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Need small amp suggestions

Puneet Wagh

Senior Member
Messages
633
So, I'm part of three different gigging projects at the moment (including my own) and my main amp has been my Two-Rock Studio Signature. It's pretty much my dream amp and I'm so glad to have it.

However, for certain gigs, like one that's happening on an island this month or others at smaller/dingier bars, I'd rather not bring that along as my amp.

I do have a Strymon iridium which sounds great and has been an able stand-in but I did want to get a small 5-10watt amp that's more portable (the Two-Rock is around 35lbs) and less precious.

I've been looking for options that are between CAD 250-500. I'm mostly looking at tube amps but something voiced different from my Two-Rock, like a Supro, champ or even a vintage Gibson Skylark (saw one of those recently).

But then I thought that I could look at the Boss Katana MK2 (50watt) or something of that sort since I already have a tube amp I love. It could give me more versatility and still be easy to carry.

So yeah, once again, the amp would need to be portable, light, durable and a bit different from what I already have. What do you guys suggest?
 

Benz2112

Memba?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,248
Have you seen the new Harmony amps? Havent tried one, but seem like a nice value for the money.
 

GreatGreen

Member
Messages
1,109
That's a very moderate budget. A Katana might be exactly what you'd want at that price. Alternatively, the Bogner Mini Ecstasy just came out at around $330 US. I'm not sure if it would be higher gain that you'd need but it might be worth a shot. Don't be fooled by the package, it actually sounds good.

edit: @Benz2112 I just checked out a few videos of those new Harmony amps. Wow. Wasn't expecting them to sound that good. They have a very Vox-like chime to them. Very bright and delicate sounding. Cool amps.
 
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Puneet Wagh

Senior Member
Messages
633
That's a very moderate budget. A Katana might be exactly what you'd want at that price. Alternatively, the Bogner Mini Ecstasy just came out at around $330 US. I'm not sure if it would be higher gain that you'd need but it might be worth a shot. Don't be fooled by the package, it actually sounds good.
Yeah, I kept the budget pretty modest because I'll mostly be using my Two-Rock. Didn't wanna put too much into something that would be a second choice mostly for convenience.
 

Puneet Wagh

Senior Member
Messages
633
Get the boss katana just picked up the 100 and it’s a great amp for a bargain price.The 50 is great too,smaller and weighs less than the 100.Both amps are loud,but super versatile.
I'm definitely leaning this way. The 50 is around 25lbs which is pretty good.
 

Soundhog73

Member
Messages
748
I'm definitely leaning this way. The 50 is around 25lbs which is pretty good.
It’s 25 pounds,it is quite loud,I’m learning how to use on on board affects it has.Im planning on playing gigs with this in the future,nice not to lug around big amps. The 50 is much cheaper also.
 

fuzz guy

Member
Messages
1,174
If you don't need all the extra effects of the Katana have a look at a Boss Nextone Stage. A much better sounding amp than the Katana that you can customize yourself. Lightweight and plenty loud. Not sure what they would cost in Canada though, but I imagine it would be close to your budget.
 

Ejay

Member
Messages
6,318
Anything decent with an effectsloop..switch cabs off on the iridium…and stick it into the return.

Im aware of katanas popularity…I couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. It made a good first impression on me also…but next to a good reference..or in a band mix…sounds like a toy.
 

Puneet Wagh

Senior Member
Messages
633
If you don't need all the extra effects of the Katana have a look at a Boss Nextone Stage. A much better sounding amp than the Katana that you can customize yourself. Lightweight and plenty loud. Not sure what they would cost in Canada though, but I imagine it would be close to your budget.
Yeah, I did look at nextone but it's actually twice as expensive as the katana.. sounds pretty good though.
 

Puneet Wagh

Senior Member
Messages
633
Anything decent with an effectsloop..switch cabs off on the iridium…and stick it into the return.

Im aware of katanas popularity…I couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. It made a good first impression on me also…but next to a good reference..or in a band mix…sounds like a toy.
But why wouldn't I just use the amp by itself. Why would I need the iridium in the effects loop.
 

MoBigBro

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
560
P. W.: 250 to 500 is a pretty confining budget, but used amps will help you to get the most amp for your money.
Three possibilities that I own (I bought all used):
Vox AC4 TV : I have the TV with a 10" speaker, but there are several other versions of the AC4.
Epiphone Valve Jr. amps are still fairly common on the used market well under $200.
The Blackstar HT5 amp may actually be in your budget range new, but if you look for one used, it's sure to be.

If you found a used head amp version, you could probably buy a used 1X12 cab and upgrade the speaker for a pretty good sounding package that is also light weight and portable: All under 500. The Epiphone 1X12 that came with Valve Jr. heads is actually a well made cab and can often be found used. (Also 1X12 Cabs from Egnator, Black Heart, Jet City and Blackstar are quite well made and fairly available used).

I own a Bassbreaker 15 head that I paid under 500 for (with the cab)

I don't own the VHT Special 6, (but I have the Special 12/20 head) these should be available in your price range.

The Vox AC 10, Fender Pro Jr. and Origin 20 (head) are likely available in your range (Used).

I have not owned any of the following, but these also might be available: Bassbreaker 007, Orange Tiny Terror, Laney Cub, Black Heart Little Giant, Traynor, Bugera.

I'm pretty confident that, if you go with a used amp, you can find something under 500 that sounds pretty good.

Cheers,
MoBigBro
 

71strat

Member
Messages
9,464
55lbs Fender Cyber Twin. 2 x 12.
130w MONO.
65w x 2 Stereo
MIDI/SPDIF
Effects Loop
Line Level capable
Head Phone Jack

Can be had for $500. Sometimes ;ess, sometimes more. It seems recently they have been going up in price. I got one when they first came out in 2001, and its been my grab, and go, and practice amp ever since, and I have some really nice amps. The harder you push this amp, the better it sounds. Loves gig level volumes.
 

InkStained

Member
Messages
3,984
Yeah, I kept the budget pretty modest because I'll mostly be using my Two-Rock. Didn't wanna put too much into something that would be a second choice mostly for convenience.
So a Katana is a long, long way from a Two Rock ... but another up-vote for a Katana. Small, light, inexpensive, good (not great) sounds, built by an enduring company guitarists mostly trust.

It checks a few boxes, just not all the boxes.
 

Puneet Wagh

Senior Member
Messages
633
55lbs Fender Cyber Twin. 2 x 12.
130w MONO.
65w x 2 Stereo
MIDI/SPDIF
Effects Loop
Line Level capable
Head Phone Jack

Can be had for $500. Sometimes ;ess, sometimes more. It seems recently they have been going up in price. I got one when they first came out in 2001, and its been my grab, and go, and practice amp ever since, and I have some really nice amps. The harder you push this amp, the better it sounds. Loves gig level volumes.
Loads of features for sure but the weight is prohibitive..

P. W.: 250 to 500 is a pretty confining budget, but used amps will help you to get the most amp for your money.
Three possibilities that I own (I bought all used):
Vox AC4 TV : I have the TV with a 10" speaker, but there are several other versions of the AC4.
Epiphone Valve Jr. amps are still fairly common on the used market well under $200.
The Blackstar HT5 amp may actually be in your budget range new, but if you look for one used, it's sure to be.

If you found a used head amp version, you could probably buy a used 1X12 cab and upgrade the speaker for a pretty good sounding package that is also light weight and portable: All under 500. The Epiphone 1X12 that came with Valve Jr. heads is actually a well made cab and can often be found used. (Also 1X12 Cabs from Egnator, Black Heart, Jet City and Blackstar are quite well made and fairly available used).

I own a Bassbreaker 15 head that I paid under 500 for (with the cab)

I don't own the VHT Special 6, (but I have the Special 12/20 head) these should be available in your price range.

The Vox AC 10, Fender Pro Jr. and Origin 20 (head) are likely available in your range (Used).

I have not owned any of the following, but these also might be available: Bassbreaker 007, Orange Tiny Terror, Laney Cub, Black Heart Little Giant, Traynor, Bugera.

I'm pretty confident that, if you go with a used amp, you can find something under 500 that sounds pretty good.

Cheers,
MoBigBro

Thank you! Those are some great options! I'm only looking for a combo at the moment to make things easier. The AC10 definitely looks great. It weighs a little more than I'd like but I could consider that. I've also seen an origin 20 combo in my budget but it's too heavy...

The pro jr. seems to be the best bet but I haven't heard the best things about that 10" speaker.

Right now, I'm mostly considering between the Boss Katana MK2 50 and the pro jr. The weight is the main thing here and they seem to tick the boxes.
 

Puneet Wagh

Senior Member
Messages
633
So a Katana is a long, long way from a Two Rock ... but another up-vote for a Katana. Small, light, inexpensive, good (not great) sounds, built by an enduring company guitarists mostly trust.

It checks a few boxes, just not all the boxes.
What would you say are the pros and cons of the Katana?
 

Daytona57

Member
Messages
2,755
Fender Pro Jr IV Tweed and 1x12 cab, with a sensitive speaker.

Cab is heavy but manageable, when spilt in two pieces and will be more than enough volume for gigging.
 






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