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Best tube amp for a small church?

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by Muse, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Muse

    Muse TDPRI Member

    For a church of 50-100 people, what amp would most of you recommend? I have a Hot Rod Deluxe but it’s just too loud, so I use a solid state Marshall I’m so not happy with. Any recommendations for an amp that takes drive, chorus, reverb, and delay pedals well? I have been looking at a Vox AC15 and a Fender Blues Jr. and have been thinking I’ll pull the trigger on a Fender Blues Jr (tweed) but I’m worried I’m missing out on more. I play with a telecaster. Thoughts?
  2. blille

    blille Tele-Afflicted

    The fender blues jr would be my go to in that range but the Vox with the Tele is almost the official worship combo.

    An alternative is to swap the speaker for an Eminence Maverick (or Reignmaker) and adjust the volume to your liking.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    nicholaspaul and Danjabellza like this.
  3. Muse

    Muse TDPRI Member

    Haven’t heard of those. I’ll look into them and let you know! Thanks for the suggestion :)
    Danjabellza and blille like this.
  4. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    Egnater Tweaker 15 combo is what I use, and despite my recent issues with it, I’d still recommend it. Also the egnater rebel 30 has a direct out that you can send straight to the PA, if the stage noise is a problem.
  5. islander

    islander Tele-Meister

    You could run an attenuator with that amp and just keep using it. Tames some high end if you turn one up. Another option is to use a "dummy" load in parallel with your speaker. Basically you have a resistor connected into one of your speaker outputs, and then your regular speaker into the other, splits the output of your amp between both your speaker and your "dummy" load. Will reduce your perceived volume a bit.
    If you go the attenuator route, I would run it this way too with say a mini- mass. I think weber actually sells(or used to) the online resistors.
  6. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 3, 2012
    Birmingham Alabama
    Best i have ever found is the old Mesa Boogie Subway Rockets. I own 2 one with reverb one with out. Just little monsters that will get unbelievably thick tones at super low volumes. GREAT cleans and that overdrive just SLAMS!
    Clips with mine absolutely no dirt boxes EVER all amp tones just a delay verb in the loop and a compressor in the front for clean sustain.

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  7. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

    Call me confused but doesn't the Hot Rod Deluxe have a master volume? Why don't you just turn it down?
    mRtINY, nicholaspaul and Ascension like this.
  8. Muse

    Muse TDPRI Member

    My HRD's master volume only works on the gain channel. I have read it is just a channel level volume instead of an overall master volume. Maybe Fender should call it drive channel volume. Maybe that isn't an issue for modern HRDs but mine is from the early 2000s.
  9. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2015
    A Super Champ (early 80's) could be a good choice. The master volume seems to work well on that.

    Surprisingly, an AC30 is actually pretty good as the master volume control works very well (but, she's heavy...)

    If you don't mind swapping speakers, the Vaporizer is actually pretty good too.

    You need an inefficient speaker or a good master volume. An attenuator is another approach that works, but you may have to tweak your EQ (or change speakers) for it to sound the way you want....
    JuneauMike likes this.
  10. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

    Oct 6, 2015
    blu ridge mtn cabin
    I use a Champ12 at a church that size. It works great, clean channel
    vol full up nice clean sound, and grits up when you dig in. Responds
    well to vol/tone and pickup position. Also very quiet noise at idle.

    Not sure how easy they are to find...
  11. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

    My first choice for a small room is a BF or SF Champ.

    You didn't say what other instruments there are but my SF Champ with a 10" speaker is loud enough beside our drummer when I have it on a stand so that it faces my ears.
    Twang Deluxe likes this.
  12. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 25, 2005
    Abbotsford B.C.
    Not that small, but I bought a Fender Deluxe Reverb head for my churchin' gigs. 22 watts. And I made a plexi-glass shield to put in front of it. I would have gotten a Princeton Reverb... but then i'd have to put it on a big box so I don't look all Wimpy and stuff. Or get the HUGE inflatable Princeton that Ryan Adams has. I'll see if I can find a picture of it.

    I hate Blues Jr's Cardboard box low-end. I'd go with a small Vox instead.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  13. SngleCoil

    SngleCoil Tele-Holic

    Apr 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    The Hot Rod Deluxe is an interesting beast. That clean channel CAN be made to sound fine at very low volumes with some tone knob/presence twisting, but like you already know, it starts to sound at home with the volume up just pass too loud :)

    For a small venue, it is really hard to beat a BF/SF Princeton. They just sound great especially as a pedal platform. An AC15 is great too, but it is another one that sounds best on the north side of too loud.
    GoldieLocks likes this.
  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I googled, then I larfed!

    islander, GoldieLocks and mRtINY like this.
  15. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 30, 2008
    The Golden State
    I just sold off a Blues Jr that worked well in 200 seat church mic'ed and pointed at my face. I went with a Helix LT and it seems to suit my needs more than a tube amp now, but I liked the Blues Jr.
  16. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2015
    The small voxes I have don't really do "clean". They're more "almost clean"...
  17. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Jan 7, 2011
    Washington, USA
    I agree with this. Also, if a Hot Rod Deluxe is too loud, the OP will really not like the AC15, which is just as loud but, with more focused mids, sounds like twice as loud as a HRD. An AC30 sounds better at low volumes than an AC15 in my opinion. I've played through a couple Blues Jr.'s over the years and have never been a fan at all.

    I've been using a Fender Excelsior with a Celestion alnico Gold a lot lately even though I've got several amps that cost over ten times more than the humble Excelsior. It's kind of a cross between early Supro, Brown Fender with a good dose of early Marshall thrown in. It's been fun to experiment with speakers and tweaking some pre amp components. Excelsior amps can be had for cheap if you watch for them, I paid about $150 for mine. With a $200 speaker swap, that is still a relatively cheap amp. It is not a pristine clean amp however. It is cleanish but takes pedals well.
    GoldieLocks likes this.
  18. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 21, 2004
    central ky
    i use a Princeton run through a 2x12 cab. I've never run it above 5. it gets real grunty above that.
  19. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 25, 2005
    Abbotsford B.C.
    Oh good! I thought I was the only one. They make amusing harmonica amps though...
    JohnnyDev likes this.
  20. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 25, 2005
    Abbotsford B.C.
    There's a fun video on youtube (by Wampler) about how to build a better Master Volume control for a Hotrod Deluxe ---- Cost me less than 20 bucks at an electronics store.

    My buddy and I did it for mine. It works great. Gives you a nice easy volume sweep (and you can have the clean gain channel at a roaring 8.2).
    But the amp is what it is.
    I'm really liking Celestion Greenbacks right now. Less wattage and a great Blackberry Smoke tone. Vintage 30's only seem to work when cranked and roaring (Gov't Mule style)..
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