Low watt tube amp for (mostly) cleans?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Vivi, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    Fad? You're talking about overdriving an amp, right? :confused:
     
  2. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    "excitable drummer" sounds like a case for a 2x6L6 or 4xEL84 with a master volume, especially if you want clean volume. You can always turn down for home use.
     
  3. lareplus

    lareplus Tele-Afflicted

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    333 Watts. . .wow! : )
     
  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    To an extent yes. What I really mean is the fad going on right now of everybody wanting amps that aren't even giggable because at anything resembling a decent stage volume you no longer have a clean tone.

    Like I said, lots of guys seem to like it, I don't get it.

    Two rules for me and amps- 1.If I have to turn an amp up past noon to gig it comfortably, I need a bigger amp. 2.If it can't hit a useable stage volume with a loud band, and be nice and clean, I don't have any use for it. If you don't have that, you will never have a good clean tone. Just breakup, and a "sort of clean" compromised less distortion tone.
     
  5. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    Oh, I get it...

    I think they mostly get used for getting a true power tube od at home without causing the neighbors calling the cops.
     
  6. dilbone

    dilbone Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't think it's a fad that some guys don't use a clean tone much if at all...

    It's personal preference and its been going on as long as the tube amp/electric guitar combination has been around...not a fad.

    Acceptable clean to me is clean with some hair on it...again, my preference...always has been, not a fad IMHO

    edit:
    on top of the fact that if you do have a large sound rig and everything gets mic'd anyway...then who cares how loud your amp is?
     
  7. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes indeed. But I have no worries there. Though they are few and far between, there are SOME perks to living in the city with the riff-raff instead of out in the suburbs with the anti-culture/volume/sex/fun activists. One thing I'll say about them though, they usually have amazing lawns...:D
     
  8. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    With respect, that's just not true. In the 60's and before, guitar players brought their own amplification. What you carried in was what you had. The PA was just for vocals. A lot of the material required clean. You just couldn't get/keep a gig unless you had a big enough amp to balance out with the rest of the band. 40-50 watts was the minimum to get by, and more powerful amps than that were common.

    Of course, things changed in the 70's, both the styles of music that were popular and the size of the PA systems that bands would cart around.
     
  9. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like your wants/needs could easily define the perfect reasoning for a Blues Jr?

    I've not been able to play mine past 4 on the master volume, would blast the windows out?

    And those sweeeeeet EL84s!
     
  10. sheltone60

    sheltone60 TDPRI Member

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    +1 on this. I own a '69 Princeton that I found on Craigs for pretty cheap 4 years ago. The NR versions of the Princeton will be less expensive and, as noted, they stay clean to 10 with standard/vintage output pickups.

    Great little amp for the price.
     
  11. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It ain't just volume, it's tone as well. But I'm not getting into that again in somebody else's thread. You like small amps? Great. You can play small amps. I don't consider anything less than 30 watts giggable, and I'd rather have 40-50, so that's what I'll play. I'll like my tone, and you can like yours.
     
  12. dilbone

    dilbone Tele-Afflicted

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    I wasn't saying that bands have been micing guitar amps since the beginning...
    I was saying that guitarists have been pushing amps into natural OD since near the beginning(which you seem to be against)
    pushing an amp to natural OD breakup is not a fad by any means...having large sound rigs in this modern era has allowed guys to get what they have been wanted from an even smaller amp(which in turn can keep stage volume down so we don't all go deaf like pete)...I don't understand the issue with that?

    Seems like you are saying everything that's happened since the 60's is fad?
     
  13. dilbone

    dilbone Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not saying that the only way to go is with smaller wattage amps cranked up...I'm just saying it's not just a "fad" as has been stated. Guys that need a lot of clean headroom by all means use as much power as you need to get that headroom, there's nothing wrong with that. BUT on the other hand, just because a guy likes to have some natural tube OD at below ear splitting volumes doesn't make it a fad, worthless, or unusable. It just seems like that's what is being said here.

    I use a peavey classic 30 much of the time...and it's kind of a tweener as far as power goes...it does what I need it to most of the time.
     
  14. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    One more vote for a non-reverb SF princeton. The clean machine.
     
  15. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I never said it's worthless or unuseable, I only said amps like that are worthless and unuseable for me.

    On the fad subject, it seems it's all the rage now to buy these little bitty amps, and poo-poo people who don't find them useable. Fifteen years ago you couldn't give away a Champ or similar amp. They were considered toys, and in my mind, rightfully so. Low wattage amps just don't have the girth or punch. When they get all cranked up the low end is either nearly non-existant, or loose and farty. There's no focus to the tone. It's more of a "splat". Or it sounds like a moquito. If you want a fat, thumpy, full spectrum sound, clean or OD, and you want to use a tube amp, you need 12" speakers, and you need watts.

    Like I said, if one likes the sound of small amps, then by all means, play 'em. I recommended a NR Princeton in this thread, an amp I would never use live. Because for cleans, I think it does a better job for a low wattage amp than anything else I've heard.

    I guess I should have been more clear. Maybe it ain't a fad, only time will tell. But for real, fifteen or even ten years ago amp manufacturers would never have all of the 5-15 watt offerings that are out there today. they would never have been able to sell them. Nobody wanted them. Vintage 5-15 watt amps have gone up in value three to four hundred percent in that time. This is a new craze. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that way more people play guitar now than ever before, and lots of them don't gig, or only jam in the basement/garage with friends. There's nothing wrong with that either, if it was all the playing I could do, I'd take it, believe me. It's way better than nothing. But I don't think it gives a real world picture of what these amps are really capable of vs. their bigger brothers, sisters, and cousins.

    Some great tracks have been recorded with small amps. You can do lots of things in the studio. You can ad low end, compression, all kinds of things and make a tiny low watt amp sound huge. Some like to argue that the same thing can be done through a decent PA, and I would not disagree. However, then you have a great sound out front, which is not where you are, and not what you are hearing. What you get to hear is a little toy buzzing around behind you like a bug. Monitor systems are not always up to the same tasks that the FOH system is either. Or, you get a monitor rig that has one dedicated EQ, it's set up to optimize vocals, and it can't be changed without affecting the vocal sound negatively. Guess what? Your amp sounds TERRIBLE through it. Again, no fun.

    There seems to be a belief that big amps are too loud for most gigging situations. This is simply not true. Sure, you don't want to take a 100 watt plexi half stack to the coffee house and try to get power tube soak out of it, that would be silly. But I don't want to take a 5-10 watter to the coffee house either. A tiny amp with no good beefy low end is not my idea of a good time.

    Some places have PA to handle small amps, some places not so much. I'll use what I use. I never get complaints from soundmen, or get asked to turn down, and I am happy with my tone. A great many places I've walked into I'd have bene really hosed if all I had was little 5-15 watt amp.
     
  16. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

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    My brother-in-law is begging for my 65 BF non-reverb princeton for his studio. Absolute sweetest tone in a clean amp I have ever heard!! 60's perfectly matched NOS RCA 6v6's (within 1 ma.) and Baldwin labeled Sylvania's in the preamp section. The Baldwin sylvanias are extremely quiet and just a tad brighter than anything I have ever used.
     
  17. tiktok

    tiktok Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think only a small percentage of amps sold these days are played on stage. That's the 'real world' market these days, and has been for some time. I suspect that even a majority of large amps spend most of their time at home these days, based on the clean on-line pictures I see of Monster Petrucci Rigs tidily arrayed next to large screen TV's, and the number of "never gigged!" used Dual Rectifiers and such on Craigslist.

    On the other hand, I have gigged for years with 20W amps (set clean) into a single 10". At most of these gigs, they don't put the electric guitar into the monitors, and the band doesn't find them needing to do so. Sometimes we'll play bigger places, and then they do, and have the monitors to deal with it. Sound guys are always happy to see my small amps and don't ask me to turn down. I get to play a comfortable volume onstage, they get a chance to balance things out front. When I see another band on the bill roll in a Twin or an AC30 at the beginning of the evening, I can count on a 'debate' regarding stage volume between the band and the soundguy more often then not, and me spending their set in the back of the room trying to escape the guitarist's sonic assault.

    If the 'real world' is defined by having to play large rooms with a loud band and no support from the PA monitors, then yeah, smaller amps aren't going to cut it. For many situations they do, and have the added bonus of being fairly usable in home settings.
     
  18. HOBBSTER01

    HOBBSTER01 Friend of Leo's

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    +1
     
  19. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    Do you think there's a correlation between home computers and small amps? The number of musicians having music software loaded on home computers now, as opposed to 15 years ago when the trend was just starting?

    For me, the best "normal sized" stage sound is a combination of clean headroom and fullness that you get from a couple of 12's.
     
  20. Slow Reflexes

    Slow Reflexes Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd question the need for a "small tube amp" for cleans. I'd think if cleans are all you want, get something big enough that it can have a real speaker. Doesn't have to be a twin, but at least get a reasonable size cabinet... and I don't think those usually come in 5w flavors.


    Also, Jakedog said "girth."
     
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