Needed a cheap, portable amp...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Huckleberry, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Member

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    Can't lug the Dr. Z/cab/attentuator out every time I get the urge to play. Because of kids (potential clumsiness) & cats (potential clawliness), I have to keep the cab covered and the amp in it's case. Gone (for now) are the days I can set up and leave it ready. Far off are the days where I will have a dedicated music room that I can shut off from gear mangling critters of the 2 legged & 4 legged variety.


    Picked up a Fender Champion 600 at GC today. Got it home, cranked it, and loved it's tone. Unfortunately, it sizzled and crackled like a bastard. Probably the tubes, but I really wasn't in the mood to fool with it. Went right back.


    Surfing the 'net, I happened upon some cool stuff like these:

    http://www.cactustubeamps.com/homepage.htm


    But really: 102 decibels? And that beer can amp may be a sturdy beer can, but it's still a beer can. Maybe next time. I just want something 5 watts or so that crunches. And I want it cheap. And I need something that has a proven track record for at least being consistent.

    Bingo! I ordered a Pignose 7-100 portable amp. You know the little one that you can open and close the case to make a wah noise? LOL. Keef & Joe Walsh have used them, and rumor has it Jimmy Page recorded "Since I've Been Loving You" with one. Oughta be fun...
     
  2. kennethkofler

    kennethkofler Member

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    I tried out the champ 600 at the store and wasn't to surprised that I didn't like the 139.00 amp. It was really noisy and the breakup was the most shrill, non-musical sound I've heard come out of a tube amp in a while. I did, however, get a 2006 Gibson GA-5 off of CraigsList the next day, and WOW! Now, this is a nice low watt amp. Excellent, true tonal-response. Extremely high quality build. US components and labor. Weber Sig. series speaker. I'm going to do the Trinity mod from Rob at FretTech to give it a little more headroom before breakup, but other than that, this is total tone and portability and already pretty loud for 5w's. Managed to get mine for 300 bucks, which is what it was new, but I'm not complaining one bit.
     
  3. steve108819

    steve108819 Member

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    I am happy with my Vox AC4TV for grab and go playing.
     
  4. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    My favorite affordable small amp is the Fender Pro Junior. A pair of them is even better.
     
  5. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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  6. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    I just got a Vox AC4TV for Christmas. I love this little thing. I was in the private amp room at Guitar Center and I was playing a bunch of high end amps, and then I plugged into this little Vox. It sounded better than almost everything in the room. I thought it was a high dollar hand wired special mojo thing, I nearly fell over when they told me it was only $249. I bought it on the spot. I have vintage fender, victoria, Dr. Z, supro and Redplate amps. I am telling you, this little guy gets great tone.
     
  7. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Member

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    All great ideas (especially the Vox. It's on my short list), but I guess I should have explained that the $139 for the Champion 600 was the high end of what I wanted to spend :)


    Not much tubey goodness out there in the $100 range.
     
  8. NB_Terry

    NB_Terry Member

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    The Vox Pathfinder 15R is a nice sounding amp for very low bucks.

    Super light as well.
     
  9. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    If you budget it that low, you need to get an old PA tube amp. There are guys out there converting them for guitar use. They can be had in your price range. I have a couple of Bogens and a Newcomb. Look under pa amps, or tube amps on Ebay you can find some stuff. For a little more info on these amps, check this out. http://www.skipsimmonsamps.com/ Skips conversions will be out of your price range, but other guys are doing them for cheap.
     
  10. kennethkofler

    kennethkofler Member

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    In that case, go get a Hammond or Lowrey tube powered organ off of CL and convert the amp for guitar use. They're always around for cheap or nothing. I've done it a couple of times with great results for under 100 bucks.
     
  11. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Member

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    I can't really "convert" anything, otherwise that sounds like a great option as well.

    I really wish I'd saved my ducets for the Vox now though. S'OK, that'll be my next amp.
     
  12. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    Once Marshall fixes the rattle issue, my grab n go amp will be their new Class 5. Killer sounding little amp that is amazingly loud for a 5 watter.
     
  13. lingering_lead

    lingering_lead Member

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    The Fender Super Champ XD is a great grab and go amp. I replaced the stock speaker with a Weber. It is now loud enough to use with a drummer in a small venue. There is a thread on TGP dedicated to this amps awesomeness.
     
  14. markw1980

    markw1980 Supporting Member

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    I have heard that new tubes and a new speaker will really make a difference in the Champion 600. I have tried a few, and a couple were good, but the last one I tried was one of the most horrid sounding amps I have ever heard!
     
  15. kingjoemom

    kingjoemom Member

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    I'm pretty sure they fixed the tube rattle.

    I really like my Blackheart Little Giant, it is quite loud for a 5 watter, it breaks up really nicely also. I got the stack for Christmas for 350 bucks and it is quite an awesome replacement for my MG30FX.

    I'm gonna put some NOS tubes in it next month as the tubes in it now are just alright.

    Get one NAO!!
     
  16. johnnybluelabel

    johnnybluelabel Member

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    I picked up a lightly used, very minty Vox AC4TV with the 10 inch speaker back in November from a guy who posted it on craigslist for $160. He also gave me a JJ tube to swap out the solvtek with. I have nothing to compare it to since it's my first amp, but the tones sound great, and is very versatile with the built in 1/4, 1, and 4 watt attenuator. This is probably the best bang for the buck IMO.
     
  17. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Member

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    Well, the reason I need an "at home" amp is I got laid off at the end of September. Between job-hunts I have been playing more, but the MAZ 18 isn't made for apartment life. I grabbed a Pignose. Cheap, fairly reliable, and I can just put it on the coffee table.

    I broke down today. I have some $$ stashed for a rainy day, so I grabbed the Vox AC4TV. G.A.S. tank officially empty til I get another gig (waiting to hear on a few now, actually).
     

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