Cheap, small amp for serious practice?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by BBQLS1, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Hello everyone. I've been out of playing for a few years and am looking to get back at it. I'm looking for a cheap amp that will help me improve my chops.

    Playing in a live situation, I have an 18 watt amp that I built and sounds great. It's just really a little too loud and heavy for practice around the house.

    That amp, at mid break up, is pretty demanding that you play clean.

    Now, I know there isn't a cheapie practice amp that is going to give me that tone. What I'm hoping for is some type of practice set up that will help me sharpen my chops as just plinking with no amp won't do it.

    I was looking at a Fender Champion 20, as I thought it sounded pretty decent, but I wasn't looking at how much feedback on my mistakes it was making. I need to go back and take a closer look.

    What would you recommend to sharpen my chops and why?
     
  2. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Oh, I might would build an amp for a similar purpose later... tweed? But right now I need cheap.
     
  3. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Member

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    Katana 50.
    Used prices way down, people are dumping them for the 100s and Artist.
    Great clean tone, lots of effects if that's your bag, takes pedals well.
    With a decent speaker, you might like it better than what you have.
     
    Laservampire likes this.
  4. Potato Monkey

    Potato Monkey Member

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    I've been using a Yamaha THR 10 for a few years now. Work great and sounds very good for what it is.
     
    fretless, jens5, monkeybike and 5 others like this.
  5. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    Still a fan of the roland cubes for this type of need.
     
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  6. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

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    Roland JC-40. I also remember the 77 and 120 I had. All of them were very unforgiving amps and sound great.
     
  7. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Unforgiving is a good word for what I'm looking for.
     
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  8. e???

    e??? Member

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    Champion 600 for a sweet little tube amp, usually about 150-200 lately. Or micro cube or the Roland cube stuff is great for real cheap solid state.
     
  9. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Is the cube demanding when it comes to chops? I'm wanting something that is responsive like a semi plexi.... the kind of amp that makes you look bad if you aren't on top of your playing.
     
  10. mangoman

    mangoman Silver Supporting Member

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    I always thought my old, trusty Chinese built AC15 with a greenback did the job very, VERY well. $300 used, and some new tubes and BANG.
     
    Alchemist XP likes this.
  11. toomanyamps

    toomanyamps Member

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    I'm not sure where your crossover line of "cheap" is, but the ZT Lunchbox Junior has better clarity than the cheap modeling amps I've played.

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amp...uitar-combo-amp?rNtt=Zt&index=2#productDetail
     
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  12. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    What's your definition of cheap?

    I'd be all over a used Princeton Reverb.
     
  13. pbmw

    pbmw Member

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    I'm a pretty big fan of the little THD10
    I can be pretty quiet with it and not disturb anyone. Lots and lots of tones in that little box
     
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  14. Aslan

    Aslan Silver Supporting Member

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    I use a Roland Micro cube for home practice, perfect for situations where volume is an issue.
     
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  15. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Used ones seem to be going for $700. That doesn't really hit my version of cheap. Plus it's going to be loud. I'm thinking less than $200 and probably around $100.
     
  16. monkeybike

    monkeybike Member

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    This is what you mean.
    A detailed practice amp.

     
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  17. harvey j

    harvey j Member

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    Mustang 1used.
     
  18. danzigdan

    danzigdan Member

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    I'm not a serious player, but I just got a Micro Cube GX for it's portability. The FX are really usable so I'm not in the least tempted to drag out pedals for a quick play.
     
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  19. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Member

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    I’ve owned and gigged with, for many years, a Fender Super Champ xd; the clean channel is great and takes pedals perfectly and if I’m plugged in at home I use one of the dirt sounds of channel two without my pedals.

    $200.00 used, maybe even cheaper.
    Good luck in your quest.
     
    fretless likes this.
  20. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    Micro Cubes are great but seriously - baby that plastic input jack. Mine broke and I threw the amp out in the trash.

    Replaced with mini Katana.

    My Fishman Mini Charge battery amp gets used the most for great clean tones. Mini for distorted tones + H9 for effects.
     

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