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Old 05-06-2018, 01:09 PM
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Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
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Default Combo Amp for up to $250?

After a couple of years without an electric guitar (having weaned myself off due to a bout with tinnitus that I seem to have learned to manage), I've decided to get back into the "plugged-in waters".

For now, since I sold off all my electric gear, I'll be able to play though my Carvin AG200 (and I'm sure it will sound great), but I will eventually want to get a combo amp (let's say solid state...no more "Oh my back!" tube amps for me ) for my new electric guitar (which I also haven't gotten yet).

I played a few at my local GC today, and the two that impressed me most were the Boss Katana 50 and the Fender Champion 40. I especially liked the Boss because of its acoustic amp setting (not an emulator, but a setting as an electro-acoustic guitar amp). It performed quite nicely as an acoustic amp when I played a Taylor Academy through it.

Besides these two, are there others I should consider in the "up to $250 " price range? My playing is Americana/classic rock/Blues/Psychedelic, and I hope to be playing a lot of leads over looped rhythms.
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:28 PM
MikeMcKee MikeMcKee is offline
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I know it's more than you mentioned, but I really like my Blackstar HT-5R. One feature I like, that I didn't see on other tube amps is the headphone output, so you can play and get that great tube tone without bothering others. Like it a lot.
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:45 PM
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I would try an American made Carvin AG200 for $0 with some effects
before wasting $250 on some cheaply made, tone sucking digital amp.
Good Luck!
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:53 PM
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I just got a Fender Champion 20. It's cheap and decent for at home practice. I really like the simplicity of it and I can dial in great clean or distorted tone without having to go nuts with pedals or USB/computer what-not.
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:46 PM
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Boss Katana 50 is what I recommend. I have one and it is a great little amp.
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:47 PM
TeleBluesMan TeleBluesMan is offline
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Orange RT35.
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:48 PM
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Another vote for the Katana 50 in your price range, or a Fender super champ X2 if you can find a nice used one.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:51 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMcKee View Post
I know it's more than you mentioned, but I really like my Blackstar HT-5R. One feature I like, that I didn't see on other tube amps is the headphone output, so you can play and get that great tube tone without bothering others. Like it a lot.
The Bugera V5 Infinium also has a headphone out as well as a 5W/1W/0.1W attenuator, so you can play and get that great tube tone without bothering others - and I got mine at GC on coupon day for $127 with a bit of additional haggling...

To the OP:

You already have an excellent acoustic amp - you need a dedicated electric guitar amp...

Given your style of music and the way you're going to be performing it, I'd personally look for something that takes pedals well and has loads of clean power (PSA: it's all about headroom and providing a solid platform for your outboard loopers - not raw volume) - which in my book screams analog solid-state 1x12"/2x12" combo. Fortunately, there's plenty of good used stuff out there - old Peavey Bandit/Special/Special Chorus amps can be had for well under your $250 budget, and the USA gear is built like tanks; FWIW the Fender Champion 100 hasn't been too well-received - savvy players looking for (relatively) light weight and big power (100W) tend to favor the predecessor Frontman 212R "blackface" (looks like a Twin Reverb, gets those classy Fender blackface Twin-style cleans, 25% lighter), and if you can find one for a good price grab it now, as the surf crowd is driving prices of the best examples into (and above) their original retail range. My personal fave in a solid-state combo is the pre-1985 Randall RG Series, designed/marketed by a former associate of Leo Fender from the pre-CBS days, and intended to compete directly - two independent non-switchable channels, built-in trem/'verb/bright switch - with Fender's '70s silverface line (comparably priced when new, and sold on their tonal and construction merits); these are real sleepers in the market (I've seen the 120W 2x12"/2x10"/1x15" combos selling for under $200 in good condition, the relatively rare 4x10" for not much more when/if it can be found) and make an excellent stand-alone amp for Americana/blues/classic-rock (as well as country, jazz, surf, and other cleaner-style) players. FYI they're also quite loud for their rated power - more akin to a tube amp in this regard (small wonder the '80s metal bands started using them) - but since they're equipped with pre/post gain (and very wide-range passive EQ controls - I thought my RB-120 1x15" bass/guitar combo had active EQ when I first bought it) you can roll back the volume to reasonable levels without killing your tone...

Hope this helps...
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:08 AM
paulp1960 paulp1960 is offline
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The Vox VT40X is a killer sounding modelling amp (to my ears anyway) at around $250.

I personally don't like the Boss Katana amps, they sound too bright and processed and unlike a valve amp imho.

I borrowed a Yamaha THR10 one time and didn't like that either as I thought it had zero clean headroom.

The Fender modelling amps are ok.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:02 AM
Steel and wood Steel and wood is offline
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You could always get a Roland Cube or Micro Cube.
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Old 05-07-2018, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel and wood View Post
You could always get a Roland Cube or Micro Cube.
I almost never regret all the gear that has come and gone, but I should have NEVER sold my Roland Cube 60. That thing sounded fantastic! I have owned multiple, good, tube amps, but I think the best electric guitar tone I ever got was a Fender Classic Player '60s Strat into that wonderful little box.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:19 PM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Your 2 choices are both pretty solid, really. I like the simplicity of the Champion series and prefer it's clean tone to that of the Katana. The Katana is quite a bit louder when pushed, but when I tried one I found it to behave in a glitchy fashion in some settings and to have a lot of white noise in others - I will admit the time I spent on them has been nominal and much of that was likely user error - still, too many bells and whistles for my taste.

I just bought the Vox MV50 AC NuTube amp a few weeks ago. The head with the 108 Cab are gig capable and with a LOT of volume. It is a KISS type of rig, but you can go from clean spank to Blues/Classic Rock tones with a simple turn of the volume knob and a change in the pickup.

Don't let the 108 cab fool you, no, it isn't a 12'" and doesn't sound like one. It does sound better than most 10" to me though and the head and cab together are under 10lbs. When I say they are gig capable, I'm talking from experience. The head/cab are just over tour budget at $279, but well worth the extra IMHO.

Of your 2 choices listed, I would prefer the Champion for ease of use. The Champion 20 is pretty doggone good too.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:30 AM
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Okay, time to fess up...I am hugely embarrassed...

Yesterday I remembered I own a tube amp that was built many years ago by a friend who is a professional sound engineer. It uses the circuitry of a '60s Fender Princeton Blackface.

I cleaned it up last night, and fired up the old beast. Wow! Even through the two heavy duty 6X9 speakers that he built into the head cover (how slick is that?!) it sounds incredible. As you might guess, it's built like a tank and heavy as all get out, but man...What an amp!

So, the next step (no rush) with be to upgrade the external speaker(s)/cabinet.
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