Epic tube amp comparison! 13 amps! (EVH, ENGL, Laney, Orange, Mesa etc.)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Guitarjon, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys,

    I thought it would be a lot of fun to put all my amplifiers together in one video to see how they compare.
    Not only to see how they compare but also to just see how they all function in a mix when I have them all dialed in.
    There are a bunch of different amps in my collection, Mesa's, various Oranges, a, EVH, a Laney, an ENGL, a Marshall and a Peavey.
    Different amps but all mainly 'rock/metal'-type amps I'd say.

    So for the first part of each section I'm playing a clean clip with my Tele and then 30 seconds of rock with a humbucker equipped LP style guitar.
    For all the clean bits I used the clean channels (when available) and for the dirty parts the drive channels.
    No boost pedals or eq pedals etc, just the pure amp tones into my Fractal LB-2 reactive load and into impulse responses.
    There's almost no post processing going on aside from HPF's to make a little room for the kick and bass.
    That's a very common thing in mixing so that's how we usually hear guitars anyway.
    If I felt that a tone could be better, instead of resorting to processing I would go back and tweak the amp and/or IR.

    Most of them turned out really well in this mix!
    I'll let you guys know what my favorites are soon, but first I'd be very interested to know which ones you thought were best and why!

    If you want to skip the sections, don't overlook the timecodes in the description.

     
  2. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    Subscribed for later viewing/listening.:cheers:
     
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  3. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Sweet! I'd love to know which ones you liked and which ones you didn't, and why! :)
     
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  4. gunch

    gunch Riff Chugman

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    Mark V and Fireball all day

    Also a request: Could you test the Flextron dc14 vst if you ever get a chance, its free
     
  5. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Great choices! :)
    That ENGL is pretty new, just got it last week but thanks to a friend I figured out that this amp sounds great with cranked mid and treble controls.
    Great roar and definition!
    That Mark is sick too but it always takes me a while to dial it in.
    I love how it turned out in this video!
     
  6. PuriPuriPrisoner

    PuriPuriPrisoner SS.org Regular

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    Mark V was the best. This video reminded me how much I detest orange amps.
     
  7. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Great choice!
    Orange amps aren't for everyone but I dig the way the occupy a mix, they just sit right or something.
    Just taste anyway, I wouldn't quickly use them for modern metal.
     
  8. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    fantastic work!
    big fan of your youtube channel.
     
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  9. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    The 5153, JR Terror, and 6505MH are up there. The Ironheart would be nicer if it didn't sound so boxy and congested.
     
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  10. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Thanks!! :)

    Great choices! I love those too!
    The Ironheart really is in my top 2/3, it just sounds so huge and balanced!
     
  11. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    The EVH and the Dual Terror sounded the best to me, but none of them sounded bad at all. Honestly, in the mix they all sounded pretty damned similar.

    What I liked a bit better about those two is that they had a little more going on in the mids -- a chewier, thicker midrange. The other Oranges all sounded very similar to me, but the Dual Terror had a little more of that characteristic. The EVH was a tiny bit thinner sounding, but considering I own one, I know that you could increase the thickness by adding a little bass and/or resonance.

    Cool video!
     
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  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    What I took away from this video: that tele sounds great through almost anything.

    I wonder how different the results would be if the test was a matter of having a cab sitting in a room with a mic, and you can't touch anything except the head. No tweaking of IR plugins or moving mics around. I always suspect that some of the "all the youtube amp review sound the same" effect comes from using the IRs.
     
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  13. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Totally agree about the thickness in the Oranges!
    That's exactly why I like them so much!

    That Tele sure sounds great, love that thing!
    About using IR's as opposed to a real amp: thing is, with IR's you're more likely to find a sweetspot much quicker.
    That's how it works in my case anyway.
    I'm very familiar with those IR's so I'm usually just a click away from finding the sweetspot.
    Plus, when you use IR's from one manufacturer/producer, you're going to get results that are much more consistent.
    That also helps with finding your own tone quicker.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I've got no argument against IRs in terms of getting results. They don't sound bad by any stretch. I just mean purely in a "trying to highlight how different the amps are" kind of situation, there's something about using IRs that lends a certain layer of production/polish over the sound by default, and tweaking the plugin per amp negates some of the comparison I suppose. Maybe it's just my ears, but I find there's an "IR sound" that I don't hear on a mic'd cab, or in the room.

    Whenever I watch youtube comparisons I have trouble picking out certain differences that I know would be obvious in the room, or even just if I was in a better listening environment. There's so much in between the amp and my ears that the tendency is to want to remove as many variables as possible. You figure, it's going through amp->load->ir->processing->mix->master, then compressed to whatever format you exported to, probably re-sampled and re-compressed when added to the video, then AGAIN re-sampled and re-compressed when youtube gets it, then running through god knows what kind of re-sampling or processing my work pc audio driver might be doing, through the cheap converter of the built in sound card, then to my really cheap "gamer" headphones. So by the time it reaches me, there's soooooo much missing from the original comparison. :lol:
     
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  15. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I hear ya! :)
     
  16. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Just to clarify though, there isn't really any eq or compression etc on the guitars.
    I wanted to keep the sound of the amps as 'pure' as possible.
    So when I felt that one of the amps wasn't cutting it in comparison to the others I just went back to tweak the actual amp or IR choice.
    I guess that's also why some people think they all sound the same.
    I just fine-tuned the amps until they were giving me what I wanted in the mix and that's a good balance between low, mid and high frequencies.
     
  17. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    You could also say that you can't accurately gauge how an amp sounds in the room because even small difference in volume can have a big difference in how it perceivedly sounds. I recommend owning a decibel meter because it's so useful for comparing things at the same volume. Our ears will often say that louder = better (until it gets painfully loud), whether it's a louder amp or louder effects level etc.

    Loadboxes and IRs help at least level the situation where you can actually gauge how different settings on the amp sound at any volume level you choose. This comparison of course went with different IRs for different amps so it's more of a "you can get similar sounds out of all of these amps" comparison rather than a comparison of how those amps would sound through a particular cab (or its virtual equivalent).

    I liked the Mesa the best.
     
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  18. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Thanks, that's a great way of looking at it and you're totally right!
    Which mesa Btw? The Recto?
     
  19. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    They all sound similar when in a mix and through the same impulses

    That said, I think it's clear why there are certain "standard" amps. The Dual Recto and the 5150 III stand out to me as they best. The Recto has the girth, and the 5150 has that attack and mid-range which sounds amazing. Orange... as you said, it's love or hate.

    If I had to own one single one of those amps, it would be the MkV35 because it's just incredibly versatile.
     
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  20. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    The Mark V 35 is great Indeed.
    It's a relatively new amp for me so I still have to get used to dialing it in.
    Before I got mine I used the models in the Axe Fx a lot and I found those quite easy to dial in.
    The real thing does sound and react very differently imho so it's a completely new experience for me.
    I can't speak about the MK IV's etc but the virtual amp models sound nothing like my MK 35...
     

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