Guitar Equipment and Accessories Ocean City NJ
Guitars & Fretted Instruments
Mays Landing, NJ
Mays Landing, NJ
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
Mays Landing, NJ
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments
13 Hard Rockin’ Half-Stacks, Guitar Player Staff
ROCK AMPLIFIERS HAVE EVOLVED TO A HIGH DEGREE SINCE THE DAYS WHEN TONYIommi and Ritchie Blackmore laid the foundation for heavy rock guitar tonethrough their Laney and Marshall stacks. These English marques, along withother British and American companies such as Hiwatt, Orange, Mesa/Boogie,Peavey, and Soldano, paved the way for today’s high-gain, multi-channel heads,most of which have features that were unimaginable in the late ’60s, whenBlack Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin reigned supreme. As metalbecame a style unto itself, more and more amplifier companies stepped up tomeet the demands of players who wanted heads and combos that could deliverthe two essential sonic qualities—searing sustain and massive chunk—thatare about as commonplace now as footswitchable channels, independent tonecontrols, and high-powered output stages of up to 400 watts.
Look around most any music store now and you’ll find plenty of evidencethat the quest to improve and refine the tones created by overdriven tubes andtransistors continues. In terms of features, sounds, and price, Joe Six Pack neverhad it better. Fact is, you could probably pick a new half-stack blindfolded, takeit straight to the gig, and be reasonably satisfied with its performance. To betterunderstand the state-of-the-art in rock and metal rigs, we selected 13 tube,hybrid, and solid-state multi-channel amps and put them to the test using aSchecter C-1 loaded with EMG 81-X pickups, a PRS Custom 22, a Fender EricJohnson Signature Strat, and a Gibson ’68 Black Beauty Les Paul reissue. Mostof the amps we received came with matching speaker cabinets, and the onesthat didn’t were played though a Mesa/Boogie Rectifier 4x12, a cabinet knownfor its ability to stay tight and focused at punishing volumes.
We gave all of the amps a thorough shake out to evaluate the range andcomplexity of their tones, the amount of sustain they could generate, and evenhow loud they could get. For this last test we placed a RadioShack digitalsound level meter three feet from the speaker cabinet with its mic aimedstraight on at the speakers. Using the dBA setting on the meter, we turnedeach amp up as far as possible (excessive hiss was often the only limiting factor)on one of the overdrive channels, and banged out power chords until themeter gave its verdict. Testing 13 big amps presents lots of challenges—notthe least of which was the potential for hearing damage when exposed to themrunning at full volume. So for the loudness checks we went so far as to put avideo camera on our sound level meter, and played outside the sound lab withthe door closed—a method we’d highly recommend should you decide to trythis stunt for yourself.
- B-52 LS 100
- Bogner Uberschall Twin Jet
- Carvin V3
- Diamond Decada
- Engl Fireball 100
- Fryette Pittbull Hundred-CL
- Krank Krankenstein Jr.
- Kustom Double Cross
- Line 6 HD 147
- Marshall MG100HFX
- Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier
- Peavey 3120