I have £2000 to spend on a new valve amp. Recommendations?

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lydian7
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I have £2000 to spend on a new valve amp. Recommendations?

#1 Post by lydian7 » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:35 am

Currently I'm looking at the Mesa Boogie Mark IV combo, but I'm deliberating whether to get an English amp like the Cornford hellcat or Mk50h stack because of the lower price in the UK (Mesa's are expensive over here because of the import prices).

I'm also tpying with the idea of a JSX stack, which I could buy for less than the Mark IV combo, but my heart is set on getting the Mark IV...most of the time. :wink:

I was thinking of getting a Carvin stack, but from what I've heard it is a very bare-bones type amp that needs exterior pre-amps to get the best out of it (e.g. TC Electronic's Gforce effects processor).

Any recommendations? I want an all-in-one valve amp that will last me a life-time.

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#2 Post by jemgirl » Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:24 am

go for the mesa boogie!!
there great!

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#3 Post by Melodic Dreamer » Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:26 pm

Personaly I would rather own a Cornford than a Mesa Boogie. Have you looked at the Custom Electronics OD-100?

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#4 Post by guitar_man_6 » Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:50 pm

Meas's are beautiful amps. I just tried the new Triple Rectifier Combo - it's amazing...

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#5 Post by lydian7 » Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:20 am

jemgirl wrote:go for the mesa boogie!!
there great!
Yeah, I really dig the mesa mark series lead sound, Santana's tone from the Mark I is amazing! I've heard the Mark IV has a very rich lead sound also, and Metallica used it for most of the Rhythm work on their Black Album back in '90.

Does anyone here own a boogie? I'd like to hear from you. Cheers jemgirl btw. :)
Melodic Dreamer wrote:Personaly I would rather own a Cornford than a Mesa Boogie. Have you looked at the Custom Electronics OD-100?
I've heard a lot of good things about the Custom Electronics heads. I know that Greg Howe has been testing them out on his new material. Have you got any clips of the amp in action?
guitar_man_6 wrote:Mesa's are beautiful amps. I just tried the new Triple Rectifier Combo - it's amazing...
I like the Dual Rectifier Road King model, but generally I think the Rectifiers lack warmth in their lead tones. Great for rhythm though.

Cheers everyone, keep the suggestions coming! ;)

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#6 Post by Ibanman » Sat Sep 10, 2005 6:31 am

i'd go for an orange amp if i were you i think there english, and they sound sweet!!!

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#7 Post by Andelusion » Sat Sep 10, 2005 3:59 pm

The best advice anyone on these boards could give you (even if i do say so myself) is to go to a guitar store near to you that has a large selection of amps including all the ones you're interested in.

Take your guitar and other gear which is an integral part of your setup and play them to death until you find one which suits you the best :) It's really you that will know if it's the right amp for you or not :D

Have fun you lucky begggar! I should be getting a new amp soon and will be heading over to soundcontrol in Leeds or GAK in Brighton for a day with my Jem to make loud noises in the store hehe!
Last edited by Andelusion on Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#8 Post by Melodic Dreamer » Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:57 pm

I've heard a lot of good things about the Custom Electronics heads. I know that Greg Howe has been testing them out on his new material. Have you got any clips of the amp in action?
http://www.alestrada.com/OD100.htm

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#9 Post by lespaulplus » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:23 pm

I did a lot of research last year to buy a new amp.

I finally bought this Marshall:

http://www.marshallamps.com/heritage/an ... ersary.asp

Love it. Maybe you can find one at a decent price.

This is the one Satriani used before signing with Peavey.

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#10 Post by lydian7 » Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:27 am

lespaulplus wrote:I did a lot of research last year to buy a new amp.

I finally bought this Marshall:

http://www.marshallamps.com/heritage/an ... ersary.asp

Love it. Maybe you can find one at a decent price.

This is the one Satriani used before signing with Peavey.
Yeah I've considered the Marshalls, but I want a more personalised tone. Too many people use Marshalls for my taste.

...just out of interest, do you use a DS-1 for distortion through the clean setting on your Marshall ala`Satriani?

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#11 Post by lespaulplus » Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:18 am

yes I do. I usually use japanese DS-1s for the solos but depending on how much distortion I need.

It's a great amp and very versatile but obviously it depends on what you're looking for.

Vai is a good idea of the sounds you can get with some of the amps.

IMHO:

- If you like the first Vai (DLR, P&W) this is Marshall
- If you like later Vai (S&R, FG) this is Bogner
- If you like latest Vai this is Carvin Legacy

The speakers are definitely a factor too.

Celestion Vintage are my cup of tea with all my amps (They sound incredibly nice with my '67 BF Bassman). FYG Vai also uses them.

They are all great amps.

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#12 Post by Melodic Dreamer » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:18 am

If your looking for a uniqe sound then look no futher than THD. I'm playing through a THD Flexi 50 and this amp is the best sounding amp I have ever heard. To be honest though, you need to understand how the guitar/amp work together. Plus you might want to read up on different types of tubes and how they work.

It isn't a high gain amp though. Plus it is a one channel with a selectable boost. I have realized through my years of playing having a 3 or 4 channel amp is pointless. Well atleast for my style of playing. I also have a Peavey JSX, and it doesn't touch the Flexi in my opinion.

I like setting the amp up until the point of break up and using a booster for a good rythm sound and then the Flexi's boost for leads. The Flexi cleans up nice when backing your volume knob down. I can't help but bragg on this amp. If you like Shawn Lane/Eric Johnson Tones, or Michael Landu/Scott Henderson type of sounds this amp can do them easily.

If you want massive amounts of gain though then look somewhere else.


Here is a must see clip of the Flexi. Myron is using a Maxon sd-9 as a boost. http://www.musicv2.com/artist/alexflouros?video=1
It's the one named "Alex & Myron's Complete Wankdom" (15megs)

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Cornford, laney or Legacy

#13 Post by 962 » Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:40 pm

Cornford is definitely worth a shot, they're great amps. Very different from the Mesas, but great. They're fairly straightforward, they don't try to do anything too fancy.

Laney is seriously worth considering. It depends on what kind of tone you want, and whether or not you'll be able to crank it - you have to crank a GH100L to get it's best tone, but when you do....ohh baby!

I got me a Legacy. The whole concept of "you have to use preamps and stuff to get the best out of it" is bullsh*t. The guys at Nevada music in Portsmouth are assholes and I didn't realise until a month after my warranty ran out, but they took half the tubes out of my Legacy head and replaced them with whatever crap was collecting dust on the shelf.

As a result I had to retube it, but I'm pleased I did. I retubed all five preamp tubes with a calibrated set of JJ Tubes, courtesy of the endlessly helpful Bob at eurotubes.com, and it sounds absolutely beautiful.

The Legacy, like the Cornford stuff, is a nice simple amp which does what it says on the tin. It's cool, 'cause it means you have more control with your hands and guitar, over what sounds come out.

Seriously, a Legacy is probably the best thing you can spend 1300 quid on, and the fully calibrated, flawless set of JJ tubes cost me something like 30 or 40 quid. When I've got the spare cash, I'll get Bob to do me an integrated Quad for the power stage, but it's okay at the moment.

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Re: Cornford, laney or Legacy

#14 Post by lydian7 » Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:09 am

962 wrote:Cornford is definitely worth a shot, they're great amps. Very different from the Mesas, but great. They're fairly straightforward, they don't try to do anything too fancy.
Guthrie Govan's guitar clinic demonstrations of the Cornford Hellcat and Cornford Mk50h really turned my head. Apart from having astounding jazz-fusion soloing technique, Guthrie's tone (especially, I think, when playing through the Hellcat head) delivers absolutely crystal-clear sustain. If anyone's interested btw, then checkout the following url:-

http://www.tonemerchants.com/Guthrie_Govan_Clips.htm
I got me a Legacy. The whole concept of "you have to use preamps and stuff to get the best out of it" is bullsh*t. The guys at Nevada music in Portsmouth are assholes and I didn't realise until a month after my warranty ran out, but they took half the tubes out of my Legacy head and replaced them with whatever crap was collecting dust on the shelf.
Yeah, I contacted Nevada to enquire about a Legacy, but they said they were out of stock and expecting a new shipment in. They also said that the Legacy's were becoming popular all of a sudden (but I wasn't aware there popularity was dwindling before then?).
The Legacy, like the Cornford stuff, is a nice simple amp which does what it says on the tin. It's cool, 'cause it means you have more control with your hands and guitar, over what sounds come out.

Seriously, a Legacy is probably the best thing you can spend 1300 quid on, and the fully calibrated, flawless set of JJ tubes cost me something like 30 or 40 quid. When I've got the spare cash, I'll get Bob to do me an integrated Quad for the power stage, but it's okay at the moment.
What I'm trying to achieve most of all, which I originally thought the Mark IV could provide me with, is a controlable, precise distorted tone that I can personalise to develop my own individual tone. I'm really not interested in Santana, Vai, Satriani, or Holdsworth's guitar tone, I just want to find my ownsound, which, granted, can be extremely difficult when guitar equipment is endorsed and marketed towards a certain demographic.

What I have heard however is that the Legacy is versatile enough to give the player their own, unique tone. I don't know if this is true or not, but taking into consideration the quality of the amp, and the generous price-range, I don't think I can really argue. The Mesa's are nice, but perhaps a little to pricey for us brits to stomach, whilst Carvin's prices are alot more digestible.

So then...

Viva La Carvin! 8)

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#15 Post by Instrumentalrockrocks » Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:37 am

Try the Mesa Boogie Lonestar...

"tone as big as Texas"

It sounds GREAT!

And I saw Andy Timmons using it on a guitar clinic here in Rotterdam...

GREAT tone...

Really a Superb quality amp...


Shred On :guitar

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