low power amp for basement

chicagoguitar

Member
Messages
15
I am new to electric. Guitar is a tele. Maybe interested in a 335. I need a small amp for play in the basement that will not disturb the wife or sleeping kid upstairs. I want something clean - interesting in playing rockabilly & jazz etc. Any amp suggestions? Can you get a good tone in the low power amps say 15W & lower?
 

elicxirmixer

Member
Messages
270
15W is plenty loud for basement play solid state or tube. But it would be difficult to keep up with a drummer.
Since you are new to electric, I would keep the budget low for now until you find what you really like.
My recommendations (although the list could be limitless)
Solid State - Vox Pathfinder
Tube - Fender Champ

And get it used on Craigslist.
 

NewDr.P

Member
Messages
2,291
fender blues jr and $5k worth of pedals to make it sound like a $1000 marshall.

but seriously what budget are you working with?
 

chicagoguitar

Member
Messages
15
under $500 would be great. I guess I am looking for the best sound at low power < 15W (probably lower since it for a basement and I do not want to disturb a sleeping kid upstairs). If it is less than that fine. Can you get great a tone at low volumes? Nice jazz & rockabilly sounds. I do not want to get the cheapest amp if it doesn't sound good. thanks for any advice!
 

NewDr.P

Member
Messages
2,291
id recommend one of those little yamaha thr amps. theyre modeling but itll give you time to figure out what kind of tube amp would suit your style or if its even necessary.

i think those little amps are amazing at what theyre intended to do, which seems to be what youre looking for.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,866
Make sure you can even play unplugged when they're sleeping. In my 64 year old house with wooden floors I can't.

Otherwise when I do play when the fams home I just plug into an amp maybe a Twin Reverb maybe a Princeton Reverb and turn it way down.
Don't much care for a Champ at that volume for some reason.
 

thebowl

Member
Messages
682
Check out the Laney Cub 10. You can put an upgraded speaker in one and still be all in for less than $300.00. Very nice clean tones.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
Yep laney cub 10 and a Emi lil buddy speaker to Americanize it a bit. In for under $300.

But you would really be surprised at how loud just 2w of tube amp is. Gonna depend on house construction, how far away their rooms are. You may only be able to get away with whisper vol, yamaha THR be my choice for that. If you can get away more, say loudish tv volume any 5-6w tube amp will work and be plenty loud. Hit pawn shops, see if you can find a Fender Mustang II for cheap, great for SS amp starter setup.
 

redeyedjim

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,350
Lots of great low power tube amps in this price range, and if you were already coming at this with some amp experience I might recommend one. However, as you are brand new to electric guitars, it's really hard to beat the Yamaha THR10 series for size, features, tone, and especially its ability to generate a good-to-great tone at very low volume. Of the three THR10 models, the THR10C is probably the best overall fit for what you want to play, but the base model also has great amp models within it and is very versatile. These also hold their resale value very well, so if you were to buy a new one you could likely resell it for 75% of what you paid for it, which is something to consider.

For tube amps, its sure hard to beat a Fender Champ for the sort of music you describe, especially a classic "silver face" model, which will be in your price range. Roughly speaking, "silver face" refers to Fender amps made between '68 to '79 with a silver faceplate and blue lettering. These are simple, great sounding, hand wired, 8" speaker/5 watt combo amps that can currently be found for $350 to $450 on the used market, and will only go up in value. As vintage gear they may need a little servicing, and almost certainly will benefit from a speaker upgrade and perhaps some vintage tubes...but that's a different discussion.

That said, I'd take a really hard look at the Yamaha THR10 series and see if one would work for you. They are a very different sort of amp than the Champ, but one might be ideal for the specific needs you identify.
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,142
Turning up even a 1w tube amp will disturb others in the house.
Yamaha THR10C was an excellent recommendation, or something to that extent.
It's really all you need.
 

Theorist

Member
Messages
2,613
Been there! Bought a Pro Jr (15w)then a Vox Lil Night Train (2w) now been happily using a THR 10 for a while. When is really late it also sounds fantastic with headphones..


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

barryg_nyc

Member
Messages
569
Echoing a few comments here, 1 W can be very loud on a tube amp.
The good news is that you're looking to mostly play clean, so you don't have to get to that high level of breakup.

I will cast another vote for the Yamaha THR10C. I mostly played unplugged at night until I picked up the THR10C about a month ago. Now, it gets more use than my other 4 amps combined. And you can find them used for less than $200 (I paid $149 used at GC for mine). Great tone at low volumes, but also sounds great cranked. Plus, due to its size, it can sit on a desk - so you can hear it better at low volume.

If you really want tube, I would check out either A Vibro Champ or a Vox AC4TV. Both can do cleans at relatively low volume, but not as quiet as the THR.

The THR also takes pedals well - if you're playing rockabilly, you'll want a good slapback delay. The Danelectro BLT does a great job at a low price. You can use the onboard delay settings on the THR but I think you'll like the pedal much better.

Whatever you choose, you'll probably want something else in a year when you figure out what you like, so keep your investment modest. The THR will always be useful as a small, portable amp even if you later add some bigger amps.
 

bbutler123

Member
Messages
2,648
I am new to electric. Guitar is a tele. Maybe interested in a 335. I need a small amp for play in the basement that will not disturb the wife or sleeping kid upstairs. I want something clean - interesting in playing rockabilly & jazz etc. Any amp suggestions? Can you get a good tone in the low power amps say 15W & lower?
Bugera V22 - $380. 22 watts. 12" speaker It's the best clean-sounding amp I've ever heard that's under $700 or higher. It sounds good quite soft also, since it has plenty of bass.
Blackstar Ht-5 5 watts. $450 12" speaker. The clean is really nice and sparkly. Sounds good soft also. Does not get super loud and remain clean since it's only 5 watts.

Both have good distortion too.

I'd suggest that you buy an amp with a 12" speaker. It sounds much fuller.
 






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