El84 sound, half power switchable, huge sound, lightweight?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Soundhound, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    I guess our standards are different. I find anything over 50 lbs to be heavy. 30 lbs is what I would consider to be lightweight.
     
  2. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Fine amps those, but not EL84 amps.
     
  3. bobbymack

    bobbymack Supporting Member

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    In your price range, I'd highly recommend the Traynor YCV20WR...it has very good clean and dirty tones, and has two channels plus a master vol arrangement so you can get good dirty tone at lower volume...and, it can be loud enough to gig in a pinch, or certainly miked.

    Around $500-550 new, get the wine red one, it looks cooler and has a better speaker in it. I had one of these, it was a very good amp. The only thing I didn't like was design stuff: changing tubes was a major pain, plus the tubes plugged right into the PCB board rather than tube sockets.

    Still, for your price range, a hard amp to beat imho...
     
  4. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    I got to try out a few things yesterday. It answered some questions for me, but raised more:

    Crate v1512: Nice chimey clean channel, kind of buzzy overdrive. Made me realize I want an amp with a little more power, or bigger sound anyway. The quality of the cleans was nice and sparkly though, very pleasing sounding. Crate v3112: Now that's more like it. Loved the clean channel, still didn't like the overdrive channel much.

    Hellhound Kingsnake: I keep hearing about these, but haven't been able get what I'm looking for out of one. Sounded kind of small, a little congested.

    Rivera Pubster 45 (the 25 is 6v6, the 45 is el84, same with Clubster) Clean channel not as chimey as the Crate V's, but very nice. Much better overdrive channel. Could be the answer.

    Rivera Chubster - best of the bunch. It's overdrive channel can do a great hard rock sound, unfortunately I'm not looking for that. Nice chime on the clean channel. The most versatile, biggest sounding of the bunch.

    I compared these to a Dr Z Maz18, which is out of my price range. Not surprisingly had a more open sound than any of them. Great amp, but more expensive. Still didn't have the chime I'm looking for, believe it or not.

    From all this so far it seems like what is closest to what I want is: George Dennis Mighty Mouse or Blue Beetle (great chime without losing depth, this is remembering what I heard playing it more than 6 months ago), Peavey Delta Blues (great big open sound - maybe get it modded, new speaker, maybe new transformer? Every time I plug into it's big brotherm the 50w 115 blues classic I like it) Rivera Chubster. Everything in one package, heavy, more expensive--dialing it in is complicated and tricky -- I'm also liking the idea of not channel switching much. With my Tone King I pretty much just use the great clean channel and pedals. But that Chubster OD channel was pretty cool...

    And so the quest continueth..
     
  5. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    No Rivera so far as I know, is an EL84 amp. The new '25s are 6V6 amps and the '45s are EL34 amps.

    I would really dig a Rivera take on EL84s but so far as I know, there isn't one.

    I just came from a room with a Pubster '45, Clubster '25, Chubster '40 and some other toys. We really got the Clubster '25 drive channel sounding much more open and full than before - it might be just the speaker breaking in but it's always struck me as boxy before. Maybe we had the amp in the right position in th room. But the guy wanted a full sound in a small package and Clubster '25 got the gig.

    Chubster '40 was in fine form today. We were mostly hard driving P-90s through things today. Chubster was really getting a hot full sound with an edge without losing muscle. But those are EL34s in there.
     
  6. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    Whoops, sorry about that RT. I'm new to the El world and mixed up the 34s and 84s. I went in to listen to the clubster all ready to love it, but I didn't, it sounded kind of small-ish to me. But I have no doubt that could be because I didn't know how to dial it in. The Chubster definitely sounded fullter to me, and a used one of those would be above my price range, but you never know. PArt of this is that I think I'm learning that I'm more into the clean channel (though having a great drive channel would be a great bonus). The sounds i've been able to get so far that I liked the most were through a Peavey Blues Classic (delta blues with the 15, but 50w instead of the 30w in the delta blues) and the George Dennis Blue beetle or Mighty mouse. The GD has this great 'crinkly' clean, I don't know how to describe it better, wish I could. I could hear the guitar clear as day, but there were these complex, angular, chimey sounds throughout the spectrum. The Peavey Blues Classic was jsut a less hifi version of that perhaps.

    So so far I'm thinking of getting a Delta Blues and maybe doing some mods,speaker swap maybe tubes, if necessary. Or finding a George Dennis, maybe used, that I can afford.

    I'm glad to hear those Riveras were sounding full. That would actually be the best solution for me if it soundedlike what I'm looking for.

    I am, as always, all ears! Meaning if it has the sound, I want it. Or something like that.

    The two amps I've heard that have that
    :cool:
     
  7. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    Whoops, sorry about that RT. I'm new to the El world and mixed up the 34s and 84s. I went in to listen to the clubster all ready to love it, but I didn't, it sounded kind of small-ish to me. But I have no doubt that could be because I didn't know how to dial it in. The Chubster definitely sounded fullter to me, and a used one of those would be above my price range, but you never know. PArt of this is that I think I'm learning that I'm more into the clean channel (though having a great drive channel would be a great bonus). The sounds i've been able to get so far that I liked the most were through a Peavey Blues Classic (delta blues with the 15, but 50w instead of the 30w in the delta blues) and the George Dennis Blue beetle or Mighty mouse. The GD has this great 'crinkly' clean, I don't know how to describe it better, wish I could. I could hear the guitar clear as day, but there were these complex, angular, chimey sounds throughout the spectrum. The Peavey Blues Classic was jsut a less hifi version of that perhaps.

    So so far I'm thinking of getting a Delta Blues and maybe doing some mods,speaker swap maybe tubes, if necessary. Or finding a George Dennis, maybe used, that I can afford.

    I'm glad to hear those Riveras were sounding full. That would actually be the best solution for me if it sounded like what I'm looking for.

    I am, as always, all ears! Meaning if it has the sound, I want it. Or something like that.
     
  8. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    I would agree with the Clubster sounding small on the drive side - I've said so myself. It usually sounds "boxy" to me - like there is a midrange resonance. But today it wasn't having that problem. I would think it's a combination of the room it was in and the way we were driving it with P-90s that might have escaped pushing on that midrange resonance too much.

    But for sure the Chubster is a lot easier to get a full sound from. Remember to try at least little reverb even if you don't like reverb because even just enough reverb to not be noticed as reverb can sometimes make the sound more full.

    I would definitely suggest thinking about getting a used Rivera. The funny thing here is that the newer Riveras sometimes go for a higher price than older but sometimes better Riveras go for.

    For example there is an R100/212 with a "buy it now" price of $850 on ebay. Now this is an old story, but unless that amp has been used in nuclear testing, it will be capable of stone killing many new amps of almost double that price. There's a relatively long list of big names that have lived by the R100/212 - they are fine, fine, amps. But the old Riveras do not have a high resale. The problem for you with that amp is that the R100/212 is not that close to your spec (it's not light, it's not EL84s and I don't think it has half power and I'm too lazy to go down to the basement and look). OK it has a huge sound. Too huge though.

    But the point is that if you decide on Rivera, you might flip the pages of the Rivera catalog back a few years to get a less trendy model in your sights. R55-12 is not a bad idea. It doesn't have the half power but it has a good master volume. I do like the vintage/modern but it's not something you absolutely need. (Note the Chubster, Clubster, Pubster, etc. have only one power mode anyway.)

    Rivera resale values used to be even lower but I guess the market is catching up.
     
  9. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    I'll check out the older Rivera stuff as you suggest. I think I may have just figured something out though. The amps with the sound I liked best, Peavey Blues Clasic (Delta Blues), the George Dennis and the Ampeg Jet are all El84s, not EL34s. The DrZ Maz 18 is EL84 as well, and that was close to the sound I'm liking as well. I know I'd titled this thread to include EL84s, but wasn't even thinking about the difference. Hmmmm... Mabe that's the 'crinkly' sound I've been talking about (see above post)?

    Thanks for pointing that out RT, now if Rivera only made one...
     
  10. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Well they don't. You really ought to consider VHT except everyone who seems to have bought a Super 30 these days who mentions it on line is having trouble with it. Mine is off-again on-again with misbehaving. I'm thinking that the bottom line there is that _eventually_ the kinks of this amp will get sorted out, and at that point it will be a good amp.

    But theoretically you should consider something like VHT Pitbull 45. I wish there was a convenient VHT dealer where I could go try stuff out.
     
  11. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    You're right, it's not that much quieter.

    That's because the relationship between loudness, amp power, and dB change is logarithmic.

    If you halve the power, you only get a 3 db reduction in volume. That's the equivalent in the sensitivity difference between a Celestion Greenback (97 dB) and a G12H30 (100 dB). Noticeable? Yes, but not significantly so.

    So you can see that you can accomplish similar loudness gains or reductions with speaker choices as you can with 1/2 power switches.

    Also note that to double the perceived volume (a 10 dB difference) requires not twice the power, but 10 times the power. So all other things being equal, to double the loudness of a 10 watt amp would require increasing the power to 100 watts.
     
  12. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

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    The Mesa/Boogie Maverick 1x12 combo may be a good fit. You should be able to find one used close to your price range.
     
  13. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    another way to visualize the wattage difference at least on the carvin vintage 16 is that all other settings being equal: soak control dimed and tone controls at noon....

    volume at 3 in 5-watt mode yields approximately the same perceivable volume as volume at 2 in 16 watt mode. so it's pretty easy to compensate for volume loss by incrementally increasing the volume knob, and it does take much. I should mention though that the 5 watt mode seems to have a more noticeable effect on tone than volume. this doesn't imply that it messes up the tone, in fact I prefer it to the 16 watt tone, it's just slightly different.
     
  14. tuna

    tuna Member

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    +1 on the Mav. Also has Dual Rectumfrier.

    I have a Lone Star Special and the volume difference between 5, 15 & 30 is not an appreciable difference if you leave the volume controls the same and switch between the different wattages. This amp is a loud at 5 watts.
     
  15. tuna

    tuna Member

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    I know it is out of your price range, but the Aiken Invader at 18 watts w/ a built in attenuator is a great amp. Absolutely love the tones I can get out of this amp at in house volume levels.
     
  16. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    You know I've been looking for a dual rectumfrier, and can't seem to find one. But seriously folks, the thing I wonder about a Mesa is I'm a real blues, jazz (okay I'm a lousy jazz player), roots rock kind of guy, the rockiest I get is brown sugar-ish tones, once in a great while I step on my Mosferatu for the Senor Page Rock and Roll sound. But generally the only screaming lead tones I go for are SVR, Dickie Betts, Mick Taylor and the occasional David Lindley or Duane or Sonny Landreth slide sound. not that those would count as screaming lead tones.

    And the Aiken Invader looks like a seriously great amp, but it's way more dough than I want to spend right now.
     
  17. MattB

    MattB Member

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    I have a Rivera Pubster 25 in the mail. When it comes (hopefully Friday) I will break it down for you.

    -MattB
     
  18. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, it wouldn't "blow up," but you're going to have a hard time getting an EL34 into an EL84 tube socket.

    Bryan
     
  19. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    Thanks Matt, I'd love to hear what you think!
     
  20. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    Me too. I was strongly considering jumping on the pubster for $485 the other day, but was unsure if I wanted to stray from el84s.
     

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