Best small, cheap tube amp for home/practice?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by cacibi, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I think that The Pro Junior sounds so much warmer and rounder than a Blues Junior. I had $450 cash in my wallet and I was going to buy a Blues Junior...I tried the Pro Junior just to play devil's advocate. I couldn't but the Blues Junior after hearing the Pro Junior despite the reverb and pregain in the Blue Junior.

    I love my Pro Junior. Greg Koch records most of his stuff with a stock Pro Junior.

    Pro Juniors are plenty loud. If you really want a practice amp, try a VOX DA5 using the Blackface or AC-15 setting with the trem & reverb. The little DA5 has selectable 5 and 1 and .5 watt settings. Neat little practice amp for $139.
     
  2. 2ndstringer

    2ndstringer Tele-Meister

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    The Super Champ XD is a modeling amp with a tube power section. You don't need to overdrive it to get an overdriven sound, because it has overdriven models of tweeds, Marshalls, blackface Fenders, HR Fenders, etc. The clean channel sounds like a blackface Deluxe. It sounds quite nice around the house with the volume on 3. It is not too powerful to use at home, but it can get loud enough for small gigs, or you can mic it or use the line out for larger gigs. It is way more versatile than a Pro Jr., although that is also a nice amp.

    John
     
  3. BrianF

    BrianF Friend of Leo's

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    It doesn't JUST have a tube power section. It's an all-tube amp (preamp, phase-inverter, and power amp) that happens to have a digital FX and tone shaping section...
     
  4. dB

    dB Tele-Holic

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    Champ.

    Don't have to crank it for good tone, clean is great.


    dB
     
  5. TexGoneNW

    TexGoneNW Tele-Afflicted

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    I can't help but add another shout out for the Pro Junior.

    I've had nothing but good tone and solid performance from mine.
     
  6. dugg365

    dugg365 TDPRI Member

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    "nice tube drive" means you want distortion? i have an epiphone galaxie 10(similar to electar) that has had alot of work done (parts were broken). i swapped tubes a little, and upgraded the speaker(used) all for around $160 cheap! it plays damn good. those old kalamazoo's and champs sound good too!!
     
  7. chabby

    chabby Friend of Leo's

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    Studio1087-
    I love Greg Koch! He's my numba one teacher. He doesn't know it but he's taught me more in one year than I learned in 20 on my own. What a talent and funny dude he is. I crack up just thinkin about him. I have all his videos and recordings. He's one of those American treasures that many folks will prolly never hear unfortunately. But he's really got to be seen to be fully appreciated. Just finished mastering his Lynyrd Skynyrd video from which I almost wore down my fingers doing. But when youre trying to do Gaines, King, Rossington and Collins that's to be expected. As he so Boldly puts it Gaine's and King's playing "was incendiary". Or, when introducing Gaine's signature tune "I know a Little" He says; "To say Steve Gaines knew a little, is an understatement" and the bestial licks he laid down in his short life were indeed bold and incendiary.
     
  8. pchilson

    pchilson Friend of Leo's

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    I have 3 amps currently any of which would fit your criteria.

    Champion 600: Small 5 watt tube single channel. You can take this one to 12, gets dirty but won't take the glass out of the windows. This amp sits upstairs for doodling around on.

    Super Champ XD: 15 watt tube 2 channel with modeling and effects. Very versatile amp, you can get the sound at a volume level of your choosing with this one. This is my curent goto amp.

    Kustom Tube 12A: 12 watt SS with a 12AX7 pre-amp tube 2 channel. Very good sound, volume levels of your choosing with or without distortion. No modeling but does include a headphone jack which makes this my late night, early morning amp.

    I purchased all of these amps new.
    Champion 600 - $159
    Super Champ XD - $229
    Tube 12A - $99


    I owned a VJr head for a short time. I liked the sounds and intended to do some mods to it. What I found for me is that it was simply too loud for my use with out a master volume control. I like to get to the tubes to breakup and with this one they would but at excessive volume to do so.
     
  9. Pvee

    Pvee Tele-Holic

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  10. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Greg and his family live in Wauwatosa which is a near west suburb of Milwaukee. I'm sort of lucky in that he does spots on the best classic rock station in town in the mornings from time to time. He'll goof with the DJ's, play great guitar and tell stories from the road. He travels the world promoting Fender guitars and he always has a great story to tell. His vocabulary is amazing.

    Greg also plays lots of clinics around Milwaukee because he lives here.

    He's great.
     
  11. Easydog

    Easydog Tele-Meister

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    Hey Tim, did they make princetons with AND w/o a master vol? I cant seem to answer this one. been looking at PR's lately but was turned off a little by the lack of M/Vol.
     
  12. MaskedRider

    MaskedRider Tele-Afflicted

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    I use one of these.Both are apartment friendly.The Vox is my living room amp and the Mini Colossal in the bedroom.Very nice sound at low volumes.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Hoodster

    Hoodster Friend of Leo's

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  14. three barrel

    three barrel Tele-Meister

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    I have a Kalamazoo Model 2 amp that I picked up a couple of years ago. I think they were made in the mid-60's by Gibson. About 5 watts, one 12AX, one EL 84, and tube driven tremelo (also 12AX7). I like it alot. It needed the filter caps replaced and it good to go. I think I paid $85 plus shipping. There are a few on ebay right now...
     
  15. cacibi

    cacibi Friend of Leo's

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    Well, I thank you for all the replies...but I went with the Champ 600.

    I think some mods/upgrades will be necessary (or tried regardless). The overdrive at full volume is not pleasant. Brittle and farty - IMHO they screwed up hot rodding the preamp stage and should have left well enough alone - but I'm hoping dropping to a 12AY7 will help it out - and then maybe a Weber upgrade for the speaker - although I thought it sounded fine until the 'disastortion' kicked in. Noodled around with it on a tele at GC, and noted how hard it was to find a tele with brass saddles in that place.

    I have to admit - I think cosmetics were a slight influencing factor. But I also like the fact that it's 6V6 (not to knock the EL84's) and you know....Fender on Fender...hey, that's a great name for an all Fender instrumental version of Blonde on Blonde!
     
  16. srh3trinity

    srh3trinity TDPRI Member

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    I'll second the Kalamazoo (or third if it has already been mentioned). I have a model one that I had recapped. The guy who recapped it built me another amp with the Kalamazoo schematic and a 6V6 or 6L6 power tube. I also had him build me an old Airline schematic that used a 5OC5 power tube. All three work great in my apartment and produce some great tones.
     
  17. Pvee

    Pvee Tele-Holic

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    I mentioned the VOX ad15t in another new post.
    Got mine on clearance it GC. $ 149.00

    Great tones.

    Tube preamp, and solid state power amp.

    I went looking for the Fender SC XD but thay have not seen any yet and discovered the VOX and I am really pleased with it.
     
  18. bowlfreshener

    bowlfreshener Friend of Leo's

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    I like Epi Valve Junior Heads, as I own 2 of them...
     
  19. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    I just got my Champ.
    Changed the chinese 12AX7 for a Sovtek/GT Fender 12AX7 that came in my DRRI and it sounds ok. But when I plugged it to the Jensen AlNiCo I have in my DRRI it sounded really great! I think I'll build a cab to use with it (I have a ceramic Jensen, that came stock in my DRRI, somewhere in the house) and keep my Microcube for home playing.
     
  20. raf

    raf Tele-Afflicted

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    Vox ad30vt...not all tube, but very affordable, versatile and apartment friendly...notice I did not say it wasn't loud, but the on-board attenuator allows you to quiet it down. Awesome little amp!
     
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