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  #1  
Old 2007-03-20, 16:25
gorath23's Avatar
gorath23 gorath23 is offline
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50w head recommendations

My JCM900 2x12 isn't hacking it as my main gigging amp so I'm looking at a head and 2x12 cab setup, preferably 50w as I really won't be able to crank anything larger. I'm mainly playing Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore. I know the amp to have is the 5150 but afaik it only comes in a 120w head (wayyy too much) and the combo looks too huge to lug round regularly to band practises. So basically my list is:

ENGL Thunder head
Ampeg VH-140C head (not sure about clarity for leads)
Laney GH50L (enough gain??)
Koch ??? (Insomnium use them and I love their sound-)

I'd quite like some more suggestions, don't worry about price as I'm currently budgeting for a Genz Benz G-flex 212, but could cut that out for the right head. I'm looking for a good all rounder, tight but not blunt 5150 sounding rhythms and soaring leads with lots of sustain plus a nice clean channel would be handy. I'm looking at new and used stuff, but I don't have access to the ENGL, Ampeg or Koch to test out or much choice in where I buy them from. I know *magic* amp...... Thanks guys!!
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Last edited by gorath23 : 2007-03-20 at 16:57.
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  #2  
Old 2007-03-20, 17:26
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engl or the laney gh. And the laney has PLENTY of gain, its probably one of my fav amps. Try them both out... the laney is more british sounding, and the engl... well all i know is they have a fuckin amazing rep hahaha.
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  #3  
Old 2007-03-20, 18:21
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You know there's a 5150/6505 2x12 combo at 60W right?

The ampeg sounds amazing for leads, here:

http://65.254.79.230/AmpegLeadTest.mp3

http://65.254.79.230/taptest.mp3

Laney GH is a KILLER choice and far easier to find here in Europe(much cheaper too, being a UK company). ASSLOADS of gain on tap so relax. I would not get an Engl Thunder personally, if I was gonna spend $ on the smaller Engl's I'd get either the Fireball or Screamer head, but probably not in your price range.

Btw, how much can you get the G-Flex for? Since you live in the Uk I highly suggest you get yourself a Framus 2x12, it has v30's and sells for 300 euros at thomann with free shipping, AWESOME cab, my Fireball fucking tears my house apart with it.
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  #4  
Old 2007-03-20, 19:00
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Laney all the way mate I'm sure the people on the BK forum will agree too
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  #5  
Old 2007-03-21, 03:08
323K13L 323K13L is offline
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The laney will have the gain, but it's more of a classic sound rather than modern. Also I've noticed with my laney [and a few others I've played] they tend to be a little noisy with the gain turned up [nothing a good noise supressor can't fix ]

My vote goes to the ENGL though, I'm loving my ENGL [even though it's only a preamp] and I generaly like the ENGL sound over the sound of Laneys.
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  #6  
Old 2007-03-21, 05:40
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Engl Savage 60.

Much and MUCH better then the thunder or fireball. It doesn't slay my powerball but it comes very close, it is a bit more of a lead monster though.

Basically it's the Savage 120's smaller brother but with the same tone circuitry, it's been out of production for quite a while but they are around used every now and then. If you find and buy one, never get rid of it. They are pretty rare.
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  #7  
Old 2007-03-21, 15:20
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Damn, quite a few different responses. I actually managed to play a Thunder today (in 1x12 combo) and it was absolutely bloody awesome, I can't imagine how good it would sound with a decent closed back 2x12. Oh and Soeru I know about the 5150 combo but its wayyyy too big to haul around. The Ampeg is fairly dependent on availability. I won't be getting anything for about 3 weeks (to build up the cash) so I have time to try and test some more stuff out. Out of interest I heard some clips of the Thunder last night and I thought it sounded pretty crap but playing it today was like WOW, so I don't really want to rely on sound clips anymore..... I think its because everyone always scoops the mids, dammit why??!!!! high end Amps sound so crap scooped compared to some nice mids, it really made the Engl come alive today by putting them at about 6. I think thats why I dislike the clips of 5150's, scooped = boring in my mind. Anyway rant over. I'll keep researching. I may have some cash for something a bit better, whats the difference between the Screamer and Thunder head? Engl's website sucks..... I'm a big Gothenburg/ Finnish Death sound fan so I'm thinking that the Engl may be more suitable than the Laney, right??
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Last edited by gorath23 : 2007-03-21 at 16:49.
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  #8  
Old 2007-03-21, 16:06
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Nah Laney will slay for those sounds too, it's really a high gain British style amp. Opeth use Laneys I think... so do a bunch of other metal bands.

The Screamer has a bit better build quality, perhaps a nicer sound and more gain. Try to see if you can try it, if you found a Thunder you should easily be able to get the owner to find/order you one to try.
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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.)
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  #9  
Old 2007-03-21, 16:45
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Damn, I listened to the lead clips of the Ampeg and it sounded incredible! I'm not bothering with the Genz Benz as Engl's apparently do better with V30's anyway, which means I have some more cash to spend. The Screamer head is 600 on Thomann.de though....wow.. is it really worth the extra over the Thunder? The place I played the Thunder also had a Screamer combo but tbh even used I think that I don't want to be paying that much, its a pretty scary amount of cash, they wanted 499 for the used Thunder combo. The Laney I think is out because its pretty much a one-trick pony for live work, even more so than the Thunder, I need some usable cleans ala Opeth/ Insomnium.
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Engl Fireball
MIJ '84 Greco LP Custom (looking for BKP Nailbomb)
Custom Stratocaster/BKP Sinner
Schecter Hellraiser Avenger
Framus 2x12
ISP Decimator
Line6 Echo Park
Applause AE128 E/A

www.myspace.com/cathisord - Dark Metal Project
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  #10  
Old 2007-03-21, 18:19
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Umm... the Laney GH's are supposed to have decent clean channels... Opeth use them.
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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.)
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  #11  
Old 2007-03-21, 19:00
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Randall has 50w heads that you could pick up for cheap on ebay. I love my randall and laney heads, if you have the coin get the laney, if you need something cheaper get the randall.

http://cgi.ebay.com/LANEY-TT50H-ALL...m1 90094266001

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Laney-GH50L...m2 90094500979

you might like the price tage here $399 at posting
http://cgi.ebay.com/Laney-LH50R-Gui... em180096522934
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  #12  
Old 2007-03-21, 19:38
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Wow that LH50 is cute! I didn't know it existed, shame it's out of production. Sounds like it sounds nice.
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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.)
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  #13  
Old 2007-03-22, 04:30
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gorath23 gorath23 is offline
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The TT50 looks pretty good, although more features than I really need. The GH50L has great cleans by all accounts but I meant that being essentially a one channel amp with a footswitchable gain boost it isn't that versatile. Apparentely the Engl stays clean at fairly high volumes even though it only has one gain knob for all three channels. I'll definitely try to play the Laney though.
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MIJ '84 Greco LP Custom (looking for BKP Nailbomb)
Custom Stratocaster/BKP Sinner
Schecter Hellraiser Avenger
Framus 2x12
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  #14  
Old 2007-03-22, 04:56
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Try doing the ol' boost thing with the Laney. Really tightens everything up and it fucking slays.
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  #15  
Old 2007-03-22, 07:46
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I'm going to bid on the http://cgi.ebay.com/Laney-LH50R-Gui... em180096522934

Still got the VH100R, but I'm going to sell it, pm me if your interested
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  #16  
Old 2007-03-22, 08:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_Star
I'm going to bid on the http://cgi.ebay.com/Laney-LH50R-Gui... em180096522934

Still got the VH100R, but I'm going to sell it, pm me if your interested


Thanks but I don't want anything more than 50w. Good luck on the auction though.
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Engl Fireball
MIJ '84 Greco LP Custom (looking for BKP Nailbomb)
Custom Stratocaster/BKP Sinner
Schecter Hellraiser Avenger
Framus 2x12
ISP Decimator
Line6 Echo Park
Applause AE128 E/A

www.myspace.com/cathisord - Dark Metal Project
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  #17  
Old 2007-03-22, 10:59
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Valtiel Valtiel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soeru
Umm... the Laney GH's are supposed to have decent clean channels... Opeth use them.


For the most part Opeth uses separate amps for clean and dirty sounds.

Having owned the Powerball, and now owning a Laney GH100L, I can say for what I do I prefer the Laney by miles. The Powerball has one of the best clean channels ive heard on a hi gain amp next the VH100R. But the distortion is all about OTT saturated gain. The Crunch channel can be boosted to make something more Marshall like, but for the most part the amp is designed for ridiculous gain. I dont know if the lower wattage counterparts are like this as well however. My issue was that the Powerball was always too much gain at the expense of dynamics and overall tone. Thats where the Laney came in. The Laney has a lot of gain on tap, but not too much like Powerball. The gain knob on the Powerball was completely useless past 10 O'clock. The Laney however has very usable gain that takes you into hotrodded Marshall territory but with more percussive chunk and bottom end. Overall I think something like the Powerball is good for extreme styles that demand an aboslute wall of gain. Something like the Laney GH50L and GH100L are more about defined and toneful distortions.
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  #18  
Old 2007-03-22, 11:10
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gorath23 gorath23 is offline
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Thanks a lot man, exactly the kind of response I was looking for. I do have a belief that there is such a thing as too much gain but the problem is a lot of people don't and I've been hearing a lot of negatives about the Thunder because it doesn't have ''enough gain'' (on HC). Makes me question what I heard yesterday, you know 'did I really play it for long enough?'.... As regards the Laney esp. the GH50L do you know how easy it is to get a simultaneous i.e. switchable clean and hi-gain sound?? I know that with tweaking it can pull off both but obvoiusly in a live situation you don't have the luxury of taming all the shared knobs down between the two. Please everyone bare in mind I'm not looking for Grindcore levels of gain, Viking Metal/ Melodeath stuff only.
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MIJ '84 Greco LP Custom (looking for BKP Nailbomb)
Custom Stratocaster/BKP Sinner
Schecter Hellraiser Avenger
Framus 2x12
ISP Decimator
Line6 Echo Park
Applause AE128 E/A

www.myspace.com/cathisord - Dark Metal Project
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  #19  
Old 2007-03-22, 13:06
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Cleans and hi gain tones are achievable simultaneously, its just a little tricky. The GH50L is a one channel amp with a switchable gain boost, so if you set the gain low you achieve a clean tone, and if you really crank the drive boost you can footswitch in a good hi gain tone but at the expense of in between sounds. Another option is to set the amp for a crunch tone and use the drive boost to take into heavier territory. This works better for heavy tones but at the expense of a readily accessible clean channel. The use of various boosts really opens the amp in terms of versatility. For cleans on my GH100L, I almost always use the coil taps on my PRS which allows to set the main channel for something slightly dirty that will clean up when the coil taps are engaged.

But since the signal path is very pure and simple on these amps, they are very responsive to tweaks made on your guitars volume knob, or to boosts placed in front of the amp. People dont think these amps are flexible simply because they would rather have 8 channels to switch between.

Another thing, the drive boost on both these amps is all tube, not diode clipping like on a JCM900, so it actually sounds good.
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"So often our hands get caught up in ruts of muscle memory. 'Muscle memory' is an accurate term. We get used to doing certain things, without even being aware of them. This ultimately not only shapes and therefore limits our technique, it also shapes what we compose, what we write. We end up thinking still unknowingly trapped in that box." -Adam Nitti

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buy a stick of graphite (art stores) and rub it into your nut

Last edited by Valtiel : 2007-03-22 at 13:09.
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  #20  
Old 2007-03-22, 14:37
Casketcrusher Casketcrusher is offline
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Laney all the way.

Speaking of. What is the GH100Ti head like. The Tony Iommi head. My friend was looking for a good priced, high gain head. Would it be good for Death Metal? I hear Laney's are really clean sounding and not a lot of bass. But I've played the GH100L and thought it was alright.
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