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Love the Pro Jr but it's too loud for practice. Would a Champ do the trick?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Boy_Narf, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    For practice I use a Blackstar HT1RC great little practice amp and can be had reasonably
     
  2. Scott79

    Scott79 TDPRI Member

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    Jhs little black box. Basically a master volume. Works great
     
  3. Jjmatashi

    Jjmatashi TDPRI Member

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    After many years as a tube snob, I have discovered the Boss Nextone Artist.
    The stock speaker needs to be swapped out for it to really sound like a tube amp.
    I put a Texas Heat in mine (also tried a Cannabis Rex and Swamp Thang), and now it is really indistinguishable from a tube amp.
    Now it sits proudly beside my Tone King Comet and Handwired Princeton Reverb clone, and I play it more than the others.
    Not saying its as good as the Tone King, but I challenge anyone to tell that its not a tube amp - and I can play at reasonable volumes.
    I now play the Tone King when I want a treat, and the Princeton is up for sale (sort of).
     
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  4. gtroates

    gtroates Tele-Holic

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    If by practice you mean only to hear yourself and not so others can hear you I would highly recommend the Boss WAZA Air headphones. I can practice anywhere with no fear of waking people up or complaining neighbors. To me they are the best solution for practicing.
     
  5. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates TDPRI Member

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    I suggest an Attenuator if you aren't a fan of pedals. I have the same issue, using a nice, inexpensive distortion until I source the best value attenuator cause I like my practice amp's characteristics (Gibson GA-15RV).
     
  6. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates TDPRI Member

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    I can tell the difference from here lol .... but really whatever gets the job done. I was enjoying a Marshall MX30 for a practice amp until I got my Gibson GA-15RV back. I'm not gonna tell anyone the solid state distortion/OD is the same as tubes or that I would record with it but at low volume it was good enough to practice on.
     
  7. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    I'm feeling old today I swear.

    I've owned a number of amps, and practiced in a whole bunch of different environments (started in a bedroom, then an apartment, a shared house and finally my own home). I always felt like 'make the best out of what you've got on hand" worked just fine. Good for the OP in looking for a solution and asking for help - but keeping one's settings (guitar volume on 3-4) vs making it sound it's best is really making things much more difficult than it has to be.

    I owned a BF Champ that was way too loud (for me) before it started overdriving. There's an old saying - "ride the horse in the direction it's going" that applies for me. I don't try to get the JCM800 'going' when others are home.

    I'm ok with pedals, but MV tube amps are kind of ideal.

    I'll admit that I've used a pignose, SS 10 watters, vintage Ampegs and big Fenders and Marshalls at home, and a nylon string guitar is a great way to practice some things too.
     
  8. madhermit

    madhermit TDPRI Member

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    *** This is for purposes of education, as I see lots of wrong info about this subject. Also, I am not an engineer, so I might not have this correct. It is in no way a personal attack.

    I am pretty sure that doubling the perceived volume of an amp requires 10x the Watts or /10 the Watts to cut the perceived volume in half. So to half the perceived volume of a 15 Watt amp, all other things being equal, needs a 1.5 Watt amp. To make it twice as loud requires 150 Watts.

    (I think) Doubling or cutting the Watts in half lowers the volume of an amp (all other things being equal) by 3dB, which is not that much in perceptible volume. The decibel scale is not linear. I was a recording/mixing ‘engineer’ for a decade, and fader moves of less than 3dB are more felt than heard if that makes sense?

    What has helped me keep this stuff straight was a show I listened to about where the decibel scale came from. If I recall correctly, Bell created the unit of a Bel (not sure if there is one L or 2 L’s in a Bel, and I don’t recall if he named it) that was a perceived doubling of volume. So 2 Bels was twice as loud as 1 Bel. Each Bell was then divided into a non-linear scale of 10 parts called decibel. I don’t recall why it is non-linear. But this is where all the confusion comes from.

    Then there are also different kinds of Decibels too, but I don’t know enough about that to get into it.

    I think for guitar amps the rule of thumb is 10x the power to double the volume (or /10 to half the volume) is the easiest way to remember it. This is only with the same speaker set up. If you add or subtract speakers, things change. I think changing impedance with a mismatch can alter the output too.

    Please take this in the way it was intended as trying to educate about Watts and volume.

    And if I have something wrong, someone please correct this post so I get it right too!

    TLDR: 10x the Watts = double the volume.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  9. madhermit

    madhermit TDPRI Member

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    I have been eyeballing a Nextone too. I also have killer tube amps, including a Princeton clone. The Nextone is such a dividing amp. Your post gives me more desire to experiment with one.
     
  10. madhermit

    madhermit TDPRI Member

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    I use that in the loop of my Mesa Mark 5:25 combo. The master volume on mine is touchy, so it helps make it more useable down low. I am not sure it would do much into the front of a Pro Jr though.

    @OP
    I do have a Carl’s Custom Guitars Speaker Soak that worked ok when I had a Pro Junior.
    https://carlscustomguitars.com/carl...amp-power-tube-speaker-line-volume-attenuator
    Attenuators do alter the character/tone of the amp/overdrive though. I rarely liked it as much as using the amp without it, but it did allow me to lower the volume a lot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  11. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    No great options left in a "post-loud" world... does anyone make a transducer to shake the guitar using signal from the amp? :)
     
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  12. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    There were many times when our band back in the 70's practiced without amplification on acoustic guitars and a conga.

    We even used an acoustic guitar to play the bass lines.

    We did this fairly often... and, then transferred it all to the electric amplified instruments and a full drum set.

    It worked well.

    In fact, it really helped our 3-part harmonies come together because we could hear our voices in harmony much better.

    And, the nuances acoustically came across in/through the amplified band performances, too.

    You don't have to practice at stage volume... i.e., LOUD.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  13. Cosmicstrings

    Cosmicstrings TDPRI Member

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    I have a house full of great sounding tube amps from the 50's to the 90's. For what you are talking about sound and volume wise I have had the best luck with my nephews Vox DA-5.
     
  14. fretknot

    fretknot TDPRI Member

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    I second that! I picked one up recently from a college student that never had time to play it. Put some RCA tubes in there and now it has the nicest clean, with plenty of drive options to choose from. Not a true tube amp through the entire signal chain, but the tone works for me as a living room amp. Wish I knew about these sooner.
     
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  15. Fmalitz

    Fmalitz TDPRI Member

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    I'm a working guitar player and I bought a Pro Junior for rehearsals because I have a bad back and it was small and light. Yes, it's a bit loud for its size.

    You are halfway there because they stepped up the original awful loudspeaker to that Jensen which is superior. I wouldn't buy another amplifier; I would try something like an Xotic RC Booster overdrive. it's very natural and unlike something like a tube screamer, it will not steal the low end richness that the improved Jensen can provide. Again, unlike the tube screamer, it will not change the character of your amp or instrument but it does have tone controls which will address the greatest failing in the Pro Junior-- the dumbest tone circuit of all time, unless they finally dumped it.

    I have an older model because mine did not come with a Jensen speaker. I put in the top-of-the-line blackbird but that's over $200. your speaker should be fine. Here's what they did, at least on mine: the tone control, when advanced, adds treble but cuts bass, simultaneously. When turned counterclockwise, it adds bass and cuts the trouble so it's impossible to get the classic fender blackface tone. The amplifier will always have limitations as a result unless you don't care for the blackface tone and want more for British approach which this amplifier actually has. Being a Chicago blue specialist for 55 years, this was unacceptable to me.

    I realize you don't want to fool around with custom builders and all that stuff. But maybe someday, if you want to hear with this baby can really do, take it to a technician who can permanently bring up the bottom and the top and convert the tone control to a midrange control! Think about that. I've got the warmth on the bottom that fender has always provided on the better models, with plenty of chime up top but when I'm using a Gibson with buckers, I can drop the midrange for the fender blackface scooped sound and when I switch to my Strat I can add midrange to give it some drive and some balls because the single coil pickups have less output.

    One more thing: doubling amp power will add around 3dB to the output of the driver (speaker). So, if you replace the driver with another with 3 dBs more sensitivity, you'll have an acoustic increase comparable to doubling your power if you ever decide to gig. It wont actually double the output volume because of losses but probably would be the equivalent of around 25 watts. If a Champ is five watts, you'll only lose about 3.5 dBs but that's at maximum output. The Champ will not sound nearly as good but will break-up sooner. I'd get a pedal.
     
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  16. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I currently have a Pro Junior and a 69 Champ in my music room. I play the Pro Junior when I want good clean tones, then if I want some dirt I plug into the Champ. I'm in a house and live alone, so I can turn it up quite a bit.

    But if volume is a problem and you just don't want to use a dirt pedal, frankly I would get a little Pignose. That said, a Pignose really sounds better with at least a delay pedal. In fact the only pedals I'm using for the Champ and Pro Junior are a delay and a tremolo. Usually just have the delay on for a little bit of slapback.
     
  17. LittleSonny

    LittleSonny TDPRI Member

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    Have you considered swapping out the 12ax7 preamp tube for a lower gain 12y7. No technical skill involved just grab by the base of the (cold)tube, pull it out and then stick the other one in. Cheaper than buying a new amp and might just do the trick.
     
  18. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    Many good and serviceable suggestions in this thread. I keep an overdrive pedal in line on my home practice rig; usually a Soul Food but not always. This allows me to pull the amp down without losing everything. I'm partial to a Pro Jr myself, these days, and I run it through a Motion Sound SRV 112 cab. So it's warm and chewy.
    My three favorite practices amps are no longer in service: Vox AC 4 TV mini died.
    Epi Valve Jr quit and I had already parted with my Vibro Champ XD, and that's what really hurt. The XD was more complex but was easy to dial in at low volume.
    I don't own one, but, the Supro 1 watt might be a good fit for your needs. Now I want one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  19. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah I use it as a bedroom hobby player and I love it. I think it gets a bad rap sometimes but I don't know why. I love the tones with or without pedals. Crystal clear cleans... Nice tube warmth. And won't blow an eardrum like my hot rod would. I miss that thing but unfortunately fender makes 'em loud only!
     
  20. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

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    It had a 'surge' problem, i.e. I would play a chord and instead of decaying naturally, the sound would keep getting louder. Probably a small issue but the amp didn't cost me much ($AUD375 or about $US270) and I didn't want to spend money paying someone to track down the problem. Also I was kind of excited by the idea of gutting it and building a hand wired 5f2a, which I thought would be more usable at home (and is).
    I suspect I broke it by using a cheap resistive attenuator ... soon after I bought one and started cranking the amp, it developed the problem.
     
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