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small guitar amps
Old 3rd August 2005
500 series nutjob
pan60's Avatar

check out these guys.
Old 3rd August 2005
Lives for gear
2leod's Avatar

If you're interested in bang for the buck, keep your eyes open for a used Peavey Bravo 112... 25W all tube EL84 combo, I've seen them around $250 on eBay. Stick better tubes and a good speaker in it, replace the cooling fan if it's noisy, and you've got surprisingly believable vox chime, plus an articulate clean channel with plenty of depth.
Old 3rd August 2005
Gear Head

In the vintage catagory, a tweed Champ if tough to beat, or a blackface Princeton for something a little bigger.
New, the Savage Macht 6 is sweeeet. Highly recommended if you've never played one.

Though they're a little bigger than what I'd call "small amps", cdog's suggestion of AC15, Bluesbreaker, blackface Deluxe, and Mark I should satisfy just about any player.

Old 3rd August 2005
Gear Addict
s00p3rm4n's Avatar

Gibson amps = sleepers!

Gibson GA-5T Skylark. It's a Champ killer (that's right, I said it). More bottom end than you'd expect, breaks up early and often (around halfway on the dial) - it lights pickups on fire. The tubes used in it are relatively rare (but cheap on ebay), but the sound is absolutely worth it. And the tremelo in this is wonderful - square wave, chop-chop, and warm as hell. Don't spend more than $250 on one. Screw $1000 for a Princeton or a Champ that's probably more broken.

Gibson GA-20RVT Minuteman. A sleeper amp that's just starting to get attention - not unlike all of Gibson's older tube amps. Has an absolutely glorious clean sound (best of any amp I've heard under $3000 bar none, and I'm not exaggerating), and the built-in footswitchable pan reverb and tube tremelo (sounds more like a vibrato to me) are f'ing wonderful. In addition, it's two-channel, and you can bridge the channels together with a simple patch cable if you want to double your pleasure (and 2/3rds again your breakup). I spent $300 for mine at a vintage store in New Orleans, but they're going for more now on Ebay. I think people are just starting to realize what great amps Gibson made, and how well they hold up.

So sue me for sticking with Gibsons - they've done me well, with varied amounts of abuse and repair, and both at wonderful prices given their sound. And, true, Gibson originally designed many of their amps to compete directly with Fender, but as it turns out, either through aging or by design they sound entirely different than Fenders. Less of that spongy super-brightness (although you can dial in gobs of treble on the GA20 really, and the GA5 is tight and springy), a bit stronger in the mids, but still strong low-end... and again, I can't emphasize how pretty they sound especially when cranked.

Anyway, best of luck. My biggest recommendation is to try as many vintage amps as you can track down before you make your decision.
Old 6th August 2005
Gear Addict
dolo's Avatar

've been checking out the fender blues jr. and the fender blues reissue. can anybody tell me how do they compare to each other?

i think i'm having a chane of heart on the vintage thing. i'm starting to feel like i don't want to deal with the head ache of gear that might be old and broken down. i'm i crazy to feel this way? i'm thinging just going with newer stuff that sounds really go (if there is any! )

but i'm liking the fender blues jr and the marshall ds-401. i really don't know. i'm just trying to figure this out. it would be much better if i was an actual guitar player.
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