Low watt tube amp for home use recommendations

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

  1. Dentron

    Dentron TDPRI Member

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  2. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

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    Another recommendation for the VHT Special 6 non-ultra 10" combo. The stock speaker is good, but can be swapped out for your tonal preference. I put an Eminence Alnico 1028K in mine, and now I find it extremely difficult to want to go to work.:D
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  3. Mudman32

    Mudman32 Tele-Meister

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    Yikes to the mini z. I paid $600 US for mine. Aussies really don’t get the gear deal love do they?
     
  4. Eastman E10

    Eastman E10 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks TequilaCaster. any reasons you prefer the Special 6 vs the Ultra? From reading posts, many say the sounds from the Special 6 are available on the Ultra. I can buy a Special 6 from music store interstate currently at $450 including delivery or buy the Ultra around $660 within driving distance from music store. Both brand new. Has the benefit of being repairable in the future if needed vs PCB amps. Cons - no reverb but has send and return effects jacks. Also limited tone controls.
    Yes Mudman, prices are pretty high over here, small population and currency conversion. Blues Juniors usually around $1150- $1250.
    Thanks all.
    Happy Easter - or Festival of chocolate - whatever you prefer.
     
  5. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

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    You won't go wrong with either Special 6. The stock speakers are good on both,but you may prefer something else. The lower price on the 10" combo leaves money available for fx pedals.

    I just prefer the size of the Special 6 10" combo mainly, and I like pedals into the amp's front end, But what really does it for me is that Eminence 1028K alnico speaker that I put in it. It turned 'like' into 'lust'. I have a couple of 12" cabinets and a half-dozen different ceramic and Alnico drivers for them. I feel the special 6 stock circuit just sounded best plugged into the smaller 10" speaker in the smaller box.
     
  6. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Not sure how helpful this will be but here goes.

    I play at home. Blues with strats, teles, semi hollow Gibson.

    My first amp was a new ‘77 Vibro Champ. Blah. Got loud but not sustainy.

    Got a ‘81 Princeton Reverb. Better. Warmer. Too loud for your needs.

    Next in your range was a tweed style Champ head. Sounded great.

    Got a pair of late-‘50s, big box Princetons. Sound good clean. Sound great overdriven. Like a trumpet and about as loud.

    For those who don’t know, they have 8-inch speakers in a cab the size of a late tweed Deluxe. So I bought a vintage 12-inch Jensen. But amazingly it sounded really dull and muffled. The stock 8-inch Jensen was much better.

    Skipping over bigger Fender amps I’ve had, now my tube amps are in storage in another country. And I play a 100-watt Fender Mustang III version 2 here and just turn the master way down. A good solution for apartment living.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  7. Fenderfiend

    Fenderfiend Tele-Meister

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    I've got a couple of Super Champs (obviously I like them).... are they not full tube amps because of the voicing/preamp section?
    It has a 12ax7 up front and 6v6's in the main section.
    I usually go clean on the amp and add my own effects -including my own reverb... by going this route am I not avoiding the DSP?

    *a genuine question*
     
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  8. Mudman32

    Mudman32 Tele-Meister

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    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the 12ax7 is a phase inverter on those amps. Preamp is digital/solid state.
     
  9. Fenderfiend

    Fenderfiend Tele-Meister

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    I did some reading on it, and that's one of its functions. Half of the 12ax7 is a buffer for the DSP (as well as a driver for the 6v6's), the other half is a phase inverter.

    It's interesting to note that some people begrudge hybrid amps like these for having a SS front end -Solid State Digital Signal Processing- yet they will put all manners of Solid State foot pedals in their own signal chain going to their All Tube amps.
    It's kind of tough to take every bit of Solid State out of your signal chain.
    (I've seen some cool looking tube effects pedals - but they're more of a novelty.)

    I run my own pedal board/effects through the clean channel of my SCXD... so I'm doubling up on the Solid State. :(
     
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  10. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    Hard to beat the Monoprice 15W tube amp. Cheap and sounds good. I use the 1W setting for home use and it's perfect for that. Stock speaker sounds just fine. Tube change is a good idea but even with that cost in mind, it's still a heck of a deal. It does the Vox sound but the overdrive is a little smoother than the smaller Vox amps. Definitely a great bedroom amp.
     
  11. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    She hated the Champ because you had to crank it to get the tone you wanted? But you can get great tones at lower volumes with the Mini Z?
     
  12. Mudman32

    Mudman32 Tele-Meister

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    She hated it clean or mean. Cranked or otherwise. No idea why, but it was not a tone she liked. The mini Z has a built in attenuator, so you can crank it and still keep volume low. Never had her bug me while playing that one, so I’m guessing she likes the tone more.
     
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  13. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

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    Been there.
     
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  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Good to see all of the input and discussion for you Eastman E10. As you can see, we have lots of perspectives in this forum and I think you are getting a good cross section to ponder. I was trying to stay neutral, because I think tube amp voicings are very personal. You seem very interested in the VHT S6, so I'll add my personal perspective and that I ended up after a long search for a bedroom practice amp (and group blues jamming amp) with the VHT Special 6 Ultra. It is 6V6 based, but you can easily change the type of power tube for other voices down the road. The Ultra has an attenuator (actually not a true attenuator), which really helps with crunch at very low volume. I bought the head and made my own extension cab with a 10". It is perfect for me. The S6 combo has a 10" and the S6U combo has a 12" which sounds great, but pretty loud and makes the amp pretty heavy too. Anyway, I thought I'd throw my experience into the mix.
    Good luck.
     
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  15. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    I have a Tiny Terror that I swapped the 12ax7 for a NOS 5751, cheap amp but it sounds awesome with the tube swap.

    The amp has input for a Doctor Beat or playing blues backing tracks downloaded on my phone.

    Line out for recording or headphones. I get a slight buzz & volume with the USA Hamer/ TV Jones pup’s but none with the 62 Custom Shop Epi Wiltshire/ stock P90’s.

    The speaker box is a 10” unnamed with a Jensen PR10 & a Brake Lite fitted in the back of the cab for speaker volume.

    A inexpensive setup ( except for the phone ) sounds great & does everything I need.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Tele-Meister

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    The AC4 has 2 channels, but according to everyone I know that has one, they need some mods to really sound good. I have an AC10C1, stock speaker, JJ tubes and I like it very much for low volume use at home. The cleans are nice, I think the reverb is decent enough and with the gain up high it breaks up pretty nice for a little guy.
     
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  17. dcos

    dcos TDPRI Member

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    I'm a fan of the AC10C1 also. Really like mine, sounds good at low volumes and don't think it's a one trick pony at all. Good cleans and breaks up very nicely.
     
  18. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson TDPRI Member

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    From what I understand, yes. I have a Super champ x2 that I like, and liked even more when I put some old, fatigued RCAs in it from an old HiFi amp. Dropped the cranked volume considerably and sounds great, old, and wise, regardless of the digital front end. And the digital effects still sound great. Add in some slapback delay from the onboard effects, and boogie woogie.
     
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  19. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    If you insist on tubes then I’d go with the AC4 from the original list. Or a Champ if you can find one.

    For home use I vacillate between a THR-5 and my home built 5f1 champ clone (an Ampmaker WF-55).

    The champ has a tapped power transformer allowing me to select either 4 or 1/4 watt. Volumewise, 4W is ok if you want clean, but too loud if you want some hair (I live in a Victorian semi detached house so neibours are real close) The 1/4 watt setting works good for a little more crunch. I also modded it with a bright cap and a cathode bass to brighten things up (personal preference - I like blackface / Vox type tones).

    I have to say though that I am astounded by the THR5. To my ears there is pretty much as good as my tube amps. I’ve taken it out to open mics and “acoustic” gigs and played it miked up - almost invariably I get compliments on the tone and questions on the amp - seems a lot of people just don’t realise how good they are
     
  20. WallyD

    WallyD TDPRI Member

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    The Vox stuff is surprisingly good. I would look for second hand Champ Clone.
     
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