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Solid State amps

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Ericlingus, May 16, 2014.

  1. Ericlingus

    Ericlingus Prettiest Hair Around

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    I have been thinking about getting a solid state amp to get late 80's/early 90's metal tones like Pantera and old school death metal bands. I've see Randall has an amp called the Randall RG1003H. It seems to get good reviews and one of its channels is based on the rg100es which is an amp Dime used. I don't want to spend more than 300 dollars. I have a metal zone and tube screamer I can use as a boost and I have a GE 7 graphic eq as well as a genz benz gflex 2x12 cab. I have been wanting a solid state amp for a while. That way if a band wants a more old school tone (like the one I am currently recording) I can have an option for them other than amp modellers which to me sound best for really modern tones.
     
  2. cfh11

    cfh11 Member

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    try to find an older randall (rg100, century 200) or an ampeg (vh140c, vh150). they usually go for $300-400 and are much better than the newer ss amps imo. also the marshall 8100 is a brutal ss amp and can be found for around the same price.
     
  3. Ericlingus

    Ericlingus Prettiest Hair Around

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    do you have any clips of the amps?
     
  4. Pxz

    Pxz Member

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    Lasse made a great clip with the Randall and the Marshall. The Dime 100h is also really good, it's a copy of the old Randall.
     
  5. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    The Marshall Valvestate VS8100 is the tone on most / all of the Death records, I think Lasse also posted a video on youtube of his personal VS8100 thats pretty cool. Really solid sounding amps at low to medium volumes, I think they start sounding crummy when you turn them up super loud. It has a knob called "contour" that moves the midrange emphasis around and its really versatile in what you can dial in for what it is. Do note, its the first series of Valvestates that are good, everything after that first set of models is total garbage.

    The Randall rg100 is the amp they used on Cowboys from Hell, Ive personally played one of these for a few years in my younger days and it was pretty killer. It didnt have a ton of gain if I recall but still enough that you could boost it and play brutal stuff. The Randall Century 200 is the Far Beyond Driven amp and supposedly has more gain than the rg100. Dime used those old school furman parametric eq's in the effects loop of those amps, so its hard to say how much that had an effect on those classic album tones but Im sure any nice modern eq would do the job.

    Ive mentioned it before around here but I saved all my duckets and bought a Randall Warhead when those came out forever ago. Total garbage. Horrible customer service. Never worked right for very long and didnt sound very good when it did work. I swore I would never buy anything else Randall and still haven't. Now maybe the company has improved since 99 (one would hope). The Ola Satan amp sounds great in the demos and they are working with that Fortin badass so maybe things have turned around on the upper end of their product line. All that said, I would still be super weary of buying any of their new solid state amps unless you like hanging at post offices and being put on hold. Best to go old Randall or Marshall VS.
     
  6. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

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    The Key is the parametric eq,no way around it.That's why people called them "Panterametric equalizers" in the 90's.Or you could try Dime in a Box by Mustad,it gives you the sound of all their records from a drop down menu,and it's free.Mustad has a thread here with the download link: http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/backline/918753-amp-sim-dime-box.html
     
  7. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    Yeah, Ive always wanted to play with one of those, I take it you have? Impressions ? I think I read somewhere that EVH had one in his rig at some point, which would explain why they never dip below 3-$400 used even though they are super old and not really considered a studio piece. Per the dime in a box, I got the impression the OP wants an amp.
     
  8. ProphetofHatred

    ProphetofHatred We boogie on the floor

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  9. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

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    Well he had another thread where he was trying to get the same sound out of an MP-1 and said he had a MosValve 500 power amp.So in that case he would just need a FRFR speaker,like a floor monitor or passive PA speaker.If he's trying to get that sound recorded all you need is Dime in a box.Of course I'm assuming he has a laptop and an audio interface.If he has a laptop but no interface he could use the solid state clean channel of his ADA MP-1 with the eq set flat into the line in of his laptop with the line out into the MosValve.There are also a bunch of free parametric eq plugins.As far as hardware parametric eqs yes I used various ones from the early 80's and up until about 2005.I had a Furman 3 band for a while and then bought a Rane PE15 5 band in 1990 I believe.Now I just use plugins.
     
  10. deLuther

    deLuther Member

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    Old Randalls like RG100ES were based on FET curcuit (preamp) which can be close to valve schematics, later based on OPAMPs, even before G2 and G3. So "older" RG100 can be different to RG100ES.
     
  11. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I owned this guy since like 2002 or so and now it sits with some sort of problem where it blows the fuse every time I power it up.

    [​IMG]

    I recall it sounding decent for what it was. You may be talking about the older 160 Supreme though with the old-style logo. The one in the pic is the Transtube Supreme. I think the XXL is based on this thing too.
     
  12. D20

    D20 Member

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    Anyone know if the VS 8100 and 8200 are basically the same as far as the dirty channel goes? I'm looking at an 8200 now
     
  13. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    I have the VS8080 combo which is the same as the 8100 distortion wise. From the looks of the pics on google image search it just looks like the 8100 with chorus built in, so id call it a win.
     
  14. deLuther

    deLuther Member

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    Interesting thing that topic about SS amps whlie ValveStates are hybrid amps, tube pre with SS PA :)
     
  15. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I have really liked the Peavey TransTube amps. No frills but sound pretty decent from what I remember.
     
  16. DigitalMetal

    DigitalMetal Building a Mini SSL

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    No they are not,
    They are solid state all the way through, (open one up and look for the valve) the valve state name comes from them being a solid state amp made to try and sound like valve amps.
    There is only one exception afaik which is the JMP-1 rack preamp which has valves on the input stage. (Yes I have one).
     
  17. Pxz

    Pxz Member

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    The heads came with an ECC 83. Some of combos were totally SS,i think the ones below 40wats .
     
  18. DigitalMetal

    DigitalMetal Building a Mini SSL

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    Apologies !
    It's true the higher models do have an ECC83 pre tube (looks like 65watts upwards), the power amps do not.
     
  19. kvoid

    kvoid Member

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    The valvestate amps do not have a tube pre I'm afraid. There is no way one 12ax7 (two gain stages) could generate all that gain. Yes the higher power models have a tube but I believe it is either used as a filter or a dirt generator at low plate voltages after the usual diode/fet/opamp ss distortion.

    The JMP-1 was not part of the Valvestate line, but that too is an SS preamp with tubes tacked in for marketing reasons (much like the ADA units) Read an interview with Mike Scuffham, the JMP-1 was his design.

    Some obvious greats of the SS world have already been mentioned, and while these amps tend to shine in the clean department, there are a few other worthy units to be had on the cheap, I'd suggest:

    Fender Roc Pro 1000 (has a tube probably just like early valvestates, pretty good high gain)
    Gallien Krueger Backline 150 (Their only full size head AFAIK, do not confuse with their cheapo bass "backline" series)
    Any other GK guitar amp from mid 80's onwards (ML/E, 2000 MPL, 250ML/RL....)
    Crate GX130c (very similar to the Ampeg VH140C, also the Crate XLP solid state preamp)

    The VS100 (Valvestte II series) is a damn fine head, I don't understand the hate. Yes the 8100 is better but the VS100 is in no way shape or form completely useless...

    If any more semi decent affordable ss amps come to mind I'll be sure to add them, would appreciate more discussion on this topic (I possess a small collection of this junk hehe)
     
  20. sprack

    sprack Thread Killer

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    The VS8100 does have a single 12AX7.
     

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