Recommendations for a cheap, multi-purpose combo amp

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by WeLikeItHeavy, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. WeLikeItHeavy

    WeLikeItHeavy SS.org Regular

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    I've recently moved and I'm without an amp. I'm living in a tiny apartment in Japan, so large and loud amps aren't an option. I'm simply looking for an amp that, for as cheap and as small as possible, can give me decent sounding heavy tones. My most desired tones are The Contortionist-esque prog-metal heavy tones, but at the same time I'm looking for something that is versatile enough to give me smoother leads like Plini. With that being said, I've been looking into the Line 6 AMPLIFi series because, even though I'm fully aware of the reputation Line 6 amps have, it seems like the most convenient option that fits in my budget while still probably being able to give me decent enough tones to be satisfied with. It seems to be, more or less, the all-in-one package I'm looking for.

    Does anyone have any experience with these amps? Specifically the 75-watt AMPLIFi modeling amp because, at the moment, Sweetwater has it for $250 and it seems like a pretty decent deal. Any ideas?
     
  2. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Have you considered the Yamaha THR10 or THR10X? They're pretty tiny, but have tons of great reviews and clips out there
     
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  3. WeLikeItHeavy

    WeLikeItHeavy SS.org Regular

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    I have looked into those a bit, but the fact that they're so small leads me to believe that, without using them with a bigger cab or direct in to a computer, the sound coming directly out of the unit will be very thin and tinny. I could be wrong, and in the apartment I'm living in I can't exactly play very loudly anyway, so I'll do some more research into them. Thanks!
     
  4. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    Boss Katana, just don't get caught carrying it in public, since I think they are outlawed in Japan.....:)
     
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  5. WeLikeItHeavy

    WeLikeItHeavy SS.org Regular

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    Wow, the Katana mini actually looks really promising especially for its size and price. Thanks, I hadn't heard of these before!
     
  6. Breeding The Spawn

    Breeding The Spawn SS.org Regular

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    Used Digitech GSP1101 with some good impulses sounds kick ass..
     
  7. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Nah it's not thin and tinny. Obviously it isn't going to paste you against the wall like a 4x12 but I would say it sounds like listening to a good recording of a good amp, if you dial it in right.

    Good tone examples here:



    And for a more relevant, real-world kind of example, here one is with about 6 figures worth of vintage gear in front of it, double mic'ed and then sent back through a PA system. Which I can only assume is exactly how you'd be using it in your tiny apartment.

     
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  8. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    The Yamaha THR10X seems appropriate. Mark Holcomb was using one at home for a livestream and it did sound pretty good. I also think the Katana could be a good option.

    EDIT: Keep in mind whether or not you need an FX loop. Most practice amps don't seem to have them, and for some of the prog stuff you may want a little more flexibility. For that reason, if I was getting a practice amp, I'd probably grab a Katana 100. Only $329 for the combo, sounds very good, has an excellent reputation, has an FX loop, and has a half watt (.5) mode to help with quieter practice.

    Here's the Mark Holcomb bit. Only need to watch between about 1:50 and 3:30, but there are more playing examples in the video. Nice little practice amp.

     
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  9. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    I get real nice smooth lead tones on my THR10 on the JCM800 channel, with the gain set a bit lower and a tube screamer in front. Love it. Yamaha's high-end audio department designed the speakers in the THR (there are 2 5" speakers and porting that bumps up the lower mids and bass), and I was very impressed, even surprised how full it sounded when I got it. The stereo hall reverb is very impressive, it's cool how the amp seems to grow in size as it goes from dry and the stereo effect kicks in once hall reverb comes in. I'd agree with prglmnr, it sounds like you're listening to a well recorded amp.

    My only amps are the THR10 and a Mesa Mark V 35. They sit near each other in my room, and I still use the THR10 as often as the Mesa because it sounds great at low volumes when I need it, and it takes the same pedalboard I use on the Mesa like a champ.
     
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  10. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    LOL
     
  11. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    I think my favourite bit is the Klon simply sitting there not plugged in to anything. They're just THAT good.
     
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  12. WeLikeItHeavy

    WeLikeItHeavy SS.org Regular

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    Thanks everyone for your replies! After a bit more research, I did actually decide to purchase a Yamaha THR10X. It seems to fit pretty well into what I'm looking for, and with your recommendations I feel comfortable with the purchase.

    It should be arriving tonight and I'm looking forward to spending the night dialing in some tones!
     
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