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MindWalker
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi metal brethren,

My apologies if this is a n00b question for a n00b post but..

I'm looking for a valve amp that is both apartment friendly, can do a little jam or even a small gig, is good for recordings and doesn't need 4 people to carry it. But most importantly, it shall be able to unleash hell :metal:

- Why valves you ask ? Because I have a POD X3 and I would like to try the real thing.. I think it will help me to improve my playing because it will be less forgiving and more sensitive to picking dynamics (now if this isn't quite true I'm sure you guys here will know better).

- Because I live in an apartment it should sound manageable at low levels specially cause I work during the day and only in the evening / night I can play more.

I was looking into an ENGL Screamer, Blackstar HT-5 or HT-20.. maybe even Dizel Einstein (all either head or combo, still undecided) ? they all seem to sound good on youtube but I wonder if they can cut it for a good metal sound. I could then maybe look into getting a Palmer DI Load box for silent night playing..
They would still be quite usable for a small jamming / gig situation me thinks ?

I previously had looked into an Engl Powerball, Invader but those are overkill for my level (or I would be a case of good gear, shit playing).. then I looked into just pre-amps such as an engl e530 or e570.. but then I would have to get a poweramp and the complexity of the rig started to defeat the simplicity of a head / combo.

Or I could just forget all of this and go for the latest and greatest modellers such as a Kemper ? Or maybe even the POD HD with a cheap solid state power amp ?

I sort of prefer the idea of a valve amp... just plug in the guitar cable and off you go.. no need for separate monitors or such.. but on the other hand they seem less flexible for recording or silent playing..

The problem is that I can't easily go out and try all of it so I have to decide on something without trying it... maybe it will sound like poop. It's a classic case of egg / chicken problem :spock:

I know there's not one solution for this.. in the end it has to be what I think is better for my situation. Living in Europe, my current house is quite small and I can hear my neighbour downstairs when she drops the bass with Lady Gaga so I guess she'll be able to hear me playing through a valve amp :metal:

So I guess I'm just scooping for opinions and ideas :cool:
 

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Mutes the Meat
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10,236 Posts
Check out the Blackstar HT-5 :D

EDIT: I see that you mentioned it in the OP...so...

I recently got one and I think it's great. I use it in an apartment and I think I could use it for a small jam too.
 

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Is Actually Recording
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32,765 Posts
The smaller Blackstars are pretty good, as are the Jet City heads. They're also going to be stupidly expensive overseas, but I REALLY liked the Mesa Mini Rectifier.
 

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Señor Member
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12,297 Posts
If you're looking at Engl, I'd suggest the Gigmaster > Screamer for what you're describing. :2c:
 

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MindWalker
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah the Mini Rectifier was high on my list and is available on a local shop.. very small and compact, however unlike the HT-5 it lacks a direct out and you're right... it's like 3 times more expensive over here than the HT-5.. :)
For this reason I never really got around to try it.. I mean.. I kinda feel guilty going to a shop, bugging the sales people to try an amp that I think I'm not really going to buy... unless it would completely blow me away

I did try the HT-5 once though but maybe it was the day.. it didn't sound too gain capable to me. That same day I tried a Screamer and it rocked.. but this memory is now a bit far away.. I would have to try them again.. and most importantly.. with my guitar! (I used an RGD2120 back then.. my main axe is an RG3120.. pretty similar though but maybe the strings on that RGD were old)
 

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Marshall humper
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3,575 Posts
If you want to play small shows with it, maybe the Ht-20. I will say though, I've played an ht-5 in GC and it was a very solid amp. Great choice, but may not have the power to do shows.
 

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Premium Member
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23,428 Posts
I play my Mesa DC-10 (100w) through a 4x12 cab in my apartment. Just turn that shit down :lol:
 

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MAMMALHAMMER
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520 Posts
I will advise not to get a combo, but rather a close back 2x12 with vintage 30s. That will give you the true sound that you're looking for and is of a manageable size and weight. Open backs and small closed back 1x12s don't make the same sound as a closed back cab and are disappointing for metal. Combo amps are also very heavy because the speaker and amp are combined. They're the worst of both worlds.

As for the head. ENGL heads sound good at low volume as do 5150/6505s. Framus cobras are also similar and might be cheaper in EU.
 

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MindWalker
Joined
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
did you check out egnater? get one of egnaters 30w heads and a 1x12/2x12.
I was checking some videos on youtube and it does sound pretty good for cleans, classic rock and overdriven blues tones.. but didn't quite seem to get that nice scooped metal tone... but well you can't believe everything you see on youtube right ? :roll2:
 

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MindWalker
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I will advise not to get a combo, but rather a close back 2x12 with vintage 30s.

As for the head. ENGL heads sound good at low volume as do 5150/6505s. Framus cobras are also similar and might be cheaper in EU.
Something like an Engl 2x12 horizontal with V30s for example ?
I think I would have to get a cab anyhow.. because even if I'd go for an HT-5, the clips that I've found to sound the best are through an external 2x12 cab (like in MasterThatGear! - Blackstar HT-5RH Demo on youtube)

On my POD so far my most stable patch is based off of a Engl Powerball + Dizel Lead (dunno which model it tries to emulate).. guess I could try this with some impulses to see what kind of cabinet gives me the sound I like best..

But I guess for the times you play at low volumes it all sounds the same ? Unless you really crank it up..
 

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MindWalker
Joined
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No valves, but these are great:
Tech 21 Trademark 30 30W Guitar Combo/DI Amplifer: Musical Instruments
that's an interesting option.. I guess in the end it's going to be valves against modellers.. I think I'm finding it a bit inevitable that I just have to try valves for a while even if I may give up in the end, sell it out and come back to modellers.

At some point in your life you have a stable job for some years and accumulated enough dough to get some boutique gear. But still I don't want to get more than I could chew! Like yeah.. I could well get an ENGL Invader, some people say it's the best amp they've ever played! Or I could shell out on a Mark V... but just because you can doesn't mean that you should right ? :cool:
 

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Premium Member
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23,428 Posts
If you're just jamming by yourself, at home, use the POD, and get a nice 100w head to kill small children with when you're jamming with a drummer :yesway:
 

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First post guy
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224 Posts
I will advise not to get a combo, but rather a close back 2x12 with vintage 30s.
Good advice.
I've got a buddy who has a HT5r running into a Carvin 2x12 with V30s. That is a very sick sounding amp. He has a TC delay in the loop... waaay better tone than I expected. I say, start with the blackstar, you won't be let down. :yesway:
 
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