Looking for new guitar amp, maybe w/ effects pedal(s)

Bob_Smith_w00t
Bob_Smith_w00t
Jan 11, 2009, 4:05 AM |
1

I'm looking for a new amp and pedal(s), mainly for band practice, but potentially for gigging.
I play a lot of pop-rock/progressive-metal/post-grungey sort of thing in my bands - very Paramore-esque but with a bit more of a heavier edge.
At the moment, I own: (guitars) Belman Flat Top Deluxe (a bit like a Les Paul), Squier Affinity Strat and (amp) Fender G-Dec Junior.

I would like to point out here that I know very, very little about guitar gear so even if you can't give me an amp recommendation, some answers to my questions would be heavily appreciated. I am aware that the first two amps I have listed below are heads. My first question is: are heads pre-amps - that is, do they make any noise on their own or do I need to have a cab as well? Second question: what makes a combo amp a combo amp? Third question: what is the difference between combo and solid state? Fourth question: do effects pedals work with any amp?

The amps I've been looking at are the Marshall JCM-2000 DSL 100, Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Crate GT212 and Randall RG100SC but I'm a bit foggy on the details of each amp because there is only so much that you can get out of reviews - they don't tend to be too specific to the information I'm after.

I'm after an amp that is capable of producing:
1. most importantly, a metal-ish tone that sound absolutely perfect for playing (in order of priority) The Butterfly Effect, Paramore, Linkin Park, Muse, Incubus, 3 Doors Down, RATM.
2. a pop-rocky sound you would get in Michelle Branch, Kelly Clarkson etc
3. a decent clean sound that would suit the artists listed above, particularly Paramore; doesn't have to be exceptional but definitely nothing muddy - I don't like the clean sound of the Crate GT212
4. not essential, a blues rock sound like that of more recent John Mayer stuff

I'm not particularly fussy about what type of amp (tube, head, cab, solid state blah blah blah etc etc) just as long as i can do, at the very least, 1 and 3 and i can practise with it in a band. I would also like to keep the total amp price below $1500 AUD but any recommendations regardless of price are appreciated.

As for pedals:
I've looked at the Boss DD-20 Giga Delay (is there anything that can do a similar job for cheaper?) and the Digitech Whammy (can I get a good octave pedal for cheaper?). I'm not very sure about ds/od from pedals so this might also influence what amp I get.