"lunchbox" amp options

marshman

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So, I got a nice, small 2x8 speaker cab recently, and I'm interested in getting an interesting head for it. I do have an Epiphone Valve Jr that's fine, just curious about options. So, I'm trying to get an idea of the options available to me...I'm interested in tube, fairly simple tone stack, channel switching not required, reverb good but not required and can be non-spring, and small. Preferably 5-20 watts, and 6v6 driven, because I have a huge selection of vintage 6V6GTs down in the cave to choose from. I like all my single-ended amps, but that may not actually be about the single-ended and just about the fact that I can dime them without disturbing the neighbors. Also dig my 18-watt clone. New not required. I am also keen on the metal-box aesthetic, a la the night train, though it's not a dealbreaker.

What I can remember:

Vox Night train
Orange Tiny Terror
Carvin Vintage 16 (V3M and Legacy 3 are options, but not ideal)
Fender Bassbreaker (and was there once a PRRI in a head?)
Peavey Classic 20
There are a few small-ish Mesas, but generally out of the zone in terms of complexity.

I'm sure there are others, just wondering if you guys could expand my horizons. I am also willing to consider a kit, if anyone has any ideas along those lines.
 

Vibroluxer

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Look at Lil Dawg amps. If you do a little research you'll find nothing but good news about the company and Jim, the owner. He makes British, tweed, brown and black face clones. Almost all he offers in a lunch box format.

Good luck!!
 

KC

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Doesn't have the metal-box aesthetic but the Ceriatone ODS Lunchbox is a Dumble front end attached to a 2x6v6 power section -- tons of fun in a small box.
 

bgmacaw

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just about the fact that I can dime them without disturbing the neighbors.

Dime that 20w amp so you won't hear them knocking...

policeatdoor.JPG
 

Telekarster

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I played through an Orange TT not too long ago and I have to say I was pretty impressed at what the little thing can do. At its price point, I think it's pretty hard to beat IMO.
 

marshman

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Forgot about the Dark Horse, thanks for the reminder.

not SUUUUURE I want a 6V6GT amp, but I have a few EL84 amps already. Only 6V6 amp I have is an Excelsior. Those are just the amps I could think of, but yeah, lots of 84s in that list.

Keep ‘em comin’!
 

VintageSG

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The EL84 dominates the low power lunchbox market.

The Egnator Tweaker is the affordable one, the Revv D20 is rather more, then there's Tone King, but they're more 'traditional'

There's the Revv with the metal aesthetic, and Fortin make the Sigil, but not many more.
 

Twang-ineer

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Tubemeister if you need glowy bottles.

Any small format DVMark if you have an interest in modeling from the pedalboard.
 

northernguitar

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I own or have owned and gigged the following lunchbox amps.

Vox Night Train (sold)

Pros:
-excellent crunch and overdrive; can cover a lot of territory and with pedals a whole lot more
-I loved the clean tone. It was loud enough for stage volume. Bright and chimey.
-killer look
-LOUD! Loudest amp of all that I've tried.

Cons:
-it went in the shop a couple times; last time came out ship shape and ran for many years
-not footswitchable
-no fx loop

Orange Tiny Terror (sold)

Pros:
-incredible crunch tones; voiced to sound like Bon-era AC/DC and I concur
-minimalist!
-LOUD!
-reliable

Cons:
-awful clean tone
-no fx loop

Traynor Dark Horse (sold)

Pros:
-Made in Canada
-gorgeous clean tone...the sweetest of all that I've owned...some suggest Fender-y
-neat look...almost Steampunk?

Cons:
-British setting was underwhelming; not the tool I was looking for, but it does take distortion pedals very well
-no fx loop

I did run all of the above with a Bad Cat Unleash, which solved the need for a loop. That gave me enough power for the Enormodome. However, I wanted an amp that was 2-channel. I ended up with:

Orange Rocker 15 Terror

Pros:
-gorgeous crunch tones, woolier than the Tiny Terror and not as much high-gain
-LOVES drive pedals
-'Natural' channel has a lovely clean base tone
-excellent tube-driven fx loop
-loud enough for loud drummer

Cons:
-some might be put off by the lack of eq on the Natural channel; I use an Ibanez eq pedal in the loop and it's lovely for shaping tone

VOX Night Train G2

Pros:
-gorgeous clean channel; it actually surprised me; warmer than typical VOX, but chimey nonetheless
-'Girth' channel, while horribly named is indeed a high gain monster; I had no need for a Friedman BE-OD pedal with this amp
-decent onboard digital reverb
-footswitchable
-fan-cooled
-fx loop

Cons:

-none for me; I wish it had the chrome grill of the V1
-oh, it doesn't come with the neato gigbags the above all came with
 

tce63

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I have one.

Only built on order in the UK.

Sounds great

 

marshman

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Very comprehensive, northernguitar, thank you. I like the idea of the Traynor, though they’re pretty thin on the ground here in the US mid-Atlantic area.

tce63, which Laney? The Lionheart series got stellar reviews when they came out, and there are both 5 and 20 watt versions that appeal, but I’ve never actually laid eyes on one. (Sorry, didn’t realize it was a link.)
 

tce63

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Very comprehensive, northernguitar, thank you. I like the idea of the Traynor, though they’re pretty thin on the ground here in the US mid-Atlantic area.

tce63, which Laney? The Lionheart series got stellar reviews when they came out, and there are both 5 and 20 watt versions that appeal, but I’ve never actually laid eyes on one. (Sorry, didn’t realize it was a link.)

I use to have the Lionheart L20T-112 but i needed something smaller so i got the Lionheart L5-Studio

Both are great amps
 

Riffraff12571

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I'll just leave this here.

s1B4VkK.jpg


I know, posting the unattainable adds nothing to this thread but it's the coolest looking lunchbox in my collection.

My wife bought me a Bugera T5 a few years ago that ended up a surprisingly cool little lunchbox head. Good range of tones, nice sounding digital reverb, headphone out, able to work with a variety of cab impedances.

It has a single 12AX7 in the preamp and a 5w single ended EL84 output. The single 12AX7 makes it extremely sensitive to preamp tube changes. The crap Bugera labeled Chinese 12AX7 was really harsh sounding and the amp's tone completely changed once I replaced that. I have a tube caddy full of vintage tubes and had so much fun rolling tubes in this thing. You can hear the difference between tubes in this more than any amp I've ever owned. I ran I61 & I63 Blackburn Mullards, an Amperex, Raythen black plate, long & short plate Sylvania's, a GE 5751 & various RCA types from black plates to gray plates. A Baldwin labeled Sylvania long plate ended up being my final pick. I think these sell for $199 new so you can probably find them used for $150.

3YMNwmE.jpg
 
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