Need a better Tube amp combo... Contemplating JVM205c or Transatlantic TA-30 2x12

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dr_n00b, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. dr_n00b

    dr_n00b Member

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    Apr 17, 2015
    Hi,
    I have been going through many posts here as a non-member and was impressed by the knowledge and experience of the user base, so I decided to share my dilemma before shelling out my hard earned cash... :dunno
    I'm not a professional musician, and I mostly play blues. Rarely, I do hard rock covers. I play a Les Paul Standard 08' and an American Deluxe Strat. Most of my work is recreational home recording.
    A few years ago when I went up from my first guitar and bought the LP, I grabbed with it what was to my ear was the best and most cost effective low wattage amp in the store – a Blackstar HT-5R. Later on I got a chance to grab second hand a Blues Jr. recently I've been feeling like I'm running to high-end instruments through an entry level rig. The Blackstar, although nice and versatile, is starting to sound generic to me. It lacks character. The Blues Jr. which is unmodded, has far more character, but it's a one trick pony. Although it's a great trick… I'm GASing for a new amp. A Combo I think mostly suits my needs. I'd rather have 2 great channels on the amp, a Clean and a Crunch, but if I can't - I'd rather have a sweet Crunch and I would just keep the Blues Jr..
    So I set the budget at 2K (although I can make the wife happy and spend less), and went out tone hunting. It should be noted that I'm Israeli, so the available variety isn't large, and very few boutique manufacturers are available. Not all stores hold all models (and most are exclusive importers of 1-2 brands), and so I have to rely heavily on Youtube. Here are my results -
    # The JVM 205c sounded awesome to me. Checked it out myself. Clean orange was fantastic. Practical master volume. OD except for green for lead is less practical I thought. Also considered JVM410C, but I think I'll get lost with all the channels. Also there's the price. On the other hand, I heard that the Crunch channel which is absent on the JVM2 is awesome and worth looking into, but did not get the chance to check it out for myself.I actually thought the digital reverb sounded nice.I like the outer design and layout, the form factor and side handles, and I like the fact I can mic any of the different speakers for a different voice. And I also like that it's built in the UK (but some say the quality control didn't improve by that…). I tried it next to a DSL40c and thought it really was worth double the price. The VM I thought sounded harsher and is a different beast, which might be a quality one, but not for my liking.
    # The Rectoverb 25 pricewise will cost me the same. The Clean channel I thought was decent but the OD channel, both modes, were great in my opinion. Real spring reverb is good. Overall wattage better suits my needs. On the other hand it's a tiny box and I thought it sounded a bit compressed. Like I said, I'm looking for a combo so Rectoverb head and 2×12 which might have worked isn't an option (and will cost me a few hundred dollars more). Build quality- it's a Mesa made in the states. I hear it's superb.
    # The Tweaker 40 1x12 is an option. I like the sounds and different voicings. It's half the price of the others. It's made in the east, which is a minus. I also thought the layout was a bit confusing and needs a steep learning curve.
    # The biggest contender to the JVM for me is the Mesa TA30 combo 2x12.I can get it second hand for less than the JVM. New will be 500 dollars more (surprising as they cost the same in the states).Love the Vox clean and Tweed. Adore the Crunch (Hi1). Like the multi watt settings. Don't like the knobs on top. Love the build quality and design. It has real spring reverb. I heard it was noisy though... that it needs a noise gate. It should be noted that I heard the same about the JVM2 OD channel orange and re as well but didn't thought so in person. Since the Clean and Tweed are so good, I thought about selling the Blues Jr. If I get it.
    I also tried the Blackstar HT60 Soloist, and thought it was decent but clean was mediocre and dirty lacked character. It still sounds good though. And it's half the price of the Marshall or the Transatlantic.
    I went through some Fenders including Hot Rod Deluxe 3 and Hot Rod Deville 2x12 and thought the Crunch was awful and the Clean didn't add anything to my Blues Jr.
    …..
    And so, those are my options. I tend to think I can't go wrong in this price range, but I thought it couldn't hurt consulting with people with far more experience than me. If you have any other suggestions, I'm open to 'em and will see if the model is available around here.
    Thanks in advance!
     

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