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Thread: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

  1. #21
    Stratoblaster Tone Meister STRATDELUXER97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanBallard View Post
    Well, I was referring to modelling amps, not old fashioned SS amps. That's certainly your opinion and we all have them, but when somebody suggests "cheap amp heads", I simply suggested a very versatile amp head that is fairly inexpensive, provides you with tons of tonal possibilities and won't blow up when you crank it night after night. You aren't going to find a "reliable and cheap" tube head, very easily. Maybe a Jet City. That would be my second choice.
    My post was a joke Ian.....I own and love a ss Vox Valvetronix VTH120 head..Digital meets/12AX7 tubes....Early ss stuff does really blow as a rule!
    Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

    Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

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    Stratoblaster Tone Meister STRATDELUXER97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by guitfiddle View Post
    I was skeptical about the Butcher, from the name and the fact that Peavey made it. Well, when I got to play an old one, I tried to get a bad sound out of it, and couldn't. Totally changed my view of them.
    The first version Butcher was modeled after the JCM 800 I thought?
    Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

    Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

    Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

  3. #23
    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Ampeg V2. It's a mini V4, which I think is the all-around best-sounding guitar amp I have ever played. It's pretty much everything a V4 is tonally, but with chewy breakup at a more reasonable volume, and a lower street price. They have strong reverb and give you a ton of tonal versatility (everywhere from Fender to Marshall), especially considering when they were made. And the entire V series is built better than most amps ever have been. They are extremely durable and reliable. No compromises to quality need to be made, like they must be when you get most budget or "sleeper" amps. And to top it off, it could serve as an excellent bass amp in the studio, at home, or for a lower-volume gig. For only $300 to $400 locally, it smokes pretty much anything else not only in sound quality, but in bang for the buck.
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 02-19-2012 at 02:20 PM.
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    Dawn Of The Shred TheLivingDead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post
    All of $156 new in the box...






    Clean:





    Drive:



    15 watt all tube 2 channel head...

    Great value for $156...

    I just ordered one with an empty 2x12 cab (additional $50) + $220 shipping from China...


    ...can't wait to check it out
    Dude, please review it when you put it through it's paces.

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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLivingDead View Post
    Dude, please review it when you put it through it's paces.
    A big +1 to that. I have no interest in the amp, but am sooo curious!
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!

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    High Voltologist Wattage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    The Windsor is indeed a deal and a half.

    Grab one used, take it to a tech and have him clean up the solder joints, pop in some decent tubes where needed and you'll be thrilled.
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    Mojo's Minions youngthrasher9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Depends on what you want to spend. For $500 bucks I got myself this: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampli...uitar-amp-head

    If you can afford it, it is AWESOME. It is REALLY versatile. Honestly, I don't imagine myself ever buying a different brand.

    If you are going lower than $500 bucks I hear Laney has some good stuff.
    Last edited by youngthrasher9; 02-19-2012 at 03:53 PM.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker IanBallard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Kustom makes some pretty good amps for reasonable prices.
    Last edited by IanBallard; 02-19-2012 at 04:03 PM.

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    Mojo's Minions everdrone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    got my marshall jcm900 50watt dual reverb head for $500. not bad...
    My solo downtuned HEAVY rock project https://soundcloud.com/earthalliance or http://www.soundclick.com/earthalliance

    Guitarist and Bassist in North Austin, Texas

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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanBallard View Post
    Kustom makes some pretty good amps for reasonable prices.
    True. Acoustic, also; though I'm not sure if they have reissued the guitar amps yet.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!

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    CrazyHeartologist MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Okay, this thread is all over the map. Define "cheap".
    The Peavey Windsor as has been suggested, but Those things are throwaway amps..not that they are too terribly cheaply made, although hardly Mil-Spec, but just that fixing them just isnt usually an option becasue they are so circuitboard intensive and difficult to service.Not sure their service life, but I'm thinking its a limited one. "Cheap" and "Build quality" aint two synonymous terms.
    Last edited by MetalManiac; 02-19-2012 at 04:56 PM.
    I am the Special Envoy of Unparalleled Tone. I would be a Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, but I don't have a Hiwatt.

  12. #32
    pompous Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLivingDead View Post
    Dude, please review it when you put it through it's paces.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    A big +1 to that. I have no interest in the amp, but am sooo curious!
    indeed - please!
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    Aceman, your advice was a rich tapestry of hard-fought research, blood, sweat and tears and the homespun wisdom we've all learned to expect and relish from our itinerant face-painted lunatic. I would like to award you a internet trophy for "best comment on a proco rat discussion". Let it be written in the annals of history; Aceman sure as heck helped.

  13. #33
    Bullet Proof Toneologist kevlar3000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalManiac View Post
    Okay, this thread is all over the map. Define "cheap".
    The Peavey Windsor as has been suggested, but Those things are throwaway amps..not that they are too terribly cheaply made, although hardly Mil-Spec, but just that fixing them just isnt usually an option becasue they are so circuitboard intensive and difficult to service.Not sure their service life, but I'm thinking its a limited one. "Cheap" and "Build quality" aint two synonymous terms.
    That is why I love Traynors so much... Cheap and indestructible, talking the old Traynor's only...

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    CrazyHeartologist MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevlar3000 View Post
    That is why I love Traynors so much... Cheap and indestructible, talking the old Traynor's only...
    Ha! Traynes are built to survive the next Ice Age. The problem..the cheaper Marshall Transformers as opposed to the massive Hammond Traynor transformers are better to saturate. Sunn took off as opposed to Traynor casue Stoners/ Doom/ Drone guys arent into the Traynors cause the EQ grunt of a Sunn is more bass/mid heavy.
    The Traynor can be modified ( especially the Bassmaster) to approximate the old Marshall Plexis, but you can only get so far due to the transformers.
    They sound great as is, but the Traynor knockoffs (YGL-3A twin reverb copy and YBA-1/A bassman copy) justs never had the attention to layout detail , nor the tone of the Twin or Plexi.
    Last edited by MetalManiac; 02-19-2012 at 05:32 PM.
    I am the Special Envoy of Unparalleled Tone. I would be a Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, but I don't have a Hiwatt.

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    CrazyHeartologist MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJohn View Post
    Good luck finding those old grey tolex or the late 60's through 70's Traynors.

    As soon as people found out that a lot of the early stuff was point to point and easily modded to a Plexi or Blackface copy they snatched it up and swapped out the parts.
    Stores and shops were dumping that stuff at rock bottom prices so when the boutique crowd discovered them they were snatched up faster than the stores could respond.
    Guys were buying up the 50 watt heads, modding them for next to nothing playing them for a bit and flipping them for double.
    Growing up in the area where Traynor was made and Long and Mcquade had a slew of stores meant there was a ton of the stuff floating around.

    The funny bit it that years ago when I first started out Traynor was reinventing themselves as Yorkville sound and all the old Traynor stuff got dumped for next to nothing. It was mostly picked up by pawn shops and hole in the wall music stores or used as rental stuff since it was so durable.

    Just about every bass player in any garage band that needed power but couldn't afford anything used the Monoblock.

    My first bass amp was this pig of a single 15" that had built in casters and a completely useless 5 or 6 band graphic eq. The controls did very little to adjust the sound so you just basically plugged in and turned it up until yur balls rumbled, or you could be heard over the drummer. But the rumbling balls was a lot more fun.

    For some reason there was a bunch of the old Traynor PT.2 PT. stuff around here, and as early as 5-7 years ago, you could run across it from time to time for next to nothing.
    These days, they never seem to turn up for sale anymore. I snatched a few back when , and still have two- an old YBA-1a Bassmaster , that I am going to Plexify one of these days, and a 2xel84 "Bassmate".
    I had a YGL3/a . Thats the Traynor Twin Reverb copy "Twin on Steriods", that really has an excellent blackface sound..but I traded it for an old Marshall cabinet. I really want another.
    By the way.the YSR-1/a ( which I bought for about 175.00 about 5-6 years ago, then sold) is a happeinin' amp- not as well regarded as the Bassmaster, but has a lot of authentic style Marshallesque crunch vibe.
    Last edited by MetalManiac; 02-19-2012 at 06:46 PM.
    I am the Special Envoy of Unparalleled Tone. I would be a Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, but I don't have a Hiwatt.

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    CrazyHeartologist MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJohn View Post
    Good luck finding those old grey tolex or the late 60's through 70's Traynors.

    As soon as people found out that a lot of the early stuff was point to point and easily modded to a Plexi or Blackface copy they snatched it up and swapped out the parts.
    Stores and shops were dumping that stuff at rock bottom prices so when the botique crowd discovered them they were snatched up faster than the stores could respond.
    Guys were buying up the 50 watt heads, modding them for next to nothing playing them for a bit and flipping them for double.
    Growing up in the area where Traynor was made and Long and Mcquade had a slew of stores meant there was a ton of the stuff floating around.

    The funny bit it that years ago when I first started out Traynor was reinventing themselves as Yorkville sound and all the old Traynor stuff got dumped for next to nothing. It was mostly picked up by pawn shops and hole in the wall music stores or used as rental stuff since it was so durable.

    Just about every bass player in any garage band that needed power but couldn't afford anything used the Monoblock.

    My first bass amp was this pig of a single 15" that had built in casters and a completely useless 5 or 6 band graphic eq. The controls did very little to adjust the sound so you just basically plugged in and turned it up until yur balls rumbled, or you could be heard over the drummer. But the rumbling balls was a lot more fun.

    For some reason there was a bunch of the old Traynot PT.2PT. stuff here, and as early as 5 years ago, you could run axcross it for next to nothing.
    These days, they neevr seem to trun up. I snatched a few, and still have two- an old YBA-1a Bassmaster , that I am going to Plixify one of these days, and a 2xel84 "Bassmate".
    I had a YGL3/a . Thatsthe Traynor "Twin on Steriods", that really has an excellent blackface sound..but I tradede iot for an old marshall cabinet. I really want another.
    By the way.the YSR-1/a ( which I bought for about 1785.00 about 5-6 years ago, then sold)is a happeinin' amp- not as well regarded as the Bassmaster, but has a lot of Marshallesque crunh vibe.

    Hey JohnJohn..Keep your eyes peeled for a Canadian made Garnet Amp! Never any I ever saw around these parts, but a legendary amp as used by The BTO.
    I am the Special Envoy of Unparalleled Tone. I would be a Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, but I don't have a Hiwatt.

  17. #37
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJohn View Post
    Good luck finding those old grey tolex or the late 60's through 70's Traynors.
    My bass player uses a '64 Traynor Bass Master head that be bought last year. It has had the mains cable replaced, but that's it; otherwise it's stock. (Maybe it's been recapped) Not too hard to find, but definitely not what I would call inexpensive ...
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!

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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJohn View Post
    The power cables always frayed right at the little plastic do-hicky where it went into the amp.
    What did it go for ?

    The last Bass Master head I saw was a 50 watt and it went for well under $200 Cdn
    Well, bearing in mind that a) this is NYC, b) it was at 30th St Guitars, and c) being able to audition the amp in person definitely worth something -- $1,000 cash out the door.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!

  19. #39
    Super Toneologist Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLivingDead View Post
    Dude, please review it when you put it through it's paces.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    A big +1 to that. I have no interest in the amp, but am sooo curious!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    indeed - please!

    Sure guys..I'll do that

    I'm very curious about it too, being that it costs about as much as a decent pedal..

    ...and an empty 2x12 cab for $50 (or $100, loaded with Chinese celestions) ....wtf!?

    Though tbh, price apart, I would pick it over any other 15-30 watt head out there ..based on the way it sounds in those demo's alone.
    Revenge solves everything.

  20. #40
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Ascension's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    I picked up a Jet City JCA22H head a while back and I'm getting some really great tones out of the little beast. Payed under $300 for mine and am digging it!
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