First Tube Amp

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Xavier34, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can play tube amps at reasonable volumes, & still have a very nice full sustaining sound. Just crank the reverb & compensate with the eq.

    If you can sort a good old Fender or Ampeg amp you will not regret it. Some old Ampegs are still cheap.

    Nothing beats a cranked amp , but well, that's what gigs are for.
     
  2. Cooper Black

    Cooper Black Tele-Afflicted

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    ^Feeling very grateful for these circumstances (even while the reality of this $#@! woodland shack is less than spectacular).
     
  3. Xavier34

    Xavier34 NEW MEMBER!

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    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    If tube amps get that loud I definitely wanna keep it under 5w for the sanity of my neighbors.

    So I've narrowed my list down over the weekend I'm gonna go check out
    - Bugera v5
    - Laney Cub 10
    - Super Champ X2
    - Vox AC4


    There's a Class 5 Marshall on ebay that's pretty tempting even though I won't be able to take it for a test run first. Also saw ibanez is coming out with a new TSA5 ... anyone have any experience with those?
     
  4. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

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    Might want to put vht special 6 in there, it has a half power 3w mode also.

    Also Ampeg GVT5-110 also has half power mode.

     
  5. Bargemule

    Bargemule TDPRI Member

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    I recently bought, and more recently sold, a Bugera V5. For me the sound was too warm, and many folks mod them to tweak that. Otherwise it is a nice little amp. Solid build, headphone jack, line out, and most importantly, a power attenuator that lets you drop from 5w to 1w to .1w and still drive the tubes to crunchy at reasonable volume. If you look for one, check the speaker for the upgraded Turbosound found on newer models.

    Have fun searching
     
  6. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    Bought one of those, the 2.5 watt mode was very useable, and still surprising loud if you were able to use it. Going very cheap at the moment. I only returned it because I wanted a master volume.
     
  7. Honeyman Scoot

    Honeyman Scoot TDPRI Member

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    Peavey Classic 30 should be seriously considered.
     
  8. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The Class5 is much louder than what you would want for typical home playing. I had one briefly, but I sent it back because to get it where it sounded good (and it DID sound VERY good), it was way louder than I really wanted to deal with.

    I also briefly had a Blackstar HT-5RH, which was also a very good sounding amp, but the gain channel was just a bit too much for what I was looking for, and a tube swap wouldn't help because they have some solid state stuff going on in the distortion channel.

    What eventually found a permanent home with me is the Egnater Tweaker 15, which is a very good sounding amp (and a GREAT sounding amp once you replace the cheap stock tubes). It can do just about anything that I would want, from Fender cleans all the way up to Boogie high gain, and it excels at the Marshall crunch that most classic rock calls for. It also doesn't need to be loud to sound good, I play through it all the time while watching TV. It sounds better when it's cranked up a bit, but it still sounds really good at lower levels. It is currently sitting in between a Mesa TA-15 and a Mesa Mini Rectifier, and it holds up very well against both amps.
     
  9. jskibs

    jskibs TDPRI Member

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    I've been playing for a year, originally with a Fender Mustang I v 2. Set up is in a single family home in my insulated, finished basement; brick house in the city with neighboring houses 8 ft or so from mine on either side. Six months ago I got the idea I needed a tube amp and got a Vox AC4C1. I very nearly sprung for an AC15. The AC4 is nice but I rarely get the chance to really crank it. When it sounds its best the neighbors do hear it very well, not to mention my family. So of course I bought pedals and so after a few hundred bucks the Mustang still gets way more use. I should have put the money into a Mustang III. I don't need the extra power but I want the better interface. I hate having to tweak things on a computer.
     
  10. Tle4

    Tle4 Tele-Afflicted

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    Personally I stay away from the 5 watters with anything less than a 12" speaker. I have tried a bunch of 5 watters and they just dont cut ot in the long run. If I only played at home and had to keep volume down, I would get me a good sounding solid state amp that sounds the same at any volume. Maybe a Tech 21 Trademark or a Fender Mustang III.

    For a beginner, The Mustang III would be a great amp because you get to play around with a bunch of effects to see what you like.... The MIII would be totally giggable or able to jam and keep up with a drummer when you get to the point of playing with others. A 5 watter could possibly keep up with a light handed drummer but you would not be able to get a clean tone and be heard.... I would try some good SS amps out while you are trying out tube amps
     
  11. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    Of the amps on your list, I'd get the Super Champ X2. Has a Master Volume, great cleans, decent effects and a variety of amp models to keep you interested. Not all tube, but the tube power section really warms up the DSP pre-amp. A speaker upgrade or ext. cab makes it usable for small gigs or jams.
     
  12. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Blues Junior.

    15 watts
    12" Speaker
    Pregain
    Master Volume
    Bass
    Treble
    Spring Reverb

    Good at home at low volume. Loud enough to keep up with a drummer. Small enough to fit on the floor in the back seat of a car (behind the driver!).

    It's a work horse. It's a Swiss Army Knife. It's adorable. It's a nice Fender tube amp.

    I likes EL84's. :cool:
     
  13. Bargemule

    Bargemule TDPRI Member

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    Vox Pathfinder 15R

    I'm in the hunt for the same thing - 5 watts or less driving tubes for home playing and recording. That's why I tried the Bugera. If you go solid state, I can recommend the Vox Pathfinder 15R as a great choice. I have one, it can get loud but sounds great at low volume, has a real reverb, tremolo, line out, AND a headphone jack. They stopped production a couple of years ago, but they turn up sometimes. Saw one on ebay two weeks ago, and my local GC had a well-used example recently for $90.
     
  14. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You should look for amps with either a master volume, a power soak or attenuator or variable power settings.

    Just going with a few combo all tube amps:

    Ampeg has the GVT5-110, it's 5 watts and has a half power setting. They can be had new for as low as $279.99, but are getting harder to find, after everyone had their big sales on them.

    Blackstar has the HT5 Series amps. The features vary with each model. They are supposedly designed by former Marshall Engineers. Some say their sound can be a bit bland. Combos retail from $399 and up.

    The Bugera V5 Infinium are the newest version of their V5 amps. The put much of the Infinium technology into these as from their bigger series amps. these also come with the new Turbosound speakers. They have Gain, Master Volume and a two stage attenuator. These haven't come out yet, but are already being listed at $229.

    The Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 5 Combo Amp is a master volume amp, with modern tones, from clean to dirty. It also has a power soak and Redbox DI output if you want to do any recording. They run right at $499.

    Marshall has the DSL5C is 5 watt, 110 combo that has a two separate Volumes, one for each channel, Gain and a 5 Watt/1 Watt power switch. It retails for $499.99.

    You already mentioned the Vox AC4, but I'm not sure if you know there are two different AC4s The AC4TV and the AC4C1-BL, or the AC4C1-PL/CM(the colors). The AC4TV has Tone, Volume, Operating Power Level (4 Watt, 1 Watt & ¼ Watt power levels). The AC4C1s have separate Gain and Master Volume controls. The AC4TV retails for about $249.99 and the AC4C1s retail for about $299.99. These both actually sound really good with better tubes and speakers. I love them with 16Ω Weber AlNiCo Blue Pups.


    These are but a few options out there for all tube combo amps. There are also many boutique amps that cost much more and there are some really cheap all tube amps, I'd be leery of. While all these amps do come with 8-10" speakers, don't be too turned off by that, as many can be easily upgraded to better speakers. If the amps with the upgraded speakers don't cut it for you, you can always return them back to stock. Most all of these amp will most likely sound even better, when you fine tune the gain and, to a small extent, the tone with better tubes.
     
  15. Tele Convert

    Tele Convert Tele-Holic

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    I got a Class 5 and was not impressed. The low volume was nice and clean but it had no high sparkle. It sounded muffled and mushy. It didn't really sound all that great til it was really loud, even then the sound quality was not even close to being worth the list price. Bought it used and flipped it real quick at no loss.
    Keep in mind that with a tube amp if you want versatility you're going to end up needing pedals, which are awesome little boxes of cool. But the cost of them adds up quickly. If you're thinking of multi fx to cover all your bases, they can sound decent but individual pedals are much better.
     
  16. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    Don't take this the wrong way. You've been playing guitar for a few months. Anything that a sound comes out of will be fine. You got a lot more to focus on, such as learning guitar.

    I learned on a coke bottle and a wire.

    I didn't get concerned about amps until I was in a band, when it really started to matter. everyone is going to poo-poo this, but sorry, it just doesn't matter right now. you are making chord shapes and stretching your fingers on scales. any amp, and I mean ANY amp is fine right now.

    2 years from now, then you'll have some idea of what you really want in an amp, assuming you're still playing guitar.
     
  17. Tele Convert

    Tele Convert Tele-Holic

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    Casterless does have a point, however, if the sounds you're hearing don't inspire you to pick up your guitar then you might not stick with it. That's why I recommend modelers for the beginner. You can test drive all sorts of different amps and effects and get a feel for what you like at a minimal outlay of money.
    Are you a vox guy? Or marshall? Super clean fender? Super hardcore death metal guy?
    That can be real expensive to find out buy buying tube amps that usually make one kind of sound. Some of the midrange to better modeling amps cost about what the bottom of the line tube amps cost.
    When I got back into playing after a several year hiatus, I picked up a vox vt30. Excellent bedroom jamming amp. Tons of amp models and effects and it's real cheap compared to tube. Sold that awhile back and now I have a mustang iii in addition to my loud tube amp with pedals setup. It's great fun to have modeler around just to be able to play with all those different sounds without shucking out cash all the time for pedals.
    I see people recommend all the time to go play these amps and it gets a little annoying just hearing that as an answer, but they kind of have a point.
     
  18. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    This thread is only going to make things worse :lol:.

    If I was to keep only one amp in that price range it would by my Blackstar HT-5R. Get a used one and spend the remainder on a speaker upgrade.
     
  19. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    pro jr

    if its too loud turn it around facing the wall and throw a pillow over it. then rock out, son.
     
  20. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    Agree, but he said he lives in a house.
     
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