Looking for High Gain "lunchbox" amp head!

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Thisnameistaken, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Thisnameistaken

    Thisnameistaken Derp

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    Hey guys.

    Wondering if I can get some advice.

    I'm in the market for a lunchbox style amp head with the following features:

    Great clean tone and lots of high gain thats good for metal.

    Power attenuation/watt selection/power soak/whatever you want to call it.
    I want to be able to practice at bedroom volumes, track on my computer, jam with my band and be able to do small to medium sized gigs with it.

    3 channel Footswitch. No less.
    I need to be able to go from clean to overdrive and then crank up the gain a bit more.

    Anywhere from 15 - 50 watts should suffice for everything I want to do with it I suspect, but i'd prefer 20 +

    So that's what i'm looking for folks. I've been looking around for a bit and the Carvin V3M seems like it could be a great choice for a good price, but I checked on some forums and people tend to be not to impressed with the sound of the distortion (Too compressed/unclean sounding I guess) and I want to make sure it's a great sounding amp all around. However, Being into metal, I believe compressed distortion would be what i'm looking for and suit me just fine, correct?

    Engl Gigmaster. I'd prefer the 30 over the 15, but sadly the 30 doesn't have the power soak feature.

    Suggestions welcome! xD
     
  2. great_kthulu

    great_kthulu SS.org Regular

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    H&K tubemister (spelling?) 18?
     
  3. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    You're screwed if you want 3 channels from a Micro. The V3M is the only one out there that does that, IIRC.

    However, if you're willing to go with two channels and maybe an OD pedal, you can get:
    -Jet City JCA22H
    -Mesa/Boogie Mini Rectifier
    -Mesa/Boogie TransAtlantic 15 or 30
     
  4. edsped

    edsped SS.org Regular

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    The Tubemeister 18 effectively has 3 channels with the lead boost. Not sure if it'll have enough gain for you but I'm guessing it won't really have much less gain on tap than the other mini heads. People say the Blackstar HT-1 and HT-5 need a boost for metal but I get along fine running straight into the amp and I also run my TriAmp without a boost so it's hard to say what your preference will be. The Tubemeister definitely has a lot of features, though. It's supposed to have really good cleans as well.
     
  5. Atomshipped

    Atomshipped SS.org Regular

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    With all those requirements limited to a lunch box sized amp, you really don't have a lot of options. Most of these won't fit your requirements, but they're good options if you're willing to compromise.

    Orange Dark Terror (15W/7W, single channel)
    Soldano Astroverb (20W, single channel)
    Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister (18W/5W/1W, clean/lead/boost channels)
    Mesa Boogie Mini Rectifier (25W/10W, clean or pushed channel and vintage or modern channel)
    EVH 5150 III (50W, clean/rhythm/lead channels)
    ENGL Gigmaster (15W/5W/1W, clean/lead channels)
    Egnater Rebel 20 (20W-1W, single channel)
     
  6. edsped

    edsped SS.org Regular

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    There's also the Rebel 30 which has 2 channels.
     
  7. Hrafnkel

    Hrafnkel SS.org Regular

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    The answer you're looking for is EVH 5150 III Mini. Seriously, can't think of anything at all that fits your requirements but that, though it doesn't have a power soak. You're asking a hell of a lot, buddy. :p Engl Gigmaster's a solid amp. I do boost mine, though, depending on what I'm running into it. My Mockingbird with more vintage-style pickups sounds pretty vicious if I boost it with a Bad Monkey. My Stealth and S-1 with X2N's go in dry and sound pretty brutal. That said, the cleans aren't great. They aren't -bad,- but they're pretty dark, not Fender-like at all.

    Couldn't tell you, as far as the V3M goes. No experience whatsoever with Carvin products, but I hear people rave about them often enough.
     
  8. pitbulltodd

    pitbulltodd SS.org Regular

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    what your asking for doesn't exist but these will get you close and i think you'd be happy with any one out of the three. i myself would go with the 5150 3 mini.

    Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister
    Mesa Boogie Mini Rectifier
    EVH 5150 III Mini
     
  9. purpledc

    purpledc Proud blacksheep

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    I had a V3M and imho the distortion was lacking. Great cleans but the best way I can describe the distortion tones was honky. Even when playing 3 note power chords it was if I was playing single notes. It was odd as I really dug it at first but that just really bugged me.

    I would say to look at the Transatlantic series from Mesa. If you need uber amounts of gain though without a boost it might be lacking. Have you thought about a full sized head that can go down to the wattage you need? Three channel lunchbox heads are very limited. You really only have the V3M and carvins new Legacy 3 thats coming out.
     
  10. oniduder

    oniduder HONKEY DONKEY

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    my mesa mark iv is pretty small, like 19" across or whatever, ya know you wanna
     
  11. Hrafnkel

    Hrafnkel SS.org Regular

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    Forgot to mention, it isn't a lunchbox, but the Laney Ironheart 60 can be scaled to less than 1 watt all the way up to 60, has three channels, foot switchable, very nice cleans, great distortion, built in boost. As much gain as you could want.
     
  12. asher

    asher So Did We

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    Does it need to be tube? What about something like a POD HD500 or a GSP1101 or somesuch?
     
  13. pitbulltodd

    pitbulltodd SS.org Regular

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    i forgot about the laney. it might be the best option for you.
     
  14. jclogston

    jclogston SS.org Regular

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    Damn that looks awesome!!! Definitely going to consider this!!!

    Jeff
     
  15. Thisnameistaken

    Thisnameistaken Derp

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    Wow. I didn't expect so many responses so quickly. Thanks a lot guys! You guys definitely gave me some options to consider. I doesn't HAVE to be a lunchbox style amp. I just think they're cool and convenient. I'll probably do some shows with it so I was thinking it would be nice to just get one and a 2 1x12 cabs to make my life easier.

    That said, I was seriously very close to getting a H&K Switchblade head a few months back. I still may. I tried the head and loved it. It doesn't have the power attenuation option unfortunately, but it looks like compromises will have to be made anyway!
     
  16. Chiba666

    Chiba666 SS.org Regular

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    Antoher vote for the Tubemeister, I run mine with a boost, bit it is not always necessary. not to mention the the red box(I think its called) cab sim isnt half bad.

    Oh and blue leds give off a darn good glow.
     
  17. TRENCHLORD

    TRENCHLORD Banned

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    Mini Rec and 212mesacab. Turn cab on it's side when you need smaller footprint or don't want to bend over to turn knobs.

    Or even better, find a 212vertical cab.
     
  18. Hrafnkel

    Hrafnkel SS.org Regular

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    Like the Mesa Recto vertical 212, for example. Pretty sweet cab, that'n.
     
  19. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Or just get a head actually meant for what you're after - unless the Mini Rectifier does it for you, of course.

    Regarding 212s, I urge you to check out the new PRS SE 212 cabs - I was happily surprised when I tried one out :yesway:.
     
  20. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    EVH 5150-III 50W... more of a full meal than a lunchbox. Comes with the built in depth mod now which was a serious flaw on the 100 W. This might be the best amp on the market under $2k... I def recommend trying one. It is very similar to a Peavey 5150, but less fizzy and with a dedicated clean.
     

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