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amp advise

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:16 am
by macpeppers
i'm picking up the guitar again after many many years of being away from it. i've bought a gibson lp stuido and i'm looking for an amp. all my practice and playing will be in the living room at home alone. could someone recommend an amp for this. i'd like a nice amp, i'm not looking for the cheap, but i have to maintain a little control. thanks for the help.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:40 pm
by Les Again
There are a some min-amps that allow for running at reduced wattage, which supposedly gives you the full effect of gain, distortion, effects, etc. at low volumes that you might get only at higher volumes on standard sized amps.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:13 pm
by jeffl
Les makes a good point about the little modelling amps. Most music stores have a good handful of these little tots, inluding the Fenders, Vox, Roland, etc. I've always thought that the best thing to do is to try 'em all out at the store, and you might as well try out the little hybrids too.. the tube amps with the solid state effects channels, like the Fender Champ XD.

The only pain in the butt is making sure that you tweak the knobs on each amp correctly so that you get a feel for what the amp will do.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:28 pm
by leftyguitarman
My first choice would be a small tube amp, but even then that might be too loud for living room playing. My Epi Valve Jr ran through a 1x12 is loud enough to keep up with a drummer.

Fender has the new Mustang line of amps out and the Mustang I for $99 is very promising, despite having a 10 inch speaker.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:29 pm
by Stackabones
I'd second the rec for the Mustang I. Very tweakable and an excellent all-around amp. Perfect for living room use and also for using it late at night, for it has a built-in headphone jack. Additionally, it has a USB for recording directly to the computer (and for running the FUSE software, which increases the sound options like crazy).

Many of my students have this amp, and I'd get one if I already didn't have a Fender Super Champ XD. I've even thought about trading it in for one.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:01 am
by TheDude
+1 on the Fender Mustang amp. If you shell out a couple more tenners you can get the Mustang II, which with 40W and a 12" speaker is loud enough for small pub gigs. Nice to have that option if you ever decide to play with some friends.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:46 am
by s1120
I have a VOX ad30vt and its a great amp. Goes from wisper "shhhh the kids are sleeping" mode, to cranked "my ears are ringing, lets move this outside" mode with the twist of a knob. All the time keeping its tone. One thing to think about though... With these modeling amps, with all the built in effects, and toys... You can sure get a lot of BAD sounds out of them also!!! there is a learning curve to find the sweet spot, and get a tone you like. My VOX has been good to me, and its helpped me find the tone I like, but the next amp with be a nice simple tube amp, that you plug in, and play through! That being said, what kinda music are you planing on playing? If money is not a big part of it, I would be looking for a nice small tube amp in the under 5watt range. Plug in, set the tone, and vol knob and play.... if you deside you want to play with others, or somewere you need a little more sound, you can shop at that time for something bigger.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:25 pm
by straightblues
There are lots of old vintage tube amps that would be great for that. Go out to stores and plug into everything until you find one that sounds like you want.

For more modern tube amps, the Fender Pro Jr. or Ampeg Jet II amps sound really good for home playing and are loud enough for gigs when the time is right.

The Vox Pathfinder 15r is a great little solid state amp for $130 new. These sound great at very low volume. The review on them are fantastic and a few name pro players are using them.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:11 am
by devonniedukes
remained faithful to the vintage amp, my granny has two of it. :D the Fender and Marshall, not as good as when it was new but still working. :lol:

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:10 am
by guitarslim101
I was very impressed with the little Vox AC4. You can drop the output to 1/4 watt, which still has some volume to it, but is definitely manageable. Champs are nice little practice amps, too, but even they can be a bit much.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:31 pm
by Jakeblues
I'm in a similar situation. I had sold my early '80's Fender 75 (back then, it was the poor man's Mesa Boogie) to buy an acoustic about 14 years ago. I kinda miss it. Low power was 5 watts and the multiple gain and volume controls made it work as a practice amp.

Fast forward to 2011 and I was overwhelmed by the changes in technology. I wound up with a Fender G-DEC 15, which can model a vast array of amps and has a huge assortment of effects built in. I'm thankful it has presets, because otherwise, it's a lot more than I want to mess around with most of the times. Other than overdrive, reverb and the occasional delay/echo, I'm not big on effects, but they're there. I don't really feel that the modeling sounds and responds like a tube amp, but for my current use, which is limited to practice at home and occationally hacking around with some friends, it does the job fine. (There is a tube amp in my future...)

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:39 pm
by straightblues
I would be getting a Vox Pathfinder 15R. These little solid amps get a great tube like sound. They are small, they can get loud enough to play with a drummer. They only cost $120. I have several old small tube amps, and many bigger tube amps. For lower volume home playing, the Vox is my favorite by a large margin. It has tremolo and reverb as well.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:41 pm
by birdmove
Fender has dropped the Champion 600. You can still buy the version by Gretsch. Amazon has them for $195. The little Fender Greta sounds mighty nice on the youtubes I've seen. You'll pay about $200 and up for any of the current crop of 5 watt all tube combos. Bugera V5, VHT Special 6, there are still some Peavey Valve King Royal 8 amps on Amazon. Some of these have power attenuators where you can roll the power back to 1 watt, or even .1 watt. I have an Albion AG10 hybrid that sound great and has an extension speaker cabinet too. See if you can try one out at a music store.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:53 pm
by Honeyboy
I love my Fender Super Champ XD. The new one is the X2.

What I like about it is the versatility. It had modeling presets built in so you can sound like anything from an old Fender to Marshalls to boutique amps. The flexibility would be great if you are just getting back into it and not sure what you want to sound like.

And because it has all tube power the 15 watts is plenty loud when you need it. I gig out with it at clubs where I can keep the volume down.

I've got videos of it on my website or you can find videos on YouTube.

Re: amp advise

PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:06 am
by birdmove
I don't care for the modeling amps much. Too darn many knobs!! Though the Super Champ XD and X2 do have a clean channel and are all tube. The youtubes I've seen have some nice tones. No thanks on the Mustangs and other modeling amps for me.