Power amp choices

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rhequiem
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Power amp choices

Post by rhequiem » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:53 pm

I've been digging my RM4 and various modules, and am now starting to question my current power amp setup. I currently have a Peavey Classic 50/50. It's all tube, and reviews on it were stellar, which caused me to pick one up used, before I got the RM4. Now that I have and am totally hooked on the MTS stuff, I am wondering if it would be worth the money to get a RT2/50 to replace the Peavey Classic 50/50. Have any of you played both the RT2/50 and any other power amps through an RM4? What were the differences? Is it worth the change? I'm trying to stem my GAS, but I also want my rig to sound as good as it possibly can... Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

alboz28
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Power Amp

Post by alboz28 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:04 pm

I have the Mesa 2:90 and because it has different voicing switches on it - it opens up the flexibility of the different modules. Modern - Deep and 1/2 drive and at 90 watts a side it is brutal

Cons - really heavy and with 8 - 6l6 tubes - can get pricey for a re-tube...
other than that it sounds amazing
RM4 -Mesa 2:90 - GMajor 2 - Clean, Blackface, Tweed, Grail, Modded:Top Boost, Plexi, Ultra Lead, Sl+, Ultra XL

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Post by Mattfig » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:54 pm

I know we've already discussed this a bit...But I just had to weigh in here to say that the RT2/50 is the best compliment to the MTS line...I think your Peavey power amp is a great one as well, just doesn't have the flexibility you probably desire from your system...We all sink so much $$$ into modules - and some are made with EL34s in mind...I can't imagine having to use my Mashall with 6L6s...It just doesn't sound right...Most modules can be tweaked to work well with either 6L6 or EL34 but in the end, having both is worthwhile...At least to me...
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rhequiem
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Post by rhequiem » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:02 pm

I'm still pretty new to tube gear, as the RM4 + Peavey represent my first foray into a tube system. The Peavey Classic 50/50 actually has el84s in it. THat's part of the reason I bought it, as some reviewers said the el84s had a unique character to them - Marshall-y, but a bit different...

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Post by Hamner1 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:41 pm

I also own the 50/50. It is a cool affordable tube poweramp. I like the resonance & presence controls to help further taylor the tone. But I don't think it really sounds like a marshall by any means. Strange I thought it came with 6L6s as well. I just looked through the manual & would you believe it does not list which tubes are in it. :?

All in all the 50/50 has served me well over the years. Powered a Peavey Rockmaster & some pedals a long time ago, then the Tubefex, now the RM4 & Rocktron Xpression. However the RT2/50 is interesting as well. I say go for it. You should be able to unload the 50/50 to cover some of the cost of the RT2/50 as well.

I am leaning toward the Rocktron Velocity 300 (if I could ever hear one), but I could also see one day picking up the RT2/50 for it's versatility.
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Post by rhequiem » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:48 pm

A bandmate of mine has the Rocktron Velocity 300. He uses it with a Digitech GSP1101, and frankly, I feel he gets some *really* good sounds out of it. Right now he is plugging his rack directly into the mixer and it sounds really good... I've almost been considering getting a GSP1101 to see how it sounds in my setup...

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Post by c2ply » Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:54 am

The Peavey classic 50/50 is a great power amp on a budget, but IMHO - its just that, a budget power amp. I've had a ton of power amps, and it does come down to pairing the RM4/M4 with a great power amp really unlocks this stuff. My personal fav - Fryette/VHT 2/90/2 (which I now have again - and should have never sold) - something about it just makes the pre more 3d sounding. Mine is loaded with Tong Sol 6550's and is incredible.

I've still got 5 power amps - the VHT, three Mesa's (2:90, Recto 2:100, and a 20/20), and a BK Butler MosValve - and the difference between them all is big. I like the MosValve - since its tube less - and as such a great backup - but it just doesn't sound great to me. I'm keeping the 20/20, as my backup rig is a 4u rack with a RM4, Lexicon G2, and the 20/20 for a compact grab and go, or great backup. The recto is cool, sounds big - but not for me. If I were to keep another power amp as a backup/alt rig I'd keep the 2:90, its just a great power amp, along with the modes on it - makes for a great setup.

None of them touch the Fryette/VHT, but thats just me (again IMO). Its the perfect combination of tight, 3d, punch and presence - with the voice switch in - a metal monster, switch out - all kinds of blues to rock to hard rock and beyond - and the cleans are stellar. I think if you changed out your power amp for something like the RT2-50, or a Mesa, or a VHT - especially with the modded mods would probably not even think about the GSP1101 (though I really have to give that processor props - I had one, two Axe-Fx's, and really thought the GSP, configured properly, could hang with the Axe - just not as flexible). I did use both of them for a while with a 4CM setup in my rack - but in the end went back to the Lexicon's.

I also think that the EL84's (and I have a RM20, was using the RM22 for a small show amp, and have the mesa 20/20) just can't hang with the bigger tubes for higher headroom stuff - now if I were looking for more power amp saturation I would probably like them more. For me - when I ran a RM100 I initially used a pair of 6L6's and a pair E34L's - which I think sounded really good - but liked the quad of 6550's better, and ended up with the 2/90/2 to keep that tube.

Another honorable mention, for a killer low cost power amp is the Carvin T100 - not sure about the newer TS100's, but the older T100, with a properly biased set of E34L's, is a great power amp - and it can run as a 50 watt stereo amp, or a 100 watt mono amp. I had one, sold it when I switched back to a RM100 - and would have kept it as a backup over any of the other amps I own now (besides the VHT).
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Post by Mattfig » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:28 am

Yeah...I agree...As a previous owner of a GSP 1101 I can tell you that once you get the RT2/50 or something similar - you will have no need for that device...It is kinda cool but not any better than a POD to me...I like the POD but won't be using mine very much anymore!

In the right hands almost any setup can sound reasonable...Sounds like your guitarist knows how to get the most out of his setup with the Digitech...Don't buy one just yet - once you find your MTS sweet spot in tone you will have no use for the 1101 except maybe for FX...But then again you can save a few hundred and get a Lexicon MX200 or 400 and get better FX and not pay for all the modeling features on the Digitech...
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Post by walshinator666 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:00 am

I find the rt2/50 is heavy as hell.I used to have rm4, rt2/50 and 3 other racks in 1 8 unit case and had to transport it up the stairs, to the car, to practise, down the stairs ,jam and do it again reverse order every practise.I had to buy a dolly because I was killing my back then I got 2 seperate cases and now it's not bad but like I said HEAVY STUFF.
RM4,RT2/50,RM50,JF superclean, JTM45,JF Rebel,venom
GOOD SALES with flying v , tlingen, the hunter,salvation,crankyrayhanky,cold machine,JFaithX2,Langseth and alowerdeep
GOOD TRADES with stratomaster, schlagdog,speedemon,mattfig and mfred

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Post by Mattfig » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:05 am

walshinator666 wrote:I find the rt2/50 is heavy as hell.I used to have rm4, rt2/50 and 3 other racks in 1 8 unit case and had to transport it up the stairs, to the car, to practise, down the stairs ,jam and do it again reverse order every practise.I had to buy a dolly because I was killing my back then I got 2 seperate cases and now it's not bad but like I said HEAVY STUFF.
Good point about the weight issues...My rig is for studio use only but you're right, if you gig with this you better find a guy with a big shirt size and a small hat size!
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walshinator666
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Post by walshinator666 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:24 am

Like me :lol:
RM4,RT2/50,RM50,JF superclean, JTM45,JF Rebel,venom
GOOD SALES with flying v , tlingen, the hunter,salvation,crankyrayhanky,cold machine,JFaithX2,Langseth and alowerdeep
GOOD TRADES with stratomaster, schlagdog,speedemon,mattfig and mfred

rhequiem
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Post by rhequiem » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:40 am

Wow, great info here, guys - and definitely a lot to think about. When I first started putting my rig together, I was trying to go with "bang for the buck" kind of gear, since I had never owned a tube setup and especially since I hadn't gigged before. Now I am in a band that does gig, and we have a show coming up in September at the Bakersfield fair. My budget really went out the window when I got into MTS gear (hehe), so now I want to put together a quality rig that sounds really great. It sounds like I need to sell off the Peavey Classic 50/50 and look into a quality power amp. I wasn't real sure the effect a good power amp would have on overall tone (again, my rig inexperience), so I think I'll look into a RT2/50 or maybe a VHT/Fryette, if I can find one at a decent price used.

Oh, this *is* my gigging rack, so a lighter weight would definitely be nice. I'm already thinking about putting the power amp in a different case to at least divvy up the major weight that brings to the table.

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Post by walshinator666 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:34 am

I had to seperate mine,i'm also thinking of buying a line6 combo amp just for practises amd using mts for gigs.I need a back-up system anyway in case something goes wrong.I guess you cam but a line 6 for a few hundred bucks and much lighter for lugging around.Handling the mts stuff around might damage it after a while and I want mine to last as long as possible,so it'll be worth the extra$$$
RM4,RT2/50,RM50,JF superclean, JTM45,JF Rebel,venom
GOOD SALES with flying v , tlingen, the hunter,salvation,crankyrayhanky,cold machine,JFaithX2,Langseth and alowerdeep
GOOD TRADES with stratomaster, schlagdog,speedemon,mattfig and mfred

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Post by Hamner1 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:12 pm

Well I finally made the plunge and got the Rocktron Velocity 300. My impressions after messing aound for about 45 minutes.

Setup: Guitar-Morley Volume-RM4=Xpression=Velocity 300(Stereo setup).
Heavier than I expected. Although lighter than the Peavey Classic 50/50.

I thought there was a mute button on these. But so far I have not located one, so it must have been another piece of equipment I was considering or jonesing for.

Volume - it can get pretty loud. SLightly less than the 50/50 at the same setting. I can get the same volume from the 50/50 @9 oclock & the velocity 300 at about 10 oclock.

Reactance - Definately do not leave this at 0. It does give a nice tube like character. It also seems to increase the bass like a resonance control.

Definition - it does what it says. It seems like the cabinet moved closer (in terms of where the sound was coming from). I think it also acts somewhat like a presence control in accentuating the highs a little.

I have not finished messing around, but so far I am content with the controls at:
Volume: 10 oclock
Reactance: 3 oclock
Definition: 2 oclock
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Post by rhequiem » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:48 am

Thanks for the review, man. I have a RT2/50 and really like it. Mine took quite a beating during shipping, however, and something still seems like it might be off to me, even after I took it to an amp tech to have some parts replaced that came loose/off during shipment. My RT2/50 gets some crazy hum going on channel 2, which is loaded with 6L6s right now. Any other RT2/50 owners get humming off their channels?

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