Amp Recommendation

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by jw3571, Aug 10, 2018 at 5:31 AM.

  1. jw3571

    jw3571 Senior Member

    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    225
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    I'm currently using a few different setups, I have a Marshall SL5 as well as a Marshall JVM1. I also have an Axe FX III that I thought would be the answer to everything, but there is just something I don't like about the tone. I only play in my basement and prefer to not play over 80-85db. On the tube amp setups I use a Boss SD1. I play mostly GNR, Metallica, AC/DC, Van Halen, etc. Are there any other tube amp options I Should be looking at? Would it make any sense to go with a Fender type amp and then use pedals for distortion?
     
  2. MyLeftyPaul

    MyLeftyPaul The Islander Premium Member

    Messages:
    878
    Likes Received:
    537
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Have you tried any high gain pedal aside from your Boss SD1? Friedman BE OD or Mesa Throttle Box?
     
  3. Geeze

    Geeze Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    90
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    +1.

    I tried 6 'small' amps in an effort to solve this low volume needed but good tone required problem. I live in a townhouse and generally play in the 60-65dB range.

    Two were Fender based - 4 watt & a switchable 10/25/50 watt clean amps - great, nay, magnificent cleans meh with gain pedals.

    A Mesa Mini Rec - tone was OK I just didn't like the Mesa flavor

    3 modeling amps - the best was a Line 6 DT25. Actually decent tone at low volume that turned to YIKES as loud volume.

    All of them through a variety of OD/dirt/boost pedals. All of them NOT what I was searching for.

    I picked up a 50 watt JCM800 combo - impulse buy [weak willed for sure] brought it home and with no pedals at low volume it was the foundation tone I'd been looking for. At that moment I realized it's much easier to tweak an amp that already has the DNA I want rather than try to Frankenstein one with pedals. So now I only use 50 & 100 Marshalls with [if needed] a few pedals -

    Empress Heavy - brings the super thick cello like saturation like no other
    Rat 2 - one amp 1959 NMV likes it at low volume - brings the grind at high volume
    Archer - dark sweetness in the lower crunch range
    OCD - just picked this one up so far I like it as it doesn't add it's own voice to the amp.

    The other YUGE component of tone is the humble speaker. The Celestion Greenback is the foundation of classic rock.

    Russ
     
  4. JCM900MkIII

    JCM900MkIII Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    3,735
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Pure Tone OFFSET (has multiple Marshalls rolled into one)

    A bit expensive though.
     
  5. dc007

    dc007 Senior Member

    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    633
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Hmm.....I am not sure why you can't get good tones with your equipment. That is all good stuff. At the volume level you need to use I would think based on what I have seen demonstrated you could get those tones from the AxeFx. There is a good bit of tweaking to be done with those units to 'fine tune' them. They have a forum you may want to check out.....here is a link to the pre set exchange part of the forum.
    Good luck.
    https://forum.fractalaudio.com/forums/axe-fx-iii-preset-exchange.104/
     
    Classicplayer likes this.
  6. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    Likes Received:
    2,558
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    You didn’t mention what’s missing from your current setup. Have you tried a larger speaker cabinet? Small amps can sound great that way. Playing at low volume and adding a box to increase sustain never sounded convincing to me. There’s nothing like moving some air with a bigger cabinet and volume, it’ll make you forget all about your SD1. BTW, I second the 50 watt JCM800. I play mine through 2 V30’s. That thing sings and you don’t need to turn the gain to 10.
     
  7. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,668
    Likes Received:
    1,290
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    You didn't mention what you play your AxFX III through. This can make a huge difference depending on what kind of sound you're looking for. Please let us know.

    I also find it interesting that you aren't getting satisfactory tones from the gear you posted. One easy solution might just be a decent EQ pedal, either in the loop or in front of the amp. This could easily solve your problem.

    Another solution is a pure pedal platform, into a really clean amp. This can be run at any volume you choose and has a lot of tweakability.

    The last one is free, and I respectfully suggest this. The problem might just be you. Perhaps some time practicing and interacting with your gear might help you know better how to access the tones you want. For any of us, practice is never the wrong answer... :dunno:

    Let us know what you're playing your AxFX through. This matters.
     
    tzd likes this.
  8. jw3571

    jw3571 Senior Member

    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    225
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Thanks for all the responses, I'll try to answer the various questions. On the Axe i'm playing through Presonnus Sceptre 8 frfr monitors. On my tube amp setup I have a 10 inch cab with greenback or I play through my SL5 combo.

    I have not tried any other high gain pedals. When I use the SD1 I use it on the distortion channel so I haven't felt like I needed more distortion.

    On the Axe, I can get some great tones but I end up playing way louder than i'd like to do it. At lower volumes I think prefer the tube amp. I like how simple they are, I feel like with the Axe I just sit there trying to get better tone where with the tube amp, I just play.

    It's interesting that a 50 watt JCM has been what's worked for a few of you, I've never tried anything more than a 7 watt. I guess I could try that route but it seems counter intuitive to solving my problem but I'm open to suggestions.

    The last option which someone brought up with was running a pedal setup through a very clean amp. Should this be something I should consider more? If so, what amps, like a Fender or something else? I've also debated having Randy build me a Phaez amp with a built in attenuator.
     
  9. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,668
    Likes Received:
    1,290
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    This is a suggestion better researched on the Fractal Forum, but you can adjust the Axe to sound "louder" at softer volumes. Perhaps with some of these deeper parameter adjustments you can save yourself some $$ and learn a little more about your gear.

    Also, with the Axe, running it into a power amp and traditional guitar cab gives you that "amp in the room" feel that can be lacking through frfr scenarios. Turn off your IR block and you're there.

    I would think a Fender Twin or Bassman would be a perfect platform for a "pedal only" approach. There are many others (honestly, old Carvin amps tend to have really clean, clean channels with lots of headroom, fwiw) but Fender would be hard to beat.

    Can't emphasize the EQ pedal enough. Could be another easy way to satisfy your needs.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Cygnus X-1

    Cygnus X-1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    203
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    I have the SL5 and I love it but I find it sounds much better when it's turned up (which is the case for most tube amps I know) but I also have a Blackstar HT-40 that is a really good all around combo even at lower volumes. I got it a few years back- at the time I was told Marshall wasn't putting out as good a product as they used to and my music shop guy told me to try it.
     
    Cjsinla and Classicplayer like this.
  11. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    3,444
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    FWIW my AX8 did not sound good when I originally ran it thru a good pair of Studio Monitors (Equator D5). I run it today into a single PA speaker (QSC K8) and that works for me absolutely well.

    If you prefer to stay with your amps, first try a Delay pedal, that would cover up imperfections in your playing.
     
    Classicplayer likes this.
  12. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,668
    Likes Received:
    1,290
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    It can't be stated enough. How you amplify your AxeFX/Ax8 will heavily affect your experience while playing it. This makes a complex piece of gear that much more complex... But since the O.P. already owns one, it's worth experimenting.
     
  13. ErictheRed

    ErictheRed Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,402
    Likes Received:
    4,980
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Suhr Badger 18 and you're done. You're welcome.
     
  14. mrdannyboy

    mrdannyboy Senior Member

    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    325
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    My PV classic 30 is the best investment I’ve ever made in my opinion when it comes to amps. Very versatile a workhorse and they’re cheap I got mine I think for like 325 bucks Canadian Plus a tube traded. As far as I remember The Peavey classic 20s are very sought after and if you ever see one of them snatch it up. Nit the new micro heads although I’ve heard they’re incredible as well. I can easily get GNR tones and heavier without any pedals. In just the classic 30 I think I have more money in tubes than I spent on the lol. V1 1959 Mullard long plate V2 amperex Holland and v3 GE 6072a Black plate at the moment. That might change on v3. Just love those 6072a’s. I put them in all three positions one night and it was just absolute bliss. The most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard just not enough gain for me. The Power tubes are amperex holland 4 7189a’s.

    It’s sounding pretty killer

    Also the Mesa subway series can be found pretty decent prices. I got the subway rocket .44. It’s very hard to pick the Peavy over that but right now I’m running with the Peavy.

    Even the Ampeg reissue r50h can be found at some decent prices for just the head I got mine for 375 Canadian Some guys got one on eBay right now it’s been on for a couple months he’s asking like 550 US air spend 65 watchers the whole time no takers though God help as beautiful plexi tones not harsh whatsoever Good luck with your search
     
  15. mrdannyboy

    mrdannyboy Senior Member

    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    325
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014

    And those guns levels I was talking about with the PV that’s bedroom levels cause it’s got a master volume
     

Share This Page