"Warmest" Sounding Low Vol Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by tch2112, May 3, 2005.


  1. tch2112

    tch2112 Member

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    Hi all, I still am on my quest for a low volume amp for very small solo gigs and home use.

    I really want to make sure before I spend on this that I get some consensus to help draw on for my final move for this type of amp.

    For what is in my price range here is what I think are amps that would fall in the category:

    Dr. Z Carmen Ghia
    Victoria, Deluxe/Trem De La Trem/Regal
    Savage Macht 6
    Fender Princeton Reverb/Headstong Amps version

    Can anyone think of an amp that stands out as being Warm say at like 5 on the volume that is 15W or less? (the Allesandro 4x6v6 is out of my price range too). Any comments on the listed amps?

    Regards,

    Tom
     
  2. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've played a lot of small amps, but I'm not sure what you mean by warm. Lots of midrange? Cleanish? Not harsh?
     
  3. doc

    doc Member

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    For warm the most important thing is to pick one with EL-84 tubes in the power stage - probably two for the range you want. To allow the bass to come through the bigger the speaker the better. Try a Traynor Bassmate amp (with 15" speaker).
     
  4. Amplite

    Amplite Member

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    Try to play thru a Carr Mercury. Sounds and feels great!
     
  5. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    Before you buy boutique, check out a Fender Blues Jr. Very warm, very portable, very inexpensive. Don't laugh til' you try it, although it may even be too warm. I thought mine sounded killer with strats and teles, but only liked it with humbuckers for clean jazz tones. Supposedly a simple speaker upgrade makes them really sing. Good luck with your hunt!:)
     
  6. michael.e

    michael.e Member

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    Of course "warm" is subjective.........
    I have been running my Strat in the bridge pickup postion through my script Tophat Club Royale at low volumes. I plug into the low input and the tones are sublime. I have a 2-12 combo that has Weber Silver Dogs. I would imagine that a 1-12 in a deep cab with a Red Fang or something of the like would put you solidly in the "Warm" zone. These amps are highly underrated. M.E.
     
  7. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I can get what I consider a really warm, clean sound with my Princeton Reverb. I typically run the bass on 5 and the treble on 6, with the volume between 2 and 3. A lot of the warmth comes from the guitar and how I set the guitar's volume and tone controls. The warmest sounds (not a "smooth jazz," dull sound, but a full sound with a bit of sparkle) are when I turn up the volume on the amp more and then back off the guitar volume. I can get great jazz sounds with my Heritage 575 Custom with flats, but also with my Heritage 535 and my G&L ASAT Junior which have roundwounds.

    The best part about this amp is that the same setting gives me a sparkly clean sound if I bring the guitar volumes/tones back up. It also takes pedals really well. I play everything from jazz to rock to noise and hardly have to touch the amp's controls.

    I played through a Carmen Ghia a few years ago and liked it, but it doesn't really sound anything like the Princeton Reverb, as it is setup more for overdriven sounds than cleans. The Victoria Regal is intriguing, but I've yet to see one in person. I was hoping that it was going to be based on a Fender-type preamp. I haven't played through the Savage amp either, but would guess that it is designed for overdriven sounds.

    I'll second the Blues Junior recommendation. I used one of these for a long time before getting my '65 Princeton Reverb. The secret to the Blues Junior is to run the Master Volume all the way up and then use the Volume knob to control output level. I tend to keep the FAT switch off and run the controls at about their halfway points. The reverb sounds much better with the master cranked. It isn't quite a Princeton Reverb, but it does get pretty close.

    If you are looking more for a distorted sound, the don't forget to check out the Cornford Harlequin, as it can do a lot of cool distorted sounds at reasonable volumes.

    Bryan
     
  8. Bluzsteel

    Bluzsteel Member

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  9. DerekMinnich

    DerekMinnich Member

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    A tube is important, but it isn't going to be the "most important thing." The circuit plays a HUGE part in it. I've heard amps with 6L6's sound colder than ones with EL34's, and vice versa.

    For low volume:
    6V6's are extremely warm too, and a 12'' speaker will work just fine for a low volume application, and most likely sound better than a 15'' which most likely will get muddy or muffled sounding at low volumes.
     
  10. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

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    Savage Macht 12 fits that description. You might find one for sale in the Emporium! :)
     
  11. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    This is coming up on another thread: Ampegs are a worthy, affordable alternative. The late '50s Mercury is one of the best low power amps I've ever heard. No reverb, but wide-open tweed-type sound at bargain prices. The later Reverborockets and Geminis deliver similar warmth with reverb and more weight, a little more power.

    They're all 6v6. You don't see many Mercurys; if you ever hear one you won't know why. Gemini 1's with the 12-inch speaker are pretty common and cheap. For a time in the '60s they were THE jazz amp of choice. Warm, clean and smooth, with probably the best reverb ever put in a combo, and could honk if you push it.
     
  12. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Whoops. I take that back. Some of the Ampegs are 7591 (think that's it) tubes. They sound damn good to me.
     
  13. philster

    philster Member

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    They are big $, but the Siegmund Midnight Special rules in this catagory.
     
  14. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    why not pick up a bad cat mini cat II and let us know how warm it is. i really wanna know what it sounds like but cant spend the cash right now:D
     
  15. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Pending on tube choices ...
    Univalve
    Emery
    Maven Pael 1 - .... you name it whatever exotic name Tusq, Zeeta, Ganesha ...

    I really like the Maven Peal amps, so far had a Zeeta and Tuskadaro and they both live up to their hype easily. Best tone at low volume I've found so far.
     
  16. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    i feel your pain TC,

    been searching for a great sounding low volume amp eversince i first started living in the city.

    but "warm or, what do you call warm" talk aside...

    IME, my Carmen Ghia is plenty warm and fat at low volumes. the tone knob is very useful. goes from a transitory, cut like a mofo thru any mix sound, to a fat squawky woman tone. also, turning the tone knob makes the amp sound BIG. the 1x12 is clearer sounding with the V30, which makes a terrific companion, while the 2x10 loaded with Z's own speaker, sounds much fatter, and filled in for my single coils.

    i tried a Savage Mach series amp, but both the 6 and 12 watt versions were waaaaaay too thin and small for my liking. even with the tone knob bassy and the volume cranked i wasnt too impressed. a shame, cause i'm a HUGE fan of their Blitz series of amps.

    the Victoria line is great, and you cant go wrong with any of their amps.

    but these days, i'm using a Clark Lil Bit LTD, which is 5 watts, and its a killer little amp. loaded with a Red Fang, the clean tones are warm and gorgeous. crank it up, and it doesnt get all that crazy loud, tho for apartment dwelling it will stir the next door neighbor's toy poodle into a fit. other than that, a killer little amp.

    keep in mind, i'm mostly a single coil user who needs that fatness and richness i.e. "warmth" to come from the amp, and the CG and Lil Bit are just what i need.
     
  17. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Supporting Member

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    Total warmth would be using an Emi Cannabis Rex speaker into the BJ. I did this a few months ago, and while it was killer with my Ibanez jazzbox, and great with my strat playing low overdrive blues, it sucked the chime and twang out of my tele. I put the original Reverend Alltone speaker back into the BJ. The C. Rex is a great warm speaker, just too much warmth for my liking.

    J
     
  18. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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    I went through this search at the very beginning of this year. I live in a city in an apartment, and I needed something that would sound good at low volumes. Of all the ones I tried (including the Dr. Z and the Victorias), I actually settled on a Mesa.

    I know there are fans and detractors here, but the Lone Star Special does exactly what I want it to do, especially in the 5W setting. I'm very happy with it for blues, jazz, and rock. It can easily handle wonderful cleans to edge-of-breakup drive to full-on AC/DC level distortion. And when you need it, either channel can be switched to either 15 or 30 watts. Very versatile, in my opinion, and great tone.

    http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/Lonestar/LonestarSpecial.htm

    BAN
     
  19. rickc007

    rickc007 Gold Supporting Member

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    what BAN said ...
     
  20. tch2112

    tch2112 Member

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    Some of the best advice ever!

    Tom
     

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