Help find....

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
Ok . Been struggling finding the right amp for a restaurant gig I've had every Friday for a long time.

The first set is when it's really quiet. It's a small room so we are talking bedroom levels. Then it grows louder as the room fills.

I tried a Carr Mercury. Great amp but grew disappointed as nothing footswitches on the amp. The 2 watt setting seemed to be in the ballpark.

Tried an Egnater Tweaker. Sounds good but needs volume to get cooking

Tried a Redplate Tweedy Drive. Very very nice but at 40 watts it was on 1 and not really getting the goods.

Tried a Mesa V25. At 10 watt setting still too loud and frankly the smooth Carlos type overdrive isn't for me.

Also tried Bogner Atma, Fuchs 4 Aces, Reason Bambino

I use reverbs, delays and tremolo.

The music is 80% Original in the traditional blues ,roots Americana sryle. My partner plays finger style on Martin 000's and hired me to mainly play leads and fills.
I'm a high gain singing sustain style player (think Gary Moore Still got the Blues) but also need a clean and edge of breakup tone. I haven't met a drive pedal/clean platform I like yet. I prefer tube overdrive.

So my list:

Excellent low volume saturated overdrive. I like Marshall type overdrive. Plexi.

Clean /dirty channels

Fx loop is a must.

Small footprint. Quick easy set up.

I'm familiar with the Power Station attenuator. Trying to keep things as grab and go as possible.


Looking at the Suhr Badger 18 but it's a single channel amp.

Any suggestions?

Budget $1500
 
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Sir Nicholas

Member
Messages
15
Laney Lionheart 5W Studio?
Vox style clean, Plexi style drive.
Clean and dirty channel.
Fx loop.
Small footprint in the head version, also available as a 112 combo.
I believe it has a built in attenuator to drop to .5 watts as well (for as people arrive).
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
Yes thats one Im considering although Im not crazy about the demo overdrive tone
 

8len8

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,582
Marshall DSL40C with the speaker upgrade from Sweetwater.
 

metal_murf

Member
Messages
480
You've pondered the Dirty Shirley mini but have you tried one yet? With an OD/boost and a HBE Detox (or similar) there are a lot of tones to be had. I can't get enough of mine.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
You've pondered the Dirty Shirley mini but have you tried one yet? With an OD/boost and a HBE Detox (or similar) there are a lot of tones to be had. I can't get enough of mine.
I can't try any of these amps because my local GC blows..

Looking at the DS mini...I wish the gain stages were foot switchable and I don't know how good the master is
 
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metal_murf

Member
Messages
480
I can't try any of these amps because my local GC blows..

Looking at the DS mini...I wish the gain stages were foot switchable
I preordered mine from Sweetwater. Heard a demo and had to have it. Glad I did. I like the gain switch but when I change settings I need to make slight EQ changes so I don't think a foot switch would work.
 
Messages
2,555
@sugarlou: What would you want to footswitch on the Carr Mercury? Gain? Just curious since I have that amp. I run a couple of pedals into it for delay and overdrive/boost. I plugged it into my 2x12 (V30 and Lead80) last weekend. VERY nice change of pace for it.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
need to make slight EQ changes so I don't think a foot switch would work.
Yeah well I'm saying I wish that was ironed out.

Seems crazy to me to have an amp that has great tube break up and stick a pedal in front of it!
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
What would you want to footswitch on the Carr Mercury
Yes the gain/ clean settings and for me personally any amp with reverb that doesn't footswitch might as well just not have reverb at all...but thats me...I love reverb but I don't want it on all the time !

The PWE I have in my Avatar is exactly what I need in a tiny format. The amp has a clean, crunch and a high gain channel w a great loop and a foot switch that makes sense. I would use it but bringing a 50 watt full size head to this gig would be ridiculous!
 
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Crash-VR

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,058
I've owned most of the praised boutique amps. Probably 40 or 50 in the last decade (yes I have a problem). I just got the Fractal Audio AX8. Total game changer. It reminds me of when digital cameras got really good. When the convenience far outweighed any benefit from the purism if film. The tone and dynamics I'm getting at home levels far exceed any amp through a Fryette Power Station I've tried. There's definitely still room for tube amps in my life, but with all the amazing effects, tones, looper, and low volume experience I'm hooked. I don't see myself ever being without one of these.

I do an acoustic duo gig with my Santa Cruz into a Grace Design Felix preamp. A lot of our songs benefit from me playing electric Lap Steel, but there's no way I'm hauling a tube amp rig for just a couple or few songs. Using the AX8 is very similar to the Felix just running direct. It a phenomenal electric preamp DI. It's $1400 and definitely lives up to the promise.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
I had a KPA. I had an Axe ultra. I had an FX8 (not the Axe 8)

The issue I had with the modelers was monitoring them .. they didn't sound anywhere near as good as a small tube amp to me. I spent over a year trying to dial in the Kemper until I A/B'd it with my Redplate .

Plus if I show up with a modeling amp the guy I gig with will fire me!


I believe the big boys of digital guitar have their place. In ear monitoring, touring ease, recording all excellent candidates for modelers. A small duo playing blues in a restaurant? Not to me. That being said I'd be open to trying it but buying one and a new amp is not in my budget.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
The chiuaua demo's sound really nice but I don't believe the reverb foot switches and there's no loop.
 

kjt1776

Member
Messages
475
Yes thats one Im considering although Im not crazy about the demo overdrive tone
Great amp to us mullard el84 tubes with, recommend a matched set at around 40 to 42 mA. Or JJ 84's at about 36 to 38 mA depending on where you want the breakup. The stock tubes I found in this amp were a bit lifeless and when pushed did not do it for me but the tube upgrade makes a hugh difference. My dumb I forgot that amp has a single el84 lol.
 
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kjt1776

Member
Messages
475
Ok . Been struggling finding the right amp for a restaurant gig I've had every Friday for a long time.

The first set is when it's really quiet. It's a small room so we are talking bedroom levels. Then it grows louder as the room fills.

I tried a Carr Mercury. Great amp but grew disappointed as nothing footswitches on the amp. The 2 watt setting seemed to be in the ballpark.

Tried an Egnater Tweaker. Sounds good but needs volume to get cooking

Tried a Redplate Tweedy Drive. Very very nice but at 40 watts it was on 1 and not really getting the goods.

Tried a Mesa V25. At 10 watt setting still too loud and frankly the smooth Carlos type overdrive isn't for me.

Also tried Bogner Atma, Fuchs 4 Aces, Reason Bambino

I use reverbs, delays and tremolo.

The music is 80% Original in the traditional blues ,roots Americana sryle. My partner plays finger style on Martin 000's and hired me to mainly play leads and fills.
I'm a high gain singing sustain style player (think Gary Moore Still got the Blues) but also need a clean and edge of breakup tone. I haven't met a drive pedal/clean platform I like yet. I prefer tube overdrive.

So my list:

Excellent low volume saturated overdrive. I like Marshall type overdrive. Plexi.

Clean /dirty channels

Fx loop is a must.

Small footprint. Quick easy set up.

I'm familiar with the Power Station attenuator. Trying to keep things as grab and go as possible.


Looking at the Suhr Badger 18 but it's a single channel amp.

Any suggestions?

Budget $1500
Have you considered any of the DR. Z low watt models, I have played through some and they are amazing at low or high volume and used prices on them are great. I currently run a Morgan PR12 with a upgraded weber ceramic blue dog and its killer everywhere on the dial even with the stock greenback it was a beauty but not sure what tonal arena you really need, its more of a American blackface Princeton/tweed character with tight punch low end and has the hand wired warmth. Used ones go in the ball park of 1100 to 1800 depending on the year made. The newer model has some upgrades if I am not mistaken the dwell was added in the past couple of years. Awesome reverb and you can foot switch it off with a 15 dollar fender footswitch.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
Do the Z's or Morgan's have FX loops??

I really like some of the Z and Morgan tones
 

kjt1776

Member
Messages
475
some do but not many, the Dr. z maz 18 I believe does. Morgan models usually don't from what I have found in my research. Morgan has his ideas about effects loops and I don't believe he likes them much. New prices are steep but used on either brand has good value depending on the direction you want to go.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,198
Many boutique builders are anti loop. I understand keeping the signal pure is important but I like my time based effects after the drive
 




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