Reliable/affordable medium high gain amp recommendations

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by tonzo18, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. tonzo18

    tonzo18 Junior Member

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    Hey guys, I'm seeking a new amp as I will be ditching a couple of amps that I hardly use and have proved to be not very reliable and don't quite have the tone I'm seeking. I am mostly looking in the used market. Here is my criteria. I am mostly looking for a head option.

    features:
    -two channels minimum
    -Power Soak option
    -DI out (with speaker defeat is a bonus)
    -Reliable
    -under $600
    -if possible multiple impedance output (lower priority but helpful)
    -reverb would be a nice bonus!
    -effects loop

    Sound:
    -Touch Sensitivity/Dynamics are a big priority. I like using my volume pot to clean up
    -Able to get classic sounds - cleans and classic gain
    -Also able to get medium high gain sounds - not full on metal territory
    -can take pedals well

    *Current Gear*

    Current Guitar:
    -Custom Strat - HSS with JB. Jr in bridge

    Guitars in the works:
    -Les Paul - Pearly Gates Neck/JB Bridge
    -Modified Peavey - Lollar mini firebird neck/dimarzio mini humbucker middle/Quarter Pound bridge

    Pedals:
    -Blues Driver
    -SD pickup booster
    -Tubescreamer
    -Flashback Mini
    -GFS Brownie (aka proco rat)

    I will be using it in all scenarios. Home, practice w/ band, live, RECORDING...

    I have considered so far:
    -Boss Katana (High praise from a lot of gearheads-interested in the sneaky amps)
    -Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18 or 20 (not sure of their reliability and does the one tone stack for both channels limit you a lot?)
    -Blackstar ID:100 or ID:150 TVP (I've heard mixed reviews...the TVP feature seems cool..or is it gimmicky?)
    -Vox VT100x (I've heard some good recordings but have heard it doesn't compare to tube)
    -Peavey Valveking 20 (hoping their reliability has gotten better)
    -Almost any Egnater Amp (minus the tweaker due to no DI out...even though they sound awesome)

    Sorry that was a lot of information but hopefully it all helps!
     
  2. EndGame00

    EndGame00 Senior Member

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    Jet City Amelia.... Circuit was designed by Martin Kidd of the Cornford/Victory Fame....
     
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  3. misterhatter6

    misterhatter6 Member

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    Just my 2 cents, but maybe look into the Joyo Mjolnir. It seems to have what you're looking for, except for the DI...not sure about reverb either.
     
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  4. tonzo18

    tonzo18 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. I dig the Amelia but unfortunately it doesn’t have power soak or a DI out. I could probably go without the DI if I could get it to sound good at lower volumes but I doubt that’s the case here. Same with the Mjolnir, although the Mjolnir does seem to do a wide variety of styles!
     
  5. needlespauls

    needlespauls V.I.P. Member

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    Peavey Classic 20MH
    H&K Tubemeister Deluxe 20
    And if you wanna say F-it and get something a little less practical recording-wise...perhaps a Marshall DSL50....Mesa F30, DC series....
     
  6. AlanH

    AlanH Senior Member

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    Marshall DSL40C has a half power mode but, while having no DI out, sounds fantastic at low volumes using its preamp gain stages and/or with OD pedals. It meets all your other criteria and gives you THE sound that you know you really want.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  7. Roxy13

    Roxy13 Member

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    I second the DSL40c. It is a combo but I use mine in conjunction with an Avatar cab.
     
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  8. wildhawk1

    wildhawk1 Senior Member

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    #1 pick Katana 100 or #2 pick Blackstar ID60.

    (Kat 50 and ID30 owner here)

    Both sound great and have so much going for them it's hard to justify alot of other amps.

    You asked about the TVP on the Blackstar. You'll never turn it off. It really a gimmick button they put on to show what old solidstate circuitry sounds like compared to new.

    The staff at Andertons UK have probably used the Katana in their videos more than any other in the past year.

    It seems universally loved by more than just a couple of the personalities which says something.

    Not bad when they have a boat load of Marshalls, Vox, and other UK amps to choose from.

    On a side note they reviewed the ID60 a couple years back and both owner Lee Anderton and Rob Chapman were clearly moved by how good it sounded.

    Both are dead easy to use and will easily satisfy both home and stage.
     
  9. Robert Parker

    Robert Parker Senior Member

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    An oddball option might be a Fender Prosonic if you can find one. I got mine used for about $600. It does not have the DI or power soak, but it has most everything else you mentioned. It's incredibly well-built, has both solid-state and tube rectifier options, and both clean and great overdrive channels. It was built initially to compete with Mesa distortion, but it can get variations on lots of different tones - Tweed Bassman, Marshall JTM-esque, and Fender clean. It's a 2x10 combo.

    There are some quirks (some call them flaws, but I don't have problems with mine). They're heavy. Not Twin Reverb heavy, but still. They can have some hum and a pop when switching channels. Mine doesn't have this issue, but some do. You really need cool-running 6L6s with low gain tubes in v1 and v2 (I've got a 5751 and 12ay7 in mine), otherwise the OD can be a bit harsh.

    But I wouldn't trade it for any amp that's not a Matchless, Victoria, or similar quality boutique amp. All the tune sockets, jacks, and controls are hand wired to a military grade circuit board, so it's very easy to work on and very durable.
     
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  10. misterhatter6

    misterhatter6 Member

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    Not to hijack this thread, but, Robert Parker, would you be willing to post some pics of your Prosonic?
     
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  11. Robert Parker

    Robert Parker Senior Member

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    I'll try to remember to take some next time I'm at rehearsal (it lives at the other guitar players house where my band rehearses). But it's a Fender Blackface aesthetic the same approximate size as a Vibrolux. Mine has a WGS G10C in paired with the Celestion V30, rather than a pair of V30's, and it sounds great. I tried a 1x12 baffle for a few weeks but found it didn't sound as rich.
     
  12. tonzo18

    tonzo18 Junior Member

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    A little bit of an update. While looking at used amps I managed to score a Tech 21 Trademark 10 for 90 dollars. From what I’ve read they make for awesome home amps and I’ve heard some awesome direct out recordings, since the amp is based off the sansamp gt2.

    So now my focus will be to save a little more to get a better, more reliable tube amp. One of the amps I’m selling is a Peavey Valveking. I actually really like parts of the Valveking but it does get a little fizzy, especially with the boost function enabled, and there’s a large bass drop off on the second channel. Something that is similar in tone but obviously an upgrade is kind of what I’m going for. I’ll definitely consider those other other amps mentioned!

    I saw a great deal on a 6505 60 watt that someone made into a head. I know it does metal well but is it versatile enough for other styles?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 8:27 PM

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