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  #1  
Old 11-09-2017, 09:19 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
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Default Another Amp Discussion Thread, This One for a Small Amp

I am a pilot and get involved in lots of “which airplane for me” discussions. I have learned that to suggest the right airplane you have to define the mission. So... I will take a similar approach here.

I am in the midst of trying to fix up a German Schaller Amp that I bought there in 1969. So I want a small amp to use while I have the Schaller torn apart.

The eventual mission will be a practice Amp in a man cave room I am putting together. I don’t need much volume, but I would like to have it be able to sound good at low volume, that is, not cranking it up to be heard at the other end of the house.

The guitars I will use with it are my Framus electric I also bought in Germany in 1969. For lack of a better description it is much like a Telecaster with primitive pickups. I am looking get a Mexican Strat or Squeir, or maybe even ultimately an American Strat. I also might be dabbling with my acoustic/electric Martin that I have never connected to an Amp.

On an electric I play soft rock like Wonderful Tonight and Stairway to Heaven and some barre cord rhythm.

I don’t mind spending some money for the right setup, but my thinking is to limit the money I put into this until I see how the German Amp comes out when I am done.

I read in a thread about buying a Fender Champion 40;and then putting a decent driver in it. That sounds like it might be worth trying since it wouldn’t be risking much money.

I live in the boonies 100 miles from the nearest GC, so it would be awhile before I could have a chance to spend a few hours there. I may be ordering something without hearing it.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.


Edit: I am not stuck on a tube Amp, but if it really brings something to the party, I am good with one.
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1969 Framus Solid Body Electric
1969 Schaller KV25 Amplifier
1997 Mexican Strat
2017 Les Paul Tribute Model
Bugera V22 Tube Amplifier
1969 Oscar Teller Classical
Martin DRS2
Yamaha FG700S

Last edited by MBDiagMan; 11-09-2017 at 10:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2017, 09:47 PM
Gmountain Gmountain is offline
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How much you want to spend? I like the Vox AC10 or the Vox AC 4c1
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:17 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
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I will spend what It takes if I can find a really good choice.

All I have close at hand is a Sweetwater catalog and I see an AC10C1 and an AC4C112WB. I get the idea it will take some study to understand their numbering convention.

BTW, thanks for the reply!
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1969 Framus Solid Body Electric
1969 Schaller KV25 Amplifier
1997 Mexican Strat
2017 Les Paul Tribute Model
Bugera V22 Tube Amplifier
1969 Oscar Teller Classical
Martin DRS2
Yamaha FG700S
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:21 PM
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https://reverb.com/marketplace/amps/small-amps
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:41 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBDiagMan View Post
...The eventual mission will be a practice Amp in a man cave room I am putting together. I don’t need much volume, but I would like to have it be able to sound good at low volume, that is, not cranking it up to be heard at the other end of the house.

The guitars I will use with it are my Framus electric...For lack of a better description it is much like a Telecaster with primitive pickups. I am looking get a Mexican Strat or Squier, or maybe even ultimately an American Strat...

On an electric I play soft rock like Wonderful Tonight and Stairway to Heaven and some barre chord rhythm.

I don’t mind spending some money for the right setup...

I read in a thread about buying a Fender Champion 40 and then putting a decent driver in it. That sounds like it might be worth trying since it wouldn’t be risking much money.

...I may be ordering something without hearing it...
In no particular order:
  • Given your preferred style it sounds like you need something with lots of clean headroom (FYI more watts aren't necessarily about more volume), that can also deliver a bit of grit on demand when you need it - which IMO rules out most of the low-watt single-channel studio/practice tube amps;
  • While the Champion 40 with an upgrade speaker (given your prospective purchases - and based on what I know about '60s Framus electrics - I'd recommend an Eminence Cannabis Rex or Swamp Thang to smooth out/fatten up the tone) would likely be the least expensive option, I suspect you're looking for something with a more authentic tube tone; although the upgrade speaker will take out some of the harder-edged sonic artifacts, IME it's never going to sound quite "right" as compared to the real thing - which leads me to:
  • These seem to be quite the cult favorite over on TDPRI - credit where credit is due, those guys/gals know how to make Fenders sound good - and given the price it's hard to go wrong:

    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...n=q2_2016_test

  • While this one costs twice as much as the Monoprice, feature for feature you're entering the realm of "professional" equipment at a practice-amp price - and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it if you need to purchase sight unseen/unheard:

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/V22InfiCombo

    I've owned mine since 2010, done some low-tech mods (upgraded tubes/speaker and mild rebias - the last of which you'll never need to do thanks to the newer circuitry, which can save you a load of bucks in the long run), practice with it regularly, and have used it in houses up to 700 seats with clean headroom to spare; while I have larger amps ('65 Super Reverb RI, Fender Frontman 212R, Randall RB-120) as well as the baby-brother V5, this one's my set-it-and-forget-it/grab-&-go when I need good tone in a hurry, and don't want to find myself in a situation of too much/too little power for the job and/or too big a cabinet for limited stage space...
Should you decide to go the latter route, PM me if you're interested in the details of the aforementioned tweaks...
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:48 PM
Gmountain Gmountain is offline
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The AC10 really is a killer amp.
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2017, 10:54 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
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Steve,

It is very nice of you to offer such a detailed and thoughtful response.

The Bugera looks interesting. Is the speaker good enough that it would not need upgrading, at least right away? IOW, will this be good to go out of the box? That is not to say I would not be interested in tweaking, but if it would be good out of the box I am very interested. It seems like what I am looking for at a reasonable price.

Thanks again!
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1969 Framus Solid Body Electric
1969 Schaller KV25 Amplifier
1997 Mexican Strat
2017 Les Paul Tribute Model
Bugera V22 Tube Amplifier
1969 Oscar Teller Classical
Martin DRS2
Yamaha FG700S
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2017, 10:54 PM
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Non-tube recommendations:
The Boss Katana series is getting very decent reviews for its price and its flexibility. I have not played one, but very attractively priced.
My son and I have owned and played a Tech21 Trademark 60 for many, many years. They also make a Trademark 30. These are very flexible amps that are rock solid and do not get their due. (no real acoustic potential there, though)
Just a couple of ideas.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:00 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmountain View Post
The AC10 really is a killer amp.
Thanks G! I will try to look closer at the VOX numbering system to see if the AC10 variation I found might be what youíre talking about.
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1969 Framus Solid Body Electric
1969 Schaller KV25 Amplifier
1997 Mexican Strat
2017 Les Paul Tribute Model
Bugera V22 Tube Amplifier
1969 Oscar Teller Classical
Martin DRS2
Yamaha FG700S
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2017, 11:33 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBDiagMan View Post
...The Bugera looks interesting. Is the speaker good enough that it would not need upgrading, at least right away? IOW, will this be good to go out of the box? That is not to say I would not be interested in tweaking, but if it would be good out of the box I am very interested. It seems like what I am looking for at a reasonable price...
Absolutely - FWIW the newer versions use a Turbosound speaker that's far better than the Celestion wannabe they fitted to the first series and, having played a few, if I were buying a new one today I might be inclined to leave it as is. Just by way of information, I bought mine as a working replacement for the '64 Ampeg Rocket that had been doing yeoman duty since I bought it brand-new in sixth grade, and had earned a well-deserved semi-retirement. The modifications I performed were done with the intention of duplicating the tone of the old "Key Club" Ampeg Gemini II/B-12XT combos that graced the leading New York studios in the mid-60's; everything was well-researched beforehand, both individually and as part of the total package, and while it does exactly what I intended I'll be the first to tell you that it's not for everybody - it's primarily a "big clean" amp with loads of headroom and dynamic range (as well as considerable volume when needed), and although it'll nail the Beatles' "NME '65" AC-50 tones or give you a nice fat bluesy crunch, it wouldn't be your first choice for modern metal or Santana-like sustain in its present configuration. Good news is that the V22 is a very mod-friendly platform - even more so with the new Infinium circuitry mentioned earlier - so between the onboard capabilities (triode/pentode operation, switchable channels/mid-boost) and some judiciously chosen/properly-placed tubes, you should be able to dial in your preferred tones with relative ease...
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:42 AM
Scotso Scotso is offline
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If I read you correctly, you need a good amp for low volume cleanish tones. And given your musical preferences, my guess is that gainier sounds are not a priority.

While more powerful amps have good cleans I think there is little reason to go above 10ish watts on a tube amp. Staying smaller will also save some $$. With that as a parameter, I think there are several amps you will want to try

Blackstar HT1 or 5
Vox AC4 or 10
Fender Bassbreaker 007
VHT Special Ultra
Marshall DSL5

If you decide to go solid state
Fender Mustang
Boss Katana 50- maybe the most flexible amp that I have tried
Roland Blues Cube

Out of this list I have my favorites but my ears are not yours. I would definitely take the time to hit a GC despite the drive. Hopefully some local shops will have some inventory to shop out of this list.
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:08 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotso View Post
If I read you correctly, you need a good amp for low volume cleanish tones. And given your musical preferences, my guess is that gainier sounds are not a priority...I would definitely take the time to hit a GC despite the drive...
Good advice...
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:39 AM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
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The advice to go play different amps is very good advice, but it will be weeks before I get a chance to make it somewhere to try Amps. I love living in the peace and quiet of the boondocks, but there are disadvantages to it. I get in a lot of traveling, not to big cities.

Thanks to everyone for taking time to offer suggestions and advice. I will probably order something this weekend. If I find something noticeably more desirable when I finally get to GC, I will buy it. I am very fortunate at this stage of my life to be blessed with resources that I did not have in my earlier years, so if I have to buy something different, I will probably give the rejected one to my daughters boyfriend who is a great guitarist and not so flush with cash.
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1969 Framus Solid Body Electric
1969 Schaller KV25 Amplifier
1997 Mexican Strat
2017 Les Paul Tribute Model
Bugera V22 Tube Amplifier
1969 Oscar Teller Classical
Martin DRS2
Yamaha FG700S
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:41 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
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Thanks for all the great responses. I wish I could have followed them all. I ordered the Bugera that Steve recommended. If I donít like it for some reason, it will work for me until I make it to the city and have time to listen to a bunch of the other amps that you guys recommended.

This is a great forum with great posters that seem to get along well and not snipe at each other. I have had wonderful discussion and received great suggestions and advice here. Thank you to all.
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1969 Framus Solid Body Electric
1969 Schaller KV25 Amplifier
1997 Mexican Strat
2017 Les Paul Tribute Model
Bugera V22 Tube Amplifier
1969 Oscar Teller Classical
Martin DRS2
Yamaha FG700S
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  #15  
Old 11-10-2017, 09:00 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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If you don't like it, I can just about guarantee your daughter's BF will...

Sent you a PM...
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