Small gigging amp

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Marc Morfei, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, I know, another thread about small amps. I'm trying to pin down the best choice for a gigging amp for small venues. Music is classic rock, so the need is for something very versatile, easy to dial in, and good pedal platform. My main amp is a Vox AC15, which I am very satisfied with. But I'm finding that for small low-volume venues (restaurants, cafes, etc), it is way too much. I have cycled through a few smaller amps, but none of them have been a home run. The Blues Junior is OK, but I want something better. I had a 65 PRRI, which was great, but I finally concluded that I'm not a fan of that "scooped" sound for a band setting - I want something that punches through better. I plan to use my Pro Junior at a small gig next week. But that amp is kind of noisy, so I'm not crazy about that.

    So possible amps I am considering include: Princeton Reverb '68 RI, Peavey Classic 20, and Vox AC10. Of these the PRRI is double the price of the other two, so there is that to consider. I have never played a Bassbreaker, but if it equivalent to a Blues Junior, I'm not sure I need to try it. Cost is an issue. I plan to buy used, and since this is meant to be a "backup" amp I don't want to break the bank.

    Are there a couple others in this general category that I should consider? I would possibly be willing to consider a SS amp (maybe a Roland Blues Cube?), but the preference would be for tubes. I have a hard time with in-store demos. Everything sounds completely different when I get it home.
    Thanks!

    (And as just an aside, I am always amused by the subject of volume when it comes up, because it is so subjective. I was reading an old thread, and someone commented that a 25 watt Mesa amp would be too small to gig with. And I'm thinking, "where, Yankee Stadium?")
     
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  2. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    There is nothing wrong with a blues cube ... If you want a a tube amp for small venues have you tried and Ampeg GVT15? I changed the speaker in mine and I like it a lot. Personally I think you might be better off with a SS amp like a Boss Katana.
    The Peavey Classic 20 might be my choice if I wasn't into the Blues Jr. The Jr kind of wakes up with the right speaker.
     
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  3. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    Here's my opinion (I'm sure you'll get about as many opinions as posters!) : I'd used a Princeton Reverb and add a tone stack bypass knob or have a tech do that. As you gradually bypass more and more of the tone stack, you add more mids and more gain. You have a remarkably versatile amp. But I'm a tube amp freak; there may be other options out there that I don't know about. Hope you find what you're looking for!
     
  4. Downshift

    Downshift Tele-Holic

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    In my opinion, the 68 Princeton is the best modern Fender amp. Haven't tried the others...don't need to...I have a Princeton.
     
  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd say DV Mark FGC 121, but they're discontinued, and it looks like owners aren't letting theirs go.
    I know I'm not
     
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  6. StewRacing

    StewRacing TDPRI Member

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    I too am looking for a small pedalboard platform tube amp. My problem is about the 3rd of the time I want to pick up a baritone guitar for heavy hard rock. Drop A# doesn't like small speakers and transformers. Other tunings I use are drop C. All of my research tells me to buy a modeling amp like an HX Stomp or Two Notes Le Clean pedal with the Two Notes CAB pedal and run direct into my PA with my board. Then you can never be any louder then you need to be. I need this for my townhouse. Most touring musicians these days run modelers direct for the big halls. Studio is a different ball game for them. Audiences often says the band sounds great. They don't know its a modeler.
     
  7. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    If you're partial to Vox, the AC10 is a good'un.

    I have a DSL20CR that I think sounds pretty good at low volumes. It just sound better cranked a bit. And even then, it's nothing like my buddy's 1974x clone w/TMB and MV, which is much more difficult to dial in a good low volume sound IMO. Turned up a bit, though, and it's creamy goodness.
     
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  8. skerwo

    skerwo Tele-Holic

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    No scooped sounds - maybe try a Tweed deluxe (or clone)?

    Fender sound for small money could be the Ibanez TSA 15. This amp stays really clean for a long time so for dirt you´ll need a pedal beside the built-in tubescreamer circuit.
     
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  9. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    Supro Blues King.

    A/B it with PRRI, they're close but different. Dont A/B with a fender Jr, because it's no contest.......

    If you want vox sounds, AC10 is a good plan. Peavey C20s are easier to find in head/cab configuration than combo, and my C30 is not what I'd call "cafe friendly " although until I can afford a BK, itd have to suffice. (Wish my ovation would move quicker...)

    Everyone will tell you what they believe is the best. If SS is an option for you, the bluescube is like the most optimized SS you can get. But it's not tube, doesn't even sound as good as some hybrids I've tried. It gives you cleans, no dynamics, and consistency across volume levels. I just cannot deal with the lack of real dynamics.

    Try an AC10, PRRI, and Supro BK. You'll be hearing:
    The smaller version of the tone you want, then the most respected and great sounding amp in its size for half a century, then the new contender that sounds amazing.
     
  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Interesting call on the Ampeg, I was not aware of these. Did a quick search - hard to find one! Have one you want to sell? I'm near Philly, too. :cool:
     
  11. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Supro Blues King? See, that's why I come here. Another one I was not aware of. I will watch out for this one, too. Hard to find these "niche" amps used, though....
     
  12. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got (and can highly recommend) a Hughes & Kettner 18W 1 x12 combo (They also do a 1x10 version). This has a built in attenuator for 18W, 5W or 1W. It also has an XLR output, effects loop and master control for both channels. They also just do the heads if you don't need/want a combo.
     
  13. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    It just came out in January. Cheapest I've seen was $520.
     
  14. stevemc

    stevemc Tele-Holic

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    how about a superchamp x2 or xd?
     
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  15. Garruchal

    Garruchal Tele-Meister

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    I'm a big fan of the 68 prri. However, I also have a DVMark micro 50 which is a great sounding amp. That and a 1x10 cabinet is all I'd need for a small venue. Or a large venue, for that matter... I've been playing it through a 1x8 and it sounds fantastic.
     
  16. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    Out of your three options you are looking at I'd say just pick the one you really want - if that happens to be the more expensive one, go for it!

    Since others are recommending solid state amps too I'm gonna mention the DV Mark Guitar Friend 12, only because I'm itching to try one. 50 watts, 12" speaker, around $500 I think.
     
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  17. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like you need an EQ pedal. A Blues Jr should be cutting through very well though as it's not scooped like BF are.. I dont have one but I know two people who have gone to using them. they are pro's and usually in a 5 piece band Blues mix. And/or get a clean boost if you need it at times.
     
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  18. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Meister

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    The Vox Ac 10 is a very nice amp
     
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  19. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Supro Supreme..
    amazing little dog
     
  20. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    Another vote for the Ampeg GVT15... these are awfully good amps for almost nothing, if you can find one. That can be a bit of a project, but worth it. I swapped out the low-end Celestion for an Eminence RW&B in mine and just love it. The Baxandall tone stack on these is great and mids knob can transform its character entirely.
     
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