The band I'm in plays a combination of metal/punk sub-genres (doom/sludge/crust/dbeat). Please know I make no claims to BE punk (okay, perhaps a slightly subversive English teacher, lol).

For what we're doing, I need three tones: 1) a pushed "clean" with break-up; 2) a mid-forward, aggressive, crusty, overdrive/distortion; and 3) a saturated, high-gain with loads of sustain.

I borrowed a friend's 76' Les Paul standard and tried to use the amps I had (Randall Commander II Combo and Blues Jr. with far too many pedals). Sadly, under the recording microscope, I (and others) could not get correct intonation on the LP in C standard. That led me to baritones, and from there the decision to go with a Reverend Descent was fairly straightforward. Not surprisingly, my amp combo above still wasn't getting me where I needed to be (too muddy, not enough gain). After getting a budget head that did not work out (I am trying to keep things respectful by not mentioning the brand) , I decided to actually make an investment to get what I needed. After trying a number of Oranges, Marshalls, Peavys, etc., I found the Mesa TC-100. I've paired it with a Marshall 1960A with V-30's. I couldn't be happier.

Ironically, one of the world's most flexible amps allowed me to simplify - I ditched my pedal board and am only using a boost (MXR Micro Amp +) and analogue delay (EHX Memory Toy) in front as "always on" pedals. The only stomping I need to do is with the amp's foot switch, mostly to toggle between the amp's three channels. I set each channel to my desired reverb level (I love this spring tank), run nothing through the loop and use the solo button when I need to jump out of the mix. It's almost elegant it's so simple.

And here's where I landed. I'm happy with the outcome. My guitar is hard-panned right:

http://understorymetal.bandcamp.com/releases

The Reverend Descent/Railhammer pickups combo is perfect for my needs. The guitar's "bass contour" knob allows me to go from a more modern, high gain roar to a more vintage-like, almost P-90-ish punch.

And not once have I questioned my decision to purchase the TC-100. When I'm playing just for me, I can go from dark, modern, super-high-gain mayhem and with the flick of a few switches, be getting a vintage, warm, just-breaking-up blues tone. Not to mention high-headroom, pristine cleans. It's amazing.

I welcome any questions, comments or feedback. Thanks!