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Best cheap beginners tube amp

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by DeweyPeek, May 21, 2013.

  1. DeweyPeek

    DeweyPeek Tele-Holic

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    A friend of mine is learning guitar, and needs an amp. He's getting the squier VM jaguar. He's going into mostly old school punk rock and wants to go straight for a tube amp. He's looking at the orange micro terror and epiphone valve 5 watt, any other suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think VHT's aren't all that much.
     
  3. DeweyPeek

    DeweyPeek Tele-Holic

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    I haven't looked too much into those myself, how are they?
     
  4. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    The real heart of an old school punk rocker learning to play would be to get any used amp he can for the budget he has. It doesnt' matter what it is, although the bigger & louder the better. Also preferably something that has been through a couple local bands.

    Researching the best cheap amp for a beginner is just an intelectual exercise. You can't get the wrong cheap amp for punk rock. If you were here I could probably give him one of the cheap amps that have been abandoned at my house by punk rockers learning to play.
     
  5. andyroid20

    andyroid20 Tele-Meister

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    I bought the special 6 ultra head and cab last week and you get a lot of amp for the money. It is extremely good
     
  6. strateles

    strateles Tele-Holic

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    Fender Excelsior comes to mind, good loud cleans but still sounds good at low "bedroom" volumes. Can hang with a drummer and a small venue, fairly cheap both new and used. And can really cover all tonal options from blues to punk and everything else except metal(maybe with the right pedal/speaker)
     
  7. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    There's cheap then there's inexpensive. I'd go for as much power as I could afford. I'm thinkin' amps we used to beat on back in the day... I had three Traynor YBA-1s. Poor Man's Marshalls. They're not cheap anymore but they sure get the job done.

    Old Sovtek Migs would get the same job done.

    Old silverface Bass-men.

    Kinda depends on where you are and what's the local flavor. A guitar palyer who's learning and a drummer who's also learning means it's gonna get loud and noisy.
     
  8. AirBagTester

    AirBagTester Friend of Leo's

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    I agree! Get something used, cheap.

    And although I like tube amps as much as the next person, many a punk rock tune has been ripped on a crappy solid state amp turned all the way up.

    Does your friend plan to play any gigs?
     
  9. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Can't see why he'd want to waste a good, toneful tube amp playing punk. Just go to a pawn shop and get a big & ratty SS amp with torn speakers :D
     
  10. Onebean

    Onebean Tele-Holic

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    The one I have for sale. Let me know if you're interested.

    Onebean
     
  11. Jake D

    Jake D Tele-Holic

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    Bugera V5. Amazing tones for such a little amp. I used one at an open jam once too and just cranked it.
     
  12. eddie knuckles

    eddie knuckles Tele-Afflicted

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    For amps, the answer is always...

    Peavey Bandit

    For pedals, the answer always is that enlarged murine-based object
     
  13. tujuggernaut

    tujuggernaut TDPRI Member

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    The Orange Micro-Terror has a 12AX7 preamp and a solid-state power section. It sounds surprisingly good through the small custom speaker. It has simple controls and has lots of gain.

    The amp I would go with if you're using pedals for distortion/overdrive is a Silverface Champ. You can find them used for under $300 and they are great little amps. The clean sound is excellent and it takes to distortion run into it really well. All tube, preamp and power section.

    If you need a little more volume, and again, using pedals for distortion/overdrive, the Silverface Bassman heads can be had for good prices.

    Tranyor made a clone of the Twin that's a great amp, but a bit hard to find. Sovtek made some nice 50W heads as well.
     
  14. es125tcd

    es125tcd TDPRI Member

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    best cheap tube amp for the money is the pignose g 40 v. should be able to find one in the $250 or less price range- decent 2 6l6 amp, but has pc board. the only problem i have had with mine was a blown output tranny - reolaced the stock tranny with one from a fender hot rod deluxe ( after talking with service personell at pignose- they told me if i couldn't find a used tranny , that pignose modeled theirs after the hod rod deluxe output tranny- much bigger tranny- opens this amp up wide !!!. best amp to get that overdrivven tube amp sound out there for under 250 bucks... will power a 4 12 cabinet with ease, small , but very solid for its' size...
     
  15. vegetablejoe

    vegetablejoe Tele-Holic

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    Very happy with my Ibanez TSA15H amp head. 2x6V6 gives nice cleans. Built-in TS and boost circuits will serve a beginner's od needs. Pair up with your preferred flavor of speaker and cab.
     
  16. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    There was this old punk rocker who played a big beast labeled Roland. He seemed to do ok for a looong time with that and a mutilated Tele..... ;-)
     
  17. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Get something used first, because amplifiers are like boats. You don't know what you need until you've had one a few seasons. Life will tell you what you need and you don't, there's no predicting how and where you'll actually be using this amp. Pracices, parties, bars, halls, band shells, who knows?

    Having said that (in otherwords this is purely spitballing for what it's worth), a 1x12 30 watt combo is probably the most popular bar-gigging format that will keep up with a loud drummer, and if you play bigger rooms with front-of-the house system and monitors, then use a microphone on the amp. Remember 20 or 30 watts from a tube amp is a lot louder than 50 or 65 watts from solid state amps.

    Try to stay with something that has a master volume knob, because amps like the valve Jr. are really loud before they sound good and aren't practical for practicing.

    If your friend is a gear-hound then consider investing in a decent 1x12 or 2x12 cabinet so then you have your choice of any number of "lunchbox" heads that range from 5 to 20 or 30 watts. That helps keep down the investment for the second and third and fourth amp that you'll want to own - they all have their flavors (Egnator Rebel or Tweaker, Orange Tiny or dual or dark, Vox Night Train, Hughes & Kettner 5W or 18W, or my favorite Marshall DSL15H). Heads may be a nuisance to pack, but they generally avoid the issue of rattling tubes from the abuse they suffer in a small combo cabinet (the failed Marshall Class 5 experiment being the best anecdotal evidence there). Besides many makers (Marshall and Egnator, for example) are using decent digital reverb in heads so the heads are just as full featured as the combo models.
     
  18. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    I know your friend is saying valve amps but to be quite honest, as a beginner nowadays I'd go for one of the modelling amps that are around now.

    I've said before to get those nice valve distortion tones, even a 5w amp turned up is plenty enough to annoy the parents, and next door neibours - particularly in an apartment or semi detached house like you find on this side of the pond. My 15w Pro Junior barely gets going at volumes suitable for home use.

    The advantage of a good modeller like my AD30VT is that you can get good tones at low volume, and then you can take that same amp and play along with a band and drummer. Does it sound as good as my valve amps, well that's subjective. I think personally that the valve amps have the edge, but an average audience member won't notice - most of those only care if a band as a whole sounds good.
     
  19. JAnderson

    JAnderson TDPRI Member

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    I'm going to have to disagree with the takes on this thread. Old school punk tone can't be found on any ****ty amp. Ramones, Sex Pistols, Germs, Minor Threat...that's all classic Fenders and Marshalls. Even bands like Sonic Youth, who played through Peavey, used some of Peavey's best amps ever made (like the Roadmaster).

    And that would be my suggestion for a starting punk amp. One of those old early 80s Peaveys, like an Encore 65, a Mace, a Deuce...something like that. For under $250, those amps are some of the biggest steals on the market, and they're awesome for punk. Modern amps like the Orange Micro and what not will sound cheesy and too slick.

    If he's willing to bump that up to about $400-$500, then get an early 80s Fender Champ II. Those Rivera-era Fenders are holy grail punk tone.
     
  20. Tee1

    Tee1 Tele-Meister

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    There are some exceptions. Greg Ginn (Black Flag) preferred SS amps, as he said that tubes softened your attack too much and he wanted a fast attack. He even used a Peavey PA at some point. Kind of reminds me of my early amp days. I'd browse 2nd hand shops and buy anything that was cheap and looked big and loud enough.
     
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