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What Are Some Great Guitar Amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lione27, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. lione27


    Jun 24, 2014
    love bass.
    Hey guys!

    Ok, so basically the question says it all, what are some great guitar amps? My budget, well basically anything below $3000.

    I mostly play hard rock and blues, but from time to time, I do play heavy metal as well. Most songs I play are Led Zeppelin songs.

    I am a Zeppelin fanatic!!!

    So I just need a great amp on which I can play Zeppelin songs, so that it will sound close to the recording. I have seen so many videos on Youtube with all these people playing Led Zeppelin covers, and they sound exactly like the recording. In order to do this, is a good amp enough, or do you also need a sh**load of other stuff as well?

    I have also seen people doing covers of U2 songs, they also sound dead on, if not exactly alike!!! Is an amp enough for this, or do you need additional equipment?
    Input would be insanely appreciated!!!! Thanks a lot!!!!
  2. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    You do realize that this is a BASS GUITAR forum, right ? :)
    lz4005, BioWeapon and Pimmsley like this.
  3. Which specific Zep songs do you want to sound like?

    Most people associate Jimmy Page with a Les Paul into a Marshall, but that's not what he used for the first few albums. Most of his iconic sounds on the first few albums were done with a Telecaster played into a small Valco/Supro amp. Since it was a small amp, it could be run at full volume without making everybody's ears bleed. So the speaker was being driven into breakup, the power amp section of the amp was being distorted, the power supply in the amp was likely overtaxed and sagging, allowing further distortion...

    Don't be tempted to buy a Marshall stack thinking you'll sound like JP. The only way you might come close with that Marshall stack would be if you could rent out an empty arena where you could set that Marshall amp's volume on "10"

    So for most of Page's stuff, a lot of expensive equipment really isn't necessary, it's knowing how to get a great overdriven sound out of a small amp.

    As far as the Edge's sound with U2, I'm not that familiar, but I've seen a couple of documentaries on them and his setup is quite complicated. Some sort of delay to get a slapback sound I guess would be the key.
  4. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    For U2 you'd need a ridiculous amount of effects or a good processor. Amp wise - pretty sure the Vox AC30 w/ Alnico Blue(s) is the Edge's weapon of choice. Zeppelin - I'd imagine Page used Marshall.

    The great amps under $3000 club: Carr, Swart, Dr. Z, Divided by 13, 3 Monkeys, Tone King, Victoria, Vox hand-wired series...or nice condition Fender Blackface stuff (even the reissues sound good - great). The three best sounding amps I ever owned at different price pts: Fender PRRI (< $1000), 1965 Fender Super Reverb (God awful heavy, but heaven tone-wise) ($1800, in excellent condition), and a Carr Mercury ($2400-ish).

    If you'd like a nice little 5w amp that gets loud, and distorts nicely once cranked, check up the Swart Atomic Space Tone, or STR. The Night Light attenuator is a cool little gadget Mike Swart makes as well - bedroom practice levels of great tone. Dr. Z makes an attenuator too --- I think it's called the Stoplight, or Redlight...I don't remember.

    Outside of the natural overdrive of the amp (obviously tubes amps here), there are literally hundreds of OD pedals to choose from in the guitar world. Talk about a saturated market.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  5. Walfretless5


    Mar 21, 2014
    New York
  6. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012

    You will find everything you need and more rg. guitar amps....
  7. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    in addition to some of the fine models listed above I would look at Marshall (JTM45 or clones of the old Plexi), Rivera, old Ampegs (GV-22, V2, VT-22), and (to bring it around to bass) amps by Jule. As for U2, you'll need some Korg SDD-3000 and/or TC-2290 delay units driving multiple AC-30's
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Jimmy got a lot of his Gibson/Marshall tone from a Tele and a Supro. ;)
  9. ThemBones


    May 2, 2014
    Look into DR Z.
    Very versatile, very well made right here in the USA.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  10. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    In fairness, setting all the controls on a Marshall 100-watt "Plexi" head (model #1959) to 10 is as near to godhead as a guitarist can get, irrespective of the size of the room. Every guitarist needs to experience that sensation at least once in their lives.
  11. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    Marshall super lead plexi
    Hiwatt dr103
    Vox ac30 top boost. Not a newer reissue.
    Fender deluxe reverb or other models.
    Those are the amps being used by most guitar heroes of the sixties and seventies.
    I also really like the Orange and Matamp.
    A Carvin x100b is a plexi clone and can be found cheap.
  12. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    For my Led Zeppelin tribute band my guitarist used a vox ac30 and got a similar vibe with his 70s les paul.

    On the bass side of this I used a 70s ibanez jazz with roto 77 flats and an ampeg b15n.
  13. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    The best guitar amp is the one where I get to hold the MUTE button.
  14. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    A small sized class A amp turned up all the way will sound good. For instance, a tiny Marshall tube amp or a VOX AC-4. You want a heavily overdriven, saturated, tube sound to mimic Zeppelin. They drove the amp into that level of saturation with a JMI Tonebender pedal. It's such a simple pedal but it drives the input of a tube amp hard to give you the tone. Other pedals can be used to achieve this. They also used a Vox Wah pedal.

    A big part of it is how you overdrive the tube amp. Check this out http://el34world.com/Forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=9a89135e1cc9bcf23d9df8f98ad119fa&topic=17218.0, basically a Fender Champ with a line out on the speaker output. There's an audio file towards the end of the thread http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=12829677&q=hi. A company called Garnet made a device called a Herzog in the 60's which this is based on. You feed the output into another amp. The Herzog is a tube based front end which would take the place of the Tonebender. I do something similar with a different type of amp and feed the output into a Marshall 50W to get a Zep type of sound at low volume.

    The Line6 pod fed into another amp can do a pretty good emulation of their sound. Another thing they do is to use more than one amp at once to thicken the sound. Different types of amps add to the tonal complexity.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  15. I have always been amazed by the tones and volume my Crate Tube Driven 35 gives out (though for some reason Crate isn't highly regarded.....)
  16. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Marshall JCM 800. To my knowledge, that is the Marshall, but I play bass.
  17. wlater


    Mar 13, 2014
    North Alabama
    What you'll need also depends on exactly which songs and just how close you want to sound to the original. For some Zep songs, in addition to a decent amp, you'll need a 6/12 string double neck electric to really get the same sound. For some others, you'll need a decent acoustic guitar. Some of my favorite Zepplin songs are acoustic.
  18. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    Hm...my grouping includes names like Selmer, Magnatone, Standel, and Sano, but those are wish list items. Good off-the-shelf guitar amps I like are the Fender Princeton, Champ and Blues DeVille, Vox AC15 and 30, any of the new Blackstar amps, and the Orange Tiny Terror.
  19. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    vox ac 15 has been my favorite all the ones my guitarist friend has, but his champ, princeton, and ampeg gs-410 are pretty sweet too, although the ampeg is probably the loudest thing i have ever experienced outside of an airplane
  20. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    I play guitar as well. I'd highly recommend the Fractal Audio Axe FX. If you want to stay with all tube, I have always liked the H&K Triamp and the Orange Rockerverb. The EVH head is also pretty cool sounding.

    I ended up building my own which rules for crunch and high gain (not that my playing does it any justice!)


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