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5W tube amps personal experience?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by kuvash, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Goodsell Champton (champ/Princeton hybrid) which is great for home use. It is loud but I can goose it with a drive pedal. With a good PA I think it would be giggable as well. I really loved my Swart STR tremelo as well . Foolishly sold it but hope to get another one day.
     
  2. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have a Peavey Nano Valve 5 watt 1 x 8'' combo. Cosmetically challenged, but sounds like a baby AC30. Stock speaker is pants though - changed mine for a Jensen MOD.
     
  3. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

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    A number of years ago found a Newcomb Recordplayer/pa (used in elementary school) iirc AV1612 with a 12" small alnico wizzer cone spkr in the lid for $25. A se el84, ecb83? and 6x5 rectifier. Fixed a small tear in the spkr with a coffee filter; otherwise perfect. It was/is a great amp, just plug into the mic input. Nice big warm clean or jazz with the voice (fat) switch on or not and crank it abit and instant rippin keef. Anyway gave it (and a affinity tele) to a young friend who parents only let him play classical...since age 5. He still has it and now running a Gretch with it....fabulous.

    Another recordplayer/speaker in the lid is Bogen VP12, se 6L6...like a Princeton on steroids

    Silvertone 1301, with a 6" rola, like a Fender 5c1 (octal pre) another beastly little thing

    Muchxs Champ, with an old alnico Jensen 6x9 spkr ...absolute killer of a champ

    Anyway there are some great little oddballs out there that will stand up to the boutique clones that are very inexpensive even when adding a tad of bench time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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  4. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    Over the years I have always found to have 5 watts to be to too small to be big and too big to be small.
    I have a good stash of 6v6s and a few ‘84s and and they live right up in bigger amps but never seem their best, in SE. When I was working in shops I tried dozens, and always seem thin and dull or splatty and harsh. You can use a larger speaker, but that is then a bigger lift, you can use mics and eq but that is a needed complication.
    Supisingly the Bugara is not bad, I suspect it’s the reverb helping out..and the MV.
    I think a lot of these amps are bought “ Well every one has one” and if you want one
    because they look cool around the space or clients think they expect one, so be it, but a basic little amp that makes noise is not radically different than $20 second hand SS box, especially if you really need a quiet amp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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  5. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Thats a speaker efficiency issue. My neighbors are 100 feet away and cant hear a cranked 5 watt
     
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  6. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    Ah but a 10 ft apartment / duplex is something else. I can drive a 20 watt 1x12 in a adjoining house set on 2-3 and get nice full cleans & kick in the OD of choice and never fluff the dust ruffle. If you are in a tiny adjoining room I prefer different tech.. and less $
     
  7. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    That is a good point. Too easy to look at it from the perspective of only my circumstances. An opportunity to do better. But i will still add: a 5f2a with a 12ay7 preamp, driving an inefficient speaker can be pretty tame and quiet.
     
  8. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    I have had a few old Kalamazoo’s & Skylarks, both were pretty quiet(very basic speakers) but both had little bottom. I suspect they needed a service ( been years ago) The Skylark RI from a few years back did sound good but was more of a club amp.
     
  9. JSMac

    JSMac Tele-Holic

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    My chassis is a Newcomb also but it uses a 12AX7 without any modification.

    I used this Kalamazoo circuit. Similar to one of the gibson GA-5 Skylark circuits.

    http://www.rru.com/~meo/Guitar/Amps/Kalamazoo/M1/schem.html

    Note: For some reason the B+ voltage was too high so I used a dropping resistor to bring it in line.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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  10. havlma1

    havlma1 Tele-Meister

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    I like the Champion 600 5W amp, for my home use it has a nice fat sound when the volume knob is at noon or 1 PM and yet it is not too loud or too quiet. I have modded that amp and used various speakers, but now it is back at stock and I think it sounds the best ;) I also like VOX Pathfinder 15R (ok, not a tube amp, but sounds like one!) and sometimes run both amps via stereo pedal at the same time.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    The "Small amp, small bottom" deal:

    Next time you're onstage, look over at your bass player. You're over on your side of the stage with a Princeton or a Deluxe. Sound guy wants you to keep a lid on it.

    Your bass player is running 300- plus watts Class D into a 4x10". Pretty standard setup.


    Next, ask the sound guy what he's running out front. Thousands of watts up front is common these days even in small clubs.

    It's typical to double the power to the subs compared to the mains. Run 2000 watts on the subs for every 1000 watts on the mains.


    Going back about 50 years or so just about everyone knew big bass takes big power.


    Going back about 70 years just about everyone who built small tube amps realized that if you chopped the bass off, roll it off hard starting at 100hz you could get away with tiny cheap filter caps. Doesn't matter how much your amp hums if it won't reproduce 60hz.

    Lowest note on your guitar is 81hz.


    You'll find small amps have their own thing goin' on. They sound more like old vinyl tones from LP records. Engineers mastered LPs compressed with the bass rolled off so as not to blow away the technology of the time.

    I never heard Paul McCartney's bass lines on old Beatles LPs until the '80s.


    Keep all that in mind in context of small amps.
     
  12. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I just picked up a Pathfinder 15R on the local used market, at a price that I figured I could at least get my money back if it sucked. Turns out, it DOESN'T suck. What a cool amp!
     
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  13. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Holic

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    As seen before. AC4C1-12 with blue inside, hooked up with ’65 Big Box cab. Bedroom bliss!

    4ABE21F2-5692-4C84-9456-62B11A466E9E.jpeg
     
  14. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have a Dr Z Mini Z, 1st edition, after an output transformer change that thing is a beast! Mine already had the speaker changed to a WGS G8 - best 8" speaker made and only costs $39.

    I have that same speaker in my Dsl1 50th Anniversary Marshall and it rocks too.
     
  15. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Holic

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    Good choice.

    The stock 12ax7 preamp tube is not great. It's functional, but for $10 I put a Mullard cv4004 12ax7 in mine which I preferred the sound of compared to the Tungsol that most people recommend. The stock 12ax7 is extremely dark and thin, and either of the tubes I noted above will brighten up and fill out the sound of the amp.

    The stock el84 power tube is just fine, no need to replace it until it's burnt, but I had a Genalex Gold Lion laying around and hot damn!
     
  16. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Holic

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    I have one of these that sounds pretty good- especially with a sonic stomp or an EQ pedal in the effects loop. 733C7200-6776-4807-A4EE-8A983F951BD4.jpeg
    If I was buying something now that had EL84s, I’d look hard at the Origin and the Bugera.
     
  17. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Most of the street hear these amps if cranked and its uncomfortable to be in the same 4mtr x 5mtr room as them. I just switched to using a 1x12 v30 cab and its still loud enough to annoy the neighbours on both sides rear and front. I prefer the clean channel turned up than the gain channel on the Blackstar and the class 5 has no master volume.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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  18. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    I went through a few 5W combos through the years. I finally landed with a Randall Diavlo RD5. Speaker and tube swap and it's the best tone I've ever had.


    I had a Vox AC4, Peavey Mini Colossal, Crate V5, Epiphone Valve Jr. and they were all pretty bad. Crate was the best of them.

    Edit: It's 6V6 not EL84
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  19. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    You're describing a Vox AC4. The C12 version has a 12" speaker. I have one and like it pretty well.
    There is also a handwired version that sounds very good on the demos I've heard (never heard one in real life).

    There are any number of boutique builders who make their "take" on this type amp.

    I am very tempted to rebuild my AC4 C12 following an older Vox schematic using an EF86 preamp tube and one EL84.
    My 15 watt Vox/Matchless derived head has an EF86 channel and I really like it. You will hear people say that EF86 is noisy, microphonic, full of artifacts and strange stuff going on - which is what they say about all the stuff I like.
     
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  20. dinomike77

    dinomike77 Tele-Meister

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    Okay, I reserved my comment because I was respecting the EL84 caveat, but everybody seems to be disregarding it so game on. My suggestion would be a Gries 5. Blackface Champ and tweedy capabilities with a master volume. As a home-playing hobbyist, every time I get GAS, I can’t think of any amp that ticks the boxes that my Gries does!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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