200 watt tube amps - anything I should be looking at other than a Matamp GT200?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Waltsdog, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Waltsdog


    Feb 21, 2009
    Ottawa, ON
    I'm thinking about getting a Matamp GT200 and am just looking for some opinions or other (readily available) options as these aren't exactly cheap or easy to try out.

    The obvious other choice to me seems to be an Orange AD200B, although the new price is roughly the same for both and the Matamp looks to be of higher build quality.

    I don't want an SVT, even though I'm looking for a big heavy tube amp I'm not interested in lugging 90lbs around. 60-70lbs is the limit.

    Are there any other options that I'm overlooking for under $3k? Looking for a big vintage sound and crazy overdrive when necessary.
  2. Waltsdog


    Feb 21, 2009
    Ottawa, ON
    Those 200s are great but they aren't in the same tonal ballpark IMO.
  3. Mesa prodigy

    Ashdown BTA200 (used)

    Verellen Meatsmoke (spec a 20 watt version)
  4. Waltsdog


    Feb 21, 2009
    Ottawa, ON
    I don't think the prodigy will do what I'm looking for, it sounds a little sterile to my ears and doesn't seem to get crazy enough on the overdrive side.

    I'll never find an Ashdown in Canada/USA and the Meatsmoke is 90 odd lbs
  5. You could look into the Reeves Custom 225 as well. Superb build quality and tone.
  6. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    Mesa Buster
    joeypee, Korladis and monsterthompson like this.
  7. However I can’t fault the build quality of the AD200B. I’m yet to have an issue with it since my tech repaired a horrible hack the previous owner did to it and he didn’t really have any issue working on it. Sounds good too :D
    Uncle Hanky likes this.
  8. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Mesa D-180.
    old Fender Studio Bass.
    Does Ashdown have the drophead 200?
  9. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Mills and Science both offer their amps in variable wattage. The Mills atlas and compass are supposed to do big cleans up to grindy drive but I haven’t played one. I have a science mother, hiwatt based preamp, 200 watts.

    Jessup amps makes hiwatt and model T voiced amps but seems most offerings are around 100 watts. Could be worth finding out if thy do higher power.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  10. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    How do you know it's higher build quality? When does build quality overshadow tone when two amps have a track record of good quality?

    In other words, they're both quality amps, pick what sounds the best with the features you're most interested in.

    If a company builds an amazing overbuilt 200 watt tube tank, but sounds like crap, is it worth consideration?

    Food for thought. :thumbsup:;) Best of luck!
  11. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Super Bassman®
  12. HenningSB


    Dec 9, 2013
    Verellen Meatsmoke is your friend. I've owned 2 of them, they are insane. A 200w version would be somewhat cheaper and easier to carry as well. You could do all sorts of stuff with it, even get a DI directly in the amp etc
    Grapevine921 likes this.
  13. Waltsdog


    Feb 21, 2009
    Ottawa, ON
    I love the Meatsmoke sound, but at 90lbs and as long as a bus it's not gonna work for me.
    blindrabbit and Slaymus like this.
  14. donahue

    donahue Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2015
    2 V4B Reissues :)
    Mesa Bass 400
    Sunn 2000s

    For 3k you can get about any tube amp you want.
    gelinas666 likes this.
  15. i would go used. Vintage Orange OR120, i miss mine everyday :(
  16. JeffHolt


    Sep 13, 2009
    I went through a similar process about 2-3 years ago, so I can share some of the things I did in case they help you out. I always played vintage SVTs but wanted to try something else, something that wasn't 300 watts and not as heavy. I explored many of the same amps you're looking at or were suggested - Matamp, Orange, Reeves, Hi-Tone, Verellen, and a few others. I listened to any only demos with good headphones I could find, because, as you said, some of these are hard to find and try out.

    I've actually played through an Orange AD200 (I almost went down the path of ordering a Matamp GT200; I called them up, priced it out, and everything but ended up not pursuing) and I own a Reeves 225. Both are good amps. I think it depends what you're looking for. The Reeves (which I play through a Reeves 410) isn't quite as bottom fat as the Orange, to my ears. I went with the Reeves because that's the tone I wanted, basically something that resembled a vintage Hiwatt 200. I think with some light investigation and making a spreadsheet (that's what I did - I'm a nutcase) you'll find what you're looking for even if you can't get your hands and ears on everything. I also found this demo to be somewhat helpful, but won't do you any good through regular laptop speakers. I also could've sworn there was a "part II" of this where they actually included a Matamp GT200, but I can't find it. Perhaps you can!

  17. jumbodbassman


    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    just picked up a used orange ad200. its a beast. sounds great through a 2 15 cab.....yummy tube goodness.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  18. Waltsdog


    Feb 21, 2009
    Ottawa, ON
    Thanks, that is very helpful. I suspect this is the video you were thinking of
    The GT200 sounds best to me on that video, although I have a suspicion that the Orange is being hampered by poor eq settings there.
    son_of_mogh likes this.

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