Help with a low wattage combo

Al Rose

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,718
Well, I never thought I be posting a "what to buy" thread, but I find myself with not enough information. I'm sorry for the length of the post, but I wanted to make sure I got my points across and I also did not what to insult some of TGP folks, as you will see in a bit.

A bit of history - current "A" rig is a Mesa Express 5:25+ with a single 12" Forte' 3D cabinet. Great amp, and I don't see it ever leaving my stable. That said, my band has started playing very small places - think twice the size of a 2-car garage - and you'll get the picture. Our drummer is using brushes and has toned down quite a bit, and he wasn't a heavy hitter to begin with. As such, the Boogie is just too much, and on the 5 watt setting it just sounds OK. Not good enough to justify the almost combined 70 pounds, let alone the fotprint. So I started using my Tweaker 15 head and smaller single 12" cabinet. Still about 44 pounds combined, and two pieces. So I've begun my quest for a small, very lightweight combo.

My first thought was take the Tweaker and build my own combo (I don't like the construction of the stock Tweaker combo). I have the means, but just not the time right now. Still might do that in the future, as it would make a very cool project.

If money was no object I would probably buy a Redplate and be done with it, but budget right now is about $500-$700. Other requirement - I want a 12", and it needs to weigh no more than 32-33 pounds.

I've got an Orange Crush CR35 solid state combo with a V30, and when pushed with a boost actually sounds pretty good, surprisingly good in fact, but I'm on my third one (first 2 replaced under warranty) so reliability is an issue here. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I blow this one up as well. :rotflmao The new Orange CR60 looked good until I saw it weighed 44 pounds. Played one at a GC the other day, sounded great for a SS amp, but it does, indeed weigh 44 pounds!

So just to be upfront (here is the "insult" part) I've played a Fender Champ, Excelsior (did I spell that right?), Blues Jr., 4-10" Bassman reissue, DRRI, Mustang III, and a Princeton, and none were my cup of tea, so a Fender product is out. Also played a Quilter, and it was just too solid-state sounding for me. So I want to stick with a tube amp. At this point, what's in the running is a Marshall DSL5c, Blackstar HT-5R, and a VHT Ultra 6. All in the 5 watt arena, with MV. The Marshall only has a 10" speaker, so that one is probably out. I've found most on-line videos to be minimally informative, so hence my post here.

Chonny has given a great review on the Marshall, but has anyone else got experience with either the Blackstar or the VHT? Also, am I missing any others out there?

Thanks in advance for any help you folks can give, and again, sorry for the long-winded post.....

Al
 

scott944

Member
Messages
3,935
I'm using a Blackheart Little Giant head, which weighs maybe 15-20 pounds and has more clean headroom than any of the other 5 watt amps I've tried (including the Blackstar). These were well reviewed when new, and can be picked up used for nearly nothing. Combo version has a 12, but weighs 38 pounds.
 

Al Rose

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,718
What kind of guitar and music do you play?
Guitars are a Strat with 2 SD Alnico II Pro's, and an EPI dot with the stock Humbuckers. Music is Blues, classic rock, and some oldies from the 50's and 60's. Most crowds are over 50, at places like the VFW, American Legion, and some local small brewpubs. Very small places.

Al
 

Dale

Member
Messages
10,311
It sounds like the Tweaker is probably a good option. You have ruled out a lot of the common options.
 

sshan25

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,133
When l need something light and different from my Quilter Aviator 8 (which l think is a great little amp), l use a Traynor Darkhorse (11 lbs) and a homemade cab with a Eminince Tonkerlite neo that weighs about 13 lbs. Total weight = less than 25 lbs, sounds killer and can cover most bar rigs.
 

Al Rose

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,718
It sounds like the Tweaker is probably a good option. You have ruled out a lot of the common options.
I'm coming to the same conclusion. Just got off the phone with our other guitarist and he suggested the same thing. Emailed Tim from TRM cabinets, and he said he's built quite a few conversion cabinets, and this would not be difficult at all. So I'm leaning that way.

Al
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,467
I use a stock Tweaker for this type of gigging scenario and I've been very happy with it. Takes up minimal stage space, lots of tonal options, etc. Easy to add in for a two-amp situation as well for larger gigs.

Curious to hear what you don't like about the construction of it tho.
 

vbjamin

Member
Messages
1,116
HK Tubemiester 18, 1/5/15 watt powersoak. I have the head and a cab with an EVM12L. Small footprint and play anywhere from garage to festivals.
Done it, great value, and no issues.
 

Al Rose

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,718
HK Tubemiester 18, 1/5/15 watt powersoak. I have the head and a cab with an EVM12L. Small footprint and play anywhere from garage to festivals.
Done it, great value, and no issues.
Combo's only a 10".

Al
 

Al Rose

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,718
I use a stock Tweaker for this type of gigging scenario and I've been very happy with it. Takes up minimal stage space, lots of tonal options, etc. Easy to add in for a two-amp situation as well for larger gigs.

Curious to hear what you don't like about the construction of it tho.
There have been reports on other forums of the cabinets starting to rattle after a few months of heavy use. I realize it's made in China at a low price point, so it wouldn't be surprising. How long have you been gigging with the combo, and have you had any issues?

Al
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,467
About a year. No issues. My handwired/MIA "'64 Vibroverb" rattles a hell of a lot more, I'll say that. But obviously YMMV and all that..

That said, the Tweaker is not at all rugged. Looking at it the wrong way scuffs up the tolex. I guess thats to be expected given the price point. But I am enjoying mine thus far. Does exactly what I had hoped.
 




Trending Topics

Top