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Amp time

880 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  budda
Hey guys. Thanks in advance for your time...You've been helpful as hell in the past, the time has come for me to shop for either an amp head or a rack based pre and separate power amp. Problem is I have no immediate way of testing any serious stuff out locally (residing in the armpit of the middle of nowhere, Australia), PLUS I'm a complete noob when it comes to amp heads containing tubes so do go easy on me. No idea what to look for...I'm just looking for some loose recommendations. I'm after versatility here, I haven't been getting along with my solid state Randall RH300G3 + Randall cab (non celestion, but easy fix) and as a guitar5 teacher, I find myself currently very limited with the tones I can produce

I have the modstory TS5ovchaos...
I also have some rack stuff ready:
Lexicon MX200 Dual Reverb effects processor (pretty awesome )
Phonic PPC 9000E Power conditioner
31 band stereo EQ + Compressor

- As far as cleans go I'm chasing some big, warm, liquid clean tones with plenty of ambient thickness for everything from Jazz and Pop through to Tool/APC, Devin Townsend stuff, Porcupine Tree and original material involving ambient soundscapes, some trippy experimental stuff.

- And as far as distortions go, I'd be after something which can cover classics like Van Halen/Motley Crue right through to prog/death metal like Opeth, Cynic right through to Scar Symmetry, Nevermore, The Faceless etc.

If it's any help, most of my guitars are mainly mahogany bodies, maple necks, and are either equipped with Duncan Blackouts or Duncan passives like JB+59 sets.

I understand that it might be a bit too much to ask to locate one single amp/rack unit which will cover those areas perfectly. Currently I'm looking at everything from a Mesa Roadster to an Axe-Fx, and I have NO fucking idea which amp would handle the aforementioned musical areas better.

You guys have the experience, and the gear whore skills to match. Lay your recommendations on me! :yesway:
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Have a look into the Traynor YCS100H. 3 channels, very versatile, very affordable, and should be able to get most of the sounds you're after with ease, in conjunction with your current gear.
The roadster will cover all those bases. So will the Axe-FX and it will make all the rest of your rack gear unnecessary. With the Axe, you'd need to get a poweramp, but there are plenty of good options.

Since you can't really try them out, I would suggest going used, so that if you don't like it you can sell it without losing too much on the deal.
Do you really -need- to have such a huge array of tones and effects? if so, i'd say axefx and a nice 6l6 power amp. it's personally what i use and I love it. If you don't need all that stuff then you could get away with something like the roadster.

If money is no object, get an axefx, liquid foot controller or control pro, and a mesa 2:100 or vht 2:90 power amp. should take care of everything you need.
Thanks for the input guys, after some more homework I'm closer still, but money be holding me back.

Kevin - I don't do much live stuff but I always prepare for the event that shit picks up in that area and I'd rather have a live-capable rig there ready and waiting. The reason why I would be wanting such an array of tones is because firstly, I need an amp which will be capable of doing covers. And not JUST songs by one band, that shit gets old fast. Secondly I'll be writing more of my original stuff and I'd hate to buy an amp which does one or maybe two tones well just to find out I have to limit myself (live or otherwise) by using only those tones etc.
I need something tweakable and which will be the most flexible amp I can buy for the money. So your recommendation (and others' of course) of the Axe-Fx is looking more and more like the ticket for me.

Budda - cheers man, after checking out a few vids of the Traynor YCS100H I feel that although it is indeed what you said it was, it seemed like it still had only a small amount of things it could do well...Dunno, not feeling it. On a tight budget I'd make more sense to get it, but I'm thinking I might just push a bit further and get something which I'll be much happier with.

Matt - I'm always a fan of going used for the savings, but with both a Roadster and an Axe-Fx, they must hold their value pretty well because there doesn't seem to be much separating the used price and the new price. I've always been interested in rack based rigs also....Plus I've heard some interesting stuff about just how easy it can be to get killer live Axe tones by pumping them straight into a PA instead of a cab. Help a noob out here - if you've got a kickass powered mixer could you go *guitar>axe>mixer>pa* or would you still need a solid power amp paired up with the axe before the signal goes to mixer?
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I got my roadster for $800 or so less than new :lol:

I like having a variety of tones available, but really I mainly use one tone for things. Even in my cover band, I pretty much lived on the crunch channel of my JSX and used the clean channel when need be - through on the ultra channel for a song or two just to try and get a bit heavier tone-wise, but I played johnny B good, thrash unreal, beat it, boys of summer and others with my own sound - it went well!
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