Amp suggestions, help me find the right one.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Dr. Kap, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Dr. Kap

    Dr. Kap TDPRI Member

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    OK, so I'm an old guy. Only play at home now. Lost half my hearing by playing honky tonks, bars, high school dances and town and county fairs for several years in the 60s with a cranked Fender Dual Showman. What I want now is an amp that I can open up at home volume without "she who must be obeyed" and the teenage and older kids yelling "dad, turn it down!". I play ( or should say I'm relearning) blues and moldy oldie rock . At my disposal between my son and myself, I have a tele, 2 strats, PRS SE, Gibson melody maker,my 1969 SG and a new Carvin TLK (hybrid strat/tele, my new favorite) to choose from.

    I currently have a Brian Cox 5FI circuit hand wired "champ" with an 8 inch weber which is fabulous but still too loud when I get into tube overdrive and I miss reverb and the full sound of a 12" speaker. I don't like pedals and it needs to be simple to dial in. In the last couple of years I've also had a couple of Fender SCXDs (sold one, gave the other to my 18 year old son, too many effects and models and even though tubes, the digital parts sounded phony to me), a Fender Blues Junior ( didn't like it, hard to dial in), an Epiphone valve junior stack with an attenuator (but still no reverb), and a couple of Vox modeling amps,

    What I want:
    1. Reverb. (don't need or want any other effects).
    2. A 12" speaker to get a fuller sound.
    3. Tubes only.
    4. Low watt or a built in attenuator or variable output dial so I can get natural tube overdrive a low volume.
    5. A volume/overdrive control.

    Am I asking too much, or is there something out there I haven't come across yet? Thinking about a Carvin Vintage 16 but may still be too loud. Checked out the Fender Mustang series this week, too phony and fiddly. Revisited a Fender Blues Junior III and had the same impression as I had before, something about it I just don't like.

    Am I just being too picky or should I just get used to pedals and stick with the Cox 5FI?
     
  2. tiskit86

    tiskit86 Friend of Leo's

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    they're on the expensive side, but a Suhr Badger or a Fargen Mini Plex II, and a decent reverb pedal if you have to have it. I have the Badger 18 and never feel the need for pedals at home. Almost doesn't even need reverb. Great cleans and smooth overdrive at pretty much any volume level.
     
  3. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  4. Captain Bb

    Captain Bb Tele-Holic

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    Blues Jnr III
     
  5. imall41

    imall41 Tele-Meister

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    This,
    http://www.genzbenz.com/?fa=detail&mid=2000&sid=519&cid=91

    [​IMG]

    Plus This,
    http://taweber.powweb.com/weber/masslite.htm

    [​IMG]

    I'm an old guy too, with the same home issues.
    I have had a lot of amps over the last 40yrs.
    Finally sold my 1967 Fender Vibrolux, bought this Black Pearl 30, and never looked back!
    I bought the Vibrolux new in '67, thought I would miss it, but this thing sounds way better to me.
    The only thing I missed was the tremolo, ao I just added a trem pedal.
    Oh, btw, killer spring reverb in the Black Pearl!

    My 2 cents (-:
     
  6. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    I solved the same dilemma for my Dr Z Maz18 by getting a Brakelite attenuator. Still loud, but not that make my wife complain!
     
  7. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Dr Kap, have you thought about a headphone jack on your amp that cuts out the speaker but gives all those great tones to you alone?

    I had to laugh because my wife and kids tell me to "turn it down" as well!
     
  8. klast

    klast Tele-Meister

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    The Laney CUB 12R meets all your requirements.
    It has a 12" speaker, master/gain, 3-band EQ, reverb (digital), and 1 W input that permits breakup at fairly low volume.
    The clean sound is a bit Voxy but more aggressive.

    An alternative, that doesn't meet all your requirements, is the Fender Princeton Recording Amp.
    It has a 10" speaker, 2-band EQ, reverb, headphone jack, and an almost stepless output attenuator down to 1/10 Watt or so.
    However it doesn't have master/gain, but it has onboard "tube screamer" and compressor.
    When the attenuator is in bypass mode it provides nice Fender clean.

    I use both at home.

    Klas
     
  9. flag72

    flag72 Tele-Afflicted

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    holly crap Batman thats expensive 1349.00$ for that genzbenz.ho well ;0)
     
  10. klast

    klast Tele-Meister

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    Peavey Windsor Studio meets your requirements, 12" speaker, reverb, gain/master, attenuator.
    Not sure how it sounds, though.

    Klas
     
  11. imall41

    imall41 Tele-Meister

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    You can get the Black Pearl, new, for just over 1K, and used for around $700.
    I have 2 of them. Got them both for under2k total.
    Used one for backup, but never needed to use it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  12. DOGMA Dunn

    DOGMA Dunn Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like a SF PR with a 5u4 rectifier would be a good choice. The old ones have about 12 watts, and a 10" but they have the fat full ballanced sound you may be seeking. Just get an in-efficient 10" weber alnico sig 10 in it and you will be able to keep the volume down and still get a smooth fat sustain with some overdrive. And the tremolo and reverb are the best for small amps.

    I would avoid the vintage 16. I had one but they are el84 power and they don't have the fat dynamics of a fender. When the power tubes are fresh they can get some good bottom end, but the amp needs to be biased to run hot, and you'll go through a pair of el84 in a few months. If you bias it to run cooler, it will not have a thick fat sound, and will sound spanky and thin. The soak knob is like a suck knob, it draws out the power like an attenuator. And the 5 watt triode mode does not do much to bring down the volume.

    IMO a class A/B tube amp will sound better than a class A amp at low to moderate volumes.
     
  13. Dr. Kap

    Dr. Kap TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone. I'm getting some great advice.
     
  14. Linc Gray

    Linc Gray Tele-Holic

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    Dr Cap
    IMO the answer is already sitting at your place. You already have a 5F1 Champ.
    Put a THD 4ohm Hotplate and a Boss FRV-1 ’63 Fender Reverb pedal on the Champ, crank it up, dial down the Hotplate and you're in Home Heaven.
     
  15. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

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    Silver Face Princeton Reverb---early-mid 70's. Ten inch speaker--but I don't think that matters in the bedroom. Great warm Fender tone, reverb, and some headroom before the breakup. Forget the new stuff--it doesn't get that warm tone for the same $$$.
     
  16. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm currently playing thru various cabs;
    • Ac4 (4 Watt)
    • Tiny Terror (15 Watts)
    • Egnater Tweaker (15 Watts)


    Having the master volume allows me to play when everyone is home and gives better control than the fixed attenuator in the Ac4.

    At the lower volumes I've really been surprised by how warm and full my 2X8 cab sounds. Just (2) AlNiCo Signature 8S.

    The Tiny Terror is winning overall, I think the EL84s are giving it more balls than the 6V6s in the tweaker.
    However; the tweaker might be better at Fenderish sounds, I have yet to experiment on the cleaner stuff.

    I'm still working on a reverb and as soon as I find a cheap Epiphone Valve jr I'm going to do the Bitmo kit and have a stand alone tube reverb.
    Right now I'm using an Alesis NanoVerb . . .

    :D
     
  17. Dr. Kap

    Dr. Kap TDPRI Member

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    I think Linc Gray is right, I have one of the best amps sitting right here in the 57 Champ clone. I didn't get an attenuator but got a $15 Danelectro Echo pedal and a $20 on sale Tube Screamer and it sounds pretty darn good at lower volume. Not a big investment to fill out the sound.
    So here is the funny part. I just picked up a 1992 Fender Champ 25 in the local Guitar Center's used section for $99. I had never seen one before. Only made from 92-94. SS preamp, 12ax7 phase inverter tube and 2 x 6L6 power tubes. 2 channel and spring reverb, 12 inch speaker. It was grimy and stunk like an ash tray. Cleaned up very well. All I need is the 2 button footswitch for channel select and reverb. I think its a sleeper. For the price I got classic Fender clean in spades and a somewhat useable overdrive channel and spring reverb. I A/Bd it with a new Supersonic 22 at the store and of course the Supersonic is the winner by far but for 1/10th the price, I was thrilled to take home the Champ 25.
    So did it solve the problem of the wife and kids yelling at me to turn it down? Hell no! But now I've got a "Mini Twin" and loving it!
     
  18. Dr. Kap

    Dr. Kap TDPRI Member

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    CHAMP 25

    Fender's web site tells me it was made in Aug 92. They also emailed the owners manual and schematic to me.
     
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