Saturday, June 18, 2011

Goodbye Vox VT 30 amp

Today I sold my Vox VT 30 amp. I no longer enjoyed the sound. It's too thin for my taste. I'm searching for another amp. This is a long term goal, as the tone I am seeking will require a fat wallet.

Even before I sold this amp (I was thinking about it) I played a Marshall Haze 15 in a store close to me. It sounded nice - at least for the first amp I ever tried in my searching. It had a great gain. However, I had a inkling I would not enjoy it for long. The amp just didn't impress me all that much. It was a good smaller size, but it definitely wasn't a 10/10...more like a 7/10.

But after all, it was only the first amp I tried. I had to play on some more before I made a final decision. I tried a few other smaller amps in the store, but none came close to the Haze 15. The clerk even cranked it up for me to play to hear what it would really do. Wow. Loud. Big. Cool.

When I sold my amp today at another guitar shop, I played on two bigger amps that really impressed me. They were a Mesa Boogie Mark Five and a Marshall JCM 2000 Dual Super Lead. They were BIG amps! One of these definitely would be too big for my room. Perhaps having a bigger room and a fatter wallet will go hand in hand in years to come.

The Mesa I played had the most complex and customizable head I had ever seen! The clerk walked me through so many different tones possible on that amp. It was very expensive though. Nevertheless, I was very impressed with the amp, and with what I've seen so far, I'd give it a 10/10.

You can see the two amps I played are sitting side by side. How convenient!

The Marshall JCM was very cool and had a killer high gain tone, just as the Mesa. However, the fact that it didn't have a wide variety of tones was a disadvantage. I'd give it a 9/10 for that reason. However, it was half the price because it was used. That didn't make any difference anyway. I have no where near the money for either of these amps. Let's just call this a very long term goal. Perhaps it would span a few years from now.

I was thinking of getting a Mesa Dual Rectifier as Anthony Armstrong has in the band RED, but I haven't even tried it, and yet again, a new amp that I would enjoy the most is way out of my price range.

So what do I have for an amp now, you ask? I have a cheap Ibanez GTA 15R. That and a Tube Screamer guitar pedal is what I'll use to produce live performances for others. But I usually use POD Farm anyway. The reason I sold the Vox right now is because I don't use it anyway - except for clean channel occasionally, but I can get that from my little amp. I didn't see much sense keeping it if I wasn't happy with it. I just got a little bit of store credit. :)

And so the tone adventure continues!

While I was there at the shop playing on these amps, I also dropped off my red Jackson SLSMG for modification and setup. I am getting it modified for Drop A tuning! I'm going to use GHS Baritone Guitar strings (14-70 gauge). This will definitely be heavy! It will probably be the end of next week when I get the Jackson back. In the meantime, I will be playing my two Ibanezes.

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