Judging Books By Their Covers Pt. 5

Debtcember is truly upon us...
Debtcember is truly upon us…

I may have said this before.  It’s impossible that I haven’t said this before.  My most hated guitarist BS saying is this one:

Tube amps produce a second order harmonic which is naturally more pleasing to the human ear.  Solid State amps will never sound as good for that reason.

For every genius who has ever told that to me I just point in Terry Date’s general direction and walk away.

Who me?
Who me?

If you were into heavy music in the 90s you could not escape Terry Date.  He produced every good album Pantera made, as well as White Zombie, Prong, 24-7 Spyz, Soundgarden…hell, just look at his website, all it is is his resume in record cover form.

Through no fault of his own, Terry Date became “the producer of bands that use solid state amps,” and he made a gajillion dollars doing it.  While guitar players were busy telling me that solid state amps sound like crap, the entire world was busy buying Astrocreep 2000. Even ignoring White Zombie, the defacto clean tone of rock music starts with a Roland JC120.  The number of tubes in the entire Jazz Chorus line =0.

It’s not the tool it’s how you use it.

No list of solid state amps would be complete, or even be begun without the Marshall MG Series.

The Wee Baby Marshall
The Wee Baby Marshall

Available in everything from the adorable, tiny stack pictures to hundred watt head favored by industrial metal guitarists the 90s over, and every combo size in between the MG flies the solid state flag higher than almost any other amp ever.

DAFT PARAGON SAYS:
You want a Marshall, but you don’t want to bother with warm up and cool down times.  This is your jam.

 

When I said that the MG flew the solid state flag higher than almost anyone I was thinking about the Randall RG.

The ghost of Dimebag compels you.
The ghost of Dimebag compels you.

 

When Pantera broke one of the things that confused people was his absolute love of solid state Randall amps.  It’s as if no guitar player in a Texas based hard rock/heavy metal band had ever crafted unique tone using a solid state amp ever before.

DAFT PARAGON SAYS:
I saw a video from NAMM talking about the newly revitalized Randall range where one of the Randall guys declared that “Dimebag would approve.”  While I thoroughly believe that you can get a half decent faux Dime tone using the updated Randal RG range (which much like Marshall’s MG range comes in everything from a pedal to a full stack) there is one issue…

 

This is one problem
This is one problem

The good folks over at Dean guitars produce a range of Dime brand amps designed by the guy who originally designed the Randall RG and Grady Champion, Dimebag’s guitar tech.  So, yeah.

DAFT PARAGON SAYS:
Seriously, if you’re looking at the Randall or the Dime, just buy the cheaper one, they’re the same thing.

I’ve been a fan of all things Peavey for, more or less, my entire guitar playing life and while Meridian, Mississippi’s finest appears to have abandoned high end guitars (which is a shame) to concentrate on the sub-$300 market and novelty axes, they still will charge you good money for an amp.

Their TransTube amps have been a viable alternative for those looking for tubeish tone with solid state reliability since Generalissimo Jay was in short pants.

 

Why do I not own this?
Why do I not own this?

 

DAFT PARAGON SAYS:
You may as well.  Which doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, but I don’t own any of these things, so, you know…Actually I do like Peavey TransTube amps a lot.  For what you’re getting they’re a damn good buy.

I believe that Blackstar amps was formed by a bunch of old Marshall employees.  I’m not sure if that makes their ID amps MGalikes or not

id260-overview

But, you can download the ID editor for free on the Blackstar website, so that’s positive.

DAFT PARAGON SAYS:
I have never heard a single bad word about Blackstar amps, so that’s awesome.  I have also never seen a single Blackstar amp in a store, so that’s less than positive.

Speaking of English amps with crappy US distributions.  Laney makes several lines of solid state amps including this tribal tattooed LX series for “modern rock tones.”

No longer hardcore
No longer hardcore

DAFT PARAGON SAYS:
I actually have a Laney HC35 “Hardcore” amp sitting next to me as I write this.  It has been my bedroom/living room and sometimes only working amp for the past 20 years.  So, yeah, I’ll give the LX series, the HC’s obvious descendant, a pass on the tribal graphics…this time.

Last but not least we come to an amp I almost buy every time a buy an amp.  Carvin’s SX series of amps is made in the US of A and sold direct from the factory giving it possibly the highest quality to cost ratio of all the amps listed here.

SX300C1

DAFT PARAGON SAYS:
Also shipping costs.  Don’t forget to add shipping costs to any Carvin amp you’re considering buying.

54321
(0 votes. Average 0 of 5)