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Which (Tube) Guitar Head for Rock Band?
Old 10th May 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 

Which (Tube) Guitar Head for Rock Band?

My guitarist is currently playing through some crap-oh Crate head and just aint cutting it for the stuff we've got going on (upcoming bigger shows/recording/radio appearances). I told him that I'd take the liberty of consulting fellow gearslutz to find out what his best bet is for the (hopefully) $800 range. He's really uneasy about buying used gear which seriously levels the playing field. I'm hoping it's possible to find something tube(ular) for around his price range. We play rock/sorta-alternative-indie (think Third Eye Blind-esque) so something with a nice, warm distortion and a nice-enough clean channel that can fill a decent-sized venue is what we're going for. I hope I've given enough info for you guys to make some informed suggestions. If the options are pretty shady for new gear, go ahead and throw out some second-hand suggestions. Thanks a ton, Nate
Old 10th May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateSmith
My guitarist is currently playing through some crap-oh Crate head and just aint cutting it for the stuff we've got going on (upcoming bigger shows/recording/radio appearances). I told him that I'd take the liberty of consulting fellow gearslutz to find out what his best bet is for the (hopefully) $800 range. He's really uneasy about buying used gear which seriously levels the playing field. I'm hoping it's possible to find something tube(ular) for around his price range. We play rock/sorta-alternative-indie (think Third Eye Blind-esque) so something with a nice, warm distortion and a nice-enough clean channel that can fill a decent-sized venue is what we're going for. I hope I've given enough info for you guys to make some informed suggestions. If the options are pretty shady for new gear, go ahead and throw out some second-hand suggestions. Thanks a ton, Nate
A few options- loads actually.

Used Marshall JCM 800 and a distortion pedal on the front end 50 or 100 w
Used Marshall JCM 900 Higain Dual Reverb 50 or 100 w
Used Fender Prosonic - my favourite modern amp. 60 w class a
Used Fender Hotrod Blues Deluxe. 40 watts
Used Mesa DC5 - 2 channels, EQ, 50 watts class a

I've owned all these amps in my time- the only ones I still own are the Prosonic and JCM 900.

James
Old 10th May 2006
  #3
Gear Head
 

thanks for the response richmond! As a side note, is there any safe way/technique for ebay buying to make sure you're not gonna get some faulty ****-bomb? Thanks a bunch, any more suggestions? New maybe?
Old 10th May 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateSmith
thanks for the response richmond! As a side note, is there any safe way/technique for ebay buying to make sure you're not gonna get some faulty ****-bomb? Thanks a bunch, any more suggestions? New maybe?
Make sure you're buying from someone with a high feedback rating. If you're really worried about it.. stick to 100% ratings. Lots of perfectly fine amps are sold on Ebay all the time.
Old 10th May 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

if you can get a prosonic, definately go for it. DC's are nice too. the marshall are very variable and most levae some to be desired. I personally use Koch. Soldano is great too.
Old 10th May 2006
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clan
if you can get a prosonic, definately go for it. DC's are nice too. the marshall are very variable and most levae some to be desired. I personally use Koch. Soldano is great too.
Scuze the ign'ance but what do you mean by "very variable" and "most leave some to be desired" in referrring to Marshalls? Also, what are the critical differences between the prosonic and say a jcm900? Thanks
Old 10th May 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 
infiniteposse's Avatar
 

A JCM800 can cover a lot of ground with a few pedals, as mentioned above. There are several flavors out there and you should just read up on them a little. Here's a good FDP thread I started on the subject some time ago that was really helpful to me: http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.htm..._number=459283

The quick version is you want a single channel one - not a 2 channel. The vertical input versions are more "desirable," but the horizontal input versions can be good, too. I think the 50 watt versions of vert. and horiz. input versions are supposed to be quite similar, but read through that FDP post for details. The circuit changed somewhere along the line, but again, the 50 watt versions should be the same I think.

I'd personally recommend looking for a 50 watt which is what I ended up with. It's loud. Really, really loud. Get one that's been well cared for, get it checked out before you do any touring and away you go. Great sounding amp. Lots of fun to play.

Hope this helps.
Old 10th May 2006
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

no need for apologies

the 900 well, i don;t like. many don't. the 800's are variable in the sense that some sound great others don't. They don't have as much gain as many think.

the 900 is good \for shred metal, but sounds a little scratchy/trebly to my taste. not full and warm. the fender has a monster load of gain and great cleans. the marshalls have decent clean. All amps have there own character and as with all your taste might not be mine. I would at least go to a guitar centre or something to find out whether you like mesa, marshall or whatever, then buy one on the internet.

In the ned if it suits the guy that needs to play it. all is well...
Old 10th May 2006
  #9
Gear Head
 

It's starting to seem like the Prosonic is the way to go for what we're looking for. We are definitely not looking for any scratchy, metal-harsh sounding distortion as stated w/ the jcm900. It looks like the Prosonic is no longer made so is there anything he should be looking for in a Prosonic (Qualities, models, price-range)??
Old 10th May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateSmith
It's starting to seem like the Prosonic is the way to go for what we're looking for. We are definitely not looking for any scratchy, metal-harsh sounding distortion as stated w/ the jcm900. It looks like the Prosonic is no longer made so is there anything he should be looking for in a Prosonic (Qualities, models, price-range)??
The Prosonic is a strange beast of an amp- extremely varied.
Designed in the custom shop but mass produced as part of the Pro Tube range.
They came in 2 versions- a head and a combo (which I have)
Combo has 2 x 10 inch speakers, which are great- nice and tight sounding.
The Prosonic has a cascading gain stage on the drive channel.
using both gain stages it is heavily distorted and compressed- very modern sound for a Fender- loads of lovely feedback- warm, full, edgy.

The clean channel is not very clean- running above 3 and it is quite gainy itself, and loud as hell.
The rectifier is class A, AB or SS - switchable at the rear.

A note of warning if you want to footswitch live- there is a loud 'thunk' when you switch.
It was a design flaw, but you can get the amp modded to fix it- although I haven't.
Oh yeah- they are either black, red or a sickly lizard green colour.

Fender released a new amp this year called a 'Supersonic' that is very similar to the Prosonic and might be worth checking out.
I think they are around $1100, similar spec but have a bassman or vibrolux (switchable) clean sound plus the cascading gain stage from the prosonic.
I saw one at Musikmesse but didn't try it out.

Hope this helps.
Old 10th May 2006
  #11
Gear Addict
 
sloanfiske's Avatar
 

new vox ac-15

600 bucks

screams indie rock

it's not a head, but they're loud.

my 2 cents
Old 11th May 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
swafford's Avatar
 

If your uneasy with ebay and not an amp geek, try a reputable small dealer. I've bought a bunch of amps of Ebay with the biggest hitch being folks who don't understand how to pack for a long trip.

Not familiar with the 3rd eye blind sound, so keep in mind with my suggestions.

I play mostly Fendery stuff and would highly recommend a late 60's Bandmaster Reverb head. Can be had in the $400 range. I've been using mine for quite a while now and it's just a fanatastic sounding head. Send it to David Allen, have him recap it, do some blackface circuit mods and put in larger OT and off you go with a head version of a Super Reverb for a bit less then your $800 (so buy some extra tubes with the same rating as the ones you put in before sending it to David). Built like a tank, great cleans, smooth break up, loves tele's, strats and LP's and all the fuzz and overdrive you can stick in front of it.

For an EL34/84 sound I have a Sewell Texaplex combo, but he makes it in a head also. www.sewellamps.com. They come up on Ebay occasionally at more then what you want to pay, but much less then most boutiques (~$!000). Doug Sewell's a great guy, his amps are built really well and look good too.

Other great heads that are reasonable that might supply you with what your looking for are Music Man and Traynor.

Good luck!
Old 11th May 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sloanfiske
new vox ac-15

600 bucks

screams indie rock

it's not a head, but they're loud.

my 2 cents
AC-15's have been my favorite amps for years. But I don't think they're anywhere near loud enough for live rock band use. When I was amp shopping before the last tour I went on, I got it in my head that I was gonna use a pair of AC-30's.

I bought 'em and I was totally happy. Until the first show. I was back to Marshalls really quick.

Asking gearslutz opinions about guitar amps will get you almost as many opinions as asking about vocal mics or something.

Where Marshalls are concerned, I love old seventies JMP's the best.

But there are so damn many great amps available these days. I kinda love something about so many of them. It's more about what reacts nicely with a certain player within the context of a certain band.
Old 11th May 2006
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
It's more about what reacts nicely with a certain player within the context of a certain band.
I can totally understand that. Next step is heading off to a cool music shop or 2 (non-GC) and seeing if we can find the perfect fit. Thanks alot guys, Nate
Old 11th May 2006
  #15
sovtek mig 50 or 60

$500 or less big marshall tone
Old 11th May 2006
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by everybody's x
sovtek mig 50 or 60

$500 or less big marshall tone
Wow, looks like this has gotten some pretty great comments on harmonycentral. What category would you say the type of distortion on this amp falls into, bands for instance? Thanks
Old 11th May 2006
  #17
the mig 50 is a JCM 800 clone basically, the 60 has more gain
I hear the mig100 sucks
built like a tank, very underappreciated amps


FWIW Albini has 5-6 of them at electrical
Old 11th May 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 

I have a mesa DC3. It pushes my 1960a with no problems and is ungodly loud. Sounds pretty amazing also.
Old 11th May 2006
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by everybody's x
FWIW Albini has 5-6 of them at electrical
What is "electrical?" And while we're at it, who's "Albini?"
Old 11th May 2006
  #20
LOL, Albini's a producer/musician who runs electrical audio in chicago (nirvana, the jesus lizard,big black, shellac,chevelle, neurosis.....)

highly respected engineer

http://www.electrical.com/
Old 11th May 2006
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by everybody's x
LOL, Albini's a producer/musician who runs electrical audio in chicago (nirvana, the jesus lizard,big black, shellac,chevelle, neurosis.....)

highly respected engineer

http://www.electrical.com/
That's crazy! I've heard alot about Electrical Audio and checked out the site many times. I go to school in the city at DePaul so if he still has the sovteks available I'd love to stop by with my guitarist and check out the amp/the studio. What is his gearslut name?
Old 11th May 2006
  #22
Gear Head
 

dumb me, i was assuming that by "Albini has 6 of them" you meant he had them for sale. Forget that last comment but it is good to hear that sovtek's are good enough for Electrical. pretty reassuring.
Old 11th May 2006
  #23
thumbsup

LOL, yeah I dont know if hes selling them....

I can't remember if he's ever posted on GS either, He's a moderator over at prosoundweb though
Old 13th May 2006
  #24
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

I bought one of those MIG's to take on the road as a backup when I was using old Marshall heads, and it's a good sounding amp, albeit a bit on the brash side.

I got mine new about five years ago from a guy in LA who was blowing them out at $250. It's definitely a one trick pony. Gotta make sure you like that one trick.
Old 13th May 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 

Carvin Legacy... very cool amp for short money.

Don't tell anyone though, it's a secret. heh
Old 13th May 2006
  #26
Lives for gear
I bought a JCM 800 Lead Series 50 watt 20 years ago...
LOVE IT
I think it sounds much better than the newer Marshalls.
I just finished a session with another Marshall...I don't know what model....but it had about 10 more knobs and didn't sound as "real"
Put a Boss distortion in front...It's just that easyheh
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