Teeny-tiny tube amps

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Matthias, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Hi all,

    I've had my Marshall Valvestate VS30R for about 15 years now, and it's OK. The tube pre-amp sounds OK as long as you crank it, it's big enough for small gigs and (For the most part) it still works. The spring reverb is great too.

    However...

    I mainly practice at home these days, isn't as good quiet and I think I'm about ready for a full tube sound. To get the most out of a tube amp at home I'm going to need a small one.

    One I've got my eye on is the Blackstar HT-1R... I should be able to crank that although I'd like to know exactly how loud 1 watt sounds, and it would be great to know if it's feasible to gig with the emulated output straight into the desk.

    If I can 1) crank it up at home and 2) use it to gig (somehow) if needed I'll be more than happy.

    Any other suggestions would be much appreciated. I'm not much of an amp connoisseur. :s

    Cheers!
     
  2. Ted M

    Ted M Tele-Afflicted

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    VHT Special 6 - either the regular model or the Ultra (with extra gain) is cheap and surprisingly loud. Most important, it sounds great.
     
  3. Jonny_Quest

    Jonny_Quest Tele-Afflicted

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  4. TeleSky

    TeleSky Tele-Holic

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    Whats your price range? The Bugera V5 is pretty good. If i were you i'd look at the Egnater Rebel 20. It goes anywhere from 1 watt to 20 watts, so gigging wouldn't be a problem, but it can stay quiet for home use. Sure its a bit pricey, but well worth it in my opinion.
    There are tons of mini tube amps out there now, and frankly i haven't heard a single one that sounded bad. Its a tough call for sure.
     
  5. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

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    Look into a trinity tramp if you want to go boutique.
     
  6. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Cheers! :)

    Wow, the Bugera and the VHT are cheap. I'd veer more toward the Bugera as it has a separate gain and volume.

    Budget-wise, I'm in the £100-200 range for a practice-only amp, but if it's properly gig-able I might go a bit higher. The Egnater sounds good, but as I have my heart set on a Strat soon, I'm not sure I can afford that as well.

    Is 5 watts loud enough to mic onstage with a full band? I've never tried anything below 10.
     
  7. TeleSky

    TeleSky Tele-Holic

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    5 watts can be usable in a live situation, i've done it before, but it had to be cranked, and i didn't have a pristine clean sound, for the situation it worked because it was heavy ambient, but if you need clean sound, you may need a bit more. Thats just my opinion, and i'm not sure that everyone here will agree, but thats how it was for me.
     
  8. dada

    dada Banned Troll

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    Silverface Champ or Vibro Champ. PTP 6 watts of vintage Fender tone. $300-$400. You will always be able to get your money back. I actually had the opportunity to buy a clean 1978 Champ this last weekend for $200. They are still out there for cheap...
     
  9. timmytVA

    timmytVA Tele-Holic

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  10. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    :D

    Definitely liking the attenuator features.

    Where these have a dedicated phones/line out/DI socket, how well do these work running into a desk or another amp? I know the Blackstar HTs have a cab simulator so it sounds a bit more "live" I guess.
     
  11. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

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    I really like my Fender Champion 600.
     
  12. CubanTele

    CubanTele TDPRI Member

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    Have you looked at the Vox AC4TV?

    I've also heard a few modded Champion 600's that sound really nice as well.
     
  13. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Both of those look pretty sweet. I think I'm almost at the point where I can pop down a shop and try a few out.

    However, if I do have gigging in mind, I'm wondering if something 10 watt+ with a valve overdrive pedal for quieter playing would do the trick – and perhaps try that with the Valvestate first?

    I guess changing the valve in the Valvestate's preamp might see an improvement in tone too. It's working consistently but it is 15 years old!
     
  14. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

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    I heard the Blackstar for the first time yesterday. The local guitar tech guy has one in his tiny workshop and it sounds really good - cleans up nicely for a Fendery sound and then roars like a Marshall, but at a fairly manageable volume. Definitely worth trying one out.
     
  15. teleconvertMij

    teleconvertMij Tele-Meister

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    Hi Matthias :) i see you're in the UK, too! Try www.ratvalveamps.com it's a guy called Andy down south who transforms standard valve amps into something unbelievable!! I bought a fully modded Marshall C5 off him and i still cannot get over what this guy can do. Just brilliant :)
     
  16. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

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    Believe it or not, a Marshall Class 5.

    [​IMG]

    While it's a non-master volume amp, Marshall added a cool feature to it this year. It has a switch for both full power (5 watts), and very low power/headphones. If you don't plug headphones into the headphone jack, the signal is routed to the speaker. Oh, yeah, and the power output at this very low power setting is only .05 watts. I tried one out, and was very impressed with it (if I didn't need the money for the American Special Tele I just bought, I might have bought the Class 5 instead). It sounded great, and even with the volume maxed, was about as quiet as my Valvestate VS100, with the master volume on 1/2.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  17. dman

    dman Tele-Afflicted

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    +1. I picked up a pristine used one for $99, modded it with oxblood/tan grill cloth (more transparent than the stock velour stuff), a Weber Sig 6 alnico speaker and new tubes..a JJ 12AX7 and a Tung Sol 6V6. It sounds really, really good and is plenty loud for home playing. I probably could use it live in a small venue with a restrained drummer (do they exist?)...definitely if miked.
     
  18. Flatfoot

    Flatfoot Tele-Meister

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    Vox AC4TV.
     
  19. highwayman

    highwayman Former Member

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    Blackstar amps are GREAT Amps.You can go wrong !
     
  20. Carvalho Diablo

    Carvalho Diablo Tele-Meister

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    +1

    Got my Blackheart BH5H Little Giant head modded by Andy at RAT, and it is GREAT.

    Worth every penny.
     
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