If you could have just 1...(8-15W, Fender-ish recommendation)

trumpus

Supporting Member
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2,206
I've got a few amps currently, though the one that gets played the most is my '66 Vibrochamp. The others (a modded '74 Princeton Reverb, '68 Princeton NR, Swart STR-Trem and a Mesa DC3) are all played sporadically. I love the VC at lower volumes but when I push it a bit louder, I wish it had more headroom. The Princetons are great too, but I'm not in love with them (farty bass, harsh breakup on the PR, Mesa is too loud, STR is a bit too muddy)...

...so I'm looking for the 1 - just 1 amp to do it all - lush cleans, verb, trem (a plus), Fender-ish, takes pedals well...

I'm thinking I need something in the 8-15W range - I play mostly at home, but want a nice little grab 'n go for the occasional jam. What should I be looking at? Headstrong? Vintage Sound? Allen? Carr? Milkman (may be a bit out of my price range)?

Halp!
 

GhostBath

Member
Messages
224
I mean it really depends on which amp brand's house sound you like.

I like Carr out of the ones you mentioned. The Sportsman is a great little amp. You could go for that, but if Fender is the sound in your head, nothing wrong with putting a lower efficiency speaker in a Deluxe Reverb.

FWIW I find Carr amps to typically be warmer/less spikey than Fender. Better for certain things, worse for others. I appreciate their wonderful clean sounds, but when really gassing them I prefer Fender.
 

trumpus

Supporting Member
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2,206
I'm not married to a strictly Fender tone - I'm open to other options, but I prefer to play mostly clean with occasionally light OD. So for me, prioritizing clean tone is important.
 
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720
I’ve been really impressed with my Cutthroat Penguin amp (brown Princeton). It has much more clean headroom than I thought. It also has some voicing options that are an added plus.

Another cool amp is the Studious Selye. I have the 6L6 version but I know Bryant now uses a EL34 for 14 watts. Not as much clean headroom but a fairly unique design.

Neither have Reverb but the term on the Penguin is nice. Both take pedals well.
 

MHG

Member
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5,469
The Carr Sportsman Head with a WGS G12C/S 1x12, or the Impala Head with a G12C/S or a Cream Alnico 1x12 will definitely give you what you want. Gorgeous tone and feel, amazing Reverb, and they take pedals really well. The Sportsman doesn't get all ratty and nasty like a traditional Princeton. Better headroom as well.

These two amps paired specifically with those speakers are some of the best I've played. Probably the two I use the most.
 

trumpus

Supporting Member
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2,206
....still on the hunt. It's my 40th bday year and this may fall under a "special purchase" clause...I'd be willing to sell an amp to make room.

Any other recommendations? Something I can play at home but could hang at a laid-back jam? Something that looks nice in head/cab form. Reverb + trem a plus but not a requirement.
 

Jaguarguy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
218
Dr. Z ZPlus - 7/15 watt light-weight combo with reverb. From Dr. Z website:

"When Joe Walsh approached Dr. Z for a new amp to use on the latest Eagles’ tour, he harkened back to the legendary recordings with the James Gang, where Joe was using small, single ended Tweed combos. Never one to be satisfied with rehashing old designs, Dr. Z and Joe Walsh upped the ante by looking to hi-fi audio amplifiers; from this the Z-PLUS was born.

The Z-PLUS is a parallel, single-end amplifier in true Class A configuration, which yields a rich clean tone that smoothly overdrives into gritty, harmonic-laden distortion. Single-ended, Class A operation produces full even-order harmonics which are typically cancelled in traditional push-pull, Class A/B tube amp designs. The result is sparkling and satisfying tone with the full range of 2nd and 4th order harmonics with clarity akin to an full bodied, acoustic guitar. While typically class A designs are limited by lower clean headroom, the Z-PLUS utilizes two 6V6 power tubes in parallel which increases clean headroom, per Joe Walsh’s request."
 

MBT74

Member
Messages
2,233
My recommendation is a used Mesa TA-15 and a Strymon Flint (no loop in the TA-15 but I’ve never needed a loop in my life so far).

5w / 15w / 25w modes with Vox (normal and Top Boost), Tweed, Marshall and Mesa voicings. Small sized, light amp head. Good looking design and superb tones. And very affordable on the used market.
 

mabinogeon

A really hoopy frood.
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,556
I can't say enough good things about this one:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...watt-1x12-inch-tube-combo-amp-lacquered-tweed

I have one, and I absolutely love it. The efficient 12" speaker makes it loud enough to keep up with a band, but it still has that Princeton magic. I run mine in stereo with a 5E3 that I built, but it's beautiful on its own as well.

They sometimes sell demo models for $100 less, as well.
 

Gridlock

Member
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1,988
Within your limited wattage range, it would have to be a nice vintage BF or SF Princeton Reverb.
 

avspecialist

Member
Messages
106
I read through your post, Initially I was going to recommend a Princeton Reverb and I see you have one. Mine is not farty at all, but It was built by Tony Bruno. Looking inside the amp, he upped the filter capacitance for a stronger power supply, and it looks like the last signal caps have been raised to .047, for reduced lower bass. It does have a Celestion 12 inch 70th anniversary in it. It stays together even at louder volumes. Also it will respond differently when using a Strat vs a Les Paul.
 

big mike

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,392
Deluxe Reverb. More head room, takes pedals, and isnt a loud 22 watts in my opinion
Change to a scumback M75 and some decent preamp tubes in key positions.

All one needs with the right pedal really.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Supporting Member
Messages
26,626
This is why I keep my Vibroverb RI around... 2x10 format at 35 watts, it can be a nice at home quiet amp at 1 1/2 to 2 on the volume or it can hang with a drummer and bigger amps in a band setting at 4/5.
 
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4,818
Trumpus, imho, you have the basis for what you want. You need two things to make that ‘74 Prin Rev be what you want...a high efficiency speaker and a good tech to get that amp set up to do what you want.
 




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