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Thread: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

  1. #41
    Ultimate Tone Member PRSfan nym 1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    ok seriously how did this end up a tube vs ss argument....i think most of us should be able to realize that there are good and bad tube amps just like there are good and bad ss amps.

    I will have to agree SS amps are much more reliable than tube amps, and SS usually don't crap out on you so easily. Tonally SS and tube amps vary greatly but just about anyone with common sense will realize that. But at the same time SS can be much more versatile than tubes.

    Play a Roland Jazz Chorus, old Musicmans, Fender Mustang, etc and see for yourself how far SS amps have gotten.

    I really don't see why you are arguing over something so petty when it comes to low cost amps usually SS amps do sound better than cheaper tube amps. And the Fender Mustang III, IV, and V are actually pretty nice sounding amps, this is coming from someone that gigs with a tube amp regularly. I came pretty close to getting a bigger Mustang based on owning a Mustang I as a practice amp for my apartment, I tried the bigger versions when I was auditioning various other amps for gigging and I have to say the Mustang can hold it's own with the amps it models.

    I think for low cost Solid State Fender Mustang amps win the contest for current production amp heads.

    I think for a low cost Tube amp your best bet is likely an Egnater Tweaker for a current production amp head. As this amp allows you to drop in just about any type of octal power tube and you have three distinct EQ voicings, vintage/modern switch, normal/bright treble switch, and a tight/deep bass switch. Plus having gain and master volume gives you any number of tones from clean to all out mayhem.

    Another suggestion would be Blackstar HT1, HT5, HT20, or HT40.

    I'd rather have an amp that can handle a lot of tones personally but I play jazz, country, funk, motown, surf, rockabilly, classic rock, etc.

  2. #42
    Mojo's Minions Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    See if you can find an old Fender 75. It was Fender's answer to Mesa's Mark I series with the cascading volume control. Still one of the best sounding amps I've ever played through.

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Vox Pathfinder 15W. . .has a headphone out and a speaker out, so you can use it as a head. It is small and has that great Vox sound. Takes pedals nicely.

  4. #44
    Toneologist Jolly_Rancher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    This thread is a joke, right?

  5. #45
    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
    Holy CRAP !!!!!!!!

    The amp I bought was $150 and I got $100 trade value when I swapped it in at a place for a new amp I was buying a year or two later because they needed a bass combo for rentals.

    Man we jammed out on those old Traynors for years because we couldn't afford anything else or that was all the places that would rent to us had.
    I don't think I ever saw one of those things that didn't have ashes and dried beer rings on it with some kind of dull brown film in the handles and tolex creases.

    And now they're high dollar in established stores.
    Never would have guessed that.
    For years any store worth going too wouldn't even touch those things.
    Admittedly, most of the Bass Master heads I have seen are pretty torn up. The one my bass player bought is dead mint, though. Not even a tear on the tolex!
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
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  6. #46
    John Mayer's Mankini ImmortalSix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Vox Valvetronix

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    my comment was a joke, not sure about the thread. .

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    i see a few people suggested the Fender Mustang head... i was looking at them to practice thru around the house and have enough power to keep up with a drummer..., but i may just get the combo as i don't want to buy a Fender stereo 4x12 to match that amp head... and size is a factory... i could see myself with a 100 watt 1x12 Mustang... but it wouldn't be something i'd ever gig with... jamming recording practicing is mostly what i would do with it so it may fill the bill...

    i'm not against digital or SS designs for low volume stuff... hell these days i've been using a crappy 10 year old Fender Stage 100DSP Head to practice thru a Marshall 1x12... in my Bedroom at low volume that Stage 100 sounds better then my JCM 800 head... thats a fact... mind ya my 800 is beat up and troublematic... but the TSL100 and my 5150 heads are under dust covers as they sit waiting for a louder jam or gig to be pulled out and used.... these days i've also been using an old Berhinger, a Line 6, a G-Dec, and a few other late 90's era Fender Solid State combos for practicing thru... soon i may ditch most of them for something newer and hopefully better...

    so basicly my point is i don't have 1 amp that does it all... i have small SS/Digital practice amps for home practice, louder combos for jams and reheasrals, and loud tube heads for metal or heavy rock stuff...

    so my advice to anyone is to buy the right tool for the job... you can argue tube/ss/digital to death... if it works go for it no matter what...
    Last edited by WhoFan; 02-20-2012 at 08:42 AM.

  9. #49
    Mojo's Minions Ascension's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    Used or New, Digital, Solid State, Hybrid, or Tube, Full Size or Mini, current or classic.

    What, in your opinion, is the best value in an amp head for playing rock to heavy metal?

    What's it cost? Why is it a great amp and a great value?
    I will go back to the Jet City JCA22H.
    It is really versatile and the crunch channel can get nice cleans but it lacks headroom. It is better suited to a nice edgie crunch than pure cleans and I normally run mine at around 4 in gain on the crunch channel to get a nice Marshall style clean crunch that cleans up well with my Guitar volume. Really dynamic tones in the OD side that are responsive to touch and sound not just good but GREAT in a full band situation.
    The OD channel is a whole other beast. It's thick and fat and MUCH hotter in gain. The OD Channel pretty typical of what you would expect in a Mike Soldano designed rigs tone. It also has plenty of gain on tap to get solidly into metal territory without a dirt box.
    The amp is expressive and rich, sounds great at low volumes and is also loud enough to gig out with and get over a drummer.
    I looked hard at the Tweaker, Vox Night Train and Orange mini Heads and thought the Jet City was just a better rig. It was head and shoulders ahead of them all in tone, had more versatility, a usable effects loop, more features and was less $$. I pulled the chassis and every thing was nicely laid out all the work appeared clean and it looks to be rather road worthy. Time will tell though.
    I snagged a used one in mint shape for under $300 new you are still looking well under $400.
    My only gripe was the factory power tubes and if you snag one take my advice DUMP them ASAP!!
    For a hard-rocking reliable great sounding rig on the cheap it's the BOMB. I am VERY happy so far with mine!!
    Last edited by Ascension; 02-20-2012 at 09:32 AM.
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  10. #50
    Joyfulnoiseologist Hoss's Avatar
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    You know what i'm gonna say...

    VHT Special stuff is HARD to beat for the $$$...
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    God hates bad guitar tone
    GUITARS: Schecter Saturn, Takamine
    AMPS: Traynor YCV40WR/KT77s, VHT Special 6, Marshall AS50R
    EFX: Line 6 G30, Fhusk CS-3, Emerson EM-Drive, EB VPJr, T1M DD-5/T1M Tap

  11. #51
    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
    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.
    Tone to tone, I will take a dialed in Bassmaster over a Marshall, because of the open character of the Hammond iron. The open character, not too unlike Partridge iron really speaks to me. A switch to a 1 meg volume pot and a bright cap snip or change are often all you need to get to the goods. I have 3 Traynors right now and have owned 8 or so..., all can take on the big names, with nothing lacking, outside of looks.... Plenty of clean ones out there to be had.

  12. #52
    SmoothCriminalologist JOLLY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Cheap Amp Head Out there?

    Dumble.

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