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The best small tube guitar combo amp
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flex nes
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#1
3rd March 2008
Old 3rd March 2008
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The best small tube guitar combo amp

Hi

I dont know if this is the right forum for this, but i definitely want something high end !

I want the best small used guitar amp - mesa or fender or anything.

I like small amps for recording, and its cheaper to send to europe from ebay USA.

I will also use this amp for processing/ micing non guitar material , mainly synths and drum synthesizers

Im happy for any suggestions!!
#2
3rd March 2008
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ever tried Victoria Amps? They're also manufacturing those Playboy-Amps for Gretsch. All tube, point-to-point handwired and all that stuff, low watts, huge tone! they're not cheap and pretty hard to find though...
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3rd March 2008
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I like Dr Z, Fargen, Carr, Bruno, the early Budda stuff
Cornford another great amp, but not cheap

for used you are likely to find a decent Dr Z combo on ebay

see here for more ideas

Guitar Amplifiers - Musictoyz.com your total online boutique music store for all your guitar equipment needs !


guitar amps are going to break up much more than a typical synth amp/monitor, also you need to figure out if you want a vintage styled circuit, or a more modern high gain variety

If low volume is what you are after, the Carr Mercury is a great choice. I has a built in scalable attenuator and its max rating is 8 watts....
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Small and tube, I'd say original narrow panel Deluxe is probably my fave, at the moment.
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How small? How clean? What sorts of tones are you after?

That stuff is important, it could mean anything from getting a Fender Champ through to something like an AC30 or larger. I'll add a vote for the Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 combo though.

I think the lame answer of you're going to have to take the time to go to the store and try out a bunch of amps yourself needs to be said because everyone likes something different when playing guitar, no-one else can really tell you what you're going to like or need.
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#8
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(there is a guitar subforum under the "So much gear, so little time" forum)

Well, you didn't state your budget, but you really can't beat a Fender Champ. You can pick up a vintage champ for a pretty decent price. Blackface 60's models go for 500-700, Silverface 70's models go for 200-400. In the current Fender lineup, the Pro Jr. is the way to go. Their best sounding small amp, by far IMO. They go for $300 new, $250 used..

Or you could tack on a grand onto those prices and get a boutique amp that imitates these amps..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind View Post
Well, you didn't state your budget, but you really can't beat a Fender Champ. You can pick up a vintage champ for a pretty decent price. Blackface 60's models go for 500-700, Silverface 70's models go for 200-400.
not in the UK you can't

Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind View Post
Or you could tack on a grand onto those prices and get a boutique amp that imitates these amps..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
not in the UK you can't



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Well, I guess I won't be making any plans to buy a Champ in the UK then! Especially since the value of our dollar cuts in half as soon as I step foot there!


Two Lane Blacktop, nice avatar
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carr vincent

hands down. With the attenuator you can dial down from 30 watts to 7. UNREAL tone.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Tang View Post
Best I've heard right here:

Cornford Amps - Harlequin - Reviews

And it's decidedly not low end

You can find them used, but not often.
Love mine!
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I like the Carr Mercury. 8 Watts down to 1/2 watt! And still unbelievable at 1/2 watt. Killer amp for recording.
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peavey classic 20 retubed with jj's. great cheap recording amp especially with an external cab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marineville View Post
Fender Champ with a Neumann M149 in front of it. Magic!
I were outbid on ebay with 10 dollars very recently on a fender champ...

I went for 720, i had 710 as highest.....

Is this good price for a fender champ ?

Should i also get old tubescreamer , boss distortion 1 for this?


Thanks!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
How small? How clean? What sorts of tones are you after?

That stuff is important, it could mean anything from getting a Fender Champ through to something like an AC30 or larger. I'll add a vote for the Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 combo though.

I think the lame answer of you're going to have to take the time to go to the store and try out a bunch of amps yourself needs to be said because everyone likes something different when playing guitar, no-one else can really tell you what you're going to like or need.

Im originally a Pantera metalhead, but know i think i want warm/nice tones...

It will be used mainly with an USA Fender Strat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flex nes View Post
Im originally a Pantera metalhead, but know i think i want warm/nice tones...

It will be used mainly with an USA Fender Strat
I know where you're coming from. I recently got rid of 6 4x12 cabinets, Mesa/Boogie Strategy 400 amps, rack gear, midi footboards, etc and now just use a couple combo amps.

You're totally on the right track with what you're considering. The price you mentioned is right for a 60's blackface Champ. But the 70's silverface Champs sound great and are half that price on Ebay.

The beauty of the sound you're after though is that the best way to get the tones is by turning the Champ's volume to 12 and getting your distortion there. This has been done in studios for decades. You use your guitar's volume knob to go from clean to full on distortion.

If you're planning on getting your distortion from a pedal, then you wouldn't necessarily need a small amp like a Champ. I think overall you will get a better sound from an amp like a Fender Bassman combo. It doesn't necessarily record better because you're usually just miking one speaker , but generally sounds better. You could pick up a 59 Bassman RI (tweed reissue) for the same price you're bidding for on vintage Champs. You can still get some sweet super overdriven tones from it by just turning it up, but it's a loud SOB for 40 watts. You could also consider attenuators.

In terms of pedals, I think the plain old TS9 Tube Screamer you mentioned is the way to go. Very "tubey". Keep it simple, they're classics because they sound good!
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4th March 2008
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Gibson Falcon..... really.... do you need more?

Okay, I have a National (Valco) that has 2 8's, the sickest tremelo and reverb I have ever heard (makes the springy fenders sound like a toy) and it has usable volume from 1 to 10
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i love valvetrain amps
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Musicians Friend has the Gibson Les Paul Amp on sale for $299. I bought the same amp for $599 and think it's worth it. It's a hand-built 5 Watt Class-A little powerhouse! At $299 it's a freakin' great deal!
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I have tried hundreds of small format vintage tube amps.

HANDS DOWN my favorite is my "54 GIBSON GA20 - or a gibson GA40 if you want something a little bigger

The best tone I have ever heard - so full and warm.

If you connect a Ibanez mostortion and a Blackstone Appliances pedal, youll have every tone you can think of

soft and mellow - clean and bright, clanky indie sound - heavy distortion, sixties fuzz distortion ...so much more

I use it to record all guitars, and i plug many synths and drum machines into it as well.

It is a perfect amp

WARNING - dont use a modern guitar (ibanez, jackson etc)- it will suck so hard!!

I use an ond Tele and a gibson SG and Les Paul - although other fenders and gibsons are perfect too

(there is no heavy metal "ching ching ching" tone whatsoever)
#23
4th March 2008
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Traynor 40 watt combo, i bet you'll love it. Most slept on combo in forever.
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Is an AC30 too big? Cost no object, nothing beats an original JMI Top Boost.

I'm partial to a vintage Vibro-Champ as well, or a Bronco (same circuit). Got a late 60's Bronco a while back for $60, and it growls like it means business.
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Fender champ, or vibro cahmp with any mic in front of it. But for best results try an md409 teamed up with royer into a thick pre like a 1073. slam it in paralell with your fav comp. I own one, would n't sell it in a million years.

The other day I was doing FOH at 5 band show and a guy came in with a vibro champ. I just put a 57 on it, into a soundcraft console + a little FOH verb. I then routed the TB mic to the FOH and told everyone there to have a good listen to the most underated amp of all time.

I don't why these guys come in with 100lb, 100 watt amps, they are so unnessecary. In case they have n't heard there have been a lot of developments in PA in the last 30 years.

Something about that small speaker that is totally mix ready, every time.

Cheers
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For Fender tweed tones: Victoria 5112, 5 watt champ clone, with a "12.

For Fender blackface tones: Headstrong lil'King, 12 watt princeton clone, with a "12. Although vintage is nice, these clones sound about as good as the old ones, IMHO, and they are more reliable, and also most often less noisy. Also ready availiable.
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The "Oahu"... or a Fender "Princeton Reverb"
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I could cut a whole album with a Fender Blackface Champ...
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I could cut a whole album with a Fender Silverface Champ...
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