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Best Guitar Amp to Record With?

I am looking for a great guitar amp that I can keep in my studio for bands that arrive with cheap amps. I know that the answer to my question is probably "depends on what sound you are going for." So I should mention I would like to find a great guitar amp that is tube based and has a lot of flexibility. However, the majority of the bands that I record are basic rock bands. Thanks in advance for your time.

(I did a search on this and I couldn't find a thread that was this topic. If any of you can direct me to a thread about this, it would be greatly appreciated.)


Pro Audio Guest Sat, 09/19/2009 - 11:00
Mackie Hotwire VT12

I would have to say I've tried almost all of the amps posted for recording and they all work great, But in my opinion the new Mackie Hotwire VT12 Combo is simply the best. I've never came across an amp that has EVERYTHING this amp was built for recording... A bit pricey but you get what you pay for and I guarantee you recordings will never sound better!

Big K Tue, 05/25/2010 - 10:39
Marshall is certainly a good amp.
Since everybody seems to have one in studio and in bands, I decided to go for VHT Pittbull 50 all tube combo in 1995 with an extra box to make it a small stack..loud as hell, yet, sensitiv to play.
Also, I got me a Diezel "Herbert". A very versatile 3 channel all tube animal.... This thing I would not want to change for any Marshall or Fender out there...Very usable for recording.

Big K

hueseph Tue, 05/25/2010 - 15:58
multoc, post: 217395 wrote: I like the Line 6 Spider 3. It's a little expensive but those Celestion speakers mic up real nice, and with all the modeling it has (over 200 artist presets) you'll be having a field day!
I hate those little things. They have the worst tone I've ever heard. They neither do rock tone nor metal very well. That being said, I like the Line 6 Pods. I have a Vox Tonlabe LE and a Fender "Princeton" 112(solid state. not a true princeton.) which I use for clean tones only, the modeler does all the distortion tones.

Scoobie Tue, 02/20/2007 - 16:24
You can ask 10 people that question and you will get 10 answer's........................

This is what I have in my home studio for the using,
Fender Blues junior,
Peavey Classic 30,
Orange Rocker 30,
All three are tube amps and great for getting awsome tones. You can't go wrong with any of these, or your not very much of a guitar player.


Davedog Tue, 02/20/2007 - 17:19
If there is ONE basic amp out there at this time that does Rock well as well as blues and country, not real heavy stuff, its the Fender Blues Jr.

AND its cheap.

I have in the studio and at my disposal:

Blues Jr.

Fender Princeton-Reverb

Gibson Gold Tone

Seymour Duncan Convertible

Vox Cambridge Reverb

With a little rental cash for clients I can get:

Marshall JCM 800

Carr Hammerhead

Bogner Metropolitan

Fender TwinReverb (modded like a Mesa only quieter)

Fender Blues Deville

Marshall SuperLead 100 (1970's perfect condition)

BUT.....Most of the time, the Blues Jr. does exactly what its supposed to do. The Gold Tone is the quietest amp I've EVER heard and maybe the most to the Blues Jr.

I would say, if you had a Blues Jr. a Fender Deluxe Reverb, and a really good modeling device of some sort, theres nothing you couldnt get for guitar.


sue me.

Kapt.Krunch Mon, 09/21/2009 - 10:11
Blues Jr.s have a Master Volume, Volume...and a "Fat" switch, Bass, Mid, Treble and Reverb. Loud little 15-watter. 12" speaker. I have two. One modified with an old Jensen speaker and NOS tubes, and the other stock.
You can dial in a lot of dirt at lower volume if you wish, but it isn't really all that pleasing. Best when cranked, or with a pedal in front, to me. 7-8 on the Master, and bring up the Volume to suit usually works best to my ears. Versatile little amps that you can get clean, medium or dirty out of.

I also have a Reissue 65 Deluxe Reverb that is just real nice. Have to crank it up to get it sweet, though, unless going for clean. And, it will get fairly loud in a room. Known as one of the most-respected "clubbing" amps. Usually loud enough to keep up with drums. No Master Volume, so no dirt at lower levels unless using something in front. Includes "Vibrato" (actually, "Tremolo") channel, and Normal channel.

Someone mentioned SF Champs. Little 6-watt screamers when cranked. LOTS of huge tones have been recorded through low-powered tiny amps.

A lot of people like and record through the Blues Jr's little brother, the Pro Jr. Still 15 watts, but 10" speaker. Only a couple of controls. No reverb. Less in the way of your tone from pickups to speaker.

People are also buying little Fender Champion 600 (?) and those tiny Epiphones and modding them into little recording-tone monsters.

Small amps can sound huge recorded. Large amps can create more problems recording (sound bouncing all around more). I know very few people who absolutely hate a cute little Blues Jr. or Pro Jr. Most think "these are pretty cool little amps!"


MadMax Mon, 09/21/2009 - 10:36
No one mentioned the seriously wicked great amps that were used at little no name shops like, Motown and Stax...

Line in on the console pre-amp.

There's also a wicked good DI from A-Designs... the REDDI.

I've also got a Hot Rod and a JCM 2000 for tracking live, where the amp "just HAS to be in the room" situations.

My old $.02 worth

HaHallur Wed, 05/19/2010 - 13:39
Pretty much all Line6's I've heard sound digital, just don't like those amps.
It's a bold statement but somehow all transistor amps sound boring (those I've heard).

I'd recommend a good tube amp.... you get what you pay for.

I've used Peavey JSX 120w head (1600$) and its very versatile, although not very reliable, mine broke down and the guy at the shop said these amps are very fragile.

moonbaby Wed, 02/21/2007 - 06:49
Line 6 gear is all digitally-based, no tubes. I can second DD's statement that a decent modeller is useful. I like running a POD into a nice tube amp, either a vintage Fender Princeton or a Bandmaster Reverb. And the Blues Jr. is great for that, especially if you route the speaker output into an external cab. You get better tone that way, and you're not rattling the tubes to death with the speaker sitting right next to them!

planet10 Wed, 05/26/2010 - 13:47
bogner ecstasy is a very very versatile amp. GREAT for all forms of rock.
5150 is also a great rock amp with that oh so crazy sound
fender twins from the 70's are excellent
and i recommend a vintage Gibson. i have a ga45rt "saturn" and its super clean, pretty loud and its AWESOME for a pedal maniac.

Jonesey Tue, 09/22/2009 - 11:17
It would seem to me, most guitarists would bring their own amp, at least any that are any good. If I was going to use an amp the studio would have, it would have to be a good boutique amp or rare. Check out the divided by 13 amps. I'm not going anywhere near the modling subject, but to say they are great for going direct and getting ideas on tape.

BobRogers Wed, 02/21/2007 - 09:27
I have a Matchless Hurricane (15 watt) that I usually use. I also have a Blues Jr, but my daughter is always dragging it around the house, so it's never in the studio. Good reliable amp that can cover a lot of sounds. Given the price, that's where I'd start.

If you know a good amp tech, you can go for some of the small old Fender tube amps. A silverface Champ can record very well, and isn't that expensive.

I'm with Dave that having a modeler around (and really taking the time to learn what it can do) is a good idea. Memorize the phrase: "Let's just try it through the POD to see if we like the idea. We can always rent the real thing if it sounds good." People turn their nose up at them, but they do a pretty good job with a minimum of fuss. Nice to have when you (or the band) want something different than your basic gear can produce.

Dizzi45Z Wed, 02/21/2007 - 12:17
Somebody said on a review somewhere that the Fender Vintage Reissue '65 Deluxe Reverb amp is probably the most recorded amp. Anybody confirm that?

If I could choose between the Blues Jr and the Fender Deluxe Reverb, which would you recommend? Is it worth the extra $400? Can the Fender Deluxe Reverb do most of what the Blues Jr can?

BobRogers Wed, 02/21/2007 - 12:49
Dizzi45Z wrote: Somebody said on a review somewhere that the Fender Vintage Reissue '65 Deluxe Reverb amp is probably the most recorded amp. Anybody confirm that?
That's the kind of "fact" that no one can back up, but is a pretty good guess. The Deluxe has been around in various incarnations since 1963. Widely imitated circuit. Right size for the studio.
If I could choose between the Blues Jr and the Fender Deluxe Reverb, which would you recommend? Is it worth the extra $400? Can the Fender Deluxe Reverb do most of what the Blues Jr can?
I really can't say for sure about the current reissue models. A guitarist in a band I was in years ago had a blackface deluxe that was the bext guitar amp I've ever heard, so that makes me a bit prejudiced. With that said....The Deluxe is the more "standard" choice, so it might be more impressive to clients. I like the reverb circuit on the Deluxe better than the Jr. (I assume its the same on the current models.) I like the way the older deluxe (black and silver both) sounded just at the point of clipping better than the Jr. I like the Jr. just fine at its clean and dirty extremes. The Jr. is lighter, smaller, cheaper, and lower powered. (All better in the studio.)

But there must be several stores close by that have both so you can try them side by side. This is a pretty easy try before you buy scenario.