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Thread: Tube combo recommendations

  1. #1
    Super Toneologist Frogman's Avatar
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    Default Tube combo recommendations

    Howdy everyone.

    Current gear: RedBear MK60, Bugera G5, POD HD500, 4x12 cab, Mr. Black Doomstick

    My days of carrying two 4x12's and two heads to gigs are over.

    I've recently found myself in a situation where I need a gig-able 15-30w tube combo.

    I'm considering:

    Bugera V22

    Jet City JCA2112

    Orange AD30R


    Another option is to get a small head and one or two 1x12 cabs, or one 2x12 cab, which opens up way more possibilities, but also costs considerably more.
    Top contenders there would be the OR15 or Brent Hinds Terror.


    My main stuff I jam to at home is stoner/sludge/grunge shenanigans: Sleep, High on Fire, Mastodon, The Sword, Down, CoC, EYEHATEGOD, Kyuss, Kylesa, Baroness, Soundgarden, AIC, etc.


    That said, I need something that can nail some classic rock, Hendrix, Skynyrd, AC/DC, VH, Def Leppard, Journey -- for a cover band.
    So yeah, need it for small-ish gigs.


    Yeah, gobs of headroom is nice, but cranking a 60W tube amp is just too loud for the neighbors, and they ain't even that close
    So, sure I guess I could also consider 50W combos. 6505 Combo, Mesa .50 Cal combo, but I'm leaning lower watt.


    I would LIKE to get something for $700 or less...


    Any other recommendations?



    edit: or..........get a good attenuator for my RedBear and get a 2x12 cab.
    Last edited by Frogman; 06-01-2019 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2
    BadHairDayologist Empty Pockets's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    AD30 is cool but definitely better suited for a 70s vibe than a modern HoF kinda sound.

    I use an Orange Rocker 30 for the situations you're describing. Natural channel is like a Plexi, Dirty channel is like a JCM800 with a gain and lows mod. Maybe get the newer Rocker 15 or 32 if that's easier?
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  3. #3
    Super Toneologist VinceT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Used Mesa 5:25 are in your price range and would cover what you need.


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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Is Marshall DSL40C an option?
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

  5. #5
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Nostalgic Distortion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    Is Marshall DSL40C an option?
    This would be my recommendation as well. They sound great, they are portable, & they are relatively easy to service/bias when you change your tubes. If your comfortable with that sort of thing that is?
    I live in Northern New Hampshire, we shoot the things we don't understand here???

  6. #6
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Congrats, You've reached that "not pushing stacks or shouldering monster heads age" we all eventually get there my friend.

    The AD30 will get you there for sure. -I'm doubly biased because Orange is really the only company out there actively supporting artists and all forms rock and roll. they are easily the most artist friendly and give back the most. And I think that's worth supporting.

    I have a BH Terror too -it's awesome. use it with a Vintage 30 speaker and your there for way less weight and hassle than the AD30 -but less volume of course. -I just used it on a club tour and it did fine for onstage. even playing a giant room like the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Orange does seem like it would be an great starting point. Would you be getting all of your dirt from the amp? Or running pedals in front?

  8. #8
    Super Toneologist Frogman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Depends on the number of channels.
    I certainly prefer amp dirt (especially power tube distortion).

  9. #9
    Super Toneologist Frogman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Thereís a modded JCA20 for sale that iím thinking about getting.
    Price is great.
    Only problem is......single channel.


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  10. #10
    I poop in my KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    First of all - lets use the proper description: You WANT a tube head. You don't NEED one. That HD500 will do everything you need straight into the board period. No one in the audience cares.

    The people who listen to the Heart/Journey thing are too old and it just doesn't matter as they get their drunk on. They just want to remember being 20. The Kyuss/CoC crowd, well, it's just noise with thundering drums to get their anger out background sound.

    I'm 52 and bring a Mesa head and a Marshall 2x12 to shows. Why? Mostly just for the look...but I do love the sound. But again, I don't need it.

    If you are older than me and too weak to take a head and a 2x12....may want to re-evaluate why you are doing this and get a fitness program, not a smaller amp!


    All of that said - I really dig the Jet City from that lineup.
    Last edited by Aceman; 06-01-2019 at 07:18 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
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  11. #11
    Super Toneologist Frogman's Avatar
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    Default Tube combo recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    First of all - lets use the proper description: You WANT a tube head. You don't NEED one. That HD500 will do everything you need straight into the board period. No one in the audience cares.

    The people who listen to the Heart/Journey thing are too old and it just doesn't matter as they get their drunk on. They just want to remember being 20. The Kyuss/CoC crowd, well, it's just noise with thundering drums to get their anger out background sound.

    I'm 52 and bring a Mesa head and a Marshall 2x12 to shows. Why? Mostly just for the look...but I do love the sound. But again, I don't need it.

    If you are older than me and too weak to take a head and a 2x12....may want to re-evaluate why you are doing this and get a fitness program, not a smaller amp!


    All of that said - I really dig the Jet City from that lineup.

    Lol certainly not weak.
    Iím a power lifter ó But itís still a pain loading up and carrying around an awkward-to-carry 110lb 4x12.
    And it takes up lot of room.
    A small (dimension) head and a 1x12 or 2x12 is much more reasonable. And I can crank the power section without making everyoneís ears bleed.


    Right now Iím leaning toward the Rocker 30 combo or Jet City and a Son Set Beach 1x12 or 2x12 (Only a $50 difference between cab sizes).
    Last edited by Frogman; 06-01-2019 at 08:46 AM.

  12. #12
    Tone Member BenPerkins's Avatar
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    Default Tube combo recommendations

    Iíd go with OR15 and a 2x12. Swap out the stock tubes with Mullards to add a little clean headroom and eliminate fizz. Currently use mine to play Vol. 4 Sabbath style jams (Soundgarden tones come easily with this amp). Also easy to get a good Angus or 70ís style rock tone. Add a Phase 90 and get a perfect Zep ďRoverĒ tone.

    Some folks say the OR15 is a one trick wonder. I disagree. Roll Mullards and roll back on guitar volume to clean up. It has an effects loop and takes pedals well.


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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by BenPerkins View Post
    Iíd go with OR15 and a 2x12. Swap out the stock tubes with Mullards to add a little clean headroom and eliminate fizz. Currently use mine to play Vol. 4 Sabbath style jams (Soundgarden tones come easily with this amp). Also easy to get a good Angus or 70ís style rock tone.

    Some folks say the OR15 is a one trick wonder. I disagree. Roll Mullards and roll back on guitar volume to clean up. It has an effects loop and takes pedals well.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Tube rolling can make a big difference with some of these amps. I've never played an OR15, but it's definitely the case with the Marshall Mini/Studio Jubilee (2525). I've seen a bunch of forum posts where someone bought one, didn't like it, and returned it within a few days. These amps are EXTREMELY sensitive to different tube types and the stock tubes really aren't a good fit IMO. Mine originally came with a JJ in V1, Shuguangs in V2 & V3, and Tung-Sol EL-34s. With this complement the rhythm channel is clean, glassy, and almost Fender-like, but it's hard to control the bright/harsh on the lead channel. I swapped to a Tung-Sol in V1, a Sovtek 12AX7LPS in V3, and JJ EL-34s and it sounds almost identical to my 2555 now. V2 doesn't seem to influence how the 2555 or 2525 sound, so the Shuguangs are fine there
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    JCA 22 1x12 combo, or the head with a Harley Benton V30 cab from Thomann might be worth consideration?

    I've seen Leon Todd on YouTube compare his JCA 50 with his Soldano head, pretty impressive.

  15. #15
    I poop in my KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
    And I can crank the power section without making everyone’s ears bleed.

    Now THIS is a reason I can get behind!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

  16. #16
    I poop in my KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    By the way - The Blackstar HT20 was not on there....I'd add that for consideration.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

  17. #17
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    By the way - The Blackstar HT20 was not on there....I'd add that for consideration.
    I have the head version. Itís a great little amp.

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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    I gig with an AD30 into a Randall 1x12 with a Celestion G12H. Dime almost everything and roll back the bass a couple notches and itís a Marshall. With the Master you can make it any volume you want with the same sound. It covers anything you can do with a Marshall or an Orange for the mere effort of rolling the bass knob a bit. Being Orange, itís a bit flabby on the bottom end for modern metal, but can do anything from arena rock to sludge pretty well.
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    I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
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  19. #19
    25's Nemesis Benjy_26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Tubes are GREAT. I love em. There's nothing quite like a good set of EL34's or 6L6's being really pushed.

    With that said, when I need to get a lot of different sounds, the Rivera, Fender, and Marshall stay home.

    I take a 2x12, a Crate Powerblock, and my GT-8.

    If I need to save even more space, I take my GT-8 and a SWR California Blonde or Strawberry Blonde. People who go drink while a cover band plays don't care whether you're using tubes or not.
    Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

  20. #20
    Mojo's Minions SirJackdeFuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube combo recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
    Howdy everyone.

    Current gear: RedBear MK60, Bugera G5, POD HD500, 4x12 cab, Mr. Black Doomstick

    My days of carrying two 4x12's and two heads to gigs are over.

    I've recently found myself in a situation where I need a gig-able 15-30w tube combo.

    I'm considering:

    Bugera V22

    Jet City JCA2112

    Orange AD30R

    Another option is to get a small head and one or two 1x12 cabs, or one 2x12 cab, which opens up way more possibilities, but also costs considerably more.
    Top contenders there would be the OR15 or Brent Hinds Terror.


    My main stuff I jam to at home is stoner/sludge/grunge shenanigans: Sleep, High on Fire, Mastodon, The Sword, Down, CoC, EYEHATEGOD, Kyuss, Kylesa, Baroness, Soundgarden, AIC, etc.


    That said, I need something that can nail some classic rock, Hendrix, Skynyrd, AC/DC, VH, Def Leppard
    , Journey -- for a cover band.
    So yeah, need it for small-ish gigs.

    Yeah, gobs of headroom is nice, but cranking a 60W tube amp is just too loud for the neighbors, and they ain't even that close
    So, sure I guess I could also consider 50W combos. 6505 Combo, Mesa .50 Cal combo, but I'm leaning lower watt.

    I would LIKE to get something for $700 or less...


    Any other recommendations?
    Do not forget about these then :

    Ampeg VT-22, Ampeg GVT 52 (1X12), Ampeg V7, Laney AOR30 (1X12) . . . all of them will nail a classic 70's & 80's Hard Rock tone.
    Tele, SG, LP Jr, '76 Ibanez Artist & Tokai LS92 + FUZZ boxes into a '66 AB165 Bassman & 2X12 (55Hz Greenbacks) / '73 Orange OR120 & 2X12 (V30 & SwampThang) / Orange Thunderverb 50 & PPC212 / Marshall Vintage Modern 50 & 2X12 Genz Benz g-Flex / Laney Klipp / Laney AOR Pro Tube 100


    "...it's a tree with a microphone" - Leslie West

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