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  #1  
Old 2006-02-02, 01:30
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Stepping up from to a "real" rig...

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.
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  #2  
Old 2006-02-02, 06:27
JacksonGuitars07 JacksonGuitars07 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soeru
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.



1) The PODXT is a great piece of gear, my friend has one, but its better for effects and mild distortion than for an all out metal attack, though you can achieve a great metal tone with some tweaking. For around $500 you can possibly only swing a used PODXT and a used poweramp.

2) The Blue Voodoo sounds great. The guitarist that I play with has a Blue Voodoo head and it sounds pretty killer. They go used on eBay for as low as $250 sometimes.

3) The ENGL is most likely going to cost you more than you have if you want a poweramp and cabinet as well.

4) 5150 combo is a good choice, the Triple XXX sounded better to me, but I've only actually played a Triple XXX, I've only heard sound clips of the 5150.

As an answer to a couple more of your questions, running a combo through a cabinet is not exactly going to make it "louder" it will just be a bigger sound. And yes, tube amps in general are fragile, but not to the extent you can't move them for practice/gigging. I have school so I'll answer more questions later on.
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  #3  
Old 2006-02-02, 22:38
lord_diemos lord_diemos is offline
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I own the 5150 combo and have played a triple x and an ultra on many occasions (a friend of mine has an ultra combo and a guitar store I frequent the most has a tripl x combo). I personally preferred the voicing of the 5150 over both the ultra and the triple x. I like a lot of mids in my tone and the 5150 is a mid-machine. Also, the ultra and triple x had a dark tone to my ears. Mind you, the ultra and triple x are awesome amps with a lot of tonal versatility, but my personal preferrences leaned more towards the 5150.

Also, considering the affordability of these amps, I think that these two are your better choices. Just try them out whenever you get a chance and critique them with your own ears.
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  #4  
Old 2006-02-02, 23:14
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500$ can get alot if you stretch it. But I'd reccommend getting a little more. A cabinet will eat most of that if you want anything quality.
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  #5  
Old 2006-02-02, 23:38
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Wow, that's everything I wanted to hear about the 5150. I'm all about the mids, I never scoop at least one bit. So you would consider the XXX muddier/bassier than the 5150?

The 5150 is more sterile than the XXX, am I right? Even though I love br00tality, I also want to acheive crunchy, not so high gain lively sounds with it as well. Can the 5150 do this?

What kind of music do you play? I'm not an EMG person, I'm not looking for that popular sterile sound really, which made me doubt that the 5150 is what I'm looking for. I still have my doubts about the 5150. For the most part, in most bands' recordings it seems that the distortion has a bit of "noise" or fuzz around it. The best way I can describe it is like if you were listening to an old tape, there's some fuzzy thing around the sound. That's the impression I always get out of 5150's for some reason, but then I go listen to some Decapitated and all is well. I think "post-gain" is the right word, but I'm not sure.

A Marshall JCM900... I've considered that, Hate Eternal and Morbid Angel use them and I like the sound they get from them, but I'm thinking that it's a little over my price range. How much would a JCM900 combo cost used usually? Super clear high gain crunch is what I'm looking for.

The Blue Voodoo's price makes it extremely appealing, but I still don't know what kind of tone they have. All distortion aside, is it middy? Dark? Super trebley? I haven't played that many amps so I can't really describe an amp's sound too well.

Also, what's with these obscure brands like: Soldano, Madison, Splawn, etc.? I wish I could try out so many amps but it seems it might not be possible. Maybe one of these days I'll hop around some trains to some big-ass guitar shops and hope the guys will let me try out an amp or two.


Edit: By the way: In terms of cash, I'll have more than 500 by the time I decide to buy one. I'm just saying 500, but I'll probably throw in $600 into a new bank account, and they promised to give me 75$ if I keep the account, heh. I also plan to add some more to that little saving every month. I probably won't be buying anything until summer time.

So yeah, I don't want to spend a whole lot, but I guess I'll have to if I want to get "that" sound. I've only been playing for nearly 2 years now. I have much more to experiment, I think I'll try going to some shops and trying out lots of amps. Thanks a lot for the help. Give some more reccomendations of relatively easy to find tube amps, especially those mysterious makers like Splawn and Soldano. I am deeply intrigued. I don't trust sound samples on the net, I am aware an amp sounds very different in person.
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Originally Posted by far_beyond_sane

(Did you know In Flames had a 2005 album called "Come Clarity"? How prophetic. I think they're trying to tell us all their sperm are dead.)

Last edited by Soeru : 2006-02-02 at 23:49.
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  #6  
Old 2006-02-03, 01:15
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Nah,The 5150 isnt muddier or bassier than a XXX,unless you really want it to be.Most makers like Splawn or Soldano will be out of that price-range,even second hand.But,you never know what you could find.
Dude,just get a roland microcube.
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  #7  
Old 2006-02-03, 01:27
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Dude, I have a Tech 21 30W combo, I don't need another small amp. I guess I'll just have to experiment and try out everything I can. I'm calling Guitar Center over in NYC tommorow and asking what amps they have available to try out. I made a big ass list with stuff like a Mesa Boogie, JCM 900, BV, etc. just any head I could possibly think of and be interested in.

The 3 I'm most interested in are a JCM900, 5150, or a Blue Voodoo. Such uncertainty... it drives me mad.
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(Did you know In Flames had a 2005 album called "Come Clarity"? How prophetic. I think they're trying to tell us all their sperm are dead.)
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  #8  
Old 2006-02-03, 01:27
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Don't even think about those "Boutique" brands, you can't touch 'em w/ about $500 . Before you just go on ebay, try going on other forums like, esp, jcfonline, etc., and check out their Classified sections to ask guys that might want to sell 'em. That's how I got my blockletter 5150 for like $600.
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  #9  
Old 2006-02-03, 01:34
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Originally Posted by Silent Night 6 6
Don't even think about those "Boutique" brands, you can't touch 'em w/ about $500 . Before you just go on ebay, try going on other forums like, esp, jcfonline, etc., and check out their Classified sections to ask guys that might want to sell 'em. That's how I got my blockletter 5150 for like $600.

Again, it's not like I'm limiting myself to 500$, I'll have more than that by the time I decide to buy an amp. I just want to try as many as possible and find one I really like.
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(Did you know In Flames had a 2005 album called "Come Clarity"? How prophetic. I think they're trying to tell us all their sperm are dead.)
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  #10  
Old 2006-02-03, 11:32
lord_diemos lord_diemos is offline
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Before I forget, theres a secret to the 5150. The rhythm channel has more gain than you'll ever need. I use the rhythm channel on 7 with the low gain input and I have enough gain to play Children of Bodom, BLS, Megadeth, Metallica, Death, and a bunch of others. The thing is, dial in less than you think you need and slowly bring it up. I have mine at a point where the gain is awesome, but still not so high that the low end turns flubby. So, before you jump onto the lead channel with the gain on 10, see what the rhythm channel can do.


Oh yeah, I don't use active pickups.

Last edited by lord_diemos : 2006-02-03 at 11:43.
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  #11  
Old 2006-02-03, 11:46
JacksonGuitars07 JacksonGuitars07 is offline
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The JCM I tried out in the local store didn't have enough gain. Good for classic rock tones though.
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  #12  
Old 2006-02-03, 12:28
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Originally Posted by JacksonGuitars07
The JCM I tried out in the local store didn't have enough gain. Good for classic rock tones though.

Hmm... I called GC in NYC and asked them if they had>

Mesa(anything)
Soldano(anything)
Framus(anything)
Madison Divinity.
Crate GT3500
Crate BV120
Marshall JCM900.
Peavey 5150/6505/XXX/JSX

And the only thing they had was the Bv120 and GT3500! Wtf! I was expecting a store in NYC to have a bigger selection. They also carry JCM900's but they didn't have any in stock, guess I'll have to try more stores. The BV120 was going for 800$, but he didn't mention if it included a cab(I hope so). I don't plan to buy anything in a store, I'm getting it used or on eBay, unless they provide some payment plan and return options and shit.

So next week I'll lug my axe there to give the BV120 and GT3500(though I don't really want a SS head) a try. I'd go Monday, but I have to go see Nile and Decapitated that night. :P

Hmm... if anyone knowledgeable with amps in the NYC area is willing, I'd invite them to some booze if they show me around to some small shops that have different amps.
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  #13  
Old 2006-02-03, 13:00
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I have a JCM900 combo, through which I use a RAT, sounds pretty damn sweet (to me at least), though I'd probably go more for a Blue Voodoo. With the '900 you don't get all that much gain on it's own, you do have to use a pedal to get a good metal sound, I highly suggest a RAT.
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  #14  
Old 2006-02-03, 14:38
JacksonGuitars07 JacksonGuitars07 is offline
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We have quite the amount of amp selection in a very small local dealer around my area. If you are willing to drive 3-1/2 hours to a small rural community in central new york, I can give you directions to McNeil's music and Rumbleseat music in Ithaca. McNeil's have a good selection of Marshalls and a couple Peavey's as well as a a couple crate amps. Rumbleseat makes some pretty killer custom amps for people at a fairly low cost.
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Old 2006-02-03, 14:56
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I'd def. take the 5150 over the BV and jcm 900
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A DOD Death Metal pedal works just fine, but only with a decent Marshall. I run mine thru an MG30 watt combo, and it's brutal.
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  #16  
Old 2006-02-03, 16:38
xdislexicx xdislexicx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soeru
Hmm... I called GC in NYC and asked them if they had>

Mesa(anything)
Soldano(anything)
Framus(anything)
Madison Divinity.
Crate GT3500
Crate BV120
Marshall JCM900.
Peavey 5150/6505/XXX/JSX

And the only thing they had was the Bv120 and GT3500! Wtf! I was expecting a store in NYC to have a bigger selection. They also carry JCM900's but they didn't have any in stock, guess I'll have to try more stores. The BV120 was going for 800$, but he didn't mention if it included a cab(I hope so). I don't plan to buy anything in a store, I'm getting it used or on eBay, unless they provide some payment plan and return options and shit.

they should have a pretty full line of mesas, marshalls and crates.

guitars centers are not dealers for peavey, madison, framus, or soldano. so unless it's used, they wont have it.
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Old 2006-02-03, 16:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soeru
Again, it's not like I'm limiting myself to 500$, I'll have more than that by the time I decide to buy an amp. I just want to try as many as possible and find one I really like.

for a splawn... you're looking around the $1,200-$2,000 mark. in us dollars of course. depending on if it's used or new, and also the model.

the price also depends on the current demand. as splawn is such a small name, yet held in high regard(good for resale).
i had a splawn promod 100. i paid $1,300 used, then turned around and sold it for $1,600.

the trick is to wait. i saw several weeks go by without seeing a single splawn on ebay. so i put mine up with a high starting bid. sure enough, within 24 hours i had a buyer contact me about ending the auction early, paid me the full price i wanted. all because there was no competition.

where as when i bought mine, there were several other promods, and they were a little cheaper. so i lucked out.

you might check out a soldano hotrod. they can be had used for about $1,000 on ebay. you'll need a boost pedal to get really high gain tones. but they sound great. i had a hotrod 50 with a maxon od808 and it was a killer sounding combination.
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  #18  
Old 2006-02-04, 00:18
lord_diemos lord_diemos is offline
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Soldano also makes the avenger. A mean single channel 50 watter. Pretty much a stripped-down SLO.
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  #19  
Old 2006-02-04, 03:05
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Id say go for the 5150 combo,considering your budget.
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  #20  
Old 2006-02-04, 09:35
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http://cgi.ebay.com/SOLDANO-YAMAHA-...1QQcmdZViewItem

There's supposed to be a head version of this amp. This is something I'd look for.



Don't overlook a rack setup too. If you shop right, it won't cost you anywhere near as much as you might expect for great tone.

Such as a Rockmaster
and one of these, and for just under 500$ you've got a bitchin' setup.
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