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For playing strictly at home, do you guys use a small solid state or a tube amp?

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
I am needing a small amp that sounds good clean, and that I can overdrive at home using a few pedals. I can't stand trying to use my Mesa Royal Atlantic at quiet volumes. It just doesn't sound great and isn't believable. I thought my OCD sounded great through a solid state amp, but I tried that out a long time ago at a friend's house.

What do you guys/gals think? What's a believable and good sounding amp that can be used primarily at home? :huh

:JAM

Fender Mustang Mini? Fender Greta? Roland Micro Cube? Roland Cube? Vox Night Train? Orange Mini Terror? Fender Pro Junior? ???
 

woad_yurt

Member
Messages
873
For band volumes, I'm a total dimed tube guy but I use a Crate Powerblock with a Behringer tube preamp for low volumes and it sounds pretty good. My Fenders rate 25 and 67.5 watts* and are just too loud when cranked for quiet playing.

* Twin w/2 tubes yanked.
 
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dshobe

Rocky Mountain Way By The Atlantic
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,523
I guess it depends where home is. My neighbors are great, they love to hear me play (huge blessing). I only use tube amps, I am a tone snob,lol. Pro Jr's sound great but are quite loud cranked. I'm using an old Rickenbacker something right now, basically a Champ, so 5 watts or so through a 10" speaker. Sounds ridiculously nice, even around 2-3 on the dial. What blew me away though was cranking my Double Deluxe, hitting the front end with a Beano Boost and neighbors telling me that it sounded great. Used to have a Vox AC4TV that sounded good and was pretty quiet.
 

RCM78

Member
Messages
6,175
I use an older Line 6 POD XT Live into my computer. I can play through my reference monitors or headphones.

I also programmed all the sounds and effects I use live with my Bogner rig into the pod so I can use it as a back up if need be...
 

spence

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,694
I'm still using my Roland Blues Cube. Sounds great, no tubes to burn up, and has channel switching. The reverb isn't all that great, but for home practice who cares.
 

Lriagan

Member
Messages
408
My bedroom playing is a JVM and Lonestar Classic at 1/3 volume - 1/2 volume on masters and channel. Live is cranked.
 

Ruraltom

Member
Messages
2,107
For clean, a good old Champ is a great way to go. I have a '66 Vibro-Champ that I keep in the living room to putter around on that does well. The also have a bonus of having less distortion than a regular champ due to the trem circuit. They can still be relatively loud, like someone praticing on a trumpet, but doesn't get into ear-bleed volume.
 

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
For clean, a good old Champ is a great way to go. I have a '66 Vibro-Champ that I keep in the living room to putter around on that does well. The also have a bonus of having less distortion than a regular champ due to the trem circuit. They can still be relatively loud, like someone praticing on a trumpet, but don't get into ear-bleed volume.
What about the newer Champs? Are those just complete crap?
 

MBT74

Member
Messages
2,695
Red Iron lil Mo (1w tube amp) -> Surprise Sound Labs SE-5 cab sim -> audio interface -> studio monitors.

Plenty of clean headroom, built like a tank, takes pedals really well and you can play and record as quietly as you want. Brilliant home setup.



 

somedude

Member
Messages
8,034
If I have to play at really low volumes I use an emulator. Small amps turned down sound like small amps turned down. Playing through headphones at least creates the illusion of volume.

I've taken a liking to Amplitube on my iPhone. I can put my phone in my pocket and walk around while I jam along to iTunes tracks.
 

Ruraltom

Member
Messages
2,107
What about the newer Champs? Are those just complete crap?
I've actually never played a Champ newer than mid-70s, so I'm not sure. I have a Pro Jr. as well, that I think sounds pretty darn good at low volume/clean (and on up! They can get quite a bit louder at 15W), so I could definitely say they aren't crap.
 

Mojo Shinn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
479
I have a Swart STR and a Roland Cube thing (can't remember which model)... the Swart is what I go to most of the time... in the low input and with the volume around 2 or 3, I get great cleans at reasonable house volumes... distorted sounds can be had, but not without disturbing everyone in the house (it's pretty loud for a 5 watter). I frequently use my OCD for lower volume distorted sounds, although I am seriously thinking about replacing it with a Timmy - it's not as mid-rangy as the OCD and I think the Timmy will sound better with the Swart. Bonus... the Swart is actually loud enough for rehearsal volumes and small stages...

And for low volume, heavier distorted tones or general practice, I usually go to the Roland... and for these applications, it sounds just fine.
 

lang.murphy

Member
Messages
3,582
LAR/MAR PPIMV allows me to run this rig from whisper quiet to roaring loud. Does it sound as good when running whisper quiet? Naw... but it sounds "good enough" for me. IOW, it doesn't sound like crap, to my ears, at any volume.

1987 clone...

 

guitarrhinoceros

Senior Member
Messages
2,543
If I have to play at really low volumes I use an emulator. Small amps turned down sound like small amps turned down. Playing through headphones at least creates the illusion of volume.

I've taken a liking to Amplitube on my iPhone. I can put my phone in my pocket and walk around while I jam along to iTunes tracks.
True, but I want good warmth and a slightly pushed clean tone that doesn't sound like brittle crap.

To me, small tube amps DO sound like small tube amps that are turned down, but on the flip side -- loud tube tubes amps sound either overly dark and bassy or downright horrendous when they are turned down. Why would they sound good? My Royal sounds like poo when it is quiet. After all, I'm barely driving the tubes and the speakers.
 




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