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Good Solid State Combo for Gigging Electric Guitar Amplification
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Good Solid State Combo for Gigging

Hello good people

I have decided that, due to a bad hip injury and not wanting to deal with fuss and expense of maintaining tubes etc, I wish to get a good solid state combo to start gigging with.

I woulld like something versatile enough to do me for general bars and clubs etc. Not stadiums or anything like that though, ha ha.

I was thinking of going with a Roland Blues Cube Artist 1x12 (80w) but then thought, to hell with it, I'll get the 2x12 (85w) version.

Would there much to be had with the extra 12" speaker in the 2x12? I mean, given that the 2x12 is not vastly larger or heavier, should I just go with this for the added oooomph it may have? Or do you guys with experience of this sort of thing think I would get by with the 1x12 Blues Cube?

I was thinking of getting a Fender Champion 100 as a backup.

Are my choices solid (pardon the pun)? Or are there other good options I'm overlooking? Any thoughts?

T.
Old 1 week ago
  #2

The second speaker will give you a bit more bass. It will also add a lot of weight to the cabinet....

Options - Boss Katana, Vox AV series, Orange Crush, Peavey Bandit, Lab Series...




-tINY

Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post
The second speaker will give you a bit more bass. It will also add a lot of weight to the cabinet....
^^^This. Given the OP's criteria, I don't see the 2nd speaker as being added value. The convenience of a reasonably compact single-speaker Cube far outweighs (ha! see what I did there?) almost anything tangible or otherwise that the second speaker might offer.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Tom Hicks's Avatar
 

For your situation, check out the 100 watt Boss Katana 1-12
Guitar Center

The GAFC foot controller let's you change patches and turn effects on and off.
Guitar Center

Having used tube amps for many years, I switched to the Boss Katana about a year ago and gig regularly. Small, lightweight and reliable.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

The best solid state amp I've ever played was a Pearce, but they're not easy to find. That's my primary amp; I love that thing.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Zoobiedood's Avatar
 

The Champion doesn't sound very good, even by SS standards. Check out a Tech 21 Trademark 60. It isn't that heavy and it has a wonderful sounding XLR direct out to the PA.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Put an EV into a G-100 SS Yamaha and you will still break your back. Maybe find a beefy girlfriend?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Hello everyone

Thank you to everyone who replied. Some great ideas there and also similar things suggested among you. I have until Xmas to think it over.

A couple of funny quips there too

What I'm getting is that a 2x12 may not be necessary, especially if I can get away with a 1x12 miced up or going direct to a PA? It always worries me that I won't have enough ooomph or PA won't work.

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the time you took to reply.

T.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulaca View Post
It always worries me that I won't have enough ooomph
As a live-sound guy, I've yet to come across that situation..
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulaca View Post
What I'm getting is that a 2x12 may not be necessary, especially if I can get away with a 1x12 miced up or going direct to a PA? It always worries me that I won't have enough ooomph or PA won't work.

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the time you took to reply.

T.
Depends on the volume everyone is playing at. I use a 60W Peavey Bandit when jamming or off-site rehearsals, and I rarely have it above 3 or 4. I can still be heard clearly amongst a second guitarist, bassist, and drummer, and it has a single 12" (I don't use the preamp; I run another preamp into it because it sounds better than the Peavey preamp, plus it's mounted on my rehearsal pedalboard). Point being the volume is loud enough for band work. So yes, I'd go with a single 12". If you need to be louder, they need to mic it, but it'll cover the standard bar gig by itself.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulaca View Post
I have decided that, due to a bad hip injury and not wanting to deal with fuss and expense of maintaining tubes etc, I wish to get a good solid state combo to start gigging with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulaca View Post
I was thinking of going with a Roland Blues Cube Artist 1x12 (80w) but then thought, to hell with it, I'll get the 2x12 (85w) version.
.
Although the quotes are from one post I've separated them here to point out that they are incongruous. Assuming the "bad hip injury" is an actual limitation why would you even consider adding the weight of an additional 12? Even if the hip injury is far less important than "not wanting to deal" the 80 watt single 12 Blues Cube will do an adequate job. As SS amps go it's rather decent and single 12 amps have had plenty of oompf even before Mesa took 1x12 combos into the stratosphere.

Speaking of Mesa I'd take an old Studio 22 onstage anywhere, anytime and prefer it over the Roland. For today's gear the I'd go for a PRS Sonzera 1 x 12 or a Fender BluesBreaker 40 1x12 but the lower wattage versions might be wise for someone with a hip injury that doesn't mind the "fuss and expense" to get that 3 Dimensional sound stage only tubes can deliver.

For that matter if I was "cheaping out", after having bought one of the Monoprice 15 watt 1x12 combos for around 150bux I'd spend ~300 and use 2 o them in stereo for a HUGE soundstage... but then I love tubes and never felt a SS amp deliver "The Magic".

But as I said as far as SS amps go, the Roland is decent and will not lack for oomf even in larger venues that for some odd reason have an insufficient PA..... But...I mean Tubes!
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Neodym speakers are another option. The are rather lightweight. Use a class D switching amp and it will be lightweight.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Neodym speakers are another option. The are rather lightweight. Use a class D switching amp and it will be lightweight.
If you like icepicks. Class D amps are a very poor choice for guitar, tonally speaking, and the neodymium guitar speakers I've heard have been pretty trebly and harsh on the high end. There actually seems to be something about neodymium that tends to accentuate that region of the spectrum, I've heard it a lot in mics, too. That's not to say that ALL neo transducers are like that but it makes me suspect that designers need to take care with something in their design s that most haven't really got a handle on yet. Either that or it's the "modern sound" meme that piercing top end is more detailed.

The steel player in my band in SF had a live rig consisting of a neo 15, a Class D "portable" power amp, and a Line 6 Pod and man, did I hate that sound. The audience and bar staff hated it, too, it wasn't just me. In rehearsal he used my 140 watt Twin with JBLs and always sounded great, but man that Neo/Class D/Line 6 rig was like the Devil's Triangle of audio.

Problem with the Twin was that with the big transformers and JBLs it weighed over 100 pounds and nobody was willing to hump it up and down the 24 steps to my place.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Nut
 

I've found the Vox MV50 class D tiny amps to sound really good. Not great, but really good. I suspect the NuTube (which is what, an LED?) is nothing but a marketing touch, but the amps themselves are nice, particularly through a 1x12 or 2x12. I've honestly never heard of someone actually using a Pod for playing live, unless it was for a direct out to the PA.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
Although the quotes are from one post I've separated them here to point out that they are incongruous. Assuming the "bad hip injury" is an actual limitation why would you even consider adding the weight of an additional 12? Even if the hip injury is far less important than "not wanting to deal" the 80 watt single 12 Blues Cube will do an adequate job. As SS amps go it's rather decent and single 12 amps have had plenty of oompf even before Mesa took 1x12 combos into the stratosphere.

Speaking of Mesa I'd take an old Studio 22 onstage anywhere, anytime and prefer it over the Roland. For today's gear the I'd go for a PRS Sonzera 1 x 12 or a Fender BluesBreaker 40 1x12 but the lower wattage versions might be wise for someone with a hip injury that doesn't mind the "fuss and expense" to get that 3 Dimensional sound stage only tubes can deliver.

For that matter if I was "cheaping out", after having bought one of the Monoprice 15 watt 1x12 combos for around 150bux I'd spend ~300 and use 2 o them in stereo for a HUGE soundstage... but then I love tubes and never felt a SS amp deliver "The Magic".

But as I said as far as SS amps go, the Roland is decent and will not lack for oomf even in larger venues that for some odd reason have an insufficient PA..... But...I mean Tubes!
I'm not fond of any of the Roland Cube amps. The "blues cube" is probably the best of the bunch but I don't think I'd buy it.

The Peavey Bandit isn't bad.

However in terms of bang for the buck I'd go for the 15 watt Monoprice tube amp. I picked one up essentially as an impulse buy and was blown away My lead guitar player has adopted it in band practice and his Fender Princeton 2 (a factory hotrodded 40 watt Princeton Reverb) sits under it unused. It has a very good range of tones and an excellent 1 watt mode for when 15 is too much. Less than $200 shipped, less than that if you catch a sale.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Neodym speakers are another option. The are rather lightweight. Use a class D switching amp and it will be lightweight.

The Celestion G12 Century Vintage is a nice Neodymium-magnet speaker.

Nothing wrong with the MV50 Vox amps - they use a pair of triodes (the NuTube). And, they voiced the "AC" version well. ...but, I'm sure a pedal-steel player could make it sound strident....



-tINY

Old 1 week ago
  #17
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I have to agree John, that Monoprice is a real treasure and a total steal. I'd have no qualms about gigging with just one of 'em with any decent PA but 2 of 'em? for under 400 bux? I'd play that rig anywhere with any PA. FWIW weighing in at 25 pounds it weighs less than my guitar in it's flight case.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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I've tried a good size collection of SS guit amps, and nothing hits the mark for me.

In up to medium sized clubs, my choice is a Deluxe Reverb. 1-12, plenty of volume, great tone, not heavy & very reliable. Cuts through on stage. I have a Blues Jr that sees a lot of use, an 80's Deluxe reverb and a 64 Vibrolux Reverb for more punch in bigger rooms, but the Deluxe is right in the middle of the pack.

Experiment with a few neodymium speakers for easiest load in/out... Eminence Tonkerlite, Celestion G12 Century Vintage, Weber NeoMag and Jensen Jet Tornado are all good choices.

Of course, that's me. If you want really, really lightweight, yeah, SS is going to get that. With a neo speaker, Deluxe is still going to come in at around 30 pounds. Might be too much. But personally, I'd rather use a Blues Jr with a neo than a SS amp. That'd be around 20 lbs.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Thank you for the replies. Much appreciated.

Some great ideas and suggestions. I've got a bit of thinking to do now and will be re-reading this thread.

Thanks

T.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Inca's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hicks View Post
For your situation, check out the 100 watt Boss Katana 1-12
Guitar Center

The GAFC foot controller let's you change patches and turn effects on and off.
Guitar Center

Having used tube amps for many years, I switched to the Boss Katana about a year ago and gig regularly. Small, lightweight and reliable.

I agree 100% with this. I've always been a tube snob and picked this amp up just out of curiosity and can't believe how great it is. Boss/Roland really know how to make a great solid state amp. You can't beat it with foot controller either. If you have some pedals to drop in front of it, it takes them really well.

Definitely get the 1x12 100 watt combo. You have 3 options.... 1/2, 50, or 100 watts. It's a great piece of gear.

Good luck.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulaca View Post
Hello good people

I have decided that, due to a bad hip injury and not wanting to deal with fuss and expense of maintaining tubes etc, I wish to get a good solid state combo to start gigging with.

I woulld like something versatile enough to do me for general bars and clubs etc. Not stadiums or anything like that though, ha ha.

I was thinking of going with a Roland Blues Cube Artist 1x12 (80w) but then thought, to hell with it, I'll get the 2x12 (85w) version.

Would there much to be had with the extra 12" speaker in the 2x12? I mean, given that the 2x12 is not vastly larger or heavier, should I just go with this for the added oooomph it may have? Or do you guys with experience of this sort of thing think I would get by with the 1x12 Blues Cube?

I was thinking of getting a Fender Champion 100 as a backup.

Are my choices solid (pardon the pun)? Or are there other good options I'm overlooking? Any thoughts?

T.
I really like the fender mustang amps... a lot

Their new gt series not as much
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I've tried a good size collection of SS guit amps, and nothing hits the mark for me.

In up to medium sized clubs, my choice is a Deluxe Reverb. 1-12, plenty of volume, great tone, not heavy & very reliable. Cuts through on stage. I have a Blues Jr that sees a lot of use, an 80's Deluxe reverb and a 64 Vibrolux Reverb for more punch in bigger rooms, but the Deluxe is right in the middle of the pack.

Experiment with a few neodymium speakers for easiest load in/out... Eminence Tonkerlite, Celestion G12 Century Vintage, Weber NeoMag and Jensen Jet Tornado are all good choices.

Of course, that's me. If you want really, really lightweight, yeah, SS is going to get that. With a neo speaker, Deluxe is still going to come in at around 30 pounds. Might be too much. But personally, I'd rather use a Blues Jr with a neo than a SS amp. That'd be around 20 lbs.
Actually, the Monoprice 15 doesn't weigh much, if any, more than a lot of solid state amps or I wouldn't have mentioned it.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inca View Post
I agree 100% with this. I've always been a tube snob and picked this amp up just out of curiosity and can't believe how great it is. Boss/Roland really know how to make a great solid state amp. You can't beat it with foot controller either. If you have some pedals to drop in front of it, it takes them really well.

Definitely get the 1x12 100 watt combo. You have 3 options.... 1/2, 50, or 100 watts. It's a great piece of gear.

Good luck.
I don't have anything against solid state amps but I don't like modeling amps, especially inexpensive ones. The models always sound like they're designed for high school kids wailing on guitars at Banjo Mart.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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enorbet2's Avatar
FTR I already listed the exact weight of the Monoprice 15 tube 1x12 combo so here again...

Monoprice All Tube 1W/15W 1 x 12 Celestion = 25 lbs...



Includes spring reverb, FX Loop for under 200 bucks USD (usually around 150 on specials)

NOTE: I A/B'd it against an old Danelectro Nifty-Fifty and in every possible way, clean headroom, overdrive... you name it, the Monoprice is just heads and shoulders above a fairly decent SS amp of 3.5 times the power rating. However with both in stereo? OMFG!

Last edited by enorbet2; 1 week ago at 10:22 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
I really like the fender mustang amps... a lot

Their new gt series not as much
I have one of the bigger Vox combos here, too... it sounds great, too.

Throw a rock and pick one... so many great (and cheap) ones to choose nowadays...
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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Inca's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I don't have anything against solid state amps but I don't like modeling amps, especially inexpensive ones. The models always sound like they're designed for high school kids wailing on guitars at Banjo Mart.
I know there is some debate going on about the Katana being a modeling amp. I can see both sides of the argument. I guess it kind of is, but they kept it really simple and didn't try to do it line 6 style.

I think if you really want something that takes pedals well and will give you a good enough sound, then this might be a good little gigging amp. The problem is "good enough sound" is subjective to all of us.

I like my Katana for practice and jamming, but I still want my Bassman or Marshall at the end of the day.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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I've never had any issues with a tube amp versus a solid state.

In the past, I've played solid state amps by Yamaha, Peavey and Roland (the non-modeling ones) that I thought sounded OK.

I'd probably go with a Marshall DSL40 (either the current or previous model) in 2018 for a club gigging amp and get a little dolly for less than $50 for loading it in and out if I thought it too heavy.
Old 5 days ago
  #28
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I don't believe OP elaborated on what type of music he'll be playing, which would impact how appropriate any of these suggestions are...fwiw my go-to guitar rig for the past dozen years or so is an Acoustic Image Focus 1 Series II solid-state head (450 watts into 8 ohms, 7lbs, the size of a hotel bible) into a Flite Sound cabinet loaded with an Altec-Lansing 601 driver that was reconed as a fullrange speaker. Stoopidly lightweight rig...I've actually walked a mile to a gig (from the subway station to the venue) carrying that rig without breaking a sweat. But it's a clean sounding combination; there's nothing "rock'n'roll" about it at all, so I either use it for jazz gigs or I bring along enough outboard signal processing & stompboxes to negate the whole lightweight aspect of the rig.

Last year I picked up one of those Monoprice 15watt combos and that seems a lot better suited for rock stuff, although the jury's still out on whether it can hang with a full band sans PA/monitor support.
Old 4 days ago
  #29
Gear Nut
 

+1 for Boss Katana 100 for gigging.

I switched from my Mark V head & 1x12 cab for fear of becoming a hunchbacked hobbling musician when I get older - the weight plus the flightcase, pedalboard, and leads all were barely worth it when gigging 3-4 nights a week in different venues.

Tried the Katana 100 on based on reviews, thought it sounded good but I've never had a solid-state amp hold up live (Blackstar put me off) but was absolutely impressed on my first gig. Now use it for everything and it sounds great, can set up in 2 minutes as opposed 15-20 and my back is saved. Dont even need a pedal board because the build in FX are pretty great.

I also recently got the 50 watt version just for my guitar teaching... Great amps, and the price is wonderful too.
Old 4 days ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I've tried a good size collection of SS guit amps, and nothing hits the mark for me.

In up to medium sized clubs, my choice is a Deluxe Reverb. 1-12, plenty of volume, great tone, not heavy & very reliable. Cuts through on stage. I have a Blues Jr that sees a lot of use, an 80's Deluxe reverb and a 64 Vibrolux Reverb for more punch in bigger rooms, but the Deluxe is right in the middle of the pack.

Experiment with a few neodymium speakers for easiest load in/out... Eminence Tonkerlite, Celestion G12 Century Vintage, Weber NeoMag and Jensen Jet Tornado are all good choices.

Of course, that's me. If you want really, really lightweight, yeah, SS is going to get that. With a neo speaker, Deluxe is still going to come in at around 30 pounds. Might be too much. But personally, I'd rather use a Blues Jr with a neo than a SS amp. That'd be around 20 lbs.
I recently picked up a small cab with two 10" neos. Can pick it up with one hand and goes to around 400watts.
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