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shopping for new amp looking for advice

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(@chaisewilson)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

hey i recently purchased a fender blues junior. it is a allright sounding amp pretty decent cleans and a nice sort of a zepplin/ cream classic rock style over drive..... BUT i am not satisfied with the amp...... its single channel which is a pain because while playing in church or with friends its a pain in the butt bending over and turning the master and volume nobs to get the od to go on and off....... also it really isnt giving me enough gain i mainly play guns n roses, lenny kravitz, late system of a down, velvet revolver, tom petty, and stp stuff... it allmost get enough gain when i crank it but the bass response and flabbing speaker ruin it a full blown volumes...

some of you may say " buy this pedal or try this pedal to boost it" well believe it or not i have not heard a decent pedal that can replicate hard rock tube tone.... the tube screamer was alright but it just didn't sound thick or heavy enough..... so i have moved away from pedals

rarely ever do i play blues so i should have know whith a name like BLUES JUNIOR that i wasnt buying what im looking for....

now i never would have bought this amp except for the fact that i purchased it used for $150 used which is a heck of a deal! i think they go for $400 ish reatail.... so any who i am now looking for another new tube amp

so im amp hunting again any of your expert advice is more than welcome!

here are the requirments

1.must have 2 channels or more would be great ( clean/distorted) footswitchable would be great but im probably asking too much hahaha
2. the od channel must be able to get to heavy velvet revolver style distortion.. i hate distortion pedals ( sound like buzz saws)
3. 15- 20 watts is all i need for a tube amp because ill need to crank it to get great tone and in church anything above 30 watts is waaaayy too loud!!!
4. im only looking to spend $1,000- $1,500 usd........ so that pretty much rules out the marshall jvms.....

5. must be all tube. i don't like the half valve half modeling thing...

also i have tried the peavey valve king and it was terrible so please don't recomend that hahaha
thank you for any help its allways apreciated
thank you very much


   
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(@leear)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 392
 

well a good one channel amp is a vox ac30 but since you want two channels lets see.

mesa boogie dual rectifier. OMG awesome amp i love it 100Watts, but if you pull 2 of the tubes it cuts it down to 60watts.
Peavey Classic 50
Peavey Penta

eh i could go on i'm sure but there are other people who play more your style then me and have better recommendations.

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


   
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(@chaisewilson)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

would the ac 30 be able to give me enough low end tube crunch? i love the vox clean sounds but i have noticed the dirt is more along the lines of the beatles or queen .... im searching for more of a modern sound. Not metal modern but just a bit more than classic rock.

and 60 watts is still way too much i remember once a guy way to loud in our church service using a 30 watt peavey tube and it wasnt even cranked hahaha

plus the way i see it the lower the wattage the lower the price in most cases... so why pay for power i don't need... i can get over my drummer just fine with the fender 15 watt i have right now so im really looking at 15- 30 watt amps maybe 40 if it sound decent at a lower volume.

thank you for the comments though i will check out some of your other options


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

I would take a look at Randall amps, I have heard them and they sound terrific, very Marshall, maybe even better than Marshall. They are a favorite of Hard Rock and Metal groups.

Randall RG50TC

And check out their website.

Randall Amplifiers

Here's a sound clip of the amp I showed above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY-eeIPOJhE

Here's another by some pros.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUCn-r4EVRo

Randall makes great sounding amps. :twisted:

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@chaisewilson)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

wow the youtube clips you gave me certainly show the brutal side of that amp.... i would have to go try one at my local guitar center to see if i could dial it down a little bit for my stp, tom petty, and church stuff..... but that certainly would cover all my hard rock needs....

i will deffinatley check that one out.....

keep em coming im gona write down all the amps you guys suggest and be shur to try them ...


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

I relate to all your artists, songs, tones, and styles. they are pretty much in sync with mine. I started my quest with a good strat and a small vintage tube amp. I could overdrive it easy. too small. good in the studio. so I got a Fender vibrolux. two tens. sounds vintage. incredibly responsive amp. too powerful for most places. get stage gigging amp tho. so armed with guitar and amp I went on the quest for tone (at flexible volume levels). I went Tubescreamer. then got the Turbo model.it is better; it has four settings. the low end is boosted from the original TS 9 setting. so it has that full sounding drive. I went further and had analogman.com do a mod on it. the dirt I have one setting is like big loose gravel. total flabby overdrive.

so you may want to reconsider a pedal.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

If it's not a large amp you're looking for, you could do a lot worse than look at some modelling amps - I know, I know, you said you weren't keen, but hey, it doesn't hurt to try one!

I have a Roland Cube 30x - the amp models are:

Clean Channel - Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus

Lead Channel.....

1 - Acoustic - an original amp model giving an acoustic sound from an electric guitar.
2 - Black Panel - modelled on the Fender Twin Reverb amp.
3 - Brit Combo - modelled on the Vox AC-30TB, the "Beatles" amp.
4 - Tweed - modelled on the Tweed Fender Bassman 4X10 combo.
5 - Classic Stack - modelled on the Marshall JMP1987.
6 - Metal Stack - modelled on the Peavey EVH-5150.
7 - R-fier - modelled on the Mesa/Boogie Rectifier.
8 - Dyna - another original model, soft picking produces a clean sound, while hard picking gives a deep distortion.

In addition to those settings, you can choose between Chorus, Flanger, Phaser and Tremolo on the EFX knob, or between delay and reverb on another knob.

I've had my amp a little over a year now, and I still haven't fully explored all the possibilities!

A friend of mine has the Vox AC 30 DT - another modelling amp. I tried his a few times, and when I was picking out my amp, it was a toss-up between that and the Cube - tried them both in the shop, similar price range. The Cube was always my #1 choice - the Vox amp, however, does have an advantage in that it comes with a footswitch allowing you to switch between settings, and a range of pre-sets....in the end, it came down to having had a Cube Amp before, and the fact the Cube was smaller and lighter than the Vox. Not much to choose between them performance-wise, and I think the Cube was slightly cheaper.

Like I said, if it's only a small amp you need, you could do worse - and no pedals required!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1224
 

Generally speaking...you have a preamp conundrum. It ain't really a "problem"...but certainly a nuisance...and it can be fixed:

I found an eminent solution...in the Ibanez catalogue. I don't know if they still make them...but I use an Artist EQ. It's got a powered (by a 9v) Hi-Mid-Lo circuit on it. You can tone out your chordings on the "out" and tone your solo stuff on the "in" and just click back and forth. BUT!!!!!!! You can readily overpower your amp's capacity to handle it...so test it from the low volume settings, up. This thing has REALLY got testicles! There's gotta be other manufacturers offering this sort of thing. (Actually...if anyone finds one...please lemme know.)

A great (but simple) idea...

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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(@chaisewilson)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

If it's not a large amp you're looking for, you could do a lot worse than look at some modelling amps - I know, I know, you said you weren't keen, but hey, it doesn't hurt to try one!

I have a Roland Cube 30x - the amp models are:

Clean Channel - Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus

Lead Channel.....

1 - Acoustic - an original amp model giving an acoustic sound from an electric guitar.
2 - Black Panel - modelled on the Fender Twin Reverb amp.
3 - Brit Combo - modelled on the Vox AC-30TB, the "Beatles" amp.
4 - Tweed - modelled on the Tweed Fender Bassman 4X10 combo.
5 - Classic Stack - modelled on the Marshall JMP1987.
6 - Metal Stack - modelled on the Peavey EVH-5150.
7 - R-fier - modelled on the Mesa/Boogie Rectifier.
8 - Dyna - another original model, soft picking produces a clean sound, while hard picking gives a deep distortion.

In addition to those settings, you can choose between Chorus, Flanger, Phaser and Tremolo on the EFX knob, or between delay and reverb on another knob.

I've had my amp a little over a year now, and I still haven't fully explored all the possibilities!

A friend of mine has the Vox AC 30 DT - another modelling amp. I tried his a few times, and when I was picking out my amp, it was a toss-up between that and the Cube - tried them both in the shop, similar price range. The Cube was always my #1 choice - the Vox amp, however, does have an advantage in that it comes with a footswitch allowing you to switch between settings, and a range of pre-sets....in the end, it came down to having had a Cube Amp before, and the fact the Cube was smaller and lighter than the Vox. Not much to choose between them performance-wise, and I think the Cube was slightly cheaper.

Like I said, if it's only a small amp you need, you could do worse - and no pedals required!

:D :D :D

Vic

I guess the only reason im staying away from modeling amps is because i have owned posssibly the worst form of one ever built.... a spider II .... that amps distortion sounded like white noise with a hint of fuzz on top....

i have never tried the roland but i have tried the new vox line of modeling amps and they were better than the line 6......

the thing about modeling amps that i noticed is that you can get the sweetest sounding tone at bedroom levels..... i mean seriously you can get just about every thing you need while just sitting at home playing... BUT as soon as you crank up that volume to keep up with the drummer you open a whole can of worms....... hiss, buzz ,white noise ,and farting sounds from the amp.. hahaha


   
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(@chaisewilson)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

I relate to all your artists, songs, tones, and styles. they are pretty much in sync with mine. I started my quest with a good strat and a small vintage tube amp. I could overdrive it easy. too small. good in the studio. so I got a Fender vibrolux. two tens. sounds vintage. incredibly responsive amp. too powerful for most places. get stage gigging amp tho. so armed with guitar and amp I went on the quest for tone (at flexible volume levels). I went Tubescreamer. then got the Turbo model.it is better; it has four settings. the low end is boosted from the original TS 9 setting. so it has that full sounding drive. I went further and had analogman.com do a mod on it. the dirt I have one setting is like big loose gravel. total flabby overdrive.

so you may want to reconsider a pedal.
i will try the turbo version of the pedal... thanks for the advice.........

i also play a guitar with humbuckers so generaly i will get a bit more breakup as well.


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

the thing about modeling amps that i noticed is that you can get the sweetest sounding tone at bedroom levels..... i mean seriously you can get just about every thing you need while just sitting at home playing... BUT as soon as you crank up that volume to keep up with the drummer you open a whole can of worms....... hiss, buzz ,white noise ,and farting sounds from the amp.. hahaha

I can honestly say I've never had any problems with any of my amps while playing out - in the local pub, on a jam night, I've used a Cube 15, Cube 30 and a Cube 30 bass amp. Volume levels weren't seriously high, though - I can't remember what volume setting I had the Cube 15 or the Bass amp on, but the Cube 30 didn't get much above #3 or so. I've used a Tele - single coil p/u's - AND a Squier Tele (humbuckers) and they both sounded fine to me, as did my cheapo bass.

The only drawback I've found is having to change settings for different songs in between songs - and I suppose it could be a pain if you need to go from, say, clean to distortion during the course of a song - but you can buy a footswitch (cheaply) that'll let you swap settings with a minimum of fuss.

As you note yourself, the great selling point of modelling amps is their versatility - doesn't hurt to keep your options open!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

Chaise, that amp Vic is talking about will rattle windows. It's the best amp I've had for getting that grunge or thunky-thud sound.

I agree with you about the Line 6 Spider II. What an awful purchase, Was able to get my Tele for it though. :mrgreen:

I own the Vic suggested amp, but "lent" it to a friend who needed an amp. (well, more of a pick-me-up than anything. Poor guy's been through hell) I never got along with the clean sounds.

Fender makes this tube amp thing called the Fender Super Champ XD. It's a tube amp.....with some digital effects somewhere in the chain. In short, the clean is a beautiful Fender clean. It's got 16 "channels" which range from a crappy accoustic (IMO) to some pretty good sounding rock and hard-rock tones. There's some samples on You Tube. 15W, tube (mostly) and $300. Due to other issues, I have not played much hard rock, but it might do the trick. Certainly flexible enough to cover the wide range of things you mentioned, at least to some degree.

Oh, and when you're playing a variety of music as you mentioned, and with the different tones needed, there has to be something that will need fiddling or adjusting between songs. Until brainwaves control electronics, we're stick doing it with a twist or a stomp.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

well a good one channel amp is a vox ac30 but since you want two channels lets see.

mesa boogie dual rectifier. OMG awesome amp i love it 100Watts, but if you pull 2 of the tubes it cuts it down to 60watts.
Peavey Classic 50
Peavey Penta

eh i could go on i'm sure but there are other people who play more your style then me and have better recommendations.

If he isn't satisfied with the Blues Junior, I would remove the Peavey Classic 50 from that list. I have a Classic 50 410 and Blues Junior. Except for power and the extra channel, they are much the same. I bought the Blue Junior as a lighter weight sub for the Classic 50.

I also have a Roland Cube 30 (not exactly the 30x Vic recommends, but close): It is loud, but the clean models are far better than the distorted, which seem to lack some dynamics and dimension -- too much all or nothing. If the 30x is much different from the 30 in that respect, I'd like to hear about it.

For all the above amps, if I want a crunch or more distorted tone, I rely on pedals, and usually keep the amps dialed in for a close to a "clean-with-character" sound with pedals bypassed. I will thicken the tone by moderately overdriving the amp input (even works on the Cube 30 surprisingly well), but that is really more of a blues tone than driving rock. Harder overdrive take me into crunchiness, harder distortion beyond that it has to come from pedal.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@chaisewilson)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

soo iwent to the gc today

i tried the turbo tube screamer through a blues junior
i tried a les paul with a ac30
i asked about the randall rg-50 tc and they didn't have one at the moment

ac-30 get my award for BEST CLEAN EVER very u2 ish just a hint of break up ver very nice......
and the tube screamer wasnt very good through the blues junior but i tried it in a fender blues deluxe sitting right next to it and it oddly sounded tons better through that...

well after these tests the salesmen asked me what exactly i was looking for and i explained my situation... an he then asked me if i had tried a jvm....

i immediatly told him i couldn't afford it but he insisted
now im hooked... it had the exact same sound i was looking for in the od1 mode.. the cleans were not fantastic but the were good enough...

i guess im going to keep saving and saving and saving hahaha cause im sold

the only issue i have is the volume level the smallest version the amp comes in is a 50 wat combo.... thats still pretty loud

but if i get the head version can I run it through lets say a mini stack??? so it will run quiet?? or how does that stuff work i have never owed a stack....

any ideas


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

If you love Marshall tone (so do I) but can't afford to shell out 2 grand or more, and 50 watts is too much, look into the Orange Tiny Terror.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Orange-Tiny-Terror-15watt-Class-A-All-Tube-Mini-Head_W0QQitemZ220286578072QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item220286578072&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A15%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

That was just to show you the amp, if you go to the Orange website you can find a local dealer. But that is the going price, $549.

Orange amps sound amazingly like Marshalls and were very popular in the late 60's, early 70's. They sound just like the one channel Marshall amps of that day.

Here are some clips of the Orange Tiny Terror. This guy gets a very Jimmy Page Classic Rock tone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbgU5kS14HE&feature=related

These amps will even do Metal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MpZoWsFlJQ&feature=related

This is a good demo showing the range of distortions you can get with this amp. Note this fellow is using a Telecaster with single-coils, you would get more distortion with humbuckers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukNHI38FYY4

They now sell the Tiny Terror in a combo, and if 15 watts isn't enough you can go with the Orange Crush at 30 watts. But these Orange amps will get you those great Marshall tones if that is what you are into. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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