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Comparing 26 tube amps (clean, crunch, rock & metal)
Old 26th February 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
Smile Comparing 26 tube amps (clean, crunch, rock & metal)

Hey everyone!

I currently own 26 tube amps so I guess it's safe to say that I'm an amp addict... Since I have all these amps I thought it would be fun to make a comparison between all the amps. I did a similar comparison a few months back when I had 22 amps but I did that one only with a heavy rock tone and only in full band context. So this time around there are clean, crunch, rock and boosted metal tones for each amp. Hopefully this will make the comparison appealing and useful to more people.

This time around there are also isolated segments for each amp during the second half of the comparison. You will be able to hear the differences between the amps more clearly this way. I personally prefer the full band segments in the first half because to me it's much more important to hear how an amp functions in context. I do understand though why people would also want isolated clips.

I included a Maxon OD808 this time around for the metal segments because I know a lot of people like to boost their amps. However I would recommend checking out the 'rock' segments if you want to hear the amps with unboosted high gain settings.

And here is a list of the amps that are included:

EVH 5150 III EL34 50W
Mesa/Boogie Mini Rectifier 25
Marshall JVM410H
Orange Tiny Terror
Peavey 6505
Marshall Studio Vintage SV20H 1959 SLP
ENGL Fireball 100 E635
Orange Rocker 15 Terror
PRS MT15
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL50
Mesa/Boogie Mark 5 35
Orange Jim Root Terror
Laney IRT60H Ironheart
Marshall Studio Classic SC20H JCM800
Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40
Orange Dual Terror DT30H
Peavey 6505MH
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier
Marshall JMP-1 preamp (through the DSL50's power amp)
EVH 5150 III LBX
Orange Brent Hinds Terror
ENGL Ironball 20 E606
Marshall Silver Jubilee Studio 2525H
Laney IRT Studio
Orange OR15
Marshall DSL20HR

It's not a short video but there are timecodes in the description for each segment so that should help if you don't want to watch the whole thing Of course I would love to know what you guys thought and which of the amps were your favorites....

Here we go:

Old 26th February 2020
  #2
Gear Nut
 
froleich's Avatar
 

I'm entitled and I don't think it's fair that you earned yourself those amps. Donate you're earnings to me and do what is right.


Actually, very cool that you did this. Bad-ass collection too!
Old 26th February 2020
  #3
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by froleich View Post
I'm entitled and I don't think it's fair that you earned yourself those amps. Donate you're earnings to me and do what is right.


Actually, very cool that you did this. Bad-ass collection too!
Haha! Thanks!
Old 26th February 2020
  #4
Gear Nut
Very well done and played. Love the riffs ! I have many of your amps, but was
really impressed by the Tiny Terror. It took the world by storm many years ago...
I put a 5751 preamp tube in V1 to drop the gain and differentiate it more from my Jim Root, Dark Terror and Holy Terror OR15. But yours sounds amazing.
Old 26th February 2020
  #5
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontariosound View Post
Very well done and played. Love the riffs ! I have many of your amps, but was
really impressed by the Tiny Terror. It took the world by storm many years ago...
I put a 5751 preamp tube in V1 to drop the gain and differentiate it more from my Jim Root, Dark Terror and Holy Terror OR15. But yours sounds amazing.
Thanks! I agree, the Tiny Terror sounds amazing! As does the Dual Terror obviously but the Tiny seems to have a tad more 'mojo', it's just a special sounding amp and I love it to death! Maybe I need another one haha!
Old 28th February 2020
  #6
Gear Maniac
So if you guys had to pick just one amp from all these amps based on the sounds in the comparison, which would it be? It's really interesting to me how other people percieve the sounds of my amps. I myself am very familiar with all the amps so I'm biased. You all are listening with super fresh ears so I wonder how much that also affects those decisions... Also, how well did you guys think the Helix help up to the real amps?
Old 28th February 2020
  #7
Gear Nut
 
froleich's Avatar
 

OP: Do you simply collect? I mean, you can't think all those sound good ..or maybe you do. I can't see beyond a few brands myself as having good tone, so I just can't fathom this ...unless, yes, you just want them.

Old 28th February 2020
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by froleich View Post
OP: Do you simply collect? I mean, you can't think all those sound good ..or maybe you do. I can't see beyond a few brands myself as having good tone, so I just can't fathom this ...unless, yes, you just want them.

Not everybody is the same I like all my amps of course. I only buy amps that I like. All the amps do their own thing. I can absolutely understand that not everybody would like all the amps (or any of them for that matter) because it all comes down to taste. But I don't see any reason for me to buy an amp that I don't think sounds good...
Old 28th February 2020
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Clash's Avatar
 

Have you thought that AmpJon might be a more suitable name?

Seriously though thanks for putting the time and effort into doing this. It's this sort of thing (actual comparisons/evidence as opposed to opinion/hearsay) which gives forums meaning. Nice one, la.
Old 1st March 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
I figured I'd drop some mini reviews of all the amps here as well. Since I own them all and have used them all, in case anyone is interested:

-EVH 5150 III EL34 50W

Killer amp! It does clean to high gain and everything in between. Especially the red channel does that typical tight and potentially aggressive EVH sound very well. The blue channel is great too imho but it's definitely looser and bassier sounding than the red channel. To me this is a good thing to be honest because it makes the amp more versatile for the studio. Also love how powerful the resonance control is on this one as the low-end can sound HUGE!

-Mesa/Boogie Mini Rectifier 25

Probably my favorite Mesa and I prefer it over my Dual Recto. I guess it sounds a little bit more controlled and mix-ready. It has a bit more mids which helps for the mix. Quite versatile too. Not the most amazing clean and crunch tones but definitely not bad! Love this amp and I would never get rid of it, for the modern red mode alone!

-Marshall JVM410H

What a beast of an amp. It still amazes me how much this amp can do. I love the fact that each of the 4 channels have their own mode and they all sound different. This amp truly can do pretty much anything Marshally and more. The high-gain modes are to die for, just keep the gain low Will also never sell this one.

-Orange Tiny Terror

A classic with a full tone! Really like this amp too (you'll find that I like all my amps though... haha). These Oranges just sit so nicely in the mix. Maybe not the best for unboosted metal but great for clean, crunch and rock tones! Everyone needs a TT!

-Peavey 6505

This amp has a good reputation and I can see why. It gets very heavy if you need it too but it always keep standing strong in the mix because of the pronounced mids. I also really enjoy playing with the presence and resonance controls to get the amp to sound just right for the part! The crunch tones are sweet too! Cleans definitely aren't as bad as people make them out to be!

-Marshall Studio Vintage SV20H 1959 SLP

One of my most recently purchased amps. What is there to say except that this amp does those old-school classic Marshall tones exceptionally well! Jumping the 2 channels makes the amp quite versatile when it comes to dialing the thickness or brightness of the amp. All 4 inputs are pretty useful too. Can't wait to make an in-depth demo of this amp soon. If you're into classic Marshall, you'll probably like this one!

-ENGL Fireball 100 E635

Beast of an amp with a lot of power! Nice glassy cleans. Love the bottom and bright switches. I always appreciate it when amps have extra features like those. The distortion tones are sooo good! Especially for heavy rock and metal. Really killer amp and I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in an amp like this.

-Orange Rocker 15 Terror

Not my favorite Orange but definitely very cool. It's a bit more vintage sounding so it doesn't sound really huge for the modern rock/metal tones. I do appreciate the cleans and the lower gain tones though.

-PRS MT15

A true modern classic! Anytime I use this amp in a comparison it ends up as one of the better sounding ones. The cleans are nice but the high gain tones, that's where this amp shines! It sounds surprisingly similar to the 6505 imho because it has more mids than a Mesa for example. Highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for an affordable but high quality rock/metal amp!

-Marshall JCM 2000 DSL50

The underdog that everybody seems to love, and for good reason! The crunch sounds are really nice but I also really enjoy the thick and somewhat 'fluffy' high gain tones. I think it really shines with the Rock segment here.

-Mesa/Boogie Mark 5 35

Not the most easy amp to dial in but when you get the controls just right it can sound pretty amazing! I always need the most time with this amp. Very versatile but don't get this one if you don't like to tweak. Just my 2 cents. I would have also liked it if the IIC+ mode had more low-end but again, I may have to try to tweak it more haha.

-Orange Jim Root Terror

One of my favorite Oranges. Very solid sound. Great clean, crunch and rock tones. Also nice metal tones. Small and simple but it just sounds good. What else can I say?

-Laney IRT60H Ironheart

An underrated beast! LOVE the amount of options this thing has for tone shaping with the push-pull eq, boost and power settings. Cleans and crunch tones are really nice but the rock rhythms are so nice! It's really affordable here too which is kind of crazy when you consider how much you get for the money. Highly recommend these!

-Marshall Studio Classic SC20H JCM800

Also one of my more recent purchases. Haven't used it very often yet but it seems to do those JCM 800 tones very well. Not a lot of gain, I could have used more gain but I can always boost it with a pedal to get more gain. I guess that's how a lot of people use these amps ayway. Sweet amp!

-Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40

One of my favorites for sure! So versatile and so good sounding! This one really does everything well and I don't think I would ever get rid of this amp!

-Orange Dual Terror DT30H

Similar to the Tiny Terror but with more headroom and the extra FAT channel. The FAT channel actually is a really nice addition and I often use that channel. It's just a bit more middy and classic and it works well in the mix.

-Peavey 6505MH

Very similar to the big 6505 but just with less headroom and maybe a but less oomph (of course mostly when you push the master). Sounds remarkably similar to the big boy.

-Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier

Very cool amp. It's definitely one of my favorite sounds in rock/metal music. I must say though that it's really scooped so it doesn't work for everything. When it works it sounds glorious though!

-Marshall JMP-1 preamp (through the DSL50's power amp)

A classic with some solid tones. The rock rhythm tones are great as it has a nice midrange presence as with all the Marshalls. That's basically why I love Marshall amps so much. I still need to spend more time with it and I MUST try to get some good Deftones sounds out of this! Stay tuned...

-EVH 5150 III LBX

Cool little amp! Too bad that there are no cleans. I would get the LBXII but I heard that the gain tones on that one just aren't as solid as the LBX. The red channel especially does that EVH sound quite well. It does have enough low-end but definitely not as much as the 50w obviously.

-Orange Brent Hinds Terror

An interesting amp! It sounds more like a Marshall-like amp. Quite raspy and bright and fuller with the gain maxed. Not my favorite Orange but definitey unique and it has it's use!

-ENGL Ironball 20 E606

A very solid metal lunchbox amp. It really does sound huge! I can dial it in to sound pretty similar to the Fireball. Cleans are nice but this amp shines with the high gain tones imho. You gotta try this one to believe it!

-Marshall Silver Jubilee Studio 2525H

A very versatile 20W Marshall amp! I love the push-pull features. This amp has more gain than the SC20H, that's why I prefer it over that one, for my own music. The EQ is quite powerful too so you can get a wide range of tones out of it. With high gain it sounds quite thick and full but the rhythm pull clip can help to tighten the sound a little bit.

-Laney IRT Studio

Almost the same sounding as the IRT60H, just less headroom and slightly less oomph. A great studio tool though! Would recommend this to anyone who is looking for something small and versatile for the studio!

-Orange OR15

A great Orange with that typical fuzzy Orange sound. Quite versatile. The Jim Root just about wins when I compare the two but that's just personal taste. Killer little amp and it looks cool too!

-Marshall DSL20HR

Afforable but definitely a cool amp! It's quite bright when compared to the other amps but it has a cool sound. If you're looking for a very affordable Marshall, this might be a great option! Not the best at crunch tones though....
Old 1st March 2020
  #11
Gear Nut
 
froleich's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarjon View Post
-Marshall JVM410H

What a beast of an amp. It still amazes me how much this amp can do. I love the fact that each of the 4 channels have their own mode and they all sound different. This amp truly can do pretty much anything Marshally and more. The high-gain modes are to die for, just keep the gain low Will also never sell this one.
If you hear the Satriani model I'll know why yours is on Reverb.com.
Old 1st March 2020
  #12
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by froleich View Post
If you hear the Satriani model I'll know why yours is on Reverb.com.
Oh I've heard it and it's a great amp but it's more vintage voiced. I love my JVM as it is to be honest but who knows, maybe I'll own the Satriani version one day too....
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