Okay, so from the money that's gonna be left over from my college's financial aid grants(unlike loans, I don't have to return it), I'll be able to set aside 500$ or perhaps a bit more which I'm planning to save for getting my first stack/rig/rack. I've been reading a lot of these threads and searching info for a long time, and now that I'm one step ahead in terms of cash, I'm starting to consider my options.
Here are some setups I have in mind:
1.) Line6 PodXT + A poweramp + 4x12 cabinet. (would this work? How much wattage could I get? Would the sound quality be comparable to a real amp?)
2.) Blue Voodoo BV120 + 4x12 cabinet. These usually go for 700$ tops right?
3.) Blue Voodoo BV50 + 4x12 cabinet.
4.) Engl E530 Preamp + Poweramp(how much does one usually cost?) + 2x12 or 4x12 cabinet.
5.) Peavey 5150 60W Combo + cabinet.
I'm also open to other suggestions
In all the cases that I mentioned poweramp, would a Crate Powerblock be a suitable choice? Or are they really not meant to be used for tube preamps like the E530? How much does a decent poweramp cost?
Here are some random noobish questions that don't deserve it's own thread(and yes, I have searched for these before):
-Look at choice no. 3 for example. If I run a BV60 combo into a a 120W cab, will I get much more headroom than possible with just the BV60? I don't understand the point of using much higher wattage cabs if the head/poweramp can't reach even half of it. Does the cab actually make it louder than the BV60's speaker?
-Tube amps: I hear they're extremely fragile. I also hear that the tubes need to be changed yearly. Is this true? If a tube/more than one tube is broken, can I replace the tubes myself or is it only in the hands of a professional? Is it really that hard? I always thought it was like screwing in a new light bulb.
I've heard of these "Volume boxes" or attenuators that let you get the cranked tube sound at low volumes for bedroom playing, are these for real?
So I'm most likely going with either the 5150 combo or Blue voodoo combo. I'd probably start by buying just the combo first then get the cabinet later(I can't play at high volumes at home). I hear that the BV60 combo has broken down on a lot of people, are they reliable amps?
Thanks for any help.