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Please advise on amp choice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by johngti, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. johngti

    johngti Member

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    I play in a band that does covers and original style stuff. I have my strat with vintage pickups. And up until now I've been playing through a Marshall VS65R (valvestate thing). Clearly (other than my limited ability), the amp is the weakness in tha chain. Comments after we last played an open mic gig were along the lines that the guitar sound was too thin. We've partly rectified the situation by using the bass player's Fender Deluxe 90W amp with delay added but that's solid state and the overdrive doesn't cut it. So I've pretty much decided that valves are where its at.

    My problem is that I don't have huge funds available. I've narrowed it down to three realistic choices; Marshall DSL401, Laney LC50 mark ii and a Fender Blues Deluxe (the 40W one). I'm assuming that 40W would be enough from a tube amp given that our drummer plays VERY loudly but I'm hovering towards the Laney from what I've heard about it. There aren't huge numbers of shops around here that sell lots of amps - I will have a trip up to central London soon to have a fiddle but I'm keen to see what you all think.

    So, yeah, what do you think? Is there anything else I should think about?

    Thanks!
     
  2. johngti

    johngti Member

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  3. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Hey John.

    Now I've never played those amps, but I've always been impressed with the Laney amps I've tried. They have a real crisp high end, a lot like a boutique vox offering. Some day I'd actually like to pick up one of there single channel heads (GH50L), they sound killer. Plus, their amps are dang loud!:RoCkIn

    Also, peavey does have some well made, great sounding offerings.

    Can you play through any of these amps?
     
  4. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    How much are those Cornford amps in the UK? I played one here a couple of weeks back and thought that it was very nice, though pricey...even for a used head.

    If they are more affordable in the UK, I think that they're worth a look. :)
     
  5. johngti

    johngti Member

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    I'm hoping to find at least a couple of them - the crisp high end is kind of where I think I need to be. Band style is a bit like indie-ish rock-sh hence the reason why the strat seems to fit in so well. And loud is gooood!!!! :D
     
  6. johngti

    johngti Member

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    Didn't think about Cornford - I'll look them up. Thanks!
     
  7. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

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    1. Tell the drummer to use some dynamics - this will be good for you AND the audience.

    2. If funds are limited, may I suggest a used Hot Rod Deville, and then buy a good OD pedal, maybe a Barber DD or something of that ilk for around $100. Just use the clean channel of the Deville, and use kick on the OD for dirt.

    3. If you're going to be loud, please wear ear plugs. You only get one set of these.
     
  8. johngti

    johngti Member

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    I'll look the deville up for sure. Already got the ear plugs - we've been playing together for about 9 months and having gone through the ear ringing stage very early on, they were a priority!! Doc's ProPlugs if anyone's interested.

    Drummers are strange - ours is starting to get better and play with a bit more feeling (rather than bashing it all out!) but we're still working on him. He's only 21 (I'm 37, bassist is 42) so convincing him has been hard work! Come to think of it, the singer's only 22 so when we get around to getting some photos together, I think me and the bassist can be out of focus at the back and we'll let the young good looking ones take the adoration :p
     
  9. Miles

    Miles Member

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    If you're even thinking of a Hot Rod Deville, I'd look at a Peavey Classic 50 2x12 or 4x10 combo, it'll also be cheaper than a DSL401 which have tremendous reliability issues and sound shrill. A Peavey Classic 50 is a really well-rounded amplifier that has good clean, and good overdrive. The Hot Rod Devilles breaks up in very unpleasant ways as it get louder, but the cleans are exceptional.
     
  10. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

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    You know what that's an even better suggestion. PV Classic 50, I've played through them lots, and honestly they sound about 85% like a Tweed Bassman, which IMHO, may be the best amp ever made.
     
  11. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Yeah, they're reliable and they're a great working man's amplifier. You can't beat their versatility and sound quality for the price. And they're not just a good amplifier for the price, they're remarkable amplifiers period.

    You might check one out.
     
  12. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    +1 on the Peavey Classic series. I have a Delta Blues with 15" speaker, which I chose over comparable Fenders. Nice clean channel which can be made to drive, as well as a decent drive channel which can go from mild grit to all out saturated tones. The reverb is decent and there's also a tremolo. Takes pedals well too. Overall, I think the Peavey Classic line is a great working musician's choice, especially when funds are limited.
     
  13. johngti

    johngti Member

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  14. Miles

    Miles Member

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    You'll get over a drum kit, but channel 1 breaks up a bit by then. I love the sound of a clean channel reaching saturation and breaking up, but some people like very shimmery cleans. The 50 will get you more headroom to have more volume before breakup.
     
  15. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    If it's cathode biased, @ 30w it should be pretty loud. I think peavey is a great choice for bang-for-buck. You're going to get a cool Fender tube amp vibe from that amp.
     
  16. grinder965

    grinder965 Member

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    Some good suggestions so far......given the "funds limited" constraint, I'd say take a look at Traynor's lineup as well.
     
  17. johngti

    johngti Member

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    Thought I'd let you know what I ended up with. Got chatting to a friend of mine who owns a music shop in Keighly, Yorkshire and he did me a deal on a Laney VC30. What he promised me was a 2x10 (nicely compact, 22kg so not too heavy). What I got is a 2x12!! And its a monster - much bigger than the 2x10 and closer to 28kg (so the wife wasn't too impressed) but what a tone :D I have told him what he sent, btw - his response was "you got a proper bargain then - don't break it"!!

    Took it to rehearsal last night - clean was up to 7, reverb on and it sounded gorgeous. Really clear and chimey with plenty of room left to get louder if I wanted (tried it maxed out for a second and it was LOUD!). The drive channel is creamy, even with the drive turned all the way up. I have an old distortion pedal that sounded rubbish through the solid state amps I've tried. Put it through the Laney and boy does it get filthy! Abdolutely wonderful tone for slightly heavier rock where the plain drive channel gives the sound a modern edgy kind of sound.

    The biggest surprise to me is just how different each pickup sounds. Huge difference between neck and bridge (the middle p'up on my strat is a hot Kent Armstrong so I tend not to use it too much - vintage pickup on the way hopefully though, so better balance to come). I'm planning on putting my PRS Custom SE through it later on (Dragon 2 pickups in it - looking forward to seeing what that's like :D )

    So yeah, 30W of all valve loveliness is more than powerful enough and I can't recommend the Laney VC30 enough at the moment :D
     
  18. ford

    ford Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    sounds like a cool amp and nice surprise with the bigger speakers...

    rock

    bford
     

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