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Head Suggestions Wanted!

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Hello Fellow 'Chatters

Posting this for our guitarist, who is considering options for a new head......
Current rig is a Laney Linebacker 100 Solid State into a Marshall cab (4x12, not sure on the actual speakers.....)
Whilst it is a reliable and good sounding amp, he has become a bit frustrated with it's lack of 'character' so is looking for something valve driven.....
He is looking for 2-3 channels and around 100W, and is veering towards Marshall (if so, which ones?).....plus want to put a few other suggestions his way.....
We currently play a mix of classic rock covers, with a smattering of punk and metal (Bad Co. ZZTop, Rainbow, Sabbath, Judas Priest, GreenDay, Lenny Kravitz to name a few)


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It's already been said on another thread not a million miles from here, but...

Is he sure he needs 100W? Valve amps are generally a lot louder than solid state amps of equal wattage. In particular, a 100W Marshall valve amp will go loud enough to make your ears bleed, and permanent hearing damage will be along quite soon afterwards.

The reason this is relevant is that valve amps tend to give of their best when the output side is being driven a bit, with Marshalls being a good case in point. It sounds fabulous, but with a 100W you'll never be able to access it in a live situation, especially with a 4x12. Looks dead cool on stage, but what's the point if you can't actually use it for it's intended purpose?

If nothing else will do then fine, knock yourself out; your (or rather, his) money and all that, but given the kind of gigs you seem to be doing this smacks of fairly serious overkill. Just so he knows, I earned my daily bread as a guitarist for around 20 years, and as far as big valve amps go I've been there done that got the hearing damage and the bad back.

My advice? Tell your guitarist to save his bank balance, his (and your) ears and his back and get something smaller. Even 50W would need to be used with care; 30 or 40 will probably be plenty.

Edit To Add: if he's after the Marshall character, turning it down and using pedals would be a solution, but then again he'd lose a big chunk of that character that he'll have paid quite a lot for...

Edited by leftybassman392

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Cheers for that!

I knew about the 'less is more' situation when it comes to getting a good sound out of a valve amp.....so will try and quietly nudge him in that direction......and point out the ears/back situation........so ignoring the wattage....what would people suggest was a good place to start......brand wise....?


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Have a look at anything by Hughes and Kettner with valves in it.

And to confirm what overs have said about output levels, I have a (now discontinued) Hughes & Kettner Tube 50 combo (50W) and have never used it without running into a Marshall PowerBrake on less than half volume. If I was looking at another all-valve guitar amp I probably wouldn't consider anything over 30W.

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the carvin v3m is a superb amp and one of the most versatile having a separate eq for each of the 3 channels and an addition global lead boost.

tonally it will do everything you want comfortably and a/b next to similar equivalents (Hughes and kettner, laney, marshall) it was a clear winner in my opinion with a smoother tone and plenty of body

plus it lights up with a choice of blue or red depending on your mood lol


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