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Author Topic: Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!  (Read 3180 times)

DIYmastermind

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Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!
« on: January 18, 2014, 08:08:10 PM »
It's safe to say that my tone quest is over, at least for the time being. My better half bought me a Blackstar HT-5RH for the holidays (which to my ears is the perfect amp for the tone i want and my needs) which made me fall in love all over again. Not only with my lovely lady, but it's safe to say Blackstar has won my heart on amps. I have quite a few great (IMO) amps as it stands. Orange micro terror, modded Kustom Defender 5H, Marshall MG15CDR practice combo (converted to an 8 ohm head), Squier Sidekick (now named Squier SP-10, also converted to an 8 ohm head), modded Roland micro cube, and a bada** little first act practice amp i have heavily modded (with zero out of pocket cost too!) and use when i travel. However, the GAS is unrelenting.

I don't have an amp that could perform medium to large gigs with (we're talking no mic'd cabs), and that's the next thing on my hit list. I figure if I'm gonna get a higher watt amp, I may as well go big. My requirements are as listed.

-50 watts, head only. I've got too many great cabs and a non-infinite amount of space to justify buying a combo.
-2 channels, preferably with an included footswitch
-gobs-o-gain, I highly dislike using pedals for my dirt sounds, and at least a decent clean.

I've narrowed it down to 2 personal favorites. The Blackstar HT Club 50 head, and the Jet City JCA50H Soldano head. The Blackstar packs 2 x EL34's and 2 x ECC83's, while the Jet City is loaded with 5 x 12AX7's and 2 x 6L6's. As mentioned earlier, Blackstar has my heart for amps. However I've always been partial to the sound of 6L6's over EL34's. Long story short, I've played both amps and they have what I want. What I'm wondering is if anyone else has had any experience with either of these amps? I'm leaning more towards the Jet City for the 6L6's, and simply because I have yet to own a JCA. Plus there's the small fact that it's 250 bills cheaper then the Blackstar. Anywho, any feedback on these amps would be appreciated. How reliable are they (i'm aware tube amps, rather, the tubes in them, are only reliable to an extent)? Any major QC issues with either company? Thanks guys!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 08:10:46 PM by DIYmastermind »

phatt

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Re: Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 01:46:19 AM »
Might be a lot easier/cheaper to,,,Just get a big power Amp and slave the output of the Amp/s you have into a big speaker box and save the money for something more useful,,,
than go chasing brand-name eye candy BS.

The smartest thing to do is walk into an Amp room with a blind fold and don't take it off until you HEAR what you want.
Eyeballing and brand name dropping is all over the net and it just confuses the real issue which is the basic sound/tone/useability of the amp.

My 2 cents,, Phil.

J M Fahey

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Re: Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 04:38:41 PM »
Agree and add: buy a 50W (or whatever your speaker stands) amp kit, and mount it inside your favorite cabinet, so you don't have an extra "head" to carry, and then use your favorite amp to drive it.
You'll need to add a load resistor to the tubed ones (not really necessary i9n SS ones) but that's easy.

FWIW I successfully make and sell (in Argentina) 60W 1 x 12" and 2 x 12" 100W powered cabs specifically designed for guys who bought a killer tubed 5 to 18W amp .... and when playing live get drowned by the drummer.

DIYmastermind

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Re: Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 10:45:15 PM »
Well i appreciate everyone's input but, I don't think i got my question across properly. I'm not looking to build anything yet, I've already got my hands full with other gear related projects. I already have my heart, and most importantly EARS (I've already played through both amps and love the tone on both) set on the two previously named amp heads. What i'm wondering is the reliability, or really just any first-hand experiences of someone who has owned either of the amps for a period of time. Those who have owned them through and past the honeymoon, and (one important thing i forgot to mention) how dramatically each amp responds to tube swaps (as i tube-roll frequently, just for different flavors of tone).

On a side-note, i heard on another forum that with the JCA50 if your gain is cranked on the drive channel, and you switch back to the clean channel, some gain will sorta.. bleed into the clean channel making it impossible to have the typical clean/gain setup of typical 2 channel amps. Anyone have any experience with this? Is it even true? If so, only a minor turn off for me, as I don't REQUIRE a completely chean channel.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 10:50:54 PM by DIYmastermind »

J M Fahey

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Re: Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 12:26:28 AM »
Get the Jet City.

DIYmastermind

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Re: Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 06:00:20 AM »
Alright, thanks Fahey. My last concern would be, does the Jet City have enough gain for metal (I'm gonna throw the best tubes i can find for gain in there, so factor that in too)? Not like, sludge/doom metal, just harder then hard rock metal. I know of the tried and true method of throwing a TS9 in the loop for metal. And I have a TS9 if I need it, but i dislike using it. Even after the mods I've had done to it, my ears just prefer ALL of the thick juicy distortion coming out of my amp rather then my amp and a pedal.

J M Fahey

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Re: Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 05:06:14 PM »
Yes, it *is* a Soldano  after all.

As`a side note, your pedal will sound buzzy if you make all your distortion with it and plug it in a clean channel (tube or SS) but if you first fully overdrive the Soldano and then add some extra boost, clean or distorted to it, what you will hear is the last distortion, whi9ch in this case is tube.

My analogy is: you take an old door which has been painted 4 times: red, then blue, then yellow, then brown.

Now answer: what colour is it?

Brown of course, the last "colour" covers earlier ones.

Now if last colour is somewhat "transparent" (clean) , yes, you will notice the earlier ones.

DIYmastermind

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Re: Future NAD advice, time to go big or go home!
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 06:27:22 AM »
Oh I'm aware. The only thing I ever use the TS9 for is boost.