Fender Greta, Fender Vaporizer or...

mesmerized

Member
Messages
13
Howdy,

I need an inexpensive little tube amp that I'll be using at home only with my MEX Strat. I've spotted these three little buddies:

- Fender Greta - I'd go for this one but the tiny speaker scares me a bit.

- Kustom Defender V5 - don't know much about these.

- Fender Vaporizer - I like the fact that it comes with two speakers, but some say that it's too loud for home use.

Any advice from you folks would be much appreciated.
 

ac/dcfan87

Member
Messages
800
IMO for your money, you should consider a Laney CUB 10. Great fender tone with some fatness to it. Great with Strats. An underrated amp. They can be found for $200 or less and probably better sounding amps than those other two choices. Just my two cents.
 

mesmerized

Member
Messages
13
Hi ac/dcfan87. Would this Laney really sound better than Fender Vaporizer? After all, it comes with 2x10'' speakers.

EDIT: I can get Greta for 110USD where I live now. Vaporizer for 220USD. CUB10 for 200USD.
 
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monkmiles

Jazz/Funk/Rawk/Groove
Silver Supporting Member
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5,136
Also consider a Fender Champion 600 or if you want a little bigger, a VHT Special 6.
 

mesmerized

Member
Messages
13
Thanks. Any opinions on Greta and Vaporizer? The latter comes with 2 speakers... I'd assume that's a plus...

EDIT: VHT would set me back for 330USD. Champion 600 costs as much as Laney CUB10. Both cost what Vaporizer costs.
Now I'm in a real dilemma.

EDIT2: There's also Kustom Defender V5. Very cheap.
 
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e???

Member
Messages
2,967
I don't like the vaporizer, tried a few and haven't liked one of em. Stiff, shrill, boxy as hell. The Greta seems pretty cool for distortion at low volumes, but I see it as more of a gimmick or toy compared to the other amps described. Wouldn't mind having one too mess with for fun at my apartment though. But that's a distortion only amp pretty much. Too small to do anything else.

The Champ 600 is a great little amp, very pure and cool. I'm glad that was my first tube amp, it's a great starting point and sends you off in a good direction. I've even gigged my champ 600 more than a few times for solo and low volume gigs without a drummer. Every time I have I've gotten a lot of compliments afterwards. That thing holds it's own, and records beautifully. Not too big a Laney fan, but I don't like much with el84's, except bad cats, those are beautiful exceptions to that rule of mine
 

mesmerized

Member
Messages
13
Thanks e???
Hmm... It looks like having two speakers doesn't really help Vaporizer much, does it?

I'm mainly interested in clean tones or only slightly-distorted ones. Greta is the cheapest in the bunch, but if it's really just a toy... Hmm... I've seen qutie a positive review from Andertons.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
I'll 2nd the Laney Cub 10, superb little amp, the tone/value ratio is very high in this amp. But be warned, a 10w, 10" speaker amp can still be very loud.

If your talking bedroom, don't wake the baby type volumes get you a Yamaha THR 10, dont let the lack of tubes or 2 little stereo speakers fool you, this is a superb home partice amp.
 

mesmerized

Member
Messages
13
Thanks, unfortunately that Yamaha is quite pricey. I'd like to keep it below 250USD as I'll be using it sporadically.

PS. On another forum people speak very highly about Vaporizer. Now I'm utterly confused. I suppose it might be too loud for home use though.
 

THiwaTT

Member
Messages
2,109
I have not played the Vaporizer, but own and love the Greta; so I'll share my experiences with it - I absolutely adore this little amp! The speaker is small, but it definitely pushes some volume - certainly loud enough for jamming around the house. It reminds me of a mini tweed amp; raunchy, dirty, and perfect for rocking out. It does have a speaker output so you can drive a larger cabinet - and you can gain clean headroom by swapping a 12AU7 into V1. I actually use the amp with a 12AU7 and a 12" speaker for clean jazz stuff. For reference, my only other tube amp is a Two Rock Studio Pro 22.

Bottom line is Greta is most certainly not a toy
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
Thanks, unfortunately that Yamaha is quite pricey. I'd like to keep it below 250USD as I'll be using it sporadically.

PS. On another forum people speak very highly about Vaporizer. Now I'm utterly confused. I suppose it might be too loud for home use though.
You can find all 3 THR10 models on eBay for way under $250, shipped, here's the classic rock model for $214' new. Go lightly used and you can get them for $150-160 easy.

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=381304328996&globalID=EBAY-US

Reg model. New, $239 free ship.
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=261932476622&globalID=EBAY-US
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
Thanks for all answers.

Any opinions on Kustom Defender?

Cheers
Kustom 5 head, was totally yawn worthy in my music store trial. But as all amps in this class, sure you could spruce it up some by upgrading the cheap ass tubes it comes with.

Now the 15H it wasn't horrid like 5H, not sure about the combo.

Still for same coin Laney Cub 10 beats both of them severely. It really is a great little budget tube amp.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
Thanks!
How about Laney CUB8? 5W seems to be better for home use than 10W that CUB10 offers.
There's really not that much difference between a 5w vs 10w amp. Cub 8 is a little mousey sounding amp with 8" speaker. Just vol and tone controls. It's a single ended 6v6 circuit where Cub 10 is a push/pull pair of 6v6 tubes, push/pair always sound bigger and fuller. Plus Cub 10 along with a 10" speaker also has a gain control to take advantage of its extra preamp tube that Cub 8 doesn't. With Cub 8, what ever breakup you get on that vol knob, that's what your tone. With 10 you can still keep vol knob down and still crank up that drive knob for some gain.

Friend has a pair of 10's he runs in stereo in his basement man cave, couple drive pedals and stereo reverbs and delay etc. he runs them just clean as nice barely loud TV volume and they sound glorious. Also grabs one and his board and does his church thing, there he pushes volume up a bit but still not dirty.

But as I said above, I don't know what your home vol requirements actually are, if your talking mouse squeak vol you'd be better of with just about any solid state amp than tube amp, Mustang II, Roland Cube 40 or the Yamaha.
 

mesmerized

Member
Messages
13
Thanks!

New candidates I'd like to ask about:

- Ibanez TSA5 (10 inch speaker, in-built Tube Screamer, reverb) I hear it's pretty awesome.
- Blackstar HT5R (12 inch speaker)
- Laney CUB12 (I believe there's a switch that reduces its power)
- VHT Special 6

My dream amp would be Black Cat Cougar 5W, but they don't sell them here.

By the way, a friend of mine showed me a VOX's new gadget. Headphones with an in-built amp. Wondering what those might sound like.
 






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