What do you think is the Most Versatile tube amp for only use at home?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by OzShadow, Mar 14, 2019 at 6:45 PM.

  1. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    I'd probably say a Vox with with reverb, jangly cleans and great overdrive. I would personally stick in an attenuator, my favourite tones come from pushing those ouput valves and without attenuation even most driven 5 watt amps are too loud for home use IMO. And a bit of treble roll off due to attenuation isnt a bad thing with an AC style amp because they're fairly bright to begin with.

    I think the AC10C1 would be a good fit and if you dont like attenuators these come with a volume and gain control so you can get preamp distortion at any volume.
     
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  2. OzShadow

    OzShadow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Curious - at close prices, is the Princeton really preferred over the DRRI?
     
  3. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Blues Jr but it’s a bit loud just to use at home... I got 15w so I could jam with it or mic it up for small gigs. For home only, something under 5w with a separate gain/volume might be best. Vox Lil Night Train, Vox AC4c1-12 or Blackstar ht-5r could be interesting things to try. There’s even a 1w Blackstar but I’m personally not a fan of the tone.

    But one of the nicest sounding tube amps I’ve tried at quiet volumes is the VOX AC30 custom head as it goes down to 1/3 watt with its built-in attenuators and it has separate gain/volume.

    Otherwise, buy what you like as long as it supports an attenuator.
     
  4. Mudman32

    Mudman32 Tele-Meister

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    I have a vintage 73 pr and a drri. The pr breaks up faster, smaller, great tremolo and amazing reverb. With the right speaker it’s a killer little grab and go.
     
  5. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Got a cab?.
    The Marshall DSL1, Vox L'il Night Train, Blackstar HT-1R and a whole plethora of self build tiddlers can sound awesome at less than 2.5 Watts. Even then, even with gain and master volume, they can get barking loud at close quarters. Enter an attenuator. Not everyone likes attenuators, but they have their place. The 5 Watt amps, to give of their best, need turning up to volume levels that may cause a schism in domestic and neighbour harmony. An attenuator comes to the rescue.
    Some of the 5 Watt models ( and larger ) on the market now come with power reduction features. This is to be applauded.

    I have no real answers. In my home life, it seems I'm often the only one who enjoys the sound of a tortured output stage. I've built valve amps that range from ~2 Watts up to a heady ~5 Watts, and they all need reigning in. My current go-to amps are a Champ-a-like and a thing called a Madamp G3. Both sound glorious as the power stages begin breaking up. My attenuator stops me from being beaten to death with a Tele. I'd rather knock 50% off the volume of a fine tiddler than use only 1% of something larger. Your mileage will vary.

    Go haunt Youtube for some of the little amps mentioned around the thread. As a complete swerve, maybe watch a few videos covering the Hotone Nano heads. The Hotone amps sound rather good at low volume, but don't buy the Hotone cab. It sucks.

    Good luck and happy hunting.
     
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  6. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    Do you ever put some of those on an A/B/Y switch or an amp switcher to use more than one at a time? Just curious. With 4 nice heads like that I would think I'd be plugging and unplugging speaker cables all the time!
     
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  7. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    I'd say Blues Junior since you're already considering it anyway... the master volume makes it a bit more versatile gain-wise than the Princeton Reverb I'd say, even though a PR has a MUCH better clean sound and nicer reverb.
     
  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Princeton 65 Blackface RRI sounds great at quiet volume 3-4.
    You will need another amp for gigging as Princeton is only 12 Watts RMS and breaks up early.
    BUT it has the sweetest Fender tone I can think of other than a Bassman.
     
  9. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Meister

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    While I love and play both a 65prri and pro junior, the fender greta is the most versatile home use amp I've used.
     
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  10. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    yes, for fun one day. its wild. But those heads are so full sounding in a 4x12 .I also run a looper in & play a rhythm track on one rig & then lead on another..but. I do have 3 of em in my main spot at all times on 4x12. Simple speaker cable change. I tend to use 1 head for a period of time for the task at hand. The Runt 50 can get all the tones of those amps. What is neat is the Flavor is constant of a base tone for me with these..have a base sound for Gibson & a strat without having to re EQ much.
     
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  11. dombar335

    dombar335 TDPRI Member

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    As a current Vox AC10 owner I love it and it works well for home use. It should cover all of the genres you're looking for pretty well but if you're ever in need of a completely clean sound or something a little harder it probably won't do the trick.
     
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  12. FredAU

    FredAU TDPRI Member

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    Fender Super Champ x2.

    A bigger budget / Fender 65 Princeton Reverb reissue.

    A really really bigger budget / Fender 62 Princeton Chris Stapleton Edition

    That is all :)
     
  13. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Meister

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    Go play a Supro Blues king and a fender blues jr side by side.
    If they're too loud, try an AC10.
    If that's too much, you're out of "versatile " and into the endless sea of 1-9w amps that you may get addicted to and want to collect.

    You can play anywhere with a 15w tube amp. If the place is huge, you'll need to mic it, but in those instances theres normally a sound guy.
    15w: the ac15c1 sounded better than night train, if you get NT, the reverb is quite lacking. It may be that I'm too used to spring, but I recall digital pedal stuff sounding more usable.
    I STILL haven't gotten to try a fender Bassbreaker 15, but they look interesting.
    Blues jr nobody seems happy with stock, but they're super popular.
    Pro jr is different sounding than blues jr, runs el84s instead of 6v6s.
    Ironically the Marshall dsl15 runs 6v6s instead of el84s. I think it has a low power switch and digital reverb.
    Monoprice 15 is good for the money, but if you aren't worried about a $200 price gap for something that retains value slightly better , similar features exist elsewhere.
    Ibanez tsa15 in combo form is decent, I've only found the head n cab lately though. Built In tube sceamer.
    The orange tiny terror is not versatile , IMO, but if you play with distortion almost exclusively it may be ok.

    I'd look at built in spring reverb (or tremelo circuit) since most digital reverb in amps isn't as good as that from a pedal. Good cleans, a breakup point you like, and ability to take pedals well.

    That's not just ingredients for a good amp under your specifications, that's how to find what you want in general. Also, high selling 15w amps being still in production by Fender, Marshall, Supro, Vox, Ibanez, Orange, and others makes it not super hard to find and try stuff.
     
  14. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    trying to stay out of the "you should buy this amp because I have one and I like it" mode. but a couple of points of info: Blues Jr is el84, not 6v6. people like to slag on them but it's a really versatile amp -- goes from bedroom to rehearsal room to stage and sounds good along the way. I played mine last night for the first time in a while and I was impressed by how good it sounded at very quiet volumes (singing without amplification). so don't let the naysayers scare you off trying one out.

    and amp reverb in this price range is not IME automatically better than pedal reverb. Flint sounds much better (to me!) than either the BJr or the AC15c1.

    if price is no object, then buy a Bad Cat Cub IIIr USA Player's combo. $1200 if you can get the coupon to work (you can) and the best master volume I've ever played. Great sounding amp. (I have one and I like it, see?) Down the pay scale a bit, the BJr, AC15c1 and the Marshall Origin 20c combo are all good choices that sound great at lower volumes. The Marshall 1/2 watt setting will keep you out of trouble with spouses and neighbors. That Supro looks interesting too, though I haven't played one. And for $200, the mono price looks like a lot of fun. good luck!
     
  15. dalezjc

    dalezjc TDPRI Member

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    I second this. Love mine and have no mods.
     
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  16. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Something with an attenuator, master volume, maybe a clean + gain channel.

    I think the thing is that without a bunch of pedals it's really hard to get the Fender to do high gain modern rock, metal, etc.. sounds.

    And on the flip side if you get something with more mids that does all that you have a tricky time getting the fender style super clean stuff.

    Ideally you'd have reverb + tremolo built in too so you can delete 2 pedals right there.

    I like my Orange Rocker 15 a lot.. volume level is not a problem cause of the attenuator + master gain + full/half power options, gain channel can go all the way from clean to EVH territory without a pedal. But it won't do a mid-scooped fender clean and it has no reverb or tremolo built in. I think Blackstar might make some similar tube amps.

    I really like the Vox amps too but they will definitely require more pedal gain for a lot of sounds. But they often have reverb and/or tremolo.

    If all I did was play clean it'd be fender all day long.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 11:40 AM
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  17. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Holic

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    I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but if you have the scratch, the Tone King Sky King. Does it all, has Pentode and Ultralinear architecture, cathode biased reverb and tremolo, and has dual attenuation built in.
     
  18. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    AC10 !
     
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  19. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Big Blackstar and Hughes and Kettner fan here
     
  20. JazzboxBlues

    JazzboxBlues Tele-Afflicted

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    After trying a bunch of different Fender type tube amps without question a 5F1 clone w/8” speaker is what works for me. Second in line would be a Princeton Reverb.
     
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