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Affordable High Quality Amp and Mic

Discussion in 'Recording' started by mrb1946, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. mrb1946

    mrb1946 Active Member

    I need an affordable (-$900) amp. I love the sound of James Hetfield's guitar in Death Magnetic. I play mostly Metal and some Modern Rock. I've been looking at the Mesa/Boogie amps, but they're just too expensive (maybe sometime down the road.. haha). I don't really have a minimum watt limit, as long as it's not under 30-watts. I currently have a Crate GT-65 but it's just not ringing my "pleasure bell." The tone for the overdrive isn't quite there. I also need a good mic for recording amps. I'm looking at the good 'ol SM57. Any better mics for the job? Any good metal sounding amps?


    Thanks
     
  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I use an SM57! great mic for $100, but I also have an Audix i5, and it may be better suited to metal. It's got a bit more bite to it than a 57.

    link removed

    I tried out a Vox amp at GC and was fairly impressed with its performance. It's NOT loud at all so don't try to gig with it. But what you lose in volume you gain in tone. I played some pretty chunky metal riffs and they maintained their clarity while having that signature metal sound. I used it with a Jackson guitar with EMG HZ's.

    link removed

    Take it or leave it, that's my ¢.02
     
  3. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    2nd the 57. If you can't get a good metal recording w/ a 57 on a good amp/guitar/player.... don't bother.
    For $100, that's a great starting point.
    Keep in mind that PROS have been using 57s on stage and in the studio for half a century. There IS a reason for that.
    Work w/ that, and then explore some of the other mics others might mention.

    Not sure that the Vox amp has the "metal" sound you're looking for, but they're found in many a pro studio - I'd like one myself.

    Now that GF and I have chimed in, it's time for the big dogs to set us all straight... right?
     
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Just a note -
    To see someone suggest that they don't want an amp below 30 watts tells me that you probably don't understand the meaning of amplifier wattage.

    The reality is, 30 watts of power, especially paired with a relatively efficient speaker is a LOT of power.

    For recording purposes, I could rarely ever see using more than 4-5 watts of power. For a coffee house gig - 10 would discourage people from hanging around for long. For a small show, 30 would hurt people in the front couple rows.

    Granted it's not a full stack with a rack full of amps driving it, but a recording combo isn't meant to be.

    Bear in mind, a 100 watt amplifier will put out only ~4.5dB more total sound than a 30 watt amplifier with all other things being equal.

    As for the guitar mic -
    57 is ubiquitous for a reason.
    That being said, you can't go wrong with:
    Audix i5
    Royer 121
    AEA R84
    Beyer M160

    Cheers-
    Jeremy
     
  5. mrb1946

    mrb1946 Active Member

    thank you guys. I really REALLY love the sound of the Diezel Herbert, if that helps. I can't affors that sense it's like $4,500. haha
     
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    That being said, I do recommend the 57 in general over the i5. For me, you can do a lot more with the 57 than the i5 and for the same price. I AM seriously considering purchasing that VOX though. That and maybe some EMG HZ's for my Jackson. lml :twisted: lml
     
  7. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Thanks Cucco - I was going to suggest using a ribbon mic, but not having experience w/ the Royer or AEA or Beyer, specifically for metal, decided not to mention it.

    I have had good success w/ my Fatheads on guitar amps. Someday I hope to have a couple of the mics you mentioned in my locker.
     
  8. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Seconded. Especially on the Royer. Or at least any really good ribbon.
     
  9. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    And just how much do you want to spend here? I have one word for you: botique. Everything botique, even botique guitar picks. And after that you need to go have an amp guru personally mod your botique amp. But you'll need more than just botique -- you'll need a whole team of master sound engineers working at $400/hr. Then maybe you can get that sound.

    But, if you want great metal tone on a budget, then go buy EMGs. Buy a distortion pedal and put it through the clean channel of a tube amp. Toss some dynamic mics up there, high pass, and you'll have fantastic metal tone.
     
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dan, its spelled >boutique<.

    Just in case it matters.
     
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    If you run a botique it matters a lot.
     
  12. mrb1946

    mrb1946 Active Member

    Well it all depends on the price of the ribbon mic. I can't spend over $300 on the mic, and thats my delima and why I was leaning more toward the sm57. What is a boutique? I've been playing for a while now and I've heard of a lot of gear, but never a boutique
     
  13. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "Boutique" is what you say when a heavy shoe flies at you.

    BOOT! EEK!
     
  14. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I have a Cascade Fat Head II that is a pretty good cheap ribbon mic, but there is no way I'd recommend you buy one before you got your first SM57.

    Boutique amps and guitars refer to high end, limited production pieces. The amps are usually point-to-point hand-soldered rather than made with printed circuit boards, but it's a loosely defined word.
     
  15. mrb1946

    mrb1946 Active Member

    Well, I think I'll go ahead and get the sm57. But I still need an amp thats great. Combo or Half-stack (As long as I don't go over about $900). As I have already mentioned, I love the sound of the Diezel Herbert, but it's too expensive. I've been looking at Mesa/Boogie Rectifiers, but once again, a little too pricy. I just need an amp that sounds great with metal and isn't over $900.

    Thanks
     
  16. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    You guys don't think that the VOX 30 on clean channel with a distortion pedal will give him a metal sound? Even without the pedal it is a modeling amp and I seem to remember a metallica preset or two while playing with it at the store.
     
  17. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    And I'd like a cheap Ferrari. Even the greatest metal amps that cost as much as a house require some real recording engineering knowledge and experience to sit right in a metal mix. Heck, that goes for everything in a metal mix. Good metal tone = stupidly high distortion that somehow manages to stay clear and crisp and not noisy. Go ahead and buy an amp under $900, but don't come crying to me when you can't get the tone you want. Like I said before, get some EMG pickups, and run a good distortion pedal (EHX makes some great ones) through the clean channel of just about ANY tube amp. That is the best you're gonna do for the amount of money you want to spend. If you do it right, people will actually be envious of your tone. Just break it to them gently that you aren't using some boutique (thank you Dave) amp. That's my two cents, take it or leave it. 8)
     
  18. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Wow, what a marketing gimmic a "Metallica" preset. I bet that has sold a whole bunch of amps for a few dollars in endorsement money.
     
  19. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    You thief! :eek:

     
  20. mrb1946

    mrb1946 Active Member

    Alright, thanks for the help. I've got a Zoom G9.2tt Effects Console so that should work for that. What amp would you prefer NCdan?
     

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