Recommend a Clean Practice Amp...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Michael_V, May 3, 2016.

  1. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    I have both my current amps up in the emporium now: Matchless The Baby 6W and Marshall JMP1c 1W.

    I've been trying in vain to find a new amp that I can play at home maybe with an acoustic guitarist and an unmiked singer but the perfect amp should (1) sound "good" (clean, rich, chimey, full, and a little compressed) at low volumes, (2) have lots of clean headroom, (3) take pedals well, and (4) not annoy everyone around me haha. It should be pleasing to hear, I guess. We live in a small house.

    I honestly don't know what I want. I've been looking at very low watt amps like the Swart STR and Atomic Jr. but maybe I want something with more watts that still sounds good turned down? I'm intrigued by the Two Rock Cardiff and wondering about an Allen Sweet Spot...

    I like voxy circuits, but I've also been VERY happy with a 22W Two Rock Jet that I foolishly sold years ago and was actually content with a first generation Fender Blues Jr about a decade ago but maybe I didn't know any better back then haha.

    Any help for a lost brother?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  2. slybird

    slybird Member

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    I can't recommend the Quilter 101 enough. It is really a great amp. It may be the best gear purchase I have ever made.

    I have used the 101 as a make due PA with a mixer in the loop. It amplifies everything. I have had the guitar send, keys, bass, cello, computer (for drum machine and jamming to my recorded tracks), Roland VG8, acoustic guitar, and a couple mics plugged into the mixer. The 101s makes a good PA that way for low volume apartment jams and practice sessions.

    With an efficient speaker it is more than loud enough for my band with full drum kit at the space. It is loud enough to gig with and still sounds great a low volume.

    For grab and go it can't be beat for ease of transport with a 1x10 cab, but I am using EVM12L type neo speaker with it. Cab and amp weights in at around 25lbs.

    I own a Mesa Triaxis and 2:50 too. The 101 holds its own against it volume wise, but it doesn't do high gain. The cleans on the Surf voice are really good, but not as nice as the Mesa IMO.

    Best of luck in your search.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
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  3. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    Been listening to tons of demos on Bootube. Really digging but what I'm hearing from the Xits X10...
     
  4. FPS1453

    FPS1453 Member

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    You might wanna look at the Victory V40. You can go as low as 0.5 watts.
     
  5. gearscrubs

    gearscrubs Supporting Member

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    I think you and your playing partners would be best served with something like the Yamaha THR10c.
     
  6. De Batz

    De Batz Member

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    Now then...

    I've got a similar suggestion as a couple of other posters. Buy a slightly overpowered modelling amp (perhaps 30W, but a 10W will still be all right) and set it to a clean setting.

    Do not return to TGP for a month. Decide whether you can live with the sounds (which, bear in mind, cost you 1/10 (possibly 1/20) of the price of a single-channel, hand-wired-by-German-monks-in-a-castle-in-Bavaria type amp) and then still don't return to TGP.

    Play. A lot. So much that you learn to work with the gear, rather than blame it for all the tonal shortcomings that (you + your gear) has/have. Still don't return to TGP.

    If, after three-to-six months of the above, you still reckon it sounds bad, return to TGP. Ignore all the advice which says you need to spend £3000 on the aforementioned Bavarian Maxi-Costy. Especially when it's given by people who have already invested that much money in that particular product. Play a bit more. If you must, spend money on gear but recognise that the search for tonal perfection is a fool's errand and your playing will make an order of magnitude more difference to your sound than gear. See TGP for what it is: entertainment, not enlightenment. Enjoy playing. See playing as primary, rather than gear selection and acquisition.

    I am going to try to re-read this post each time I have the urge to go on eBay or Reverb. I am talking to myself as much as anyone else...
     
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  7. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Used Fender Cyber Twin.

    Its been my Grab/Go Amp since 2001. I bought 1 brand new, 1st year. I'm also going to buy another 1. Id like to find a Head Version.

    Sounds great at Low Volumes, and gets as clean as clean can be, and takes pedals great. Even straight into the amp.

    Also has an Effects Loop, MIDI, Headphone Jack. 130 Watts, or 2 x 65. 2 x 12ax7s, and solid state power amp.

    Can be had for $500 or less.
     
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  8. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Also, not to mention Steve Winwood has been using the CT since 2002.

    Ive also got some other nice amps. Metro LTD ED GMP45. 69 Dual Showman. Had a Kemper/Fractal. CT Stayed. Those went, as to much fiddling. CT is easy to dial in a good sound. The main thing is to learn the Trim/Gain controls.

    I do use the FX8 as a Grab/Go Effects Board with the CT, but it to , requires Fiddling.

    And in 15 years Nobody has ever said the amp doesn't sound great, and are surprised to learn what it is.

    This was Fenders Flagship amp in 2001, and was Very Expensive. Mine was $1300 out the door. Retail $1700.

    The main reason they quit making them was because they had bad marketing, were expensive to build, and expensive to sell. Even though they were assembled in Mexico, they were still very expensive, and required more than the Average Assembler.

    This is also NOT a Modeling amp, and has a 100% Analog Signal. Effects are Digital, and made by Roland. And Re Very Good.

    I have been entertaining the thought of replacing the Speakers with 2 Fane Ascension F90s.
     
  9. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    Will definitely take a look! Thanks!
     
  10. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Steve Winwood on Modeled Tones
    BY Jimmy Leslie
    December 1, 2008

    1

    YOUR LIVE TONE ON “DIRTY CITY” SOUNDS VERY SIMILAR TO THE RECORDING. Do you use the same gear in the studio and onstage?
    Yes, and my amp since 2002 has been a Fender Cyber-Twin SE. There is a lot of controversy about using modeling amplifiers. Of course, the Cyber-Twin is a hybrid that uses preamp tubes. Regardless, there is a lot of argument. A pure vintage tube amp may have a quality that the modeled sound doesn’t, but there are benefits to using a modeling amp, especially when you’re playing larger places. You may get a good sound out of your vintage-style tube amp, but you lose the advantage once you put a mic in front of it and go through the house P.A. system. I run the signal from a Fender Stratocaster with Lace Sensor Gold pickups straight into the Cyber-Twin, and send a direct out from the Cyber-Twin to the mixing board. I use the amp purely as a monitor. Similar issues apply in the studio environment. In fact, I find the Cyber-Twin works even better in the studio where I have more control.

    What amp models do you use?
    Shoot, I don’t know. When I’m looking for a tone, I inspect all the factory sounds to see if any are close to what I want. I store them at one end of the memory bank, and then pick the ones I like best. You can add drive and make other adjustments that almost make a Fender patch sound like a Marshall, so I forget the starting point by the time I’m finished tweaking and have renamed the patch.
    Levels are very important. I keep my guitar’s volume and tone knobs full up, and adjust the levels and EQ in the patches. On “Dirty City,” I use one for the body of the song, and one with a boosted level for lead. There’s no programmed tonal difference. In the studio, the sound that comes over the monitors is slightly different, so I might tweak bits of delay and EQ. Sometimes we go direct out of the amp, and also record a direct signal from the guitar. We run the guitar signal back into the amp if we want to try different tones later.

    Are players surprised to hear about your gear?
    Yeah, there is a lot of snobbery about modeling amps. I’m in agreement with some of it. At the end of the day, traditional tube amps do have better sound quality standing alone, but microphones, electronics, power amplifiers, and speakers mess with that original sound. I’ve been using the Cyber-Twin for more than five years and am quite happy with the quality and consistency of my tones.

    There aent a lot of Demos on the CT. Heres a couple.



     
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  11. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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    Quilter Aviator 8 inch combo. or a Tone block head. Good luck keeping that Cyber twin running. and honestly the best cheap modelling amp out there is the 2nd gen AX212 line 6, but it's as big and heavy as a twin, but it will play quiet and loud.
     
  12. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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    I love Steve winwood's song writing. but If you are aspiring to be Steve Winwood on guitar, please raise your bar a bit.
     
  13. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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  14. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    I'm not aspiring to be anyone but me. I'm almost 60. Been playing since I was 8.
    If I aspire to be any guitar player it would be Jimi Hendrix, or Wes Montgomery. Or maybe Tal Farlow. John Mclaughlin, Pat Metheny. Segovia. Montoya.

    This is just a recommendation that someone who knows a good sound, and knows how to get it, and is using this amp, and has been for 14 years. Also is very frank about Tube vs Hybrid/solid state.

    Winwood is also way more than just a guitar player.

    Hendrix was asked who he would get in his band if he could choose anyone..
    He said he would KILL, to get Winwood into the band.

    He also of course played Keys, on Electric Ladyland album.

    Buddy Guy also used this amp, when his original 59 Bassmans were being serviced.
     
  15. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    CT Is Not a Modeling AMP.

    Also I had both the Fractal/Kemper top of the line Preamps, and I still have the CT.

    I myself in no way like the Line 6 better than the CT.

    For Basic Amp Sounds, I don't like the Kemper/Fractal as much as the CT. YMMV, that's my experience, and I'm sticking with it. YMMV. But 5 other people thought the same thing. We all liked the CT better than either of the other 2.

    Like I said. After returning both a Fractal AXE FX II XL+/Kemper. I still have the CT.

    But I bought the Fractal FX8, as my grab and go effects board for the CT. FX8 is unrivaled for ability to combine a huge amount of effects, but the Reverb can make it run out of processing power when in highest quality mode, and is a very disappointing feature.
     
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  16. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    I tried out one of the Cyber Twins years ago and felt like I was playing a wall of Marshalls with delay and every thing . I thought it was way Cool.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
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  17. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    Well, I pulled the trigger on a xiTs X10. Will report back home it works out for me...
     
  18. TonemanCA

    TonemanCA Member

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    The request for clean headroom eliminates the Swart. Take a look at a Quilter they are great amps. Very tube like.
     

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