Fairly new to the forum, have used the search function, have read the amp sticky, watched Ola's amp review videos (dude is a Badassss), and feel you knowledgeable gents can give me some solid advice. I am selling some gear at the end of the month to a bud and will have some cash that I am looking to turn into a quality tube amp. I have been playing for 18 years and have never owned a "nice" tube amp. I have a tiny practice amp and a solid state Peavey Special 212 (that I will always keep out of nostalgia), but they are not cutting it.
I play mostly "classic" style metal, meaning just about anything before 1993; but I would also like something that can get more modern metal sounds (and by modern, I mean anything before 1999... Damn these kids these days .). Looking for an amp that can do early Maiden, to Megadeth, to Pantara, to Testament, and then back to Priest. Right now I am leaning towards a 2x12 combo (own a car with a tiny ass trunk) and and would like to be able to transport this thing out of the apt. for practice and the occasional gig.
I would like to get a Mesa. Budget will be up to $1200, but hopefully around $800. I have one Mesa dealer in town, but I don't want to pay their new prices. Sometimes they do pop up on the CL around here. On to the questions.
What would you recommend that fits my criteria? Open to other manufacturers as well.
Would you buy sight unseen off ebay?
Have you ever had an amp shipped, and did you receive it un-mangled by the "trusted" man in brown shorts?
Can said recommended amp "apartment"? (i.e. can it do high gain as to not piss off the old lady down the hall and get me evicted?)
Can recommended amp keep up/overpower a loud drummer?
I appreciate any advice.
Edit: I have looked around/researched a bit, just kind of trying to gauge what all of you would actually recommend.
Does that budget include a cab?
I'll be the first to recommend the obligatory 5150/6505. The only Mesa combos I'm really familiar with are the Nomad (no thanks) and the ROV (not bad, not great for modern stuff IMO). In your shoes, I'd definitely at least play a 212 6505+ Combo. They fucking RIP.