Small amp to cover jazz to classic rock...

GlasgowCraig

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Neck on AV 64 Tele through Clean channel of Tone King Gremlin gets a lovely jazz tone, can go pretty loud without much break-up.
 

Jackson753

Tele-Meister
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Nov 14, 2012
Posts
315
Location
UK
I must say I've been happy with the Roland JC 22 it's a useful amp with chorus and reverb on board. It takes pedals really well and it's not too big. I've also got a Fender EC Champ it's 5 watt with tremolo on board.
 

chrisdb

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Neck on AV 64 Tele through Clean channel of Tone King Gremlin gets a lovely jazz tone, can go pretty loud without much break-up.
You may have heard this before but the ‘65 Princeton Reverb reissue is my favorite amp. I recently bought a clean used one with a Weber speaker… an upgrade IMHO ….for about $900
15 all tube Watts(more than loud enough)lo gain and high gain inputs and creamy tremolo and reverb.
Sounds great with all my guitars from my TV Jones tele and G&L Fullerton S500 Deluxe to my Eastman T58/V-AMB
BTW… my secret sauce is the Chase Tone Secret Preamp.
 

BlueGillGreg

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Posts
271
Location
New England
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?
Sure. If your Valve Jr is reliable and you used to like it, think twice before letting it go. You may find it a joy in the future, and it might not fetch big bucks in the present. As far as the new amp goes, I've noticed that little amps with 10" speakers seem to produce a fairly full bass mid and treble spectrum. A lot of full sized amps have multiple 10s. A small amp with a 10 can sound like a "less loud" big amp. Small amps with a speaker 8" or less tend more to sound like small amps. A ten inch speaker also has enough acoustic response that you don't need to turn up your circuits as much to get loudness or volume, and this makes more headroom and gives you power in your cleans. Better for Jazz, etc. Enjoy, sounds like fun!
 

zeke54

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Sep 13, 2011
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central calif.
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.

View attachment 974322
+ 1 on the Vibro Champ ! I also have a mid '70s VC , and while I haven't experimented with jazz , it does so well for classic rock and blues . Gets really saturated with humbuckers , but cleans up some with my Tele and P90s . And yes , it takes pedals very well , a 'verb pedal is almost essential .
 

kuch

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Sep 30, 2011
Posts
877
Location
Great Northwest
Small amps with a speaker 8" or less tend more to sound like small amps. A ten inch speaker also has enough acoustic response that you don't need to turn up your circuits as much to get loudness or volume, and this makes more headroom and gives you power in your cleans. Better for Jazz, etc. Enjoy, sounds like fun!

Quoting BGG

Obviously amps with 8" speakers "sound like small amps"..... That's why artists like Eric Clapton and many others used Champs in the studio to get "that" sound.....

Nothing personal dude, just my opinion

Edit: If I want/need more headroom, I step up to my 65PRRI. Sounds great too. It might be "limited" for playing medium to larger rooms.
 
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Canadiense. El

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May 21, 2008
Posts
224
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Ontario
There are a looot of replies here! So I'll just echo - go with something that has a little more power to give you the headroom to handle a hollow body with humbucker, strung with heavy(ish) strings. I've got a DRRI with a Cannabis Rex and JJ's power tubes, and it's fantastic.

There really are tons of options, it comes down to where and when you're going to use it, but 5w isn't enough imo, especially if you end up playing with anyone. Even just a trio with piano and upright bass? Forget it.
 

Michael Rock

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Posts
3
Location
USA
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?
 

Swingcat

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Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Posts
25
Location
San Rafael, CA
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 have a couple of thoughts. First, if you're not performing and don't need a lot of volume (I actually DO use mine for small venues), and you like clean tones, from bright Fender to full Jazz tones, find yourself an old Kustom KGA10FX. I LOVE all the Deluxe Reverbs I've had thru the years, including my Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, but the tone of that tiny 20 year old $79 amp is amazing!!
The Tone Master is also a VERY good choice if you want to play medium and larger venues, as it has an attenuator, and can get great tone at living room levels, and still can play just about any gig.
The TM is WAY better than other modeling amps, being absolutely indiscernible from the tube version, but does have a higher price.
NEXT. The Emperor Regent is actually a decent Jazz/Swing guitar, and it would be worthwhile to replace the Johnny Smith with an EMG Model 91 neck mounted archtop pickup, which, along with superior humbucker tone, but also gives you the best ACOUSTIC archtop tones of any pickup I've ever used (after many years searching for acoustic archtop tones for Swing rhythms in a big Western swing band I played with for ten years).
 

Swingcat

TDPRI Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Posts
25
Location
San Rafael, CA
There are a looot of replies here! So I'll just echo - go with something that has a little more power to give you the headroom to handle a hollow body with humbucker, strung with heavy(ish) strings. I've got a DRRI with a Cannabis Rex and JJ's power tubes, and it's fantastic.

There really are tons of options, it comes down to where and when you're going to use it, but 5w isn't enough imo, especially if you end up playing with anyone. Even just a trio with piano and upright bass? Forget it.
I've been using a 20 year old $79 (new) 10 watt digital Kustom KGA10FX for, aside from piano/trumpet/snare drummer for many years, also performing in small clubs & breweries with duo and four piece (2 guitars/vocals, steel, & bass), and that tiny amp with a 6 inch speaker actually keeps up just fine!!
I also have a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb (which sounds EXACTLY like the DRRI) and a cream board Blues Junior, but for most of our shows I just grab the Kustom (think 1/4 the size/weight of the TMDR!).
BTW, the Kustom has about the best clean tube tones I could ever ask for, which is another reason I use it so often.
 

PhredE

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Sep 25, 2017
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Location
Suburban PDX, OR
10 watt digital Kustom KGA10FX for, aside from piano/trumpet/snare drummer for many years, also performing in small clubs & breweries with duo and four piece (2 guitars/vocals, steel, & bass), and that tiny amp with a 6 inch speaker

Was curious about this amp, so went looking for info on this amp/speaker.
In this ad (no affiliation, etc):
There is a good pic of the back which includes the speaker specs. The KS6 speaker is a 15W, 90db, 4ohm speaker.

FYI: There are some 6-6.5" speakers available that could give you even greater output if you ever need it (headroom? -- maybe, maybe not -- it depends). The upper limit on efficiency for most all 6" guitar speakers is about 94-95db. A 5db increase should make a noticeable difference.

Ah, I see it has an external speaker out. If you REALLY need raw volume/headroom, you could always hook up a really efficient 12" (say 100db, 101db) -- that would make it sound huge.
 
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dang

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Feb 9, 2011
Posts
75
Location
nj
Mesa Studio .22+
60's-70's only, NOT the Reissues:
Fender Princeton Reverb
Fender Deluxe Reverb
Fender Vibrolux Reverb
Fender Super Reverb
Fender Concert
 

Henry Mars

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Jan 17, 2014
Posts
1,468
Location
Bucks Co. PA
FWIW, I use a C30 for JaZZ and Classic Rock. THe other amp I use is a Traynor YCV40 ( speaker changed). It is a different flavor than the C30 But is bit cleaner than the C30 at Jazz volumes. There are anumber of small amps but a DRR or PRR might be just what you need. The axe you use will also be a factor .... you gotta match things up.
 

black_doug

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Any Fender Champ after the tweed will give you more clean headroom.

The blackface & silverface Champs & Vibro-Champs, 1964 – 1982, were all built using the same AA764 circuit, AFAIK.
 

BlueGillGreg

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Jul 30, 2013
Posts
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Location
New England
Quoting BGG

Obviously amps with 8" speakers "sound like small amps"..... That's why artists like Eric Clapton and many others used Champs in the studio to get "that" sound.....

Nothing personal dude, just my opinion

Edit: If I want/need more headroom, I step up to my 65PRRI. Sounds great too. It might be "limited" for playing medium to larger rooms.
Your tone comes off as rather disagreeable in spite of your complete agreement with everything I wrote. I hope you grow enough for this to be obvious.
 

Robert H.

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You might check Roland Blues Cubes. I play a Stage - .5 to 60 Watts - and the tones are excellent for jazz, Blues.
 




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