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Advice for a guitar amp.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jiant., Mar 29, 2005.

  1. jiant.


    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
    One of the guitarists in my band is going to get a new amp. His parents said that as long as he was on the honor roll all year that they would buy him a decent amp at the start at summer. He doesn't really have access to the internet, so all he has to go by are local stores(which suck) and Musician's Friend. The amp he has picked out is some Crate full stack that's ~$700 or so. My question is, if you were him what would you get for $700 or less? If you can suggest some good amps I can check for them on eBay and show them to him while he is here. We play melodic rock/ some harder stuff and we play mostly medium sized rooms. Thanks and God bless. -Brad
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Wrong forum, wrong website. One more thing and you're out!!


  3. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Less than $700?

    Peavey head, and either Marshall or Peavey cab. I hear Crate Stealth heads are quite nice, though.
  4. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Don't forget about Avatar Gu*tar cabs. Good value just like the bass cabs.
  5. I would say the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe fits the bill, personally. Its a 1X12 combo, 40 watts, all tube, $599. One my friends plays an old Music Man with similar specs and it has done the job well.

  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    For $700, you can get a pretty decent Marshall or Fender amp. Less, even.

    Besides the fact that Crate is not the best brand out there, I'd ditch the stack idea because:

    1) His parents won't want it (trust me)

    2) The neighbors won't want it (trust me)

    3) You and your bandmates won't want it either. (Really. Trust me.)
  7. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    What he said. You should have to pass a user's safety course and buy a license to operate those things.
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    He's right. Full stacks are the devil's tool. Half stacks are fine, trust me. I've seen tons, tons of bands play huge venues (1000ish) with a half stack and not have any problem. A full stack is merely a saftey net for his unit's size.
  9. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Saw Robert Cray play a very large hall with one Fender Twin.
  10. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Huh? I just upgraded to a full stack for my baritone rig. More bass response, and one of my cabs is now at head level, so I can keep those pesky high frequencies from getting out of hand. Full stacks disperse more sound with less work from the amp, and I get a better tone at lower volume levels. Venue size has even less to do with it than unit size. Are you going to tell me (and every other bass player on this sight) that an Ampeg 8x10 is compensating for something, that a 4x10 is enough to push a low B string's bass frequencies properly?

    Having said that, any full stack rig under $1000 is cheap and cheap sounding. Check out the Peavey XXX line of combos, or another good Peavey head with a 4x12 to start.
  11. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    With the proper wattage and cab, yeah. And an 8x10 isn't nessicary. Fun? Yes, but with the advent of the PA and mic, not actually nessicary. One of the best mixes/bass rigs I've heard was a guy using a 4x10 and a guy with a half stack. This was in a venue with about 400 people in it.

    Just as loud and just as brutal as the guy with an 8x10 right before him, the guy with the 4x10 merely mic'd his cab, along with the Drummer, vocalist, and guitarist.

    Like I said, fun? Yes, de rigor? Yes. Nessicary? Nope.
  12. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I'd recommend a Tech21 Trademark 60.

    About $550 new or $350 used. Lots of great tones and lots of very usable features. Light and easy to transport.

    It's better than you think it should be.
  13. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    Tell him to get a decent Fender or Marshall combo or half-stack. I saw Flogging Molly play the Warfield (around 1000-2000 people) during break and from what I remember, everyone but the bass player and electric guitarist were using Fender combo amps that were mic'd. And the half-stack wasn't all that powerful of one if I recall correctly (I was "distracted" by the other people on the floor and...oh yeah! one of my favorite bands of late).

    If Geddy can play to 60,000 with a pedal and some washing machines, your guitarist can live with a decent combo or half-stack.
  14. Let me explain why people are telling you NOT to go with the full stack, and instead get a smaller combo or half stack:

    To get the killer guitar tone that all lead guitar players are seeking, a tube amp must be turned up pretty much to full volume. This not only overdrives the tubes, but fully drives the output transformer and the speakers. Therefore the guitar player turns his amp all the way up, so he can get that killer tone.

    Only problem is, if its a full stack with a 100 watt tube head, this is putting out a tremendous amount of volume, to an ear-splitting level. Now the bass and drums and vocals must compete with this tremendous volume, so THEY have to turn up, and the result is sonic overload!!! The sound gets muddy and garbled, and the audience's ears are bleeding. If the guitar player turns down, he loses the tone he wants.

    In reality, a small tube combo, say 40 watts or so, is much better because the guitar player can turn this amp up to that "sweet spot" without melting everyone's eardrums. Oh, it's still plenty loud, just not jet-airplane-taking-off loud. If more volume is needed, of course, the amp can be mic'd and fed into the PA.

    The other advantage: this helps to avoid tons of bass coming out of the guitar stack. I set up once next to a rhythym player with a full stack. Two songs into the set, everyone was yelling at me to turn down my bass. Hmmm, ok, I didn't think I was that loud, but I turned down. They still kept yelling at me to turn down, I kept turning down, they kept yelling at me to turn down. Finally I reached over and switched my amp completely off. They STILL yelled at me to turn down...At that point it dawned on me that they were hearing the bottom coming from the rhythym guitar's stack!!! Believe me, eight 12" speakers driven by 100 tube watts can put out a lot of bass even from a guitar player.
  15. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Everything below is true, but I think it's all dependant on the guitarist's attitude and their idea of good tone. It doesn't take a lot of power to push midrange, and believe me, even a 40 watt combo (especially a class A type) will make ears bleed, too. If the guitarist has good taste in tone and likes being a team player, they'll blend in even with a full stack. I like a full stack because it pushes bass at lower volume levels--this works because the bass player in that band (a fellow TBer) likes his bass LOW--a tone I'd almost call muddy, and heavily reinforced with a subwoofer. The people coming to our shows know it's loud, they know it's heavy, and that's why they're at our show and not elsewhere.

    Bottom line is, the type/size/speaker configuration that's "best" is highly subjective, and depends on the style of music and what your guitarist likes. He'll probably get the best sound for his buck out of a combo, simply because a quality combo is cheaper than a quality full stack, or half stack. Try to get him to avoid a $700 Crate full stack, though--it'll sound impressive until he does a show next to someone's all-tube Marshall, and then he'll probably kick himself. Crate makes good amps, but not in that price range.
  16. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Another vote for avoid-a-full-stack here. You get a much more manageable sound if you have smaller amps mic'ed into the PA than if you have big amps covering the sound directly. A guitarist(IMO) really shouldn't get an amp too loud to crank up in a small room. That way he'll have one he can crank up to where it sounds the way he wants, and if he actually needs more volume, let the PA cover that.

    In my last band the guitarist had two 1x12" cabs running off either side of an ADA 100W Stereo amp(50W/ side) I ran 360W into a 2x15" Randall cab and had a 400W Acoustic TC-210P. So he had two liiiiiiittle-bitty cabs and I had a heavily powered monster rig...he was louder. He had to turn down much more often than I did.

    Now consider your guitar player wants to have four times more volume than John had in my old band. Do the math. It's scary if you look at it.
  17. fatbassjazzer


    Feb 27, 2004
    Get a Marshall head and a Peavy cab. A half stack is going to be plently loud. Plus, full stacks are ridiculously heavy and your guitarist would probably get sick of hauling it around.
  18. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    "But my rig is so heavy, and big. Why don't you, lowly bassit, help me?"
    "Bugger that for a lark, because of you I've got to carry around two 8x10s and a 100 lb rack. Haul it your own self."
  19. First off, do not put the cart before the horse. What are the needs, actual needs as determined by the style, type of music, level of experience etc. Don't forget budget.
    Then you can figure out wants, wishes and desires.
    Balance all that thenpick outbrands/models based on survivability and service ability (is this amp a keeper or a just for this band/venue).
    Absolutly make sure to hjave fun finding THE amp.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  20. peavey 5150 or 6505 combo if you can get hold of one , i think musicians friend had them going for a very good price.