Amp recommendations

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by cmtd, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. cmtd

    cmtd SS.org Regular

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    I sold my triple rec a good while back and pre-ordered an invective, but the release date has been pushed back so many times, I'm moving on. I liked my mesa triple, but just wanted to try something new after 10+ years.

    I have a few amps in mind, however, almost all of them I can't really play in person.

    I'm looking for the following features.

    Master volume (or playable at bedroom volumes)
    Series effects loop
    Multi-channel
    remote switchable (MIDI, latching, or a cable solution (i.e. BTPA din to TRS cable)
    Something that plays well with my mesa recto 4x12 cab


    I tried a few amps out before pre-ordering the invective. Had a Savage 120 for a few weeks, and it was just too dry/sterile/compressed for my tastes. Not really the right tone or feel for me.

    I had an 5153 EL34 stealth, I actually really liked the cleans/gain on the amp. However, I had to almost max the presence to get a decent bedroom tone. There was also an annoying hum I couldn't get rid of with a gate before the amp, in the loop, or both. Just like in this video.




    I'm interested in the following, or open to some suggestions.

    Friedman BE
    I like the idea of being able to cover a lot of ground with this amp. I do jam a fair bit of 60's/70's rock in addition to the heavy stuff. Seems like this amp may get me the best of both worlds. Probably not the most fire breathing gain machine, but boosted it may do the trick. I've gotten some good "metal" tones out of the model on my axe fx.

    Bogner Uberschall/Twin Jet
    No experience with these amps aside from word of mouth. The twin jet's lack of a true clean channel is somewhat concerning. Not sure if it can pull off a decent clean or not. I've read quite a few reviews saying you basically need an Uberkab to make this amp work. Also some concerns regarding the FX loop, which I would definitely utilize. A lot of the discussion and reviews I have found are several years old.

    5153 6L6 Stealth
    I'd for sure try this amp again, but I think I would prefer the 6L6 version over the EL34 that I had. Possibly I just had a dud? Great sound, and I like the features.

    PRS Archon
    Another, I'm just going off of clips and word of mouth. This also may cover a bit more ground like the Friedman BE.


    Any comments/advice are appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  2. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    Interesting that you couldn't tame the hiss of the EVH with a gate. I run my LBX with a Pod500 in 4cm and I have gate on the input to prevent feedback and a gate in the FX loop to prevent hiss and it works like a charm. Could it be you had a faulty unit?

    Either way, it looks like you want something that covers a lot of ground and ideally a certain range of tones aswell. Have you considered investing into a modeling unit like a Kemper or an Axe FX?
     
  3. cmtd

    cmtd SS.org Regular

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    I️ do own an axe fx. As much as I️ like it, always still enjoy having a real valve amp as well
     
  4. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Did you already cancel the Invective order? If not I would just wait for that.

    Otherwise maybe the EL34 5153? I would love to try the BE100/50 but I am more curious of why you want a Series Loop? That is the actual problem with Bogner loops I think. They were designed for rack gear and some pedals cannot handle the signal.

    I have a Rev 2 Uber and have played the TJ. Both are killer amps, Devastating. IMO the Uber has a better overall tone but the TJ is tighter and better for faster playing. (although the Uber can certainly handle fast)

    I do not have experience with the TJ's loop but I can tell you the Uber's loop is not that great. There are no level controls and since the signal is hot you have to be sure the pedals you choose can handle the signal. It is an old amp, no bias points, hard wired power cable and not the best clean channel but channel 2 is unbelievable. I actually live by Stl and you are welcome to come check it out.

    I use TC Electronics effects and Empress EQ in the loop with no issues at all. The only issue I had so far was with my G string 2. Connecting the way ISP says to comes with lots of squeal and is not usable but I did find another way to connect it so it works fine. Not sure if that is an ISP issue or a Bogner loop issue.

    There are always line level shifters OR if you are getting a volume cut issue with the TJ loop you can just throw a boost in the loop to compensate.

    TLDR; Keep the Invective order. If you can find an Uber green definitely get it. VHT100CL is another crushing amp. I have not had any luck finding an "amazing" clean channel inside of an "amazing" high gain amp. A lot of people run stereo rigs for that but the Orange Rockerverb has the best clean channel of any high gainer I have played but that gain didn't suit me.

    GLWS
     
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  5. metallifan3091

    metallifan3091 SS.org Regular

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    I don't have any experience with the other amps (aside from seeing bands live that used some of them) but I have an Archon combo that I really love. The clean channel is gorgeous and the lead channel has plenty of gain on tap for modern metal but can also do a lot of other stuff. It also seems to take pedals really well in my experience.
     
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  6. cmtd

    cmtd SS.org Regular

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    I didn't cancel it yet. But it has been pre-ordered for over 6 months now, and the available date has been pushed back probably at least 8 times now. Guitar center says it is Peavey holding it up, and peavey told me they can't give me an update, I have to get it from guitar center. I'm just sick of the run around.

    My old triple rec had a parallel FX loop, that I finally modded to series. Parallel didn't play well with my strymon timeline/big sky, so I want a series loop.

    I may take you up on checking out the bogner, I'll have to take a look at my schedule and see if we can work something out. Thanks for offering, thats awesome.
     
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  7. jsmalleus

    jsmalleus SS.org Regular

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    If you want to check out the Friedman BE (or HBE) but not be married to it in case it doesn't do what you're hoping, you could check out the new synergy amps modular stuff. Friedman actually made the Friedman modules, so they're pretty legit. I'm loving my SYN2 w/SLO and VH4 modules & plus it's backwards compatible with the older modules so I can pop those in there if I want a different sound. A bunch of new modules are in the works too (they mentioned engl and a few others). You can get a separate poweramp, or just use it to add extra channels to your existing amp if you want.

    I have the 50w/25w combo archon as well and second metallifan's thoughts on those. The clean channel is amazing on that amp.
     
  8. cmtd

    cmtd SS.org Regular

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    I just got a chance to try out the Friedman BE. It's a great amp, really nice cleans. Does have a good amount of gain, however I think I'm looking for something that is more metal oriented. Just didn't have enough br00tz for what I am looking for right now.


    On a side note, the clean channel isn't super important to me. I never thought my recto had the greatest cleans, but they worked fine when I put some compression/delay/reverb on it.

    Starting to sway towards the twin jet. The archon sounds good on paper, having never played one, however I worry it will be kind of dry sounding on the gain channel. I didn't care for the engl savage at all that I had for a brief bit. I found it to be a very dry sounding amp.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  9. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    yeah, I can understand that. Delays anger me to no end. Especially when they give the run around. At least have an update. Can't blame you if you cancel.

    We practice at Utopia every so often so just pm me if you ever want to check it out. Will be there tonight actually.

    Also regarding the dry comment, I rescind the VHT recommendation. I absolutely loved the Pitbull but it was very dry.

    Another option could be KSR Ares? Seem to be pretty modern or a Revv amp.
     
  10. Wolfos

    Wolfos SS.org Regular

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    Don't count out hughes and kettner. They have a few series that really kick ass. They set the benchmark for tone really with their patented red BOX for recording. I think they have a great metal tone.

    I'm also very biased ;)
     
  11. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    H&K Coreblade is amazing.

    I A/B'd that amp to a Framus Cobra, Rhodes Orthos, Bogner Shiva, Jet City Amelia and others. The H&K was probably the best amp out of the bunch.

    Granted they were all through the same cabs and all of that and the only amp I really spent time tweaking was the Rhodes but man that H&K. Loaded with features and sounded better than most of these other high end amps. That Shiva though would have been my #1.

    Bogner just makes amazing shit.
     
  12. cmtd

    cmtd SS.org Regular

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    Got the twin jet rev blue in today. Absolutely happy with the purchase. It seems to retain all the best qualities of my rectifier that I liked, and lose some of the high end harshness that I didn't like as much.

    I was concerned about being able to get any sort of clean from the amp on ch 1. While it is definitely not a clean channel, I find it really versatile. With the gain backed way down, I can get a nice low/mid gain sound, and can get some "cleans" with a bit of hair on them. Roll back the volume a touch or go to split coils, and I get a clean sound that I really like. I really like to use split coils for my true clean tones. I can easily get this tone plenty loud for live use. Works great with my timeline and big sky. Add a bit more gain and I get some nice classic rock type tones. Iv'e also been using ch 1 as a platform to feed my dirt pedals into, and it works great. Getting some great sounds with my Abominable Electronics stuff. To my ears it takes these pedals exceptionally better than my rectifier did. I really didn't even like using the pedals with the mesa.

    Ch2 is just a full on brutal channel. Not much else to say besides it is heavy as they come, and I like the characteristics of the amp's gain.

    The FX loop gave me a bit of trouble, until I maxed the FX send level. No volume drop, no real noticeable tone suck. May not be the best loop in the business, but I have no problems with it.

    The latching switches were a big selling point for me as I wanted to integrate it with my Free the tone MIDI switcher. Works perfectly to change the channels and engage the fx loop (although I leave it on always). A plus is that my custom loom I used for my recto has all the right cables for running this head and my pedalboard.

    The eq controls are majorly different from what I am used to with the mesa, but it is pretty hard to get a bad sound from the amp. Master volume works great for getting bedroom level tones that sound great. It pairs perfectly with my mesa 4x12.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  13. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Good choice congrats, and yeah Bogner's EQ is very interactive and not typical. Dial in your amp with your eyes closed for best results :)
     

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