This thread again...(Amp advice)


Junior Member
Feb 14, 2014
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I am just going to post a filled form from "Amp-Pre buying questionaire" thread. Hope this will be sufficient. :dunno:

-How much would you like to spend?


-What's the absolutely most you will spend?


That is only for the amp, cab and cables are my "fixed cost" and I've already decided on those, I'm just choosing an amplifier head.

-How many years have you played guitar?

More than 5 years, I don't remember exactly. (but I do still play like a noob most of the time)

-Do you seek tone quality or versatility?

Tone over versatility

-What is your primary guitar (include pup type and configuration)?

Gibson Explorer '76 Reissue with Bare Knuckle "Rebell Yell" pickups

-What style(s) of music do you primarily play?

Alt. Rock (from 90's to present time), some classic rock, sometimes a little bit of metal (not sure about that). I would also like to try some stoner sounds sometimes later.

-What one guitarist do you wish to emulate?

Can't think of only one, but I imagine my perfect sound when I think of the tone of The Smashing Pumpkins (tones from "Siamese Dream" album are pure awesome, I like "Mellon Collie" a little less when it comes to guitar sound, but it has its own cool sound too),
Queens of the Stone Age ("Songs for the Deaf" album all the way), The White Stripes (just overall sound pattern is appealing, as well as lo-fi solos, but that is achieved with a effects pedal, so it doesn't really matter),
Silversun Pickups (they just sound good). As for the old school, I love Led Zeppelin, and in metal, Tool are my favorites.

-Do you prefer to plug straight in, or will you be using effects?

Not really planning on using overdrive\distortion effects (except maybe for a few lo-fi fuzzy sounds, that you simply can't get from an amp), but there is a chance I will someday use some modulation pedals, so yeah,
both an effects loop and 2 channels are an option, but I can live with one good sounding channel, it doesn't really matter to me.

-What will be the primary use of the amp?

Mainly bedroom, maybe some small jams/gigs later on.

-Do you prefer a combo or head/cabinet (and why)?

Definitely a half-stack, because I think that head with a cab just sound better than a combo and I am not planning on moving my gear a lot, so I do not really need mobility that combo provides, so yeah, I look for a half-stack.

-What amplifier(s) do you have/had and why do you want a change?

First experience - Zoom G2, nothing to say here. After that - an Ibanez TBX30R combo, that I still use. It just sounds boring, clean is bearable but dirty channel is not very good, so I started thinking about a change a while ago.

-Please list five amps (minimum) that you have researched (if you can't do this, you're not serious)

Disclaimer: There are no places in my town to go and listen for really good amps (that also means I will have to order one from abroad when I want to buy it), so I am not 100% sure about what I think of the following amps, as I have heard them through YouTube and other demos around the Internet.

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier
Orange OR120
Orange OR100
Marshall JCM800 2203

-What did you like about them?

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier: Great hi-gain, especially if modded.
Marshall JCM800: Good, versatile amp. Can do pretty much everything. I like how it soinds with KT77/KT88 tubes.
Vintage Orange OR120: That classy "fuzzy-everything" sound just gives warmth to my ears, real vintage tones, both clean and overdriven.
Modern Orange OR100: More versatile and modern take on old sound, which creates more applications for the amp. Different wattage modes allow for good volume control (in theory).

-What did you not like about them?

Marshall JCM800: Although it souds good as it should (it is an icon of a few eras of guitar sound), if I can describe the tone in one word, I would say it souds "stock-ish". Maybe it souds just too classic and boring for me,
its just that feeling that I get that I have heard this sound many times already (even if I did not) and it just does not make me jump from my chair and start headbangig. Maybe its the stock tubes that get in the way, but I am not sure about that. Also, this amp may be too loud for home use.
Orange OR100: When the "Gain" goes past 1 o'clock... I remember someone saying that "it start to sound like Boss Metalzone', and I think that one is true. Just sounds bad to my ears. And compared to OR120, everything else sounds a bit more boring.
Orange OR120: I think that it can not do anything more extreme than sludge and go into plain metal range. But the only thing that bothers me bout this amp is that I simply have not heard it live, and I would really love to. And also, this amp is known to be VERY loud, and I don't want my neighbors to kill me.
And yeah, I wonder if it is hard to get a clean, not clean-ish sound out of this amp.
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier: I was looking at this amp a while ago, and since then my preferences changed, e.g. I am not a complete metalhead anymore, so I think this amp will not quite suit my goals.

Evil Mopars

Senior Member
Aug 11, 2010
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Have you thought about maybe a Kemper profiling amp? With over 4000 (and growing) free profiles as well as some awesome paid profiles, I'm sure you could find the all the sounds you'll ever need. Check E bay for used powerhead and non powerhead models. Or wait for the next holiday sale from Sweetwater or musicians friend to get a new one in your price range.
Good luck with your amp search, I know It took me a long time to finally get exactly what I wanted.


Senior Member
Aug 4, 2009
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Welcome to the world of chasing tone!

The recommendation for the Kemper might be your only salvation.

One problem we all face is there are so many great tones on recordings and the two or three that we fall in love with are probably generated by very different set-ups, not to mention the tools the recording process uses to craft the end sound.

A Kemper will give you many of those tones, as will an Axe FX, likely.

Otherwise, I could tell you three or four of my recommendations based upon my favorites, but so will the next 20 posters and unfortunately, we could all be right!

If you definitely want to go with ONE amp, you are probably best off looking for a great base sound and then plan on using pedals to craft the variations.

I'm sorry this isn't more helpful.


Senior Member
May 14, 2013
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Ya almost all the bands you listed use a fuzz for there tone or some type of pedal. A lot of stoner rock is a Russian muff style. So I'm gonna agree with ant get a base sound and used pedals to craft things, and At bedroom volumes too you'll be thanking us later.

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