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Electric Guitar Amp - Decisions Decisions

I'm after a new serious amp in a few months for doing some serious rocking with my 1981 Gibson LP Std. The candidates are...

Marshall: JCM800, or JVM410
Peavey: 6505+
Blackstar: Artisan or HT-series.
Line6: DT-50 or Spider Mk 2 Valve 212

There's a fair old price range there I know - and some big differences in types but they all look very nice. Got to replace my long-suffering Marshall AVT50 as it is a bit amateur. Any fellow hard rockin' amigos willing to part some wisdom? Mesa Boogie is a bit too cheeky ($$$) for my liking.
Peavey 6505 with Black Widow Heads...


Out of sheer preference, I'd say go for the Marshall Jcm800 half stack, but with a straight front cab and I'd change the speakers and power tubes (probably to 6L6s or 5881s), but that'd be a little expensive, I fear. For versatility I'd go with the line 6 one- get a decent floor controller for all the fx and samples, and you're away! Hope this helps, but it probably won't...
And what style of rock do you play?

Always been a metaller but been chilling out a bit since I hit 40! Blues, indie - anything really, but certainly still with a lot of rock. The Marshalls and the Peavey might be a bit too much of a screaming one-trick pony (although great) that attracts a fcuking ASBO. The Blackstars look like beautiful boutique amps and built to survive armageddon by all accounts but the Line6 DT60 seems like an incredibly versatile valve amp that is able to model Marshalls, Mesas and others. Still around £1300 though. A lot of dough really but looks

What kinds of amp do you guys have?


I've had quite a few amps in my time - including modellers like the Line 6. My advice is this - whatever the amp is it must be a valve amp, and preferably not Peavey.

If you want modelling, get a stand-alone modeller (preferably Vox Tonelab as it has a valve) and (this is most important) - run the modeller into the power stage of a valve amp.

I won't go into all the details - but modellers like the Line 6 sound great in the bedroom, but you will notice the difference when you're on stage between modellers/solid state amps, and valve amps.

If you worried about the loudness of valve amps, there are many low-wattage valve amps available now - which you can then mike up for stage use.


I use a Laney VC30 1*12" combo amp paired with a matching 2*10" cab. I chose this amp for it's crystal clear clean channel and simplistic interface. Since I was more into studio recording than live performances, I use the Guitar Rig 4 Kontrol Edition to get the tone and sound modelling. IMO best there is. Downside is that you need laptop/PC to run Guitar Rig on and is a bit too complicated of a setup to use live in small gigs.


Book Reviewer
in the words of sandy perlman to mick jones, 'oh, you must get a mesa boogie.'
I did actually get the Blackstar S1-1046L6 in the end, it's their newest 100w head with 6L6 tubes in it. To be honest it does everything right up to screaming metal. 4 channels from really chimey clean to filthy distortion. It has a great wee feature called Dynamic Power Reduction and I can simply dial it down to 10w, so I can get cool tube compression at lower volumes. Phenomenal amp.

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