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Valve (tube) amps

I'm looking to replace my Engl with a good valve head. I'm looking at almost anything, old or new but it has to be loud enough to compete with a very loud drummer in a heavey rock band (as opposed to metal).
Candidates so far are a Marshall JCM 800 or a JVM series head, a Peavey 5150 (much as I dislike most Peavey amps, these are blinding) or maybe something I've not considered yet?

Give me your thoughts, but it must be a tube head, not a combo.
An important consideration is: what sort of tone are you looking to achieve?

It may be that solid state may be better suited to your tonal needs, and there is a lot of variation between tube amps.
I've been a tube amp user for 30 years. I've no intention of changing to solid state amps. I find them tone less and soul less. Even the modern emulation models don't hit the mark (although the very latest Line 6 model are a vast improvement). It a heavy rock band (as opposed to metal) so most of the sounds are clean, crunch and more crunch, rather than all out dirt. I'm not really a fan of pedals.
I like the Marshall type of sound (read Malcolm Young to Slash). The Hughes and Kettner sounds too processed and Mesa stuff used to sound "tizzy" but I'm told that some of their more recent amps are better.
Hehe .very good.i like music
I'm a bit of a fan of Fender amps; though my favorites don't provide much crunch (I play through a '72 Twin Reverb... clean and loud). With one of their clean amps, you can get some good crunchy tones by popping a decent drive pedal in front... I know you don't like pedals, but perhaps you're not looking at the right ones Smile There are a few nice drive pedals that use a 12ax7 or similar vacuum tube to produce the gain, resulting in a true tube crunch, while allowing crystal clear cleans when off (most of them are true-bypass so they won't colour tone); check out things like the Ibanez TK999US (the old style, brown case, not the new red ones) Tube King or the Tonebone Plexitube. The Plexitube in particular offers a drive tone very similar to what is produced by a Marshall Plexi amp.

Sticking with Fenders, something like a Deluxe or DeVille. They offer great cleans, but do have a drive channel, producing a pretty rockin' grit. Though they are combos, they're easily converted to heads.

Vintage Traynor amps are also good choices and can run pretty darn cheap. The vintage Traynors were modeled off of Marshalls and Fenders, and built damn tough (they tested their durability by tossing them out of 2nd story windows).
I've been lusting after a Traynor YBA-1 Bassmaster amp for a while now; great crunch with lots of warmth and volume to spare (with a guitar, little less with bass). I just wish it had reverb.

Oh, don't forget the joy that is the Ampeg SVT (the old tube ones).
I agree that good old cranked Fender amps make a great sound, and the clean sounds are, of course, the one that is the benchmark for others. Maybe I should try one again, because I've not used one in years. I used an early 80s black 30w tube combo for several years. I don't really want to convert a combo to a head tho. The resale value would drop like stone (not good in the current economic climate).
I've actually tried a Tonebone, but didn't like it, really. It kind of sounded like....a pedal! lol! I'll look into some of the others.
I've not seen a Traynor in years, they were never that popular here in the UK.
SVT? Think thats be a bit OTT! lol!

Great suggestions. Thanks!
I finally went for a Marshall JVM2 50 watt head. I've used it in the studio and I am gonna gig it tonight.
Was fantastic in the studio, I hope that is just as good live!!
Sounds a great choice. Does anyone here use Sovtek amps? My friend has a Sovtek MIG-50 and i have to say its got the best distortion I have ever heard.
I used to work in shop that sold Sovteks. Awesome little amps. They stopped importing them due to them not meeting the CE standard or something like that.

I've just got home from a cracking gig, and the JVM was awesome! I ran it flat out all night! I did have problems getting clean sounds out of it at this level, until I remembered the coil tap on my PRS. Wonderful!
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