Where are the killer 'bedroom amp' tones?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by AaeCee, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. AaeCee

    AaeCee Silver Supporting Member

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    Forgive me for the possibly uninformed nature of this question, as I'm not much of an amp guy, but why isn't there any small amp technology, in cab and speaker design specifically, that will provide that full, bassy sound from a small speaker and cab (8", 10", or even a 12" in a small box), much in the way that Bose is able to coax such a big sound from those small radios? I'm sure that volume is a key, in that those radios break up at higher volumes, but with the bigger boxes necessary for amp speakers, and a design that is made to only get loud enough for 'bedroom' play, you'd think there would be a purpose built amp for that application.

    I've heard or played so many of the current offerings (Bad Cat, Roland, Carr, Dr. Z, Victoria, Star, etc.), and none give the impression of being anything other than, well, a mini or small amp. The small box Matchless Spitfire comes close, but that's a slightly bigger format and is a loud 15w. Am I missing something that's out there?
     
  2. sinner

    sinner Member

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    In the morning, before corn flakes, I'd get up and see my old Marshall sitting on the big tall vintage 412 cab there in my room by the little bed...

    and yes, with the PowerBrake, and a pedal or two, I'd have some big bedroom tone, didn't even care about the un-eaten cornflakes...

    Moral: maybe for big bedroom tone you got to start your day with the big real deal meal?
     
  3. utterhack

    utterhack Member

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    Run a L'il Smokey through a 4x12.
     
  4. blackba

    blackba Member

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    Take a fender champ, buy and allen amps head box, then a mesa theile 112 cab. Small amps are what they are, meant to be small and portable, not to pump out bass...
     
  5. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    I just got back from buying the best bedroom amp in the tone for $$ spent. Silverface Champ. You can play it dimed and still hold a conversation. Plug it into a 2x12 at 4 ohms and it will blow you away. For less than the price of most pedals discussed on this site its a tone bargain.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. AaeCee

    AaeCee Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree completely. But just for the specific purpose of producing a satisfying full, low volume sound, there must be some sonic means available. That's why I cited the guitar amp equivalent of the Bose Soundwave system. I understand that it would preclude getting any resonable high volume sounds from such a system, but it'd sure be fun for late night playing when the kids are in bed.
     
  7. astroboy581

    astroboy581 Member

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    i use a small vox pathfinder 15 for my bedroom jamming. surprisingly really organic tones from this little solid state monster. at low volumes it sounds tube like. but you have to crank it real loud for it to show its solid state qualities. i've used it on small jazz gigs too! for the $100 it's freakin amazing.
     
  8. GreenTea

    GreenTea Member

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    Word. Very nice amp for small volume and full tone. The od to me is crap. The cleans and just breaking up sounds are incredible for a small package. For od/clipping, opt for maybe a Tech 21 TM10. But for round and pleasing clean and mild (real mild) od tones in a small room, don't overlook this beaut.
     
  9. Graffiti Yellow

    Graffiti Yellow Member

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    +1 on the silverface champ, or any champ for that matter.

    great tone and takes pedals well.
     
  10. PRNDL

    PRNDL Member

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    I'm in the process of making my second bedroom amp.
    The first uses 6AK6 output tubes for about 2 watts. It sounds great through a 10" Emminence Red Coat.
    The second is a very old Mono amp that uses 30EH5 tubes (also about 2 watts). The secret to its tone may be the vintage 6.5" alnico speaker.

    I've got sound clips on my web site
    http://www.naturdoctor.com/Chapters/Amps/DynaMite.html

    There are many things that effect the bass, including speakers, output tubes (both type and manufacturer), and coupling caps.

    Also the term itself is not well defined. i.e. do you mean the Marshall knock, or a clear well-defined low end?

    Increasing the coupling caps to .1µF, which is used in vintage 5e3's, does add more bass, but many speakers can't handle it. It also reduces the treble. There are more complaints about flabby bass, so most amp designers put in lower coupling cap values.
     
  11. fabulusfab777

    fabulusfab777 Supporting Member

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    I'm not a sound engineer but i think the main reason why we can't really produce an amp that would have the same sound quality as a BOSE soundwave system is the IMPUTor the SOURCE of the signal . I'll explain myself. In a mini hi-fi stereo system, the signal is a stereo source, more compress, a 1/4 guitar jack, is a mono signal and a little weak, in terms of signal. So small amp WILL and CAN giv you a nice balsy sound but i think it always need a little volume to create that. But like everything, technical advancement might proove that wrong very soon!!
     
  12. epluribus

    epluribus Member

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    Interesting question, the OP. Why doesn't Bose or somebody build quiet big iron? Or small iron for that matter?

    You can experiment with quiet mojo, either the clean or the dirty flavor, by running a Pod into headsets. Dial up a patch nice and loud, then turn the global volume down. (Not the "amp" volume.) EQ all you want, the Pod will give you tons to play with, and the headsets will deliver everything they gave you when the patch was loud. But I think you'll find the mojo is just different. Cool, but different. BTW, if you have access to a good PA, try the same thing with a cranked amp mic'd and isolated--same results.

    Some MV amps and modellers demonstrate the same thing. A Vetta turned down, Fletcher-Munson taken into account, just doesn't oomph the same. Same's true of analog-powered MV/deep-switching rigs like Cybers and JVMs. Both are terrific at packing tons of wallop at bedroom volumes, but it's not the same wallop. IMHO, even if the amp's circuitry does manage to drive the same, nothing else does--speakers, cab, room, or ears. I suspect that even if someone like Bose built an amp, they couldn't overcome those issues. (And many mfgrs have tried, Fender and Marshall to name two. Ditto virtually all of the modellers.)

    IMHO for a good bedroom rig that can go lots of places, nothing beats a good analog deep-switcher like a JVM or a Cyber for tone and playability, cuz they really are amps, and they have the tonal range to get you there. (And they turn down better than almost anything.) As for simple, tube-y, and easy, I'd go with something like a Champ or a Valve Jr, or in my case a homebrew FrankenChamp--but they'll be loud. In a bedroom, even half a watt is loud.

    --Ray
     
  13. markman

    markman Member

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    If you get a chance try out a Univox U60A. It's 15 watts, has a 12" Jensen C12S speaker, usually inexpensive and tone out the ying yang! These were also marketed by "Cavalier", and "Hilgen" (as the Meteor). Mine is the Cavalier. I like it better than the Blackface Vibro Champ I use to own.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Iceman8.6

    Iceman8.6 Member

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    How about the Blackheart amp?
     
  15. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    The top pick in my book for home/studio use are

    The Emery Sound Superbaby
    Vintone Circuits Simplex
    Gries 5 with either a 6V6 or 6L6 for greater headroom
    The Suhr Badger
    Divided by 13 9/15, 10/20 or CJ11
    Reeves Custom 6, 12, single ended class A or the Custom 18 or 30
    with power scaling.
     
  16. coco

    coco Member

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    s2 Amps has designed an interesting bedroom amp and I'm sure it will be as dynamite as the rest of his designs. He's designed it so there's plenty of flavors to choose from. From Beano to Wrecktified. Reminds me of being in a candy shop. He's already posted some information at http://www.s2amps.com/microamps.html
     
  17. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    That looks really cool! Can't wait to start seeing/hearing those
     
  18. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C Gold Supporting Member

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    An 18watt power scaled amp can get really low volume too, with great sound, if you power scale only the power tubes, and use a detuned cabinet with it.
     
  19. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    I have two 18 watters and an old '81 Mark IIB (60/100) and the best "bedroom amp" of the bunch is the 100 watt Boogie into an EVM loaded Mesa Theile cab....and I'm talking real bedroom volume. Using the lead channel with the master at about 1 and lower power pups gets a really useable tone at conversation level that goes from fairly clean to higher gain with the guitar's volume....no pedals needed!

    Point is, don't rule out a high wattage amp with a good master volume.
     
  20. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    Since the original poster referred to a Bose system I thought he was looking for a small package, but since we are now recommending full sized amps, I cannot imagine any amp having a better master volume than an Aiken Intruder. Smoothest, most even taper from completely off to completely on.
     

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