Yet another low wattage thread

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Brion, May 22, 2005.

  1. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    I'm looking at champs for a low wattage home amp. The 6 watt output just seems about right. I'm willing to spend about $300. I'm looking for other amps in the same wattage range. Must be all tube design and small. What do you suggest?
     
  2. MK.II

    MK.II Member

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    The new Gibson 5 watt handwired amp is supposed to be fairly decent. I think it's called the GA-5 or something like that. I don't know exactly what they sell for so I'm not sure if they fall into your price range.
     
  3. japhy

    japhy Member

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    For $300.00 it's hard to beat a Champ.
     
  4. Thelonius

    Thelonius Member

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    Yeah if you can find an old champ for 300, sure it's hard to beat. It is afterall a true classic.

    Looking at the more modern and redily available though there is the 15 watt Fender Blues Jr that will probably be about 100 dollars over budget for you unless you go ebay. There is also the crate vintage club series, which a) sound like no other tube Crate (i.e. they won't make you cry like a small girl and vow to never play the guitar again) and b) there is a 5 watt and a 15 watt model which should be right around your price range.

    If you are willing to pay a bit more Reverend and Dr. Z both have small wattage offerings which are far beyond my previously mentioned amps in quality, tone, and value.

    Don't let my statement about those two discourage you from the others though. I own a Blues Jr. and I love that amp. It doesn't do everything I want an amp to do, but it does a few things very nicely.
     
  5. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    I have 2 Z's already. A Maz Jr and RT 66. I think the Blues and Pro Jr's are cool for what they do, but if I have to spend more money I'll probably build a Weber 5E3 kit as I've been wanting to build one for a while. It's been a long time since I've played through a champ, so I guess I better play through one before I pull the trigger.
     
  6. Rollie

    Rollie Guest

    FWIW, I was really dissapointed in the GA-5. I wanted to like it very much, but was just not impressed with it at all. As a point of reference, my favorite low watt amp is a 5F1 champ w/ a celestion blue, and the GA-5 sounded thin and ratty and sounded like very small amp, as opposed to a nice tweed champ through a good 12" speaker, which sounds a lot "bigger" if that makes any sense.

    I also think the badcat mini cat is ok if you don't use the alnico jensen reissue, which makes it sound tinny.

    The tophat portly cadet is also a good little amp but ONLY if you play it through another speaker--that thing it comes with is really overdriven by it and sounded awful to me. YMMV

    I haven't tried the mini Z, but would love to plug into one.
     
  7. Pappy

    Pappy Supporting Member

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    The mini Z sounds amazing if you can crank it up enough. There is a lot of gain on tap and it is very dynamic. At that point, though, it's quite loud - too loud for most bedrooms. I didn't really like the lower volume clean tones (too much midrange for my taste).
     
  8. gizmo

    gizmo Guest

    You can get SF Champs all day long on Ebay for under $300 and they sound great. Occasionally you'll even find a BF Champ for around $300 if you have a little patience.

    Seriously, great amps!
     
  9. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    I have a couple of nice gig amps so I'm just looking for good tone at low volumes for cheap. I'm also interested in building an amp so I may just build an AX84 amp or something along those lines. The Champ is still on my mind and may just visit Mike's music here in town and play through a few. I love the look of the blackface ones, but my understanding is that the circuit did not change much after the CBS aquisition so for the money silverface is the way to go.
     
  10. erksin

    erksin Member

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    One amp that I thought had killer tone in the Champ vein is a '60s Silvertone 1481 (1-5Y3/6V6/12AX7, Vol/Tone, 8" speaker). You could easily score one for less than $200. I used to own one and I'm sorry I sold it - gave my '65 VibroChamp a real run for it's money...
     
  11. whitehall

    whitehall Member

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    ..Epiphone---yeah, I know--- had an amazing line of small tube amps at the winter NAMM. The one that struck me was called a Valve Special, or Valve Standard. 5 Watts class A with some reverb/chorus . Street price about 225.00. They were supposed to be out by now.
     
  12. Gary F.

    Gary F. Member

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    If you do go the champ--or better yet--vibrochamp route, consider replacing the 8" with a 10". A paltry 6 Class A watts are plenty loud for home/practice use. I still get, "honey, would you please turn down" by my better half.

    Good luck-

    Gary
     
  13. cap'n'crunch

    cap'n'crunch Member

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    What about those new Crate Palamino 5 watters with the Celestion 10" speaker. Never played one (yet) but, I've heard good things about them.
     
  14. wutnot

    wutnot Supporting Member

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    The crate palomino prob can be had for $250 new, retail is $299 but they can be talked down, maybe. V8 5 watt'er.
    I am going to stop plugging these amps as I want to be the only one with one lol. Look at my signature to get an idea of what it looks like.
     
  15. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    Well I played through several Champs/Vibrochamps today and they were too small sounding. I played through a Blackface Princeton ( A white knobber with numbered control panel with a couple of issues) and some silverface Princeton reverbs. These were more to my liking as they sounded nice at low volumes and would be able to be used for small jams. Of course these seem to be in the $500 and up price range. I may just order a Weber 5E3 kit and Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Building my own amp and having a low volume amp that is useful for small jams.
     
  16. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    HA, I get, "Turn down that **** piece of **** this instant (insert full name here)
     

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