Show us your small tube amps!

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by oldrockfan, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Seeing all this talk about big 100 watt monster tube amps has got me thinking, we maybe need a thread dedicated to the little guys ... or in this case little amps!

    So lets hear from you, I know I am not the only one who likes little tube amps. Tell us what you have and how it sounds plus if you have pics, post em up!

    I'll start things off by saying I have turned into a little tube amp junkie. Here are a couple of my mine along with my favorite strat. The eggnator was fun to mess around with since you could blend two different power tubes for alot of different sounds. The problem was I never could get it dialed in for the tones I was after so sold it off. The badcat 5 watter is a current amp and sounds really good for blues stuff. It is my only high end small tube amp.

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    My current favorite small tube amp would be my little 20watt subway rocket reverb. It nails classic rock but also can do a great job on blues. It is light and easy to carry but can easily hold its own jamming with a group. Honestly it is all I need right now but whats the fun of one amp!

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  2. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    Here's mine. The Traynor is a YGM3 20w amp from the mid 70s. The other is a 5w Fender Vibro Champ and is an early 70s model....
    and lets just say that the 5w jobby is loud enough to get me in trouble with Mrs. iblive.
    I generally don't even turn the Traynor on unless I'm home alone.

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  3. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    Okay, Oldrockfan, I just moved into the EverythingSG neighborhood a few days ago and already you guys have me hooked!

    Well, here are my little babies. This is the pic of my Fender Champ that I posted on the other thread:

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    Then, there is my Vox AC4TV, that I've done a lot of mods to...and I ain't done, yet!

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  4. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Heres one I found lurking about ...

    The little brown Princeton sound great!









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    And the tweed Deluxe really does it too!

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    And the one speaker Vox AC15's gots my heart too ...........

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    And the little Vox AC10`s I like to play out w/ two of em but I need better pics .. 2 elac -10's

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    And a "mod" I built from old parts to put in the open back panel of one from a salvaged reverb panel .... it'd be an AC10 w/ topboost buit only on the 12AX7 side NOT the EF86 side , if that makes sense to anyone! :dunno: since the EF86 side is balls to the wall already! I've already removed and replaced the 220K imput resistore and replaced em with a more signal enhancing 68K value sincve the 220K's padded down the signal too much, the catch is then one needs a " supply " of Elac speakers which LEXY helped me forfill :wave:

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  5. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Small tube amps

    Here are the amps:

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    Now the tube amps, which are all small.

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    The Fender Super Champ XD with a mid 70's JBL 10 is the main amp, a 6L6 power amp with a 12 AX7/DSP hybrid pre-amp; the early 90's Crate Vintage Club 20 is the EL84 alternate, and is one of those cheaper USA made Crate all-tube amps that sound great I don't use it as much as the Fender, but when I want it it roars. The Champion 600, well, is OK as is, moded with with a better speaker, but it really sounds better with a bigger speaker extension cabinet.
     
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  6. Kevy Nova

    Kevy Nova Well-Known Member

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    Oh man, I really want to post some pics in this thread! I've just been crazy busy lately, hopefully I'll get a chance soon. Nice amps so far, fellas!!!!
     
  7. sneakerpimp

    sneakerpimp Member

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  8. DonaldHarris

    DonaldHarris New Member

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    Oh man..This pictures makes me crazy. I like to have such wonderful guitars.
     
  9. Moose

    Moose Well-Known Member

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  10. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    all I can say is WOW! Those are some amazing small amp collections guys! Love them all and just seeing all those cool little tube amps gives me the urge to run out and get another one. I don't have pics of them all but I'd say I have probably owned about 20 small tube amps in the past 10 years. Mainly just for the fun of trying new gear and alot of them were bought and then sold a few months later to rotate to something else. One of the cool things about small tube amps is they usually aren't terribly expensive so even on our current tight budget, I can save up for a while and afford a little tube amp where it might take me a year or more to save up enough for a bigger more expensive amp.

    I also love to mod the little amps to try to make them better. They are usually less complicated and so even though my modding skills are weak, I still have fun trying. My latest addition is a little 5 watt kustom defender head with ... now get this, it has a 4x6" slant cab! I don't even have pics of it yet but will take one this weekend and post it up... it was just a super cheap and super small little tube amp with a single volume control but I have plans to mod the heck out of it and make it a half stack mini me :dude:
     
  11. BBC

    BBC New Member

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    My small tube amp, a 1964 10 watt Gibson Skylark, on off and volume, the amp I learned on. All original and still works great after 47 years, though I should put a 3 prong grounded power cord on it before it decides to bite me.



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  12. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    OhMyGod!
    My first amplifier ever was a Gibson Skylark!
    I bought it with the conversion kit for my first
    ever guitar which was a Danelectro convertible.
    Sadly they are both long gone.
    They were replaced with a Fender
    Twin Reverb and a Hagstrom III,
    which were replaced by a ........
    Never mind.
     
  13. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    ok, had some time to burn this afternoon so decided to open up a little tube amp I recently got and do some mods. It started out as a cheapie Kustom Defender 5H head. I think new they are about a hundred bucks and I traded an amp that was not being used for it and a cab. The amp is very simple, just a volume control and a single pre-amp and power tube.

    first step was to pull the case off, very basic setup inside and tiny!
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    Here is a closeup of the board, should be pretty easy to mod
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    pulled the tubes and then disconnected the tranny so I could pull the board
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    Next step was to desolder a resistor and replace it with two wires
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    Then I soldered the wires to a pot to adda gain pot
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    drilled a hole in the case and installed the gain pot
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    Then repeated the same process to add a tone pot and installed in the case
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    So here is the final outcome along with the mini slant 4x12 stack (4x6" speakers):dude:
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Cool, ORF, and I need to add a tone control to that Fender Champion 600. You sure made it look easy.
     
  15. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Vox, that little tweed guy wth the back removed looks amazing! hand wired goodness right there!

    dbb, it is a piece of cake. Believe me if I can do it... anyone can :D just got to take your time and of course always disconect the power and drain the caps as the first step! HAHA!

    The trick is just knowing which resister to desolder and I just went online to find out what to do. THe tone mod I did was not a huge difference in perceived tone. Like being able to adjust from about 6 to 10 on a guitar but it does come in handy. There is a better tone mod but it requires more effort so I went with the simple one today. I may go back and convert the tone mod to a better one down the road. You should also consider adding a master volume. It is actually a master volume mod and allows you to really dial in the amount of gain you want at lower volumes. Not a big deal for some but even at 5 watts, these little tube amps can get pretty loud when full on cranked.
     
  16. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Aww, drain the power caps...naw, I'd rather shock the sh*t out of myself...not!:wow:
    Thanks...for that amp, I don't need a master volume, just need to tame the highs a bit. I'm still not sure what to do after reading pages of mods for the 600. Either a tone control or even just a switch with a resistor in the right place.
     
  17. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    If you are just looking to tame the highs a bit, might be able to just swap out a bigger resistor if you have the schematic to tell you which one it is. I'd probably go for the tone pot though since it gives you more control over it. Even a simple tone mod like I did where it just takes the place of a resistor would be an improvement for you and would be an easy mod. The little 600 amps are popular so I am sure there are some detailed pics online to walk you thru it. I was amazed when I researched my little kustom amp that they even had the detailed pics for it. You should see how many mods there are for the little epiphone valve junior! Speaking of which, I am suprised more forum members don't have the little epi valve juniors. I was figuring they would be one of the most popular small amps.
     
  18. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I've heard good things about the Epi amp too.
     
  19. Angry Tele

    Angry Tele Member

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  20. javamagic

    javamagic Well-Known Member

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    Five watts...

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    Ten watts...

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    Twelve watts...

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    Fifteen watts...

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    :):)
     
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