Home/recording amp

dmbfan32

Member
Messages
5
Hey everyone:

I am mainly an acoustic guitarist but got the electric bug about 2 years ago and have been loving it. I am looking to upgrade my amp. I currently use a Vox Valvetronix 40+ (modeling amp). It has worked well but now I want to move into a tube amp. I want to keep it at 15W or so as I mainly just play at the house, the occasional jam with friends, and some recording. I am playing a Les Paul with 57 Humbuckers and also have a Strat (60's re-issue). The style I typically play is most 90's grunge/rock (Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Weezer, Social Distortion) but also need a little variability so I can have a good clean channel. I do have a few pedals to go along (TS9, blues driver, etc).

Just wondering what everyone here would recommend. I also want to make sure I do not drive the neighbors or my wife crazy. I have it narrowed down to a few 15W amps. Its difficult with my job to get out to a store and demo them so was hoping to get an opinion vs just trusting YouTube video reviews. Here are the ones I am looking at:

1. Marshall DSL15C: heard there could be an issue getting a clean channel sound. I do like the ability to switch though between 15W and 7.5W.

2. Fender Blues Jr III: heard it has great cleans but just not sure how well it will do getting the grunge punch I will need using my pedals.

3. Vox AC15: I know this is probably the best in the group but worried that it will be much too loud for my use/purposes.

Any help or opinions would be great.

Thanks!
 

chrisrocksusa

Member
Messages
2,391
I play a couple les pauls through a marshall SL-5.

5 watts with a 1 watt mode (1 watt sounds like ****). Single el34, celestion V30, etc etc.

Sounds killer. I really like the clean tones and it gets as nasty as I need it to.
 

b80

Member
Messages
2,067
I have played a Blues Jr and I own a Pro Jr. Both of these are really nice amps for home recording/bedroom use. If you're getting distortion from pedals, you won't have to worry about running them loud to get to where you want to go. The Pro Jr records very well. Has a great clean tone till around 4 on the volume dial. It's quite loud at that. I'm sure the Blues Jr will suffice for what you're after, but don't count out the Pro Jr.
 

elicxirmixer

Member
Messages
270
Home recording can be done with 5 watts or less. I got the small tube amp bug a few years back and I now have a Blues Jr, Marshall Class 5, Vox AC4tv, and Orange Micro Terror, along with several external cabs. Yes, the Micro Terror is not technically all tube, but I'd be happy home recording or noodling around with any one of them.
If you told me I could only have one of those amps for home recording, I'd take the Blues Jr (BillM modded).
Mostly it's a pretty nice clean and a good platform with all of my pedals that give me most of the sounds I want.
Although two small tube amps in stereo is lovely.
 
Messages
2,648
Laney Lionheart L5T. Plenty loud for 5 watts, great clean and crunch, spring reverb and effects loop, built with top-notch components. It's really the best "house amp" I've ever owned. And it can hold it's own in a small jam session as well.
 

clamflatslim

Senior Member
Messages
1,149
of the amps you listed and music styles indicated dsl is the only way to go.blues jr or vox would need pedals.between those two i think i'd take the ac15.imho dsl is what you are looking for.
 

Ilduce

And now for something completely different!
Messages
4,593
The 2 amps I'd look at if I were you would be the Egnater Tweaker 15 and the Mesa Boogie TA 15. Both are super versatile and very reasonably priced used.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,591
Home recording can be done just fine with software amp emulation . You'll have a far greater choice of sounds.
 

navenjohnson

Inventor of the Opti-grab
Messages
78
Laney Lionheart L5T. Plenty loud for 5 watts, great clean and crunch, spring reverb and effects loop, built with top-notch components. It's really the best "house amp" I've ever owned. And it can hold it's own in a small jam session as well.
+1 I own one of these and it is a really nice amp and very solid. However, I have one complaint - The effects loop is in parallel and there is no mix control.

OP, of the three you mentioned, I have owned the Blues Junior (tweed NOS w/ Jensen) and the AC15. While I tend to think of myself as a fender amp guy, I much preferred the AC15 to the BJ. I just found the AC15 to have useful tones over a much wider range of settings. YMMV.
 
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dmbfan32

Member
Messages
5
Thanks for the tips everyone. Looks like i got some homework to do. I have heard a lot of buzz on tne Bugera 22v. Will hopefully find a local place to try it out.
 

SteveO

Member
Messages
16,654
The 2 amps I'd look at if I were you would be the Egnater Tweaker 15 and the Mesa Boogie TA 15. Both are super versatile and very reasonably priced used.
I have both of those amps and there is a bit of redundancy between them, but they can get you most of the most popular flavors-Vox, Fender, and Marshall, with high gain available as well. I use the TA-15 all the time for recording, the five watt single-ended mode is great.
 

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
Dude you obviously like the VOX sound.

My AC4C1-BL is awesome for home recording and easily loud enough for playing with a band too.
Seriously check them out they ****ing own.
 

lavinci

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,667
A very useful and practical solution is....
What Steve from Audio Kitchen calls
The Big Trees

Great for recording, gigging and just about anything....

You can also plug a 2, 4, 8 or 16 ohm cab to it...

Lastly you can also take it on the road and put it on your pedal board as it features a line out and speaker out which can used at the same time.

Judah Baurer from JSBX uses a modified version...

Sent from my Rick Kelly Tele
 

acwild

Member
Messages
2,252
For the bands that you listed (my band covers them), the DSL will do the trick. If you won't play louder than a drummer, the DSL1H is great. Pair it with a cab with a V30 or two and you're good to go. It comes with a loop which the 15 watt version doesn't. I use the .1 watt mode for practice and it sounds great. The 1 watt mode actually keeps up with my drummer at half volume (paired with a 2x12 cab). There's a direct out for recording but I haven't tried it.
I have bought so many amps thinking that modded Marshalls are the way to go until I recently bought a DSL and realized that it's the sound that I've been looking for all these years. In addition to the DSL1H, I also have the 40 watt combo. While it obviously can't get as quiet as it's 1watt brethren, it can actually be turned down and sound good as well.
These amps react nicely with volume knob changes and take pedals well. An additional nice thing about the one watt head is that it doesn't need biasing. Tube swaps are relatively inexpensive and you can do it yourself. It's bigger brothers are different though.
Good luck in your search whatever you end up with.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

dmbfan32

Member
Messages
5
Thanks again for all the tips everyone. I was able to take some time off work and go demo some of the amps listed and suggested. Ultimately, I think I am going to go with the Vox AC15. To me it just sounded the best, had a good clean, and did do well with my Blues Driver and Tube Screamer. Also got a great deal (street price is $600; getting a brand spanking new one for $500 total i.e. tax included).

I really did like the Bugera V22 but something about the Vox won me over. I hope to pick it up on Thursday.
 

Jeff Scott

Member
Messages
1,798
Congrats dmbfan32! Now you need a Rickenbacker (if you don't already have one) to go with the Vox. :)
 






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