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Thread: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

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    Default Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Hey everybody!

    I finally made a shootout video of all my lunchbox amps! The wattage of these amps ranges from 15 watts up to 35 watts. As you can probably tell I have a softspot for these little amps. There is something so cool about having such a huge sound coming from something so small and charming... lol

    The first section of the video features full band clips with broken up clean tones as well as heavy rock tones. I didn't go fully clean because 1: I prefer broken up cleans and 2: Some of the amps can't do clean. To me it's more enjoyable to listen to the amps with a little bit of breakup. I also think it shows the character of the amps better. I hope you agree

    A couple notes:
    -The Mark V 35 isn't really small when compared to the others but I figured I'd include it anyway since it's technically still a 'low-wattage' amp, plus the smaller Mark V 25 sounds pretty much the same anyway if you don't take into account the difference in headroom.
    -There are timecodes in the description for easy skipping between all the segments.
    -Each amp was recording at the highest wattage setting available.

    I know which ones I loved the most but I would also love to know which ones you dug the most.
    Also, do you own one of these amps or perhaps another one that isn't included? If so, how do you like it? Is there anyone I don't have that you think I should own?

    Check it out:
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    Toneologist Synapsys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Should add the Hughes and Kettner Grandmeister 40 Deluxe to that list.

    Awesome work!
    Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (Pegasus/HRn), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HX FX & Stomp, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;

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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Loved it!

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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapsys View Post
    Should add the Hughes and Kettner Grandmeister 40 Deluxe to that list.

    Awesome work!
    I would love to add a H&K to my collection one day!
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    This sort of thing makes me miss the H&K Metal Shredder I tried ages ago. The store put really dark tubes in it when I complained it was completely unusably awful sounding across most of the setting ranges... Had this ugly presence you couldn't dial out. The JJs they put in changed it from a single use mediocre thrash tone to doing almost anything Marshally... at around 2-4W with it's solid state power amp out my Mesa Thiele EVM-12L. It did AC/DC to GnR to Kix better than almost anything I've tried since (with less fighting with EQ and Master volume in particular... hardly needed to touch anything other than Gain to shift between those), and pretty respectable 80s metal tones, too. Without pedals. I've never seen another amp completely change it's character to such a ridiculous degree by changing 2 preamp tubes. Apparently the tubes they chose were generally regarded as useless because they were so dark and gainy in other amps.

    The store employees were ANGRY when I hooked it up to a Marshall 4x12 (thought I'd damage something because it "couldn't have enough power to drive those speakers", even after I pointed out it wasn't just a preamp), and then they were astounded at how good it sounded. And it got about almost as loud as they allowed customers to turn things up, anyways. Only thing it really lacked was an effects loop or at least reverb. Didn't like the TS-7 I tried in the store at all, though, on ANY setting. Instant plastic meh. Next best low-volume Marshallish amp I'd played up to then was probably a Peavey Classic 50 212 in a different store in the chain which they wouldn't believe I was plugged into because they were sure those were just for Fendery tones (hadn't discovered the 2nd channel, apparently).

    As far as lunchboxes you might be missing, maybe a Friedman or Suhr? Or a Fryette Valvulator GP/DI? I'd suggest a Revv Generator 7/40, but they seem to be full size head cab, just lower power. Revvs are crazy, I love the Revv Generator 120 Red channel model in Line 6 Helix Native, and can't wait for the rest of the channels to be added, particularly the infamous Purple...

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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Despair View Post
    This sort of thing makes me miss the H&K Metal Shredder I tried ages ago. The store put really dark tubes in it when I complained it was completely unusably awful sounding across most of the setting ranges... Had this ugly presence you couldn't dial out. The JJs they put in changed it from a single use mediocre thrash tone to doing almost anything Marshally... at around 2-4W with it's solid state power amp out my Mesa Thiele EVM-12L. It did AC/DC to GnR to Kix better than almost anything I've tried since (with less fighting with EQ and Master volume in particular... hardly needed to touch anything other than Gain to shift between those), and pretty respectable 80s metal tones, too. Without pedals. I've never seen another amp completely change it's character to such a ridiculous degree by changing 2 preamp tubes. Apparently the tubes they chose were generally regarded as useless because they were so dark and gainy in other amps.

    The store employees were ANGRY when I hooked it up to a Marshall 4x12 (thought I'd damage something because it "couldn't have enough power to drive those speakers", even after I pointed out it wasn't just a preamp), and then they were astounded at how good it sounded. And it got about almost as loud as they allowed customers to turn things up, anyways. Only thing it really lacked was an effects loop or at least reverb. Didn't like the TS-7 I tried in the store at all, though, on ANY setting. Instant plastic meh. Next best low-volume Marshallish amp I'd played up to then was probably a Peavey Classic 50 212 in a different store in the chain which they wouldn't believe I was plugged into because they were sure those were just for Fendery tones (hadn't discovered the 2nd channel, apparently).

    As far as lunchboxes you might be missing, maybe a Friedman or Suhr? Or a Fryette Valvulator GP/DI? I'd suggest a Revv Generator 7/40, but they seem to be full size head cab, just lower power. Revvs are crazy, I love the Revv Generator 120 Red channel model in Line 6 Helix Native, and can't wait for the rest of the channels to be added, particularly the infamous Purple...
    Now you're making me even more curious about the H&K amps.
    To be honest, I have never even tried one.
    For some reason in videos they always sound a little, don't know how to put it, homogeneous?

    I would love a Friedman amp but they are pretty expensive, too expensive right now.
    One day though!
    I also really dig the Revv in Helix, it's a better version of the Recto basically.
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Nice clip, great tones!

    Especially digging the 5150 III LBX, which is also the amp I liked most last time I went to a store to try out lunchbox amps, albeit the LBX II version.
    There are a couple of ENGLs, especially the Ironball might be worth checking out, as well as the lower wattage Blackstar HT amps.
    Now there's also the low-wattage Plexi and JCM800 by Marshall.
    And then there's the Laboga Beast Classic/Plus in the low wattage/lunchbox category.

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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Suggestion. True cleans would be nice as some of us need real cleans and this does not show what the real clean tones are on any of these amp or if they will do true cleans at all.
    Own a MT 15 and did head to heads with almost every amp you ran before I bought one. Still convinced I made the right choice as the cleans are the best of the lot and the crunch is one of the most dynamic and touch sensitive of the lot. The touch and dynamic issue is another I would try to show as many of these amps sound good wide open but do not clean up or open up with a volume roll off or lighter touch well at all. Makes a BIG difference to a guy like me who is used to getting a wide range of tones out of something like a single channel Marshall JCM 900 MK III Dual Master on stage. I need to know that any amp I buy can do that.

    I would also include one of the Marshalls it's a glaring omission here and a classic tone.
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by JesusCrisp View Post
    Nice clip, great tones!

    Especially digging the 5150 III LBX, which is also the amp I liked most last time I went to a store to try out lunchbox amps, albeit the LBX II version.
    There are a couple of ENGLs, especially the Ironball might be worth checking out, as well as the lower wattage Blackstar HT amps.
    Now there's also the low-wattage Plexi and JCM800 by Marshall.
    And then there's the Laboga Beast Classic/Plus in the low wattage/lunchbox category.
    Thanks!
    That LBX does sound pretty unique here, the low end is super tight and the mids just 'scream'.
    It's great for that aggressive metal sound!
    The Ironball seems great but I already have a Fireball and I haven't used that one enough which is a shame because it's amazing!
    I think I'll have to use it again soon for a song!

    Those Marshall's seem sick but they're a little bit out of my price range and perhaps not a 100% what I'd use for my own music.
    For that purpose I already have my DSL 50 JCM 2000 which is great!
    Who know what the future holds though
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Suggestion. True cleans would be nice as some of us need real cleans and this does not show what the real clean tones are on any of these amp or if they will do true cleans at all.
    Own a MT 15 and did head to heads with almost every amp you ran before I bought one. Still convinced I made the right choice as the cleans are the best of the lot and the crunch is one of the most dynamic and touch sensitive of the lot. The touch and dynamic issue is another I would try to show as many of these amps sound good wide open but do not clean up or open up with a volume roll off or lighter touch well at all. Makes a BIG difference to a guy like me who is used to getting a wide range of tones out of something like a single channel Marshall JCM 900 MK III Dual Master on stage. I need to know that any amp I buy can do that.

    I would also include one of the Marshalls it's a glaring omission here and a classic tone.
    I agree about the Marshalls but I explained why I don't have one of those in my previous reply, totally get where you're coming from though!
    About the cleans: it was just a conscious decision to have broken up cleans though and the main reason is just that I prefer those types of cleans overall.
    Also, a bunch of these amps don't do super clean tones very well so I just went with the broken up cleans.
    I'll definitely keep it in mind for future videos though!
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Great work mate!

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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroPolo View Post
    Great work mate!
    Thanks!
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Cool demo. Makes me think I'd like the other Orange lunchbox amps better than the Dark Terror I currently have. The others definitely have less of that fizz/sizzle on top.

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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by ibanezrocks View Post
    Cool demo. Makes me think I'd like the other Orange lunchbox amps better than the Dark Terror I currently have. The others definitely have less of that fizz/sizzle on top.

    Sent from my BlackBerry using Tapatalk
    I'm afraid I agree on that one. Don't get me wrong, the Dark Terror is a cool amp and it probably works for a lot of guys but for me it doesn't cut it, quite literally. I think it could use some love with a boost or EQ up front to enhance the mids.
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Guitarjon,

    cant listen right now, but looks like a great effort! Which did you prefer and why? I too have been VERY curious about the HK Grandmasters I tried one of the smallest ones and was alittle underwhelmed, but REALLY wanna try one of the bigger ones.. 40 watts
    Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now.

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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarjon View Post
    I'm afraid I agree on that one. Don't get me wrong, the Dark Terror is a cool amp and it probably works for a lot of guys but for me it doesn't cut it, quite literally. I think it could use some love with a boost or EQ up front to enhance the mids.
    Gotta have that shape control lower than 11 o'clock. Then it gets to be really mid heavy to me. It does benefit from a boost to tighten up the bass, and that lets it cut better. The Micro Dark I also have reacts in much the same way, and they can be dialed to sound enough alike that it makes a bullet proof back up amp to the DT. I'm also running an old Telefunken 12AX7 in both of them and they really clear up the tone vs the JJ tubes they came with.

    I also have an OR15 and that thing has no problem cutting through a mix.

    Anyway, great video. It shows that you just have to pick your favorite flavor and get on with it.
    Last edited by guitfiddle; 08-19-2019 at 10:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by guitfiddle View Post
    Gotta have that shape control lower than 11 o'clock. Then it gets to be really mid heavy to me. It does benefit from a boost to tighten up the bass, and that lets it cut better. The Micro Dark I also have reacts in much the same way, and they can be dialed to sound enough alike that it makes a bullet proof back up amp to the DT. I'm also running an old Telefunken 12AX7 in both of them and they really clear up the tone vs the JJ tubes they came with.

    I also have an OR15 and that thing has no problem cutting through a mix.

    Anyway, great video. It shows that you just have to pick your favorite flavor and get on with it.
    Thanks! And Yeah, good point there at the end. That's why I always just try to make all the amps sound as good as I can with limited resources. I prefer to show how those amps can sound awesome!
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodRose View Post
    Guitarjon,

    cant listen right now, but looks like a great effort! Which did you prefer and why? I too have been VERY curious about the HK Grandmasters I tried one of the smallest ones and was alittle underwhelmed, but REALLY wanna try one of the bigger ones.. 40 watts
    I own the GM40Deluxe. Awesome amp, and it has nothing to do with the Tubemeisters or even the GM36.

    Four channels, going from Fender cleans to Marshall crunch and lead, ending with american high gain. All the warmth and presence you will ever need.

    Loads of features: studio-quality effects, Red Box cabinet emulated output for silent recording or PA connection (it's how I'm using it in rehearsal), power soak down to 1 watt, or 0 for silent recording with no cab connected needed. Noise gate too.

    I went with external effects because they're more to my liking, but I've used the internal ones with no complaints.

    Cons: it needs a MIDI controller, since it stores the sounds you tweak as MIDI controls, as well as for controlling different power output, gate and FX loop on/off, as well as for channel switching.

    Major pros: small and very lightweight (just around 17 pounds / 7,7kg).
    Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (Pegasus/HRn), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HX FX & Stomp, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;

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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapsys View Post
    I own the GM40Deluxe. Awesome amp, and it has nothing to do with the Tubemeisters or even the GM36.

    Four channels, going from Fender cleans to Marshall crunch and lead, ending with american high gain. All the warmth and presence you will ever need.

    Loads of features: studio-quality effects, Red Box cabinet emulated output for silent recording or PA connection (it's how I'm using it in rehearsal), power soak down to 1 watt, or 0 for silent recording with no cab connected needed. Noise gate too.

    I went with external effects because they're more to my liking, but I've used the internal ones with no complaints.

    Cons: it needs a MIDI controller, since it stores the sounds you tweak as MIDI controls, as well as for controlling different power output, gate and FX loop on/off, as well as for channel switching.

    Major pros: small and very lightweight (just around 17 pounds / 7,7kg).
    Sweet! Thanks for the review. I'm definitely going to look into this amp. I don't really need effects and a lot of output options because I will only use it in my studio. So the core/raw amp tones are the most important thing to me.
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    Default Re: Lunchbox amp shootout with 12 amps! (Mesa, Orange, EVH, Peavey etc)

    Well, ****... On the one hand, this couldn't have come at a more opportune time, as I just sold my Jim Root Terror and am trying to decide on a new amp. On the other hand, you actually manage to make the JRT sound good, so I know for a fact I can't trust your vidoes
    Last edited by Coma; 08-21-2019 at 02:21 AM.
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