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Unread 01-10-2013, 04:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Best tube amp under $500?

Hi I've been playing guitar out of a line 6 spider IV 15 watt for a while and I think I want to move on to a tube amp. My budget is 500 dollars. I play LOTS of different types of music but mostly hard rock, classic rock, metal styles and bands like Guns N Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne etc. I would like the amp for mostly home use. But be able to handle jamming with a drummer or a band if needed. I was looking at the Blackheart bh 15 combo, marshall haze 40c used, marshall class 5, Vox ac4tv, Peavey classic 30 used and more. but i woud like to have more options or if you guys think one of the amps above are best just give me your opinion. Also if its important I'm playing a Epiphone les Paul ultra ii currently. Thanks for the replies in advance.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 05:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

$500? You will need a cab too but you can get a JCM 900 Head for that or even less if you shop.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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$500? You will need a cab too but you can get a JCM 900 Head for that or even less if you shop.
How much do you think I'd have to save to get a good cabinet for it?
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Unread 01-10-2013, 05:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

egnater tweaker 15 head.

nice amp, lots of tones, and will keep up with a band pretty easily. buy used and save a few bucks, you can pick up a 2x12 with the remainder of your 500 budget.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 05:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

I wouldn't buy anything until the new releases at NAMM come out.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 05:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

Quote:
Blackheart bh 15 combo, marshall haze 40c used, marshall class 5, Vox ac4tv, Peavey classic 30

Forget all those for what you want and want to do.

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Originally Posted by scat7s View Post
egnater tweaker 15 head.

nice amp, lots of tones, and will keep up with a band pretty easily. buy used and save a few bucks, you can pick up a 2x12 with the remainder of your 500 budget.
This all day.
Tweaker is the best tube amp that you can get w/ a separate cab for $500 that will keep up w/ a drummer/band setting.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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egnater tweaker 15 head.

nice amp, lots of tones, and will keep up with a band pretty easily. buy used and save a few bucks, you can pick up a 2x12 with the remainder of your 500 budget.
Do you guys think this can do hard/classic rock and metal well better than a marshall?
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Unread 01-10-2013, 06:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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Do you guys think this can do hard/classic rock and metal well better than a marshall?
Well that's a pretty bold and broad statement but better in a band setting within your budget than the Marshalls you mentioned, yes.

SJ makes a good point about waiting until the NAMM announcements, but even after that you'll have to wait for those products to actually come on to the market.
If you're a Slash fanboy though, NAMM may have some pleasant news for you in the range you're looking for. Or not.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 06:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

better?

i guess it depends on the marshall model...

try one out if you can, you'll probably be impressed.

3 band eq, vintage/modern switch, fender/marshall/vox voice sw,clean/dirty sw, bright/normal, tight/deep switch, and tube buffered effects loop.

made overseas so its cheap, but so far, rugged/reliable, and it really sounds great. rock/ hard rock all day long. metal? i dont know, some metal guys are picky about what they consider an amp capable of metal as being.

to me? yeah, it does metal. but, to some guys, it may not. more gain than i would ever use...
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Unread 01-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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more gain than i would ever use...
+1
Even though I like to play "metal" riffs through it, I pretty much never hit that hot switch.
But I do use a boost. (OFA SD-1)
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Unread 01-10-2013, 06:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

i run in clean mode as well. and it can get pretty hairy...matter of fact, there is more gain on the clean mode than i would ever use haha.

i run about 5 or 6, and its got plenty of crunch.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

How long till NAMM is held? Also when I talk about metal the heaviest I would play is avenged sevenfold or Metallica. Nothing like Slipknot or anything I don't care for that type of music.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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Originally Posted by scat7s View Post
i run in clean mode as well. and it can get pretty hairy...matter of fact, there is more gain on the clean mode than i would ever use haha.

i run about 5 or 6, and its got plenty of crunch.

Me too pretty much EXACTLY.

I've worked my way down back to 5 or 6 or even 4 but with the SD-1 Vol @ 10, gain @ 0.
I have a Joyo British Sound inline that I kick in if I want more hair than that, although it's not often.

All NOS Too, 6P3S power, Matsushita in V1.

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How long till NAMM is held? Also when I talk about metal the heaviest I would play is avenged sevenfold or Metallica. Nothing like Slipknot or anything I don't care for that type of music.
NAMM is in a couple of weeks.

You'll be fine w/ Tweaker then, if you don't "NEEDZ DA BROOTALZ"
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Unread 01-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

Any other amps? Just lookin for more options.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

Never played one but I had heard Jet City JCA22H. At $599 The Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18w is a good little amp with lots of features.
I have not played the Marshall DSL 15h but I just got the DSL 40c. The thing I have found so far is no amp I have played sounds better than a Marshall amp. I'm sure there are some but I doubt if they are under $500.

From what I have learned recently most people don't really go to Marshall for Metal. I think Mesa and Engl but not under $500. I had originally set my limit at $500 but after several months I found that putting a limit on spending puts a limit on your sound.

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Unread 01-10-2013, 10:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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$500? You will need a cab too but you can get a jcm 900 head for that or even less if you shop.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 10:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

Jet City. I have the JCA20H and love it but would love to try the JCA20HV.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 04:45 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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Me too pretty much EXACTLY.

I've worked my way down back to 5 or 6 or even 4 but with the SD-1 Vol @ 10, gain @ 0.

All NOS Too, 6P3S power, Matsushita in V1.
I'm on the same page with mine including NOS in the preamp and 6P3s in the power section. I use the gain knob with the amp in the clean setting and kick a Route 66 or SD-1 for heavy as well. These are the best bang for the buck amps out there IMO. Very convincing Marshall AND Fender tones with a head you can easily pick up for $300. Add a 212 cab and you have a damn fine little tube amp.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

Used Blackstar combo, or a Carvin Belair, used Peavey Classic 50
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Unread 01-11-2013, 12:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

I've seen JCM900 combos in your price range. Get a 50 watter, I think it will do all the music styles you want.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 12:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

Laney Cub12R - 1x12 speaker w/effects loop 5 tube amp with 2 guitar inputs for either 15W or <1W output all for $400. I'm considering this along with Blackstar HT-5R or HT-1R. Would a 15W tube amp be loud enough for band and .75W good for home use?
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Unread 01-11-2013, 03:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

15w IMO would depend on your drummer but should probly be enough if you're not looking for cleans. The other would be good for home.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 04:08 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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Laney Cub12R - 1x12 speaker w/effects loop 5 tube amp with 2 guitar inputs for either 15W or <1W output all for $400. I'm considering this along with Blackstar HT-5R or HT-1R. Would a 15W tube amp be loud enough for band and .75W good for home use?
15W does indeed depend on drummer, but would be OK for small spaces.

0.75W is still pretty loud; the wife/girlfriend will complain about it drowning out the TV.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

Another vote for the Egnater Tweaker 15 Head and 112X Cab. You should be able to pick both up for $500. It will do all the sounds you're looking for.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 04:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

The Tweaker is a great amp and very versatile. For higher gain stuff I would prefer the Jet City heads but either one would be great. 15 - 20 watts is gig worthy for many of us (but definitely depends on what you are competing with and your definition of "loud enough"). If you can get a used Marshall in your price range, that would be excellent.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 06:08 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

I bought my used DSL401 with extension cab for approx. 500 bucks. Love it, and I won't hesitate to recommend it as long as it is not a pre 2002 model.
I think I'll check the Tweaker next though.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 06:28 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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I've seen JCM900 combos in your price range. Get a 50 watter, I think it will do all the music styles you want.
JCM900 combo, or a DSL combo, or a Class 5 (latest model) all UK made and are great steps up into Marshall land.

Other good options would be a used Orange Tiny Terror combo or head and cab or a used OR15H (you would still need a cab, an additional $100-$150).

All great first time tube amp options.
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Unread 01-13-2013, 01:01 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

I have a JCA20h head I play into a 212 Sismic cab with two WGS Green Beretts. Under $500. It's like a little JCM800 without the ear bleeding volume.
Runs out of cleans pretty quick but that's not why I have it.
Pret cool inexpensive little rig actually.
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Unread 01-13-2013, 01:24 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

around here you can get many amps for that including DSL100,50, TSL 60, JCM 900 (take your pick), a rectoverb head for $525,or a bogner alchemist for under $500.

i like my alchemist. it needs new power tubes but these amps scream man. great cleans and high gain as well as everything else depending on how you invoke the notch switches into use. but they're ugly as shit.
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Unread 01-13-2013, 03:29 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Best tube amp under $500?

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around here you can get many amps for that including DSL100,50, TSL 60, JCM 900 (take your pick), a rectoverb head for $525,or a bogner alchemist for under $500.

i like my alchemist. it needs new power tubes but these amps scream man. great cleans and high gain as well as everything else depending on how you invoke the notch switches into use. but they're ugly as shit.
I agree on the Alchemist. I miss mine.
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