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The classic "Practice Amp" question...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by SpacemanSpiff, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Tele-Meister

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    Been thinking about this for sometime, but can' t seem to make up my mind: I have a Marshall valvestate 8080 combo 80w from my young metal days, that has no phones output.

    I don't play metal anymore, mostly blues\blues rock, and alt stuff, nor do I play in a band anymore, so I keep using this in my apartment at very very low volumes.

    I mostly play at night, so have been thinking about buying a small Practice Amp that I could use with phones. I'm not sure if I should sell the Marshall or not, but for now, I've been thinking about buying a 10w\15w unit.

    I'm considering these:

    Orange Crush 15R 15 Watt Combo (Reverb)
    http://www.musicstore.de/en_EN/PTE/Orange-Crush-15R-15-Watt-Combo-mit-Reverb/art-GIT0013306-000

    Fender Frontman 15 R 15 Watt Combo
    http://www.musicstore.de/en_EN/PTE/...15-Watt-Combo-1x8-Speaker/art-GIT0002532-000#

    Laney LG20-R Combo 15 Watt 8"
    http://www.musicstore.de/en_EN/PTE/...att-8-Gitarrenverstaerker/art-GIT0013730-000#

    Roland Cube 15 X 15 Watt, 8" Speaker, 2 chanels
    http://www.musicstore.de/en_EN/PTE/Roland-Cube-15-X-15-Watt-8-Speaker-2-Kanaele/art-GIT0009038-000#

    Crate FlexWave FW15 R 15 Watt Combo
    http://www.musicstore.de/en_EN/EUR/Crate-FlexWave-FW15-R-15-Watt-Combo/art-GIT0010499-000

    Do any of you have experience with these?
    Would I be better of selling the Marshall and get something else?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Singin' Dave

    Singin' Dave Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not too familiar with the features/tone of the amps above, but I'd add to your list a Vox DA5. Great little amp for home use or knocking around in the back yard (as it has battery power). The 1/2 watt setting is perfect for quiet jamming late night and the FX and models are quite useable.

    They can be had for $139 new or $100 used in good shape, meaning cheap enough so that you may want to sell the Marshall for a decent 15w tube amp for jamming with friends down the road.
     
  3. dqami

    dqami Tele-Holic

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    Depends a lot on what you want as far as features, what type of practice you want to do, tube or SS, and how much you want to spend. There's so much to choose from these days. I have owned several different ones but really enjoy my Fender Gdec. You can find a used one pretty reasonably and it has modeling, effects, jam tracks, tuner, key changer, a small looper, and enough power to drive a cab. Even though it's SS, it gets a great sound when hooked up to a cab. For tube, there's the Epi VJ, Blackheart, Orange Tiny Terror, Vox, Fender XDs, and the bargain closeout Crate V18. Check out Youtube for samples.
     
  4. Sterling Indigo

    Sterling Indigo Friend of Leo's

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    If you can't get to a store to play some of these, you can do a youtube search for a shootout or comparisson of your favorite brand amps to hear some of these. Vox has some good inexpensive 5, 10 and 15 watt practice amps ($80-$140). Vox even has a tiny headphone amp called the amplug, I have the AC-30 and the Classic Rock versions that sound great ($35). They plug right into your guitar jack and run on AA battery and are about the size of a large pack of gum. They are not too friendly with iPod earbuds so get you some good cans. Orange Crush 15 is a contender. I'd also look at one of the Roland micro cubes too.
     
  5. Gilamnstr

    Gilamnstr Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 on the Roland Micro Cube. Compact, can run on batteries, has a headphone jack, has mp3 input so you can jam along to backing tracks, headphone jack doubles as a record out / DI jack.

    I haven't tried one of the Vox DA5's, but lots of people say good things about them too. Another tiny solution worth looking at are the Vox "Amplugs", as mentioned by Sterling Indigo.
     
  6. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Tele-Meister

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    Thank you very much for your input.

    I think I might have found a solution: for late night jamming, I'm going to go with the Vox AMPLUG AC30. Look it up on youtube last night, and it looks very promising. And for 39,99 at my local dealer, can't really be beat...

    If it really proves to be usable, I'll probably sell the Marshall and get a Peavey Windsor Studio 15 Watt or the BlackHeart Little Giant Class A 5W Head + 1x10" Cabinet (or just the combo version of it)

    More tone with less power... what do you guys think?
     
  7. kcp

    kcp TDPRI Member

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    I purchased the Orange Crush 15r last week for a practice amp (after doing a lot of research). The overdrive channel is as close to Marshall tone as any out there. The clean is terrific and it has spring reverb. For $119, everyone should own one.
     
  8. Whisperer

    Whisperer Tele-Meister

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    I tried out the Crate Flexwave... yuck!
    The first one farted out on half volume. ...and I think it had a 12 inch speaker. We opened a second one and it didn't even work.
    I've had a couple of the cheaper Kustom amps and really like them.

    Check this little guy out, it really sounds nice clean with a good 12 inch speaker, and some outputs on the back, and is great at low volumes:

    http://www.musicstore.de/en_EN/PTE/Kustom-Amplification-12-Gauge-J-10-Watt/art-GIT0011786-000

    All the best with your decision.
     
  9. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    Late at night, in my little apartment, I play an 85 watt Twin Reverb.

    I keep it turned down low...
     
  10. Whisperer

    Whisperer Tele-Meister

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    small hijack: Beepclick... you're up at 3:30 in the morning too?!:D
     
  11. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    Whisperer -- yep. Wouldn't hesitate to fire up the Twin right now, if the mood struck me!

    ;)
     
  12. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have the AC30 Amplug. Love it. Did you know that you can plug your ipod into the Amplug and it has a volume dial for blending the ipod tunes in with your guitar playing. It's great.

    The VOX DA5 is a great practice amp (if you ever buy an actual amp).

    The DA5 has a larger speaker than the Micro cube and it has 11 amp models and 11 effects which is almost twice that of the MicroCube.

    I love my DA5.

    John
     
  13. FirstBassman

    FirstBassman Friend of Leo's

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    After reading (and responding to) what seems like hundreds of "practice amp" threads over the years guys I gotta say - what freakin' difference does it make. It's a practice amp. Who cares what it sounds like. It's for practicing!

    Here's an idea - get the worst sounding practice amp you can find. This way, you'll try that much harder to sound better. Sorta like exercising in a pool, or trying to run with weights.


    Sorry for the venting. It's been a bad couple of days I guess. But I still stand by what I wrote.
     
  14. manfesto

    manfesto Tele-Meister

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    DA5 >> MicroCube.

    I'm trying to sell off my MicroCube for the DA5, which I decided after trying one is the best little practice amp made. It doesn't sound "small" like most practice amps do (and I've had the tiny Fender Frontman and an older Crate FlexWave 8" GX15 - those are what I think of when I think of "small" sounding). Neither does the MicroCube, FWIW, but the MicroCube gets farty sounding on bassy notes (the DA5 doesn't, hence my want to trade up).

    I haven't tried the Orange, but I've heard good things about it. Going from personal experience, though, I'd say the Vox DA5 is far and away the best practice amp money can buy.
     
  15. waymo

    waymo TDPRI Member

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    The mighty Vox Pathfinder 15R

    I'm always amazed at how good this low cost Vox ($119) sounds. Sparkling clean sound that's a great match for a tele. Looks cool too.
     
  16. wierdOne

    wierdOne Tele-Holic

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    Dude... the most fun I've had recently on a "practice" amp was on a Fender G-dec...

    it's got pretty decent tones (there's a youtube video of Eric Johnson using one).... but that's not the cool part... it's got a built in band.... that plays a ton of different styles... from blues, to country, to rock... all adjustible... drums and bass... in any key you want... at any tempo..... it's a great practice tool for honing your soloing skills...

    I have yet to see a video online showcasing the band in a box feature.... The Eric Johnson video is just him messing around with the tones...

    seriously look into one of those little guys.... the one i played was 100.00... more fun than a barrel of monkeys.... at least it's more fun than the last few barrels i've had.... today's barrels of monkeys are nowhere near the quality of the barrels of yesteryear.... they just don't make barrels of monkeys like they used to..
     
  17. JDaveG

    JDaveG Tele-Meister

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    Second this. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mine. Just got it last weekend, and I can't stop playing through it.
     
  18. Guitar_Ninja

    Guitar_Ninja Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  19. vegetablejoe

    vegetablejoe Tele-Holic

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    I have an Amplug AC-30. It's handy and useful, but it's a toy. I'm afraid the plug itself will break off from the rest of the plastic casing, should it get bumped. With my strat, it sounds too bright and tinny; the presence can't be dialled out with the tone control. The gain control exacerbates this. Or did I get a bad unit?

    On the bright side (pun not intended), you can put it last in a chain of pedals, and get the pedals' effects/tones while using headphones. But then again, I can do the same thing with my Zoom G2, in stereo to boot.

    Unless one absolutely needs the portability and quiet and hence have to use headphones, I would rather plug into my son's Vox Pathfinder. Despite the effects come-ons and amp sims of the new Micro Cube and DA-5, I have not felt nor heard the need to trade-in the Pathfinder, which works well with a guitar plugged straight in or through pedals.

    Btw, in some countries the Pathfinder includes a headphone out jack. Sadly, in mine, this feature was not included.
     
  20. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    +1
    if you buy from music store you may also want to consider their own fame gta 15. nice and cheap.
     
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