the help me pick a practice amp thread

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by A440, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,437
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    ok...here's some in the running. looking for fun, small, and portable amp for my my condo dwelling.

    fender g-dec - modeling, built in tuner, rhythm patterns, metronome, midi, etc. might be fun and allow me to work on my timing, etc. I haven't tried this one out yet.

    roland/boss micro cube - cute, battery powered, actually sounds nice for what it is. only one channel at a time, but ....

    vox valvetronix 15 or 30 - small modeler, nice tones, efx pretty cool. tube in the circuit somewhere ;)

    I already have some small tube amps. looking for something that can do clean to mean without pedals.

    any thoughts?
     
  2. mprvise

    mprvise Member

    Messages:
    6,410
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    In the back room
    I played a new Epiphone 5 watt last Saturday that was actually pretty darn cool. I think it was called the Valve Special (?). Actual tube (EL84) and a 10" speaker, plus a few effects. Not too shabby for $220.00! If I didn't already have a Mesa Subway Blues for a practice/rehearsal amp I'd probably have bought it.
     
  3. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Member

    Messages:
    6,746
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    east coast
    get a pro jr. and turn it way up :D
     
  4. Telecaster

    Telecaster Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Den Haag, Nederland, Europa
    +1
    Amazing little amp.
     
  5. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,437
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    hehe, done that twice :)
    great amp, I have 2 of them!

    looking for something that can give me some dirty sounds at apt friendly levels (with no pedals)
     
  6. 2x6L6

    2x6L6 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Talkeetna Mtns.
    I've done the small amp, headphone out and Pod thing, then ultimately found myself frequently in front of my computer with guitar in hand and headphones on (small house...).

    So I went Line 6 Guitarport and although I am a vintage tube amp guy through and through - I dig it. I get killer tones which truly inspire me to play my brains out at every turn. I can quickly record as needed, and also use a tool like Amazing Slowdowner. It works great for me, even with original hesitation to be wedded to the computer.

    When I want a low power practice amp that sounds killing, I go to my Titano (Magnatone 440) or one of my small Valco amps. Otherwise, it's the Guitarport all the way for home use.

    No flames!
     
  7. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    Waterford, CT
    Rivera Pubster 25.
     
  8. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,861
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    Get a Weber Mass or another attenuator.

    Anything smaller than a Pro will sound like ****, IMO...
     
  9. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,265
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    5868 ft above sea level
    If you're considering a Vox 15 and bemoan the MicroCube's lack of a second channel, why not consider a Cube 15? It's cheaper than the MicroCube and has two channels.
     
  10. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    The Jewel of the Rockies
    Get a Valvetronix...either tonelab SE as a front end to another amp, or a used ad60vtx which will go down to 1 watt, and still sound great. Get killer tones from these things, and much more than the standard 'two channel' stuff.

    And that tube makes a huge difference.
     
  11. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Member

    Messages:
    6,746
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    east coast
    im tellin ya...get a PJ....toss a weber P10 in there, and some nice NOS tubes...bam! there it is! if you sub one on the 12AX7's for i *believe* a 12AU7 you can get s/more headroom...or was it an 12AT7? i cant remember now...

    i picked up my tweed USA PJ for $100....it was a no-brainer...ill never sell this lil' biscuit....
     
  12. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

    Messages:
    2,924
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Planet X
    My brother has one of each of those solid states that you mention. He plays the micro cube the most. The G-Dec is a lot of fun, and the Vox sounds great for more things. But for what my brother wants, the micro cube is the thing.

    Of those, I like the Vox the best. But I like the Fender Deluxe 900 even better.
     
  13. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

    Messages:
    2,924
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Planet X
    Yup. If budget allows, there is a lot to be said for the teeny Riveras.

    Super Champ can be on that list, too.
     
  14. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    Waterford, CT
    I'll sell my Pubster. It deserves to go somewhere where it will get used more.
     
  15. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,437
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    good call Alec. I may even consider the cube 30 since it has all the efx of the microcube. I'll have to take a lil trip to try these out.

    hmmm...or maybe just get 2 microcubes :)
     
  16. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    Just a question... no flame intended, I really want to know...

    If you're willing to consider a modeler (ie no tubes at all - except in the Vox one), what's wrong with a small tube amp and a pedal?

    IMO a decent pedal into a good small tube amp sounds so much better than any modeler at any volume that it simply isn't a fair comparison.


    If you're willing to consider no tubes at all and really don't want a pedal, try a Tech21 Trademark or a Peavey Transtube series... or even a Marshall Valvestate. IMO they're all capable of good tones at low volumes... but still not as good as a pedal and a tube amp.
     
  17. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,205
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Surrounded by Idiots
    Some kind of Champ clone. All tube with class A single-ended operation. Very smooth overdrive and they can be very quiet when used with an inefficient speaker. I don't know who is making them right now, but someone is bound to have a low cost offering.
     
  18. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,437
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    nothing wrong at all. for practice, I do use an od or dist pedal into a pro jr (or sometimes run my pod into the front of it for variety). I have no qualms with SS for practice levels, and like the idea of a few efx like trem/delay available without having to plug in my pedalboard.

    I don't have much space in the new place, and would like the ease and convenience of plugging in with just one cable and not having to set up my pedalboard and/or drum machine(one reason why the g-dec appeals). I could also just go computer based and do the guitarport thing as some have suggested.
     
  19. 2x6L6

    2x6L6 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Talkeetna Mtns.
    If you don't mind being wedded to the computer, I really think the Guitarport is a great way to go - it's so simple and there are SO MANY tones at your fingertips - many of them are VERY good. If you plan to use the practice amp with headphones, I would definitely go Guitarport because of the versatility, and other junk like lessons online, tones from other users, etc - may not be an interest, but ya never know. I didn't buy the online side of Guitarport but have found the free part of its online feature to be fine - copped some very cool tones from other users and did grab a few lessons that were surprisingly good. Another plus - I got mine used on the 'bay for $70; the latest software from Line 6 is free. Lastly, since most of my music is on the computer, including mondo backing tracks, it's so much easier to run those through the guitarport, rather than plugging in a CD player to a line in on an amp - less cables, less outboard gear, definitely a plus. Oh yeah, another plus - I travel a bunch, and usually bring a Strat with me - either neck-off in my checked baggage for long trips, or as a carry-on in a gig bag; I have the guitarport software loaded on my laptop, bring my headphones, guitarport and cables and I am woodshedding in my hotel room at night - perfect! Here's another crack-up - just for grins I ran the Guitarport through my computer speakers, rather than the headphones - it sounded killer - super-odd to hear a plexi stack coming through your computer!

    I believe a decent set of headphones is a must also. I tend to advocate headphones over amps set at low-volume. If you really have to keep the amp low - ie practicing at 3 AM in a thin-wall apartment building, I find the tones coming out of the amp to be disapointing compared to the tones you'll get through a good set of headphones. Plus, the 'phones kill the acoustic sound of the strings, which influence the way you hear the amp, AND your playing, if you can hear them over the amp volume, which is frequently the case, depending on how loud the amp is, type of guitar and whether they're Snake Oils or not. (!) I am never convinced, hearing a little amp at low volume, trying to put out a saturated, distortion tone - but that same tone is usually reasonably convincing through a good set of headphones.


    Obviously, I've spent WAY too much time thinking about this stuff - but I live in a very small house and rarely get to play my gig amps here - so I have to have an inspirational setup that I can go to every day, without waiting for the fam to be out of the house.

    If it's not the guitarport, it is a small Valco or Magnatone. My Titano (Magnatone 440) is simply perfect - probably puts out 15 - 20 watts, but just ain't loud enough to gig. But it is absolutely perfect for close-the-music-room-door playing - great reverb, famous vibrato, and loves pedals - all at a volume that rocks my music room, but my wife can be reading a book on the couch on the other side of the door. Those little Rolands sound like a cool deal too, though.... :)
     
  20. PAF

    PAF Member

    Messages:
    4,706
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Western WA
    Tech 21 Trademark 10
     

Share This Page