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Valve amp thoughts anyone?

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:33 pm
by Russ Gannicott
Does anyone have any experience of the 'new wave' of valve amps currently available? I'm not talking the boutique end of the market, Cornford, Cornell etc but more like Orange, Laney and Sound City. We are in the market for 20 to 50 watt head or combo that will give a classic warm, driven valve sound. The two Award-Sessions will still be used for most live work - especially mine, but Ash has set his mind on a genuine valve amp for small gigs and studio recording. He's just sold a couple of guitars and can finance the change himself so I'm happy to support the idea!
Ant thoughts would be gratefully appreciated!
All the best,

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:21 pm
by Bob Wilson
Hi Russ

Check out the Epiphone Blues Custom 30 Watt 2x12 Valve Combo - Around £350. It has a very nice warm feel to it and would probably suit the Blues Machine sound.
Alternatively the Peavey Valve King 112 50 watt combo is also very good.
I did use Orange many moons ago and found that mix n matching the head with Marshall Speakers gave a brilliant 'Hendrixy' sound 8) . But I have not used their new range so I don't know if this would still be the case. I would still check them out as they were always very good value for the money.
Best wishes


Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:11 pm
by Lu_B
What sort of budget does he have?

I've had good experience with the early UK built Ashdown Peacemakers, not the later Chinese built ones and had an okay experience with a smaller Epiphone Valve Special - I thought it was very noisy and never used the built in effects as they we're rubbish.

But I sold them both and bought a Matamp head and cab.

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:17 pm
by Russ Gannicott
Just to update...
Ash has spent the day in a guitar shop - in fact the one he will be working in over Christmas(!) - and has had a chance to check out a pretty good range of valve amps. He took his own Strat along just to be sure he was hearing the amps and not just a different guitar. The amps he tried included; Laney 15, Sound City 30 and 40 combos, Fender Blues Junior and Princeton, Orange TT combo and Orange Tiny Terror head into a 2x12.
The Laney was too quiet, the Sound City's were great clean but a bit fizzy when you dialed in some gain and the Fenders, well, they are just so much money!! The Orange 15 watt combo was very good, but not a patch on the TT head into the 2x12. As Ash said to me and I agree, it was the only one that sounded truly 'British'. OK, there are some shortcomings - no reverb, no effects loop and only a single channel, but you can live with those when the sound you get is so fantastic. Cost is pretty good, at £299 for the head and you can get by with what you have on hand as an extension cab until funds allow for an Orange cabinet. Even if you bought an Orange 1x12 with the head it would still be less than the cost of a Blues Junior combo so it's not too bad.
The 7 watt setting is loud enough for rehearsals and if you need more than the power you get from the 15 watt setting live then you should be miced up anyway.
Looks like I can guess what he'll be spending his savings and Christmas earnings on!!

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:23 pm
by Lu_B
That's great that he's found something he likes, its so easy to get caught up in the marketing hype of a particular product and end up with something that's not quite right.

When he gets it he'll have to join the "Tiny Terror Club" over on the Orange Forum.

If he's interested in going down the secondhand route it might be worth putting a wanted add over on the Matamp forum as quite a few guys over there have TT's and they come up for sale every now and again.

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:31 am
by Russ Gannicott
Thanks for that, the Orange forum looks useful. I must admit, it's a hell of an long as you don't want to sound too clean. I have this idea about using an AB switch and chopping between the TT on full 'grunt' and a Torque TA100 for a clean sound. Could be nice!