Looking for a mid to high end head recommendation

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Thunk, May 9, 2016.

  1. Thunk

    Thunk Member

    May 9, 2016
    Hello all!

    Just found this forum and thought you guys would be perfect to ask for some advice. I'm looking for a new head unit and have nowhere near me I can go to listen to different heads of this quality. So, my plan is to do as much research as possible, make a decision, and send back the head if I don't like it. Sucks, but not much I can do about it. Anyway, here is what I'm looking for:


    1. Price: Less than $2,000 US is optimal, but willing to spend up to ~$3,000 for the right amp (provided there is a very compelling reason)
    2. Wattage: 40 or less, higher is fine provided the amp has selectable watt out (e.g. 90/45/20/10)
    3. Usage: I don't gig -- amp will be used for my enjoyment and to entertain family and for parties and such. No dragging in and out of bars so weight is not an issue
    4. Pedals: I like using pedals so should take pedals well
    5. Ultimately: High quality -- capable of becoming heirloom for my son

    Music Preferences:

    A. Nice clean channel for Floyd / Gilmour
    B. Fat blues and blues/rock for Muddy Waters, AC/DC, etc.
    C. Classic rock (Kinks, Birds, The Who)
    D. Alternative rock (think 90's - Nirvana, etc.)
    E. Think Dorian scale; it's where I tend to gravitate
    F. I typically do not play 80's hair rock or the new hard/grinding/overdriven rock

    The amp will be driving a 2x12 Port City OS cab loaded with an EVM12L and a Fane Medusa.

    I'm looking at Mesa/Boogie and Bogner mostly, but I hear the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 40 fixed many of the issues the older models suffered from.

    Any suggestions and/or advice would be appreciated.

  2. jguitarslim

    jguitarslim Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Rochester NY
    Id have a look at Redplate Magica...
  3. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    You REALY should look into Carol Ann amps. I had never heard a multi channel amp I liked until I got my Tucana 2.

    One of the OD2R, OD3R or Tucana 3R's seem right up your ally. At the higher end of you price point but well worth it.
  4. vmjoe

    vmjoe Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    North Carolina
    Sounds like a Mesa Electra Dyne to me and you can find good deals on them if you look.

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    Boston Burbs
    I am a huge fan of Goodsell amps and have owned (and still own) several of them. I suggest you check out his Model 1958, which is something like an early Marshall / late 50s Bassman, but with a very effective master and full EQ. I have 2 of them, one with EL34s and one with KT66s. Both are great and eat pedals. They'll be in your price range, and if you want an heirloom, this is it -- all hand wired by the guy who designed them. They aren't channel-switchers, but Goodsell can (and will) make multi-channel variations on them that you can switch using an A/B box. Here's how mine sound:

    Another one recorded with the KT66s
  6. 71strat

    71strat Member

    Oct 7, 2013


    Id go for a Metro GMP45.
  7. Stev0Griffin

    Stev0Griffin Trendsetter

    Feb 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Goodsell BlackDog
    Goodsell Super 17
    Bad Cat Hot Cat (running a 12AT7 or 12AU7 will help tame the gain if it's more than you're looking for)
    Mesa Transatlantic
  8. cardinal

    cardinal Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Do you need more than one channel? A Marshall 2204 does everything you want and in many opinions is a masterpiece. To get the variety of tones you want, you might need to switch inputs and change settings, but if that's not an issue, I'd strongly advise checking one out.

    They're 50 watts, but the difference between that and 40 is not going to matter. They sound fine at low volumes IME. And they are legendary and a clean late '70s or eary '80s example is as likely to appreciate as anything else (and probably more so than many boutiques that will be long forgotten over time).
  9. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    Wow, that's going to be a LONG list! What do I think is the best value in "boutique" amps at that price? Used Alessandro-super high quality build, heirloom wooden head cabs, and someone else will take the $1k+ hit in value! They are single channel amps, but take pedals really well. They also clean up beautifully with the guitar volume, so if you're at a family picnic where you can CRANK that sucker, all you need is the volume knob and you're good. You can see a basic example on my Youtube channel (compared to an $8k JTM45 and a $5k Trainwreck it hold its own pretty well):

  10. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

    Nov 16, 2015
    Dirty Shirley 40 does all that, long story short. All criteria met.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice