Need some advice on my amp purchase

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Ouroboros11, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Ouroboros11

    Ouroboros11 SS.org Regular

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    I currently have a 50W PRS archon combo amp that I absolutely love. I decided to buy another 25W Archon so I can have a more portable option for practice sessions. I knew it was going to be lighter but I didn't know that it was the same size.

    I kind of feel like having both the 50W and 25W archon is kind of overkill. The 25W is the better weight to carry for practice sessions, but I wanted some more power for my bedroom. I was thinking of returning my 50W, keeping the 25W and buying something to replace my 50W.

    I know having 2 amps always comes in handy, but I was looking for alternatives to my 50W archon. What would be a good option to replace my 50W archon with? Would an ENGL 60W fireball be a good choice?
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Well what tones do you need the amp to do?

    I would keep the 50W (headroom), return the 25W and look for something fun. An AMT pedal into a Fender blues Jr. could be your ticket.
     
  3. rokket2005

    rokket2005 SS.org Regular

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    I'd also keep the 50w and replace the 25w with something else. Also, as a past owner of the 60w fireball, do not replace your archon with a fireball.
     
  4. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    I would go with a Dual Dark 50 from Orange.
     
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  5. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Get rid of the 25, get something with a completely different voicing and character, run that together with the 50, happy times.

    What's the Archon sound like?
     
  6. Ouroboros11

    Ouroboros11 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the advice folks. The thing is - I essentially bought the 25w archon because I loved my 50w archon and wants a more portable option because the 50w weighs as much as a sack of bricks.

    I just feel dumb having two of essentially the same amp

    It sounds very nice. Monster metal tones with more warmth, not so much that modern scooped sizzly dry tone.
     
  7. Ouroboros11

    Ouroboros11 SS.org Regular

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    Maybe I can return my 25W and get a EVH 5150 practice amp 50W. I heard its lighter and judging by the reviews it would be the same weight as my 25W archon. The thing is I totally love having a portable Archon (the 25W). The 50W is something I plan on keeping in my apartment unless I have an important gig where I need all that headroom.
     
  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    IMO if you really like the tone of both of them, I'd keep them both even if it feels a bit redundant. I've got a Mark IV and a Mark V:25, and it does feel a bit redundant sometimes, but it does mean I can leave one at the jam room and keep one at home, or be lazy and bring the small one to gigs, OR decide that for a gig that I need the volume or just want to sound awesome, I can bring the bigger one. I personally like the flexibility of having similar tones in different form factors and contexts.

    However, if the size is too similar and it does feel like it's not worth both, then I'd keep the one you see yourself using more, and replace the other with something completely different.
     
  9. Ouroboros11

    Ouroboros11 SS.org Regular

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    Hmm..Have you heard anything about the Mark V combo amps? Would they be a good option for high gain metal?
     
  10. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    A Mark V can definitely do high gain- it will be very different than an Archon though. If you've already got cabs, I'd think you want the head version instead.
     
  11. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    Most importantly... there is almost no difference between 25 and 50w, except headroom. That is a 2 dB difference, which is barely perceptible. Where it matters is for pristine clean tones and for clarity at SLIGHTLY higher volumes.

    Second, these types of amps get their distortion via the preamp section, not power tube distortion. So they sound equally good at a 1 or a 7-ish (going further usually involves power amp distortion which usually sounds bad with these circuit designs).

    The FB60 is garbage though (IMO). I have played a lot of Engls and I owned an FB100 from when it came out until maybe 2 mo ago. They were very different animals. The FB100 is voiced darker and has much better overall cutting presence. Whereas the tone of the FB60 allowed it to get lost in a mix (similar to a Powerball at any volume), the FB100 is much better at cutting through. The FB100 is one of the best sounding metal amps I have ever owned and played, albeit lacking in tonal diversity. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one again down the road and I recommend it. I personally haven't tried both Archons, so if there is a circuit difference, or difference in power section (e.g. EL84 vs 34), then I can see why you would keep both (or have a preference), similar to how these two fireballs are completely different.

    I would buy a second amp that suits your needs. Personally, the only reason I would keep two identical amps is as a live backup.
     
  12. Ouroboros11

    Ouroboros11 SS.org Regular

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    Thank you for the insight. If anything it would seem appropriate to return my 50W Archon since the 25W I have is both light and still has some good power. The question is...what should I replace it with? A 5150 EVH combo amp seems good, but I dunno, I want some more of that marshall warmth than something overly modern and scooped sounding. Meanwhile, I never even looked into Mark V combo amps yet, but I would definitely be interested if it can give me a good high gain metal tone.
     
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  13. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    If you want hot rodded marshall, but different, why not Splawn? The 5150 is definitely capable of Marshall tones, it actually requires work to make it sound the way most people here do for that modern metal sound... but in the wild, it's natural state is midrangey Marshall goodness.

    You might also check out Soldano Hot Rods, they are 98% the SLO lead circuit and fit what you are looking for too IMO.

    Lastly, my current GAS is for a Victory Sheriff 22w. I played one for about 30 min and I was in love. Amazing Marshall tones from plexi to JCM... and they take pedals well (just ask the guys from TPS). They aren't that expensive and they are ultra portable.

    There are other experts on here better suited to recommend (or not) Mesas... and I know there are some H&K lovers on here that swear by them as the other other good amp out there in this genre.
     
  14. Ouroboros11

    Ouroboros11 SS.org Regular

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    I forgot to mention that i'm looking for something ideally no more than 2k. If that wasn't the case then the soldano amp would have been an option. I might consider something more pricier considering it would be a life long investment, but I would have to really do my research to make sure i'm getting the right amp.
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    IMO if you want "the Marshall sound", then you don't really want a Mark V. Mark amps have their own sound, and it's not Marshall-y to my ears.
     
  16. Ouroboros11

    Ouroboros11 SS.org Regular

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    Well thank you, knocking out one option definitely makes things less overwhelming. So maybe I might just trade in my Archon 50W to get a 5150 EVH 50W, which I hear is significantly lighter than the archon. The thing is, why not just keep my 50W and replace my 25W with the 5150 50W since it will in theory be the same weight?

    I know i'm getting really meticulous here but hey...our gear is important to us!

    Can you vouch for any other amps that would fit that price range? Maybe a 60W fireball will be a good idea?
     
  17. metallifan3091

    metallifan3091 SS.org Regular

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    How loud do you typically practice? I'm pretty much entirely a bedroom player right now and I have a 25w Archon combo and I NEVER have problems with headroom. The amp can get loud as hell but for my purposes it never comes close to that. If you're preparing to play gigs with a drummer then I could see the extra clean headroom being practical (maybe) but otherwise I can't imagine that you'll need it.
     
  18. Ouroboros11

    Ouroboros11 SS.org Regular

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    I play in the bedroom now and occasionally in a room with other guitarists, but I want something for any future potential drummers I may jam with.
     
  19. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    FWIW I had/have a bunch of these modern metal 25/50/60/120 W amps (Peavey, Fortin, Bogner, Diezel, EVH, Fryette/VHT, etc). They all sound great at bedroom levels. Because there is no sound difference between a higher wattage preamp distortion amp at lower volumes or a lower wattage one at a higher volume. My FB100 sounded particularly great at its lowest volume, which was quiet enough for me to play in my guitar room with the door open and the baby asleep in the next room.

    If you're looking for under $2k there is a lot available in the HRM area! Splawns are all under that, as are the Victory lineup (check out Rabea's demos to see their high gain ones). I sold my Hot Rod 50+ for $1400. They make a 25W version too. There's the EVH and Peavey models.
     
  20. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    The only sort of downside I see to a really big amp for bedroom-tone is that a lot of amps that I've tried have this sort of small unusable threshold at the bottom of the volume knob where everything sounds thin and terrible, then you have a limited amount of room before it gets too loud. So it'll sound good quiet, but it'll sound terrible if it's VERY quiet. Like between 0-0.5 might sound terrible, then 0.5 - 1 will sound good, then you have from 1 to 1.5 that will sound good and be quiet, but as soon as you approach 2 you're way over what's acceptable in a lot of home environments.
     

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