TMI...omg. Trying to choose a tube amp....

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by Lisa D., Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Lisa D.

    Lisa D. New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    13
    Okay, reading thru these threads has me completely confused and head spinning. I call myself a novice player, but my instructor says I'm better than that. Looking for a tube amp for home practice, and that could possibly transition if I get brave enough to get out of the garage some (so to speak.) I'm not looking for a deal, I'm looking for a quality piece of equipment but it doesn't need to tear the rafters down, I'll mostly be home practicing on it still. Veteran SG players, suggestions please. GO.......... (And thank you, in advance)
     
  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    6,518
    Likes Received:
    5,987
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Why do you feel you need a tube amp ? There are some great hybrid and solid state out there, that will let you explore what tone you really are looking for. Help you find "your" tone.

    All the Valvetronix series are great for that, with one tube that gives it some tube taste. You can get older ones like the AD-VT series (AD30VT, AD50VT) in the $100/200 price range.

    The Boss Katana SS will get you pretty close to a tube tone, if you take the time to get to know it.

    My main amp is a Fender Super Champ XD combo that I can use as is with its 10" speaker or with an extention cab, 2X10 or 2X12 in my case. Has two channels, an all tube clean one and a modeler half tube one. I love it so much, I'm buying a second one for the summer cottage.

    I'm sure you'll get more answers to spin your head a little more.

    Happy shopping !
     
    Lisa D. likes this.
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,646
    Likes Received:
    3,376
    I second that... "Why do you need a tube amp?"

    Vacuum Tube = Electron Tube.

    It's called Electronics.

    Back in the day I had a tube preamp, tube power amp, rack gear, etc and solid state amp as a backup. I quit playing for about a decade and sold all my gear.

    [​IMG]

    When I started playing again, I simplified my setup.

    [​IMG]

    Technology has evolved over the years.
    For fun, I profiled the little Blackstar on the Kemper.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    Lisa D. likes this.
  4. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    694
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Oh crud this is so fun throwing out opinions. Like DrBGood the first question is why only consider "tube amp" ... I guess the second question might be do you have price range? Question zero should be what are you using right now? Do you want enough power to scare all the neighbors?

    There are some great options these days for not a lot of money.

    Very popular is Boss Katana 50 ... a ton of power ... one 12 inch speaker. Blackstar has a 40 watt two speaker amp that does some nice effects using the two speakers. Both of these allow a ton of different tones. These are in the low 200 dollar range.

    Worth maybe checking out is Boss Katana Air its portable does 20 watts on battery and 30 watts on power ( my new favorite practice amp so I'm biased ). Integrated everything definite busking possibilities yikes! Check out a youtube on it but it's like double the price of the first two I noted.

    Nothing wrong with the Marshall tube amps there's a whole new lineup there. Fender has some nice options also.

    There's a lot of possibilities to go "outside the garage" with anything 50 to 100 watts.
     
  5. Lisa D.

    Lisa D. New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    13
    A tube amp was suggested to me by 2 instructors, so that's why I was going there. My musical interests vary, but I'm venturing mostly into classic rock and blues with the SG. Cost is not going to be an issue for me. As I said I'm not looking for a deal, I'm looking to get a quality piece of equipment that can carry me for a while, even if I expand my horizions a bit. No, I'm not looking to scare the neighbors....I want something that is more than I NEED, just in case, but that a small (but reasonably strong) woman can move around if necessary. Right now I only have my Marshall AS50D acoustic amp, a Roland Cube and a little package amp that came with a Keith Urban guitar, so in reality, I don't have a real amp for my SG.

    Edit: A Fender Twin Reverb was suggested, but a friend thought that might be a bit much for my needs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  6. DangerousD

    DangerousD Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    26
    Love my 1 watt Blackstar Mini stack. Perfect for home or garage.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    837
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    There's lots of great smaller tube amps out there these days. For home use and maybe playing with some others 15-20w is good, even better if there's some power scaling to knock it down to a watt or two for quieter play.

    I have a Laney Cub 12R which has two inputs, 15w and <1w. It's a great amp for classic rock, blues and more, and very reasonably priced. Even at less than a watt it's plenty loud for around the house.

    While tube amps do sound great, there's been a huge improvement in modelling amps the last several years. I also own a Yamaha THR10 which is small and portable and can sound like half a dozen good tube amp, plus some inbuilt effects. There's plenty of others out there too.

    My advice would be to get into some shops and try out as many amps as you can within your budget, both tube and otherwise. Recommendations are fine, but in the end your ears will tell you what's right for you.

    Good luck and welcome!
     
  8. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    6,518
    Likes Received:
    5,987
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    The thing is with many tube amps, they can be a one trick pony.

    For more than a year, I've had a Blackheart Handsome Devil. Everybody raves about this one, like a Holy Grail. I believed everybody and got one. Couldn't make it sound like I what I wanted. It always sounded like ... a Handome Devil.

    Replaced it with a Ibanez TSA15H. Great reviews too. Kept that one for a year. Great amp with tons of EQ and an integrated Tube Screamer. Didn't give me satisfaction. Always sounded like a TSA15.

    I want my amp to be versatile, I don't need to have 5 to satisfy my tone palette, so an amp with different voices is what I need.
     
  9. Lisa D.

    Lisa D. New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    13
    Still spinning...but I think I'm going to take the Dr.'s advise and check out the Fender Super Champ. A lot less money than the Twin Reverb too.
     
    DrBGood likes this.
  10. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    600
    I can appreciate your instructors' desire to see you invest in something more top-shelf than a "beginner's amp." But as the good Dr. mentioned, you don't want a one-trick-pony amp.

    His suggestion for the Super Champ is wise because Fender's digital modeling firmware is second to none within its price bracket, and that 6v6 tube power section really warms the whole sound of the amp up. Plus, that "voice" knob will give you plenty of options should you decide to noodle around with something different... Not all of them are winners, but all the Fender models and the couple of Marshall models are excellent. If you want the most out of it, get the 1x10 combo and replace the speaker with an Eminence Ragin' Cajun. Portable, giggable, versatile - everything you need in an amp.

    If you want something bigger, I have the Marshall DSL40C (recently replaced with the DSL40CR). That's a lot of amp for the money, and given your inclinations toward classic rock, I suspect you'd very much like it. Very versatile, too. I get everything from sparkly cleans to the heaviest of chainsaw grind at any volume level. It's downside is that it's very, very heavy - 50+ pounds. Worth it, though.

    Also check out the Blackstar HT series. The 5-watter is a great amp at a reasonable price. Very easy to lug around too.

    Finally, I really like the Bugera V22 Infinium. YoullY hear horrible things about these amps because Bugera is a subsidiary of Behringer, which produces a lot of low-end gear and clones of more popular amps. The V22 is one of the few amps that's very much it's own thing, though, and a lot of the quality control issues that plauged the initial run of them have been worked out (so much so that the V22 is probably a safer bet than many similarly priced options). It's got the blues and classic rock sound absolutely nailed, and 22 watts is more than enough to hang with a full band.

    Hope those suggestions help!
     
  11. Lisa D.

    Lisa D. New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    13
    Thank you, and everybody, for a very helpful response. Given what I've read here, I'm seriously considering this. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...mbo-amp-with-celestion-g10-greenback-wine-red I'm waiting on feedback from a couple of guitar player/instructors who know me before I pull the plug, but this might be the way for me to go.

    Everybody here has been so nice. Really helpful and supportive in this thread and the one I started in the other forum. Thank you all. I think I'll stick around, seems like a really great online community.
     
    Namelyguitar and Notabot like this.
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    6,518
    Likes Received:
    5,987
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Yeah, you'll like it !
     
  13. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,762
    Likes Received:
    1,734
    Location:
    The beach.
    I’m gonna go a little different direction and say yes, definitely get a tube amp if you are serious. Do yourself a favor and accept the inevitable now. Not a hybrid, a full tube circuit.

    There wasn’t much mention of a budget but if you have the ability get a professional instrument and you’ll only have to buy one once.

    The modeling amps are fun because they try to be everything to everybody, but the experience of truly exceptional tone can still only, at least for now, be achieved with a quality tube amp.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  14. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,606
    Likes Received:
    7,480
    Location:
    Michigan
    Welcome to ETSG!

    Here's my take on the whole "tube amp" boogie:
    You have to decide if you're going to be a purist, or be open minded.

    It's your choice, no one can make it for you. Purists hark back to
    the tones of 50 to 70 years ago, and act like they are the only good
    ones. So they want to play old guitars, and turn their noses up at new
    ones, and they want to play old technology, as if no one had been working
    on tone since Fender was sold to CBS in 1965.

    Open minded musicians are more likely to listen to a lot of different styles
    and consider what might be adapted and employed in 2018. And then have
    some fun trying to create something new.

    It mostly comes down to your style, and what kind of distortion you like
    to employ. So nobody can tell you what kind of amp to buy. You have
    to decide that for yourself based on your preference for distortion.
    (and how loud you are willing to play before your signal breaks up.
    Driving a tube amp into breakup often involves high decibel levels, and
    can cause you trouble if you have near neighbors).

    If you play an SG through a 15 watt tube amp, like a Fender Blues Jr.
    *which I highly recommend... you can do what's called 'overdriving the
    output tubes" without busting your own ear drums, or inspiring your
    neighbors to come for you with torches and pitchforks. The blues Junior gets
    loud, that's for sure. But you can pick it up with one hand and carry it
    about. (a real plus IMHO). Sounds great clean, distorts before you damage
    your ears, has a great old style reverb.

    If you play clean, there are many amps that will do you proud,
    and I don't think there's anything wrong with your Roland Cube SS.
    I use a Roland Cube Bass 60XT and like it a lot. For large venues, I use
    its XLR output and let the sound man mix it. I don't need a huge amp.
    And I don't need tubes for my bass style, which is mostly clean.

    If you are sympathetic to the POV of the Purist, get a Fender Deluxe Reverb.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=fender+deluxe+reverb

    Expensive, but very fine. Not too heavy. Lots of Fender goodness.
    It will do just about everything that you ask it to do, except sound like
    some other amp. But since it's already one of the best, that doesn't matter
    much. I own two modeling amps, and both have a "Fender Deluxe Reverb"
    model, and I like that model better than the others. *grins

    Me, I'm no purist. I'm old enough to remember '60s tube amps, which I thought
    were cranky and I was always replacing tubes. I love small amps now, so I
    have a Vox VT-30 which is a "hybrid" with a tube in the output, and my fave
    rig right now is an Orange Micro Terror which powers a couple of home made
    cabinets and gives great service. The Orange is also a hybrid with one tube.
    There's a newer one called a "Dark Terror" which has more distortion at a
    lower decibel point. Very compact and lightweight, perfect practice amp,
    and I've used mine onstage with a home made cab with 1/10" and 1/12"
    speakers. That little amp looks like a toy but it ain't.
    April tall rig@100.jpg
    Good luck in your search, and with your music.

    ETSG wisdom states:

    THE QUEST FOR TONE HAS NO FINISH LINE
    SO IT'S TECHNICALLY A DEATH MARCH...
     
  15. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    629
    Likes Received:
    600
    Gball is absolutely correct here. I disagree slightly that a hybrid or SS amp can't be a professional instrument (shoot, BB King used a Peavey Bandit), but his point is valid - if this is a serious investment into your playing, and you aspire to be more than a living room noodler, buy something that will really make you happy, not something that will "just do." My only concern is that you buy something that will suit your needs.

    This is a good suggestion, too.

    It's always good to get opinions from people that listen to you play and know what's going to work well for your needs. For instance: the Col. mentioned the Blues Jr. That's a fine amp that many, many people dearly love. I can't get on with them, and can think of at least 3 sub-400 dollar SS amps that I would rather have if it were my money. But I'm a rhythm player with lots of crunchy power chords and riffs - and if someone wanted a more bluesy semi-clean for leads or more complex chords, than I wouldnt hesitate to recommend the Blues Jr. Great amp. :thumb:
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  16. Lisa D.

    Lisa D. New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    13
    Feedback I got is that the the Super Champ sounds great with Fender style guitars, but not amazing with the Gibson humbucker sound. I am now reading up on the Marshall DSL series.
     
  17. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,606
    Likes Received:
    7,480
    Location:
    Michigan
    I agree with Gball too, that if you've got the money and
    the ambition, you can't go wrong buying a professional grade
    amp.

    I've never needed to spend lots on an amp, simply because I don't
    ever play that loud. I don't have to stand next to an insane drummer,
    and am usually trying to keep my volume level down to that of my
    music partner, who plays acoustic instruments through a doggone
    microphone... by insistent choice.

    So I don't need to play that loud, and when we play larger venues
    I'll mike my small rig using a Senheiser 609, or connect it via a DI
    from my pedal board. You can see from this that I don't need amp
    distortion as a big part of my sound.
    So I'm happy to use an overdrive
    pedal for occasional solos and play at lower volumes.

    This dictates my choices of amp, like it would for a jazz guitarist.
    So I suggest this "Vintage Tone Pedal" if you want to get that classic tone
    without breaking the bank or your eardrums:
    Vintage Tone pedal.jpg
     
  18. Lisa D.

    Lisa D. New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    13
    So, totally on another track but I'm really liking the Vox VT series, although they look like they may have a bit of a learning curve.
     
  19. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    6,518
    Likes Received:
    5,987
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Not at all. Out of 8 guitars, only 2 are Fender style. Humbuckers and P90 sound great with it.
     
  20. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    6,518
    Likes Received:
    5,987
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Nah .. pretty straight forward. No need to plug it to your computer to tweak it.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice