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Author Topic: Have the guitars But need the right amp!  (Read 2952 times)
TESmith
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« on: April 03, 2008, 10:37:33 AM »

I know again this is mostly acoustic discussions, But again I trust your advice, generally you alll have not steered anyone in the wrong direction, that I have noticed!

I am currently borrowing my stepdaughters Behringer amp......I want to get a amp that will compliment. bring out the sounds of my Gretsch and Tele.  Does not have to be a large amp, really it is for myself, just playing at home!

I was thinking a small tube amp, but I have read many posts saying even the 5 watt models are too loud to turn up enough for the tube sounds to start comming through.  So my next thought was to wait for Blackheart to releast their new 1 Watt Killer Ant models, would seem perfect for a small home amp.

What do you all think. I would like to stay under 500.00 (Unless everyone says I really have to go higher) I would prefer near 300.00 range.         Is there something in a ss amp that would shine for me as well.
I will be playing classic rock, oldies, and country.

So can you help me out and share some thoughts?

Tim
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 12:54:47 PM »

As someone that plays Tele's and Gretsch my fav's are Fender Princeton reverbs about 12 watts,Peavey Classic 20 also about 12 watts and Fender Champ 12 also 12 watts.I can use any of these amps to play gigs with.I also use a Boss Overdrive amd a compressor/sustain peddle's.I have a friend that uses the Blackheart thru his Fender Super Reverb speakers.Hope this helps.
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 12:57:08 PM »

I'm in the same boat.  I've decided on what guitar I am going to buy, but am now trying to figure out the right amp. Like you, it will be mostly for home use, and therefore most of the big tube amps are just overkill.  I may have settled on the Blackheart Little Giant, but am curious to see what the Killer Ant has to offer.  However, just to complicate things, I recently came across this little number, which seems very intriguing as well for that tube sound in a small box.  Little Lanilei 1/4 watt tube amp.  Let us know what you get.
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2008, 01:17:49 PM »

I like these little Traynors. I almost bought one but I'm holding out for a new Marshall 1974x.

http://www.betterguitar.com/equipment/amplifiers/traynor/ycv20review.html
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2008, 02:22:31 PM »

i have a fender FM 2-12 that is around your price range. it has good sound for the cost. i think it has 100 watts so it has more than enough volume. it is a heavy beast though.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2008, 02:42:47 PM »

All of the above are good suggestions. 

I don't know if the Peavey Classic 20 is available anymore, but the slightly bigger Classic 30 actually makes a good amp for home use; it's got a great clean tone and you can use the drive "channel" (it's not really a separate channel) to get decent distorted tones at low volume.  As a bonus, it's loud enough for small-room use if you ever play out.  It's one of the best amp bargains there is; don't be dissuaded by anti-Peavey snobbery.

I had the Traynor 20W for a while and liked it a lot too. I traded it in when I got a Matchless, solely for space reasons.

Another cool option if you really just want to noodle at home is the new Fender Champion 600, which is super cheap.  I tried one last week and it sounded pretty good.  I think it's supposed to be 5 watts, but it's nowhere near as loud as the Swart Space Tone, which is the only boutique 5-watter I'm familiar with.  That's a loud 5-watt amp.

Those are all real tube amps.  If you want to go the solid state route, I don't think you can do better for home noodling than a Roland MicroCube or Vox AD-5.   The little Tech 21 amps are supposed to be really good too.  All of those can be had for well under $200.

There are tons of great options these days.
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2008, 03:20:48 PM »

Quote
I like these little Traynors

Me too.
I've had my YCV20WR for about 3 years and its loud enough to P/O the neighbors but, small enough to move around the house with ease. Very nice sounding little amp.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2008, 03:40:49 PM »

Tim
 
I've had Peavey and Fender amps in the past.  The Peavey Classic 30 is a great all-tube amp that breaks up very nicely when slightly overdriven but is probably a little too loud for a personal home amp.
The Classic 20, if you can find one. would be a better choice.   I sold my Classic 30 because it was just too loud for a personal practice amp.   I replaced it with a Fender Blues Jr.:    15 all-tube watts, with 12" speaker. This is the little brother to my Blues Deluxe 40 watt amp that I use when jamming with friends.  The 15 watt Blues Jr. is, in my opinion, well-suited for your purpose.  The Volume knob adjusts the pre-amp gain and distortion/sustain while the master volume knob controls the overall loudness of the amp.  You can get that genuine creamy over-driven tube sound quite easily once you learn how to dial it in.  Of course you can always add a pedal such as an Ibanez Tube Screamer if you like.
The Fender Blues Jr. should be within your stated price range.   If you ever decide to take it out and play with the boys it can be cranked up nicely and, when connected to a 2x12 cabinet, it will put out a lot of sound for you when needed.

I'm sure there are lots of excellent options out there.   For my money, there's nothing like a Fender Tele played through a Fender tube amp.  ......they're made for each other.   The Gretsch, which probably has humbucking pick-ups, will give you some crunch at a relatively low volume level too.

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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2008, 03:52:38 PM »

Unless you're playing MSG, a small amp is the way to go. Even if you are, a small amp, mic'd, will do the trick nicely too. A good PA is the where you want your sound coming from anyway. 
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2008, 04:07:47 PM »

Unless you're playing MSG, a small amp is the way to go. Even if you are, a small amp, mic'd, will do the trick nicely too. A good PA is the where you want your sound coming from anyway. 


Excellent point!

I use a Shure 57 to mic the amps to the pa when I need the volume.
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2008, 07:26:34 PM »

You could also use an attenuator. It will allow you to drive the amp while not having to deal with the overall volume created by driving it. However, it would increase your money spent.
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2008, 03:18:22 AM »

Throwing caution to the wind - I'll go against all advice so far and recommend an amp simulator like a PodXT, or Vox Tonelab or any of the others.  Buy a solid state keyboard amp to run it through full spectrum fidelity if you actually want to move air, pantlegs, etc.

Tone snobs will look down their noses at these.  But please try them out before becoming a naysayer.  Also really eases recording efforts and you can forget back pain due to hauling around an amp (but I see you are shooting for something small).

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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2008, 03:39:22 AM »

I used to play through a Vox Tonelab SE. Very versatile unit. They really shine in home recording use. Almost plug and play with digital recording set ups. However, once I started playing live, I switched to a pedalboard and tube amp. Label me tone snob, but you really can't simulate it.

Seeing as he is looking for inexpensive though, I'm not sure these would be an option. They would pretty much cover the limit he set and wouldn't leave too much for an amp, even solid state. The learning curve of them can be considerable as well. You will need time to sit with the manual, learn the programming, and set yourself up with some sounds you like. Not unobtainable at all, but don't think you are going to plug in and figure it out by trying buttons to see what they do.
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2008, 11:06:41 AM »

You still need tubes! Valves! Little glass thingies that heat up! 
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2008, 01:40:14 PM »

The Vox Tonelab actually has an honest-to-goodness tube in it.  But I agree with Dale_I; I wouldn't recommend the Tonelab (or the Pod) for someone who's just dipping their toes into playing electric.  I think it makes much more sense to get started with a small but real amp.
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2008, 10:56:27 PM »

I have an early 90s solid state Fender Princeton Chorus and I'm looking to replace it myself. I've heard lots of good things about the Epiphone Valve Junior (I prefer the head and cabinet version).
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2008, 12:10:51 PM »

I have an early 90s solid state Fender Princeton Chorus and I'm looking to replace it myself. I've heard lots of good things about the Epiphone Valve Junior (I prefer the head and cabinet version).

I have that same Fender amp. It served me pretty well. Then I got a Blues Deluxe. I'm going to sell them both later in the year and get a little Marshall. It would be nice to have one of the original Princetons though. Now there's a sweet little amp! Try them all with your guitar. Some combinations are better than others.
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2008, 01:17:36 AM »

Speaking of tube amps... there are a couple camps in that subcategory as well. The American and British, or we can call it the Fender and the Vox, or what you can boil down the the two majority types of tubes used, the EL84 (and EL34) or the 6L6 (and 6V6). Play amps made with both of these and there are very distinct sound differences. The British tone is more high end and "in your face", usually accompanying more use of distortion. The American tone is more bass to mid and more full and round.

No right or wrong, just different tone and you'll want to identify what sound you're after previous to looking for amps.
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2008, 01:40:17 AM »

I love reading amp articles in the guitar magazines.  It took me a while to understand endlessly recurring phrases like "warm American tones", "British grind" and "tweedy growl".

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« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2008, 04:21:51 PM »

    maybe that vibro champ xd or super champ xd by Fender.  I got lucky and picked up a Peavey Classic 20 in mint condition at a pawn shop for $150.  Great small tube amp.  Let us know what you get!
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