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Low wattage valve amp - advice and what have I missed ?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Gregorski, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Holic

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    Princeton Reverb Reissue
    Marshall DSL5
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    The AC4 is indeed a turd of an amp and I’ve never heard a Blackstar that sounded good in my life.
     
  2. Nahtabot

    Nahtabot Tele-Meister

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    "In 2010 Biyang started Wangs amps as a alternative to popular consumer and professional amplifiers virtually unavailable for the local Chinese player. Geared towards classic simple vintage pre-amp designs and proprietary power plants Biyang chose Vishay branded components and jedi level build technics to create Chinas first true multinational boutique amplifiers. "




    https://wangs-amps-usa.myshopify.com/products/wangs-mini5
     
  3. Gregorski

    Gregorski TDPRI Member

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    Just checked that out. Looks like an old TV set :)
     
  4. Gregorski

    Gregorski TDPRI Member

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    Reading it back, that's a fair comment. As far as I can tell this amp is part valve and part solid state, it has 2 separate channels, each of which has 2 modes; it has digital out & speaker emulated out. I guess I'm saying it's focus feels too much on features, some of which are more what you'd expect from a modeling or solid state amp. The build quality looks extremely good though and maybe those channels are actually the right thing for me to be able to try different things out. Being honest, on my first pass, this was the amp that actually jumped out at me as being a good choice but it sounds like it isn't going to give me the fender sound I'm looking for.
     
  5. Gregorski

    Gregorski TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, I'll take a look. Not heard of this brand.
     
  6. Gregorski

    Gregorski TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. There's a load more options to look at than I thought so I'll get reading :)
     
  7. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    What you really want is an old fashioned Fender champ from the sounds of it, or just get a Deluxe and an attenuator (or just get a Tonemaster Deluxe) and call it a day, if money isn't an object and you want a nice Fender amp. I wouldn't bother with the Blackstar stuff - they, and Egnator, try to do everything, but end up doing nothing really well.
     
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  8. Gregorski

    Gregorski TDPRI Member

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    Is this Vibrochamp a vintage amp? Can't find that on the Fender website.
     
  9. Cloodie

    Cloodie Tele-Meister

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    I thought the exact same thing :). It's kinda funky.
     
  10. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, I think your final conclusion is right. It won't nail a blackface.

    There is some solid state clipping on the drive channel, and the phase inverter is solid state, which might not matter in some contexts. I have the 1 watt version of Mark I, and I think they sound great. But no, neither one (and they do sound different from one another) does a textbook Fender blackface sound, even with the ISF (analog tone control which shifts the tone stack) cranked that direction no the 1 watter (ISF does not effect the clean channel on the 5). It does sound good with pedals, but not good in the way you are seeking. If I wanted a small amp that nailed a Fender sound, I'd seek a Fender...and I wouldn't worry about whether or not it has valves/tubes.

    Fortunately for you, many good options do, and many have been listed in this thread already. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
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  11. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    If you can afford a Tone King, get one. They do “blackface Fender” better than Fender does.
     
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  12. 65tinbender

    65tinbender TDPRI Member

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    It is a 1976 or 1977 from what I could figure out.
     
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  13. DFB1

    DFB1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I thought of getting a DSL20.
    I figured it is more than I need, I ordered a DSL5 instead ( on backorder).
     
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  14. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    oh, PS - I spend 90% of my at-home, quiet playing through a gig-sized tube amp of around 40 watts. The key is an effective master volume control that sounds good turned down low.
    The other option for me which I'm using much less is a Yamaha THR10C, which is a lovely solution for headphone based practicing, quiet jamming, and so forth. It has a few more knobs than you might need, but it does sound very good for its size and price.
     
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  15. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

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    Start with a well made ptp champ clone. This will provide the base tone. And with it being a very simple circuit...ya don't need an effects loop. Also with it being a simple circuit you will have the responsiveness of touch, pick attack and guitar inputs...i.e., unadulterated tone pallet to work with. My go to's are a Muchxs 57 Champ clone and an old 1950's se6L6 recordplayer conversion that is basically a Princeton on steroids.

    Instead of channel switching, use a good eq pedal (VFE Rocket) to go from tweed to BF or BF to tweed. Or something like a JD-10 Session Master or SansAmp Classic.

    As for reverb...there's alot of them; I use a regular Tech 21 RVB or an EQD Dispatch Master is fun for reverb/delay.

    And instead of an attenuator get a smaller/inefficient speaker...have an old 4" alnico intercom speaker that works GREAT.

    Btw, its very easy to do an external spkr jack so that when you plug in an external speaker, it will automatically disconnect the internal combo speaker.
     
  16. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think the YouTube reviews of the Blackstar HT5R are excellent!
    I owned the Blackstar Studio 10 EL34 but sold it. You can tame the volume but the tone control is limited.
    I currently own the Gremlin and it’s the best amp I’ve owned. The lack of reverb is not an issue. An inexpensive reverb pedal fixes that. The tone are awesome and the attenuator gives you total control of the output without sacrificing tone. It’s really the only amp I use so my PRRI is going bye bye.
     
  17. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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  18. claes

    claes Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had epi valve junior, peavey 8, vht 5, laney lc 15, marshall class 5 a few thomann tubeclones and probably some I forgot about.
    I found very litle difference between these and the solid states I have a had.

    Then I bought a cheap 5f2 clone (I had a 5f1) and bingo. Not only is this a tube amp, it's a classic tube amp. The sound we have heared on so many records. And I think that is what we are looking for in tube amps. A classic sound may it be marshall, blackface or tweed. Not just a tube sound.
    It is the best sound i've had. It made me understand "clean".
     
  19. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    I have a couple of Laney LC15s 15w, 1x10", 2xEL84 combos one with reverb and the other without. A VHT Special 6 Ultra 6w, 1x12" 6V6 no reverb, and a VHT Special 12/20 RT currently in 2x6L6 20w mode, 1x12" with reverb and tremolo. All sound good at low volumes. The Laneys have a "British" sound as a result of the EL84's, whilst the VHTs are more like blackface Fenders in tone. All are discontinued, but available on the secondhand market. If it were not for the current pandemic I would invite you around to try them. Other than Dawsons in Reading, I don't know where you will get to try out much in Berkshire, and I doubt that they will stock the like of tone King. You might be better making a trip over to Andertons in Guildford.
     
  20. Gregorski

    Gregorski TDPRI Member

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    Thats helpful, thanks!
     
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