Small SS/Modeling Amp suggestion?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by thx712517, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. thx712517

    thx712517 Tele-Meister

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    I've got a Vox AC4C1-12 as my sole amp right now. It's beautiful when it's got gain and volume up around noon or higher, but with a small child in the house and less than happy neighbors, I'm playing it with volume and gain just a hair off of zero. Playing it at that low volume it sounds thin and blah, I assume because I'm not driving the tubes or working the speaker.

    So I'm contemplating a solid state amplifier or a modeling amp on the assumption that, lacking tubes, it will still put out a lively sound rather than sterile and anemic at low volumes. I'm throwing in the modeling amp option because my SE Standard 24 has the coil split option which gives it a lot of versatility, and I'm interested in the idea of an amp being a Vox or a Fender or what have you by turning a knob. The Katana Mini looks like an interesting option for a small quiet amp, but I'm new to solid state amplifiers. Are there others I should be looking at?
     
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  2. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

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    Yamaha THR10C is my favorite amp.
     
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  3. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    Gonna bow out of making a suggestion; reason, the small stuff, sounds thin and small. I look forward to finding something myself.
     
  4. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    The modeling amps I've used sound worse at low volume by far than my regular practice (and gigged) modded Pro Junior, that is now configured to produce awfully good sounds across its whole volume range. Modeling creates a sort of imitation of recorded tones, and while that's useful for recording, or for pros who need to recreate complex sounds on tour, I think it's just plain bad for creative playing and practicing. That's just my own bias, based on my own preferences.
     
  5. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    Some of the old standards are the Fender Mustangs and Roland Microcubes. Got'em both and I love them for quiet playing.
     
  6. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Holic

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    Vox VT40X. I found one in a pawn shop for $100. Its a modeling amp with a preamp tube so a bit of a hybrid. They sound good at volume and they have a headphone jack for when you need to be quiet. I think its a killer little amp for the money.
     
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  7. RB522

    RB522 Tele-Meister

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    Another vote for the Roland Cube series. Great amps.
     
  8. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I've been using a Hotone based setup for while now. I was originally using the Nano Legacy heads, added the Binary IR Cab and then, for Christmas, the Binary Amp. I can plug into the Bandit for a good sound at different volume levels, a small cab or a power amp for a little quieter or use headphones to avoid disturbing viewings of Real Housewives. (Yes, I have more and better patch cables on the way.) I use some variation of this setup on most of the Twanger Central challenge tracks.

    hotone setup.png

    For a more portable solution, I have a Vox Mini 3. I picked it over the Boss Katana Mini due to it having more effects and a mic option. I take it on business road trips along with some headphones for quiet hotel room playing. Here I am playing it in the back seat of my car during lunch in my work parking lot.

     
  9. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    For a couple hundred on Amazon, less probably in person, the bugera t5 infinium, a 5/1/0.1watt 2 tube (12ax7 & el84) head comes with a headphone jack. You'd be able to drive the tubes as hard as you like and the child won't know a thing.
     
  10. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I've tried a LOT of amps to find ones that sound good at the low volume levels that I play at, and of all the ones I've tried, the Boss Katana Mini, Fender Mustang LT25, and Yamaha THR10C are my favorites, at least for the clean and low to medium gain tones that I prefer.
     
  11. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

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    While not exactly small, the Boss Katana 50 sounds good at real low volumes. I have a Vox Pathfinder 15R, Vox VT40+, Super Champ X2, and Mustang III, all of which work well at lower volumes, but I use the Katana most. There seems to be a lot of love for the Yamaha THR10c... Be sure to try before you buy. I had one for a brief time and hated it. I also have a Roland MicroCube that some people like for low volumes. I don't care much for it either. I keep it because it can run on batteries.... you know, in case of a guitar emergency...
     
  12. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

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    A Katana of course.
     
  13. blackjaw

    blackjaw Tele-Meister

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    I didn’t like the Katana Mini...went back to using a Blackstar Fly3 for super quiet or Orange 35RT for bedroom.

    Keep that tube amp though; I still use my Vox AC15 when I play with friends, but it’s too loud to play when the family is sleeping this the smaller quieter amps.
     
  14. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    Hotone seem to have combined these into one... the Ampero

     
  15. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Afflicted

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    A big reason for that is the 12" speaker. Try plugging a Microcube into a 1x12 cab and it will blow your mind. If you have any mind left, waste the rest by plugging it into a 4x12 cab. It sounds insanely huge. Small amps tend to sound thin because they simply cannot pump air with the little speakers they have. But a small amp through a big speaker? Sounds huge.

    A lot of noise has been made about famous records made with dinky amps, and they sound huge on record due to proximity effect (mic jammed in really close to the speaker cone). But we don't play guitar with our ear in front of our little speaker, so we need to go with a larger speaker that can move the air in the room.
     
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  16. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    This is true, the Katana sounds much nicer than the Micro Cube at the same extremely low volumes I use, stick the cans on and the difference is minimal.
     
  17. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I couldn't agree more.

    IMG_1310.jpeg
     
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  18. Mpd2378

    Mpd2378 TDPRI Member

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    Yamaha thr10c.
     
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  19. Sean65

    Sean65 Tele-Holic

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    Roland MicroCube will do just fine for those quieter moments. A few effects built in so you don’t have to bother with any hook ups.

    plug and play
     
  20. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    I've never found any small amp that sounds better than my Blackstar TVP15.
     
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