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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by kuvash, Jan 1, 2020.
In the market for a small amp now... Lots of good info in here!
Egnater Rebel MKII will do 1 - 20w in whatever in spades.
Look for a Mini Z. Soooooo nice.
I have a Gretsch Electromatic G5222, same amp as the Fender Champion 600 in different clothes. Sweet tone clean, nice pushed, simple as they come.
I had a Blackstar HT-5R that was very nice at thrice the price.
Not small, but a great 5W combo that isn't boxy.
What is the model on this?
A well made, fine sounding amp indeed.
I have a little fender champ 600 (discontinued), 5w and has an interesting sound if you gun it. Everyone of my friends that tries it out hates it, but I like it... lol.
Check Merlin's notes on how to tame that EF86 (or any small signal pentode). First stage gain of 200 is a pretty dodgy recipe for any valve amp - it's not the EF86's fault (accordinging to the ValveWizard)
Of course, the mere suggestion that Dick Denney made design errors is sacrilege. Burn the heretic!
I have an Orange Rocker 15... no 5w setting but it has 0.5/1/7/15.
5 is likely too loud for home, but depends on the speaker. Orange put a high efficiency speaker in the Rockers so that they can squeeze as much volume as possible out at full volume to pull off small stage gigs.
1W with Master Volume is really the sweet spot IMO for home play. But with an efficient speaker 1W can still be quite loud.
My Orange has MV on the drive channel but not on the clean channel. If you turn the clean channel up till it breaks up (which is really late, it's like 3 o'clock on the volume) it is probably 95dB even on the 1W setting.
So I would definitely say look for Master Volume on top of a low wattage setting.
I am a big fan of low wattage/variable wattage at home. Great sound at volumes that let you explore tube breakup instead of pedal breakup.
Ok thanks.We were talking about 5 watt amps tho.Everyone seems to like the Epi.Curious what was wrong with yours?
I wasn't poo-pooing the Valve Jr. It's a blast for the buck and in my response I was just saying that for me...I wasn't interested in pursuing another. I took a Valve Jr chassis after I did a few mods and built a 112 cabinet for it and covered it in blue denim and sold it to a friend really cheap. I also had a Valve Jr reverb head in the past but the reverb was really bad. I don't even remember what I did with it. Blues Jr's are great and with the master volume it's like have a 5W when you need one or you can gig with it. I've had 2 of them and looking for another. I really need to stop buying/selling/trading gear and stick with what I know I want and quit looking over the fence at other gear.
I had a Vox AC4TVH and a 1X12 cab and didn't like it at first, ended up selling it. Now I wish I had kept it. I didn't like the tone that was heavy in the mids (it definitely had a "small amp" sound); however, that sound worked beautifully in recordings and live with a band.
I don't think it's a good practice amp, though.
I have a Vox AC4TV it’s a great amp. I also have a Marshall Origin 5 and it’s very nice. Both are great for the bedroom. Or you can use a Vox AC10 and crank the gain and reverb and piss your neighbors off real quick.
I only have experience with 2 of the popular amps that keep popping up on this thread. I own a vht special 6 combo, and really like it. it has a big sound, can handle four different types of power tubes, which is awesome. With a 12 x 7 swap to an old RCA mine really came alive. Also, I put an el34 in mine which was great, now I run an el84.
Head-to-head comparison, the vht special 6 embarrasses the vox AC4
I thought I would like the Vox because you can adjust gain, and get overdrive out of it. But it's just a weaker, thinner sounding amp in my opinion.
+1. Nice sounding amp. However, like mentioned above, pretty loud for home playing if you want to push it. It can hang with a tame drummer though. Also, it’s heavy for a 5 watt amp at around 42 pounds.
EL84 tubes on my Fender Champs w/ Yellow Jacket converters which allow them to sound like Kalamazoo Model One amp. YJ is a great option.
This forum is excellent and full of good information. That said, it can be difficult to get a reliable perspective when asking a broad question like "5W tube amps personal experience". We just don't know one another well enough....we don't ask specific enough questions....and so we should not expect appropriate answers. I'm a nearly 50 year old bedroom player that started picking 7 years ago. I've been through more than my share of equipment in that time...always willing to purchase gear so long as I knew that I could reasonably divest myself of that equipment when/if I see fit. I've learned a lot both from forums like this...and from personal experience buying and invariably selling gear.
For MY 10 cents....as a true BEDROOM player....I have never been happier with any amp prior to my recent purchase of a Silverface Champ. I'm still honeymooning....but after listening to questions like "should I get the 10" version or the 12" version" in countless post topics and hearing "most def 12!" predominantly....my PERSONAL experience is that the 8" speaker in a 5W all tube class A amp for BEDROOM use is freaking perfect. I know from my ownership of a 10" (albeit lesser XD modeling amp) that the 10" has its virtues....and from a prior boutique 5W amp with 12" speaker that it is just 'too much' within my small space.
Now I know that I am never going to play a gig...not even a coffee shop gig. I've never stood in front of a Marshall stack and felt that rush...that rush that just may force me to rent studio space just so that I can scratch that itch as needed. I don't doubt that bigger is better for many....and I know that some of us require multiple uses for our gear....have varying budgets....and have differing tastes. I will NEVER need to 'hang with a drummer' or 'beef up to be heard over the band'.....but your mileage may vary.
I DO NOW KNOW...despite what I have read countless times...that an 8" speaker....even a 49 year old 'crappy flubby never any good Oxford'....can sound really very organic and superb in my bedroom. My point is....you gotta try things...experience things...as just when you think you know something from reading other people's perspectives....all you have really learned is another person's perspective.
Man I wish I would have bought one of these old Champs years ago (1) it would have been far cheaper and (2) I would have truly understood just how great having the 'right amp' for the 'right use/space' can be. I am going to pull out this original perfectly good Oxford so that I can (a) continue to preserve a well preserved original speaker from a minty 49 year old Champ should I ever decide to sell it and (b) to experience the potential of this little Champ with an appropriate modern speaker.
Did I over-pay for the Champ?.....certainly according to anyone who has been playing a lot longer than I have. Boy am I ever glad that I overpaid for this Champ....I freaking love this thing.
OP I hope that you find what you are looking for. I'm not sure that you should base your decision on which tubes 'you have lying around the house' but that may very well be your perspective. If I were you....troll the local CL, Ebay, Marketplace etc and find good deals on interesting equipment.....try as much as you can....sell off what you don't like and keep the gems. Your gems may not be my gems and vice versa. Continue to read, try, experience, and enjoy the journey.
Last time I used my 5W amp head was playing Bass through a 15" bin... as a stage monitor with DI out to the PA...
It held up well over a 3 hr session....
I'd say the Valve Jr. if you wanna mod one up.
If you can get a Class 5 combo that doesn't rattle (I guess this was an issue on the early ones?) those are pretty great. I've gigged with one and it was surprisingly good. Me and its owner agree it sounds best with treble and mids maxed out and absolutely no bass. It sings lead lines.
It kinda matters whether you want a single-ended or push-pull sound. The HT-5 is great if you want a master volume and a spare channel, more headroom out of 5w, and more gain than many as well. It's not EL84 or single-ended class A but it gets the sound of multiple EL84's fairly well, with just one power tube and one preamp tube. Totally different tones than a lot of the class A amps mentioned here.