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Old November 10th, 2013, 02:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
hatecrawler
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Amp for rehearsal on a tight budget

Having a bit of a tight budget these days with gf and kids and stuff. Going to start playing with a couple of old friends and I don't have any amps left. So my question is. Cheap and good? Is that a realistic equation? Was looking at the Laney Ironheart 120W top and a 4 x 12 inch. Playing metal by the way, somewhere between heavy metal and progressive stuff.

Thanks, Hope this was in the right section. Otherwise just shoot me.
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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey man, if you can swing an Ironheart 120 and a 4x12 I think you'll be fine. I haven't played the Ironheart myself but I've heard it at a show (Times of Grace) and it sounded really good. Same in youtube videos. (Pretty sure ToG used a tube screamer in front so maybe you wanna also get a used Ibanez TS 7 or something like that - cheap and good enough.)

Not sure if you want to go with a used or new amp, but you could also get a used 6505/5150 for the price of the Laney, which seems to be one of the favourite amps around here. Definitely sounds great, very raw (not sure if you're after that). Or - especially if you're in Europe - you could get a used ENGL for way below 1000 Euro (recommended: Blackmore or Savage 120 depending on your budget). Depends on what you're going for but they are great for heavy metal IMHO. The Savage sounds pretty tight without a tube screamer, and has somewhat of a polished sound (less "raw") so maybe that's great for progressive stuff. Also, the ENGLs have great cleans.

Regarding cabs I am less sure what to recommend as I don't know your budget. (Used) Mesa Oversized is awesome. Used Marshall with Vintage 30s is great, but a different sound of course. Again, if in Europe you could look for a used Framus Dragon cab (also Vintage 30s), those are great and pretty cheap here. With cheaper cabs it's a bit hit or miss - you might wanna check them out in person, see if you like them.

If you want to buy new, I'd say probably go with the Ironheart - seems like a pretty good value.
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Old November 10th, 2013, 04:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you considered a Peavey Bandit?

It's a solidstate, but I enjoy playing the current ones just as much as my tube amps. Loud as fuck if you want it to be, still usable at somewhat reasonable volume levels at home (not whisper quiet mind you), clean and distortion channel, FX loop, cab out (original speaker stays activated though), solo boost switch, and built-in reverb if you like that kind of thing.

Absolute workhorse of an amp and affordable too. And I personally like the idea of a practice amp that can take a beating.
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Old November 10th, 2013, 05:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What's a "tight budget" specifically? And where are you located? In the US you can get a Mesa 4x12 and 5150/JSX/XX for $1300 all day long.
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Old November 10th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What's a "tight budget" specifically? And where are you located? In the US you can get a Mesa 4x12 and 5150/JSX/XX for $1300 all day long.
Considering a new Ironheart 120 head and cabinet run about $1400 - $1500 I'd say the budget is at least that amount.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 11:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you for your input guys. I live in Sweden and the budget is about $1400 - $1500. Was considering a used 5150 at first, feels like a jungle when it comes to finding the right amp. Tested the Ironheart at a local music store and it sounded pretty good imo. But a used ENGL might do the trick, hmm… even more confused.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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^if you're talking about a savage or blackmore then yes. Fireball or Powerball...not so much
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Old November 11th, 2013, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hatecrawler View Post
Thank you for your input guys. I live in Sweden and the budget is about $1400 - $1500. Was considering a used 5150 at first, feels like a jungle when it comes to finding the right amp. Tested the Ironheart at a local music store and it sounded pretty good imo. But a used ENGL might do the trick, hmm… even more confused.
Well, if you played it and liked it I'd say just buy it...

regarding the ENGLs I want to "+1" what Mago said: if you go that route don't get a Powerball I or an old Fireball
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Old November 11th, 2013, 07:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nimvi View Post
Have you considered a Peavey Bandit?

It's a solidstate, but I enjoy playing the current ones just as much as my tube amps. Loud as fuck if you want it to be, still usable at somewhat reasonable volume levels at home (not whisper quiet mind you), clean and distortion channel, FX loop, cab out (original speaker stays activated though), solo boost switch, and built-in reverb if you like that kind of thing.

Absolute workhorse of an amp and affordable too. And I personally like the idea of a practice amp that can take a beating.
I've had a bandit for years and it's served me very well. Hasn't seen the light of day much since I bought my Mark IV a few years back, but it is/was a very capable amp on a tight budget. If you're thinking < $500, I'd highly recommend it. If you have upwards of a grand to spend, though, there are certainly better options, many of which it seems you're already keying in on.

Happy amp hunting!
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Old November 12th, 2013, 08:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you are in the states, it's not that uncommon to see 5150/6505 or Duel Rec heads with a Mesa 4x12 for incredible prices on Craigslist etc. (EDIT: Just realized Jeff said the same thing.)

If you are looking for a $500-ish option, my vote would be for a 5150 Combo which are commonly listed for this on the used market. An extreme pain to haul around for gigs, but might be worth it if budget is a factor or you only want an amp at the rehearsal space.

I hope this helps.

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Old November 12th, 2013, 06:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Bugera anyone?
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Old November 13th, 2013, 03:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you guys for all feedback, really appreciate it! This forum is awesome
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Old November 13th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Glad to help out. Let us know what you decide to go with.
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Old December 2nd, 2013, 02:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hmm, what about the Peavey JSX 120? Might get a good deal on a used one.
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Old December 2nd, 2013, 04:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I would actually recommend a Peavey Vypyr combo. I have a little 15W that I use for practice around the house, and it's easily loud enough for a full practice. Decent sounds, reasonably versatile (though it is definitely a rock/metal amp) and a huge bargain for the money. If you need it for band practice, a 2x12 will easily cut through a full mix.
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Old December 2nd, 2013, 04:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have to disagree on the Peavey Vypyr. I had the 30-watt version. I could never get any sound from it that wasn't a fizz-fest, and it was DEFINITELY not loud enough to be heard along a loud drummer. Believe me, I tried. Maybe with a more moderate-hitting drummer, but even then, if you work its poweramp relatively hard, it sounds even worse.

JMO.

*EDIT*, oh, I see you recommended the 2x12 one. That might be better.
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 01:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I use Bugera 333Xl. Very versatile amp and comes with a good price. Some people complain about quality but I have had no problems with mine.

You can get it new from ex Thomann for appr Eur 400 with a 3 year warranty. I use mine with a Harley Benton 4x12 which you can get for appr the same price.
I am very happy with my sound.
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 04:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a few cheap amps. They all work well.

Bugera 333XL
B52 AT100 (you can get this SUPER cheap right now)
Jet City JCA100H
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 09:43 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I can buy a used Peavey 6505 or a Peavey JSX for the same price. Don't know what to go for.
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 11:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Maybe a 5150III 50 Watt, paired with a 2x12 (Harley Benton is cheap, but it's still good sounding and probably plenty good for rehearsels). Nice "portability" for traveling too if you have to.
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 01:52 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Ok Peavey JSX then it is.
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 06:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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For even less then that you could always go with a Peavey Windsor, basically a JCM 800. The heads nowadays run about $300 American used.
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 08:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_saca...Sold=1&rt=nc==

^view sold listings
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 08:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I haven't read through all the answers, but I have a Bugera 333XL Infinium amp with the Bugera 4x12 cab, which I think works absolutely fine. Actually, I have had several bandmates that played with similar Bugera amps which all sound pretty fine to me. Got my amp/cab for about 700$.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 04:40 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Ended up with the Peavey JSX after some playing around. Sounded good to me. Will probably get an Engl as well. My next problem is what cab to buy though. Any suggestions?

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