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Discussion Starter #1
I am going through an amp identity crisis right, looking for 'my' sound (whatever that means). I have been unhappy with my tone for a while, so I just sold off most of my amps.

What I want: an amp that can do 'right on the edge of breakup' well, around 15 watts, does nice clean with guitar volume rolled back, sounds good with an overdrive, preferably has Reverb. I have a great tremolo pedal so I don't need it in my amp.

I have a Class 5 Marshall now that I like, and it's close just too quiet for the band and has no Reverb.

I have tried but do not like:
DRRI, PRRI, AC15, YCV40, YCV20, YGL1, YGM3, DSL15,

I have tried and like Roland Blues Cube Stage. Still a bit apprehensive.

Any suggestions? I want to stay under $1000
 

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Minus the reverb...the Trinity Amps plexi is a great amp...i love mine...Steve can even build it for you...he also has a tweed model too
 

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I'm wondering if a bit more power might help? Maybe 30 - 40 watts? Something like a Hot Rod Deluxe or possibly a Mesa of some kind? I really like my Mesa TA-30. It would be at the high of your range used. It can do 15,30,40 watts. It does Vox (normal and top boost), Tweed, Marshall, and Mesa voicing with analog circuitry and has a spring reverb. Some of the other Mesa's in the 40 watt range might work as well. Then there is Orange. You might find a good used Orange in your price range. I had a Rocker 30 that I'm still kicking myself for selling.
 

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I agree with cboutilier about an 18 watt Plexi fitting the bill. A 5E3, not so much IMO. I find breakup is MUCH harder to control with the 5E3 as it always seems to want to go there. I think the low watt Plexi would be more versatile overall as well. Others should weigh in however.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
YGM3 was a too clean. It wouldn't ring or feedback at all, even dimed with a les paul and a tube screamer.
YGL1 Reverb sounded fake. It faded out too fast.
YCV40 was ok, I may try it again.
YCV20 sounded great, but when you switch channels, the signal cuts out for a second.
AC15 was too brittle. I'm just not a vox guy.
Didn't like the breakup in the PRRI, it wasn't smooth.

I may re-try the DRRI and the YCV40
 

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Marshall DSL15 or 40 combo. Try one. I think the 40 has reverb whereas the 15 may not, but the 40 has a reduced power switch. The reverb is digital not a tank, but sounds good (subjective of course). You may well not like the red channel but the green will do a great version of edgy grindy clean.
 

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There's a place called Halifax Cycle that may still have an Ampeg Reverbrocket 2, and a vintage YGM-3.

Also, there's a Victoria Two Stroke ad that's about to expire on Kijiji you might get for $1000, it doesn't have reverb and is not 15 watts.

But I think you will eventually find what you want from a better bigger clean tube amp and [expensive] pedals. You want the amp to do too many things. Maybe two amps and an A/B switch.
 

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YGM3 was a too clean. It wouldn't ring or feedback at all, even dimed with a les paul and a tube screamer.
YGL1 Reverb sounded fake. It faded out too fast.
YCV40 was ok, I may try it again.
YCV20 sounded great, but when you switch channels, the signal cuts out for a second.
AC15 was too brittle. I'm just not a vox guy.
Didn't like the breakup in the PRRI, it wasn't smooth.

I may re-try the DRRI and the YCV40
Funny. My bandmates YGM3 does some serious feedback for him. Although he's one of those guys that gets perfect tone no matter what he plays.
 

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I completely understand that mine is a first world problem LOL.

Just trying to find a noise that I like.
Haha. I solved the "problem" by spending a lot more than $1000.

Some of the amps that you tried might sound more to your liking with a different speaker. Better buy them all and start experimenting. $10,000 oughta do it. LOL.

Seriously tho, each of my guitars is mated to an amp/speaker/tube that best is suited to it, to get a sound that I like best. They are all different. Took time and money.

Better make it $100,000... just kidding.

If it is only a single sound that you are looking for, you will get there!

The Stephenson Standard does the "edge of breakup" thing perfectly to my ear. And it does much more than that but it's twice the money. And I put a Van Amps reverb in the loop. And buy the speaker cab. Three times the money. But it's like having three or four amps with the tube switching capabilities on the back.

I have always wanted to try an Edwards amp (about 50% more money).
 

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I'm kinda wondering why you want the amp to have 15 watts.
That's an absolute non-starter for me.
Output is irrelevant.
A 1-watt amp will blow your doors off in the right situation.
A 100-watt amp can be gentle as a baby in the right situation.

I say forget the power numbers.
Don't even take it into consideration.
Also don't take size or weight into consideration either.
Or tube versus solid state.
Or PCB versus point-to-point.
Whatever.
Blah, blah, blah ...
Not even cost.

If you're truly having an identity crisis with regard to "your" sound then don't rule anything out.
Nothing.
The first order of business is to find the sound you love.
The rest (figuring out how to pay for it, how to lift it, how to tell the wife, how to make it quieter or louder, etc.) that's all just simple mathematics.
The hard work, the real work is the tone search.

The 5E3 was mentioned and you rejected it as too hairy.
Don't throw all the tweeds out the window, though.
The Twin and the Bassman Tweeds are both very fine amps and they do that straddling between clean and dirty very well that you mentioned.
Think outside the (15 watt) box.
Think outside the price range that you have in mind, whatever it is.
Find your sound first.
Then worry about how to get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm kinda wondering why you want the amp to have 15 watts.
That's an absolute non-starter for me.
Output is irrelevant.
A 1-watt amp will blow your doors off in the right situation.
A 100-watt amp can be gentle as a baby in the right situation.
...
Not even cost.
...
Think outside the (15 watt) box.
I know I don't want a JCM800 or Fender Twin. Way too loud and too big. I don't want to spend $3K so no Boogie.

15 watts is a guideline, not a rule.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hmmm, 18 watt Marshall sounds promising.

There are a bunch of kits. This should kill some time.

BTW I am trying out the YCV40 again. The clean channel is pretty bright and stays clean. I have crunch channel pre on 5 and it's kinda in my range. Whack it with a od808 and it gets a bit of grind going.

Did I mention this was a 1st world problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Marshall DSL15 or 40 combo. Try one. I think the 40 has reverb whereas the 15 may not, but the 40 has a reduced power switch. The reverb is digital not a tank, but sounds good (subjective of course). You may well not like the red channel but the green will do a great version of edgy grindy clean.
I really like the classic channel. The ultra gain wasn't really usable for me.
 
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