amp, but definitely a couple notches below Budda IMO. You can get a pretty good amount of clean headroom in 40 watt mode and the built-in reverb and delay are great features. I do not particularly care for the drive channel on the Alchemist though. When I was gigging mine, I always ran it on the green channel and used pedals for leads. I ended up selling my Alchemist about a month ago because I just didn't see myself using it in favor of my Budda.

    Perhaps a Budda SD 45 would work better for you to get the head room you want? Note that the EQ on the Budda is shared on the 2 channels. I have not had a problem getting both channels to sound great, but wanted to note this for you.

    A Mesa Lonestar Classic sounds like it could work out for your needs too. I have not played one but have been looking into features, checking out videos on them, etc. for a couple months. 100/50/10 watt option switchable on each channel, independent EQ, effects loop, reverb, solo boost, etc. It seems like they can be had under $1500 used all day long. Maybe one to consider. I know some of the GC's that carry Mesa have Lonestars on the floor.

    Hope some of that helps.
     
  11. shawnshack

    shawnshack Supporting Member

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    Guitarbrent, I'm wanting a clean channel that will stay clean without breakup. I'm trying to get away from using a drive pedal as my main source of drive because I know tube breakup is gonna improve my tone more. I have no intention of selling my gear until I know what I want though because I'm still using it.

    Teleman, I'll look into those. But believe me, I'm no chump. Like I said, I'll sell gear to buy what I want. My goal is to have quality over quantity.

    Samsdaddy, thnx for the info, that's helpful.

    To be more clear with everyone, I'm trying to make a good investment in a good amp. I like having multiple amps, but I'd rather have one amp I can enjoy more. I may even consider going more expensive it's really gonna blow me away.
     
  12. Blues Rocker

    Blues Rocker Member

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    Well I had your amp until you said you need an effects loop. You and I have the same gig. I play worship as a lead and the OCD (and Box of Rock) are central to my sound.

    I won't ask why you think you need an effects loop. These amps take pedals beautifully.

    If you decide you do NOT really need an effects loop, your amp of choice is...drum roll:

    The Victoria 45410 Bassman used on eBay (what I currently use).
    or what I will be going to
    The Ceriatone (or pick your clone) JTM45 with a 2x12 cab (25w Greenbacks).

    ES335>Korg Pitchblack tuner>Fulltone Deluxe Wah>Fulltone OCD>Zvex Box of Rock>DD-7>Victoria 45410 Bassman (or JTM45).
     
  13. SwedeRacer

    SwedeRacer Member

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    Alchemist with a different speaker would be a good choice. The v30 is pretty muddy in there so you'd need to swap that out, but once you do its super versatile. The gain channel is pretty good for marshally sounds - I can nail Warren Haynes Gov't Mule tone spot on with it.

    That said if you liked the Marshall Haze just go with that - your ears tell you a lot more then some random people (with different tastes and often questionable experience) on TGP.
     
  14. Tubes and Strings

    Tubes and Strings Supporting Member

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    Take your time and rent/borrow a few to play both at home and live... something you like at home may not please you live...
     
  15. frquent flyer

    frquent flyer Member

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    buy a used victoria regal,a perfect amp
     
  16. shawnshack

    shawnshack Supporting Member

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    swederacer, I'm just nervous about the marshall haze. And since I'm willing to make some changes I'd like to really upgrade quality.

    bluesrock, you didn't ask, but I'll explain anyway. I need an effects loop because I want my main source of drive to come from the amp, I use lots of delays and I need that to come after the drive, simple as that.

    I'm gonna be dogmatic about the drive coming from my amp, otherwise I would just try some other drive pedals, or leave things as they are. Not only do I feel like I can make a tone improvement by having drive coming from tube breakup, but I would also like to know if I just want to practice a little I don't have to drag out pedals.
     
  17. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    What about an Egnater Renegade 1x12? Lots' of tones (Fender BF into Marshall, two channel WITH BOOST pedal, FX loop, both 6L6 or EL34's (or mixed), 18 or 65 watts switchable, direct out (with compensated speaker), pretty wide, cool looking and should be avaible to try at any GC. If I was gigging that would most likely be my main rig (outside of my AxeFX).
     
  18. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    MESA. LONESTAR. SPECIAL.

    - Legendary clean
    - Classic Rock voiced 2nd channel
    - Eats pedals alive
    - Loves the M13
    - Smallish combo format
    - Variable power per channel! (Don't sleep on this; you can actually choose between preamp and power amp distortion)
    - 5 watt mode for home/rehearsal etc.
    - Non-tone-sucking effects loop
    - Killer, warm reverb when you need it
    - Good-lookin'
    - In your price range, or close

    Do a search on this amp and then go to GC.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  19. shawnshack

    shawnshack Supporting Member

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    gasp, question about the egnater, it looks and sounds great (from the clips I've heard). But I heard that Egnaters have a problem with running M13's in the loop. do you know if that is true?

    JB, I'll do some searching on the Mesa Lonestar. I honestly don't know a thing about them.

    Thanks for the responses guys, these are getting to be helpful. Like I said, I have one day at Guitar Center and want to make the most of it. I know I may not get to them all and get a good review, but I at least want to be closer.
     
  20. OutterLimits

    OutterLimits Gold Supporting Member

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    Go with a Rivera Chubster if clean is your main thing. I had my Chubster modded by Fargen recently, you can hear it on youtube (can't get the link at work) but it does many things very well, especially clean sparkly sounds.
     

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