Small Amp GAS

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megalithic
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Small Amp GAS

Post by megalithic » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:57 am

I'm kind of gassing for a small amp. Not sure I'll really get anything at all, or necessarily the one that people will recommend, or maybe I'll get two amps or get something much later, like a year from now. In any case, this is the ampiest forum I'm on, so I might as well make a post.

Here are my options, all new amps:
1. Marshall JCM-1H. I've tried this and like it a lot. All valve distortion (don't have another amp that does this, I use pedals), I really like the 0.1 watt mode. I can get this for a pretty good price, not great, but pretty good. More expensive than the others though.
2. Tube Town Hot Lukas. This is a kit based on a Matchless Hot Box pedal but modded into an amp. Chassis and head cab are all available, costs maybe half of the Marshall. However, it is louder than I want at 1.5 watt even with a lower power valve.
https://www.tube-town.net/cms/?DIY/LoW- ... %28engl%29
actually the Lummerland Express is similar, no mids control but can be added as there is already a fixed resistor that serves the same function. This one is based on a Trainwreck circuit:
https://www.tube-town.net/cms/?DIY/LoW- ... %28engl%29
3. Blackheart Killer Ant. I've tried this, nice, pretty low volume, only 0.25 of a watt. However, with only one pre-amp valve needs pedals for what I want. Easy to add master volume and 3-band eq, it's all already in the circuit as fixed resistors. Maybe not that hard to add another valve, drilling through metal is a pain for me though. I can get this for a ridiculous price (much more than it cost new, even before liquidation), or a not great price but considerably better than the one I just mentioned.
4. Fender Greta. I've tried this with a 1x12" cab, and at 2 watts it's very loud, also distorts easily. Haven't tried it with the built-in speaker. However, this would be cool to put things like mp3 players through it, although I already have several boom boxes and don't need it. Can get this for what it cost new before liquidation.

I kind of wanted to mention the Hotone amps, don't know if I'm crazy for the Heart Attack in the demos, I can get better sounds with my Micro Terror with Rocktron Zombie and eq pedal. Curious if the Purple Wind can get a heavier metal sound. Would like to try these out in person. Not really what I'm looking for, but they fascinate me (as does the Greta).

OR15 is very nice too, tried it. Much louder and not what I'm looking for, but can get super-heavy. Even in 7 watt mode pretty loud.

Also, some of the amps mentioned would be able to get all valve distortion if I added something like an Electro-Harmonix English Muffin. On the other hand, I would then be approaching the price of the Marshall.
Last edited by megalithic on Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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a.hun
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by a.hun » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:02 am

Totally not what you are asking about, (and I can see the appeal of small amps), but maybe think about...
THIS

Plenty of gain, though volume might be a problem. :wink:

Won't be around for ever - just saying!
http://forum.orangeamps.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&start=30" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

Ever tried to outstare a mirror?

In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find!

BlackArrow
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by BlackArrow » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:03 am

If looking for a small valve amp, I would say that the small combo Blackstar HT-1R is the winner for me !!
Amazing tones, pretty cheap and so light to carry for playing everywhere

misterfolkertsma
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by misterfolkertsma » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:22 am

I haven't tried any of those... :roll:

What I have tried though, was a Vox AC4. And I REALLY enjoyed that.

MikeD
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by MikeD » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:46 am

BlackArrow wrote:If looking for a small valve amp, I would say that the small combo Blackstar HT-1R is the winner for me !!
Amazing tones, pretty cheap and so light to carry for playing everywhere
My guitarist has the Blackstar HT-5r 112 combo and man is that thing awesome. Even the Swedish hard-rock band Mustasch thinks so seeing they tour with them...and I can understand why. Just pop it in a box with a mic= 0 stage volume, can line it out = happy soundtech, 2 channels and for a hybrid it sounds pretty neat.

We always bring it along as a reserv incase one of the bigboys breakdown
Gibson: Angus Young SG 03 / LP Standard 05 / Firebird V 01
Orange: RV50 mkII & ppc212-c / Micro Dark & ppc112
my rock/cover band:
deaf dumb & blind on Facebook
my "americana" band:
Oak Dust on Facebook

Les Paul Lover
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by Les Paul Lover » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:52 pm

I have tried the following:

Blackstar HT5 - can't see what the fuss is about
Epi Valve Junior - great fun little amp
Fender champ - not bad either, though I prefer the Epi
Fender blues junior - very interesting I like that one a bit, but not as much as....
Fender princeton reverb - still a small amp at 12W, but a really good small amp.
Hayden mini moto or something - a hotrodded marshall on steroids waiting to smash something. Excellent for hard / heavy rock. Not my cup of tea.
Marshall class 5 - not bad either. Classic marshall tones. I might get one one day.
Vox AC4 - meh to me. Don't get the fuss about it.

I used to own

Orange AD5 - great little beast. The best, Imo, of these small 5W amps. Well worth tracking one down, especially as they don't lose value anymore. Excellent blues tones, fantastic hard rock tones, a real gem. I liked it so much I bought....

Orange AD15. Still a small amp at 15w. I love it. From quiet practice at home to small pub outings, just perfect transport size, volume and tone.

I eventually sold my AD5 as I wasn't playing it anymore thanks to the AD15.
Ant

Orange Gear: RV50 MKI, R30, AD15, AD5, PPC212
Past Orange: Orange AD30TC Combo, Tiny Terror

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, Vigier Expert Retro 54, Gibson SG 70s Tribute, Aria Pro II RS X80, G&L ASAT Special Tribute

megalithic
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by megalithic » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:44 am

Not exactly what I'm looking for either, but kind of interested about the Mooer Little Monster BM. Too bad there's no schematic available.

Also the VHT Special 6 Ultra seems kind of interesting. Weird tone options but easy to mod. Kind of big physically.

I've never had a 6V6 amp, both of these use them at the output.
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Mrjones2004x
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by Mrjones2004x » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:49 pm

So I've owned a fair few in the past so I can contribute properly for once.

Black star ht1 and ht5. Pretty good for hard rock and metal. Classic rock it's a bit gash. Very compressed. With a parametric eq in the 5 watter loop it killed! 1 watter for lead playing with reverb was great.

Vox ac4 TV 8inch and 10 inch. 8 inch better sounding by a lot imo. Great chime and good for lower gain sounds. Didn't like when pushed to far. Boxy sounding until I cut the back open.

Bugera V5. Mine was a rat modified one. Excellent. Overall great but I wanted more gain so I moved it on in the end.

Epiphone junior v3. Great amp. Really loved it. Wish I still had it. I had the 8 inch combo. Lovely crunch sound. Modified it with bitmo mods to make it more versatile.

Fender champion 600. It was ok at best till I modded it. New speaker and tubes, 2 resister mods and 100% better. Stock not great but 2 mods anyone can do in 10 mins. Then it's awesome.

Fender greata. Lovely sound through 2x12 but only one tone which liked p90s. Didn't suit any of my other guitars tho. Internal speaker was a toy. Fuzzy crap lol.

Hughes & kettner tubemeister 5. Very sterile. Very clear and just to clean and crisp. Was so refined it lacked character. Looked cool but that's it lol.

I own one amp now and have had for 2 years and it's staying.

Marshall jmp1 head. Running with 2x12 cab with 70s celestions speakers. Amazing for home. Used on 0.1 watt 90% of the time and perfect volume and sounds brilliant. On 1 watt it roars and I love it. Quite mid heavy and lacking in bass but if jamming to stereo or backing tracks it really cuts through. I wish it had a loop for delay but otherwise for me it's perfect.
I had this and a tiny terror at same time and I returned the terror after a week of comparing the two. The marshall at both settings (low power and high) sounded better than the tt at the same actual volumes. The tt started to shine a bit further round on the volume when it thickened up and was great but just a tad to loud for me at home.
Tone is everything

megalithic
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by megalithic » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:05 am

Mrjones2004x wrote:Fender greata. Lovely sound through 2x12 but only one tone which liked p90s. Didn't suit any of my other guitars tho. Internal speaker was a toy. Fuzzy crap lol.
How did it sound with an mp3 player and the internal speaker?
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Mrjones2004x
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Location: Dunstable UK

Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by Mrjones2004x » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:32 pm

Hi, sorry about the late reply. I honestly can't remember how it sounded with the internal speaker. It didn't suit me for whatever reasons so I sent it back.
Tone is everything

Wendigo
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by Wendigo » Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:42 pm

I think that little Yamaha toaster amp is supposed to be pretty amazing.

cddsix
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by cddsix » Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:48 am

My mind is reeling at your statement "OR15...... not what I'm looking for", how could it not be what your looking for, it is the most perfect small wattage amp in the world for ALL applications. Just kidding.....but seriously what does it lack that you seek? Put an OD up front or EQ in the loop and it becomes VERY verstatile.

a.hun
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by a.hun » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:10 pm

cddsix wrote:My mind is reeling at your statement "OR15...... not what I'm looking for", how could it not be what your looking for, it is the most perfect small wattage amp in the world for ALL applications. Just kidding.....but seriously what does it lack that you seek? Put an OD up front or EQ in the loop and it becomes VERY verstatile.
Maybe the whatage is too much for watt he needs! :wink:

Even just one or two 'whats' can be pretty damn loud. Very powerfuel indeed!


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

Ever tried to outstare a mirror?

In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find!

Sid Nitzerglobin
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Re: Small Amp GAS

Post by Sid Nitzerglobin » Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:37 pm

My favorite ~5W tube combo is still my Class 5 combo (I want to get one of the heads as well but unfortunately have been tapped out whenever I run into them). I replaced the speaker w/ a G10M and it has a great vintage Plexi-ish sound.

I just grabbed a Micro Terror over the weekend and so far am really liking it as well. I usually am tube only just based on the lack of dynamics most of the cheaper SS amps seem to have, but the tube pre in the MT seems to work really well for me.

AC4C1-12 had a killer Top Boost sound once I retubed and put a Red Fang in it but felt kinda cheap and was just as finicky/inconsistent as the other Vox-en I've tried. I finally moved it along a few months ago to help fund acquisition of the Jazzblaster.

On the clean side, I really like my Ampeg GVT5-H.
Orange Gear
Amps - OR50, Micro Terror, OB1-500
Cabs - PPC212 (G12H 55Hz & G12 Gold), 2 PPC108, OBC115
Pedals - Two Stroke

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