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Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by semi-hollowbody, Jan 13, 2015.
I'm ok if the OP is "formally" switching to SS. Doesn't bother me a bit.
I have 7 tube amps currently. Five of them can sound real pretty at quiet levels (not sure what bedroom volume means?).
I have an Egnater Rebel 20 that doesn't please my ears at any volume level. I have a Lil Night Train that sounds best with everything dimed, through a 2-12 cab it is fairly loud. My other tube amps (6 watts to 60 watts) sound just fine at low levels.
I usually keep the volume up on the amp when I play quiet, and roll it back on the guitar. Sometimes a little more bass or reverb helps.
Last night I repeated the amp up, guitar turned down experiment I've done many times. There was no lab measure equipment present - just my wife and kids 1 and 2 stories above me.
First, the knob on guitar thing works way better with my Telecaster than 4 knob humbucker guitar. My boost pedal helps the quality of the tone even people upstairs don't hear the difference. Still, they heard more Princeton Reverb with knob at 2.5 to 3 than they wanted to, and especially when it sounded good to me.
Next was switching to the Micro Cube and THR 10. That created a happy wife and the THR was far more pleasing for the player than the Micro Cube was. The clean sound quality and the dynamic touch being the difference.
I'm sure how people define the home playing or comfy volume makes the difference. Overall my Princeton Reverb is just AWESOME. It really can work for home playing, and it's easy to grab and works if someone's playing drums and other instruments. Maybe my problem with many of the low watt tube amps is they're one trick distortion ponies.
It is worth keeping the family or at least the wife happy.
That's why I crank 20 watt amps in my bedroom Hahahahaha. Put em on a foam stand to isolate from the floor, heavy curtains, throw rug, foam on the wall behind the amp, foam on the vent opening, and you should be sorta good during the day. That or buy a 2-5 watt amp with an inefficient speaker.
In the middle of the day , I can play fairly loud , the wife doesnt mind. I rarely do , most of the time at home I play unplugged , but there are occasions when I want to test an amp , or a guitar or something. Any of my tube amps sound decent at a really low volume , so , as usual , I dont get it....
about 20 years or so ago, I was working with a band in LA. I lived in SJ. I would drive down for rehersals/gigs. The singer had a one room apt over the garage and already lived with the drummer there. They would sleep on the fold out futon and I would sleep on the floor.
Well, we got a room in this practice tower downtown. It was an old warehouse of some kind, big concrete rooms with a window. Probably 5 floors full of practice rooms (it Was LA, lol). There was a bathroom on each floor. I ended up sleeping there. Had my coffee pot and would go over to the singers house to shower and use the microwave. I could practice all day, as loud as I wanted. You weren't supposed to "live" there but the security guy was also a guitar player and happened to "live" on the floor, a couple rooms down. We got to know each other, he had a great set up in there. So for a year or so, I got to do that, at least a couple days a week.
The worst part was that it was downtown LA. Now, there was a gated parking lot next door we could use, but it had to be cleared out by 8 am, as there was a business there. I didn't like getting up at 8 am every day, lol.
if i play at home through an amp, i use a fender greta. that thing can be so very unloud, so to say. my pod sounds good through headphones too.
Haven't tried one but...
all tube 1 watt, plug it into a 1x8 or 1x10 and should be good to go
"Wang's World, Wang's World!"
Classic question, "How hard would it be to add tube reverb to that little amp?"
Classic suggestion, "Put a 12AY7 in V1 to add headroom." :0
That little amp looks and sounds pretty cool but my wife would shoot me.
Another junk box build for another day.
Some circa 1960 console phonographs contain a "superhet converter". It doesn't matter to me so much what it does as what it contains. It has a tiny power transformer with high voltage and better yet a filament winding... enough to run a couple tubes. Combine that with a low buck aftermarket Fender reverb driver transformer, doll it up with a couple rack handles 'cuz Home Depot sells 'em as kitchen cabinet handles... you're there on the super cheap.
If you build two and sell one the one you keep is free.
Explain that math to the missus.
Muchxs, do the boys a favor and build them a 6AK6 2W 5E3.
With a 70's 8" or 10" loads of fun.
I would suggest something like a modelling amp, or something by tech21, or a nice transistor amp like a vox pathfinder. Tube amps (and most amps in general) are made to be loud and be pushed a bit (or a lot). Trying to enjoy a tube amp in your bedroom is like trying to enjoy driving a car on your driveway.
To go even further with the analogy, what do you think is more fun: driving a real car in your driveway, or driving a simulated car on a gaming console?
With modelling you can get as close as can be expected to the real thing at decent volume.
Coming from a guy that was building a car in his basement...
Can play all day and no ears ringing.
I use a 15G or a 15R for practice when I am practicing other than home..cottage etc..at home I keep the tube stuff in circulation to keep heat in em..may sound stupid but I keep them on a rotation for practice....they all sound great when turned down to watching TV volume..most amps sound great at low volume I find..you really hear an amps shortcomings when you turn them up..IMO
Get a decibel meter and place it on your nightstand. Now, sit on the bed and yell "YES, YES, OH YES!!!!" at the top of your lungs. Check the reading on the meter-that is bedroom volume.
I'm with the OP. I love my PRRI, but it's hard to play it quietly, and even my little 5W Swart can't give up all the goods at low volume. Yes, there are ways to wrangle these guys into submission, but for not much more than the cost of an attenuator, I bought a Fender Mustang II (v2). That thing is AWESOME! I will not begin to claim it sounds "just like" anything, but gee whiz- for $200 to be able to have that collection of sounds and effects at both quiet and giggable volumes (I do winery solo gigs that call for moderate volume) AND in a 24 pound package? That's the goods right there!
With the Mustang II, if I didn't have a laptop to run the Fuse software, I'd be less crazy about it (then I'd recommend the III). I don't feel the need to take the laptop to gigs, but I have spent some time setting up a lot of good presets (the stock ones are pretty awful) ahead of time.
There would be a different reading for me and mrs paratus.
Turn the TV off and try again.
I put a stock Champ 600 on top of a 3 shelf bookcase (basically at ear level when sitting on my bed that's on risers) and it sounds great at low volume. Bedroom volume is all what you make of it. Some days I use my Vox VT20+, others I crank my Excelsior, others I use the champ, others I use a 60's tweed airline practice amp that's 2 watts.
In my opinion low wattage tube Amps are a waste of time. You really can't get the tone you want from tubes at bedroom levels. It's not just the distortion, it's the fletcher-Munson curve. Turn down and it's all midrange. You can try to compensate-when you turn down, boost the highs and the lows. But it's not the same, and fuzzy preamp distortion never really sounds good to me. Even one watt, cranked, is too loud.
Get yourself a lunchbox jr. Not a modeling amp, just a really nice sounding solid state amp with very well thought out dsp driven preamp. 150 bucks at gutar center. Tiny. Sounds great. Has a headphone out that also sounds great, which is rare. Add a reverb pedal, you'll love it.