small combo that isn't stupid

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by feet, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    i know this topic has been beat to death over the years, but i didn't get what i was after from my inept searches.

    my main amp is going to be indisposed for about a month or so. my little ac4 already went boom and i never got around to doing something about it (i came *this* close to doing the mercury mod, but i think something else might be a better idea). so i need something to tide me over. a little knockaround amp to keep by the couch is all, really. hopefully i can get something on its way here soon, and hopefully it's worth keeping. here's what i'm after:

    -something small
    -10" speaker (no smaller, but maybe a 12" if the right deal comes along)
    -voxy in nature
    -pretty, pretty cleans and light breakup, no bad high gain attempts
    -no pcb, us made preferred
    -readily available, used if possible
    -no kits, chassis and heads not at all preferred, but i'll listen
    -the cheaper the better, given all the above

    other considerations- pedal friendliness would be nice. i'd like a line out. i'd like the circuit to be simple, just a couple of knobs. no bells, whistles or effects. one channel is fine. i'm willing to swap out speakers and tubes to get more headroom, such as headroom is an tiny 4 watt amp. i play humbuckers, filters and mini hums, semis and hollows.

    i'm willing to consider other circuits, but i'm not really familar with anything else. i think i like fender princeton and 18 watt marshall style cleans, but i could be wrong. something kinda jazzy might be neat, too.

    so far i am slightly familar with the bad cat i, star nova, jaguar 7 and xits 4, and their relative rarity and paucity of clips/videos. i know top hat made one, morgan doesn't and vox's ac4hw is several months away. the dr z thing doesn't look like a good fit, as i'm not looking for a little rocker. not at all familar with other styled amps, like the itty bitty headstrong and such.

    all the videos and clips you can provide would be great. any ideas, offers and warnings are much obliged.

    edit: :rotflmao this thread just got bumped from the depths and is sitting right under mine, i'll paw through it also:
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=968520
     
  2. mude

    mude Supporting Member

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    If you had not said no to PCBs, I would have suggested a Fender SuperChamp XD. Very cool little amps IMO and cheap (perhaps in many senses of the word! lol).

    Evan.
     
  3. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    Yeah -- I'm with mude, I was about to suggest SCXD too. I just picked one up from GC used that pretty much looks brand new for $150. It's the best 'couch amp' I've ever owned...

    Next thing that comes to mind is the smaller Carr amps, but it's gonna be a lil on the pricey side...

    Best of luck! That's a pretty tall order.
     
  4. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Pretty much any small amp is going to be stupid. Start from there.
     
  5. Mastervolume

    Mastervolume Member

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    I am actually making an M4 that will be a 4w single ended amp with AC4 trannies. I am staying off of the AC4 schematic but rather making it more of a low watt voxy clean amp. I may even scale it because even at 4 watts it will still be plenty loud with a 12" speaker.

    I was building this just for me at home but I seem to be getting quite a bit of interest in this small amp.
     
  6. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    the no pcb is a killer because it doubles or triples the price. its such a niche-y market to begin with and that throws it over the top. but i used to work in quality at a board house. let me tell you, no thanks. not getting involved with them again. it's personal, dammit. ...and the the vox exploded. wound salted.

    all i knew about carr is that i'm not paying that much for anything ever. so yeah, no.

    i guess i meant "worth owning" by "not stupid". something that is well made and sounds great. a line out could give it a little more value. i know a few watts in a little box with a 10" speaker is limiting. i'm (wait for it) not stupid. :D

    joe- i know you mentioned it to me earlier, but i wanted your cat to stay in its respective bag so you wouldn't get flooded with dumb questions about something that isn't that extant. but if you squished a 10pm in a littler box, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
     
  7. Lublin

    Lublin Senior Member

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    Dr. Z Maz 18 Jr.
     
  8. zenitB

    zenitB Supporting Member

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    Not exactly what you are asking for but a Pathfinder 15R will do everything that you need. Some folks put 10" speakers in theirs and I considered it as well. After a few days of playing, the 8" is fine and the amp takes pedals better than some amps that I have sold-off for alot more $$$ too.
     
  9. Mastervolume

    Mastervolume Member

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    that is the plan.

    about 2/3 the size of the dag/10pm/pr12 cab

    I just need the chassis which will take a little more than a month.
     
  10. GWDavis28

    GWDavis28 Member

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  11. Keld

    Keld Member

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    A couple of years ago, I would have been in agreement. However, I am beginning to find the joy in small amps.

    I know you want a Vox style, but the Swart 6v6se is a really great sounding amp - you should at least give one a listen.
     
  12. digiTED

    digiTED rock > talk

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    This sounds really cool, Joe. How will it differ from the original Bad Cat Mini Cat? That thing had amazing cleans at living room levels with a Gold 10".
     
  13. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    Tech 21 Trademark 30.
    Crate VC 2110 if you want tube overdrive and jam session volume capability
     
  14. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    too big, too pricey, to knobby, too everything. but i thank you all the same. i sat with one at guitar center once and an hour disappeared. the guy who came in the room with the vacuum tipped me off that they had closed 20 minutes ago. still not sure if it was dr z or the guitar, but it was nice.

    this was kind of an obvious choice for me (as was the fender stuff mentioned above) but i didn't want a "rental". i know people love them and mod them all the time but i don't like buying things for the sake of buying things. whatever i end up with has to be worth keeping. after the ac4 debacle i don't want to invest time and money and parts and labor and such anymore. and i solder like ass, so there.

    since i'm not that far from you, if you want to put it in a milk crate, a toaster oven or my ac4 carcass, i can swing by whenever. if you need audio, photography or videography done in exchange, i might let you burden me with this amp of yours. :D

    i was hoping to remain a tube snob, but i'll poke around. little worried about solid state wattage, though.

    keid- vox is what i (kind of) understand, but i'm open. i'll look into this swart business.
     
  15. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    If you wish to relax your list of how the amp is built, try a Vox Valvetronix..either a VT 40+ with a 10" speaker, or a VT80+ with a 12" speaker. You can still retain your tube snob appeal, as the Voxes have one. :rotflmao

    I use them for smaller venues, but the VT80+ can be used for larger ones as well. While they might not be exactly what you are looking for, they have a lot of sounds in them, all the effects you might need, and can be dialed in many different ways. I had a Fender SCXD, and the Voxes blew it away.

    They are used in place of my Diezels when the job is overkill for the Diezels.
    In any event, happy hunting. :dude
     
  16. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    Question -- wouldn't this put you in the same pricing bracket as Carr?
     
  17. bobwl

    bobwl Member

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    This kinda fits most of what you were talkin about... minus the USA thing. What about a VHT Special 6 or Special 12/20? Made in China but at least it's an eyelet board not pcb... and it's tube.
     
  18. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Too bad you dont wanna up the anty a little.
    RedPlate...either the TweedyVerb or the Chuck D. signature 112, are a little bigger than a Champ, but sound like a freaking 212...on steroids.
    30lb roundabout weight make them the PERFECT gigging solution.

    S.
    j
     
  19. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    How do folks like this amp? I've heard one in person and many on YT, and they sound real thin and digital type tone. Is that what a lot go for now? It'd be great to get a small, full sounding tube amp, but I can't find one without spending a lot. Well I did have a nice SD30, I should've kept....
     
  20. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    I bought mine purely because it was $150 & I like the sound of it at that price point. I would not pay much more than that for this amp. I needed an amp for late night -- MINIMAL volume playing. For me, this was a great solution right before I have to go full headphones & no room volume.

    I recently traded my B.Jr for a Tweaker & the tweaker is a lot of fun, but much more useful in terms of being a "real" amp. My Carr Slant 6V will cover anything else I need/want. Again - I bought my SCXD because I liked the features it offered at it's price point, which was $150. It's all in the ears of the owner....
     

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