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Unread 12-06-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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On a budget for X-mas for a head.

So. I intend to buy a head for X-mas. My current Koch Twintone doesn't get into the metal corner, even with EQ and Boost. I found a decent tone but I am after a clean crunch edge: A fat cutting tone to go Soilwork, Arch Enemy and so.

I managed to control the hiss and got a more defined tone out of the amp but it's still too mellow when set up right. If I go further it will just have uncontrolled gain with an undefined sound. It's just not agressive enough for the sevenstring. The Les Paul takes it just great. Like a Marshall kinda deal.

I should mention I am getting this head exclusively to go with my RG1527 loaded with S. Duncan Blackouts.

Given the size of the equipment and its specs you see I am after something that will do the best tone at home and little rehearshals. Something that eventually could be plugged to a bigger cab, too.

So. I have been looking for a few amps that are within my budget. I will present them here in a list from cheap to more expensive and you can give me your opinions.

These are going to go into my 1x12 (4 and 8 ohm connection) cone in the Twintone. I will keep the Koch amp for overall playing and intend to use the new thing as a one trick metal pony.



1.Orange Tiny Terror 15 Head


I have tried it and I boosted it wildly with a MXR overdrive. I played some Judas Priest on it and it sounded ....ing awesome. But Going into the groove side of things I didn't like it as much. Pantera is not really what it can take.

2. Peavey Valve King Head

I have seen some demos and liked it. Was going for one of these, but a guy at the local shop told me they are pretty weak. I don't know if it's a hybrid or a full tube, but I know I have seen people rip the shit with them on stage. As a home-eventual gig piece of gear it seems to be a good option. I see you can get a very tight tone with active pickpups, so that is worth of consideration given my axe's specs. Apparently it is very boomy on the cleans though. I won't use it for that though...

3.Engl E 315 Gigmaster Head

I don't know about this one neither. I don't know if it's alltube or not. I don't know if it holds up with the rest of the Engls. I have tried a Thunder. But I don't know if this one, also with less Watt would be good enough to get into that specific beef corner. Don't know if it will have the balls as it looks quiet similar to the Tiny Terror to me as far as the specs go. Can't find one to try it though. If it can get the 1x12 to be a bitch though. I'd like this option to be honest... ahaha.


4.Randall RH 150G3PLUS Head

A hybrid I was considering for the price, but an option that I have read here and in other forums is kind of a hit or miss affair. Some say they were lucky to get a good one and some say it was crap. I don't like the idea of it being a mixed amp. What part is the tube part, if the distortion on this one is not tube driven I don't want it I guess.

5.Randall RH 50T Head

Same info as with the other. If it's not all tube, the 50W will be less than I am used to. If it's all tube it will be exactly what I have now and go perfect with the 1x12. Didn't find much about this one though.

6.Orange Dual Terror Head

I like it. But I don't know I could get it into the corner I wish, even with the flat tone.

7.KRANK REVOLUTION JR PRO 50

IF it's really what it promises and it sounds like in the demos. THis thing can roar like a mother ....er. I haven't seen it boosted, but as a standalone it crunches with power. It' sa mean little one trick pony, but maybe what I am after. There is no place in Madrid to try it out so I would have to order it from Germany.

8.Engl E 325 Thunder 50 Head

Power amp tubes. All tube, then. Sounds good on the demos. Saw a guy play it live. But it was a Sabbath Cover Band. Not sure about it yet.


So. WHich one of these would you like better and why. I just need to know a little bit more about them and first hand experience from other players is highly welcomed.

Have a great day, guys!

See ya!
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Unread 12-06-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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out of the amps you listed the Krank Rev JR Pro i know for a fact is very well suited for the tone u are goin for. Soilwork and Arch Enemy have both used Kranks for recording and live so they ll get u that type of tone. ive played on the 20 watt version and it killed!!! nice tight low end and very aggressive thru the mids and highs. doesnt need to be boosted at all but sounds even better with an OD in front for sure. even tried it on a 4x12 cab and if you didnt know any better, you would think it was a 100 watt half stack bein played. the main difference i noticed between these and the Rev1 head is that they start sounding better at lower volumes since they are lower wattage. the Rev1 literally has to be turned up to like 5-6 to sound badass, whereas the JR sound killer at like 2-3. still pretty loud though.

the Valveking will get u that type of tone too, esp with a boost. they just have to be cranked up a bit to sound really good, otherwise they do sound a lil weak.

but.......

.......if you were gonna go the the VK route, you would be better off in my opinion goin with the 6505+ 112 combo. idk what Peavey prices are like over there, but here the 6505+ combo is only a lil more than the head and to me sounds alot better. can also be hooked into an external cab. before using Kranks, both Arch Enemy and Soilwork used 5150/6505's for recording several albums. Soilwork is using them again i believe too. "Stabbing the Drama" was tracked with a 5150 into a Marshall 1960 cab. so the 6505+ combo boosted will get u that tone no doubt
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Unread 12-06-2010, 01:56 PM   #3
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for cheap 100 watt brootlz get the VK, my buddy has one un-boosted and it rips, im waiting till after Christmas to pick one up, and i think they are only like 550 new which is a steal.

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Unread 12-06-2010, 02:19 PM   #4
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Get the valveking. In my opinion its overall the best amp, and it is all tube. Its super versatile whether your playing some death chugs or smooth jazz. I mean with any of the others you listed you'll most likely need to upgrade a lot sooner than with the VK. Or just wait and save up a little longer.
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Unread 12-06-2010, 02:26 PM   #5
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Hmm...

I am not saying which of the options is pushing more at the moment. But I found this interesting gear test:

The 5150 - Krank Rev Jr - Valve King Shootout! - Ultimate Metal Forum

I agree with cwhitey that the price on the peavey is awesome. What scares me is that I would need to get the combo version as it plugs out to 16 Ohm and my Koch is 8 or 4.

Also, if I picked this one up, do you guys recomend to go combo? It's a 2x12 I just saw and 100 watt could be accoustic murder for my ears and those living close...

The ENGL and the KRANK seem to be 8 and 16 Ohm. Which at the mont suits me better. The good thing on those would also be, having a 50W cab in less space. All Tube (as far as I am concerned) and compatible with my speaker.

The peavey would still be cheaper though... funny, huh? (Why is this' IS it made for cheap in China or so?)

Thanks a lot for the feedback so far. I am curious what other people have to say.

Cheers!
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Unread 12-06-2010, 02:39 PM   #6
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Ah! ChrisWFTS We posted at the same time. So I culdn't reply in the post before. I don't really intend to upgrade. I have the Koch which has the most amazing clean tone I have ever tried. And I love it. From clean to heavy it does it all. But can't be pushed into the MEtalcore, high gain with definition and bite corner.

I don't need any of the amps above to be versatile. I just need to make sure it will be a full metal horse. If it has a good clean besides that it's welcome, but it's not what I am concerned about here.

I fear if I go with the Peavey I will need a 2x12cab for sure, which is already buying more stuff. Or get the combo which I don't really want. There's also a 50W Combo for cheap but don't know how that will sound. Anyway. I don't have a place to put another combo. Therefore I was looking for a head to plug into the Koch. Are the Peavey Combos Any good?

I mean, the 100W head goes for 418 euros and the combo for 589 euros. A Krank JR PRO 50W goes for 666euros (for some reaosn the price is tempting, even if not cheap... ahahahah)







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Unread 12-06-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
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i think it is made in china, but dont let that scare you.


yeah matching the ohms sucks, that's why i bought my spider valve mkii, it covers all ohms and has tones out the ass.


whats the total you want to spend?

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Unread 12-06-2010, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neurosis View Post
Ah! ChrisWFTS We posted at the same time. So I culdn't reply in the post before. I don't really intend to upgrade. I have the Koch which has the most amazing clean tone I have ever tried. And I love it. From clean to heavy it does it all. But can't be pushed into the MEtalcore, high gain with definition and bite corner.

I don't need any of the amps above to be versatile. I just need to make sure it will be a full metal horse. If it has a good clean besides that it's welcome, but it's not what I am concerned about here.

I fear if I go with the Peavey I will need a 2x12cab for sure, which is already buying more stuff. Or get the combo which I don't really want. There's also a 50W Combo for cheap but don't know how that will sound. Anyway. I don't have a place to put another combo. Therefore I was looking for a head to plug into the Koch. Are the Peavey Combos Any good?

I mean, the 100W head goes for 418 euros and the combo for 589 euros. A Krank JR PRO 50W goes for 666euros (for some reaosn the price is tempting, even if not cheap... ahahahah)



look around for used stuff that might fit your budget more also i have no idea what the 50 watt sounds like, youtube will give tone idea's....just dont be tone whore when watching ...cause most of the vids are recorded with camera mics

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Unread 12-06-2010, 03:40 PM   #9
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Yeah. i know. So far the only good reviews I founf are the Valve King Head, not combo, and the KRANK JR. The tests on you tube show exactly what I am after. So it's between these. In no way am I going to spend more than 666, which is what the Krank is. ANd I don't really want another combo as I said. The Koch is a great amp. If I get the Krank I'd just unplug the speaker on the back of the Koch and plug it into the KRANK mini head. 8 ohm. If I get the Peavey I would have to get a bundle with a 2x12 cab which would be around 590 or so, which is more or less the same. So it's really almos the same unless I go for a Valveking combo around 400 euros.

The Orange will most probably not do what I am after and so look the other amps, except for the ENGL maybe...

I am looking on the web. Used Kranks are not available not to mention here in Europe they are difficult to get.

I am thinking of getting the amp in the US when I go visit my girlfriend. But to bring anything other than a guitar back through the customs will be difficult. So in the end I would pay the same

I'll see what to do. The Peavey is defenetely a good contender.
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Unread 12-06-2010, 04:30 PM   #10
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The VK head can handle an 8 ohm load just fine, probably 4 ohms too but I don't remember exactly as it's been awhile since I used one. There are very few heads which can't handle 4 ohms though...
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Unread 12-06-2010, 06:39 PM   #11
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The problem is it's got a double output, doesn't it? I mean. I just checked and you are right. The head can be regulated to 16,8 and 4 ohm.

But the speaker is paralleled. I may not know shit but doesn't this mean that I need two cables for two speakers? Would it work with one?
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Unread 12-07-2010, 12:07 AM   #12
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It will work fine with just one, most people only use one cab.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 06:32 AM   #13
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So you really think the Valveking can make the bite? How is it with the definition and tightness?

And what is your opinion on Krank as oppossed to this one? Just curious.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 06:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neurosis View Post
2. Peavey Valve King Head

I have seen some demos and liked it. Was going for one of these, but a guy at the local shop told me they are pretty weak. I don't know if it's a hybrid or a full tube, but I know I have seen people rip the shit with them on stage. As a home-eventual gig piece of gear it seems to be a good option. I see you can get a very tight tone with active pickpups, so that is worth of consideration given my axe's specs. Apparently it is very boomy on the cleans though. I won't use it for that though...

4.Randall RH 150G3PLUS Head

A hybrid I was considering for the price, but an option that I have read here and in other forums is kind of a hit or miss affair. Some say they were lucky to get a good one and some say it was crap. I don't like the idea of it being a mixed amp. What part is the tube part, if the distortion on this one is not tube driven I don't want it I guess.

7.KRANK REVOLUTION JR PRO 50

IF it's really what it promises and it sounds like in the demos. THis thing can roar like a mother ....er. I haven't seen it boosted, but as a standalone it crunches with power. It' sa mean little one trick pony, but maybe what I am after. There is no place in Madrid to try it out so I would have to order it from Germany.
These are the three I'd spend my time with to see which was the one for me. You also seem a little more interested in these than the other ones.

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Unread 12-07-2010, 08:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neurosis View Post

1.Orange Tiny Terror 15 Head


I have tried it and I boosted it wildly with a MXR overdrive. I played some Judas Priest on it and it sounded ....ing awesome. But Going into the groove side of things I didn't like it as much. Pantera is not really what it can take.

3.Engl E 315 Gigmaster Head

I don't know about this one neither. I don't know if it's alltube or not. I don't know if it holds up with the rest of the Engls. I have tried a Thunder. But I don't know if this one, also with less Watt would be good enough to get into that specific beef corner. Don't know if it will have the balls as it looks quiet similar to the Tiny Terror to me as far as the specs go. Can't find one to try it though. If it can get the 1x12 to be a bitch though. I'd like this option to be honest... ahaha.
Since you have those both listed I would seriously recommend trying out a JCA20H and /or the Blackstar HT20 as well.

The Blackstar is a bit more versatile and can do a pretty serious metal tone out of the box.

The Jet City is flat-out awesome though. Out of the multitude of new low-watt heads and combos I've tried recently its got the nicest pure drive sound in my opinion. Boosted it sounds great and it cleans up exceptionally well with just the volume knob. Its also one of the cheapest, with the head recently dropped to $250 and worth every penny. My JCA2112 combo will actually be arriving next week and I can give recommendations on how that differs from the head in short order.

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Unread 12-07-2010, 08:23 AM   #16
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Spaced out is right. These are the ones I am more interested in. The Randall I guess is a no, due to the fact that there are just too many reviews ditching it for specific adjustment and component problems. Also, given tha fact that I am used to tubes I guess it's just the way I am going to keep it.

I must admit that the Peavey sounds like a good option. It's cheap, has a lot of power and can be upgraded. It may be a bit too much power to play home though... I don't know how sensitive it is to tweaking and what response in volume you achieve withthe controls. If it's like a damn Fender, where there is no difference between 1 and 3 it will be too loud to keep it at home.

The Krank is more expensive but has a wattage I am already used to and apparently better gain control. It also has only one output and matches the ohms on the Koch combo's speaker.

I am curious about the little Engl.

Hmm.... the Jet Cities are the new China Made Soldano's, right? I haven't seen any of those here yet. And I think from what Mordacain says the Blackstar is the better option. I like that head. But I think it will be more like what the Koch can do. Maybe the Peavey and the Krank are the most in your face metal options, don't you think, too?
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Unread 12-07-2010, 08:28 AM   #17
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also look for Peavey XXL and older randall combos

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Unread 12-07-2010, 08:42 AM   #18
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^ this too


if you boost the VK it will get brootlz, i dont think the bass on them is to loose either. the onlything i can say is that is you want really saturated gain the VK might not do to well. but for in your face punch i think its good.


p.s. im not a fanboy for peavey or the VK just my pure honest opinion

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Unread 12-07-2010, 09:26 AM   #19
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I really appreciate you guys being honest. People talk a lot out of their asses too often. But so far the threat is going great. I have had interest for Blackstar, but I am not really fond of the sound I have heared so far. There is a demo out on you tube of a guy playing the 100W head of the Jet City and it kills!

Maybe I should just post a clip of a sound I like and you can tell me what amp of the ones I listed will be more suited. However, I posted a link from a post on Ultimate Metal that has a three sound clips: Krank, Peavey and ENGL I think it was...

For some reason the damn mini Krank is really pushing closely followed by the Peavey Valveking. The Jet City now being a new contender.

To be hoenst these are the ones I am considering at this point. Teh randalls coming after. The thing is I don't really want a combo. i'd liek to have a head that I can combine with my current combo.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 09:30 AM   #20
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i guess try whatever you can get your hands on. around where i live i don't have too many chances to try anything besides a 6505+

i would deff look at the Blackstar, they make amps from like 5 watts to 200 so you should be able to find something reasonable and from the tones i have heard they slay

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Unread 12-07-2010, 10:58 AM   #21
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Quote:
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i guess try whatever you can get your hands on. around where i live i don't have too many chances to try anything besides a 6505+

i would deff look at the Blackstar, they make amps from like 5 watts to 200 so you should be able to find something reasonable and from the tones i have heard they slay
I LOVED my HT5 for metal. I'm not a heavy gainiac though, I like just enough gain and low-end grunt to make a heavy and tight rhythm tone. The HT20 was like that, but with some EL84 added midrange grind that I've always loved.

Here's a decent vid...shoddy mic but you get an idea of the range of tones available


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Unread 12-07-2010, 02:28 PM   #22
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I've never played the Krank or ENGL to compare, but out of the VK, Jet City 20-watt, and Blackstar HT series the Blackstar is by far the best for heavier metal tones out of the box. The others will sound great with a boost, but have a harder time getting there on their own.

I actually have a Jet City 20-watt 1x12 combo arriving at my house tomorrow to hopefully be my new home and small jam amp while I leave the big rig at our rehearsal space.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 05:22 PM   #23
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I have been now looking for ENGL videos. BEsides being more expensive for less power, from the demos so far that one really makes the impression of being similar to my Koch.

About the Valveking I have found mixed reviews. The Blackstar, from what I hear on the demos does a good performance. I on't know which one I would get though. Since being used to the 50W, maybe the 20 head will be less heavy and therefore not what I am after.

The Valveking is still a big contender in my head. The JEt Cities also, but all the demos i see have people testing the 100W head for big balls while te little models are played in a more blues kinda way.

About the Krank I have found these few demos of heavy tone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8wC9p9CUnE













As you see I have tried to find demos with peoplo who would at least plug a similar guitar to mine to the head. Active pickups and basswood or mahagony body. But these were the only videos available. Everything else just sucked for many reasons... hehe...

And this is the review with the guys who talk about their 100 Jet City (you see those ....ing heads roarrr!!!!!!!):



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Unread 12-07-2010, 06:12 PM   #24
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The Jet City 50 and 100 watt heads have a lot more gain than the 20 watt ones. They aren't really voiced the same at all.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 06:18 PM   #25
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That's what I thought. So maybe it's really better to consider the Peavey/Krank option. I come from 50W fulltube. So those, if really being as gainy and tight as they promise should fit the bill.

All of this made me curious about the Jets though. The Blackstar I haven't seen one I really liked yet, though...

I am going crazyyyyy

But it's ok, hehe
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