I've tried, but I just don't care for small amps

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Lonn, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    Any of them. Tube, SS, matters not, I just can't get along with the boxy buzzy compressed sounds. I'd love to love them too because I really get the portability and all that. I've tried all the Roland line, Kustoms, Yamaha, Line 6, Fender Champions 20 and 40, Super Champ line, etc. I've got to have at least a 10" speaker but much prefer 12". That's not saying I like every amp with a bigger speaker but it sure helps IMO. I will say many of these small amps sounded substantially better through the headphone jack with decent headphones.
     
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  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’m a “bigger” amp guy, too.
    I need, and I do mean need at least 60 Watts RMS and a 12.
    I gotta have headroom, EQ-ability, and power.
     
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  3. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Boxy is the word, the only small amp I own and love, is my Swart Atom, it's loaded with an 8'' speaker, and sounds like a 10'' is loaded in it! Try out the Blackstar ID Core amps, with super wide stereo. They might change your mind??
     
  4. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    For gigging I like (need) higher powered amps. For quiet practice, I prefer lower wattage amps that I can crank a bit for tube breakup at low volume.

    They are tools, and like them all for different uses. If I was gigging constantly with a drummer, I probably wouldn’t need any lower wattage amps, but most of my playing is either private practice, or relatively low living room jams with unamped acoustic guitar, bass and cajon type stuff with the occasional private party/restaurant gig or open mic.

    My first practice amp was a 100 watt Marshall half stack, and it was pretty hard to dial in good tones at bedroom or even living room volumes. I can get tones that sound great to me and those I play with using my 2 watt Fender Greta running into a 1x12 or 2x10 cab.

    Obviously A low wattage amp will never make your bell bottoms flap, or rip off the heads of any front row audience members, and “louder” is always sounds “better” but for the situations I play in most pushing my small amps works better than throttling back the big iron.
     
  5. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I had the Blackstar ID Core 40 for awhile. It was ok for a little bit but the longer I had it the boxier it sounded. They're good beginner amps but that's about it

    I do like Blackstar tube amps though. I have two Club 40s and an HT20. And as soon as the MKll 20 hits the stores I'll be getting one
     
  6. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

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    A 10-15w tube amp with a 12" speaker is a thing of absolute joy. Quiet enough for late night if you can trust yourself to leave the volume alone but plenty of grunt for most gigs. The tiny terror, or crate vc20 for example are just great amps for pretty much most applications.
     
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  7. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Boxy is a good place to learn to love and live IMO. The only thing you are sharing the Hz with is the snare and maybe a Trumpet if brass is involved.

    Mesa, Dumble, I don't mind it there so much. ;) Peavey boxy OTOH, but fixed with a non Peavey speaker. ;) [Ducks]
     
  8. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I just spent half an hour with my champ (10" speaker and a cab bigger than the Blues jr, admittedly) fully dimed and managing volume with a volume pedal for kicks. Not quite loud enough to gig with unmiked (I have done it, goosing the preamp hard, it sounded like it was going to explode the whole night). But there sure wasn't anything lacking in tone...
     
  9. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    There are also people that don't like small dogs. I think it depends on the amp, and on the dog. You have to match the player with the amp for sure. I never met a dog I didn't like, but that's just me.
    Also depends on what you mean by small. My Music Man RD-12 is 50 watts through a single 12 and will sub for a Twin at 90% of gigs ... it's roughly the same size as a Blues Jr, which is only and inch or two bigger than a Champ. To me, a Princeton is a small amp ... it's wider than the Music man. Gotta go with what you know, but there are a lot of amps out there.
     
  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I still think it's a turtle.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hmm … I tend to agree, I like my 30W into 2x10. But my 5F1 makes me think otherwise. It sounds pretty glorious with a tele, or a strat, or an archtop for playing swing. And it sounds better through its own Weber 8” speaker than through the 2x10 cab of the Tremolux. A beautiful amp with a pure voice. Not ratty or boxy at all… I don’t crank it, but push it around 6-7, 8 at most. Not loud enough for gigs, but loud enough for rehearsals with a big band, and in case I can still mic it.
     
  12. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    8" speakers - I just do not like the feel or sound. A single 12" or two 10" work very well. The mysterious part to me is the "boxy" sound thing. Some small amps have it, and some don't. No matter what the format or wattage, if it has that boxy sound, not for me.
     
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  13. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, I think it depends on the volume of air you're pushing, among other factors. I would much rather play (and hear) my modded PJ in a moderate sized space than my Mesa F50. The former is in its sweet spot with volume and response, while the other feels and sounds more restrained, leashed, and less present. (Both work.) A larger OT and much better speaker (still 10") make the PJ shine, and a Weber beam blocker changes the sound dispersion pattern nicely.
     
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  14. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Meister

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    At the risk of being "that guy" who brings Quilters into any amp discussion (always seems like one of us pipes up), that's the amp that made me finally like small amps for gigs. Gobs of headroom and no boxiness (to my ears, at least) from my Aviator 8.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've been going to the bigger amps more lately but for smaller amps there are a couple things they need to have.
    1) a bigger OT like an 18w Marshall, which is twice the size of a PRRI, about the same as a DRRI, and bigger than a Tiny Terror OT.
    2) a full sounding 12" speaker or a Celestion Gold 10" which is the only ten I've found that sounds big and not at all boxy.
     
  16. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I like that dog. I wish I had an amp that sounded like it.
     
  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Couple of tricks: 1) if open backed, put near a wall. Sound bounces off the wall and wraps around the amp and gives it a bigger sound. Mess around with the distance from the wall
    to optimize the sound. 2) Mike it and run some of the sound through a P.A.
    In theory you could do this at home, too, with everything kept at low volume....

    I've been using my Rivera era SuperChamp with OEM EV speaker, and it is plenty loud for gigs. I do the two things I just mentioned, above. Sure, my bigger SR sounds better in multiple ways,
    but I just can't get over the convenience so find myself using the SuperChamp more these days. I also put it up on a chair or empty keg, and point it towards my noggin.
     
  18. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    You gotta define "boxy". I've seen guys complain about Johnny Winter and Albert Collins sounding boxy until I said "4x10s" and "6x12s", and then they said, "I meant thin!" It's hard to define tones with words. My Champ records beautifully but isn't up to live gigs ... I'd say it sounds boxy on a stage, even mic'd unless extreme care is taken, like placement and mic choice. I have other 1x8" amps that don't sound small (Polytone). I have a 1x10" amp that sounded boxy w/ original speaker, but not with new reissue Jensen. Is it the amp or the speaker, or the mic, or the placement? Live sound and recording techniques can get complicated.
     
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  19. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Meister

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    I have a crappy little 15-watt (hah!) Rogue amp with a 6.5-inch speaker. Sounds boxy as heck, if by boxy you mean almost tinny midrange that can't be dialed down no matter what. For a long time I assumed that was because of the small, cheap speaker.

    One day I was thinking about replacing that speaker, so as an experiment, I opened up the amp and connected its output to a 10-inch Cannabis Rex, renowned for its mellowest of mellows. Much to my shock, it still sounded like the same midrangy Rogue. Intrigued, I connected a Hotone Mojo Diamond - a sweet, tweedlike 5-watter - to the Rogue's speaker, and it sounded sweet and tweedlike. That amp's "boxiness" has nothing to do with the cabinet or the speaker; it's all in the electronics. I think it would still sound small and tinny through 4x12s.
     
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  20. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I only play at home, but it's 6L6 tubes, 35 watts or more all the way. The cleans stop me in my tracks.
     
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