What are some cool tube amps for home use?

Sonic Reducer

Member
Messages
1,566
My at home playing days have been a lot more abundant than playing with a band days.

What are some cool tube amps that are about 5 watts, give or take a few?

The Fender Champ is pretty obvious, so please don't reply with it.

What is the AX84?
 

r9player

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,850
There is a few threads on this, do a search for Low Wattage, Power Scaling, Master Volume and Sag Control.

Personally, I like my Auble 2 Watter with Mad Sound Detuned 1x10 cab.
 

JamesPeters

Member
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1,397
Originally posted by mjpisat


What is the AX84?
There is no "the AX84" model. :) That's the name of a site, www.ax84.com It's a site homebrewers go to. They have projects there which people can discuss and contribute towards etc. Chris Hurley, who maintains the site, sells kits through his company Doberman Amps. A couple of the kits are the P1 and High Octane, which you can read about on AX84.com.
 

JimRayden

Member
Messages
71
If you just need an amp to play at home, I don't recommend you to start building one by yourself. That's far too addicting of a hobby, before completing your amp you'll start thinking about the next one you're gonna build. Amp building is the utter form of geargeekness and you'll be thinking of your gear more than on your guitar playing. I am one of the victims.

Oh and that safety issue too. :p

If you're on budget, get a cheapo tube amp and mod it with the help of the AX84 discussion forum. (That could also result in some signs of addiction.) :)

----------
Jimbo
 

DanR

Member
Messages
3,652
My 1960 Ampeg Jet is a great around the house amp. It wasn't all that expensive, either. I got it off Ebay last year for $275. I had to put a bit more money into it, but I still consider it quite a good value. I also have a Vibro Champ, which is another great home amp.


DanR
 

Blueser

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,795
Originally posted by r9player
There is a few threads on this, do a search for Low Wattage, Power Scaling, Master Volume and Sag Control.

Personally, I like my Auble 2 Watter with Mad Sound Detuned 1x10 cab.
That is a very cool amp. I was surprised at how good that one sounded when I tried it.

Also, a good master volume amp can do wonders for low volume playing. One of the really great sounding new ones is the Orange Rockerverb.
 

whitehall

Member
Messages
5,255
You will no doubt hear of the Crate Palamino which is the current flavor of the month. 5 watt class A in a cool cabinet. However, I am awaiting delivery of the Epiphone Valve Special. I saw these at the winter NAMM, a really cool 5 watt class A 10" speaker, with master volume, reverb and some dsp. About $220.00. Could be the ultimate bedroom tube amp. They will be shipping in the next week or so.
 

nsriley

Member
Messages
1,525
I have a '64 Gibson GA-5T amp thats' about 5 watts with a 10 inch speaker and it works very well for recording. $220 on ebay.

Also have a Fargen Mini-Plexi on it's way, which is 8-12 watts. $800+ used

Other than that I use a JTM45 clone with a HotPlate.

And for non-tube I have a Trademark 10 modeling amp.

-Peace
-Nate
 

jokerjkny

Member
Messages
9,592
Clark Lil Bit LTD!

only 5-6 watts, yet has plenty of tone to spare. i got mine with a Red Fang, but after putting in a well broken in Celestion Blue, the open has a sweet upper midrange detail that's impossible to put down.

doubt it'd do that PJ sound we've been chasing, but holy crap, the amp is killer.

 

Just1more

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
665
How about a Plexi 100 watt Superbass. Set it on 2-3 & hit it with a fuzz or an OD. Maybe I am deaf, but it's not too loud for me in my house.
 

Thelonius

Member
Messages
290
I have a Zvex nano amp. It is one watt, but one of those love it or hate it sorts of things. It will give you a decent amount of control, more than some of the sub-5watt amps I've seen, but it is still pretty well won't stay very clean unless whisper quiet. Up to you to decide if 1 watt is worth 300 bucks though.

I have a Fargen Mini-plex on the way. It is the most marshall sounding sub-18watt amp I've heard. In 60s mode it is just terrific. When I had the chance to play one it was every bit as good or better than the mp3s I heard that made me seek it out. Hopefully it will do as well at home with my sad guitar butchering. This is probably more than I would have wanted to spend for such a small amp at 1100 for a used head and new avatar 2x12.

I've heard nothing but good about the Mesa Lonestar special. I've never had the chance to try one out though. GC never seems to get them in and the other local shop that carries them seems to sell them as fast as they come in. It carries a Mesa price tag, but you can kick it up to 30 watts so I suppose you can justify it as a play out amp too.
 

The Whiz

Member
Messages
6,096
I'd get a Hotplate and set it at load and run its line out into a transparent solid state power amp and then into a 1x12 or 2x12 cab. This way you can run any wattage head (up to the Hotplates limit of 100 watts??) at home approved volumes. I haven't tried a solid state power amp, I've been using a tube power amp w/ dual 6v6's for the slave amp and it sounds great. Much better than the Hotplate at high settings like -12db or -16db IMO. But I'm thinking of trying out a cheaper solid state power amp like a Carvin for additional transparency. Good for running stereo effects after your tube amp's power section too.

taco
 

TopJimmy5150

Member
Messages
1,492
Another vote for the Epiphone Valve Special. It's a fantastic amp at any price. And it's only $220.

I just dime the gain and volume, set the tone controls to my liking, and control the distortion with the volume on my guitar.

The digital effects are decent, bordering on good, but not great. I consider it icing, but not the cake. The cake is that Class-A tube tone.

-Jay
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
7,691
Originally posted by papa taco
I'd get a Hotplate and set it at load and run its line out into a transparent solid state power amp and then into a 1x12 or 2x12 cab. This way you can run any wattage head (up to the Hotplates limit of 100 watts??) at home approved volumes. I haven't tried a solid state power amp, I've been using a tube power amp w/ dual 6v6's for the slave amp and it sounds great. Much better than the Hotplate at high settings like -12db or -16db IMO. But I'm thinking of trying out a cheaper solid state power amp like a Carvin for additional transparency. Good for running stereo effects after your tube amp's power section too.

taco
Does that way retain dynamics better than using higher attenuation? Because that's my number one beef about attenuators, at -12db or more you lose touch-sensitivity big time.

Power Scaling is the best thing for home volumes I've tried. Attenuators rob dynamics and high end and usually the -16db setting is just too quiet, the speaker needs at least a little bit of volume to work nicely. Low wattage amps on the other hand are often extremely limited in features and the tone is different from the bigger amps. The 1W or less amps on the other hand don't sound all that great to me. A bigger amp with Power Scaling keeps the volume in check while giving the response and features of higher powered amps. The drawback is that it's a mod that has to be done to the amp and cannot be moved easily from one amp to another like you can with an attenuator.
 




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