Looking for a small amp that makes a speaker "breathe"


Sometimes we play those ultra quiet stage volume gigs, where every little bit matters and the drummer is playing like he's hitting fine china for cymbals.

I had my SF Vibrolux out tonight at one of these gigs. It was in a large barn, very live and reflective. We had all stage volume pretty low and our amps were barely putting out volume. I tend to hate this tone, because it sounds really compressed and too smooth and not dynamic at all. I'm sure you all know what I mean. We always mic up regardless if it's in the mains or not. We have to do that for our in ear mix. We had a really good sound out front and made up for the crappy room with our mix.

I find that I have to get my volume up to at least 3 or 4 before the speakers wake up and breathe. I'm not talking about getting the tubes into natural overdrive, that's more into like 6-8 on the dial. So I'm not really looking for CRUNCH or gain, just that open sound that comes from pushing a speaker to regular volume.

I'm wondering if a Princeton would get me what I need or if it's still too loud. I don't really need the size and volume of the Vibrolux since I have other bigger amps for bigger gigs.

What is out there that will get to it's sweet spot and open up the speaker without being too loud? I really want to avoid a modeller or POD or anything like that. In my mind, you can't beat the feel and feedback from playing through an amp.



I think you answered your own question. Princeton Is in full glory at levels you can talk over.


Not to be condescending, because I'm sure you're aware, but when you turn up to a certain level you start hearing different things like reflections around the room, acoustic and mechanical coupling, etc. in addition to the amp and speaker working harder. I'm not sure there's a replacement for that.

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