best cheap tube amp that doesn't sound cheap

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by gunzors, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. javabirds

    javabirds Tele-Holic

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    Vox AC4TV
     
  2. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would second the Crate suggestion also. Particularly if you can fine one of the USA made versions.
     
    Keep on Truckin likes this.
  3. tlimbert65

    tlimbert65 Tele-Afflicted

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    Used Pro Junior,
    Used (maybe new?) Super Champ XD,
    New Vibro Champ XD,
    New Champion 600
     
  4. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I "window shop" Craigslist a lot, and tube amps in your price range come up fairly frequently, even though my local Craigslist covers a very small market. The thing with shopping used is that the selection is random, you have to be ready to act when a good one comes up, and the model probably won't be one of the ones everyone on TDPRI has the hots for, so you might not be familiar with its features. When I see one I might like (the ad indicates tubes and my favorite speaker size,) I Google the brand and model number, for information about its specifications, and then search here for references to it, to find out whether anyone else likes the amp. I'm full up on amps right now, but after these two steps I'd confident buying a used amp from a private party, and the bargain price is an added bonus.

    I'm not an expert, and definitely not a technician, but if the price is right I wouldn't worry very much if the amp made some snaps, crackles, or pops when I played it. That might be the reason the seller's letting it go so cheaply. It's been my experience that changing a tube or two usually perks it right up, and that tubes wear out. Mine do, anyway. As long as all the knobs seem to work, there's no very bad damage visible, and the sound is pleasing to me (minus the noises,) I think it's worth buying, if the price is right.
     
  5. Stuco

    Stuco Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is a great sounding amp but they don't have a lot of range. It gets pretty dirty pretty quick too so if the OP needs a clean sound, that would be something to consider.
     
  6. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Home use?

    Used Pro Junior.

    I just bought one for $199 used through GC online. Find one and you can keep it forever. If you have a Twin Reverb someday you'll still love the Pro Junior. This is my second Pro Junior. I'll never sell this one.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. cynic79

    cynic79 Tele-Meister

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  8. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    A Crate V5 can be a great little amp...it really needs a tube and speaker change, but if you can find one on ebay for around $99...a new decent 10" speaker and tubes will cost you about another $99. I had one...replaced the tubes with JJ's and the speaker with a Warehouse Veteran 10" and it was a killer little tube amp. I kick myself for selling it.

    The Bugera V5 is a decent little amp too...you can get one new for under $200 through music123 with free shipping and it has reverb! .I prefer the Crate because I'm a big fan of 10" speakers...I prefer them over 12" in most cases.

    I also had an Epi Valve Jr. combo i picked up for $79 new...changed the tubes, put in an Eminence 8" and did the J1 mod to brighten it a bit. That was pretty nice too...but the Crate sounded much better. I haven't owned the Bugera, so can't really say.
     
  9. Custom Deluxe

    Custom Deluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, your right. I guess I missed the clean sound part. Should have read a little closer. Thanks.
     
  10. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    My choice for this price point...

    Super Champ XD for sure! Since you're in Canada, if you're close to a Long & McQuade, see if they have any stock left -- they were selling for $199 at the end of December, and also get the footswitch (mine was 25.25 w tax).
     
  11. zeke54

    zeke54 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have a Palomino V16 and I agree , it's a great amp but mine dirties up at mid volume too . My main amp for the past few years has been the pro jr. , really a great amp , I've used it for small venues and larger ones mic'd . My home practice amp is a valve jr. head with a single 12 cabinet . I put in a mod kit and it's a good sounding amp too once you crank it up . Haven't tried the super champ , but I hear great things about them .
     
  12. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Absolutely. Love mine. Hand wired no less (in China, but politics aside, so what?).
     
  13. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

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    There are lots of good used amps in your price range, but just remember that used may mean they need new power tubes, and that'll set you back some.
     
  14. Charlie Davis

    Charlie Davis TDPRI Member

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    Pro Junior
    AC4
     
  15. toonskies

    toonskies TDPRI Member

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    I have a Bugera V5. Quite cheap. Sounds good with my tele, my hollow body aria pro 2, humbuckers guitar, not so much. I replaced valves with:

    Preamp tube: Electro-Harmonix 12AX7
    http://tubedepot.com/eh-12ax7.html

    Power tube: JJ EL84 / 6BQ5 Power Vacuum Tube
    http://tubedepot.com/jj-el84.html

    I'm not an expert in tubes. bought these based on reviews etc. but they made a bit of an improvement

    and the speaker with a
    Jensen c8r (4 ohms)
    http://www.amplifiedparts.com/products/P-A-C8R

    I replaced the tubes first and noticed a bit of an improvement, then the speaker, which brightened up the sound a bit. I wouldn't say the speaker greatly improved the sound, just brightened it up noticabely, which is what i wanted and perhaps a bit more articulation in the high notes. that said, the stock speaker isn't bad. there is an english guy:
    http://www.ratvalveamps.com/bugera-v5-combo
    that sells modded Bugera V5 amps and he replaces the stock speaker with a
    Celestion Eight 15
    http://www.amplifiedparts.com/products/P-A-G8C-15-8
    speaker, so I guess this would probably be a good speaker replacement too.
    You could simply replace the tubes and with the right combination, that's maybe all the mods you'd ever need to do.
    The power attenuator is quite handy if you want to play at lower volumes and still turn up the gain to get breakup, although this does cause a slight reduction in tone, so you might want to crank the tone knob up a tad when attenuating. I hardly evey use the .1W setting and only sometimes use the 1W setting, as I have a distortion pedal. the amp seems to take pedals very well. The reverb is actually really nice sounding on this amp.
    All in all, a nice little tube amp (paired with single coil guitars. I use it with my tele) for the price. Has a headphone jack aswell
     
  16. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

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    I would budget no more than $150 for the amp so you can cover tax, minor repair etc.,sounds tough but I have found the following in stores with 30-90 day warranty in the last year. (all prices USD)

    Peavey Bravo $135 (killer 1x12 combo, excells at '80s rock)
    Crate V-15 $150 (NIce alternative to the Blues Junior)
    Vox AC-4 $130 (still have, cool little amp)
    Fender Champ 600 $50 (a little rough looking but worked fine)
    Peavey Deuce $150 (SS pre, nice big gigable amp, poor mans Twin)
    Marshall AVT-20 $100 (tube pre, but nice sounds)
    Guild Thunder $150 Vintage 1x12 combo, weird tubes but great low fi sounds, killer trem
     
  17. go49ners

    go49ners Tele-Meister

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    Find a used Fender Excelsior
     
  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Zombie thread.
     
  19. rokdog49

    rokdog49 Friend of Leo's

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    +1
     
  20. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    :cool:

    I sure hope he bought something last year.

    [​IMG]
     
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