New Members! Heavy Metal Amp Guide - Page 3
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Thread: New Members! Heavy Metal Amp Guide

  1. #17

    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: Las Vegas
    ME: Custom LTD 350MH
    MA: Epiphone EJ-300
    Rig: 5150iii KSR Ares Kemper

    iTrader: 0

    Bugera 333XL:
    I own one and its the workhorse of my studio! 3 Channels, with 2 modes each. Built in noise gate, Switchable Series FX Loop with Boost, and swappable between EL34 or 6L6 Tubes with the flick of a switch! Also has a bias trim pot which is a great feature!

    120 Watts

    All this for about $600.00

    For the price this amp is tough to beat! For a while people were complaining about "quality" of the amp, but its been PERFECT for me since I got it. No issues AT ALL! Everything from Jazz Clean to all out Modern Molten Metal!

    Clean Channel: Pristine fender-esq cleans at any volume. With a boost in front like a tube screamer its got a really amazing bluesy tone!

    Cruch Channel: Can someone say 80s marshally goodness! OMG this is my fave channel on the entire amp. Everything from AC/DC crunch to full on 80s thrash!

    Lead Channel: Mesa to the extreme! More gain on tap then you could ever want, scoop the mids and its DJENT approved!

    Series FX Loop: has a level control that can be used as a volume boost on all channels. Up to 6DB of boost! More then you will ever use!

    ================================================== ========

    Krank Rev Jr

    20 watt

    High gain all tube amp with plenty of power for live performance for about $600 (20 watt version). 2 Channels (non-foot switchable, the PRO version has channel switching). Plenty of gain on tap! Pure shred approved tones. Everything from 80s thrash to DJENT is in this little 5 pound baby!

    I love this little guy. I use him as a backup to my 5150 live and in times of need he has never let me down. He gets a ton of use in my studio as well.

    KLEEN CHANNEL: is CLEAN and when I say clean I mean Jewish Virgin on her first visit to Israel clean. It totally shocked me this high gain monster has such a beautiful clean sound. even all FULL VOLUME the clean channel is CLEAN!

    Krunch Channel: HEAVY, sweep control takes you from mid heavy 80s honk, to ultra scooped DJENT approved mayhem.
    Last edited by guitarguru777; 11-29-2010 at 11:10 PM.
    Reamping Available:
    5150, Krank Rev Jr,
    Bugera 333XL, Mesa Dual & Trip Recto,
    JCM800, JCM900,
    Marshall TSL & DSL,
    Marshall & Mesa Cabs V30s or 75s

    Backstage - New Independent Label Seeking Artists. For more details check out

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  3. #18

    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: canada, vancouver bc
    ME: Ibanez RGD2127Z
    Rig: HD500

    iTrader: 0

    I am not in a place to tell people to get a certain amp, because i dont know much... but i can give my experiences with the equipment i have used.

    Line 6 spider II: it's a good amp for the bedroom. you can get pretty good metal tones out of it, but the cleans are pretty lame. a lot of the pre-sets are junk, and i doubt you'll ever use them. i think theres only going to be two amp models you will use in this amp; metal and clean. a good thing though is that it comes with some effects built into the amp. the mods sounded very cheap, but the delay, and the reverb were quite nice. i recommend this; if you can find it cheap used and if you plan to just use it for home. note: no noisegate on this, like the other models of the spider family. it will hum and hiss and sound like diarhea on higher volumes.

    Line 6 Spider III 150w head w/ 4X12 spider cab: this amp is basically like the spider II, except it sounds better, and you get little to no hum. it was actually quite clean, and also had an added booster you can access through a pedal. generally it's just the same as the Spider II except it's more powerful, with more headroom. still, one thing i noticed is that it turns to mush when you turn up the bass. don't expect it to be tight. The amp models sound much better than this series, but again, the pre-sets are

    Line 6 Spider Jam: This product is the best, BEST, bedroom rocker amp you can get. it has a built in drum machine, which loops... gets old, but is good for practice. you can also record up to 24 minutes of your own material, recording on top of recorded material as well, infinitely. if you have an sd card, you can record much more. generally, this amp has great tone. even now, i still use it to record ideas and songs if i am too lazy to set up my computer to record an idea(which i tend to do a lot). simply, this amp is simple and ready to go. i recommend VERY highly, for the guy who wants to practice on top of recorded material. the drum machine can be used as a metronome as well
    shit pre-sets again.

    Line 6 pod X3 Live: I found this unit to sound really flat and uninspiring. sold it after a couple of months. so many amps to choose from as well as different cabs, speakers etc... still sounded like trash to my ears. the emulated amps really sounded digital, and thats coming from a guy who doesn't have much experience with real tubes etc... recommended for someone who has money and wishes to waste it. direct sounds alright, but through an amp, sounds like ass. but still, direct out through monitors, speakers etc... not good. i heard some people get amazing tones from this on youtube... sadly i was not one of them.

    Zoom g9.2tt: i dont know if i like this or hate this... definitely dont like it though... and i tried. this unit has tubes in it... haha, thats wierd for a amp emulator, but its quite neat. get it warmed up, and yes, it does make it sound quite nice... however, the sound quality is just... so digital. you can really hear it, and it doesn't sound good. another thing i really hate is that its not user friendly. expect to get real close to the manual while using this. lastly, this unit comes with something called a znr. what is that you say? basically its a cheating tool... a big cheating tool that i despite ~ what this znr thing does is cover up your mistakes. it's sort of like a compressor, which cuts feedback, and all the unwanted noises that you make by mistake. sustain gets killed when this thing is on, plus; you wont know if you're a good guitar player or not if you use it, because it covers your ass too much! i don't recommend this; had it for 2 months... should have bought something else... or saved my money. i am intent on using it, but just cant work around it's sound.

    Line 6 HD500: i'll keep this one short... buy it. if you're look for a digital amp modeller with effects, that wont break the bank; get it. I am really REALLY happy with the tone i can get with this. it seriously sounds awesome to my ears... and yet, i am still looking for bigger and better things haha.
    Last edited by shuriken-guitar; 01-20-2011 at 11:24 PM.

  4. #19

    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: UK
    ME: Legra Customs
    MA: Victor Garcia
    MB: Legra Spyder
    Rig: Driftwoods and zilla

    iTrader: 1 (100%)


    Okey dokey

    I think my first amp that wasnt a crappy little practice amp (some 'practice' amps are very good: emphasis on 'crappy'! was

    Laney TF300

    I was 16, had been playing for 0 years, and wanted something that made more noise and didnt sound terrible. At the time I had some idea what I wanted an amp to sound like (metallica11!!!!!1!1) but no fucking clue whatsoever how to get that sort of sound (or that it was utterly hopeless to try to get something like the black album sound from any one amp, in the room). It basically suited my needs, save that it farted out on palm mutes. So I sent it back. I shant try and comment on the memory of the tone; far too dim and distant.

    Its successor was:

    Carlbro GLX80

    This amp did me for some considerable time. It lasted me until I think my last year of university and I was generally, at the time, impressed with it. It had an odd 'channel blending' feature where you could mix the clean and distortion channels, that was basically useless. I reaquired the same amp recently (got it back off the person I sold it to, then sold it on again) so the tones: cleans, dull and lifeless, distortion, boxy, fizzy and anemic. Why I liked it I have no idea.

    First 'High End' amp, 21st birthday present in...shit, wait, how old am I now? Ok, must have been 2003. Rampant guitar forum activity had not yet brought a million and one new amps to try to my attention, and the internet did not yet effectively provide clips and demo recordings, so I was quite content with:


    For a while, believing that a Marshall surely must be able to provide the sounds I wanted, without having to (or being able to) shell out for a mesa (which is what I thought at the time was my holy grail tone). This aint such a bad amp, but it wasnt right for me, I (fairly) quickly realised. I kept wanting it to be less woolly, more aggressive, tighter in the low end and yada yada. I swapped the valves out a couple of times to little avail and changed the speakers and never really got on with it perfectly well. I used an EQ20 in the effects loop for a bit, which helped, but it was never going to have the modern metal voicing I wanted.


    Engl screamer combo

    I liked this amp quite a bit. I enjoyed its fatter bass response, greater aggression and after a while grew to like the glassy, ultra-unforgiving high mids and top end. I used the screamer and the tsl at the same time if I needed to make a shitload of noise, to great effect, and kept them both around for I think 2-3 years. I wasnt quite content, however, because it still didnt deliver qute the tightness and punch in the low end that I wanted. I didnt want a huge overbearing low end, both the TSL and screamer had enough on tap in magnitude, I just wanted it to be more solid.

    - notable mention in this time:

    Roland Cube 30

    I loved this amp. LOVED it. I sold it really hastily after I got my ADVT30XL, and was basically alright with that until I moved to a new place and need amps in multiple rooms for practice and people coming round, and now I think "I wish I still had my cube!". 80 poxy quid for one of the best low volume amps I've ever used! What was I thinking? Sounded thick, chunky, not overly fizzy, and was quite articulate at whisper volume.

    Which I suppose leads me to:


    My harping on about 'little' amps may not seem worthwhile, but one thing I STILL stuggle with is a satisfactory low volume sound. This and the cube are pretty much the best I've found. Most of the channels on this are pretty rubbish, but I found some sounds in it that I like and I stick to the same two, and enjoy them. Same basic description as the cube (which is also my functional spec of a practice amp: here it is again: "thick, chunky, not overly fizzy, quite articulate/clear, all at low volume". It doesnt seem much to ask, but its been very hard to satisfy! The vox is brighter than the cube, and I swear I can hear that lone 12ax7 doing something minuscule and insignificant to the tone, but it sounds decent for what it is.

    While I'm at it:

    Pod XT

    Hated it. I listened to recordings and went 'I'll have me some of that', got me some of that, in the mean time learned how to mic an amp reasonably well and discovered that I may as well just use one or 10 of the billion VSTs out there and then decided I didnt want me any of that any more.

    Tonelab LE

    Same, but with better amp models and effects. It took me longer to get rid of this one, but it went anyway, with pretty minimal use. Was really hard to get a bright and tight enough metal sound from it, but doable (but not worth it in the end!)

    Where was I?

    Ah, yes, we're up to my current amps (which include the ADVT30XL, still; its infront of me now as my lounge practice amp)

    Peavey Vypyr 30

    The less I can play this the better. I wanted it to be a second practice amp for the studio. Its high gain sounds are all terribly similar, loose, and somehow manage to be both too squishy and too clangy and harsh. Dont like. At all. The volume is very hard to use when low: one arc second of turn will increase or decrease by a factor of about 5 when below about 2. Cleans and effects are pretty good though. I keep it around for 'variety', 'in case I need it' etc etc

    Peavey bandit

    You all know this amp: I picked it up for £10, quite like it for what it is and shant complain

    The key ingredient of much that follows:

    Bogner Ubercab

    Dear lord. The right amp/s through this cab and youre worried that youre gonna break your house in half. Very, very tight, punchy, clear and can and will sound gargantuan, if you let it. I've been through K100s and Swamp thangs in place of the T75s and came back to the 75s in the end (though may go all-V30). My only complaint: it could be a little less beamy, but I suppose thats the price you pay: I dont see any cabs breaking the laws of physics any time soon; closed = beamier. Better learn to deal with it.

    Engl powerball

    A V2, I think. Things I like: ultra-tight, very aggressive, decent cleans, 'wide', highly effective controls (for the most part) let it be pretty tweakable, and I'm still, 3-4 years later, tweaking. Of course, if you dont like the amp 5 minutes after you plug in, youre never going to, and I did. It appeals to me in a mechanically brutal sort of a way. It doesnt have some characteristics that I do/did want, though: its quite sterile souding, I wanted an amp that had a thicker, denser, 'woodier' (never really understood how that term applies to an amp, but I get whats meant by it) bark in the low mids and mids. The PB mids are oddly congested, which can work sometimes, not others.

    VHT Pitbull CL100 EQ

    This was more or less a blind accident. I'd heard clips and nothing put me off, but nothing really enticed me about what I heard. But I was looking for more amps on account of the complaints I just gave about my PB. I wanted a supliment/compliment to the PB, really. I was offered this in part-ex for a couple of my ibanezes. What. A. Fucking. Deal. I ADORE this amp. Its the amp that I never knew I needed. Slightly darkly voiced, but utterly unforgivingly tight, clear and responsive. Shitloads of (highly usable) gain, but without much saturation, very usefull and well implemented controls (not least of which the 5-band EQ), good cleans (warm and smooth and chimey and glassy is all there), hyper aggressive, and all the midrange bark you can want or need (and not congested, either: they do what mids should; hit you in the chest and make your skull shake).

    The only downside of this amp for me is that its made me want a UL as well.


    JVM 410h

    I got this mainly to record people that want generic rock sounds (its something I've been moving into lately). It wasnt my thing, and I doubt it ever will be. It has none of the wool or the TSL, thankfully, and can easily be a metal amp, but its voicings not what I would use. That said, I do enjoy playing through it: its capable of a midrange snarl and bite that I havent heard out of many amps, and the main beats are all there, present and basically correct, from plexi-ish to JCM800-ish to hotrodded marshall-ish. None quite right, but all quite passable. All in all, looking at it as objectively as I can, its the best amp marshall have released since the JCM800, imo, but its not 'my thing. Were it my only amp I wouldnt cry myself to sleep at night, but I'd be looking for something different. As it is, its a welcome addition.

    Current gas for - 5150 II/6506+

    Never terribly liked playing through them; slightly squishy pick attack I dont agree with, but always liked the tones and would like to have one round as another option for recording; they do so so very well.

    Notable also -rans (amps I havent owned, but in some way have stood out to me when trying them)

    Dual rec

    Now on its own, I dont like that much, too loose and fizzy (even loud) but boost it and youre in some fine-ass metal rhythm territory. Never bought one because I've always, despite quite liking them, seen them as unjustifiably expensive here (thick end of £2000). Also, I object to buying an amp that I HAVE to boost. (this also applies to the Uberschall, which I positively hated unboosted, and quite liked boosted). But, a boosted DR is a force to behold.

    VHT Deliverance 60

    Now, see, I'm a metal Rhythm player, really. Think "Someone that did most of his early learning from metallica CDs and now wishes there were more hours in the day to listen to Nile, Origin, Meshuggah and Hour of Penance"...among others, obviously. I can play leads, and often do just sit and shred for hours, but its not something I take seriously, its just for the pracitice and fun of it. But, I plugged into this and couldnt stop playing sweet, smooth blues-based leads with big wide vibrato, slow bends and the occasional incongruous sweep. It was just so responsive and articulate. Awesome stuff. Couldnt keep it together very well in drop B with my jackhammer picking hand, though, so it had to be ruled out (this is the TOTAL opposite of the pibull, btw, which maintains low end itegrity even when theres far, far more of it going on than you can ever want or need).

    If I were in a position where I could have a 'lead amp' for recording, this would be it.

    I'm not really sure how, but I hope this was of use to someone. Was fun going down memory lane and racking my brains about it at any rate

    Edit: because I got the year I was 21 in wrong

    Edit 2: Another also-ran

    VH4 Similar dark-but-articulate thing going on on most channels to the pitbull, but more saturated and less throaty. More processed sounding. Extremely versatile; you can get a passable tone for more or less anything from jazz to extreme metal from it. Another absurdly tight amp, which I'm a big fan of (in case you hadnt guessed). Its somewhat processed sound (says the powerball-user) and massive price tag put me off, though. Its almost like its mixed and mastered out of the cab, very impressive, but also a bit flat. I like it very much nonetheless.
    Last edited by MDV; 02-21-2011 at 05:33 AM.

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  6. #20

    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: London, UK
    ME: Ibanez RG2570EX
    MA: Tanglewood TW28
    Rig: ENGL E640 Invader

    iTrader: 0

    Heres my contribution (will mention gig rigs only);

    Marshall MGDFX 100h and cab

    - Rubbish, Wasp in a can sound!

    Marshall JCM900 SLX

    - Brilliant tone for AC/DC - Old school/early bay area sound. Nothing else.

    Marshall TSL60

    - Brilliant pub rock amp, will be perfect for a covers band situation doing any cover versions from the police to pink floyd (but none of them brilliantly). Note i also blew this amp after 4 hours of higher volume use. Ive heard from my amp tech that its common to happen with these amps as they heat up and the cheap plastic expands.

    ENGL E640 Invader 150

    - This amp has a bigger schlong that i do. Simple. It prob makes love to my gf better than i do when im asleep.

    (on a serious note... brilliant creamy tone goes right to hell as well when you need it, dodgy noise gate included tho, one valve went quite quickly too)

    Thanks for reading if you did.

  7. #21

    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: Hampton, VA, US
    ME: ESP LTD M207
    Rig: Peavey 5150

    iTrader: 0

    i dont really have much experience with amps but i'll throw my 2cents in.

    i started out with my dads Marshall JTM45 head running through a JCM900 cab. i loved this amp but it had no distortion of its own so i had to use all kinds of pedals and stuff which i didnt really care for.

    recently i picked up a used Peavey 5150 and i love it. not only can you get some brutal tones from it but its LOUD. through the JCM900 cab i get a really nice balance of lows and highs. however, i would definitely recommend using a noise gate. i now have a line 6 POD x3 live for gate, screamer, and compression and it sounds great. my one complaint about the 5150 is the lack of tightness in the distortion. i've read up on it and apparently putting a new output transformer in the amp will give it a tighter and more articulate sound.

    either way i really like my 5150 and i would recommend it for anyone trying to get a really heavy sound

  8. #22

    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: Canadia
    ME: none
    MA: Seagull!
    MB: None.
    Rig: Hd500->V300->Mesa 212

    iTrader: 0

    Wirelessly posted (A Destroyer of short people: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If you want to get more tightness out of a 5150 I would buy a tubescreamer.

  9. #23

    Join Date: May 2011
    Location: Wakefield, UK
    ME: Swirley Shirley
    MB: Shine POS
    Rig: SLO & Roadkill 2x12

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehtab View Post
    Wirelessly posted (A Destroyer of short people: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If you want to get more tightness out of a 5150 I would buy a tubescreamer.


    My route has been fairly short to be honest as far as metal amps go.

    My first was some crate SS, terrible cleans, terrible distortion but it was loud.

    Then came the Line6 Rack setup.
    Podt xt Pro, Marshall EL34 power amp, 1960a.
    This setup saw me through a good few years, At first i loved it i found it very versatile for any style of music until i played a friends Splawn Quickrod then i suddenly realised just how fake, scratchy & horrible the Line6 modelling sounds.

    Then i had what i have currently.
    Marshall TSL60 > Peavey 2x12 with 1x V30 & 1x Emi Man O War
    This i've been using for about a year and is pretty damn versatile, it needs boosting for most metal but that isnt really an issue.
    here are some clips of it doing various metal stuff and also something more rocky.
    In memoriam Hammerfall cover

    Root of All Evil, Dream theatre cover

    The Search for the king - Original content

    New song - Original content

    In a Heartbeat - 28 days later

    At one point i borrowed a friends Starfield Valve Preamp (ibanez) for a King diamond project that never took off
    Heres a clip from that into the TSL's power amp

    And my next amp is currently on the bench A Soldano SLO clone which i shall have a full review of on monday.

  10. #24

    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: u

    iTrader: 0

    I love the Peavey XXX played thru a Genz Benz G-Flex (Amazing Cabinet), great tone, plenty of power and they won't break the bank

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