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Best amp head-cab combo for metal

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by JesterRace, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. JesterRace

    JesterRace Member

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    I know something similar to this has been asked before, but it didn't really address what I was curious about. Living in Suburban town USA, I don't live near many music stores, so I'm not really exposed to all the gear that I could be experimenting with.

    I'm looking for the perfect head-cab combo that will really give you that melodic death metal "liquid" distortion lead that I've been trying to squeeze out of many an amp without real success. I've found that the Boss Metal Zone (MT-2?) gives me a sound much like this, but being a pedal that's patched through the clean channel of an amp, it doesn't have the power I'm looking for. Anybody have an idea as to what I could look into? I know mesa boogie is pretty good, but I don't think many melodic death acts use it, its got a heavy low end like rolling thunder but as far as picking out individual notes and cutting through the band mix ive only heard bad things.

    Anyone know what gear bands like In Flames - COB - Arch Enemy, etc. use ? That may help me in my decision. Thanks.
     
  2. MyEyesBleed

    MyEyesBleed Ravenous Dead

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    Let me give you some advice if for some reason you DO get a 5150...

    you can find them pretty cheap if you look around, I bought a 5150 II (2 channels with seperate eq/presence each, a clean with a crunch mode and a lead) that was a floor model at NAMM, essentially new and untouched for $800. They're decent amps for getting a good heavy sound but require some additions and/or modifications...

    5150 Stock tubes are CRAP, get a good set of tubes (you can talk to someone who knows tube amps at a music shop), I would suggest Groove Tubes.

    They have a tendency to feed back a lot, no matter what you're playing if you have a lot of gain on it, so get a hush or a noise gate (rack or pedal) I'd reccoment either a Rocktron Super C rack hush (used if you can find one) or something like a Hushwerks pedal (2 stages of noise gate, sturdy metal housing...if you can find one used it'll probably be around $70 - $80)...of course you might find something that works for you for cheaper than either, look around and try some stuff out.

    I would also reccomend getting a BBE Sonic Maximizer...not necessary but it will definitely improve the tone of the amp overall and give it a bit more punch...you could always get a rack case, a simple rack mounted SM and hush and spare the mess of pedals if you were inclined.


    5150's are often called the poor man's Mesa Boogie, but if you do these things, run it through a good cab (high end marshall, mesa boogie, or even a 5150 cab) and do the stuff I mentioned, it will definitely get you a good sound for your money...and you could probably find a 5150 in good shape for cheaper than what I mentioned, especially used, and if you're in the midwest.


    there ARE other options but I'd say that's the best for the cheapest, in my opinion. You might stumble upon a really great deal on something better, in which case it might not be the best...but I don't count on once in a life time deals dropping in my lap.
     
  3. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Watcher of the Storm

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    It's all relative to what you like to hear and what tone youa re going for. I like rack shit. A good power amp and a good preamp and you're set with everythign you need. Also a good aural exciter will do wonders for your tone.

    with the 5150's, try to find the original one. Thats what all the swedes use.
     
  4. xenophobe

    xenophobe Active Member

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    5150 is synonomous with Swedish metal.

    The Crate Blue Voodoo are getting great reviews from Death Metal enthusiasts who prefer tubes.

    Mesa Dual rectos are great... I don't like the triples or Road Kings for some reason...

    Bogner makes some good stuff, as does Soldano... most people think of them as tone-god heavy metal setups, but they do brutal very well too.

    Depends on how much money you're willing to spend.

    Unfortunately, I am a obsessive tone freak and my tone doesn't come cheap.

    For preamp tubes, CHINESE all the way. VHT and Bogner use them. They are the highest gain, lowest noise tubes you can get.

    For power tubes, stay away from Chinese...

    I'm about ready to retube, and I'm going Svetlanta KT88's and Chinese for my preamp...
     
  5. Dead Eternity

    Dead Eternity Member

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    If I want to pay beneath 1000$, can I get a peavey 5150 (original) half-stack??
    what do you actually pay for a new one and what for a used one (about 4-5 years used).

    What do you think of Laney half-stacks?
     
  6. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Bastard Albino Elf

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    5150 with a noise gate. And all the advice above.

    If you have got the cash go mesa boogie/VHT et all. There is a difference in tone and it does sound damn fine as well. If you want to go rack go triaxis+2:90 or riviera TBR's, nice sounding :)

    The way mesa boogies get used by nu-metal acts isn't representative of what they can really do. Also the cab makes a lot of difference. metallica use mesas (albeit mark IIc's I think)

    CAB Wise I'd have a good look around, don't just blindly buy any old marshall cab in the shop. Speakers are going to make a lot of difference to how the amp sounds. Mesa generally (again) make very classy cabs, but very expensive...Older marshall cabs are quite good as well...
     
  7. Soultorn

    Soultorn The Pain and The Darkness

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    What are some good, cheap amp cabs to go with the 5150? Do you know ony sites to get one used (the 5150)?
     
  8. xenophobe

    xenophobe Active Member

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    Mesa half-back's are great. The newer recto cabs sound good. VHT, Bogner, and even Crate makes some good cabs, though I haven't tried VHT cabs...

    I would suggest you find a good consignment shop, ask if you can bring your head and guitar in to try them out.

    If they're cool and want business, they'll say yes.

    www.ebay.com best place to buy gear, but know what you're getting, and don't pay too much.
     
  9. Nate The Great

    Nate The Great What would Nathan do?

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    I don't know if anybody cares, but I thing Mastodon uses Marshall JCM900 heads on "Remision". I would consider that sound to be pretty damn heavy. Personally, I would go for that sound over the typical Swedish sound.

    I also second the www.ebay.com recommendation for buying used gear.
     
  10. ruinandmisery

    ruinandmisery The Funeral of Hearts

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    try the Laney VH100R, it smokes the 5150. Two distortion channels and an awesome clean channel. Both channels have reverb as well. This Amp-Head is very loud. I would not trade it for anything. This is the amp that In Flames, and Soilwork have recorded with and used live.

    ::.. ruinandmisery
    www.lilitu.ws
     
  11. DCLXVI

    DCLXVI pneumatica satanica

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    I kick my own ass whenever I think about my old 5150 I sold for rent a couple years ago. damn I miss it. now I use a line 6 for recording, which I like ok, and a CRAPPY JCM900 and a carvin 4x12.
    some marshalls sound amazing, and some sound like mine. alot depends on the tubes of course, and the year/model (just like anything). there are very few amps that consistently sound the same, if any at all. ( peavys come close though) an amp SHOULD have character, and if youre lucky enough to find one that you like, provided you dont pawn it for 150 bucks like I did, then that amp may even help you develop a signature sound.
    Im saving up for a Boogie now, unless another 5150 pops up in the paper before I get all the cash together.
     
  12. shredguitarman

    shredguitarman Learning to Live

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    dual rec always....
     
  13. Darthlardo

    Darthlardo food

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    JCM 2000 AND A PEAVEY CAB, INSTANT VOMITING.......WHICH IS GOOD
     
  14. xenophobe

    xenophobe Active Member

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    Two very good points.

    Marshall (all of their newer stuff) is built like crap. Some do sound amazingly good, but even with the same tubes, one amp will not sound exactly like the one made right after it many times.
     
  15. warcorpse

    warcorpse Member

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    I use a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier with 2 celestion filled 4x12 Marshall cabs. I've used Marshall jcm900, ADA mp2, in the past, and so far the Boogie wins.
     
  16. Uprising 5150

    Uprising 5150 New Metal Member

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    Couldn't agree more with the statements about the 5150.

    It's a killer metal tone, but really does need the extra stuff along with it.

    I've got a original 5150 head w/ JJ Electronics tubes throughout and a Boss Noise Suppressor. I'm also working on saving up for a BBE Sonic Maximizer to put in the loop.

    It's a killer rig. I paid $475 for the amp head.

    There's a great new company making speaker cabs called Avatar. This guy Dave that makes and ships cabinets factory-direct with celestion speakers in em. www.avatarspeakers.com

    Check it out
     
  17. Ishtar

    Ishtar Member

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    I think it's a question of final Transformer...

    Old Marshall like JMP-1 and JTM-45 (Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page...) have a very simple layout but they have true tone, expecially when cranked...

    It's like Whisky, only old is better (by the way Mac Callan rulez ...)
     
  18. Dr. Philgood

    Dr. Philgood New Metal Member

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    Mesa Boogie dual rectified......can't go wrong
     
  19. JesterRace

    JesterRace Member

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    If only I could afford a mesa.. :D I recently got a crate gx1200h head, and for the price tag ($479.99 retail, really costs at least $100 less), it sounds great for metal. It's a small head, it only weighs 25 pounds, but it puts out a lethal 120 watts of power.. more than the dual rec (100 watts), and costs more than $1000 less. Mesa is the best, but if you can't afford to shell out $1500 then this crate really does the trick.
     
  20. vengeance

    vengeance Member

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    The 5150 is a good choice if your looking for a lot of gain, but they're not very versatile amps! I had one for about 5 years! I had to use the EQ of my Boss GX-700 effects processor to get a tight sound out of it! But then again alot of 5150's sound different from one another for some reason!
    I just recently got the Laney VH100R head & 4X12 Cabinet & its the best sounding amp I've heard so far! Its has plenty of Gain & the EQ section is amazing! Also the clean sound is the best I've heard for a High Gain tube amp! I love this Amp! I'm getting rid of the Stock Tubes though & replacing them with JJ's 6L6 tubes!

    The style of music my band Assisting Sorrow plays is very melodic, technical Metal ala IRON MAIDEN, DEATH, NEVERMORE, MORBID ANGEL, HELSTAR, ATHEIST, ATROCITY, DISSECTION, EMPEROR, just to give an idea of the type of Guitar tone I'm after!
    I definitly recommend the Laney VH100R amp! It rules!

    Check out my band at www.AssistingSorrow.com
    Check out our music at Mpr.com/Assisting_Sorrow
     

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