1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Fender 5W or less Amps (cleans)

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by KnopflerStyle, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    221
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2020
    Location:
    USA
    Fender does make a 5w tube amp...Fender Champ. Mine was $1000 and worth every penny.

    but then You’re talking about clean tone. The lower the wattage, the quicker the breakup at low volume, which is precisely why most people want low watts, so they can jam with natural tube distortion at reasonable volumes.

    like others have said, if it’s clean tone you want, get a Princeton. 12w vs 5w does NOT mean that the Princeton is over twice as loud as the Champ, that’s not how wattage works. With a Princeton, you’ll get a very nice clean tone at bedroom volumes.
     
    JamesAM likes this.
  2. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,772
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Location:
    Beaumont, CA
    As a couple others haver stated, if you are looking for clean tones, who cares how much power it has?

    Me, actually.

    But, it is only because I have experienced what others have also experienced.... Big iron Fender amps usually have better cleans at low volume, than low wattage Fender amps. My 80 watt tweed Twin is one of the sweetest low volume amps I've ever played. A Twin Reverb has very usable low volume sounds. A Deluxe Reverb is usually thin and brittle sounding until it's too loud for the bedroom or apartment player. A Champ can be the same as the Deluxe Reverb.

    Small wattage amps were originally thought of as practice amps. They were meant for students to play at home and not annoy the Hell outta their folks. But, the reality is, you need to cook those circuits a touch before you get the warmth and sweetness.... And, with the advent of electric guitar, came the desire for overdrive. Small wattage amps became the 'dirty' secret in the studios.


    If you want sweet Fender cleans at low volume, look to the 2x6l6 amps. I literally play my Twin at conversational levels without ever getting the stinkeye from the better half! My music space these days is an open space at the top of the stairs. My wife works at home, downstairs. I practice every day for at least an hour in the morning. I've yet to have her give me grief, or complain that I am making it difficult for her to be on a conference call. Most of the time, I'm playing my Twin or '59 Bassman Reissue. If I was still playing my old (long sold) Deluxe Reverb it would be a completely different story. I'd have to turn up a bit more and it would be too loud.

    5 watts is not enough for me to be playing bars.... not enough clean headroom. 20 watts? Yeah, probably. My Marshall Origin 20 Combo has been a great club amp. A lot does depend on the circuit... But, in almost 40 years of playing, it's been my experience that small tube amps don't really do what we think they will.

    Want 5 watts at home to play clean, get good tone and keep quiet? Get a solid state amp.
     
  3. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,435
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    Turdcaster, WA
    It doesn't have to be the wattage, it can be the circuit and the spkr/cab. Fabulous cleans with a se6v6 Muchxs champ (external spkr jack) and an odd ball se6L6 (about a 10watt like a princeton on steroids) > oversized 1x12. And to get the slightly cooking cleans...turn up the amp a bit, turn down the git volume and adjust the pick attack. Speaker size/efficiency matters. .yea it will rattle the house, but it doesn't have to.

    Which begs the discussion of cleans...imo there are different kinds of cleans, e.g., big cleans, little cleans, sweet cleans, warm cleans, stout cleans, dry cleans, bell like cleans and the like.

     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
    Axis29 likes this.
  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,424
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Silver face Champ is cheap. I don't call them "clean" though.
    For clean I'd probably go to a Pro Jr or Blues Jr. in Fender. 15w vs 5 w... who cares? I never hear clean in a 5w amp.
     
  5. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    8,241
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Antelope, California
    It's all of us old farts wanting a quiet tube amp to play at home with great tone. I was tripping on it the other day looking at my Sweetwater catalog. Marshall and Blackstar have 1-watt tube amps, but no Mesa, no Fender, no Orange. These guys are missing the low-watt marketing boat.
     
    Mad Kiwi likes this.
  6. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,732
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    This is sort of a joke, as we are referring to real tube amps here.

    But I just got this Roland Micro Cube 2 weeks ago to use for quiet home use ( apt.) , and the 'JC Clean' model ( with just a little plate reverb) does a pretty nice full Fender Clean tone ( I think the EQ has better balance than the ' BF Fender' model). It is warm and bright

    3 WATTS, 5" speaker with port- really knocked out by this one

    20201018_212006.jpg 20201018_211935.jpg

    ( Line OUT lets me run this into a larger amp or PA)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
    The Angle and JamesAM like this.
  7. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,034
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Location:
    Land of the Long White Cloud
    I asked the same question a while ago.

    Just recently moved on a 68 Custom Princeton (should have bought the 65) but it was too loud when it started getting into its zone.

    Marshall has made all sorts of lower watt versions of their big brothers. Class 5 (Plexi), JMP 1, DSL 1 and a full range of 1 watt versions and now the Studio series SV20 (20 watt Plexi)and SC 20 (20 JCM800) both featuring respectable 5 watt power scaling.

    Not to mention most of their lines come in 5, 15/20, 40-watt versions. The new Origin series has power scaling (quite good at that) built-in. For home I use the 1/3 watt switch through a 2 x 12 and it sounds great (though still better at the higher settings as expected with Tubes)

    So they are specifically realizing the market has changed from 50 /100-watt beasts to a more manageable size.

    With that in mind, I also find it odd Fender hasn't made much, if any effort in this regard.

    Surely a lower wattage Twin, Deluxe Reverb, etc would get sales traction in this lower volume world...

    You can't tell me they cant productionise some of these custom/boutique versions mentioned by people above?
     
    black_doug and Dismalhead like this.
  8. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    931
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    A 5-watt tube amp is pretty much guaranteed to be class A, and class A amps generally break up more easily than A/B. There's no getting around that without a significant amount of dedicated design intention.

    That said . . .

    As noted above, the VHT Special 6 is worth a look. Six watts but scalable down to half that or less, 10 inch speaker, P2P wiring, 6V6 tube, and a toggle to cut between wide-open tweed style or more scooped blackface tone. It's the runaway best value in that category right now.

    Also, I recently got one of the limited edition Harmony 8418 amps from Reverb. It's about 5 watts, but it's low-volume 5 watts, and with single coils it stays very clean to almost full volume. It's a "vintage-voiced" amp with prominent midrange, so you won't get shimmery blackface cleans from it. I've come close to that, however, with a Joyo American Sound pedal in front of it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
  9. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,478
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Idahoastan
    Princeton non reverb....fantastic clean all the way up the dial. 12watts tho.
     
  10. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    288
    Joined:
    May 13, 2020
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I keep hearing great things about these! The battery powered cube street is really intriguing. Nothing like a Roland solid state clean tone.
     
    Chiogtr4x likes this.
  11. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,732
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    The Micro is not as loud or powerful as the Cube Sreet ( I think) but it runs on ( 6 AA) batteries too.
     
    JamesAM likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.