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Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

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Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Robmobius » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:10 pm

Hey y'all,

I primarily sing in a Metal/Hardcore band. But I've also been interested in writing and recording my own stuff at home. However, I'm trying to get a decent distortion sound (and struggling). Been attempting to use Guitar rig, etc. but it's not quite the sound I'm after.

So could anyone recommend me a decent sounding Amp that can produce the goods? Unfortunately, my budget is limited to about 500 euro. The only upside to this is that I'll never want to play live, so it doesn't have to have a huge Watt output or anything like that - Just something will give a good sound for Metal and Hardcore.

Because I've been singing for so long now, I'm totally out of the loop with Amplifiers these days. When I get the right one I then plan to mic it up then with my SM57 (I've a couple of guitar pedals as well tht I'll try out with it too).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Rob.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Dave B » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:49 am

Blackstar HT5 - combo or stack should fit in that budget. It's recommended a lot round these parts and for a good reason ...
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Shambolic Charm » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:13 am

Dave B wrote:Blackstar HT5 - combo or stack should fit in that budget. It's recommended a lot round these parts and for a good reason ...

Seconded
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:42 pm

Robmobius wrote:Hey y'all,

I primarily sing in a Metal/Hardcore band. But I've also been interested in writing and recording my own stuff at home.

-1 for the Blackstar HT5, there simply isn't enough gain for what you're trying to do. Look at the Peavey Valveking or the XXL, they're what most of the metal'ers on a budget seem to use.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Robmobius » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:10 pm

Thanks for the info guys!!
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby The Korff » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:13 pm

It's been a long time since I've done any guitar-amp shopping (and an even longer time since I was on the hunt for something metal-sounding), but I seem to remember liking the sound of some of the Hughes & Kettner amps. Dunno if there's any that fall in budget though?

Cheers!

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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby noizefludd » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:50 pm

ORANGE DARK TERROR!
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Robmobius » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:56 pm

Thanks I'll look into the H&K too.

@OP, Yes the Orange Dark Terror looks the bomb! But I'd have to shell out another few hundred squid for a speaker. It's very tempting tho'.

Thanks again guys.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby mhaigh » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:43 am

a couple of things - there are some pretty good free amp sims focused on the metal sound - look at acmebargig and lepou plugs, for a start...

but i'd recommend either a modelling amp(i have the Peavey Vypyr, it has some very good heavy amp models) which will be fairly cheap (the 30w one i have is around £160), and feature record out options, and sound good at lowish volume,

or a small combo such as the Peavey 6505+ 112 which is £400 at GAK...but good for a 60w tube amp! but you will have to turn that up loud, so bear that in mind too...
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Hewesy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:36 am

H&K do the Tubemeister 18, which includes Red Box DI/Amp sim for silent recording. Not sure how metal that will get without a push though...

Blackstar do a HT Metal pedal, with emulated out for recording. Could well be worth a nose and should be well under budget(?).

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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:29 am

Robmobius wrote:
I primarily sing in a Metal/Hardcore band. But I've also been interested in writing and recording my own stuff at home.

Hi Rob

How are you guitar skills? The reason I ask is that I went through a not dissimilar process a few years ago. I'd be playing guitar for many years (mostly rhythm rather than lead) but I was the keyboard player in the same band for 10 years. When I started doing my own stuff it took me a while to get to grips with the sound (I'd previously been recording the guitarist in the old band and getting good results with the same gear). Having spent considerable amounts of money on pre-amps, multi fx, 5w amp, iso cab, etc I eventually realised that it was my guitar skills / experience that was lacking. It wasn't that I couldn't play - I just wasn't playing the right thing. Just a thought.


If you do go down the small amp route beware. 5w is still very loud, especially if you're going after that driven / distorted sound. Blackstar and others also do a 1w amp. If its home use only I would be more tempted by a 1w amp with a decent pedal in front of it.

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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Robmobius » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:27 pm

@Mhaigh, cheers for that mate, I'll look into those as well. Unfortutntely the guitar sims that come with Logic are okay. Both those Peaveys are within the budget too, so I'll have a gader at the them on youtube now. Thanks.

@Hewesy, Thanks! I've had a lend of the Tubmeister 18 a while ago so I could do some recording at night. It's a nice bit of kit, and would do Metal pretty well. But it struggled a wee bit for some of the think higher gain sounds I was after. Nice tidy package tho'! Thanks. However, I've never tried out any of their other amps (which was mentioned by the OP). So I'll have a look at 'em too.

PS - That Black Star new pedal looks very tasty.

@Music Wolf, It's a fair question mate. My guitar skills are at best okay. I'm a decent speed rythm player but my lead skills are poor. But that's cool as it's something that I don't need for HC. But I see what you are saying. Thanks for the advice.

It's hard to get across some of the sounds I'm after really. Thick and crunchy is probably the best way I could describe it. Or I could show ya' with M.O.D. Main riff kicks in 0.17 secs (on the first tune). This is the sound I'm after (I know he uses his own rig, but if it was in that ball park I'd be oober happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r424oAxoiIA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_WsiTefpwU

Thanks again for everyones help!
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby 4TrackMadman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:44 pm

+1 on the Orange Dark Terror

You can also look at the Peavey 6505 combo - here they are about $500 so that might be in your budget or look at the bigger ones used.

Don't be afraid to look at used Marshalls as well. I imagive 500 quid should be able to get you a Marshall JCM2000 DSL used?

Some of the lower gain amps that can do good crunch work well with an overdrive pedal in front.

I got this with an Orange Tiny Terror and Boss OD-1 in front:

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10586098
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Gadget13769 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:57 am

How about a Marshall JMP1 preamp? You'll easily pick one up on eBay within your budget and can DI record with the speaker-simulated outputs. If you want to push the gain even further, put something like a cheap Boss DS-1 or similar in front.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Music Wolf » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:02 pm

Gadget13769 wrote:How about a Marshall JMP1 preamp?

Big, big, fan of the JMP-1. I bought mine s/h more than 10 years ago and its been at centre of my home studio ever since. Whilst I haven't done too much serious recording for the last couple of years it still sees regular service as part of my practice set up.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Music Wolf » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:12 pm

Another thought, why not check out one of these.

Now I should stress that I've not tried one myself but I was in a music store on Saturday and the sales assistant was demoing one (I'm pretty sure that he made the sale). He was using a pre-set, and it was processed to b***ery, but the sound was huge. If I was in the market for something for home use only then I would definitely want to try one. They got a decent review in either Guitarist or SOS recently if memory serves.

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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby 4TrackMadman » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:59 pm

The JMP-1 is excellent! No wonder Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and a bunch of others still use them in their touring setup. I'd suggest to pair it with a 5 watt tube amp though to at at least get some of that speaker moving, since regardless of what you do simulated output still sounds fake to me.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Robmobius » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:00 am

4TrackMadman wrote:The JMP-1 is excellent!

Thanks again guys, how would thins compare to something like the Dark Terror?
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Riffmagus » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:49 pm

Hi Rob,

Long time reader - first time poster. Read your thread and wanted to respond with my 2 cents -

Digidesign Eleven Rack.

Owned one of these marvellous orange boxes since June 2010 and can say that it's one of the best bits of kit I have ever owned. I previously had an Orange Rockerverb 100 and Peavey JSX for Down/Crowbar/BLS type tones along with old school metal. The Eleven covers all these tones with ease.

It has guitar and mic inputs so you can easily record vocals / guitar. Vis usb or spdif it acts as a soundcard and recording device into Pro Tools or my daw of choice - Reaper.

The Eleven models a number of famous amps, cabs, mics and fx which you can arrange and tweak to ge your tone. The True-Z input really makes this modeller 'feel' like you are playing a tube amp. And, it takes active and passive pickups just great.

Check out the Eleven Rack forum for some tone examples and guides that go way beyond the Avid/Digi website. It ships with a cut down version of Pro Tools - but I only use this to deep-edit patches and check out others creations. Currently, their is no stand-alone editor.

It also functions as a re-amp box. So you can record your 'dry' guitar signal and current preset. Then route the dry signal back through the Eleven with another amp sim to build a massive wall of tone.

For metal, something like their Tubescreamer infront of an amp and using a parametric eq pre and post amp will get you any tone - from grind/thrash/death/black metal - if you know eq it's all there.

It also takes pedals really well either infront or via fx loop. In the UK it can be had for just under £600 in places - and it really is worth every damn penny!!
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Robmobius » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:35 pm

Riffmagus wrote:Long time reader - first time poster. Read your thread and wanted to respond with my 2 cents

Wow! Thanks for the very detailed answer man. I'll definitely have a look at those as well. Aghhh!! The agony of choice.

Cheers,

Rob.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Imran500 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:44 pm

I'll whack a clip up of the HT5 doing some heavier stuff tomorrow - it's a very loud amp and with the volume at 12 o'clock you can hear it outside. I think it's great for metally type tunes however I've never played the Peaveys mentioned on here so can't compare them, that might be way better!
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby 4TrackMadman » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:40 am

Digidesign guy - any affiliation to the company? Reason I am asking is because quite a few first time posters showed up on other forums selling the same suggestion.

I personally find the Eleven rack bleh... on level with a lot of other digital processors, lifeless, overhyped and wouldn't go for metal tone unless I wanted to do an overprocessed Rammstein/Nine Inch Nails kind of sound.

The OP asked about the Marshall JMP-1 vs the Orange Dark Terror. The JMP-1 is strictly preamp so you'll still need to plug it in preferably in a valve power amp. Not sure how its direct box (DI) sounds on a record but Marshall are usually designed to be cranked. The one that I had in the studio was coupled with the Marshall Monobloc power amp and was fantastic - pretty much got most of the Marshall tones through the years, all valve signal path.

The Orange Dark Terror is like the Tiny Terror either just a head or a combo version, with two power output options 7/15 watts which then can be cranked at bedroom levels to achieve the preamp and power saturation at manageable levels.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Riffmagus » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:31 am

@Four Track,

No afiliation atall - check out my Soundclick Page under same monniker, and posts @ Eleven Rack forum - which is purely user funded and no relaction to Digi/DUC. Just a very satisfied user for close to two years now.

As for modelling - it's a marmite area - you either love it or hate it. In the past I loved have two tube amps, 4x12's and flapping my trousers around with the sheer volume of things. Now, I want to produce, record and re-amp - and this does it all in one box.

Compared to other modellers such as PODX3 and Guitar Rig *I* find this sounds and reacts very much like a REAL amp.

Sound and tone will always be subjective to the users ears - what is sonic nirvana for one user will be awful for another. As long as it makes you want to play your instrument - do it.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby 4TrackMadman » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:54 am

@Riffmagus - but the Eleven rack for extreme metal where distortion is king? I dunno, I played around with it and it can't really nail those sounds.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Riffmagus » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:28 am

@4 Track,
Yes - the Eleven takes pedals in the front end as well as any amp I have owned. And, if you wish to you could use a 31 band EQ in the fx loop to really tweak your tone, if the amp controls and parametric eq are not enough.

I used to use a Maxon OD808 before the Eleven to get my distortion tones, but now find using a built in stomp before the amp and some Eq pre and post gives me far more control. If you ask me, extreme metal is more about EQ than distortion. Yes, you need distortion to get in that ball-park, but the rest is down to eq and cab/mic choices.

What I'm suggesting here may not suit everyone, but as an all in one box, for recording, re-amping, vocals, home practise and live use - I have not found anything near the same price that beats it.

For further tweaking, you can always kill the cab sim, and run an impulse loader to get more options using your favourite cab/mic combinations.

I will say that before the expansion pack came out, it was a lot harder to get the heavier/extreme tones. Now with the added features, and speaker breakup it really gives the 'X' factor for me. You do need to sit down and tailor a preset to your guitar and playing style though, the presets simply do not do the Eleven justice.

I don't want to hi-jack this thread with this, I'm just genuinely happy with the tone and options I have with the orange box - and I feel it's something the OP should check out and look into.
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Re: Budget Amp (around 500 euro) for geatting a good metal distortion sound.

Postby Gary_W » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:19 am

A few thoughts for the OP.... I've seen the 1w and 5w Blackstars and the pedals mentioned so thought I'd chip in.

As others have said, 5w at home is a lot of loudness. For travel purposes I just bought one of the little Blackstar 1w combo amps. For what I want it to do, I love it (sounds great considering its size and will fit in the boot of the car for when we go and visit the inlaws for a few days....). With the included 1x8 it's a tad lacking in bottom end of course but it sounds pretty awesome through my 1x12. What concerns me for your use model (ie metal) is that the EQ section is just a single ISF knob. Whilst this gives a great range of sounds that make me happy and there is oodles of gain on tap, the lack of a conventional EQ will be a limiting factor for some folks and you might be one of them. Indeed, if this was my only home amp I'd have gone with the 5 from the Blackstar OR one of the many others out there (there are so many good little amps these days that you are spoiled for choice!).

For recording purposes, also consider using a line out from a guitar amp into a decent cabinet sim. My main recording setup these days is a 7w valve amp which is master volume only, so it's ASBO territory if used as intended. And I live in a detached house..... Anyway, Redwirez Big Box Bundle comes in at about £80 and is IMO pretty astonishing when partnered with a real valve amp. I've got a couple of reasonable mics for my 1x12 and sometimes do that but am finding that, in the home studio, the real amp+Redwirez is giving me better results. A lot of that will be my lack of experience with the mics plus my room plus the fact that cranking the amp fully is rarely allowable. I get that an experienced person with the right cab, the right mics etc will out-do it but for a keen amateur like me this thing is perfect.

If you do consider Redwirez (you can download a Marshall there FoC to see if you're as impressed as me) then one of the Blackstar pedals that has a line out will give you a decent front end. I tried this with a friends HT Dual and it was very good indeed. Unfortunately on the amps, Blackstar do an emulated speaker cab anyway which is serviceable but is blown away by a line out into a decent cab sim so if you want to go with a modelled cabinet then the pedals are a better bet than their amps IMO. You can get sooooo much tonal variation by the cabinet swaps and 15 odd different mics per cabinet that it is mind blowing. This pack plus a Blackstar pedal would see you done for £200 - £300 depending which pedal. Well worth a thought for your described requirements

Good luck with your quest whichever way you go
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