What Amp Would You Recommend?

SloeGin

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I live in an apartment so I'm volume restricted. I play a Gibson SG and Les Paul. I'm looking for an amp and basically i'm after the Marshall sounds in the style of Slash, AC/DC, Randy Rhoads/ Zakk Wylde and also Metallica/Megadeth.

Which amp (+ boost pedal maybe) would you recommend to get these sounds?
I'm looking at affordable amps, so no 3000+ euro Friedman please
;)
;)

Thanks for the help!
 

wildhawk1

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If you don’t need tubes, and you really don’t, the Boss Katana is basically exactly what you are asking for. My son has one and it’s a great amp, tons of options, headphone out, works great with pedals.
Yep.... Katana 50 on the .5w setting for apartment use.

No need to go on a stomp box chase with all the easy to use effects built in. For out of the box simplicity and range of great tones Katanas are the best IMHO.

You won't need another amp if you ever leave the apartment to jam. Plenty loud in jam/band environments on 25w or 50w options.
 

northernguitarguy

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If you want tubes (and why wouldn't you?), Orange has a few amps with a 'Headroom/Bedroom' feature. For example, on my Rocker 15 Terror, I can scale the power down from 15/7W down to 1/0.5. Really great for quiet home practice, the best I've ever heard in a tube amp.
 

grumphh

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I live in an apartment so I'm volume restricted.
Modeler.

...that is, if you want the sound of a big amp blazing away - only at low volume levels.


Otherwise, pretty much any marshally voiced amp that has a gain control and both a channel and master volume (for fine control) should work for your purposes - only, it will (due to physics) never sound like a big amp turned way up.
You will get preamp distortion, but no speaker coloration nor power tube breakup.

And forget about attenuators and all the other crap* that is designed to relieve you of your money just because you chose an amp that has the power to fill sports arenas with sound - they are workarounds and in the end you are still not getting that tone, because that tone comes from turning up the amps with everything that entails.

If you absolutely must go tube amp, and you like Marshall tones, guess what: Marshall has craploads of amps with perfectly fine master volumes that will at least get you in the ballpark of your desired tones at neighbour friendly volume. They will just not sound like a turned up Marshall at those volumes - but at least you'll have a Marshall then, for when you need it to be loud...
If Marshall, well a DSL of sorts or perhaps a Jubilee can be turned down easily and since they are Mashalls, well, you are getting pure Marshall tone :D

* such as 1 w tube amps, and the like - remember, through a proper guitar speaker 1 measly watt gives you a sound pressure of 96-100 db, which is appr. you screaming your lungs out...
 

Gtarzan81

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An Orange Micro Terror through an inefficient 16 ohm speaker isn't bad.

Mine is much louder depending on speaker. Use one in the 96db range. Through my 101 dB speaker it's a lot louder.
 

CerebralGasket

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I have lived in many apartments over the years and they all had paper thin walls and windows.

Been through a lot of gear in the past as well and the best setup that works for me as of recent is a Kemper Profiler connected to a DAW with headphones. I have any amp / cabinet sound at my disposal and did not have to spend $3000.
 
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LP121

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If you don’t need tubes, and you really don’t, the Boss Katana is basically exactly what you are asking for. My son has one and it’s a great amp, tons of options, headphone out, works great with pedals.
Yep.... Katana 50 on the .5w setting for apartment use.

No need to go on a stomp box chase with all the easy to use effects built in. For out of the box simplicity and range of great tones Katanas are the best IMHO.

You won't need another amp if you ever leave the apartment to jam. Plenty loud in jam/band environments on 25w or 50w options.
The headphone out is very good.
 

ErictheRed

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You're asking for a pretty wide range of tones, so if you're truly only playing in your apartment, I would recommend a solid state amp like the Boss Katana.

There are a lot of tube amps now that have attenuators or low power options. I'd almost recommend a Marshall Studio Classic, but honestly, even those 5W will be too loud for you. I might recommend a Suhr Badger 18 (though it's pretty expensive) because it has fantastic Power Scaling that will let you play at low volumes, and will also be big enough to go jam with other people if that happens in the future. It's in the Marshall ballpark, if not an exact clone.

A lot of Mesa amps do a great job of getting excellent tone at lower volumes, but could also be used in a live setting. They're pretty expensive, though you could find a used one. There's the Mark V:25 which has various lower power settings. Something like the newer Fillmore 25 (really only 18 Watts) has higher gain channels that can get plenty of distortion at lower volumes, but still sound great clean and could be used if you play with others one day. There are a lot of older models like the Trans Atlantic 15, etc, etc...

Cheaper tube amps that still sound quite good at low volumes would be a Laney Cub 12R (15W and 1W settings), Vox AC4, Orange Micro Terror or Dark Terror (more gain at lower volumes), Fender Super Champ X2, Traynor Dark Horse...

If you think that there's a decent chance that you will play with other people in the next year or so, though, I would recommend something like the Mesa Fillmore 25 or Trans Atlantic 15 or Mesa Mark V 25. You're spending more money, but those are quality amps that will last forever and will give a wide range of tones.

But honestly, I would probably recommend the Boss Katana, and you can always upgrade it later if you start playing with a drummer or whatever.
 
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ehb

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An Orange Micro Terror through an inefficient 16 ohm speaker isn't bad.

Mine is much louder depending on speaker. Use one in the 96db range. Through my 101 dB speaker it's a lot louder.

A bud of mine with an 'established' band, had an interesting deal happen to him. The backline company screwed up and when they got to the venue, there was a Marshall 4x12 but no head. Other guitarist's backline Marshall head and cab was there.... They had flown in for the show and had little time. Somebody that worked at the venue scared up one of those and my bud played through it into the 4x12.... It was badass to say the least and much louder than anyone thought... It sounded righteous.... He could hear himself fine on stage and (contract sound) it sounded great out front..... Looked funny with the little head on top of a Marshall 4x12 but he didn't care it sounded so good....
 

sonar

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The difference between tube and solid state at apartment volume levels is not much. If anything, it's the depth of the clean tones that might give a tube amp the slight edge at that volume.

Anyway, a good pedal can cover up a lot of sins from a small combo amp. Personally, I'd avoid gadgetry on the amp and find something that has a couple, or even one, really good tone you like and go from there. Then try to match it with a pedal for your extra gain needs.

I hate playing guitar with headphones, so can't help you with that.

New bang for the buck I would check out Blackstar for what I assume you want. If Blackstar was available when I was younger, broke and playing more rawk compared to what I play now I would have been all over the HT series.

Used Tech 21, the older "Lead" Marshall SS amps from the 80's (not a fan of most modern Marshall) and modern Orange are all pretty cool. All can be had for good prices used...

I'm forgetting a bunch of amps because, as @ErictheRed mentioned, there's a wide range of what can work.
 

ehb

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@sonar

One of my amps is an HT-20....

Love it....
 

efstop

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I have an Egnater Rebel 20 head with a pair of EL84s AND a pair of 6V6s, which can be blended with a knob. It also has a power output knob to vary power from 1W to 20W. Used in Canada for $350.
 

rjwilson37

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Yep, affordable and gives you everything you want, get the Boss Katana 50w. I have one and it worked very well in an apartment for a long time, you will not be disappointed.
 

grumphh

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I have been to several people houses that had 100 watt tube amps as bedroom amp..... :wave:
You know, even though i advise modelers, i do actually use a 100w Randall RM-100 (or a 50w Silver jubilee combo) through a 1960B for late night noodling. In an apartment where i can hear the next door neighbours conversation as a slight background mumbling, no less. :D

This works for me because i like craploads of distortion and think that the preamp distortion the amp provides is perfect for my needs.

But it wouldn't really work for me if i wanted "pushed Marshall tones" (or "pushed" anything tones), because turning the amp up and relying on all the components to add their tone to the sound (as well as volume interacting with the guitar) is what makes many "classic" tones what they are.

I mean, i can set the gain lowish on the Silver Jubilee, for that "inbetween clean and crunch" tone - but it just doean't sound righteous at bedroom levels. At bedroom levels there is always some sustain and fullness missing if compared to classic Marshall tones - but turn it up enough to play with a drummer, and the amp "comes alive".

That is where a good modeler can actually try to model the sound of a classic amp being played loudly - where real amps actually have to be loud to get that sound.


Tldr:
It depends on whether you want modern or classic distortion, whether you can use a big amp turned down or would be better off with a modeler.
 


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