Basically, I've been hijacking amps from other bands for the past wee while gigging so I thought it was about time I got my own. The band I'm in melodic but can be heavy at times too so I'm sort of leaning towards the new Spider IV 120 combo but I'm trying to get a good amp for as cheap as possible. Would I really need 120 watts though? The Spider IV 75 watts is pretty much the same amp, so I may end up going for that. Could I gig with 75 watts? or is around 100 the standard for gigging?
I have budgeted myself to £200-£350 max
Any advice would be really appreciated :)
I'd stay away from the Line6 Spider Series! Look into smaller all valve combos, as they can always be mic'ed up. For a melodic sound, the warmth of a valve amp would be much better.
There are numerous low watt amps like the Blackstar HT-5, Vox AC4, Epiphone Valve Junior etc, but these would all need mic'ed for a larger gig.
You could look into secondhand combo's around that money?
Valve amps seem much louder than a comparative watt solid state amp (around 2x is the consensus). To gig without mic'ing (which you won't really want to do), you'd need about a 30+ watt valve amp, or about 75 SS. I'd go for a smaller valve combo and mic it so you can get the saturated tube tone.
You really don't need 75 or 100 watts to gig, at least, not anywhere that has a PA. Such amps are a hangover from the olden days. A 15 watt valve amp with decent, efficient speakers is more than adequate unless your drummer is a savage. With your budget, I think you'd be better off looking at 15-50 watt valve amps with decent speakers. They won't have all the bells and whistles of the Spider amp, but they'll do what they do with more aplomb than the Spider ever could. Jack of all trades, master of none and all that.
You should be able to pick up a second hand Marshall DSL40 well inside you budget, or a Laney LC/LH50.
I played through one of these on Thursday night in The Bunker. It was mic'ed up, but was easily loud enough for me on stage, and our drummer does hit hard.
Great sound as well. A valve amp is definitely the way to go, I've tried solid state amps, modding amps (Line 6 etc) and all those types of amps try and do is emulate a valve amp. You can tell too, a valve amp always cuts through the sound better on stage than anything else.
Then again, I've never been overly convinced Valve Amps are louder and more cutting purely because they're valve amps. A lot of it comes down to valve amps just having better speakers in them. SS amps tend to have less efficient, less "colourful" drivers, as a rule, usually because they're just plain and simple cheap.
Hi that was my amp in the Bunker on Thurs!! and I was just about to recommend it (Marshall DSL 401). As I was saying to Bill on the night I go through phases of playing staight through the amp and then sometimes add effects through a Zoom GT9 or whatever it's called. The advice on here is right...a good quality valve amp is best...nothing against the line six stuff but I'd definitely buy a 2nd hand valve over this.
depends what the other musicians in your band use. i would suggest 30 or 50 watt valve or 80 or 100 watt solid state. those 5 watt valve amps are good, but you'd need to run one of them through at least one 12" speaker to have fuller tone and best spread of sound/volume.
[quote:a35fc2ae54="DontPetABurningDog"]Then again, I've never been overly convinced Valve Amps are louder and more cutting purely because they're valve amps. A lot of it comes down to valve amps just having better speakers in them. SS amps tend to have less efficient, less "colourful" drivers, as a rule, usually because they're just plain and simple cheap.[/quote:a35fc2ae54]Well, you could easily prove yourself wrong (which I think you are) by comparing a solid-state head vs. a valve head into the same cabinet.
The accepted theory of why valve amps seem louder is that you can turn them up full and they sound great, while most solid-state amps sound rubbish if you turn them beyond '3'.
In fact, you really need to turn the valve amp up to get the best out of it, which is why people are recommending the lower-powered ones. At the last gig I played (in the Pavilion), we used my vintage WEM 15W valve combo and it was perfect.
I'd agree the DSL 401 would be a good gigging sized amp ( I think someone is selling one on here at the moment). I use a marshall TSL 100 watt head but it has a power reduction button which switches it down to 25 watts. I keep it at 25 watts all the time. More than enough power.
Also get an amp stand it lifts the speaker up higher and is good for hearing yourself on stage.
only use a 100 watt amp if you only want clean tones at high volumes.
One of the worst things you can do for your band's sound is to play TOO loudly. Makes life hard for the sound engineer, then the whole band simply sounds like crap and the poor soundie gets all the blame.
Playing just loud enough to hear yourself over the drums is fine. Mo' watts = mo' money.
a 50 watt should easily do the trick for stage. Valve amps are just so much warmer and "natural" sounding that solid state. Sorry, can't explain "natural" well enough in words.
30 watts would be fine too.
Orange AD 30?
If you can pick up a Fender DeVille or something like that, it would be fine and dandy.
(ps i'm hungover, forgive my death-rattle waffling!)
Put the Line6 Spider idea out of your head right now! Get something with tubes, they're a bit dearer but worth it, much better than solid state. Recommendations of mine would be the Peavey Valveking or the Bugera 6260.
Fender Blues Junior or a Second Hand Deville / Hot-Rod (But they are MAD MAD MAD loud IMHO!)
Fender Tube amps (again IMHO) are the shizzle.
Thanks for all the advice guys, from what I've gathered valve is the way to go. I've never played through one myself but from what yous are saying they seem to be the bees knees. Is there any that I'd be able to get around my price range that any of you know of? I'm currently looking at the Peavey Valve King which is my number one option atm.
I use a floor pod plus too, but I'm thinking of getting rid of it to get a better one or possibly just get a foot switch if the amp comes with a nice selection of effects.
If you get a DSL (Marshall) then you'll likely not need any distortion/reverb pedal or whatever, just a decent delay/chorus pedal if you like using those spangly thingummies.
If you go for a Peavey/Laney whatever you'll probably be well off with a Boss Metalzone or similar. That is what our lead player uses with the his fender DeVille - and it sounds great. By itself the Fender sounds mighty on cleaner settings but it's onboard distortion, while nice sounding, is somewhat lacking.
Try and leave the Line 6 stuff behind. Save it for the bedroom and USB recordng or whatever. Sounds great at low volume but it just becomes background hiss at higher levels.
i just got a fender blues deluxe (1x12 40watt all valve) to replace my kustom hv100 (100watt 2x12 valve state) and the difference is phenomenal! I never have the wee bugger above 3 at rehearsal and the tone is a lot, lot sweeter than the kustom, and still seems to have plenty of clean headroom. Id def agree the overdrive channel, (and distortion if a hot rod) is a bit naff but i run a rat and metal-zone into the front of it for distortion and it sounds glorious. best £500 i ever spent!