Very portable tube amp for touring....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mds, Jan 4, 2008.


  1. mds

    mds Member

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    Hey guys,

    I'm going to be doing a tour in Europe as a duo(guitar and wurlitzer plus we both sing). We'll be lugging our own gear for the most part, so I need something small that sounds great, isn't super expensive (touring is rough on gear), and can handle some low notes. Mostly looking for classic old school blues/rock n roll vibe. I'll also be using an octave pedal to cover some bass parts, so it needs to be able to handle some of those lower notes without freaking out.

    We won't be playing super loud and there will be PA available...or least there better be!! haha....I imagine my amp can be mic'd if necessary.

    First thoughts are Fender Pro Junior, Blues Junior, or some incarnation of a Princeton. Not sure if a 10" speaker will be enough for the bass notes, but I like the idea of a sub-30 lb. amp. I'm a Dr Z fan, so a small Dr Z combo came to mind...maybe a Ghia?

    Thanks!!

    Mike
     
  2. scottlaned

    scottlaned Member

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    Amp breakup or all clean?
     
  3. mds

    mds Member

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    Hmmm....fairly clean, but a little breakup could be a good thing. I need to be able to play big clean chords, but they don't have to be pristine. I don't think a 5 watt amp or something like that would be enough. Probably 12-18 watts types would do the trick.
     
  4. Aslan

    Aslan Supporting Member

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    Carr Mercury if you got the bucks, otw used Princetone Reverb or a Gibson GA15RV.
     
  5. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    How bout taking either a Badger or the little baby Blankenship head (both 18 watts) and having the club or promoter rent you a cab?
     
  6. scottlaned

    scottlaned Member

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    A Weber 6A14 would be awesome if you could find one built. That's probably a rare find used.

    I know tooting your own amp is pretty lame, but David Allen's amps sound right about perfect for your situation as well. You can find them a little easier used, and they are reasonably priced. Perfect grab and go amps with a very wide tonal range. Allenamps.com

    Blues Jr would be a great choice for you.

    IMO :|
     
  7. revgsmall

    revgsmall Member

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    Wow, if you are flying then good luck!!!!! You will be paying big bucks in overweight charges. A good flight case itself weighs in at about 20-25 pounds for a Mesa Boogie 1x12 combo. Anything over 50 pounds and you will be paying extra each trip.

    Not to mention even in a flight case they bash the hell out of it and they are not going to pay you diddley if they break it.

    Just about 3 weeks ago I watched my ATA pedal board go flinging off a luggage carrier on the way to the plane. It fell over 4 feet and smashed to the ground in front of my very eyes. The concussion was so strong that half of the pedals pulled off the velcro and this is with a padded lid pushing down on the pedals!!!! I doubt any amplifier would have survived. And even if they finally paid you for the damage you are still sitting in Europe with a broken amp.

    Oh and good luck with the Amplifier, Guitar, Suitcase full of clean underwear getting it all from the airport to the cab to the hotel etc.

    Well I hope I have painted enough gloom and doom for you. Ya just better rent it if ya can.
     
  8. rah3

    rah3 Gold Supporting Member

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    Forgetting about 220?

    Whatever amp you choose needs to be able to run on European voltages.

    If you are starting and ending in the same locations, you could rent when you get there, or buy something local. Nice chance to try some amps only available over there. Bring a Klon or some other preferred box to ensure some degree tone and drive control.

    -RAH3
     
  9. mds

    mds Member

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    Yeah, I'm definitely aware of the 220 issue...gotta figure something out for that. I'd rather not rent, but it might be the best choice. Are there any tube amps with switchable power supplies?
     
  10. scottlaned

    scottlaned Member

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    Some companies allow you to order either.
     
  11. mds

    mds Member

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    haha..thanks for the warnings. I've done these things before and they can definitely be a drag. I'm traveling very light, so pedals n things will be minimal. Not sure if guitars can go on board anymore, so I'll have to flight case it. Taking two guitars, so that'll be fun. No matter how it goes, it'll probably be easier for me than the other guy dragging a wurli all over the continent!
     
  12. lakesider

    lakesider Member

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    One guitar in a gig bag.
    buy a pro Jr when you get there.
     
  13. mds

    mds Member

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  14. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    Aiken amps work great all over the world, very easy to switch to 220v, and there are many other amps that have switchable power.
     
  15. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    http://www.blankenshipamps.com/data/mainframe.htm

    that's the Blankenship, it's teeny tiny, like you could carry it on easily. Then you'd need a euro step down tranny and rental cabs at your gigs (things some promoters will supply.....)

    not cheap but a great way to go, if you can do it...
     
  16. mds

    mds Member

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    I'd love to see a list of amps that switch back and forth easily...I'll check out Aiken. Thanks!

     
  17. doc

    doc Member

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    I'd consider a Cube or a Peavey. Inexpensive, light, fairly powerful, and reliable. If you get mugged or run into a "transportation malfunction" you won't be out that much. You could also take a Powerblock and small cab. You'll need a way to convert to 220 though.
     
  18. revgsmall

    revgsmall Member

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    Guitars are getting increasingly difficult to get on board these days. You really can't trust it. Gator is selling a ATA guitar case these days with recessed locks and tough metal edges to keep it from getting crushed. At first glance they look like a conventional case but they are indeed to ATA specs (according to Gator anyway). I use a Gretsch 5129 and I've flown with it at least a half dozen times with no mishap. The cool thing is they are light and easy to get around.
     
  19. Ivan Durak

    Ivan Durak Member

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    Be careful about what the companies tell you when asking about bringing your guitar on board. Usually they say no, but once at the airport it can be done. Lufthansa told me no on the phone, then yes at the airport 3 times. Air France is usually ok, so are Aeroflot and KLM. I got "no way" from British and Alitalia (they broke a guitar of mine and regularly lose luggage).

    It's pretty much hit or miss. Call the guys working at the airport, not the hotlines, as the later usually don't know squat except what their scripts tell them.

    Two guitars is pushing it though. You'll likely be ending with one on-board, the other with the luggage. Best way: massive ultra-resistant cases designed to go with the luggage (extra padding inside, the guitar shouldn't move, the neck is not moving etc). And insurance.

    Otherwise, if funds permit it, book two or three seats. One for you, one or two for the guitars. You have to book them at the same time to guarantee seating next to you, otherwise the airlines will refuse that.
    Lugging two guitars around is a bitch though. Especially with heavy cases, through modern airports (security etc).

    Good luck!

    Oh, and forget about ultra-cheap airlines like Ryan Air. Call them before hand, but I bet they won't let a guitar near the passenger cabin.
     

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