New to tube amps, please help.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ronin32, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    Like the title says, I want to get a tube amp instead of trying to buy pedals to give me that overdriven sound for my SS amp but dont know how they work. I would really like a small combo like Fender Pro Jr, Blues Jr, or a Champ of some type. I have played a Vibro Champ along side a Blues Jr, and was more impressed with the Blues Jr's ablity to give that overdriven sound at a lower volume. I have also played a Pro Jr but not next to a Blues Jr to compair. The Pro Jr I felt needed to be louder to get that overdriven tone the Blues Jr was able to give me. I'll be mainly at home so I dont think I would be able to crank the volume like I needed to on the Pro Jr and Vibro Champ.

    My question is since the Blues Jr has a master volume and a volume, are you able to turn up the volume on the amp but use the master volume to limit the actual sound coming out of the amp? Is that how master volume amp's work? Are there any good websites or books to checkout that explain how they work? Or is it different tubes?
     
  2. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

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    You'll probably want a single ended 6v6 based amp. Single ended meaning one power tube. 6v6 is a very low wattage producing tube, therefore causing the amp to breakup/overdrive a bit sooner. If you throw in a really saggy rectifier tube like a 5Y3, it'll add to that grit as well. Sag is how you describe the response of the rectifier...Solid state rectifiers offer a quicker sound/feel, and lend to a cleaner output, thus little to no sag, although folks like Weber make solidstate caps that emulate particular tube rectifiers.

    Regarding Mastervolumes...yes, thats basically how they work. Some mastervolumes are more successful than others in capturing the amp's tone without having to really crank it.

    I don't really like the 'overdrive' that fender have added on their HotRod and Blues series amps...It's not a very accurate portrayal of what good tube overdrive can sound like. Those Blues Jr's are dual EL84, and run around 15w. Pro JR is 15w, single channel, but still uses those EL84's which I dont find to overdrive that nicely. The stock speakers in those aren't that great either.

    What's your budget?
     
  3. slhguitar

    slhguitar Member

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    Yeah, some more info is needed for reccomendations of amps. I find there are 3 basic factors involved in choosing an amp.
    1. Budget-Pretty self explanitory. If you have 500 to spend on a combo, people know not to reccomend the higher priced boutique amps.
    2. Musical Style-The sound you are trying to achieve. It might also help to include the type of guitar you will be using most.
    3. Volume-You need different amps for playing at home, and for playing 1000 seat venues. Not as big of an issue as the other two, but still something to consider.

    So, with all that information present, people will make more reccomendations than you can handle.
    Good luck with finding a tube amp you like! I was lucky enough to have my second amp be a tube amp. Now, I'm hooked for life.
    Cheers
     
  4. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    I was trying to post in a rush before leaving work, my budget is about $500 top's to start with unless I find some killer vintage amp. I dont really want to look for a smaller builder, mainly the three Fenders I mentioned, Vox, Marshall, the one's that can be found at a GC or MF type of place. My guitar shop that I really go to gets Fender Blues Jrs and that is were I tried the Vibro Champ along side the Blues Jr.

    My #1 guitar is my American Strat. but I do have a Epi Les Paul, and I play mostly rock and some blues. Huge influences on me are Dave Grohl, John Frusciante, Tom Morello, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. So I think that kinda covers a wide spectrum of music styles.
     
  5. alanbass1

    alanbass1 Member

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    Don't forget Peavey. Their classic series is hard to beat for the money.
     
  6. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    I think that I should also add that using the Blues Jr as an example, I'm not opposed to upgrading or swapping out speakers and tubes. But not so much as the Billm mods.

    And I know the players who I mentioned as influences play bigger amps and I'm not really tring to copy their sound, more of their style of playing is the influence.

    Also, the not looking into the smaller builders, its more of I'd like to try before I buy type of thing.
     
  7. Tycho

    Tycho Member

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    +1 on that, and to what BrewBeck said. If your budget is $500, you should definitely try a Peavey Classic 30 and see what you think. Some people don't like their drive "channel" (not really a separate channel, but that's another story), but I find it pretty good and the clean channel very nice indeed. It takes pedals well, and it can be nice and quiet at home and LOUD on a gig...especially if you add the 1X12 extension cab that Peavey makes for it, which adds a fair bit of depth to the tone. But you don't need that right away; the 1X12 combo is fine on its own.

    Plus, it's compact (not as much as a Pro or Blues Junior but still pretty good) and light. The new ones look a bit wacky, but if you don't like that look, you can probably find a more traditional-looking used one fairly easily.
     
  8. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Brand new, I prefer a Peavey Classic 30 over a Blues Jr by a good bit. I've got a Blues Jr that sounds surprisingly good but it has been heavily modified plus it has an upgraded speaker and upgraded NOS tubes
     
  9. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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  10. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    How about a Vox AC15?
     
  11. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Hang on, in the guys' first post he says he was more impressed with the Pro Jnr compared to a Vibro Champ in getting a low volume overdrive. If he thinks a Vibro Champ is too loud why are we suggesting even bigger amps?

    Just a thought.

    Best, Pete.
     
  12. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    I felt the Vibro Champ got too loud for that overdriven sound compaired to the Blues Jr because of no master volume on the Vibro Champ. So now Ive really turned my search to low wattage amps with a master volume.
     
  13. Miles

    Miles Member

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    It's not too loud and you can get it low. Classics still sound great at low volumes and you'll still have the ability to play rehearsals or gigs, so you don't want to limit yourself. They're reliable, and not only good for the $$, they're great period.
     
  14. slhguitar

    slhguitar Member

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    +1 for the peavey classic. Gets a wicked SRV blues sound, and a sweet jazz tone. Especially with a strat. I've never really heard the overdrive "channel", so I can't comment.
     
  15. slhguitar

    slhguitar Member

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    +1 for the peavey classic. Gets a wicked SRV blues sound, and a sweet jazz tone. Especially with a strat. I've never really heard the overdrive "channel", so I can't comment.
     

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