Low watt tube amp for home use recommendations

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Eastman E10, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with flying banana about buying a Vibro Champ. My living room rig, I am running in stereo with an Art SGX-2000 and a Rocktron Silver Dragon with an NOS 5814A (Mil spec 12AU7) right channel is my Vibro Champ with a 10 inch speaker mod and the left channel is my Vox Lil' Night Train into a 15 inch cab converted to a 12 inch with a homemade brass tone ring/adapter. The sounds are huge and beautiful.
     
  2. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm a huge fan of my Blackheart Little Giant. It's 3W/5W switchable, broadly similar to Vox voicing, with a nice BMT stack (yum...). Class A and it can overdrive pretty early in the volume range - I threw in a 12au7 tube and now get great cleans on the first third of the knob, and arguably better OD afterwards.

    They're not made anymore, but used ones haven't really gone up much in price... I've seen heads go for around US150 and combos for 250. Built like a tank and great for modding if you get the urge.
     
  3. Eastman E10

    Eastman E10 TDPRI Member

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    Yes, Oldgitplayer I'm about 25 mins out of Adelaide (Holden Hill) so I have stores to look at. I didn't see the Laney but keep my eye on ebay and Gumtree. I have been looking for about 6 months but not serious about buying until recently. I saw a Little Giant a few months ago on ebay for around $500 with RAT mods and about my price but did not bite. I also saw a VHT Special 6 Ultra around my price but was not serious at that time. At least I have plenty to look for now.
    Thanks for all the information and recommendations - Great Forum.
     
  4. JukeJointJunkie

    JukeJointJunkie Tele-Meister

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    Whatever you do, get something with at least a 10 inch speaker. An 8 inch speaker just doesn't sound full enough IMO.
     
  5. jjk1000

    jjk1000 TDPRI Member

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    Satellite gammatron. Amazing little beast. I have mine paired with a 1x10 cab. They pop up frequently on reverb or you could order direct.
     
  6. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^^ THIS ^^^

    More specifically, any flavor Roland Blues Cube Hot:

    BCH original = Fender Bassman 6L6 Tweed circuit
    BCH BKM = British Marshall KT66 circuit
    BCH = British EL84 Modified circuit

    30 watts. Tube tone. Small footprint. I love mine.
     
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  7. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    ^^^ NOT THIS ^^^

    From the OP:
     
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  8. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for pointing out the obvious, Togman, but you missed the obvious point.

    With today's technology, one can reasonably expect to get the POSITIVE of tube amps, i.e., tone, WITHOUT the NEGATIVE of tube amps, i.e., tubes, weight, cost. My $.02.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
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  9. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This whole thing opens up a never ending flame war but...

    In my opinion if the budget is modest then the current generation of SS amps is worth taking a look at. They really do sound surprisingly good.

    And often, they do the bedroom thing better than most tube amps. It's hard to get a tube amp sounding right at low volume.

    As they say, even a little 5 watt amp turned up to dirty is as loud as a trumpet at full blast.



     
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  10. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey, no flame wars necessary! Just staying the obvious, PingGuo.

    ...and the nice things about the Roland BCH are: 1) it's solid state ANALOG, with tube tone, and 2) it's output is scalable!
     
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  11. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It really is shocking how good they are.

    Did you see the recent boutique shootout that chappers/captain did where Lee picked the blues cube? They had some really nice gear in that lineup. And they all sounded awesome on tape.

    I have some really nice tube amps. And have played through a boatload of stuff.

    But, if I was starting over I'd have to give the blues cube a serious look over. The only reason not to get one as far as I can tell would be vanity... My fancy tube amps make me a better player right?

     
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  12. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    All that said... I'd probably buy a blues JR instead :p

    BTW: no war here :)
     
  13. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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  14. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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  15. Mudman32

    Mudman32 Tele-Meister

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    Dr. Z Mini Z. Built in attenuator. I have the head with a 112 loaded with a blue. Sounds great through a G10 gold too. It's my "crank it and not peeve off the wife" amp. She hated my tweed champ :(
     
  16. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If I was gigging more - I'd get one.

    I saw that demo and started giving my much-loved/much-used Cube 60 the stink eye...


    These "bedroom" threads are ridiculous because everybody has a different Idea of what that is...
     
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  17. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, “bedroom” is a really tough ask from a tube amp. I love my Princeton reverb but there are times when I wish it was just a little bit quieter.

    As crazy as it might sounds my Mesa MKV does the bedroom thing really well and that’s why I bought it.

    That was before the released the lower wattage ones.


     
  18. olefudd

    olefudd Tele-Meister

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    Just buy a VHT Special 6, a reverb and OD pedal and make music!
    I would never part with mine.
     
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  19. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    10" speakers can be lame or fantastic depending on the amp and cab. I much prefer the Pro Jr to the Blues Jr -- as does Jeff Beck, who toured with one, miked. But as Silverface says, even a 15W ProJr (or any "low" wattage amp) is likely to be really loud. I run my PJ at less than 2 -- with low-gain preamp tubes! -- at home. For a great sounding home amp at truly low volume, I second the rec above: Blackstar HT1 (HTR1 w/ reverb). Change the speaker and it's fantastic. It's one of the few amps really designed for true low volume, great tone. Even a 5W amp is really loud when running.
     
  20. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    If you try a Vox AC4C1, be aware that Vox put a bright cap (C20) around the master volume. At low volume levels it allows treble to bypass the volume control. Many forum members diss the AC4C1 but love the AC10C1 and I think its the mixture of the thinner tele sound with the bright cap - that would sound pretty bad. I clipped the cap after playing my AC10C1-BL for only a few minutes - it sounded MUCH better after fixing vox's design issue.

    I've built three AC4 amps and they do sound spectacular through a 12" speaker and are perfect for home practice.
     
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