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bedroom level tube amp - ROCK

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by manbearpig, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. manbearpig

    manbearpig Tele-Meister

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    Wow! A lot of responses. Thanks to all who commented. I will try to answer all the questions asked of me which will narrow focus a bit more:

    I'm worried that the ant sounds thin, giant too loud, valve jr too loud, champ too thin.
    I disagree. I checked out the ZVex Nano on youtube, and I believe it will convince you that low volume has to sound thin.

    So far, the ZVex, as well as the Surprise Sound Lab Rock Block, seem pretty much right on target, but are both a little more than I wanted to spend. $500 and $400 respectively for head only.

    This should clarify several of the posts. I have a large amp already (peavey classic 30.) It just isn't working for me at bedroom level. I have the volume set to halfway to 1 on a 12 scale. At that point, it is super sensitive to the slightest change. And it is just a little too big, generally.

    Also, I really hate preamp distortion, so I am not interested in master volume amps. The Classic 30 has two channels, one with master, and I NEVER use it. I am definitely a "get the amp to sound great clean and then add a pedal for dirt" kind of guy.

    I have an amp modeler that I use for home recording, and this whole idea to get a small amp is with an eye towards getting away from the modelers. They are great for practice, but I would like to get a more personal sound that I enjoy noodling with and that I can mic up too.

    Again, thanks for all the replies! Please keep them coming as I have had several leads from this thread.
     
  2. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    I gotta say, I think you might be a little optimistic in the low-wattage area. Yes, the Z-Vex Nano sounds great at fairly low volumes, but you can't really experience the actual volume level online. In reality, you may be able to get a decent tone out of one for your purposes, but I think it's more likely that someone on the other side of a wall will still wonder who's cranking their guitar amp.

    Essentially what you're asking for is power tube distortion at conversation levels, and as much as that is a goal of amp designers everywhere, it's just not something that has worked very well for many.

    Quiet recording of guitars is always going to be a compromise. It's just a matter of figuring out where to make that compromise. No one has even mentioned yet that at such low levels in a home environment, your noise floor is going to be problematic, and whatever mic you wind up using is going to respond very differently to an amp that's pushing very little air.

    I'm a die-hard mic-on-a-speaker guy, but until I can afford my own isolated studio (not a high priority for me) I'll settle for demo-quality work at home with preamp distortion, modeling, or otherwise direct methods, and go to my friend's place for the pro-level recordings.
     
  3. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    like his name.. 'manbearpig' .. the thing which he seeks doesn't exist

    btw.. i saw that episode on reruns the other night. good one.
     
  4. manbearpig

    manbearpig Tele-Meister

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    I concur. I don't believe anything mentioned thus far is any better than what I have now. But yes, I was hopeful.
     
  5. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sorry, can't help you then ..... You're probably asking the impossible :oops: ...
     
  6. Rocks

    Rocks Tele-Afflicted

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    The biggest problem they face is that any decent speaker is rated at over 95db @ 1 watt - that is louder than someone screaming at the top of their lungs. From what it sounds like with those walls, you'd need to keep below 65db which is not easy with most guitar speakers. I asked ted Weber and he said something about that if you make the speakers less efficient you would lose too much of the frequency response. Just like when you turn a guitar amp way down, you lose all the bass and mids because the speakers are not working near their efficieny rating.
     
  7. Nicky B

    Nicky B Tele-Meister

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    Fender Blues Jr.

    All tube for $450, but you can get them for $300s now, i got mine off cragislist for $320, and there were 3 other offers like it at the same time!
    You can quietly overdrive (great rock tone) by cranking the regular volume while keeping the master down, and cleans by the opposite. Also does a great half/broken-up tone, so it will breaks up according to your picking strength. Great responsiveness + warm tone.
    Full EQ and slight gain boost button (FAT) And if you ever want to go louder, this thing can get LOUD. In my bedroom, i have Master and Volume both in the 3 neighborhood for clean (out of 12). And Volume on 12+Fat on and master on 1-1.5
    Its all tube, Real spring reverb included, and its durable as a brick.
    Can be toted easily around, and good for gigging and jams.
    Can be miced or lineout, as you can unplug the speaker and plug another thing in instead for output.

    Fender-BluesJunior.jpg

    I had a champ 600, You need to crank it for any overdrive action at all.

    And although i dont have it, ive heard good things about the orange tiny terror, but then you have to get a cab, which may be bulky and expensive, and if it dosnt have a master volume, FORGET bedroom rock tones, as you will need to crank it to overdrive it.

    ~Nick
     
  8. Nicky B

    Nicky B Tele-Meister

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    Also, i just read you post above, its a one channel amp, the fat merly is a little extra kick to the volume/gain, not a new sound
     
  9. teejoo

    teejoo TDPRI Member

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    +1 on the Tiny Terror. There's a TT combo out now, with a G12H. Very simple, tone/vol./gain controls. Sounds pretty good at low volumes, but there's no clean headroom for a band situatio though.
     
  10. giantslayer

    giantslayer Tele-Holic

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    I think the problem with a 5-watt non-master volume amp is getting an overdriven tone at a reasonable level. For cleans, they can sound pretty good at a modest volume level. I've got a Valve Junior half stack and it sounds decent at a lower volume level. It definitely sounds better when it's pushing more air, though.
     
  11. kcp

    kcp TDPRI Member

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    get an attenuator, i used a thd 8 ohm attenuator with a pro jr and a drri and could crank both for distortion and still could carry on a conversation
     
  12. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's my '93 Fender Blues Deluxe...Kingsize for the remake of Alice in Wonderland :lol:

    glad it brought a smile to yer face. that's what the pic is for.
     
  13. etiquettemona

    etiquettemona Tele-Meister

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    do this:

    [​IMG]

    Vibrochamp in a musicmaster bass amp - cab with a 12" weber.
    It's to much for the bedroom overdriven. Use a pedal.
    And - no fizzy preamp distortion!
     
  14. manbearpig

    manbearpig Tele-Meister

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    that's sweeeeet.
     
  15. Canuckcaster

    Canuckcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I saw a vibrochamp in a local vintage shop for $450CAN recently, and passed because it seemed pricey. That was the only drawback though. It sounded awesome. Great tone at reasonable volume levels. I also own a Peavey C-30 by the way. It's great for gig/jam volumes.

    CC
     
  16. manbearpig

    manbearpig Tele-Meister

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    What do you use as your practice around the house amp, Canuckcaster?
     
  17. Canuckcaster

    Canuckcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey MBP,
    I had a Super Champ XD, but I took it back before the 30 day trial was up. It didn't live up to the hype, as far as I was concerned. When the wife, or the kids are asleep I play through a Line 6 Guitarport. It isn't great, but it's better than nothing.

    CC
     
  18. dtfan4ever

    dtfan4ever TDPRI Member

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    The Super Champ XD is great if you own another cab you can hook up to.

    I use the Super Champ XD when I teach lessons, but found the 10" Fender speaker to not be very good. However, I hooked it up to my Mesa 4x12 this morning and the amp just opened up! Wow! So yeah, if you have a good set of speakers in another cab, then this amp will do very well.

    I also own the Tiny Terror Head. Great little head, but it is loud. It's harder to tame than the Super Champ XD.

    Good luck with finding an amp!
     
  19. jvanginkel

    jvanginkel TDPRI Member

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    Modded Fender Champ 600

    I have recently completed some mods on my Champion 600 that have made it amazing. I bought the kit from Nigel (alnicomagnet on ebay) and in addition to getting rid of the hum and sweetening up the tone, the triode switch allows me to overdrive the driver tube at much lower volumes. I'm very pleased with it and play it at home very often (townhouse with attached wall). I've never received a complaint from the neighbors. I also changed the tubes, the speaker and the grill cloth, but total cost including the amp and all the mods is only $300.
     
  20. OaklandA

    OaklandA Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Considering what he has rejected so far...and what he's leaning towards (Zvex Nano, which is overpriced IMO)...the Firefly would be perfect.

    Someone makes a board for this amp now I think, which makes an easy project to build even easier. You might be able to poke around and find a used one.
     
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