Suggestions for a 5W Vox-style amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by noetic, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. noetic

    noetic Member

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    I've searched high and low online, but I can't seem to find "my" amp. So I'm soliciting advice...

    What I want:

    • around 5W or less
    • PTP hand wired
    • all tube, tube rectified
    • ef86 preamp, el84 power
    • $1,000 or less
    I don't need...

    • reverb, tremolo, vibrato
    • multiple channels or channel switching
    • fancy cosmetics
    Basically, I'm looking for a simple, well-built amp that's got a bit of that Beatles vibe. Any of you know something that fits the bill?
     
  2. mangoman

    mangoman Gold Supporting Member

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    Try a Dr Z Mini Z. 5 watts, built in attenuator. $500 on ebay or the like. Great tone. 2 knobs. Volume only. Cant get much simpler than that. I got one. Its great. I even use it in church.

    All Tube. el84 and a 12ax7 preamp. no ef86 though.
     
  3. noetic

    noetic Member

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    Thanks for the suggest, mango. I'm familiar with the Mini Z--great amp...but I really want an ef86 pre.
     
  4. Hoodster

    Hoodster Member

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    I thought the Z was more Marshall than Vox.

    Bad Cat Mini fits except no ef86.
     
  5. judyisjudy

    judyisjudy Member

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    Is this a combo ?
    What size speaker in a Dr. Z mini Z ????
     
  6. K.E.P.

    K.E.P. Supporting Member

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    no ef86, but meets most of your requirements

    Stluce Amps SA-10C

    www.stulceamps.com

    Head or combo versions available with great master.
     
  7. judyisjudy

    judyisjudy Member

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    gary said it needed to have ef86.
     
  8. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam Member

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    I know I have seen incarnations of the Fargen Bastage with an ef86 (though it uses an EL34) 4 watts though.
     
  9. noetic

    noetic Member

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    The Mini Z combo with 8" speaker is no longer in production. Head only.

    Yeah, it's more of a high-gainer, not the tone I'm looking for...still a cool amp.

    So there's no amp out there that matches my specs?
     
  10. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    How about a Vox AC15 hand wired Heritage Series. The head costs $999 and is switchable between 15 and 7.5 watts. Plus, it has the EF86 tube.
     
  11. todaystomorrow

    todaystomorrow Member

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    Top Hat Prince Royale.... EF86 and EL84. It's based on the old AC4 I believe. Has volume, boost and bright switch. It can get some good Vox chime with the bright switch on. I just got a Weber Blue Pup to put in mine but haven't tried it out yet. Meets all your requirements I think. You'd have to find one used as their discontinued.
     
  12. noetic

    noetic Member

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    Yes! Prince Royale is the one. Why-oh-why did they stop making 'em? I have actually looked hard for a used one...no luck. Nobody wants to give theirs up. Surely, there is something else out there like it. No?

    Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. Keep them coming!
     
  13. noetic

    noetic Member

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    I may end up going that route...have to give it a good test drive. Ironically, I'm reluctant to buy an actual Vox-branded product. In my experience, boutique clones offer higher quality at lower costs than corporate reissues. I have a Tele, a Strat, a Les Paul, and a 335--all clones, all handmade in the US from respected and established manufacturers (G&L and Heritage), all costing fractions of the prices of their respective Fender or Gibson-branded equivalents.

    On the other hand, the AC15 Heritage seems pretty affordable for what it is--which makes me skeptical of build quality and reliability. Just an ignorant stereotype. If any of you have experience with this amp and feel my assumptions are offbase, please let me know. I wouldn't mind being wrong here.
     
  14. SoCalSteve

    SoCalSteve Member

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    How about putting a Voxy board from turretboards.com in a used Valve Jr.?
     
  15. Doodad

    Doodad Member

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    Not sure if it matches the voxy-ness and I think it uses a different preamp, but there is one of the original Goodsell 5 watts (only 14 made) for sale at Atlanta Discount Music. I love mine. It meets your other specs.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. fabulusfab777

    fabulusfab777 Supporting Member

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    http://www.winfieldamps.com/

    The Cyclone is a Vox Ac15 inspired, although 15 watts. There is also a 5 watt version of the Winfield. I'm sure you could ask Winnie (the owner/maker) for an ef86 front end. Very nice amps, very good prices, very nice guy to deal with. I think that says it all
     
  17. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    :agree

    I also have owned the first incarnation of the Fargen Bastage (ef86, EL84, internal attenuation) - great 4 watt amp. More than loud enough for home practice/studio use.
    But the Cyclone will give you a great MV and the ability to get much louder if you need it to. Caution, for ef86 based amps I would ALWAYS go with a head/cab. Combo's have too much rattle and are prone to microphonics.
     
  18. noetic

    noetic Member

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    So...since Top Hat discontinued the Prince Royale, my dream amp doesn't exist? Will I have to commission one then (because I sure as hell can't build it)? Please, somebody say it ain't so!

    :horse
     
  19. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Call and talk to brian at topHat he might surprise you.

    He had another small amp thats discontinued as well

    Someone must doe a AC5 maybe JMI?
     
  20. todaystomorrow

    todaystomorrow Member

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    Keep checking eBay... they pop up every now and then. That's where I got mine about a year and a half back. It was brand new from a shop buyout or something... low serial number.
     

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