Jet City Custom 5 for Bedroom?

Ice Ape

Member
Messages
78
I have been looking for a small tube amp to practice with at home without bothering my neighbors (I live in an apartment), doesn't break the bank, and sounds decent. I have been getting by using various low watt solid state amps (Marshall MS-2, Fender Sidekick Reverb 30, Johnson Standard 15) all of which can run at the low volumes required but lack the "tube sound" we all love. I am not looking for amp distortion as I get my dirt mostly from various pedals I enjoy. (At least I dont think I need amp distortion, but if it is good that is a bonus) My main amps (vintage Marshall and Mesa Electra Dyne sound great when used clean for my dirt pedals but are of course way too loud!

So in my search for the right amp I came across the Jet City Custom 5 ( www.jetcityamplification.com/custom-5 ) that looks promising. It is 5 watts (switchable to 2w), has an effects loop, and is just over $200. I know Jet City put out the 5w Pico Valve which got decent reviews but it doesn't have the effects loop and seems to be set up to produce its own tube distortion. The Custom 5 also has a preamp knob for distortion but I am looking mostly for a clean platform. It seems like Jet City just released the Custom 5 but I am wondering if anybody here might have used one or maybe their Pico Valve. Is their stuff any good? Will it lift me out of low volume solid state purgatory? Thanks! (happy 2017 to you all!)
 

108

Member
Messages
2,825
If you need a clean platform at very low wattage, the VHT Special 6 is fantastic. I haven't played the little Jet City, soy I can't be of much more help. I'm a fellow apartment dweller but do most of my practice with a modeling plugin. I have a small collection of Vox amps that don't get much attention at home because even the 15 watters are too loud.
 

lemonpaul59

Member
Messages
2,065
Even 2 tube watts are too loud for apartment playing. A yamaha thr 5 or 10 are a better option, imo.


Yeah, I just got done playing my new Fuchs Lucky 7 Mark II. You guessed it, 7 watts. I live in a large house and that thing is so freakin' loud throughout. Same with my Marshall SL5. The Marshall does have a 1 watt power option which helps. Either amp is fine in a small combo, my kind of combo anyway.

Fret not, for we always have this option:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...watt-monster-smicz-tac-tube-adapters.1748377/https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...watt-monster-smicz-tac-tube-adapters.1748377/

 

lemonpaul59

Member
Messages
2,065
I have been looking for a small tube amp to practice with at home without bothering my neighbors (I live in an apartment), doesn't break the bank, and sounds decent. I have been getting by using various low watt solid state amps (Marshall MS-2, Fender Sidekick Reverb 30, Johnson Standard 15) all of which can run at the low volumes required but lack the "tube sound" we all love. I am not looking for amp distortion as I get my dirt mostly from various pedals I enjoy. (At least I dont think I need amp distortion, but if it is good that is a bonus) My main amps (vintage Marshall and Mesa Electra Dyne sound great when used clean for my dirt pedals but are of course way too loud!

So in my search for the right amp I came across the Jet City Custom 5 ( www.jetcityamplification.com/custom-5 ) that looks promising. It is 5 watts (switchable to 2w), has an effects loop, and is just over $200. I know Jet City put out the 5w Pico Valve which got decent reviews but it doesn't have the effects loop and seems to be set up to produce its own tube distortion. The Custom 5 also has a preamp knob for distortion but I am looking mostly for a clean platform. It seems like Jet City just released the Custom 5 but I am wondering if anybody here might have used one or maybe their Pico Valve. Is their stuff any good? Will it lift me out of low volume solid state purgatory? Thanks! (happy 2017 to you all!)

As I have both a 5 watt monster and now a new 7 watt monster, I can attest both are extremely loud in a large home.


Make sure you know about this:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...watt-monster-smicz-tac-tube-adapters.1748377/
 

108

Member
Messages
2,825
Even 2 tube watts are too loud for apartment playing. A yamaha thr 5 or 10 are a better option, imo.
It depends on the amp and the intended usage. I have a 100w Rockerverb that sounds great in my apartment. 2 watts isn't too much, it depends on the amp and not every amp needs to be cranked to sound decent.
 

lang.murphy

Member
Messages
3,583
As others have pointed out, 2w can be too loud for bedroom use. Depends on how the Gain and Volume pots interact. There are 50w amps with great MV's that can "do" bedroom.

I have an Orange Tiny Terror that sounds OK at whisper levels but my Marshall Offset 1w with a Lovepedal Superlead pedal in front sounds awesome at whisper levels. (TT running through an Orange PPC112, Offset running through the matching 10" cab.)

I had a THR10C for a short while but ultimately the tiny speakers didn't work for me, even at whisper levels I prefer a 10" speaker at minimum. YMMV.
 

Ice Ape

Member
Messages
78
As others have pointed out, 2w can be too loud for bedroom use. Depends on how the Gain and Volume pots interact. There are 50w amps with great MV's that can "do" bedroom.

I have an Orange Tiny Terror that sounds OK at whisper levels but my Marshall Offset 1w with a Lovepedal Superlead pedal in front sounds awesome at whisper levels. (TT running through an Orange PPC112, Offset running through the matching 10" cab.)

I had a THR10C for a short while but ultimately the tiny speakers didn't work for me, even at whisper levels I prefer a 10" speaker at minimum. YMMV.

Yeah, I am not planning on cranking it all the way up. More like turning it up just enough to get some beef to the sound and figured a 5w (switchable to 2w) would get there at a reasonable volume for apartment living. Gotta be better than the solid state amps I am currently forced to use. I have no experience with Jet City so that's why I postd
 

socalscott

Senior Member
Messages
2,012
I chased this low db for a decade, ie. 2W scaling, 1W Fryette gp/di. Typical tube amp magic is largely lost in this app. Modeling works around the "beef" and moving air issue. I go with two tiny amps with different voicings or amp + modeler offering up cabs for the "beef". IR pedals are coming and this will really help the cause.
Considering budget, I came across a stupid good solution that bumps the limits of apartment rawkin. It's old, but hq.
Yamaha dg-stomp with phones out into two 1x12's. LOL, but the op amps have clean headroom, even with the front end getting slammed with clean boost or od. Takes pedals. All sims off gives a quality tone utilizing the eq w/presence and affects. Tried this with my MustangFloor and it failed. Needs ops upgraded.

Oh yeah, Scuffam app is said to be a top shelf pc solution. So cheap as long as monitors are decent.

Good luck
 

lang.murphy

Member
Messages
3,583
Yeah, I am not planning on cranking it all the way up. More like turning it up just enough to get some beef to the sound and figured a 5w (switchable to 2w) would get there at a reasonable volume for apartment living. Gotta be better than the solid state amps I am currently forced to use. I have no experience with Jet City so that's why I postd

I can't crank the Marshall in 1w mode while the wife's home. She'd FREAK OUT. 1w wide open is surprisingly, shockingly so, loud.

I have one SS amp... I play it once or twice a week, when the wife's gone toes up and I want to play along to a song, I throw the headphones on and have at it.

But I prefer not using headphones. Unfortunately, the SS amp, a Line6 Amplifi 75 combo, has an 8" speaker and you have to have it pointing right at your ears for optimal tone. My 10" and 12" cabs, being closed back, are very directional too, but not as bad as the L6. I just have to get ~4 feet away from both for the sound to open up but I don't have to point the driver straight at my ears.

The Jet City Custom 5 is of interest to me, too. My favorite power tube type is EL34's so if I should ever get a Custom 5, the first thing I'd do would be a little tube rolling. Different pre's and an EL-34. Then it would be time to choose the proper cab to go along with it. As so many have pointed out here, speakers play such a huge part in the final tone of a rig... which one should consider if one gets to demo the head. What sounds good/bad with one speaker type may sound completely different with another speaker type (and probably will...).

I look forward to seeing / hearing a few more demos of the amp other that the single Soundcloud example on Jet City's site...
 

jadams71

Member
Messages
501
The answer for an amp under 15 watts is the swart night light. Gives you the character of the amp without the volume.
 

Promit

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,632
I personally would go for the Peavey Classic 20, but it's double the price. An AC4TV might make a great pedal platform... I don't know why we're talking about low power amps in the first place if it's going to be a clean pedal platform, though. You could run an SLO100 at home in that capacity. There is absolutely no reason you would want to crank the tube amp.
 

lang.murphy

Member
Messages
3,583
I personally would go for the Peavey Classic 20, but it's double the price. An AC4TV might make a great pedal platform... I don't know why we're talking about low power amps in the first place if it's going to be a clean pedal platform, though. You could run an SLO100 at home in that capacity. There is absolutely no reason you would want to crank the tube amp.

If I gave the impression that I was cranking my 1w amp, that was not intended. I play the amp in 1w mode but "inch up" the volume so it's barely pushing air. The level pot on the Superlead pedal is fairly cranked to get "that tone" at whisper levels.
 

socalscott

Senior Member
Messages
2,012
Once i've been dialing in decent quiet settings on an amp for a spell, I get fixated and all seems good. Then I roll on a modeler or second amp. Suddenly the amp tone was found to be lacking. That fixation is a bugger.
My gp/di simultaneously feeds, 1W to speaker, cab/mic sim to re-amp, unity(tube buff) to modeler or amp, line-out for what ever too! It gets fat with just a re-amp, but hey...
My wall of quiet:
2 modelers for wets into nf monitors(valvulated)
2 ultra low-watt tube-ness into 1x12's
On occasion, a third tiny tube amp just because I can.D'oh!

Going frugal, two voicings from cheap combos can trump a decent amp trying to go low db.
 

cliffenstein

Senior Member
Messages
826
What's the point in playing as quiet as you guys are trying to play? You're hearing acoustic resonance of the strings on your guitar more than the amp if you're really keeping your amps as quiet as the descriptions in this thread lead me to believe.

I've never had a problem getting "good enough for home use" tones out of my hundred watt amps, but you gotta pick the right time to rock. At two in the morning, trying to play unplugged in the next room can wake the wife up and illicit some bad vibes.
 
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Ice Ape

Member
Messages
78
What's the point in playing as quiet as you guys are trying to play? You're hearing acoustic resonance of the strings on your guitar more than the amp if you're really keeping your amps as quiet as the descriptions in this thread lead me to believe.

I've never had a problem getting "good enough for home use" tones out of my hundred watt amps, but you gotta pick the right time to rock. At two in the morning, trying to play unplugged in the next room can wake the wife up and illicit some bad vibes.

Speaking for myself I am not looking to play at volumes where I can hear my string over the amp but just dont want the sound bleeding into my neighbors apartments. My job leads to an erratic schedule and many times I can only practice are after hours when I cant be loud. When I try to use my Mesa Electrodyne for that purpose all I get is high end with no bass. To get any fatness out of the sound takes me into too loud territory so that is why I am interested in a lower watt tube setup and the Jet City Custom 5 looks like it might be a solution. I am not looking to crank it all the way up (at least not at home) but am hoping to get some of that tube warmth I love. The little solid state amps I have been using allow me to practice but I find the sound uninspiring.
 

Promit

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,632
To get any fatness out of the sound takes me into too loud territory so that is why I am interested in a lower watt tube setup and the Jet City Custom 5 looks like it might be a solution. I am not looking to crank it all the way up (at least not at home) but am hoping to get some of that tube warmth I love.
Warmth is not fatness. Warmth can be achieved without volume, with the right choices. Fatness will involve a low-mid component to the sound that just loves to ignore walls and bleed right through to your neighbors.

Personally I'm wondering if an EQ pedal in the loop would be the most effective way to get what you want. I don't think it's a very popular strategy around here.
 




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