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Affordable Guitar Amp for gigging without PA

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by TimoR, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. TimoR


    Jan 10, 2019
    Germany, Paderborn
    Hello community,

    name's Timo, I'm 18 years old and still attending school. Therefore I'm sitting on a very tight budget.
    I'm looking for a new guitar amp, it'd be best if it was giggable for, say, pubs without PA. It should be as versatile as possible, but I wouldn't mind having all effects from pedals.

    I really like the Fender Champion 100, it's clean tone is wonderful and I think with pedals it sounds great aswell. Downside is that it's big and I'd have to carry it up and down one very narrow staircase and then another set of stairs. I wonder if that's going to be much of a problem but it might be really inconvenient, I guess.

    On the other hand there's the Boss Katana 50. I didn't like it's clean sounds as much as the Champion and when I tried it I had a lot of fuzz going on, although I figured that probably is a user error ;) Is it possible to get very nice clean sounds aswell? And do you personally think it's loud enough to compete with a loud drummer without having an awful sound?

    If you have another amp in mind that would fit that price range feel free to let me know, I'm really open for anything.
    It should be a SS amp though.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Lef T

    Lef T Tele-Meister

    Apr 24, 2016
    Ontario Canada
    Check out the DV Mark SS amps.
    They are based in Italy.
  3. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

    May 15, 2018
    Never owned one, never played one, but from what I have read a Orange Crush 35RT may have been made for your situation. The quest for good pedals can be expensive and never ending. You may only need one with this two channel amp?
    Dismalhead likes this.
  4. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Meister

    Jun 4, 2018
    Toronto Canada
    Monoprice 15 watt. $200, tube, light, sounds great. Check out some of the threads.
    FrontPU and ultra80096 like this.
  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    I think the Blues Cube sounds like what you need. Not too big, not too heavy, pretty fair tone, good gigging volume without miccing.
  6. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    +1 for the Orange Crush 35RT. Loud and proud. Great little amp.
    In the cheap seats, there's the Harley Benton HB80-R. 40 Watts, real spring reverb, FX loop, 2.5 channels ( 2 channels + switchable 'gain' on one of them ). Much better than you'd think. Rehearsed and gigged mine with no complaints about it.
    Peavey Bandit. So much love for the Bandit. From what I've heard, deserved too. Fine sounding, room filling.
    What about the new Fender Champion 50XL?. I've no direct experience with it, but going by Youtube videos, it's a good one.

    Laney Cub12R. Small, light, sounds pretty good. Don't discount what 15 Watts of glowing glass can do. Reverb and FX loop. Won't be too clean at 'drummer' levels.
    Kong Tube 15. See the Laney. Another 15 Watt valve amp.
    Vox AC10. I've heard one of these fill a room with good sound. Not exactly clean.

    How about a Hotone Britwind coupled with a Harley Benton Vintage 1x12". 75 Watts of floorboard amp. Two distinct voicing, switchable gain, reverb, FX loop.
    EHX Magnum 44 + Harley Benton 1x12"?

    Go onto the Thomann website and use the selectors to get within your price range and look at the size, weight and power to get an idea.
    545454, FrontPU and Bristlehound like this.
  7. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    Egnater tweaker is a good choice. I’ve been using one for a while. All tube, Has lots of versatility and voicings based on fender, vox, and Marshalls. Can be had used pretty inexpensively.
    Chunkocaster and guitarmikey like this.
  8. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

    Mar 19, 2014
    Madrid, Spain, EU
    You cannot gig those amps

    You need minimum 100W Solid State or 15W valves... I mean gigging with a drummer and a bass player at least

    Look for a cheap Marshall JCM900 combo 1x12". You can find them for 400 or 500€ in Europe. Cheap, small and enough power
    Chunkocaster and JayFreddy like this.
  9. HenkR

    HenkR TDPRI Member

    Dec 10, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Boss Katana 50. Cheap, excellent sound (and built in effects you can manage thru software) and loud enough to blow a drummer out of the water. But don't take my word for it:

    Small enough to carry around but really a gamechanger in terms of affordability and sound.
  10. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted

    I’d say: see if there’s an old Mustang III (v.2) around you. Not feather-light, but lighter than a Champion 100, very versatile, and giggable:

  11. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    Orange Crush does this job for a gigging guitarist I work with.

    Can't fault it.

    Solid construction and nice size

    Decent volume

    Reliable, good sounds

    Solid state - so no tubes to go on the fritz or maintain

    If you wanted to step up the tones and are committed... a Marshall DSL40C would serve you for years and give you channel switching dirt that beats pedals.

  12. Dobronaut

    Dobronaut Tele-Meister

    Dec 11, 2016
    Leicestershire UK
    The Katana 50 has wonderful clean sounds if you use the "acoustic" setting. Best cleans I've ever had with a Tele. Works a dream for Lap Steel too.
    HenkR, JayFreddy and Chicago Slim like this.
  13. 545454

    545454 TDPRI Member

    Dec 29, 2011
    Garden if it's sunny
    Depending on how tight your budget is, I think a second hand Roland Cube (60 or 80 watt) is always a good choice - great range of tones, solid build quality, very portable. Could probably find one for 100E-150E on the second hand market (based on UK prices at the minute).
    Another vote for Peavey Bandits too - although they aren't exactly lightweight. The Studio Pro is a very similar amp but smaller and lighter. Still loud though, and probably under 100E for a decent second hand one.
    There's so much good stuff available these days - the Fender Champions and Oranges are great sounding amps. I had a Katana 50 for a while which had some great sounds, but I was getting option paralysis, so moved back to something simpler.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    Tonetele likes this.
  14. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 24, 2009
    +1 on the used Roland Cube 60.

    After watching this I'd seriously consider the Fender Champion 50XL over the Katana. But I'm not a guy who likes to turn a bunch of knobs.

  15. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Holic

    Jan 20, 2007
    Lonk I-lant, New York
    budget, gigable, effects = Katana 50

    One thing you can try to improve the Katana's tone is check the effects chain in the software. By default, mine had "boost" pedals after the preamp. This was counter-intuitive to me. Putting boost before preamp solved a lot of issues I had dialing in good tone.
    HenkR, JayFreddy and beagle like this.
  16. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 15, 2017
    Harvest, Alabama

    I'm going to make a recommendation that I think you'll find worth investigating.

    The Peavey Vypyr VIP 2.

    It's a 40 Watt 1 x 12 solid state modeling amp.
    And it's alarmingly loud and clear.

    The reason I have gigged with it on a number of occasions (as opposed to schlepping my heavier Fender Twin or Marshall) is both its versatility and it's comparatively light weight.
    It's the lightest guitar amp I have ever lugged on and off a stage.
    Amazingly easy to carry up and down stairs.

    The Vypyr VIP features guitar amp modeling, bass amp modeling, and dozens of crystal-clear, usable guitar effects.
    You can either control those features by hand, with the on-face knobs, or you can purchase the after-market Peavey Sanpera expression pedal. (I got my pedal used for $40.)

    Here's where it gets interesting;
    The amp can be used for electric guitar, bass guitar, or acoustic guitar.
    You just plug-in, and make your selection on the far-left push buttons.
    *boom*, you are in business.

    I often bring it to gigs as the 2nd amp, for use on songs when we bring a friend up on stage to play second guitar.

    Anyway, I'll shut up now.
    Check it out.

  17. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 19, 2005
    Bowling Green, KY
    +1, for a Boss Katana 50 or 100.

    I own multiple Fender and Vox amps, I have also owned Roland, Peavey and Orange. My Katana see's the most use.
    HenkR, markfowler54 and JayFreddy like this.
  18. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    FYI for those who didn't notice, OP is in Germany.

    I was going to suggest a used Peavey Bandit until I saw that, unfortunately I have no idea what the used market in Europe is like and I don't know if Peavey is as inexpensive and ubiquitous there as it is here in the US.
  19. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Tele-Holic

    Oct 1, 2017
    That's an easy one, if you already have the Champion 100 and you like it get the Champion 40, i have it and it sounds very good.
  20. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    Peavey Bandit with the modeler of your choice. If you need more volume and have a strong back, the Peavey Special 130.
    RB522 and Dismalhead like this.
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