Hey, I'm looking for an amp.. Nothing too luxurious, but here are are my requirements.
The main thing that I want is the ability to run softsynths through it, but I'd also like to play some guitar and bass on it.. Basically looking for a swiss army amp. Something that will sound well over the whole range.
Also not looking to spend a lot :/ I'm a poor college kid, so probably between 400 and 600.
I'd be willing to hunt for it used, so any help towards what I'm looking for would be great.
Amps that are great for synths are often not great for guitar and vice versa. Synths like great dynamic and frequency range and guitars like compression and nothing above maybe 4 kHz. That said, there are some amps that'll be decent compromises:
1. Fender Twin: you'll need pedals for distortion, and it'd be better for synths with a more hifi speaker like the JBL option. Used the reissues go for $400-500, leaving you a bit to fiddle with speakers.
2. Roland Jazz Chorus: from 55-120w, mono and stereo versions, pretty decent with acoustics, keys and guitars, just don't turn on that awful "distortion" effect. Also in the $400-500 range. Also very heavy.
3. Powered monitor speaker, then run an amp emulator for the guitars, like a Pod or one of the Tech21 Character pedals. You can do the same with a keyboard amp or small PA, all of which can be landed for less than $500.
There are lots of more peripheral things that would work (Crate Powerblock, Lunchbox, old tube PA heads) just have to keep your eyes open...
Bass is tougher and if you want to rock a bass I'd make different recommendations. Bass puts a lot of strain on the amps power section (takes more power to amplify bass) and the speakers. If you want good bass response AND enough high end to accomodate keyboards...
Speakers: high powered, full range like EV12M or JBL D120 or E120.
Power section: Solid state 400w or tube 100-200w
Flexible EQ, preferrably more than most guitar amps.
My solution to this is a Sound City 200w PA head I picked up: pretty good frequency response, EQ with both cut and boost, outputted into a cab with a pair of JBL D120Fs it's got enough high end and cut to sound decent with keys, enough bass to kick your butt and enough mids to sound good with guitar. You could get the same performance with a number of Ampeg models (SVT, VT22 etc) into the right speakers. Alessandro makes some cool amps that would work but are a bit pricey.