Help!! Need recommendations at $500 ASAP!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by BigSB, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    Had a great deal set up on a PRRI. Deal is now dead because the seller reports the amp has suddenly developed issues that need fixed under warranty, and he's not comfortable selling the amp.

    Sigh.

    Back to the drawing board:

    15-30 watts (more is OK, but read the rest of my want list).
    All tube.
    Preferably less than 40 lbs. and the lighter, the better.
    Head/cab or combo are OK, just need to mind the weight issue.
    Single channel is fine; switching is OK, don't need high gain at all.
    Reverb would be lovely.
    Used is fine.

    All in for $500. Yeah, maybe there's wiggle room, but that's a safe number.

    Alt-country/blues/jam type playing. As I've mentioned before, the tones are Stones-meet-Haggard-at-Garcia's-house to play blues.
     
  2. pbmw

    pbmw Member

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    Classic 30?
     
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  3. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    Here's the thing about the C30: I played one once, with a $99 SG knockoff. The thing sounded HEAVENLY. LOVED IT.

    I played one the other day, with an Epi LP Standard just like mine. HATED IT. It sounded harsh and trebly and crappy.

    It was used and I didn't get a chance to look and see if it had cheap tubes or a replaced crap speaker or something, but man, it sounded like butt.

    I'd have to rate any C30 I come in contact with on an individual basis.

    Funny thing, I can get pretty much "my sound" with a Hot Rod Deluxe; almost ANY HRD. Unfortunately, they're too heavy for me to cart around anymore with my back issues and my hernias.
     
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  4. andersmv

    andersmv Member

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    If you can find one, I would highly recommend the Vox TB18c1. Tony Bruno designed with the ability to be darker and thicker than an AC-15, it's a killer amp! My bandmate has one and I've recorded him with it a few times, they can be found for under $500 when they go up for sale. Vox did a horrible job marketing them, but everyone who's played one usually loves it.
     
  5. Roccorobb

    Roccorobb Member

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    VHT 12/20rt is a hand wired Princeton clone with a 12" speaker. You should be able to find them used under 500.
     
  6. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Pro Junior. Great little grab and go amp. Loud enough to hang with a drummer at a rehearsal at *reasonable* volumes, and gig with mic'd.

    No reverb though.

    Think about it as a little brother to the HRDX.

    Give one a try because if you like the sound of the HRDX you'll probably be OK with the PJ. Obviously it's not going to have the same amount of clean headroom as the HRDX but it's got a nice "oomph" to it a rehearsal volumes. Since you don't need it for high gain, it might be suitable - It would be as loud (or louder) than Princetons (or Deluxe Reverbs, clean, for that matter).

    At $500 you can buy one new, have warranty, have enough left over for a set of JJs, and a reverb pedal.

    What I'd do is grab a PJ for a grab and go amp, and keep the HRDX for any time you need a little more power.
     
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  7. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    @stevel I loved the HRDx. Unfortunately, it's too heavy for me now. Back problems and several hernias.

    I'm about to grab a PJr. for a screaming good deal - might throw a Ragin' Cajun in it, as I've heard good things about that speaker.

    @andersmv I think the Vox would be too heavy for me.

    @Roccorobb I've played a Special 6 Ultra and liked it. I'll keep an eye out for the 12/20. Hope it's not too bulky.
     
  8. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Is there a strong used market in your city? The C30 is plentiful and usually you can find them at a good price. Maybe you can try a few out and find another one like the great one you tried.

    Another good option might be a small Ampeg combo.
     
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  9. Torren61

    Torren61 Member

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    Okay, this slides into your criteria list. See if there's a Crate Vintage 20 or 30 on your local CL. The Vintage Club series are not the crap Crate amps we all know and hate. These are really decent amps. I have a Vintage 20 and a Vintage 50. The cleans are so sweet and the four EL84s in the 50 can melt your face at high volume. I really love my Vintage 20. It's a very dynamic amp. My one complaint is the particle board cab in which the combo resides but the three 12AX7s (one 12AX7 for reverb) and the two EL84s go well together.

    It's worth a ride and a demo. I wish I'd bought the second Vintage 20 the CL guy had for sale when I bought the first one from him.
     
  10. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    @Custom50

    There's a decent used market here; of course, the most variety is to be had in NYC or Philly, both about an hour from me in different directions. Sometimes the cost of gas and/or tolls is a factor when people are asking top eBay dollar for their off-the-GC-shelf stuff.

    Yeah, I can keep looking at the C30, but the experience I had really soured me. A lot of times, I don't like to make an appointment to meet someone over gear unless I'm pretty sure I'm ready to deal. I don't like blocking out their time, or mine, for something I'll walk away from.

    There are several Ampeg Jet reissues for sale locally. I used to own a Jet 12T, and believe it or not, I gigged it with a stock late-90's Epi LP Special II. Straight in. GREAT!
     
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  11. 58flame

    58flame Member

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    Crate Vintage Club 30. Nice chimey clean channel and the OD channel is decent when the gain is low. I had one for a long time. You may even find one for half your budget. I think I paid $300 or $350 brand new way back when.
     
  12. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    @Torren61

    I used to own a VC 30 with a 12 and a VC 50 with 3 10s. I liked them a lot but they had reliability issues, especially because the input and footswitch jacks were mounted directly to the PCB. Stress on those jacks caused them to fail, and the expense and time of getting things like that fixed is just not my idea of a good time.

    I've played a Crate Palomino V16, too. Loved it, then suddenly at an audition the tone went kaput. Sterile, lifeless, trebly and thin. I changed none of the settings from its last use, and was using my exact same (at the time) guitar and pedals. It just turned to harsh crap, nothing else about it was malfunctioning, and I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Traded it for a modded Pignose G40, the one based on the Bassman. It was cool, but only did one thing really well, and that was full-on overdrive. That was lovely, to be sure.

    I might lean towards the Special 6 Ultra. I can get them pretty cheap around here, and I know they sound good with Teles.
     
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  13. paulydangerous

    paulydangerous Member

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    I'd go with a Delta Blues 1x15. The reverb and the dirty channel stink. Buy a 100 dollar used reverb pedal and any kind of overdrive pedal and your set.
     
  14. Derelict

    Derelict Member

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    Bugera v22 infinium. Seriously.
     
  15. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    unfortunately, as much as I like the DB with a 15 (my favorite guitar speaker for blues), the thing is just too danged heavy.
     
  16. Tommy_G

    Tommy_G Member

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  17. Roccorobb

    Roccorobb Member

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    The 12/20 is the same size as a PRRI. I don't think its bulky. Special six is a fine bedroom amp but the 12/20 will serve you much better if you plan to play out at all. Aaaand it has reverb and trem if you get the RT version. If you don't, you will come in easy under 5 bones
     

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