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View Full Version : Best small cheap practice amp


tigerfan2
01-31-2012, 08:17 PM
Im looking for a cheap small practice amp. Preferably with a headphone output.
Doesn't have to be tube but if it's not I want decent sounds.

Any suggestions?

Appreciate the help.

lareplus
01-31-2012, 08:22 PM
hands down. . .Vox Pathfinder 15R, 15W with headphone, speaker out and line out.

Rena Rune
01-31-2012, 08:23 PM
The Pathfinder is well liked, but IMO the Orange Micro Terror could well rival it. There's no "good" clips of it yet though sadly.

lpcustom
01-31-2012, 08:33 PM
Peavey Rage 158 offers nice cleans and surprisingly good overdrive.

geetarboy
01-31-2012, 08:33 PM
I've got a Tech 21 Trademark 10 and it's perfect for bedroom use.

rippingrudy
01-31-2012, 09:07 PM
Line 6 spider 4 @ 75 watts. Every sound on earth for a couple hundred bucks. I can't emphasize enough to not bother with anything else.

Mudder
01-31-2012, 09:12 PM
Headphone out? Vox Little Night Train.

BEACHBUM
01-31-2012, 10:21 PM
SCXD. You can get them for about $200 now.

bluesgolfer
01-31-2012, 10:34 PM
Dumble

tigerfan2
01-31-2012, 10:35 PM
Dumble

:sarcasm?

cratz2
02-01-2012, 12:50 AM
If you want a good headphone out, I like the Fender Mustang. If don't need the headphone jack, the Super Champ XD would get my vote, esp with an upgraded speaker... that puts you closer to $300 but instead of a 'practice amp' you get a 'small gigable amp' that works pretty well at lower volumes as well and is pretty lightweight.

For a pure practice amp, I think you could do a lot worse than a Mustang I.

TS808
02-01-2012, 07:44 AM
Any of the Fender Mustang amps. I own the Mustang III and it sounds great at low and moderate volumes. The versatility alone is worth the $299

bbutler123
02-01-2012, 08:20 AM
Vox Pathfinder for a very pure tone, or a Roland Micro Cube for simple and excellent effects, and some darn good amp simulations.

Both are $120. No need to spend more for a practice amp, IMO.

Soul Man
02-01-2012, 08:52 AM
The Mustangs are pretty nice amps.

tigerfan2
02-01-2012, 10:07 AM
Yeah I'm not at a gigable place in my life right now. Law school and fiancÚ and such. I appreciate the suggestions for the most part. I'll have to check out the vox and Roland in person but they sound good online.

markszabo
02-01-2012, 10:16 AM
Line 6 spider 4 @ 75 watts. Every sound on earth for a couple hundred bucks. I can't emphasize enough to not bother with anything else.

Pretty much this.

itstooloudMike
02-01-2012, 10:23 AM
I have both the Micro-Cube and the Vox Pathfinder, and they are both great practice amps. If you want decent onboard effects, and like the idea of a battery powered option, the Micro-Cube is perfect. If you want really nice full clean tones with a tube-like feel, the Pathfinder is the one. I use the Pathfinder for blues, country, and rockabilly type stuff. If I'm wanting to play rock stuff, I grab the Micro-Cube. They are both really great practice amps, and actually having both won't break the bank.

Rena Rune
02-01-2012, 10:26 AM
The best value modeler at the moment is probably the Mustang II. Good amp, doesn't take pedals too well on most models though.

albatross
02-01-2012, 02:47 PM
+1 one the micro-cube. Bought one for when I lived in the dorms and as far as practice amps go I though it was great. The battery option is nice too.

jota
02-01-2012, 05:14 PM
I have both the Micro-Cube and the Vox Pathfinder, and they are both great practice amps. If you want decent onboard effects, and like the idea of a battery powered option, the Micro-Cube is perfect. If you want really nice full clean tones with a tube-like feel, the Pathfinder is the one. I use the Pathfinder for blues, country, and rockabilly type stuff. If I'm wanting to play rock stuff, I grab the Micro-Cube. They are both really great practice amps, and actually having both won't break the bank.
I was just saying exactly the same.

Dr. Tweedbucket
02-01-2012, 06:12 PM
Used Fender Vibro champ .... $125 is what I paid for mine. :hiP

tigerfan2
02-03-2012, 11:14 AM
What is the consensus on the amplitube and ampkit apps as a practice tool?

Do they give decent enough sounds?

I'm really only needing something until early summer, as I plan on building a tweed deluxe.

tonyhay
02-03-2012, 11:34 AM
I bought a Vox micro-cube for my son for Christmas. I keep sneaking it out of his room to play it. It's a lot of fun. I wish they had stuff like that when I was a teenager.

rippingrudy
02-03-2012, 12:03 PM
It kills me to think anyone would get a pathfinder over a line 6 spider. The pathfinder drive channel sounds like crap! The Spider has a looper, every effect on earth, a load of amp models that sound awesome and if necessary can b used at jams or gigs. EXACTLY what u want in a practice amp - tones to inspire more playing!!!

iamdavea
02-03-2012, 12:03 PM
Your ONLY option worth consideration is the Peavey Classic 20; marvelous tube tone through the headphone jack. Trust me. I own two of them. Tip: keep the Volume at 3, and the master at 7. Sheer bliss. Hit it with a compressor for sheer total bliss.

itstooloudMike
02-03-2012, 01:21 PM
I agree that the Pathfinder dirt channel (boost?) sounds like crap. But the clean is where the Pathfinder really shines. I only use the Pathfinder as a clean amp, or a platform for pedals. The sound is full and big. If you hid it behind a curtain, no-one would believe it's physical size. And the tremolo is very nice. If you want quality clean, tube-like fat tone, and vintage sounding tremolo, you can't beat the Pathfinder as an inexpensive practice amp. If you play metal, it ain't for you.

chrisrocksusa
02-03-2012, 01:24 PM
Mesa/boogie triple rectifier

jmp
02-03-2012, 02:10 PM
I have the Fender G-DEC3 and in my opinion it is truly the ultimate practice amp:

- Models of all the popular classic guitar amps that sound convincing at TV/bedroom volumes.

- All your basic effects (overdrive, flanger, chorus, delay, reverbs, etc.)

- Built in tuner.

- Built in metronome

- Headphone jack

- Built in backing tracks to practice leads over

- Built in looper for playing leads over your own rythms or for building atmospheric textures

- Can serve as a USB interface with your computer if you want to record (comes with recording software)

- Compact and light as a feather so it's easy to tote around.

- On top of all of that, if necessary you could plug it straight into a PA and gig with it.

All for about $400 before any potential discounts.

Get the 4-button footswitch as it really enhances the functionality.

I use my Fulltone wah and then go straight into the amp. It has been keeping me happy for a while now as I play at night after the family has gone to sleep.

For me at least, having real backing tracks is a HUGE asset for practice, as it keeps me focused on playing music in time and not just mindless noodling around that gets me nowhere.

-Mike

snakestretcher
02-03-2012, 02:53 PM
Bugera V5 http://www.bugera-amps.com/EN/products/V5.aspx
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7tEUsvN5Oc

jota
02-03-2012, 05:12 PM
It kills me to think anyone would get a pathfinder over a line 6 spider. The pathfinder drive channel sounds like crap! The Spider has a looper, every effect on earth, a load of amp models that sound awesome and if necessary can b used at jams or gigs. EXACTLY what u want in a practice amp - tones to inspire more playing!!!

It really depends on what you need on an amp!
I don't need efects but I like trem and reverb. The Pathfinder has a fantastic clean sound and that makes the amp worth.
I hate gear that makes a ton of things ok. I prefer gear that do one great thing and the pathfinder does it ;)

GulfportBound
02-03-2012, 05:16 PM
I've been using a Fender Frontman 25R for practise. Good little practise amp.

motokev
02-03-2012, 07:25 PM
I love the Roland Cube 40 and 80. I've owned most of them. The 40XL and 80XL now have a LOOPER, which is FUN. They also have a Aux In and Headphones

rippingrudy
02-05-2012, 03:51 PM
I love the Roland Cube 40 and 80. I've owned most of them. The 40XL and 80XL now have a LOOPER, which is FUN. They also have a Aux In and Headphones

I have a Roland Micro Cube - best "beside the couch in the living room" practice amp I've ever had. It really is a "bedroom" volume amp cause it farts out if you turn it up over 1/4 on the dial. haha

I'm beating the horse to death but, like I said before, the Line 6 Spider IV (the 75 watt model) can't be beat by ANY amp out there as a practice amp. It does ANY SOUND YOU CAN IMAGINE. haha

Rena Rune
02-05-2012, 07:23 PM
I have a Roland Micro Cube - best "beside the couch in the living room" practice amp I've ever had. It really is a "bedroom" volume amp cause it farts out if you turn it up over 1/4 on the dial. haha

I'm beating the horse to death but, like I said before, the Line 6 Spider IV (the 75 watt model) can't be beat by ANY amp out there as a practice amp. It does ANY SOUND YOU CAN IMAGINE. haha

IMO the Mustang II is the best modeler out there. The Spider IV is the XT tech I believe which is pretty old, and no JCM800 model for some reason.

Figaro
02-05-2012, 07:43 PM
What $ is your definition of cheap?

motokev
02-09-2012, 12:53 AM
IMO the Mustang II is the best modeler out there. The Spider IV is the XT tech I believe which is pretty old, and no JCM800 model for some reason.


:agreethe Mustang II is a purty good amp for the $$$

cosmodog
02-09-2012, 02:34 AM
I prefer the Mustangs over the Line 6 for modelling. But I recently decided it was time to lay off the modelling amps. Either my ears were getting tired or something else, but it just wasn't sounding that great to me any more. I went with a Vox AC4TV, and man that little amp is simple but sounds so great. And it takes pedals very well.

nickyjoe
02-09-2012, 07:17 AM
Dunno what price is "cheap", but there is a lot of value in a ZT Lunchbox.

falconer
02-09-2012, 08:05 AM
Dunno what price is "cheap", but there is a lot of value in a ZT Lunchbox.

If I would've just bought my Reason Bambino the first time around, I wouldn't have spent so much time and money wading through a list of "cheap practice amps".

Rena Rune
02-09-2012, 08:35 AM
I prefer the Mustangs over the Line 6 for modelling. But I recently decided it was time to lay off the modelling amps. Either my ears were getting tired or something else, but it just wasn't sounding that great to me any more. I went with a Vox AC4TV, and man that little amp is simple but sounds so great. And it takes pedals very well.

I found the opposite with the AC4TV. Couldn't run a Big Muff through it without it farting out and the high end disappearing. ODs worked okay as long as you didn't try to boost the front end with them. May need to change a cap or something.

Miles
02-09-2012, 05:26 PM
Roland cube 60. Loud enough for a backup gig. Small enough to carry anywhere. Cheap, good sounding, can be uber quiet, and has a great DI for headphones or recording. Lots of tonal options. Just used mine for a church gig direct to PA and it sounded awesome.

Miles
02-09-2012, 05:27 PM
I found the opposite with the AC4TV. Couldn't run a Big Muff through it without it farting out and the high end disappearing. ODs worked okay as long as you didn't try to boost the front end with them. May need to change a cap or something.

Not enough headroom either. Voxes HATE Muffs. Muffs sound nasally, harsh, and muddled through them. Just not the right voicing. I even hate the sound of Muffs through AC30s. Just squawky and flimsy sounding. Muffs excel in vintage marshall and fender circuits.

rockonomics
02-09-2012, 05:38 PM
SCXD. You can get them for about $200 now.
Where?

Ryan07
02-09-2012, 05:43 PM
If you can live without the headphone jack I'd get a Silverface Vibro Champ.

EdM
02-09-2012, 05:53 PM
Vox Pathfinder for a very pure tone, or a Roland Micro Cube for simple and excellent effects, and some darn good amp simulations.

Both are $120. No need to spend more for a practice amp, IMO.


I bought my daughter a micro cube and I LOVE to play with that little thing around the house. That is my $.02.

zenitB
02-09-2012, 05:57 PM
+1 on the Pathfinder 15R. Really unbelievable tone for the $.

Rena Rune
02-09-2012, 05:59 PM
Not enough headroom either. Voxes HATE Muffs. Muffs sound nasally, harsh, and muddled through them. Just not the right voicing. I even hate the sound of Muffs through AC30s. Just squawky and flimsy sounding. Muffs excel in vintage marshall and fender circuits.

I agree with that except in the case of the AC4, as it's a very fuzzy, darker voiced amp itself.

Also, the tone knob seems to do nothing especially when the gain is up, however it makes a huge difference when using pedals - fully up it can make higher gain dirt boxes sound like fizzy crap, rolled down it smooths it off. It's obviously a pre tone control which I'm not much of a fan of to be honest.

With the Muff though, it wasn't the normal "Nasal" voice(A Fuzz Face and an AC15ntb are a good match though), it was just that it seemed to be ****ing with the input stage somehow. When I used to have a Valvetronix amp it did the same thing. I think maybe it's too bassy or something, but weirdly it's the high end that goes missing, unless you roll down the volume. This can happen a lot with muffs, but it happened especially bad with most pedals I tried with the AC4.

I liked the amp aside from that, but it was a bit "meh" sounding after my ears got used to it. It wasn't quite as bad as some of the other "Tube amp for tube amp's sake" sort of amps(though I do kind of like the sounds crappy little tube amps make in general) but it almost sounded like a really naff version of the Tiny Terror at times.

AParrotLooksAt4O
03-02-2012, 04:16 PM
I've been using the Vibro Champ XD in both practice and live applications, and I must say its a pretty phenomenal amp. I got it free, and have been nothing but happy with it, and its tube! Its great for achieving some nice natural overdrive(easy with 5W), it takes pedals like a "champ" and sounds just as good in a "line out" situation as it does miced, probably better. I've used it at extremely low levels on stage, running "line out" into the sound board, and it still sound fat and full through the house. The effects are more than adequate for the low price tag, also. I generally have it set on the cleanest setting (4) with the gain about half, and it absolutely smokes clean or pedal-pushed. Love it.