Portable Amps

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by 11 Gauge, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Under $500 category:
    Tube Combos:
    Fender Blues Jr, Pro Jr, Princeton Reverb
    Tube Heads:
    Peavey Classic 20, Egnater Tweaker
    SS combos:
    Roland Blues Cube
    SS heads:
    Many already mentioned above....
     
  2. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    How's the 5E3 working out? Have you tried it in a band context? As you know, I was looking for a compact gigging amp when I got my Proluxe. If your 5E3 lacks headroom when working with a drummer but otherwise sounds good, a Proluxe conversion might be the ticket. I get the impression you're looking for a smaller cab but, IME, if you go much smaller than PR/5E3 dimensions, you risk a boxy sound.
     
  3. eddy b.

    eddy b. TDPRI Member

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    For portability alone the ZT Lunchbox. I play a lot of gigs (drummer less gigs) with one. If you need more a blues jr. I’ve played a lot of gigs with one of these too plenty loud, plenty durable.
     
  4. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    It's probably not the lightest of your options, or the cheapest - but my Roland Blues Cube Stage is 30 lb, 112, easily enough volume to gig with and room to spare. Two channels, reverb. No tubes to think about. With the NY Blues Tone Capsule (extra cost add on) it really does sound an awful lot like an AC30, and the stock amp sounds a lot like a Tweed Bassman.
     
  5. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had issues with tubes and such with the 5E3, but I've since got most of them sorted (I still have yet to find an acceptable 12AY7). In the interim, I got the Weber 12A125 sufficiently broken in.

    I've been reluctant to gig the 5E3, primarily because of issues of keeping up with a drummer, yes. I've got about 1/3 the parts to build a 2nd 5E3 (because of the issues of sorting stuff with the first one), and may make a head version, and I'd probably lean towards a Proluxe, yes.

    ...And TBH, yes, I just personally have typically run into issues going to any single 10" or smaller. I've done some things with a single Ragin Cajun into smaller sized cabs that was just sort of okay, and a long time ago, I had my Weber Calif. 10 ceramic in a 1X10 cab, and that was kind of fair sounding...and for the size, it still was a bit heavy (monster magnet on those).

    I also thought about building a 5E3'ish head into the Blackheart Little Giant chassis, where SS recto and such would be used for some increased headroom, and would make me less likely to go insane, trying to cram all that stuff in much smaller dimensions (would probably just permanently jumper the bright and normal channels).
     
  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    A neo speaker can save a lot on weight...
     
  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm really trying to not be discouraged by the cost of the current Blues Cubes. I think a BC Hot might actually be more than sufficient, and I actually saw/heard a video of one that takes the tone capsules, and I think it was the voicing of the Ultimate Blues one that might be most down my alley.

    I think those amps more than fit the parameters of portability as I define them, yes. And together with the other values and features, I'd guess that they are well worth the money.
     
  8. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I was going to suggest exactly this (or the 'clean' model used with pedals), plus the little 1x8 cab. I'm considering getting the MV50 AC myself as a really light head to take to rehearsals with me and maybe certain gigs, but your comments about the power cycle concern me. I know they do drop into 'eco' mode and power down, but this sounds like something else.

    For a compact and light (but lacking clean headroom) a Champ Clone like my Fame is light and gives a great sound, but no gain or tone controls if that bothers you.
     
  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I put a Celestion BN12-300S in my 1X12 cab originally, as this is what Quilter puts in their "HD" options of their stuff. It is stupidly lightweight and can handle a ton of power. With the lightweight Seismic brand cab that I went with, I spent a fraction of what a complete cab w/a neo such as that would cost.

    ...If all one wanted or needed was really loud and clean, you'll get that with a BN12-300S and a 101 Mini or similar. The problem IME is when OD is added, things tend to get kind of buzzy in a bad way, but it's absolutely not the speaker's fault, as it was designed to be used for bass. If used in a combo with a more guitar amp-like speaker, it might be a moot point, but with a 2X12, there goes most of the portability...

    In the interim, I put a Texas Heat in the 1X12 cab, and it's a bit better for rock and such, but the weight's gone up, too.

    I don't have an aversion to neo speakers at all, but there is obviously the extra cost incurred by experimenting with the different ones. To try and offset that, I've been thinking it would make more sense to try and stick to a completely designed combo system, where the chosen speaker determines the overall weight of the amp.
     
  10. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    The MV50s do check the appropriate boxes WRT portability, and If I got one, I'd affix it to a small pedalboard. If the Vox 1X8 cab didn't work out, I'd certainly try some other options.

    But yeah, the bigger issue IMO has to do with how they are powered. You pay a bit more to have the power setup "integrated" as it is with something like a Quilter, but I haven't personally run into any power-up issues, so IMO, that's money well spent, and is probably the right way to do it, WRT actual portability.

    ...Because of the potential positives of the class D power amp design, you basically have the potential for a bulletproof power amp, that you can plug in anywhere in the world, and not have to worry about such issues. I guess that really is a big portability feature, after all, just not so much as implemented by Korg/Vox with the MV50.
     
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  11. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This. I’ve been gigging an FGC121 exclusively for the last 19 mos.

    23 lbs. 1x12 combo. You can lift it literally with a finger. 120 watt rating, and it’s capable of every bit of it. Indoors or out, large stage or small, Ive never had the master volume over “3” on the dial, and hot damn that’s LOUD. I run the gain on the clean channel between 10 o’clock and noon depending on pickup output. So I can get lotsa punch and just a little hair if I play big chords or dig in hard. It’s a very, very powerful amp with crap tons of clean headroom if you want it, but also a very effective gain/master setup if you want to tame it down and get a little natural breakup. The dirt channel is also highly useable.

    But yeah, when I think “portable” I think of my FGC. Because not only is it highly portable, it has no limitations on any sized or type of gig, micd or not. It’s also very cool for me in that it’s 100% analog SS. So no programming or millions of bells and whistles and models I’ll never use. Just a plain old amp.
     
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  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    These are "jazz cat" amps, but the Henriksen Bud and Blu gets lots of love. The Blu is a one channel version of the two channel Bud. Specs:

    weight: 17lbs (Bud) 12lbs (Blu)
    dimensions: 9"x9"x9"
    watts: 120
    speakers: OEM 6.5″ Eminence Beta speaker with special fluid-cooled, high-yield neodymium tweeter (defeat-able)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Cost for me being worth it or not, I define by what I need. If a piece of gear does everything I need, including being very well made and long lasting, and sounds great doing it, then it’s worth it.

    I would not pay $100 for any piece of gear that has 900 features or settings I’ll never use. I would pay $1k for a piece of gear that only does one thing. Provided I really need that one thing, and it does it really well. That’s just how I think, and I know I’m kind of a weirdo.

    But to me, any amount of money spent on stuff I don’t need is money wasted. Any amount of money spent on stuff I’ll love and use is money well spent. Just my philosophy.

    As for what’s inside it... be it tubes, a didgital processor, analog SS, a squirrel on a wheel, I honestly don’t care, and I don’t see any correlation as far as cost goes. I don’t care if the best amp I’ve ever used is a handwired boutique tube amp that costs $100, or a mass production PCB SS amp that costs $2k. If it’s really the best amp for what I’m doing, I’m using it. No matter what.
     
  14. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Portable must mean different things to different people. To me I think it means runs on batteries.

    I have a THR and a Roland Cube Street...

    The Cube Street (and I'd bet the EX as well) are great for this. Sound good, not very noisy/buzzy, loud, and built tough, good battery life.
     
    Rustbucket likes this.
  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    In http://www.tdpri.com/threads/portable-amps.957097/#post-9154643 11 Gauge wrote:

    I was actually thinking about battery power WRT portability, and I think that while it might be kind of related, it's not actually a core part of the definition of portability (able to be easily carried and moved). And actually, batteries have the potential to add weight to the overall package, thereby reducing their portability.​
     
  16. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    If you want portable, yet you're going to be bringing a pedalboard anyway, why not look at the pedal sized amps, like the Quilter Interblock 45 someone posted before?
     
  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    My Rivera era Fender SuperChamp is super portable and giggable, although it's a bit heavy. But you might put that on your list.
    Mine has the OEM EV 10" Force speaker. Sucker gets way loud.
     
  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'd say I'm at the "over 90% threshold" as far as not really caring what the technology is. The remaining 10% is the unrealistic past nostalgia thing tugging at me.

    The bottom line is that I'm trying to consciously choose something that works for gigging purposes, which has its own real world constraints, whether I actually choose to abide by them, or not. At least I can honestly say that I've only got to contend with the remaining 10%, and I feel like I've currently got the upper hand, at least for now.
     
    Jakedog likes this.
  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    They're a serious contender, honestly. The only thing that's holding me back has nothing to do with portability, honestly. Someone who works for Quilter was clear to point out that their pedal-based amps don't have the tube amp-like behavior of their other amps, but they do have an emulator type of effect instead.

    ...So this mainly comes down to having the faith of not needing the Interblock 45 to behave completely like your typical guitar amp from the 20th century. IOW, for the needs of portability, I guess the IB 45 is more than sufficient.

    Part of it is going to come down to simply biting the bullet, and trying some different gear out, and that's okay. I just want to make an educated decision before buying any new gear.
     
  20. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If portable actually means tube amps that require A/C power than has anyone mentioned the various lunchbox amps like the Orange Terror amps? Anything like that'd be good. Still gotta carry a cab, but you need to do that with one of those Quilter things anyway.

    If portability is key though to me ditching pedalboards sounds like the way to go so I'd rather have some kind of modeling amp.

    Seems like this forum always decides a Deluxe Reverb or Twin Reverb is the right amp for all jobs though. Busking, playing in your bedroom, any size stage, etc... :lol:
     
    JayFreddy likes this.
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