Best guitar amp for metal/hard-rock home recording
Old 25th September 2010
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Best guitar amp for metal/hard-rock home recording

Hi from Spain: I want to buy a new amp and I will appreciate very much your help and advices. These are my request:

- Home recording use only.
- 5 or 15 watts are enouhg for me.
- I play Metal / Hard-Rock. I play wiyt lots of palm-mutes. The best important for me is to have a good distortion quality.
- I prefer 2 channels.
- I prefer Head&Cab rather than combo.
- I do not like external pedals. Just plug&play.
- I would not like to spend more than 800-900€ unless there is a very good reason. I prefer to pay little more but being sure that I but a good quality amp.

I want to go a big step forward with my new amp (I own a Marshall Valvestate 8080) and I have already tried these amps (brief test):

- Blackstar HT-5 Mini stack: OK for me but not big difference IMO with VS8080.
- Orange Tiny Terror 15W: I did not liked very much.
- Vox Nighttrain: I liked less than HT-5.


Thanks in advance for your support.
Old 25th September 2010
  #2
Gear nut
 
BasementRecords's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alliver View Post
Hi from Spain: I want to buy a new amp and I will appreciate very much your help and advices. These are my request:

- Home recording use only.
- 5 or 15 watts are enouhg for me.
- I play Metal / Hard-Rock. I play wiyt lots of palm-mutes. The best important for me is to have a good distortion quality.
- I prefer 2 channels.
- I prefer Head&Cab rather than combo.
- I do not like external pedals. Just plug&play.
- I would not like to spend more than 800-900€ unless there is a very good reason. I prefer to pay little more but being sure that I but a good quality amp.

I want to go a big step forward with my new amp (I own a Marshall Valvestate 8080) and I have already tried these amps (brief test):

- Blackstar HT-5 Mini stack: OK for me but not big difference IMO with VS8080.
- Orange Tiny Terror 15W: I did not liked very much.
- Vox Nighttrain: I liked less than HT-5.


Thanks in advance for your support.
I would recommend a marshall half stack, they do great work if your looking for a lot of different metal guitarists use.

A lot of new Hard Rock metal mainstreamers will use amps such as Line 6 which I am very impressed with the price as well as the heads now come with pre effects built in to sound like other bands and also create your own.

Let me know if this helps, and check out my site.

I know I can be of service to you, lots of imformation.

Chris
Old 26th September 2010
  #3
Peavey 5150, period. It's WAY over your specified wattage rating but should fit in your budget easily if you keep an eye out. I almost bought a full half stack in kinda rough shape for 600, but I ended up buying a different setup instead (still a 5150 head, just going into an Orange 4x12 cab). The 5150 is very versatile & records GREAT. Also, unless you enjoy throwing your money away, STAY AWAY FROM LINE 6 JUNK! I sold my Line 6 HD147 head to help pay for my 5150. The head was in perfect shape & only about 4 years old. I paid 900 + tax for the head alone, and another 200 for the foot controller. I could only sell everything for 400 on ebay. Line 6 heads (pedals are a different story) are like buying computers (because that's essentially what they are). When you buy it, it's great. Then the new version comes out & the value of yours plummets. The 5150 I got was built in 1992, I paid 520 for it in perfect condition, and feel it was a good investment. Tube heads seem to appreciate in value, especially an amp like the 5150 because it's not made under that name anymore. It doesn't have the best clean tones in the world but it can do everything from a good Marshall-style crunch to bone crushing distortion like nothing else (at least in it's price range). The other plus side of buying an amp that's been around for so long is that a lot of people online know them inside & out & can help you with questions or troubleshooting. The current iteration of the 5150 is the 6505 but I feel the 5150 is a better investment. Cheers!
Old 26th September 2010
  #4
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BLUElightCory's Avatar
 

Peavey 5150/6505 or 5150 II/6505+

I got mine for $600 USD practically brand new - it's not the greatest amp EVER but it sounds as good as pretty much anything for hard rock/metal - it's hard to beat for the price.
Old 26th September 2010
  #5
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superburtm's Avatar
 

for hard rock a good MARSHALL JCM 800 is a thing of sheer beauty thumbsup I keep one mic'd up ...plug and play
Old 26th September 2010
  #6
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Thanks very much for your replies. I appreciate them very much.

So Peavy 5150-6505 and Marshall JCM800 are under scrutiny but I am still worried about the watt. Probably these amps at low volume do not sound as fine as at high power. Am I wrong?

For this reason I was looking for amps between 5 and 15 or 20 Watts.

Maybe any boutique amp? Do you know any for metal?.
Old 26th September 2010
  #7
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yea the marshall is freakn loud

I have an ad15 Orange that is brilliant...poin to point wiring, tubes galore and only 15 watts with a single celestion vintage 10 but it dont do Metal
Old 26th September 2010
  #8
col
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col's Avatar
He's asking for an amp for low volume home recording and you suggest him a Marshall half stack or a 5150? WTF.

Blackstar HT-5, Jet City 20H, Laney Lionheart, Krank Rev Jr would all fit the bill a lot better.

I myself go for the amp->attenuator->daw->impulses route and have gotten great results with this.
Old 26th September 2010
  #9
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& any head you choose. A 5150 used, or a New Jet city 20 watts....
Old 26th September 2010
  #10
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Retinal's Avatar
 

6505 112 combo with an external cabinet connected to it

This is because price/watts needs to be limited, otherwise nothing beats 5150/6505. Period
Old 26th September 2010
  #11
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alliver View Post

...I was looking for amps between 5 and 15 or 20 Watts.
The thing is that small amps, especially small cabs, sound small. I could never get a little amp to properly imitate a huge amp doing what huge amps do. Low wattage amps can be great, just not great for sounding like something they are not.

Just my opinion

My best studio rig for heavy rock and metal =

Marshall JMP 2203 head > Marshall MF400 4x12 cab w/G12K100s. In front is a Mesa V1 tube overdrive. Yeah, it ties up a lot of money and yes, it makes a lot of noise (you could palm-mute a cop off a concrete front porch with it) but nothing matches its authority and grand-ness*

*hats off to E.A. Poe for showing us that we can continue to invent new words as needed
Old 26th September 2010
  #12
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superburtm's Avatar
 

right...small amps dont really cut it for metal


Quote:
Originally Posted by smutbasket View Post
The thing is that small amps, especially small cabs, sound small. I could never get a little amp to properly imitate a huge amp doing what huge amps do. Low wattage amps can be great, just not great for sounding like something they are not.

a cop off a concrete front porch with it) but nothing matches its authority and grand-ness*

*hats off to E.A. Poe for showing us that we can continue to invent new words as needed
Old 26th September 2010
  #13
Gear Head
 

Engl Savage 120

I've been able to dial in almost perfect clapton and van halen tones, as well as shimmering pink floyd-esque cleans.

crystal cleans to blistering high gain and everywhere in-between.

Easily achievable of "too much" gain, no boost needed. Black / Death metal easily attainable. Highly technical riffs, sweep picking, all of it sounds better on my Engl than any other amp I've owned (JCM, 3x Rec, 5150, 6505+, Krank Rev) and killed my friend's Soldano and Uberschall no problem.

The Invader's amazing as well, and SE...well, duh
Old 26th September 2010
  #14
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
OK friends. Thanks again for your replies.

I have had a brutal GAS atack with your adviced amps but I do not think that these amps (Engl Savage 120, 5150, 6505, etc.) can fulfiil with all my previous request altough I am pretty sure that they are ones of the best amps for metal.

But you know, I am afraid that my neighbours and concrete foundations of my home do not resist so many pressure.

Does anyone have a boutique or normal amp to play and record at home? What is it? I would like to know your experience. I have heard about Cornford Harlequin and others, but I am not sure how these boutique amps would sound for metal with a good pedal in front.

Col: I have to give a try for your adviced amps.

Musiekschuur: I beg your pardon but I do not understand the meaning of the picture. Sorry but English is not my mother tongue and sometimes it is not easy for me to understand.

Thanks
Old 26th September 2010
  #15
Gear Head
 

If you're wanting a metal sound that doesn't make much noise, you're almost out of luck. You're probably just better off buying a POD and running it DI. The tones you get out of that are going to be better than the openback 10" sound, and better than a 5150 turned up to 1 and a half....
Old 26th September 2010
  #16
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superburtm's Avatar
 

ampfarm (gasp) can work pretty well...if mic'ing up an amp is out. I like AMPfarm better than the other simulators personally
Old 26th September 2010
  #17
cork sniffer
 
Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

I would talk to a reputable amp designer first. It IS possible for a 5 watt amp to do what you describe, just not a flood of it on the market.

IMHO, get a decent SS amp, and a great pedal.

However, in the world of tubes, you'll need EL84's, a SS rectifier, and a big power tranny to go after holy grail metal tones.

The closest you may find is the new Mesa transatlantic, but unfortunately I haven't tried it personally. I had a little Marshall class 5 that did great for metal, but recorded like poop so skip it.
Old 27th September 2010
  #18
col
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col's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by clem56 View Post
If you're wanting a metal sound that doesn't make much noise, you're almost out of luck. You're probably just better off buying a POD and running it DI. The tones you get out of that are going to be better than the openback 10" sound, and better than a 5150 turned up to 1 and a half....
How about the AxeFX? I've heard some fantastic recorded tones from these.
Old 27th September 2010
  #19
Gear Head
 

Axe Fx, yes yes yes
Old 1st October 2010
  #20
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Saxon-of-a-son's Avatar
 

recording at low volume

Hey, guys. I need an amp for a killer metal lead guitar sound at relatively low volumes. The reason is that I have to record the cabs in 4' x4' x4' isolation boxes (from Vocal Booth.com). It's counter-intuitive, but the higher I crank an amp, the worse it sounds in those boxes--too much low freq bouncing around.

I've been using a Rocktron Voodu valve, which sound fine for chunky rhythm parts, but it lacks a ripping lead sound.

Mostly, I use Peavey Wolfgang guitars, but also a Washburn WM 526.

Any amp suggestions for recording distorted lead at lower volumes?
Old 1st October 2010
  #21
col
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col's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxon-of-a-son View Post
It's counter-intuitive, but the higher I crank an amp, the worse it sounds in those boxes--too much low freq bouncing around.
Have you raised the cab off the floor to reduce low end rumble?
Old 1st October 2010
  #22
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Saxon-of-a-son's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by col View Post
Have you raised the cab off the floor to reduce low end rumble?
Well, no and yes. The cab is resting on its casters in the iso box, which is also on casters. So, the cab is not on the floor in the room. It might be interesting to try resting the cab on one of those auralex amp thingies inside the iso box.

Since I have the budget for it, I'm considering and ENGL Invader with a THX hotplate. Should get me a pretty good metal lead tone???
Old 4th October 2010
  #23
Gear addict
 

AMP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alliver View Post
Hi from Spain: I want to buy a new amp and I will appreciate very much your help and advices. These are my request:

- Home recording use only.
- 5 or 15 watts are enouhg for me.
- I play Metal / Hard-Rock. I play wiyt lots of palm-mutes. The best important for me is to have a good distortion quality.
- I prefer 2 channels.
- I prefer Head&Cab rather than combo.
- I do not like external pedals. Just plug&play.
- I would not like to spend more than 800-900€ unless there is a very good reason. I prefer to pay little more but being sure that I but a good quality amp.

I want to go a big step forward with my new amp (I own a Marshall Valvestate 8080) and I have already tried these amps (brief test):

- Blackstar HT-5 Mini stack: OK for me but not big difference IMO with VS8080.
- Orange Tiny Terror 15W: I did not liked very much.
- Vox Nighttrain: I liked less than HT-5.


Thanks in advance for your support.


Bogner Alchemist is a nice choice, 20/40W switchable, 600-900 euro. It has enough gain for me.

Yo también soy español, lo probé y la verdad es que me sorprendió el Alchemist, tiene la ganancia justa como para no tener una distorsión "Mosca cojonera".
Old 4th October 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
Take a 5150, connect it to the SILENTCAB and connect a xlr cable between the cab and an input on your computer. & Listen to the recorded sound in your DAW on your studiomonitors...

No neighbour complaints.
Old 4th October 2010
  #25
RiF
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If playing loud is an issue (as in: "I cannot krank the amp, because my neighbors will call the police"), I'd recommend one of those:
- AxeFx (out of your budget, though)
- Bugera 6260 or Peavey 6505+ 112 combo + Palmer PDI-03 speaker emulator, using the emulator just for monitoring, you'll record the PDI's lineout signal and apply a cabinet impulse (Redwirez for example) of your choice later in your DAW software.

If you want to mic a real cab (nothing beats that technique, sound-wise), the Peavey 6505+ 112 combo would be nice and cheap for around EUR 550 plus a cab (a 2x12 V30 maybe). My Bugera records nice with the master volume at slightly above 1, which is still loud, but maybe quiet enough for your environment.
Old 4th October 2010
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiF View Post
Bugera 6260 or Peavey 6505+ 112 combo + Palmer PDI-03 speaker emulator, using the emulator just for monitoring, you'll record the PDI's lineout signal and apply a cabinet impulse (Redwirez for example) of your choice later in your DAW software.
I was gonna post this, there are some really really good cab impulses out there, definetly worth a try. You could also try getting an attenuator besides the amp and cab, i have heard this allows to crank the amp and keep it at low volumes. Ive heard Weber attenuators are very good. Useful info and some attenuators:

Attenuators

THD Electronics
Old 5th October 2010
  #27
Gear interested
 
jssv's Avatar
 

If you want to go with a tube amp, which isnt mandatory for home recording, then look at the Marshall Haze 15. Search for Youtube clips. It sounds good with current production tubes too. Comes in a head version and seems to be in your price range. Difference is it uses a 6V6 tube as opposed to 6L6 or EL34 which most people associate with a "Metal" type sound but then they are higher wattage tubes.

As has already been mentioned, you can always go all digital and use software but considering you already have a computer you need a good sound card to really appreciate them, good speakers or headphones and all the software so this puts the cost maybe even higher. Considering your final output will be all digital anyway. Still i say for satisfaction and playing the Haze is a good worth consideration and it is 15 Watts so with a pedal in front you can play at fairly low volume.
Old 5th October 2010
  #28
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Tapeworm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jssv View Post
If you want to go with a tube amp, which isnt mandatory for home recording, then look at the Marshall Haze 15....
I 2nd the Haze 15. Channel 2 can get some great thick hard rock / metal tones pretty low volume (and the tone quality is fantastic - not just buzzy like most low watt amps, and some high watt amps, get).
Old 5th October 2010
  #29
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Rotaholic's Avatar
 

I just got a second hand blackstar HT-5 for shits and giggles just because of the hype I thought I would try it out. WOW! this thing rips, stock speaker is crap would never use it, but I just ran it through my 1960 4x12 with greenbacks and this thing oozes tone and gain. The ISF trim pot is pretty cool because you can get alot of sounds out of it.

Highly recommend trying one of these through a 4x12

Wish I could gig with this, I dont need another 100w but if thier 5w amps are this good I might have to go try thier big boys.
Old 6th October 2010
  #30
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Thanks friends.

Very good advices.

I have been collenting my toughts and I see things clearer. I have been trying these amps (brief tests) and here is my oppinion:

- Egnater Rebel 20: I liked it very much. Power control from 1 to 20W. Blend tubes. Good sound IMO. I am thinking in Rebel 30 as a very good option. Noiseless. The worst is that it do not provide ultra high gain for metal and in Spain is more expensive in comparison with other countries.

- Peavey Valveking 212 Combo: Tons of gain. Good metal sound even with low volumens. Noiseless. The worst is that I am not sure to have a big step forward in tone quality in comparison with Marshall Valvestate 8080.

- Bogner Alchemist HD: I am not really sure if I like it or not because I just listen other guy plaking the guitar in front of me. With high gain I felt that It was noisy. Better with cleaner tones. But as I say I am not very sure. I have to give a try myself with my guitar.

- Line6 Spider Valve. I thing it is perfect if you need variety of sounds. It is not my case.

I just need 2 sounds. Clean and classic metal distortion. In spite of the people criticism, I have been happy with Marshall Valvestate 8080 for 17 years and I think it is a GOOD amp for metal. Now I want to improve my sound.

I want to check Blackstar Series One too because yo can regulate the power amp. Engl and Marshall aswell.

Then I will decide one of them.

Thanks for your support friends.
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