Looking for advice on choosing a "recording-only" amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by stratavarious, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. stratavarious

    stratavarious Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Central N.J.
    I'm looking for a low-watt amp to use in my home studio. Looks like there will be a lot of options in the near future and I managed to hold off pulling the trigger on the 5w blackheart amp/cab on sale at Music123 because I really think 5 watts will be too loud.

    Currently on the radar is the 1 watt Blackheart "killer ant", the Peavey Windsor Studio, or the Egnater Rebel.

    Do you think the blackheart 1 watt amp be versatile enough to do cleans and distortion? At this point the Peavey is still "vaporware", but the "power soak" feature sounds nice. The Egnater head-only at $499 is really at the high end of what I'm willing to spend.

    I'd appreciate any advice or other suggestions. Thanks!
     
  2. FFTT

    FFTT Member

    Messages:
    28,403
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    While you can record with the like of the Blackheart, Valve Jr.and Fender Champ 600, the sounds you get will greatly improve with degrees of modification from tubes to speakers, upgrade boards and transformers.

    These are great for a very limited budget.

    For a bit more, I'd look at the Blues Junior or Pro Junior, Orange Tiny Terror
    and so on preferably choosing something with a master volume.

    If you can save a bit more look at the Gries 5, Reeves Custom 6 or 12,
    Fargen Mini Plex, Emery Sound Microbaby or Superbaby.
     
  3. es125luv

    es125luv Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    I have to honestly say the Genz Benz Black Pearl here, and a little THD Univalve for "taste"...
     
  4. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill southofnash.com Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,483
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I've always thought the Silvertone amp I had would be a great studio amp. I thought it would be the same output as a DR, but it was much quieter.
     
  5. Johnnythunders

    Johnnythunders Member

    Messages:
    518
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere in the world
    Matamp Little Rock 4 watts of 6v6 goodness with a DI out.
     
  6. FFTT

    FFTT Member

    Messages:
    28,403
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    When your budget is less than $300.00 for a "recording" amp,
    you got some limitations unless you build it yourself.
     
  7. Leonardo

    Leonardo Member

    Messages:
    950
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    What kind of music/tone? Look around, you can probably find some old Gibson amps for that kind of money. For about the same price of the Egnater Rebel, you can also shop for an used Dr.Z Carmen Ghia, Bad Cat Mini Cat, Fuchs Lucky 7, THD Univalve, Reeves Custom 6, Gries 5... something like that.
     
  8. stratavarious

    stratavarious Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Central N.J.
    FFTT, thanks for your suggestions and what I meant by a "recording" amp was low volume. I'm thinking 5 watts or more will be too loud for home use.
     
  9. stratavarious

    stratavarious Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Central N.J.
    Thanks for the suggestions. Just went the the Dr. Z site. The "Mini-Z" looks interesting. Also, the Bad Cat Mini II looks nice. The only problem is I doubt I'll be able to demo any of these amps locally, since the "big name" shops (GC/Sam Ash) near me don't carry these brands.
     
  10. teleamp

    teleamp Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,508
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Central Texas
    For recording only, I would suggest the latest version of Guitar Rig, it would be much more versatile than a low wattage tube amp. A 5 watt tube amp can get very loud.

    MikeY
     
  11. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

    Messages:
    2,276
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    FWIW I played the Mini-Z and loved it. Even more so than a couple of Z amps I've owned, which I liked a lot. Great tone in that little amp.
     
  12. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    27,272
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    BTW, 5 watts in a tube amp can indeed be too much for home use. My baby princeton tweed really hollers and I can't even attenuate her because there's no speaker jack. She's my weekend day warrior as a result.
     
  13. FFTT

    FFTT Member

    Messages:
    28,403
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    If you look at the Gries 5, it has an effective master volume and still
    enough clean headroom for more quiet clean passages.
    Drop the MV down and boost the gain for sustained leads.

    You have to remember in class A, your guitar knobs and your attack are the controllers. Soft attack for cleans, hard attack for crunch and more.

    If you go to too low of a power level, you'll have a tough time with cleans where you need them.

    This allows you to play at very comfortable volumes once you train your ears to listen and the lower levels.

    The Mic and your pre-amp will do the rest to your DAW.
     
  14. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,734
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    If you happen to already own a more powerful amp you like, I'd recommend buying an attenuator vs. a low-powered amp at that price range.

    The attenuator gives you more options in the future and if your budget is tight, you could rent / borrow a great amp and use the attenuator.

    I've used both a BadCat Leash as well as the Dr. Z Airbrake and I'd recommend either - very good recordings at low volume.
     
  15. Leonardo

    Leonardo Member

    Messages:
    950
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Some Mini-Z soundclips at http://www.drzamps.com/miniz.html.
    There's also the Z-Vex Nano. Have you seen this demo? http://www.prosoundcommunications.com/english/video/michael_thompson/nano.html.
    Also, check the old Marshall Studio 15 amp. Not sure how much they're going for but seen like nice little amps.

    PS: HA! I was trying to remember the name of these: Emery Sound! They make some nice looking low power amps! :rolleyes:
     
  16. changeling

    changeling Member

    Messages:
    1,617
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    ...where the strings come in.
    not necessarily.
    fender champs and the attendant circuitry in 'em record very well,in a
    time-tested way.jeff beck and eric clapton realized it ages ago..well,jeff used a fender harvard:jo.

    you can get a 5fa type for pretty cheap;they take pedals great,and you can always use an ext. cab for more knock.
    cheers,
    r
     
  17. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,934
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    I've got a number of solutions for home use/recording that'll fit in your budget. Forget almost all the single ended, boutique amps, they go from $800 up. The only guy that'll get in under your ceiling is Curt from Emery Sound. The Superbaby and Microbaby are effective bedroom amps (although they can get pretty loud, with the right power tubes you can dial them down) and have an incredible scope of sounds with different tubes/cabs. Other thoughts:
    1. Some kind of flexible preamp thru a solid state power amp-from the $180 (used) Sansamp pedal thru the JMP1 ($350 used) you can get a tone of different low volume tones.
    2. The H&K "Machine" preamps-have a complete little tube amp inside, slaved to a SS power amp for output, so they sound pretty much the same from .5-30w. Hard to find but cheap.
    3. Vintage single ended amps-everybody and their dog made a 3 tube copy of the Danelectro "amp-in-case" amps, 3-5w output. Use a decent speaker and you can sound great.

    So, what do I do? Record with the Sansamp and play the Emery!
     
  18. hawkeye17

    hawkeye17 Member

    Messages:
    1,064
    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Wyomissing, PA
    I'm looking to pick up an Egnater Rebel when the hit GC but I'm pretty sure they are $799. Maybe I'm wrong.
     
  19. stratavarious

    stratavarious Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Central N.J.
    I've read the head will sell for $499, but I haven't heard anything on what the cabs will cost.
     
  20. Electric I

    Electric I Member

    Messages:
    3,025
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Thought $799 was for head/single 12 cab...
     

Share This Page