I'm in the market for a new amp. I'm an intermediate guy thats been playing for a couple years and I'm looking to upgrade to better sound. I'm currently playing a samick malibu mb50 with duncan designed pickups through a crate gt30 solid state. I'm into 90's alternative, hard rock and metal and old school outlaw country. I get a decent warm bright clean tone from my amp but it can't handle distortion or overdrive at all.
I'm looking for a good tone that I can rock out with, but I also need volume control since I live in an appartment. I'm also on a budget somewhere around the $300 range. I'm pretty much a hobbyist that loves music and loves to play for my own enjoyment and I'll pretty much only be playing at home.
I've done a lot of online research and read about a million reviews and watched about that many youtube video's. I have a zoom gfx-8 modeling pedal so I don't really care about models and effects built into the amp because I already have all that I need with the ability to adjust them to my liking. I just want a simple good sounding amp.
I'm going back and forth between the Orange CR35LDX, and a the Vox AC4TV low watt tube amp with the power attenuater. Neither of these brands are carried at my local music shops so I'm going off of reveiws and what I've seen and heard in video demonstrations and would be ordering online.
I would appreciate any feedback on either of these two amps or recomendations on any other ones my budget that would be better alternatives.
I think you're already on the right track, with the small tube amp. I normally recommend the Vox Valvetronix amps, but you state you already have the models and effects covered with your pedal.
I myself recently purchased a Vox AC4TVmini, but haven't had a chance to put it through its paces yet, so I can't honestly give it a review just yet. The few times I have plugged it in, however, it put forth a full-on, in-your-face sweet tube scream you might not believe could come out of something that small.
I would most definitely recommend a TUBE amp, and there are a plethora of good low-cost low-wattage models from mfr's such as Bugera, VHT, Epiphone, Vox, Fender, Blackstar, etc... I think you wouldn't be taking too much of a chance going with any of them.
Hope this helps.
(PS: One more piece of advice - get out and jam with other people, or join/form a band; it's much more fun!)