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Kerpak
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:48 am
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:24 pm 
 

My budget is around $400-$600 ideally and I am looking for a practice amp+cab or combo amp. I play black/death/thrash and sometimes other genres but mostly focused on getting good tones for various types of death metal (90s, modern, swedish).
I'm getting lots of mixed messages from what I read online. People are recommending the Orange Dark Terror but I've heard no evidence of it sounding good for death metal, I can't find any videos of that. There's also the Peavey 6505 MH I am not sure about.

I was considering the Spider V Line 6 120v but a lot of people seem to hate on it. I also realize you can't really use distortion pedals with it since it's a modelling amp? I've been playing for more than 12 years but I am totally clueless about gear.
I like that you can plug it to your computer and record that way and get various tones online. Also this video sounds better than anything I hear with those other amps... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1K2G1DY7Ow

I also got the same question I asked about the Spider about amp + cab setups. How can I know if they're okay to use with a distortion pedal or not?

I'm open to all ideas.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 8242
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:50 am 
 

Peavey valve heads are some of the best-sounding amps for high-gain metal tones. They will sound excellent for death metal, while being relatively affordable. Cabinets with the Celestion V30 speaker are popular for metal. They have a mid-focused, balanced, bright tone, which tends to be convenient to mix for guitars in a way that sounds heavy and rich. I can recommend them for a clear sound that can be shaped into very heavy tones.

While I wouldn't say that Orange Dark Terror couldn't do death metal, it's good to keep in mind that people on musician and gear forums might have different definitions for death metal. For them, Amon Amarth might pass, while you might be looking for something far more brutal sounding.

As for distortion pedals, they are situational to say the least. Knowing how, and when, to use them is essential for getting the best possible tone out of your stack. The idiomatic thing to do with extreme metal is to use a gain boost, instead of a clipping distortion pedal, in the front of your amp. That will overdrive your amp more, and many pedals like that are designed to give a tighter sound that will work better for fast picking and palm-muting. Some distortion pedals are designed to be used in the effects loop. I believe Boss Metal Zone's notoriety comes from people mistakenly using it to boost the front of the amp.

Edit: As an example of these non-clipping gain boosts, Ibanez Tubescreamer is one of the most popular ones. There are also clones of it, some of which some guitarists will swear by: Maxon OD808 is an idiomatic boost pedal for tightening up amps like Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier for metal tones. Personally, I use a graphic EQ pedal from MXR, as it lets you shape the tone as well as boost the gain.
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Kerpak
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:48 am
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:23 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
stuff


So even the 6505 MH should be fine?

I was looking at the Boss Katana 100 combo (or head only). Got any thoughts on this one?
It will keep me on the lower end of the budget and if it can come close enough with tones for practice purposes that will be nice.

When you say the effect loop you mean the Send & Receive sections? And front meaning where your guitar plugs in?
How can you tell if a distortion pedal is a gain booster or a clipping pedal?


Last edited by Kerpak on Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 8242
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:04 pm 
 

Kerpak wrote:
So even the 6505 MH should be fine?

I can't vouch for it, because I've never played or seen one live. I kinda trust them as a brand for metal-oriented heads, and it's based on a very quintessential, high-quality design (Peavey 6505). If you're just going for home practice and aren't looking for extendability or very high volume, the Peavey head with a cab might be a bit overkill.

Kerpak wrote:
I was looking at the Boss Katana 100 combo (or head only). Got any thoughts on this one?
It will keep me on the lower end of the budget and if it can come close enough with tones for practice purposes that will be nice.


Ola Englund did a video on a Boss Katana 50 combo, and it sounds like it could work for practice. The 100-watt one probably had a bigger speaker (would have to check that one), so I'm guessing it would sound slightly better too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa3vmNtJDDg

As a disclaimer, he's an expert at recording amps, and he's notorious for making any amp sound the same, for better or worse.

Kerpak wrote:
When you say the effect loop you mean the Send & Receive sections? And front meaning where your guitar plugs in?
How can you tell if a distortion pedal is a gain booster or a clipping pedal?
Yeah, that's correct. The difference, basically, is that a boost pedal in the front of your amp - between your guitar and the amp input - will overdrive the preamp, which - in a modern high-gain amp - generates the distortion you hear in the guitar sound. Distorting a guitar signal with a pedal, and then sending that into a preamp to amplify creates a sound that's not necessarily applicable for tight, heavy metal guitar, although it is very distorted. That's why some distortion pedals will sound better in the effects loop, which comes after the preamp, and before the poweramp, in the amp circuit.

It's not always obvious what the pedal actually does. Technical terms and guitarist jargon tend to get mixed up, especially when companies want to market and hype up their products. A lot of boost and overdrive pedals have both clipping and gain boost capabilities. For example, the Tubescreamer has controls for "drive" (which is clipping), and "level", which is gain. It also has "tone", which controls what frequencies the gain boost affects.

Basically, some pedals - especially those labeled as distortion pedals - are designed to be run either in the effects loop or the front of the amp on all clean channels, basically driving and distorting the sound all on their own, while other pedals - Tubescreamers, overdrives, boosts - can be used for boosting an already overdriven amp for a tighter, more cutting sound. The latter style is very common in metal guitar production. Lots of guitarist who use a boost in the front of an overdriven amp will dial down the amp gain just a bit to accomodate for the increased gain from the input. Of course, there's the classic swedeath HM2 buzzsaw, where I guess you can kinda hear that it's a very specific, situational sound that's not very applicable to other playing styles.

But that's a lot of details. The important thing is that you get a sound that you're happy with and doesn't impede your playing.
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Kerpak
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:48 am
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:14 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
informative stuff

Yeah I saw that video. Do you think the size of the 100 would help the distortion/gain sound or just help volume?
I like the tones he got messing around at about 2:00 to 3:00 but it doesn't sound nearly as good as that metal presets video he did for the line 6. It's strange because everywhere you ask people are shitting all over that amp and praising the katana. I like the fact it has a send & receive loop though, that changes a lot.

Do you have any idea if plugging it into the computer via usb allows you to play through the speakers or record digitally with the tone you achieved with the amp? And how does that work with a separate pedal?

I actually saw a video with the katana 50 and an hm2 pedal, the recording quality is crap and you hear it's kinda weak but it still has that perfect sounding osdm tone lol. I guess you can't go wrong with that pedal.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 8242
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:02 am 
 

Katana 100's bigger cabinet and more powerful speaker should give you more low end compared to the 50w version. There probably isn't any difference between them tone-wise if recording straight into a computer with the USB. It might sound slightly beefier in the room.

Quote:
Do you have any idea if plugging it into the computer via usb allows you to play through the speakers or record digitally with the tone you achieved with the amp? And how does that work with a separate pedal?

I'm guessing it should work like this:
- Audio will come out of the amp speakers. Depending on your recording interface, you can get the playback in whatever you set it up for.
- Any pedal you might have in the front will certainly affect the signal, just like using a different guitar would. I don't know exactly how these work, but it wouldn't make sense to me if effects in the loop didn't work too.

As for the amp settings, it will probably either do one of these (mind you this is guesswork, I haven't done the research)
- Record what you played with your tone and channel settings with an integrated cabinet simulator
- Record your raw signal and provide some kind of a program interface for your tone, similar to the controls on the amp, which lets you record first, then tweak around with the settings.

Yeah, HM2 is just... HM2. :lol: It always works.
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DrudgeDread
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:38 pm
Posts: 11
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:57 pm 
 

As for the Dark Terror, I'm fairly certain Outer Heaven recorded the guitars with one for the Decibel single they did, sounds pretty chunky to me.

As far as my personal preferences, I have been gravitating towards solid state heads over the passed few years. There are a TON of used crate and ampeg heads on the market that can be purchased for under 300 bucks. Play those through any half way decent 4x12 loaded with V30's or Eminence speakers and you can get some seriously brutal tones. Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Gorguts, and other death metal acts were all using solid state heads on some of their most heavy (in my opinion) releases. Pretty sure Death used a Marshall solid state head for the Human album.

My recommendation for a cheap used live rig would be to find a used Crate GX-130 or Ampeg SS-140 and run it through an old Peavey or Randall 412. If I were a betting man I would say you could get that all together for under 500 bucks.
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PenguinShred
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:31 am
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 1:50 pm 
 

I own an Engl Powerball and a vader 4x12 but I can't really use that for online lessons or practice at home due to the volume. I would recommend the Yamaha thr-10x for a great practice amp. Insane tone from such an unsuspecting little practice amp it also has some effects and cool connectivity features. Or if volume is not an issue, save up a little more and go for a head like a peavey, peavey 5150/6505's are excellent for getting you where you want to go.

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