Fans of Big Iron, Gather Here

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by budda, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I don't think we have a thread quite like this, so I thought I'd start one.

    What drew you to high wattage rigs? What's your current high power tower? What have you tried that others in various genres might want to know about?

    I've always enjoyed 100W amps, and never really spent time with anything less than "80W" (Traynor 212, awfully quiet). I've had various high gain amps but currently run a stock '83 JCM800 2203. I keep toying with the idea of a 12AT7 etc in the preamp, or switching to 6550's and new iron when my current OT finally gives up (hopefully I have a couple of years there). I run the amp clean as a pedal platform. We play "Post-hardcore" but we just call it spacey punk :lol:.

    My experience in personally trying out high powered heads is pretty small. I did see a Mesa Coliseum for sale in Toronto a year or so ago for a good price but alas, I couldn't get it. When we were tracking LP3 in March, the studio has a Louis Electronics "woodstock JH plexi" (my name, not theirs) and that thing is the loudest head I've ever heard in person. It was awesome, and made our cranked 2203's sound relatively tame. It was on 1.5 IIRC :lol:.

    I do hope to try an Orange Thunderverb and Dr. Z Surgical Steel at some point. I'm not sure if it would replace my JCM800 but I'm open to the idea, relatively.
     
  2. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    I just dig the extra headroom. :lol: I like the coloration a tube power amp gives, but once it starts to break up a bit too hard, then it muddles up the sound for me. Plus I have a Torpedo Live, so I can use high-wattage rigs without waking the neighbors.

    Although I still dig my 85w Mark III Simul-Class and would love to get an 85-watt Mark IV. One day, a 100w JP2C. One. Day. :squint:

    And hell yeah, I'd love a Mark III Coliseum as well.
     
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  3. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I present "Gizmo"

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    Looks awesome!!! CSA model too haha.
     
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  5. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    Are the Marshall JVM 100w as loud as the JCM800s? Seems like there is more preamp distortion with the JVMs vs the 800s.
     
  6. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    The 800's may seem louder due to voicing, but that is entirely speculation. I have never a/b'd.
     
  7. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    I think JCMs are louder than they're rated.
     
  8. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val SS.org Regular

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    Mesa Triple Rectifier(2 ch. version ‘97)
    Rivera M100(x2)
    5150(script)
    Ampeg/Lee Jackson VL 1002
    The headroom(especially with 8 strings) is necessary. But I picked the amps based on how they sound.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  9. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    I don’t even bother with anything but 100-150 watters...I’ve finally settled on a Peavey XXX, (2) 3120’s, a Mesa rackmount Mark IV. If I need whisper quiet I’ll plug my headphones into one of my preamps. Some 50 watters rival some triple digit heads but I like having the bigger bottom and higher headroom when I need it. Lunchbox and small watt heads just don’t have the guts for my preference of pushing a watt-hungry 412 cab (if not two)...
     
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  10. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    I’d love a Mesa Coliseum 300 to power my Digiech 2101 and Rocktron Chameleon into 2-412 cabs
     
  11. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Thats why i wanna check out the MT15. Supposed to have tons of head room on board.
     
  12. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Mine was benched at 130W iirc.

    Where the thunderverb owners at
     
  13. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    I love my AMT R2 into my 500watt Mosvalve poweramp.
    I’m not sure what that translates to in tube watts but, it’s pretty farkin loud and i have no problems with headroom
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  14. BurningRome

    BurningRome SS.org Regular

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    I had the Thunderverb 200 and 50. People love the 50's but most of them havent tried the 200 and the 200 just slams the 50W around in every way possible IMO. I had a Fryette Ultra Lead at the time I owned the 200 and tried them side by side and the gain hangs in there with the UL, along with massive lows and just gut punching crunch. I liked the Thunderverb 200 a lot, by far one of my fav's but always over priced on the used market.

    I find the 100W offerings of amps better than their 50W counterpart. I like the tighter fuller sound it offers however when I did this comparison with the 100 and 60W Fryette Deliverance they sounded the same but offered different tonal offerings. The 100 was fuller, punchier while the 50 was gainier at lower volume, more pissed off sounding and tracked really well in the studio. Both were great in their own way.

    Anyway, if you do want a Thunderverb, I'd go with the 200. I do think the guitarist for Bring me the Horizon went from the Thunderverb 200 to a JCM800 at some point. Out of all the amps I've had I've never owned a JCM800, Plexi or anything along those lines.

    I currently own a Victory Kraken 50 and Fryette Pittbull CL100 and like them both so I do like some 50W amps, just depends on the brands/engineering I guess.
     
  15. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I'm mostly a bedroom warrior, but I still think big iron is the way. I used to gig with a Triple Rectifier and it was a force to be reckoned with.

    My amps in order from highest to lowest wattage:
    -Bogner Überschall Twin Jet (150)
    -Peavey 5150 block letter (120)
    -VHT Ultra Lead (100-120)
    -Mesa Mark V (90)
    -EVH 5153 (50)
    -VHT 50/CL (50)

    One of these days I'm planning to sell the 50/CL and pick up a Diezel Herbert :metal:
     
  16. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    120 watt 6505
    60 watt 6505+ head made from a '112 combo
    50 watt EVH 5150 III head

    All running through a 412 cab. At home, but sometimes I play out.:)

    The 120 watt 6505 does have something extra over the others, and it's not just the voicing. To use a car analogy, the 120 watt head has a SIXTH gear as opposed to just five like the other two. And when that sixth gear is dialed-up, it comes with a boost of nitrous.

    The other two have arguably more than enough power as it is. They have plenty of clear low-end for my not-so-low downtuning (C# Standard). If I was playing a 7-string or tune my 6s down below B, maybe I'd notice more of a difference. But yeah, the 120 watter goes to "11."
     
  17. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

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    6505+ head through an Avatar 2x12 with Swamp Thang/Governor combo and... Just on 2, goddamn. It's all I'd ever need.
     
  18. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I’m a big fan of my 3ch Dual Recifier (100 watts). I play at home but at loud volumes so I can get a very good sound from it.

    I also have a Jet City JCA50, only 50 watts but it’s output transformer is pretty oversized for a 50 watt amp, it’s about the same size as my recto’s output transformer. I think recto output transformers are supposed to be slightly undersized though.

    Despite the transformer size, the recto has a lot more bottom end and depth, but I guess at the end of the day, it’s also a different poweramp design (preamps though are somewhat similar).

    Also I have a Fryette 2/50/2 I used to run my axe fx into (now switched to matrix which I think works better for the axe fx) so I use the Fryette for various preamp pedals I have.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years of playing it’s that I don’t like poweramp distortion, I much prefer it to stay clean, clear, tight, and punchy. I’ve only used 50+ watt amps in recent years, though years back I did have a Peavey Classic 20 combo (15 watts, two EL84’s) and it sounded great until it got to the point on the master where it didn’t get louder and just added more poweramp distortion. It was punchier and clearer before the poweramp distortion. This was a learning experience for me since at the time, everyone on the forums was convinced that amps sound better ‘dimed’ and power amp distortion is magical. Not for metal.

    I’m really interested in this amp also, from one of the videos with the designer he said it’s essentially a 50 watt amp, but running at a lower plate voltage to bring it down to 14-ish watts. Clips sound great and what few reviews there are praise it, but it’s very much in the hype phase at the moment. I’d love to get my hands on one, I’m wondering if it really does have that ‘big iron’ depth. It doesn’t look like it has a particularly large output transformer from the pics I’ve seen, but that’s just looking through the grill, so maybe it does.
     
  19. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    I've always heard a tube amp is usually 3x louder than an equally rated SS amp, but im sure there's tons of variables at play. From what ive heard those Mosvalves are much louder than your standard SS fare.
     
  20. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    After my first 50W Marshal practice amp I went directly to a Mesa Triple Rec 3 channel with a Mesa OS 4x12. Boy was that an amazing improvement and I was so in love with the sound. Being a bedroom player it didn't make sense and rarely had I ever gotten the amp to go over 2. I read a bit about it and then was using the master volume as a form of "attenuation". I had to sell it as I was moving out of the country and aside from needing the money the plans were to go to Canada. A great amp but I did had to fiddle with the eq from day to day as it seemed I was never super happy with the sound from day to day and week to week.

    I got a Marshal Valvestate 80W combo that did the trick of keeping me happy and playing for a while but then I was missing the tube amp feel and sound. I was going to go for a 15-30W mini amp but ended up with the Laney VH100R, another insanely loud amp with no master control. A great clean sound on that amp but already at 1.5 it's too loud. Being a Marshal type circuit it needs volume to shine and I do have 6L6's instead of EL34's to get a more American sound, but upping the gain on the preamp just makes things muddier. I still haven't invested in an attenuator but I'm trying my luck with the FX loop trick where you can more or less use that as a master volume but for the preamp section. Like so though you can pump the volume on the power stage and clean out the sound more.

    And after that, after I swore that I'll get something smaller next time I went with a 5150II head lol. 120W of power of crushing distortion. The clean sucks, especially compared to the Laney, but that lead channel OMG. It's still a loud as hell amp but I find it more manageable at almost 2 than the Laney. I've actually put the Laney for sale as I don't need both of them but if it doesn't sell, next tube change it's going to be EL34's so I can have a true British sounding head and an American one. And I'm still of half looking for a Mesa Recto Dual or Triple now and then lol.
     

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