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I'm losing my mind... (looking for new guitar amp)
Old 3rd September 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
I'm losing my mind... (looking for new guitar amp)

Today I went amp demoing at a couple stores, just to see what I'm looking for. The last amp I bought (Hughes and Kettner combo amp, which is my favorite amp I've ever owned) was in 1998. I've been totally out of the guitar product scene for a while, but now I'm coming back. As much as I'd like to hear some of the new Hughes and Kettner high end amps, they're not all that readily available.

So anyway, I tried out some newer Marshalls, Mesas, Randalls, and a couple new Peaveys. I didn't really like any of them. I play mostly metal and hard rock, with a little blues sometimes, and I never though any of the Marshalls I've owned gave me what I wanted. The Mesas are slightly overrated, imo. The Randalls I wasn't feeling, and I really wanted to like the Peaveys (XXX and 6505), but didn't dig the distortion whatsoever.

What amp did I like the most?... The Crate FW120H. $299.00. Unbelievable. The cheapest amp of the bunch gave me the sound I was looking for immediately. Great sound, too. Smooth, fat, killer distortion. Huge, sparkling clean tone, and even nice overdriven bluesy rhythm sound. Even the onboard FX were useable. Am I insane?

That said, I still want to play the high end H&K stuff before I make a purchase, but right now I'm kinda leaning towards the Crate. Which frightens me. I have a Crate bass combo I use for re-amping bass tracks sometimes, and it works ok. Nothing spectactular, but its a cheap amp. Anybody else like the FW120H?
Crate FlexWave120H from zZounds.com!
Old 3rd September 2007
  #2
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

www.emerysound.com
i have 3 super babies
i love them.
people love them




be well


- jack
Old 3rd September 2007
  #3
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorGlory View Post
That said, I still want to play the high end H&K stuff before I make a purchase, but right now I'm kinda leaning towards the Crate. Which frightens me. I have a Crate bass combo I use for re-amping bass tracks sometimes, and it works ok. Nothing spectactular, but its a cheap amp. Anybody else like the FW120H?
Get the amp you like. Don't seek approbation from a bunch of anonymous net posters. Trust your ears.

Seems to me, you know what tone you want, tried a bunch of possible solutions, and happened upon one that works for you. Go with that.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #4
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HIGHENDONLY's Avatar
 

))))))))))
Old 3rd September 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIGHENDONLY View Post
))))))))))

Are you high or something? What's with the smiley posts all over?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #6
Gear Nut
 
MeSoHornplayer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
Are you high or something? What's with the smiley posts all over?
Heh. And you thought HighEndOnly was a gear reference. The good news? He brought enough for everybody.

Okay, amp advice. Have fun with it, and don't rush. But definitely have fun with it.

Old 3rd September 2007
  #7
Gear Nut
 

My favorite Amp

I got a Fender Hor Rod Deluxe (40 watts all tube) a couple of years ago by "horse trading" with a local independent music store. It is without a doubt the most versitile amp I've ever owned. The clean channel sounds like a '65 vibrolux, and the drive, and more drive can be adjusted to anything you may require distortion wise. The 1-12 eminence sounds as good as any speaker I have ever used. If you think you may require a bit more power, the Hot Rod Deville is 65 watts and comes in either 2-12 or 4-10 configurations. I sometimes just use an extension speaker which has 2-10 J.B.L. k-110's. This is very rarely necessary. Also the preamp out allows utilizing other means of amplication, such as a p.a.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #8
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Energie's Avatar
 

The search for a great amp is so dang hard, As often times there are things you will immediatly like about an amp, but over time it will be less diserable, and sometimes the opposite happens. I do recommend getting a head and separate speaker cab, that way if you like one, you can swap out the other etc.

Had a fender hot rod, I wouldn't call it that versatile in my experience, it didn't work for high gain and metal sounds whatsoever for me at least. Went through several amps tring to find that tone.

So, I think you can do maybe a few things. the first is to buy an amp head and cab. Right now My main amp is a Carvin V3, and I just love it. Paired with the right speakers and tubes, it is a great amp for mid to heavy distortion, and I can get lots of in between tones as well. More affordable then other high end companies, and I would take it over most marshalls I have heard lately. The down side is that you would be hard pressed to find one to try out, you would just have to do their 10 day trial period, and if you didn't like it, you would be out shipping. You could get a 2 x12 or 4 x12 cab then, and pick your speakers.


Another route to consider if you are thinking more of a combo route, would be to just get a very nice clean tube amp fitting for pedals, and pair it with some good pedal distortions, this way you have a clean pallette, and it woudl be easier and cheaper to get all flavors of distortion through some good pedals.

http://www.netmusicians.org/index.php

Here is a site with sound clip examples of a bunch of different amps, perhaps you can find something on hear as well.

Hey, if you liked the crate, then thats kewl too. I would go play it quite a few times at different levels though and make sure the tone is still what you want over time. Is it solid state?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #9
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

You WILL drive yourself crazy on the tone quest if you really expect any ONE amp
to cover all the most desirable tones.

For $300.00 get the one that sounds right to you for the moment and keep it as
a specialty amp for that purpose.

Experiment with extension cabinets and different speakers and if that still doesn't
get the sound you're looking for, look at your next amp to cover the tones you are missing.

I've dicovered that it pretty much takes 3-4 amps to properly cover the tonal spectrum. especially for recording.

Live is a whole different story and so much depends on proper cross stage monitoring.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #10
Gear Addict
 
nbarts's Avatar
 

Which H&K do you own?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #11
Did you try the Randall modular stuff. If you did which modules, that has alot to do with
what you might like or not like. If you didnt you should
Old 3rd September 2007
  #12
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slaves666's Avatar
I have a Crate BV-300 and it is one of my favorite amps. I don't think that the amp you like is comparable to an all tube monster like the BV-300 or a JCM800, Bogner, Mesa or anything tube for that matter.

Try looking a little more for an amp before taking the plunge.....I have a Fender Tonemaster that RULES....they make the Pro-sonic now that is comparable. Maybe a used Marshall Plexi with distortion pedals is a better option.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbarts View Post
Which H&K do you own?
A cheaper one, the solid state Attax 50 combo. The distortion tone was out of control, and sounded excellent recorded. Unfortunately, that amp is on its way out. There's not much to it circuit-wise... the PCB layout is really simple and uncluttered... I just want to upgrade to a half stack so other bands can bring their amp heads in without having to haul a 4X12 cab into the studio. The last time I played out with an electric guitar was 1995, so I haven't had a need for live guitar amps in quite a while, which is why I opted for the combo last time.

I've never played a tube amp where I was totally into the distortion sound... I guess I'm more of a solid state fan. But I really want to play with an H&K Triamp.... Even a cheap Vortex or a Warp 7 is on my list to try out, if I had the opportunity.
Old 4th September 2007
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
I have a Crate BV-300 and it is one of my favorite amps
FINALLY, someone else who likes this amp. I have the combo version and I really like it for heavy stuff. The clean channel isnt halfbad either.

Have you looked into any of the orange stuff, divided by 13, top hat

The orange tiny terror gets good reviews, and its almost designed for recording.
Old 4th September 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
indie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
You WILL drive yourself crazy on the tone quest if you really expect any ONE amp
to cover all the most desirable tones.

For $300.00 get the one that sounds right to you for the moment and keep it as
a specialty amp for that purpose.

Experiment with extension cabinets and different speakers and if that still doesn't
get the sound you're looking for, look at your next amp to cover the tones you are missing.

I've dicovered that it pretty much takes 3-4 amps to properly cover the tonal spectrum. especially for recording.

Live is a whole different story and so much depends on proper cross stage monitoring.
thumbsup
Old 7th September 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 

The European Crate rep dropped off a Crate V30 for me to check out.

I kept it. He's not gettin it back!

It's really nice - right between an AC30 (but with more gain available) and a Marshall MKII 50 watt master volume (but slightly more compressed like a Vox). 4 EL84's and a closed back 2x12 cab with those crazy-expensive hemp speakers. It's already made it's way onto 3 records as the main guitar tone for the album, beating out some really expensive stuff.
Old 7th September 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
In case anyone cares, I just ordered a Hughes and Kettner Matrix 100 head and I'm picking up a decent Randall 4X12 from Craigslsit. I decided I'd rather give the new H&K mid-priced amps a shot (even without hearing them) than do something I'll regret (like buy a budget Crate just because it's easier on the pocketbook). Foolish? Maybe, but I love my current H&K, so why not.
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