Which amp would you pick?

Which amp would you pick?


  • Total voters
    35

kartikg3

Roadie
Messages
492
which amp would you pick for a home playing and recording situation. Bonus if your pick can double as a good power amp for the HX Stomp if and when needed!

If you picked None of the above, please post your preferred amp not in the list!
 
Need more specificity. What style of playing and music? How much variety in tone?
This seems more appropriate for the Amps and Cabs sub.

That being said, I picked none of the above and would choose a Friedman BE-100 Deluxe and suffer with the rare use of a not-so-clean-clean channel to have my favorite dirty channel. I have used the power amp with a Fractal AX8 and it sounded great. I also have an HX Stomp, but have not tried it through the BE-100D.
 
I compared all of them and bought a Catalyst 60, but I don’t really like it all that much. The clean tone is amazing but the gain tones aren’t that great. It’s both dark and fizzy and doesn’t clean up well. And the controls for effects are a pain to use.

On the other hand the power amp input is great when using other modelers. And the power scaling works really well.

The Orange I’m still kind of curious about but the gain tones always sound like bad solid state and the amp had no sag or compression on the cleans. Not my thing. But I like orange amps and I know the super crush has a great reputation.

Although the Blackstar Is a really cheap amp I’ve always like the sound when testing it out. I played them all back to back and it had the best distortion tone and the cleans were plenty squishy. It’s still fairly loud for a home tube amp and I decided to try and make the catalyst work for me instead.

Alternately I’ve also had a boss katana and while the clean tone wasn’t as good as the line 6, the drive tones seemed a lot better. The amp is much more bright and forward while the catalyst is much darker sounding.

I went amp shopping again a couple weeks ago but gave up and dropped $700 on some Genelec monitors instead to use with my modelers as an upgrade to my cheaper monitors. I figured I’m only playing at low volumes anyway and I already have good modelers.
 
Need more specificity. What style of playing and music? How much variety in tone?
This seems more appropriate for the Amps and Cabs sub.
Thanks yeah I play everything from Dire Straits to Deep Purple to Black Sabbath to Metallica to Joe Satriani. To support those I also have OD and gain pedals to help me out. Also have the HX Stomp. The BE100 maybe way out of my budget. I should mention that as well, on a pretty tight budget. The above list is what hit my eyes in the local used marketplace.
 
I compared all of them and bought a Catalyst 60, but I don’t really like it all that much. The clean tone is amazing but the gain tones aren’t that great. It’s both dark and fizzy and doesn’t clean up well. And the controls for effects are a pain to use.

On the other hand the power amp input is great when using other modelers. And the power scaling works really well.

The Orange I’m still kind of curious about but the gain tones always sound like bad solid state and the amp had no sag or compression on the cleans. Not my thing. But I like orange amps and I know the super crush has a great reputation.

Although the Blackstar Is a really cheap amp I’ve always like the sound when testing it out. I played them all back to back and it had the best distortion tone and the cleans were plenty squishy. It’s still fairly loud for a home tube amp and I decided to try and make the catalyst work for me instead.

Alternately I’ve also had a boss katana and while the clean tone wasn’t as good as the line 6, the drive tones seemed a lot better. The amp is much more bright and forward while the catalyst is much darker sounding.

I went amp shopping again a couple weeks ago but gave up and dropped $700 on some Genelec monitors instead to use with my modelers as an upgrade to my cheaper monitors. I figured I’m only playing at low volumes anyway and I already have good modelers.
This is great input. I guess the best thing to do if possible is to try them out. I was originally leaning towards the Catalyst, but now I am thinking: for modeling tones I have the HX Stomp.. I am bound to get a tube amp itch, which the Blackstar would hopefully scratch while still being versatile enough for other things. But on the other hand, the Orange is also quite special, but it does a very specific set of things.. the Orange thing. While I love that, I am afraid I'd feel cornered and limited. If I had more money, perhaps I'd get both the Orange and the Blackstar.
 
This is great input. I guess the best thing to do if possible is to try them out. I was originally leaning towards the Catalyst, but now I am thinking: for modeling tones I have the HX Stomp.. I am bound to get a tube amp itch, which the Blackstar would hopefully scratch while still being versatile enough for other things. But on the other hand, the Orange is also quite special, but it does a very specific set of things.. the Orange thing. While I love that, I am afraid I'd feel cornered and limited. If I had more money, perhaps I'd get both the Orange and the Blackstar.

Yeah I wish I had an amp that I could zero in on as one to purchase.

My biggest issue is that at this point I only really play at home at low volumes, so anything over 5 watts is completely unusable and even when I use solid state amps in 1 watt (or less) mode, I'm still barely cracking 9:00 on the master knob.

I had a Fender Bassbreaker 15 which I loved the sound of in terms of being a versatile single channel amp. You could dial in a clean-ish tone and add pedals, or you could dial in a rock tone and roll the volume down, or crunch and do both. The digital reverb even sounded great. It was an awesome blend between Fender and Marshall and came with a Celestion V Type speaker. But two issues: it was way too loud so I was basically on 1.5 out of 12 all the time. And the effects loop is garbage, so I couldn't run my Helix through it. If I trusted the effects loop, I'd grab another one and run an HX Stomp in the loop and be happy. But the build quality is notoriously horrible and I don't want to roll the dice again.

That also makes me not really trust the Blackstar stuff, even for the price. Sonically they seem pretty good though.

I have a Yamaha THR10X which is a good battery powered grab and go amp, and it sounds okay but it's not nearly as good as a modeler through decent speakers. But volume wise that's all I need to be honest.

I checked out the Positive Grid Spark, and that sounded pretty decent but the reports of having too much bass are a red flag, and not being battery powered misses out on a lot of the fun. The Boss Katana Air also looks interesting as it has the battery, but I had a full size Katana and it was just okay. I also had a Vox Adio for a minute and it was also okay but I took it back.

So the little bitty amps are out, and the cheap modeling amps don't float my boat.

I tried one of the Orange Crush 120 combos and it sounded great but it's just complete overkill for volume, size, and weight. I think the drive tone is better in their "flagship" SS amps compared to the cheaper Crush series. I wish they would update the smaller ones, because a 30 watt 1x10 would be fine for me if it was well built, sounded good, and had a good effects loop. But they don't really sound like the old tube Orange amps that I remember playing a lot about 15 years ago.

I guess the closest thing for me to a dream amp would be something like a Friedman JJ Junior with an attenuator. But at that price, I'm not sure how different that is against modelers I already have into a good 1x12.
 
I was originally leaning towards the Catalyst

You should absolutely give it a go. I think the Cat is such a gem.

I own the 2X12, and after spending some time dialing it in in the app, I find it react and sounds like I’d expect from a good tube amp but with added versatility and stability.

It’s great for when I want a more traditional experience or when I want to jam with others.

I liked using my Helix LT through it in 4CM. Having great effects really takes it to the next level and if you use the onboard amp models, you’ll have more juicy in your HXS for effects.
 
Thanks yeah I play everything from Dire Straits to Deep Purple to Black Sabbath to Metallica to Joe Satriani. To support those I also have OD and gain pedals to help me out. Also have the HX Stomp. The BE100 maybe way out of my budget. I should mention that as well, on a pretty tight budget. The above list is what hit my eyes in the local used marketplace.
You'll want versatility for that variety of bands. Regardless of what you get, the HX Stomp will give you versatility. I'd pick a tube amp with at least one tone I loved, ensure it has an effects loop, and run the HX Stomp with it using 4 cable method.

That is actually what I did with my BE-100D. I primarily use its BE channel and used 4CM with an AX8 to provide shimmering cleans and more variety for high gain tones.
This is great input. I guess the best thing to do if possible is to try them out. I was originally leaning towards the Catalyst, but now I am thinking: for modeling tones I have the HX Stomp.. I am bound to get a tube amp itch, which the Blackstar would hopefully scratch while still being versatile enough for other things. But on the other hand, the Orange is also quite special, but it does a very specific set of things.. the Orange thing. While I love that, I am afraid I'd feel cornered and limited. If I had more money, perhaps I'd get both the Orange and the Blackstar.
That's what I thought about the Catalyst. Personally, I would get something other than Line 6 since you already have the HX Stomp.

Come to think of it, instead of the amps you listed, you could just get a clean power amp and guitar speaker cab, which will give you an amp in the room sound like the combos you are looking at at a similar price point. Either that or get a HeadRush "FRFR"-112 powered cabinet, which would be well within your budget. I like an amp in the room sound, so would lean towards the clean amp and speaker cab. However, if I were in the market with a budget and wanted simplicity, I would go with the HeadRush.
 
@kartikg3 - really curious what you end up with. Regardless of my fuss with the Cat 60, if you do test one out or pick one up, let me know what you think.

I'm not sure why the amp is so fussy tonally...it's super warm except for the high gain channel which is fizzy. So I'm not sure how much a speaker swap would help.

I'd love to try a Greenback at some point and see how I like it. I use IR's with 25w GB's 95% of the time anyway.
 
For a small practice amp although pricy they few times I played it in a store the Line6 DT small one was pretty good
HK edition tube , and for years I used vox valvetronix which I loved
Used it as I back up on stage one night and it sounded good surprisingly
I know they are not on the list but used probably pretty cheap
 
I've got the Catalyst 100 for just those reasons and really enjoy it. It sounds even better if you run Helix amps into the Power amp return option.

I'd spring for the 100 if you can...it's gig worthy volume/format/etc.
 
I don't know any of these amps well enough to make a judgment about x vs y.

I did buy a Katana as a replacement for backup combo amp/powered cab duties a while back. Was using a Fender Frontman 65r before that. Replaced the speaker with the Creamback that I was using in the old amp and haven't looked back. In the box it has plenty of onboard EQ options to shape the speaker's response and a way to assign 2 EQ parameters to the FX/MOD knobs. In the box tones are workable. FX are okay (drives, some modulations) , some are meh (reverbs/delays/some modulations), much happier with the amp models in the Helix into the FX return.

Still waiting for a Catalyst to show up at any of my local stores to try one.

Did everyone talk you out of the Bandit? :LOL:
 
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