Best amp for rock, under 10w.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by John55, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. John55

    John55 Member

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    This is an area I have never explored, and I could use some advice/comments on the various brands. My son needs a small, low powered amp to take back to college and nothing I have would even remotely suit this application.:mad:
    Until recently, he has been content to use his acoustic but this past semester he has started jamming and playing with friends that are more rock oriented, so he needs something a bit better suited to that. I know there are several models out there, from the Carr Mercury, the Mini Z, Bad Cat, Lucky 7, etc etc. I have a nice 1x12 cab he could use if the amp chosen is a head only, so no problem there. We just need some ideas about which models offer up the best tones overall.
     
  2. LPSlinger

    LPSlinger Member

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    I'd go with a used BF/SF Fender Champ or Vibro champ (if you can find one) and a Tube Screamer or some other pedal for extra overdrive if needed. I think you'd be hard pressed to find an amp that sounds better for the price you can find a Silverface Champ. Maintenance is easy on them too. I replaced my own cap can and the circuit caps in mine with very little electronic experience. And they are easily modified (tweed tone mod and negative feedback mod for instance).
     
  3. royd

    royd Member

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    what lpslinger said
     
  4. Shea

    Shea Member

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    Super Champ
     
  5. samwheat

    samwheat Member

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    I have a Univox 1x12 combo that I rebuild and added distortion .... it was a clean amp with a non-working tremolo

    Its got a 12ax7 and 6AQ5 .... about 5 watts output

    bsjm2ATmsnDOTcom
     
  6. bobtone

    bobtone Member

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    A good portable and inexpensive amp with Great tone would be a Laney LC15 or the LC15R, with effecrs loop and gain. You can read reviews on HC. Amazing tone for the money.PS: it has a direct out also.
     
  7. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    The Savage Macht 6 is a wonderful amp--sweet clean tones at lower volumes and sounds like Led Zep II when cranked.
     
  8. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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    10watts for Rock? Rock needs to be played loud, at least 100watts!:RoCkIn :dude
     
  9. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I like the Vibro Champ. An RC Booster in front of one is a miniature joy.
    Mine's a '67 - the side benefit over the small boutiques is that it will slowly increase in value.

    Best, Pete.
     
  10. Lution

    Lution Member

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    agreed. :D

    Taking a 10-watt amp to 11 just doesn't sound very Rock-n-Roll to me.
     
  11. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    On 11
     
  12. scottl

    scottl Member

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    John,

    Why don't you get him a Vox modeler.... I hear they sound great and I bet the versatility would be important as your son is just starting on electric. I think "boutique" is a big mistake. The 10 watt restriction is moot as well woth the Vox. In addition, I think it has effects and a line out for the computer.... (I think) This will be very important to help him learn.

     
  13. John55

    John55 Member

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    Guys, I KNOW that 10w isn't enough, but for jamming in a college apt. it'll have to do! I'll look around for a Champ, or even a Princeton and see what I find, but I'm not against any of the new booteek offerings. The Mercury looks tempting, especially with it's built in attenuator, and the Lucky 7 clips I've heard were pretty fine.:RoCkIn
     
  14. cameron

    cameron Member

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    I agree. Vibro Champ is the way to go. The basic Champ is cool too, but that vibrato effect is actually quite nice and usable.

    If you get a BF, leave it stock. If you get a SF you might consider adding a switch to bypass the tone stack, and get more like a Tweed sound. Of course, given how cheap and small these amps are, it might also do to simply buy a Tweed champ repro in addition to the VC.

    Aside from the VC, other good vintage options would be any of various amps with one 6V6 made by Valco (labeled Supro, Gretsch, Airline, Silvertone, etc.) or Magantone, or Danelectro (also various labels). Just make sure the amp includes a power transformer. Many of those old small amps were made with "hot-chassis" construction, and really aren't safe to use. I specify the 6V6 because when you're talking about the small amps made with what we guitarists consider unusal tubes (6G6 for example) then most of them have the hot chassis construction. These amps are sometimes called "radio tube" amps, because the tubes, while unusual for instrument amplifiers, were common in table-top radios. They can sound cool, to be sure, but you need to install an isolation transformer to make them non-deadly to use.
     
  15. redjet55

    redjet55 Member

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    as long as the budget includes a mercury ;) I'd say anything will fit :)

    if you’re trying to get something that won’t break the bank a tech21 10 or 60 watter will be nice and portable and suit both bedroom and recording needs + it has a headphone out.

    if not any good tube head with an attenuator and the 1-12 will do nicely
     
  16. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    After 5+ years of owning a Carmen Ghia and reading into the Mini-Z, that would be my recommendation. I would not hesitate to recommend any of his products. On the Dr. Z forums, there has been some comparison between the Mini-Cat and Mini-Z, the Mini-Z seems to have won the favor of most all of the people test driving both of them.
     
  17. red firebird

    red firebird Guest

    Epiphone Valve Junior can do the trick but as for the others it really depends on what kinda rock'n roll he likes. I've been jamming with a drummer, a bass and another guitarist lately with my VJ and Tele and got this Zep I sound I like so much. And then yes, you can go to 11...
     
  18. larrylover

    larrylover Member

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    I agree with Scott Lerner that a vox modeling amp is a great choice. It is an economical choice, all the amp and effect models can be played loud or softly. Some of the amp modeling sounds sound better than others, and some of the effects sound better than others, but the overall sound quality is very impressive, particularly for the money, and the versatility will be a good thing for a beginning rock player. It does have a line out and can go directly into a computer. I own a Carmen ghia. It is a great amp, and I absolutely love it. I know for a fact that is is much too loud for the intended application, particularly to get distorted sounds. It is a loud 18 watts.
     
  19. Cap'n Fingers

    Cap'n Fingers Member

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    Big +1 on Scott's suggestion.
     
  20. John55

    John55 Member

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    Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions, I'll give that Vox modeler a look as well as a few of the amp suggestions!
     

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