GamesJibson

GamesJibson
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Hi guys,

Kinda new to this whole forum thing entirely but here goes anyway. I've recently invested in a Blackstar S1 50w head and for all it sounds good on it's own the gain stage is kinda sucky as it's just a "super crunch". Probably should have read up on that before buying it. For a good high gain sound I have to play through my ME-70 board or use my ID-60 (which I've gone off digital amps at the moment).

I've been looking for a new tube amp head but I'm trying to stick to a budget (£500/£600, not sure what that is in dollars but I'm sure you guys catch my drift). I've been looking at the Laney Ironheart IRT60 head and the Bugera 6260 head at present and both seem like pretty good amps however cuz I'm not all tech with this sort of stuff I'd prefer an educated opinion from anyone as to what they would recommend out of those two OR what they would recommend on a whole. I'm not one for solid state amps and all that jazz and I'm trying to get away from using my ME-70 because again for all that it is good, I just can't get the sound I want using it.

Sorry for the long as hell post but if anyone does have the patience to read my ramblings and can help me out that'd be awesome! I have seen a few reviews on YouTube but I still can't make my mind up entirely. Cheers in advance!
 

GamesJibson

GamesJibson
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I've looked at the EvH 5150 but its a little out of my budget and I'm playing a festival soon so really I need something with balls for a lower price :/ I love the 5150 too

I'll be putting a tube screamer or some variant in front of the new one but with the S1 it makes barely any difference cuz the gain stage is already so low (more bluesy than metal)
 

MAJ Meadows SF

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The Ironheart is a great option. I'm not a fan of the Bugera amps (seen too many of them blown, and the tone isn't what I like, but that's personal opinion). Have you considered the Randall Diavlo series? The RD45H might not be strong enough for stage without mic'ing a cab, but the 100w is a beast. They are both loaded with 6L6s, and definitely have the Mike Fortin influence. No lack of gain and tone there.
 

decreebass

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the ME-70 has a tubescreamer model; give that a go too before buying an actual TS and THEN a new amp lol.
 

Albionic

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The Ironheart is a great option. I'm not a fan of the Bugera amps (seen too many of them blown, and the tone isn't what I like, but that's personal opinion). Have you considered the Randall Diavlo series? The RD45H might not be strong enough for stage without mic'ing a cab, but the 100w is a beast. They are both loaded with 6L6s, and definitely have the Mike Fortin influence. No lack of gain and tone there.

just to add balance it seems the ironheart series is also prone to breakdown (from what i gather from forums)
 

Albionic

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I'm pretty surprised you can't get metal out of that amp tho seems pretty gainy on demo's ive heard. Having said that i'd keep an eye out for a used 5150 or 6505 (same amp) or perhaps a peavey xxx or jsx
 

GamesJibson

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I've not really considered randall amps yet like, all the ones I seem to like are waaaaaay out of my price range. I'll keep an eye out for all this gear like.

On the subject of the TS, I actually have a tube screamer style pedal (blackstar LT dual) and it does the same job really so I wouldnt be buying another one for a while yet :p yeah I've looked on the ME-70 and I like all the options and stuff available on it but I'm trying to move away from digital modelling stuff. I think my S1 is less gain-y because its not running 6L6's and all the music stores near me won't touch amp related repairs and mods etc. so I dont really have the option of taking it in and buying 6L6's and having them fitted, which is a shame
 

Axewield31

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I don't see why you're having issues with the distortion on the S1. The high gain on that should be waaay better than the ME-70. Maybe you should just spend a little more time dialling it in, then try a ts pedal.
 

Albionic

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look on facebook for some guitar gear swap/sell sites i'm sure you can find someone willing to swap the blackstar for something else if you are unsatisfied
 

Cobhc221

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just keep your eyes out on amazing amps in your area.

look on EBAY, your local guitar store ECT.

i was able to obtain an Engl Invader 150 with taxes and a 2 year warranty for $2400

which is relatively cheap.

you can find Mesa boogie Dual recs going for $800-1100 these days.

but i'd strongly recommend you write a list of amps you Think you can obtain.

1.) Jsx is my first pick cause that things gain channel is nuts...
2.) EVH 5153 ( you can find these for 1000USD)
3.) Engl Fireball 60 between $700-800 sometimes....
4.) Peavey 6505/5150/6505+ all can be found for under $700USD.
 

GamesJibson

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I've dialled in loads of tones for this amp and I can't seem to get a high gain sound I'm satisfied with, it is literally just a lead crunch kind of sound. Is there something I could get modded inside the amp or swap the tubes round to get a bit more balls from the gain stage?
I'm awful at describing sounds so I guess I'm kind of going for the Heart of a Coward style tone but with enough gain to get heavy as hell palm mutes, clean sweeps and thrashy rhythm sounds. A lot to ask I know but if there's any help available on that front that would be awesome too, might save myself some money there.
 

nlaplante

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Maybe a full-on distortion pedal into your clean channel? Seems to do the trick for many people. Something like the MXR Fullbore metal or some kind of death stomp might do the trick. Try one!
 


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