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Best "straight ahead" guitar amp 25-30 watts?


miden

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Hi folks,

 

Looking to buy an amp for my son to go with his epiphone dot semi - someone has recommended the Peavey Bandit 80 watt/12" are they any good? I think he only needs about 30 watts, and the Bandit is 80...but hey, I'm a keyboard player not a guitarist :D

 

If not this one, then can anyone recommend a good sounding one? Having gimmicky effects is NOT a criterium ;)

 

All suggestions welcomed.

 

Thanks

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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There's so many amps on the market now the three biggest factors would be:

 

1) are you looking for tube, solid state or digital modeling amp? (Most here will recommend tube)

 

2) what kind of music is he interested in playing?

 

3) price range... how much are you looking to spend?

 

I predict several will recommend the Fender Mustang II or III, which is a modeling amp... and for the prices I see them going for I've almost picked one up despite the fact that I have too many amps, already.

 

I'd also suggest that 15 watts is acceptable. I don't know if he's playing with a loud drummer, yet, but as far as you having to hear it in the house, believe me, it will be too much.

 

The amp I've been gigging with most often these days is a Vox AC15. Ampeg has a new 15 watt amp that someone here bought from one of the catalog places for a great price.

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Cool, gr8 info p90 thanks ...budget is around $500...his influences are Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Artic Monkeys, Muse, Ray Charles, Vic Wooten..

 

I personally would say a tube, but that's only because I used to play with guys back in the day who only used tube amps - but hey if a solid state can cut it...why not

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Roland Cube 40. An excellent amp w/every feature you could need. I have the predecessor to the most current version and really like it a lot! Build quality is superb! Wonderful clean tone via the JC=120 model. If anybody knows what a JC-120 sounds like, it should be Roland. Highly recommended.

 

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/999/276/080/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_1374244623546_A.jpg

If you play cool, you are cool.
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Traynor stuff is good. We all could gig with it.

 

I picked up a VHT Lead 20 for $350 USD that is a cool little amp. The reverb is a little wonky but I'm an old blackface Fender guy. I gig with it when I fear my 5 watt thing may not be enough due to the backline setup. Sometimes I have to be too far from my amp due to the keyboard crap.

 

I like the Blackstar HT-20 and HT-40 club series. Not sure of the street prices on those. There is a new series with some digital prommable stuff they call TVP. I don't like those.

 

The Vox AC-15 is great. I like new Vox stuff better than the old British Vox stuff ..... unless you can find a AC30 with Woden transformers. Seen to many British Voxi come in with blown transformers. The Asian stuff I think is actually better built that the British stuff {ducks}.

 

There is a lot of neat stuff out there for $500 or less. A kid may prefer something new and that is fine. If you were buying for yourself and want to keep it to $500 I would suggest you search what is available used then run what you find by the forum. At $500 used you may find some really nice pieces.

 

When I tried the used route with my kids I think they thought I was trying to be cheap. But my boy woke up to the fact when he was 18 that the old man could only afford a new medium grade student Sax or I could buy him a real nice used Proline horn. Now he is all about the used market.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Wow, thanks guys - lotsa info here :) He has decided it IS to be a tube after all - he had some advice from some peers re this at school over the past day or so (he is in year 12 out here, not sure how that equates to US schools, but he is nearly 18..)

 

Vox has been give a big :thu: by a lot of his m8s..but the Vox AC30 carries a hefty price tag :(

 

Anyhoo I will pass on the tips you have provided and he can research them.

 

Cheers

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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If he's 18 and latching on to those great old-school musicians, I have to say "great job" :thu:

 

Don't be afraid to go used, either. Check out your local/regional music stores for used trade in amps and the like.

 

I don't know about the Australian market, but over here, there has been somewhat of a surge in popularity of the 15-30W tube amps. A lot of seasoned guys are getting tired of carrying their monster old-school tube amps in and out of gigs and are opting for the 15-30W tube (or hybrid) amp and miking it.

 

Another suggestion to muddy the waters, a Peavey Classic 30 is a nice choice as well. It's relatively easy to carry, has a good sound, and can get incredibly loud for 30W. That's what I have my eye on

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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, a Peavey Classic 30 is a nice choice as well. It's relatively easy to carry, has a good sound, and can get incredibly loud for 30W. That's what I have my eye on

 

Agreed! The Peavey Classic 30 is great sounding amp and an incredible value.

If you play cool, you are cool.
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The Vox AC-15 is great. I like new Vox stuff better than the old British Vox stuff ..... unless you can find a AC30 with Woden transformers. Seen to many British Voxi come in with blown transformers. The Asian stuff I think is actually better built that the British stuff {ducks}.

 

You and I are in agreement here, my friend... and I know a lot of people who agree, too, mostly out of necessity if they gig a lot. I had an early 90s Brit AC30 that would need something tweaked after every 2 gigs... the Chinese stuff sounds very close, more than close enough, and is built VERY well! There's some questionable circuit choices or whatever but those happened in England on the drafting board and not on the assembly line, but people have come up with mods to get the most out of them.

 

I always get compliments on the sound of the amps and people are always surprised that they're the newer Chinese models.

 

I also suggest having a Crowther Hot Cake pedal, which was designed for use with Vox amps by the then-drummer in the band Split Enz when the guitarists wanted good overdriven tones out of them that still kept the character of the amp (the Hotcake sounds great with any amp whose preamp can be overdriven easily, but things like Fender Twins and DeVilles don't like it).

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his influences are Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Artic Monkeys, Muse, Ray Charles, Vic Wooten..

 

so something "classic" and/or "British" seems to be on order.

 

Musician's Friend and Guitar Center now offer used gear backed by warranties, to take some of the apprehension out of going the used route (though as a keyboard player yourself I'm sure you know how to judge gear).

 

Radiohead has a wall of Vox AC30s, along with a Mesa Boogie and - if you can believe it - their lead guitarist prefers the dreaded 80s Fender Solid State red knob combos for his overdriven and lead sounds.

 

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lj4spiIDTy1qa1wxx.jpg

 

AC30s, AC15s and the new AC15 x 2 (2 x12" speakers) are great and flexible and if you hunt you can find them for good prices. A friend of mine used an AC15, and needed more volume for a new band and his solution was to just add a second one... and now he does some stereo chorus stuff with them he'd never thought about before.

 

I think one of the perfect combo amps is the Fender Deluxe Reverb, but they tend to be sought after so they're probably out of the price range.

 

The Fender Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe and Blues Deville and Hot Rod Deville have become kind of stand-issue back-line amps these days. I think the clean channels on them are pretty good, but the overdrive channels are awful, so finding a good overdrive pedal makes them pretty fine and dandy. I used a Blues Deville to death for years.

 

The Orange Tiny Terror combo can sometimes turn up in good shape used for about $500. I just missed out on one for $275 and am still kicking myself for not checking Craig's list earlier that day.

 

The Blackstar and VHT and Traynor amps are cool and interesting.

 

Of course, if you happen to come across an old tube Fender Bassman head somewhere, we have to remember that they are the grandfather of all the amps above for all intents and purposes, and with a good speaker cabinet sound fantastic.

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I can only continue to express thanks at all the great suggestions here...MUCHO appreciated...Will let you guys know what he eventually chooses :)

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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I hadn't noticed that you're in Australia. Yeah, the market may be different down there...

 

One of my favorite bands is The Church, and I've noticed that lately Peter Koppes has been using the Blackstar amps along with their trove of priceless old Vox, Orange and Marshall amps, so I don't know if they're common down in Oz, but I think that's a fine endorsement for them.

 

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5306/5651574165_37a5bc5b3b.jpg

 

A lot of my teenage rock heroes were Australian and New Zealand bands. Good stuff brews up down there.

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...........

A lot of my teenage rock heroes were Australian and New Zealand bands. Good stuff brews up down there.

 

It surely does - and many are much under-rated by the rest of the world imo..

 

Thx for the heads up on Blackstar - I agree that IS a great endorsement!!

 

Just did a check on Blackstar :o on the pricing!

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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I think one of the perfect combo amps is the Fender Deluxe Reverb, but they tend to be sought after so they're probably out of the price range.

 

+1. One of the basic food groups of ampage. At 27 watts it's all the power any sane person could need. Nels Cline told me the re-issue Deluxe is crap & sent his back. I don't know, I thought the one he was using sounded great & I've heard other re-issues that sounded mighty fine to me. Just mixed a gig last week with Bryce Dessner from The National & I got him a Deluxe for that gig. Sounded great with his Jaguar. I don't know that I hear a difference between the old ones & the reissues, but it's one of my all time fave amps.

Scott Fraser
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I gig with a Blackstar combo sometimes. I use the little 5 watt amp with the 12" Celestion. I set it on a stand and aim it at my face. I use just the clean and get dirt from my pedalboard. This picture is funny. The amp is small, 12" speaker barely fits in it but it looks huge in the picture due to the angle of the photo.

 

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y70/CEB2/Hag-0070513_zps02ddaca2.jpg

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Just had a chat with my music store manager, and for the budget we are looking at most of the valve's are way too much, however we think we may have found a "sweet spot" with the Carvin Vintage 16.

 

They (the store) import these themselves so they can do a hot price, plus it has the advantage that they ONLY import the version with the Celestion Vintage 30 speaker!

 

Cost is $675 (approx $600 USd).

 

Any thoughts on this amp guys?

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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Just had a chat with my music store manager, and for the budget we are looking at most of the valve's are way too much, however we think we may have found a "sweet spot" with the Carvin Vintage 16.

They (the store) import these themselves so they can do a hot price, plus it has the advantage that they ONLY import the version with the Celestion Vintage 30 speaker!

Cost is $675 (approx $600 USd).

Any thoughts on this amp guys?

 

I have one. I like it a lot, sounds good, doesn't weigh too much. A very solid amp.

Scott Fraser
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Carvins- like Fenders & Vox- deliver really good clean tones that you get to muck around with using pedals.

 

The one and only knock I've heard on the Carvins is that they're not as durable as some other makers. Not the structure outside, but maybe the connections within get a little loose if jiggled too hard.. But that doesn't seem to be a universal issue.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Yeah that was his thoughts on the system too. Get the cleanest best quality for the available $'s and then add stompers.

 

Again my thanks :)

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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I have and, overall, love a Carvin Vintage 33, which is largely like a Vintage 16 with twice the output-tubes and an additional "Rhythm"/"clean" channel (which can be nicely overdriven) and an effects-loop. It's Cabinet Voiced Line Out works quite well, and there are times that it might be nice if it were a 2xEL84 16 watt amp instead of a 4xEL84 33 watter... I imagine that the Celestion Vintage 30 is a very good speaker upgrade for the amp, too, and one that I'd considered.

 

Turn its Volume up to 4 or 5 or more with the "Soak" set to about 2, 3, or 4, using the guitar's volume-controls and picking-hand "touch" to vary the cleanness or dirtiness of the sound, and you really won't need pedals for overdrive or distortion. (I have some fairly gainy ECC83 type 12AX7's in mine, though, selected for a "Marshall High-Gain Kit".) Conversely, if you roll the guitar's volume back a bit and adjust your "touch", tones that are cleaner and spankier than one might expect from a 16 watt 2xEL84 amp are attainable, and the amp's reverb works nicely toward that end, as well.

 

 

I bought my Vintage 33 used and put all new tubes in it (thanks again, Myles! :D:thu::cool: ). A good "Matched" or "Balanced" Phase-Inverter tube and a matched set of Ruby EL84CZ's turn these into new amps, really taking 'em to the next level or two up! Reif, aka "Bluesape", has heard mine first-hand and played through it himself, ask him what he thinks of it.

 

Overall I like it quite well, particularly since I figured out the best way to use it as far as approach and control-settings go, and I doubt I'll ever part with it. it responds VERY well to adjustments of the guitar's volume-controls and the player's dynamic "touch". I almost never use the "Rhythm" Channel at all, instead rolling my guitar's volume-knobs back for cleaner tones, and back up by degrees to go from clean to mean to scream to beam-me-up-Scotty. It gets on well with most pedals, particularly my Foxrox Octron octave-fuzz in front, and my Strymon El Capistan tape-echo-sim in its effects-loop. The amp's reverb is very nice. :cool:

 

I often get compliments on my tone when I've used it, and have occasionally been asked if it's been modded or had the speaker changed (the speaker is, in fact, the stock original). When I've had it at public open-mic Blues jams and allowed others to use it, it was often the amp of choice among other players...

 

 

The biggest problem I have with my Vintage 33 is that it's sometimes just a little too loud for many situations when set to it's 'sweet spot' volume-wise, in which case the Vintage 16 model seems mighty appealing- I've considered modding the 33's output-section to be similar in power to that of the 16's for that reason. I've had to repair some broken solder-joints in high traffic/stress places, particularly the input-jack, too, but this was after years and years of use and leaning my leg against the plug as I sat on the amp. If you get a Vintage 16, keep me posted, I'll have some tips for you.

 

 

 

I must say, I don't like most Peavey amps- with few exceptions at all- and I loathed the Peavey Bandits that I've had the misfortune of plugging into. I also think Roland JC line amps and anything like them suck cinder-blocks through Crazy Straws (I liked the Roland Blues Cube amps, though).

 

 

I have been impressed with the Blackstar amps that I've run across, being played by others. If they have a model in your price-range that has enough power- not too much, but enough- it'd probably be well worth looking into.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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thx Caevan - excellent information there...and thx also for the offer of tips, I have given the URL for this thread to son, so he can look at those tips you have already given...

 

And it looks like the Carvin 16 is in the bag - he just wants to check on it for himself tonight online.

 

Cheers

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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Now, looking at gear to be acquired in the future:

 

...his influences are Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Artic Monkeys, Muse, Ray Charles, Vic Wooten..

The first pedal I'd start looking for is the Boss RT-20:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RT20

 

...and here's why:

 

No, it's not cheap, but it's not too pricey either, for what it does. Plus, Boss pedals are so popular, they're relatively common on the used market. And most Boss- the RT-20 ncluded- are built to withstand a lot of punishment, so buying a used one is not a bad option. (That's what I did.)

 

I'd also look for a flexible and well-made distortion pedal. He probsbly won't need it too much, but when you DO need it, you usually don't want a cheapie. Some are fragile, some just sound bad. The ARE exceptions, but they rare.

 

I like the Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde distortion/overdrive pedal because it is built like a tank, has a lot of great tonal flexibility, and does both of its tasks well for a decent price.

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JekyllHyde

 

Yeah, I know this is all down the road stuff, but there are SO many pedals out there, its easy to get overwhelmed by the available choices. And if you buy a pedal you don't like, it sucks- you're going to sit there trying to make it work because pedals are expensive, and nobody likes making expensive mistakes.

 

Planning ahead reduces that risk.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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