Good afternoon all,
So I am in the market for a new amp (I think). i am not sure what I should look for. All i have is the monster amp that comes with the Epi LP Special players pack. I know what in the world would I ever need to replace that for :D . Anyway I am not sure what I should get I would like to keep it in the 500-700 range. I have yet to play many in that range but I am hoping to narrow the list somewhat before I even get to the store. Based on the reviews i am seeing, I am leaning towards the; Epi Valve Blues Custom, Fender Hot Rod Deville (212 or 414), Peavey Valveking 112.
I play in my basement only, no gigs, never in front of people. That doesn't mean I don't want something nice. I am not sure what wattage I should be looking for given my needs so the afore mentioned amps may be overkill in that respect. So any recommendations would be great not just relegated to the three listed above.
"A working class hero is something to be..." -J. Lennon
If you are only playing in your basement, then the Fender Blues Jr. would be a better choice than the Hot Rod DeVille 2X or 4X (12) unless you live WAY out in the sticks. Don't let the number fool you, 15 tube watts is different than 15 solid state watts. I use the FBJ in my basement with an attenuator to maintain suitable volume because I like to set the Volume in the 7 - 10 range and the Master at 5 - 9 to get just the right blues tone. I then use the attenuator to control the actual sound levels. For kicks I occaisonally hit the bypass on the attenuator and hang on tight, but not for more than 5 minutes because I don't want the neighbors to call the police and NEVER when the wife is home because I can't afford a divorce attorney.
There are several great posts in the Amplification thread regarding tube vs. solid state volume in relation to wattage. Like you, I was looking to upgrade from the Fender Frontman 15 included in my Squier Strat pack to something with a little more oomph. This forum was a tremendous help.
Good luck in your search.
I can also recommend the Fender Hot Rod DeVille. I just got one Thursday. 4 X 10, 60 watts. Great amp! :D
...and I live way out in the sticks.
Brain-cleansing music for brain-numbing times in a brain dead world
Of those three amps you mentioned, I would go with the DeVille 4 X 10. The DeVille is an excellent amp used by thousands of gigging musicians (pros too). The Hot Rod Series has an excellent clean channel, probably the best in it's price range.
The Drive channels are not as popular, kinda late 60's, early 70's sounding. But the clean channel really works well with pedals and you can get any tone out of these amps. They have a very full, warm tone that will fill any room.
Those who own this amp say the 4 X 10 has a better tone than the 2 X 12.
If you are into the Blues, check out the Fender Blues Deluxe. This is a great amp with the same great clean channel, the Drive channel is designed to get a Blues tone. I have heard these amps and they are awesome. You can still use pedals into the clean channel if you want modern high gain distortions.
All of the amps you mentioned are very good, but the DeVille has the better clean tone. That is what you want, you cannot make an amp with a poor clean channel sound good, but you can make an amp with a great clean channel sound anyway you want.
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis