Why is so much money required to have some decent tone.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Fowleri, Feb 16, 2020.

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  1. Hefalump

    Hefalump Member

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    Find someone silly enough to sell their marshall vintage modern 2466
     
  2. thiscalltoarms

    thiscalltoarms more gadgets than Batman. Gold Supporting Member

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    Having read the thread and focused on the OP's goals, it seems to me that he won't really be happy with anything short of a Mesa Boogie. I think that's the sound he's chasing. Unfortunately, most of the lunchbox amps that you find for 4-600$ are made overseas to cut costs, vs a USA made Mesa.


    For a cheap high gain amp, maybe try a PRS MT15 head? That gain channel rips and is in the uber-high-gain realm.

    Or used, see if you can get close enough with a Mesa Boogie Transatlantic TA15 for $650 (packs a huge range of gain tones- I'd imagine you could get various shades of Vai and Satch on the High Gain 1/2 modes?)? https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Mesa-Boogie/2010s-TA15-Trans-Atlantic-25W-Tube-Guitar-Amp-Head.gc

    Or a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 (non-plus) for $665: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/M...5-1x12-25W-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp-115506426.gc

    Or a Mini Rectifier for $765: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Mesa-Boogie/Mini-Rectifier-25W-Tube-Guitar-Amp-Head-116134974.gc


    The Mark V:25 is an interesting amp. If you need HEADPHONES, that amp becomes a pretty good bargain at $1300 used because it has the cab-clone built-in. I don't love the Cab Clone at all, but its a nice feature to have from time to time.


    I've played all the amps that I listed here, and I like all of them. I think for me, I'd be looking at a Mesa Boogie Transatlantic 15 or 30 (30 is a combo, adds reverb and FX loop- for $150 more in used value) if I wanted a home amp to do it all on budget.

    Or, go a completely different direction: the Budda SD18 is great at home volumes, has a smoking gain channel that can do smooth Vai/Satch for days, and sell for 6-800 used all day.


    EDIT: But I agree with your premise, I guess. If you want a high quality multi-channel high gain amp, you need about $600-650. There's a big difference between <$600 and $6-800 amps. That's a solid tier break for me.
     
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  3. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    Generally I agree. Would rather have nothing and borrow amps, and save for something acceptable and more.
     
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  4. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

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    Good guitar tone is still cheaper than a Stradivarius violin.
     
  5. flyonthewall150

    flyonthewall150 Member

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    You can get an EHX MIG-50 for around $400 and have one of the best pedal platform amps ever.
     
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  6. Fowleri

    Fowleri Member

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    I suppose I'll just keep playing my cheap amp and use bias fx for recording for now, maybe one day when I have money to burn I'll get the type of amp that I want

    I like the sound of those Boss katana though
     
  7. RicardoDiazHimself

    RicardoDiazHimself Member

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    Sometimes our problem lies between the guitar and the strap :)
     
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  8. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    Yeah my default cheapie has always been a used HRD. Sounds like a tasteful tube amp, and can be nudged in various directions. And yet a lot of pros use them live. So you do have a certain level of quality, an organic sweetness or whatever. It's better than a bad amp. It sounds like it belongs on the stage.

    Then when I had to go for a British tone, I considered spending a bit more. But there are probably better options now for cheap British tone. Bugera was always one of them. I'm no expert on the options, but even Marshall makes some.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  9. deepcove17

    deepcove17 Supporting Member

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    Well said. :D
     
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  10. a person

    a person Member

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    The worse you are as a player......the more expensive good tone will be.
     
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  11. HTSMetal

    HTSMetal Member

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    /thread
     
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  12. funkyvillage

    funkyvillage Member

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    I think the issue you're raising goes beyond money because you're asking for tone at a volume where it's inherently hard to catch. I don't know what your definition of "ok tone" is but most bedroom stuff will give you what they'll give you and if you don't think that's "ok" enough then you don't have many options left. At that price point & for home use all I can think of is modelers or pedals. There are a couple low power amps that are said to sound good at low volume, for example I hear nothing but good words for the EVH lunchbox head, but that's it. If these won't work for you, I'm sorry but you're out of options. Play unplugged I guess, I stopped using amps at home some time ago and I'm still alive.
     
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  13. sleep

    sleep Member

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    ^^ That amp has a built in attenuator (although it defeats the speaker entirely) and it has a cabinet emulator which answers one of your concerns in your original post. Switch the 'speaker' next to the 'cab clone' XLR out to the 'off' position and line out into an audio interface with headphones. There are a million cabinet emulation solutions, in software I think the ones in Ableton Live are OK, I prefer them to the CabClone out on my Mark V.

    As others have noted, it has never been cheaper to have good tone or to make music in general. While this doesn't apply to your post entirely, in about 1992 I bought a Fostex R-8 reel to reel 8 track, a Mackie 1604 mixer, a pair of Alesis Monitor Ones and the RA-100 power amp, plus some outboard gear. That cost me over $2k in 1992 dollars (would have been much more but the R8 and if I remember right the Mackie were used) and I got 8 tracks of 1/4" tape audio from it. Adjusted for inflation, that $2k is about $3700 in 2020 dollars and that amount of money would get me a decent computer, a decent audio interface and DAW software and I could record dozens of tracks... and they'd sound better.
     
  14. Kubrick's guitar

    Kubrick's guitar Member

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    It feels weird to see Michael Angelo Batio without a double neck and a whig.
     
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  15. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Member

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    LOL - hand me a used Bandit and I’m good for the gig. And I have higher end amps than that. Seriously you can get great tone and moderate prices especially with SS/Modeling amps stepping up big time.
     
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  16. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    Yeah, back in the day they just said, "why don't you get ya a nice tube amp?" meaning whatever was at the corner store. That was as far as we thought it through. I can still have that mentality, hence the HRD I still own.
     
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  17. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Powered by Coffee Gold Supporting Member

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    PEBGAS = Problem Exists Between Guitar And Strap.
     
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  18. Alan Dunn

    Alan Dunn Member

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    I get great tones playing Amplitube Iv through a cheap audio interface and budget Yamaha powered speakers.
    I get great tones playing though a Roland Micro Cube.
    I have a Carr Rambler that magnifies how terrible I am at muting and playing guitar in general at high volume.

    Practice and technical development is the cure - not a new amp.
     
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  19. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Supporting Member

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    I guess that after 7 pages you haven't got the jist...but seriously, I don't play metal or hard rock, but check out Boss Katana and Quilter options. A pedal or two, it's set. Tone is subjective. I'll play my vintage Fenders then the quilter and have no complaints.
     
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  20. MrKite89

    MrKite89 Member

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    Today I pIayed a couple of hours with the same amp (Marshall JCM600 head), same cab (Marshall 1966A 2x12 G12T-75) and same guitar (2003 American Series Stratocaster) that I used to play when I was 15: I couldn't believe how good it sounded! 90% of my tone was there, today I don't sound that much better with my CS Fender guitars and amps...

    90% of the time the weak link is the player, or better, his\her ability to tweak the gear to get the sound they want: now, after 15+ years of experience, I can get "my" tone out of any decent amp (tube or solid state) out there...
     
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