Small amp to cover jazz to classic rock...

fretknot

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I'm moving into new territory musically, and along with a Tele and a Duo-sonic, I picked up a Epiphone Emperor Regent, with a Johnny Smith pickup, to explore some silkier genres and jazz/fusion. Typically I've played Blues and Classic Rock, but now I'm older and want to expand into some new sounds.

I'm considering a couple small amps to cover the wide range I'm looking for. A few options I considered are; Tweed 5F2a, Roland JC 22, and Swart AST Jr.

I'm thinking 5W max for tube, and 20-30W if solid state. Looking for a simple circuit if going with tubes. I've only considered the Roland JC, because I am so impressed with the Micro Cube, but it still lacks some of the warmth for jazzier tones.

Currently I have an Epiphone Valve Junior, V3 that I modded the resistors on and re-tubed with NOS glass, and a Micro Cube brain that I installed in a larger cabinet with a Jensen P10r, and an extension cab with another P10r, to create a 2X10, 4 ohm load and wider spread. I'm keeping the MC, but still need a little more power for jamming. I'm not enjoying the EL84 characteristics of the Valve Junior. I have been a lifelong Fender guy, until I stopped playing out. The 6V6 sound works for me for its warmth and tonal spectrum.

The Valve Junior is going up for sale as soon as I sort this out. I'm leaning toward the Swart, because of the onboard reverb, but it's double the cost of the other contenders.

Any thoughts/experiences to share?
 

King Fan

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Can't comment on the Roland or Swart, so I'll just say a word about the 5F2a. I assume you're looking to buy? Only double-checking cuz most I see here are DIY -- they're one of the best easy builds.

A 5F2a could be nice for jazz comping. It could, set up with skill, play jazz lead in small venues too -- check out Julian Lage on his even-smaller 5F1 Champ. Set up and played with just the right touch, you *might* even get a baby version of Larry Carlton on his much bigger 5E3; listen when Julian digs in just after 3:00....



If you wanted the same simplicity with a slightly more modern clean and dirt, the *very* similar Gibson GA-5 'Skylark' circuit does that well.
 

kuch

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I'm moving into new territory musically, and along with a Tele and a Duo-sonic, I picked up a Epiphone Emperor Regent, with a Johnny Smith pickup, to explore some silkier genres and jazz/fusion. Typically I've played Blues and Classic Rock, but now I'm older and want to expand into some new sounds.

I'm considering a couple small amps to cover the wide range I'm looking for. A few options I considered are; Tweed 5F2a, Roland JC 22, and Swart AST Jr.

I'm thinking 5W max for tube, and 20-30W if solid state. Looking for a simple circuit if going with tubes. I've only considered the Roland JC, because I am so impressed with the Micro Cube, but it still lacks some of the warmth for jazzier tones.

Currently I have an Epiphone Valve Junior, V3 that I modded the resistors on and re-tubed with NOS glass, and a Micro Cube brain that I installed in a larger cabinet with a Jensen P10r, and an extension cab with another P10r, to create a 2X10, 4 ohm load and wider spread. I'm keeping the MC, but still need a little more power for jamming. I'm not enjoying the EL84 characteristics of the Valve Junior. I have been a lifelong Fender guy, until I stopped playing out. The 6V6 sound works for me for its warmth and tonal spectrum.

The Valve Junior is going up for sale as soon as I sort this out. I'm leaning toward the Swart, because of the onboard reverb, but it's double the cost of the other contenders.

Any thoughts/experiences to share?

I've been attempting to learn some Jazz guitar over the last couple of years-haven't got far but I don't really spend that much time with it. Anyway this is what I use to try to get what I think is the "jazz guitar sound".

the neck pickup on a gibby es-330 played through a mid 70's fender vibro champ. I just got a reverb pedal to add a little dimension to the sound-which took me years to realize that maybe a pedal might sound good with this amp.

It's also an excellent amp for Rock and Roll, Blues, or any genre for that matter. Nice breakup at "home" levels.....

I also play through a 65PRRI if I want a little more headroom and sparkly cleans.

Catalinbread Topanga Burnside.jpg
 

nojazzhere

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I'm moving into new territory musically, and along with a Tele and a Duo-sonic, I picked up a Epiphone Emperor Regent, with a Johnny Smith pickup, to explore some silkier genres and jazz/fusion. Typically I've played Blues and Classic Rock, but now I'm older and want to expand into some new sounds.

I'm considering a couple small amps to cover the wide range I'm looking for. A few options I considered are; Tweed 5F2a, Roland JC 22, and Swart AST Jr.

I'm thinking 5W max for tube, and 20-30W if solid state. Looking for a simple circuit if going with tubes. I've only considered the Roland JC, because I am so impressed with the Micro Cube, but it still lacks some of the warmth for jazzier tones.

Currently I have an Epiphone Valve Junior, V3 that I modded the resistors on and re-tubed with NOS glass, and a Micro Cube brain that I installed in a larger cabinet with a Jensen P10r, and an extension cab with another P10r, to create a 2X10, 4 ohm load and wider spread. I'm keeping the MC, but still need a little more power for jamming. I'm not enjoying the EL84 characteristics of the Valve Junior. I have been a lifelong Fender guy, until I stopped playing out. The 6V6 sound works for me for its warmth and tonal spectrum.

The Valve Junior is going up for sale as soon as I sort this out. I'm leaning toward the Swart, because of the onboard reverb, but it's double the cost of the other contenders.

Any thoughts/experiences to share?
I think MANY different amps would do what you want, but one I KNOW would work is a Deluxe Reverb Tone Master. ;)
 

schmee

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A used SF Champ would go as low a $350 until recently. Not sure what they are now though.

A VibroChamp XD is cheap, tube (ish) and has reverb, chorus and 16 voicings. I picked one up locally for $100 but already sold it.

The Roland JC22 is nice, but heavy as a brick for it's size and a lot of money for a small SS amp.

The SS Champ 40 is very popular and much cheaper and lighter. 12" speaker

The Princeton Chorus is 25 watt stereo 2 x 10 and good at low volumes ~$150-$225
 
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T-Bone

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For a jazz amp, you might want to consider MORE power rather than reduced power for a tube amp.

The beauty of the little 5 watt tube amps is the early breakup, and beautiful tube distortion at reasonable volume levels. i think for jazz you might want what steel guitar players like—tons of glistening clean at all volume levels. If going for a tube amp you need big wattage for that.
 

wrathfuldeity

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A
Can't comment on the Roland or Swart, so I'll just say a word about the 5F2a. I assume you're looking to buy? Only double-checking cuz most I see here are DIY -- they're one of the best easy builds.

A 5F2a could be nice for jazz comping. It could, set up with skill, play jazz lead in small venues too -- check out Julian Lage on his even-smaller 5F1 Champ. Set up and played with just the right touch, you *might* even get a baby version of Larry Carlton on his much bigger 5E3; listen when Julian digs in just after 3:00....



If you wanted the same simplicity with a slightly more modern clean and dirt, the *very* similar Gibson GA-5 'Skylark' circuit does that well.

OP at 2:08 Jullian is definitely playing a small tweed se6v6 champ/princeton with some reverb coming from somewhere, e.g., small board. And the threshold between clean and some mild-mod od is going to excel with a little tweed champ being miked. Perhaps a pp6v6 princeton or deluxe works if not miked. Ime a se6v6 and a pp6v6 are two different cats...both meow but different. A bigger more efficient spkr if going for the champ un-miked depending on room fill/venue/mic. You want a simple single-ended tube amp and a bit of reverb. And maybe with some hefty transformers for some warmth and depth dimensions to the tone.
 
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Tim S

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Polytone is the classic choice for jazz. This brand also garners acclaim in jazz circles

 

PhredE

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A 'jazz tone' means a lot of different things to different players.
Can I ask which types of jazz tones do you wish to emulate ? They can range widely, say Pat Metheny vs Larry Carlton vs George Benson vs Julian Lage, etc.
If you're not targeting one certain sound, maybe get something which allows a bit of flexibility to move between a few and adapt / dial-in over time (?)
There are lots of different ways to do that, and most don't really depend on one specific type of amp. A lot tone also comes from the guitar too: setup, controls, technique, etc.
 

King Fan

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Good point about mic-ing. And quiet sidemen, too. In addition to price and complexity mentioned in post 2, do you play out?
 




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