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Thread: I guess I need to buy an amp for my PRS guitars.

  1. #21
    Member jrw32's Avatar
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    I recently picked up a used Koch Studiotone head for $600. 20 watts, by far the best/most versatile amp I've owned, and both channels are very useable. I'm also amazed by how great it sounds at both bedroom and band volumes. I too play mostly clean or with light break up, though the lead channel scorches when I want more distortion. It also has spring reverb, an effects loop, direct out, all in a very compact/portable package. I have played a lot of the amps in this price range (Fender, Rivera, Mesa TA/F series, Vox, and Carvin), and for my needs, the Koch wins in every aspect.

  2. #22
    Senior Member RedGuitars's Avatar
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    Yeah - if you could buy Mark V's for $600-$800, I'd have a wall of'em...

    +1 one on several of the other recommendations here. I have a CAD Dallas, and have seen some Dallas (and other PRS) heads used for just over $1000. Not often, but they do pop up. Also maybe a Dallas II, much less expensive, but also rarely pop up for sale used.

    Rivera is another great amp with some good used prices. I'd think Chubster or Fandango.

    Have always wanted to find a Mesa Subway Rocket at a good price too.

    If I recall, a Koch Twintone was PRSh amp of choice at one point in time. I haven't played one, but if you're looking for an endorsement that's not a bad one.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    I'd tell you to get a 5150 III 50 watt used. They can be had for $600. Then we'd start a metal band. Great plan right?

    Did I mention they come in white?
    Plank Owner

  4. #24
    Since we've given a boatload of recommendations without asking an essential question, I'll ask belatedly:

    What do you plan to do with the amp? Recording? Gigging? Both?

    Any particular style of music you are thinking about using it for? I know you like the funky stuff, but not sure what else. All of the amps I've listed below will do the funky stuff, and then go into other territory.

    Here are a few great used market sleepers to check out; great for studio or stage use:

    Bogner Metropolis - This amp is discontinued, but it's an incredible little amp. 15 or 30 watts with EL84s that you'd expect to be chimey a la Vox. And while it can be close to that, it's actually quite the amazing Fender style amp with great cleans, and good overdrive via its Schizo switch. It's not a high gain amp on its own, but works incredibly well with pedals. You don't see these often, but they are bargains in a very good amp. Gorgeous clean tones. In fact, IMHO, the Metro has the best clean tones of any Bogner amp ever made. And yes, I've owned one. I pushed it into gainy territory with a Mesa V-Twin pedal. Sounded great!

    Anything Dr. Z - these amps start out as great values, they're handwired (yes, it makes a difference in my opinion) and come in a variety of personalities. Check out TGP as they come up from time to time under a grand. The real deal, made in Cleveland, Ohio by a pipe smoking old school amp maker. Very sweet cleans, and work very well with pedals. Generally light weight, too. These amps sound like they were made a long time ago.

    Roccaforte - Doug Roccaforte makes beautiful sounding Brit-influenced amps, all handwired. I have one, though it's been visiting my son's studio for quite a while now...Most sound like great Marshalls, but the one I have is kind of a cross between a 30 watt Vox and a Marshall. Very cool sounding amps, and a bargain on the used market, usually under a grand. In terms of looks, they're classic with stainless steel laser perforated grilles in back, and a stainless steel nameplate. This isn't a big deal in and of itself, but it shows you how the details are paid attention to. In other words, the quality of the workmanship is very high.

    Of course, there are lots of great Mesa models, but they're such a popular brand that you pay too much for them used. This is just one man's opinion, but while I admire the little lunchbox style heads they make in a way, I miss the tone of a big transformer, and these compromised on that to reduce the size and weight. That's cool, but not for me. And since you're a professional, I'm not sure you'd want that to be your only amp. There are times when you need that big iron, as you know.

    PRS - as far as I'm concerned, the finest amps on the planet in so many ways. Worth saving for. If you can find a CAD model used at a good price, snap it up. You won't be disappointed. We on the Forum know how great these amps are, but most players haven't heard one yet. So there may be good values out there. PRS amps are so warm sounding and complete, they're very well thought out and can do great cleans and buttery overdrive.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 08-20-2013 at 09:32 AM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I'm passing up a MK III for $750... Is that crazy?
    Yes. Great amp, low price. I should buy one of those.

    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Yeah, the reverb is out, but it comes with a cover and three pedals... I'm just afraid it's a little too much amp for me... it's loaded too: EV, simul-class 100 watts, EQ.
    That's the one you want!
    Last edited by vchizzle; 08-20-2013 at 09:34 AM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
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    Keep renting and save a little more and like Les said go and try a bunch of amps. I have a Carvin Legacy 3 and it is a great amp with beautiful cleans and gain channels that are smooth. Dont judge a book by its cover.

  7. #27
    Member RichardJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrw32 View Post
    I recently picked up a used Koch Studiotone head for $600. 20 watts, by far the best/most versatile amp I've owned, and both channels are very useable. I'm also amazed by how great it sounds at both bedroom and band volumes. I too play mostly clean or with light break up, though the lead channel scorches when I want more distortion. It also has spring reverb, an effects loop, direct out, all in a very compact/portable package. I have played a lot of the amps in this price range (Fender, Rivera, Mesa TA/F series, Vox, and Carvin), and for my needs, the Koch wins in every aspect.
    Quote Originally Posted by RedGuitars View Post
    Yeah - if you could buy Mark V's for $600-$800, I'd have a wall of'em...


    If I recall, a Koch Twintone was PRSh amp of choice at one point in time. I haven't played one, but if you're looking for an endorsement that's not a bad one.
    My 'loud' amp is a Twintone II (I have a re-cabbed Pro Junior for 'less loud'!). I did have a Mesa Nomad 45 before and (IMHO) the Koch outclassed it everywhere. Beautiful build quality, very low noise, lots of headroom on the clean channel, touch sensitive on the OD channel and blistering on OD+. Disadvantages are I think they are quite expensive over there and it sure ain't light weight.

  8. #28
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I have been playing Egnater since they were made in the US way back in 1999, a TOL50, which are very rare and not many people know about them. When they do come up used, it's in the $500 range. I also have a more recent Tweaker head (they make them in combos too) running at 15 watts that I have used to play to a small room, no PA except for vocals, and it kept up with my wife's SVT2PRO/8x10 monstrosity.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the suggestions!
    I mostly feel as though I'll be using an amp for gigging, the studio work I do has been becoming more and more about the D.I. track I lay down. Unless there is a real specific tone the dude (or woman) who's paying me is looking for right off the bat, everything gets re-amped without me being there. While I personally do the funky stuff for myself, I still get calls for "metal" type stuff since my relatively small client base still look at me as a "shredder" type guy. But I really don't think I'll be playing very many live gigs in that genre, so getting those tones is less of a requirement.

    I rented a Rivera in NY a few years ago and almost forgot about them, I will definitely go check them out again.

    I haven't played a Koch or a Dr. Z yet either so I guess I will have to check those out too. It's funny, I can spend all day looking at guitars but, the prospect of checking out amps leaves me kinda cold.... Maybe if PRS just slapped a Santana headstock, or a CE neck plate on an amp I'd be drooling.

  10. #30
    Junior Member MJ Postma's Avatar
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    I recently got a VOX and I am really loving it. Put the 59/09 pups in my SE SC and the cleans are amazing. Beautiful sound.
    SE Singlecut with 59/09's | G&L S-500 | Vox AC15CI

  11. #31
    Senior Member Chris528's Avatar
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    I love my Egnater Rebel 20 with matching 2x12 cab. Had a Mesa Mini Rectifier, but just sold it last week. It was an incredible sounding amp, but not as much at bedroom levels. Felt like it really needed to be cranked to enjoy. Got to where I could only use it when no one was home.
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  12. #32
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I'm lookin' at a Hughes & Kettner 20th Anv. Tube Edition tomorrow, 20 watts, 1X12, not blue, $325, and twenty pounds.... Does anybody have anything bad to say about this amp?

  13. #33
    Senior Member 11top's Avatar
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    I love my PRS 2 channel custom, but for the money and if you want a combo, I'd check out a Blackstar HT Soloist 60 1x12 (which is like a swiss army knife in terms of versatility).
    Sh*tter's full

  14. #34
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Sergio,

    I pm'd you a lead on a used DALLAS combo. I played this one, it's nice.

    Oh and it's not blue, it's PAISLEY







    (I looked at it, but nothing has bumped my Mesa TA-30 2X12 off the number one spot yet. )
    Last edited by Rango; 08-20-2013 at 03:40 PM.
    If I thought I was going to live this long I'd have taken better care of myself!

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    I have been playing Egnater since they were made in the US way back in 1999, a TOL50, which are very rare and not many people know about them. When they do come up used, it's in the $500 range. I also have a more recent Tweaker head (they make them in combos too) running at 15 watts that I have used to play to a small room, no PA except for vocals, and it kept up with my wife's SVT2PRO/8x10 monstrosity.
    Ha! I had a TOL 50, and it's a great amp, too. Forgot all about those. Bruce was actually affiliated with Rocktron for a time, and most of the TOL50s were made here in Michigan by that company, though some were made before his affiliation with Rocktron.

    In either case, the TOL50 is a very nice amp; gets loud, but sounds pretty good at low volume, too. I did find it best cranked, but that's the way I tend to think.

    Bruce is a good guy, from my area, in fact, was my former law partner's cousin. He's quite the amp designer, and has been one of the better designers out there for a long time.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 08-20-2013 at 04:49 PM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  16. #36
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    No love for the white 5150 III huh? Did I mention it's WHITE?
    Plank Owner

  17. #37
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Dude, you know I'm all about the white!.. but it's a head. While looks are at least 50% of what's really important, I would be rockin' a red Soldano astroverb 2X12 if I didn't have some specific needs.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    No love for the white 5150 III huh? Did I mention it's WHITE?
    Maybe a picture would help?
    Oh and if you're going to go... go big! 100 watt with the 4x12.

    If I thought I was going to live this long I'd have taken better care of myself!

  19. #39
    Senior Member Rider1260's Avatar
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    Hey Sergio
    The H+K sounds like a great amp
    I am really happy with the Egnater Tweaker 15 that I just got if you want to try that again with the Sequoia pedal that you liked so much you know my number bet that setup would be well in you budget
    But a MK3 for $750
    PRS Family - SCT, 408, 305, CU22, MEII
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  20. #40
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
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    Hey Sergio, I will be the odd man out here as there are lots of great suggestions already. We all know the big ones that are great with those great big price tags. I have a few of those myself but, I digress.

    Not sure if you were completely joking around or not however, I have and immensely enjoy my "F" Mustang amp. The amp models are good, the cab modeling and customization is fairly deep with options and endless combinations of heads and speakers.

    The thing has more effects than you could ever use and the tones are honestly pretty damn good for a very low price point. And it responds and "feels" similar to a tube amp as well. And it covers a lotta ground from pristine clean to over the top high gain.

    Let's see, what else, it is sofa king loud and light as a feather.

    Does it sound as good as a Mesa, Bogner or PRS? No. But it is definitely no slouch...

    It comes with the "F" Fuse software that allows even deeper customization of the effects, models and cabs. It also comes with Ableton Live for free. Not bad recording software...

    Also, the four button foot switch is very cool and has a built in tuner.

    My only advice is if you went with one, get at least the IV... The extra speaker makes a HUGE difference.

    And the best part, they are way inexpensive!!!

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