A few weeks ago I made a conscious choice to stop spending so much time on music forums, and to spend more time actually working on my album that's now taken me over a year to record (and it's still only ~30% done). I realized I was just spending way too much time looking at gear & talking about gear, when I could be getting this thing done, which I've wanted to do for some time. So far that decision has proven very fruitful - I've already finished the drum tracks for another song, which typically have been taking me 1-2 months each. I'm not saying I slowed down my gear acquisitions I just haven't been talking about them as much. But today I hit a breaking point, and had to post about one item in particular, but figured I'd include the others while I'm at it. Once I'm done, that's it - I won't be posting again (at least with any regularity) until after the album is done. So, on to the part you all came in here for anyway - the pic: Counter-clockwise, starting at the top left: Marshall 2100 JCM900 SL-X Yamaha T50 (Soldano modded) Mesa Recto Pre Peavey 5150 212 Weber Mass 200 Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP Not pictured here - a Soldano X88R, a Soldano SP77, and an ENGL E570. There's no way I'm writing a full review for each of the items here... I'd take up the whole first page with one post. Just a quick snippet on each (save the one). The SL-X is every bit as ballsy and 'bloomy' as I remember them being. I used to work at a music shop, and we had an SL-X in there for a while that I loved playing. Compared with the regular Dual Reverb JCM900s, the SL-X has a ton more gain, and a little fuller lower-midrange. Depending on your guitar / pickups, it may actually have enough gain and front-end responsiveness for metal without a boost, but (as with all Marshalls) it sounds best with a boost (IMO). My favorite Marshall I've played, hands-down. The Recto pre is my 3rd (or 4th? I forget). All have sounded consistently awesome, and it actually sounds incredible through the 5150's poweramp. It gives the top end a little different flavor than you'd typically get from an integrated Recto's poweramp. Sounds like a Recto, 'nuf said. I've totally lost count of how many 5150s I've owned. If I had to guess, I'd say this is my 6th 5150 combo. It is without question the best sounding of the bunch, though, likely because I acquired it in-between everything else coming in, and since it was the only amp around for a couple days, I ended up throwing all my best tubes in it (power & pre). It has a combination of Mullard, ARS, Tung Sol, Mesa SPAX, and GT pre tubes w/ a fresh set of Eurotubes-selected JJ power tubes. I think this captured it pretty well - this is just guitar - amp, no boost: 20111116 - Oni 8 - 5150 by TheMammonMachine on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free You're also hearing the Weber in this clip. This is my second Weber, the other was the 50. I was definitely maxing that one out, and after reading more about how most amps can actually spike above their listed output (a 120-watt amp can actually spike at 150-160w, or something like that), it made sense why I was hearing this. So I figured, just get the 200w Weber, and I should be covered for just about whatever I come across. So far it's worked like a charm, and the treble compensation is a nice fine-tuning knob to tweak direct amp tones for use with IRs. The Saffire has been a game-changer for me in terms of my mixes. I absolutely love the VRM application. It's obviously no substitute for real monitors, but it's still so much better than typical headphone mixing, and being as how 95% of my playing / recording happens after the little one goes to bed, headphones are a must. I totally recommend this interface to anyone that's headphone-bound, even if you already have a larger interface you're working with and would only be using it for the VRM. The E570 I've reviewed & posted many clips of before... still an awesome pre, one of the best out there really. Same with the SP77, I've posted plenty about those. The X88R has been a real treat to get to try out. It's tone is pretty phenomenal, and it's crazy how good it sounds for modern metal, considering it's 20+ years old. I already wrote a lot about it over in the FS thread, but I'll say again, it's the only rack pre I've heard that has that hi-fi, '3-D' sort of projection that I've otherwise only heard from integrated, very high-end heads, like the Uberschall & VH4. If you've been paying attention, that brings me to my last item, which is the one that convinced me to come spend 20+ minutes posting here. The T-series (T50, T50C, T100, T100C) were all designed by Mike Soldano, and produced by Yamaha USA (they're made in GA). The stock circuit is very nearly identical to the SLO (I was told this by Bill @ Soldano), with slightly different transformers & choke, and it has a built-in spring reverb, too, which the SLO doesn't. If you closed your eyes and played it next to some other 'real' Soldanos, I dare say you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. It has the signature Soldano tonal qualities as all the Soldanos I've played, including (but not limited to) infinite sustain, an incredible, buttery, unique sounding midrange, and tone controls that, despite having a very wide range of influence, cannot make the amp sound bad. I actually had the 100w combo version of the Yamaha T-series just a little while ago, and in true Soldano fashion, it had one of the best recorded tones I've tracked with (Soldanos sit in a mix like no other amps I've played). I didn't like its astronomical weight though, and didn't need to be taking up that much space if I wasn't going to be using the speaker in it, anyway. So I've had my eye out for one of the rack heads since. Then I came across this - a T50 head, modded by Mike Soldano to SLO specs. He also permanently attached a real Soldano logo to it while it was there. The only differences are slightly different (though just as good, also as per Bill) transformers, 50w (vs 100w), and again, the reverb. So basically, a rackmount SLO with good spring reverb that pushes the tubes harder at realistic volumes. I love it. I haven't had a chance to track anything with it yet, but in the room, I haven't heard an amp I liked better. It has everything I look for in an amp - great dynamics, clear harmonics, even tone across the Oni's range, a ton of gain that remains useful all the way up, 'bouncy' responsiveness while still remaining super tight, and a crisp, dry top end without losing any body or richness in the mids. I don't know that I'd change anything about it if I could. It has a very unique tone that doesn't sound like anything else... if I had to describe it, I'd say just imagine combining all the best aspects of an Uberschall, SL-X, 5150, Rectifier, and Invader, and that might get you in the right ballpark. For how awesome of an amp this is, they sell for a really great price. I definitely recommend picking one up if you come across one. So, that's my novel. Hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you have any questions on any of this stuff. I'm off to play the T50 some more, then start researching basses & bass gear.