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low watt amp

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(@akflyingv)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 406
Topic starter  

I'm looking for a low watt amp that I can use in a bedroom, i'd prefer it to be a tube amp much like the Epi Valve jr. I've so far only really been looking at that one but was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions.

I mainly want an amp with good cleans that will break up at a lower volume. I love the fender clean channels on most of their amps but it seems that most of their tube amps are in the 20+ watt category. I'm going in with the assumption that if i start with a great clean channel it will give me the chance to improve the sound in whatever way I want with pedals and natural tube distortion.

How much of a difference will a few watts make? I've read online that it would only be a few db, but truthfully i have no clue how loud a decibel is so it doesn't mean much to me. Also would a low watt amp (5w) break up sooner than say a 20w?

I've tried out a Hot rod deluxe in town and I own a 50w jcm900 and its a little ridiculous how loud it can get. Thanks for reading this long post and thanks in advance for the suggestions.


   
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(@ph0nage)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 199
 

you checked out the Fender VibroChamp ? I believe it's a 5 watt tube amp with Digital effects and modeling. One of my two amps is the Super Champ XD (15w) and it is great.


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

A 5W amp isn't quiet. At max volume it's about as loud as you can scream, or like a trumpet playing loud. Half as loud as a 50W amp cranked, with the same speaker efficiency. For output stage distortion at true bedroom volume, you'll still need an attenuator, or a power soak with earphone output. A good compromise is to use a master volume amp or a VJ with an overdrive pedal in front for "preamp" distortion at low volume. I've used the Arion Tubulator pedal I got for $10 from MF (a cheap near clone of an Ibanez TubeScreamer) with my VJ and like it. Any overdrive will work.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@akflyingv)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

If i were to purchase a Epi VJ is there any way that i could hook it into my Marshall jcm 900 speakers? Its a 2x12 combo. Or would it just be a better idea to buy a 1x12 cab from ebay?


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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If your Marshall's speakers plug into the back of the amp, all you have to do is buy a double ended female connector to hook your speaker cable to the short cable from the speakers. Personally I like my combo, and the combo can be used as a head to drive other cabs if you like.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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I don't know how much you are looking to spend, but I love my Fender Blues Jr. It is very portable but packs plenty of power. It is much more manageable volume wise than the Hot Rod Deluxe which I also own. The Blues Jr can get great clean tones if you want to use pedals for overdrive or distortion, but it also has a great overdriven tone by itself. You have two controls, Volume and Master. Keep Volume low but turn Master up for clean tones, Turn Volume up high but keep Master low for a great overdrive. To me the overdrive sounds like early one-channel Marshall amps, my favorite tone ever.

As much as I love my HRD, I think the Blues Jr blows it away for tone, especially the overdrive. I do not care for my HRD's Drive channels, I use pedals. The clean channel on the HRD is great though.

The Super Champ XD is great and also has modeling and effects. You can get a pretty killer Marshall tone, even high gain Metal tones. Of course it has the great Fender clean tones as well. It has some pretty good effects too. The one and only thing I personally don't like about the SCXD is the 10" speaker. But it has a Speaker Out and can be connected to a cab.

I also own a Epi Valve Jr head and it is a great amp. But it is louder than you think. You cannot really get it into the overdriven tones in your bedroom. Well, you could, but the neighbors might call the cops. :D

The EVJ does sound great when overdriven. My one and only problem with the head version is that it doesn't have a tone control.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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The fact that it's only got one control is its charm, and modifying that to add tone controls, gain controls etc. puts it into another whole class of amp. What it is is a replica of one of the common old low power steel guitar amps of the '40s and '50s. (With more gain than the old ones when it's cranked all the way, it reaches max volume at about 12:00 o'clock with P-90s or humbuckers and about 2:00 with Fender single coils, the rest being overdrive.) Seriously, when I crank mine and my wife comes to scream at me to turn it down, I see her mouth moving but hear nothing. (I turn it down because I've learned a thing or two over the years.)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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I've got one of those Super Champ SDs. It's a really good amp with plenty of gadgets and gizmos, but I'm with Wes. I wish it had a 12 inch speaker. For bedroom use or practice or whatever, it's great. When it's played alongside a HRD or a Blues Deluxe at clean settings, it comes off weak.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@akflyingv)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

So i think i've realized that even a 5watt tube amp will be fairly loud for my bedroom use so i've been looking exclusively at 1watt amps like the Blackheart killer ant. Has anyone tried one of these out?


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Nope. But I do think you're on the right track.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@akflyingv)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

What kind of cab would help me keep the volume low, i'm assuming a 4x12 while only increase the sound. Would it be in my best interest to get a 1x12? or a 2x12?


   
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(@akflyingv)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

I figured out the answer to the question above....sry! I'm planning on getting a 1x12. Now all i need is some money and i'll be set. I'm a little broke seeing as how I ordered a new guitar a few days ago and it should be here tomorrow (1-28-09).


   
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(@ricochet)
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Waiting to hear how you like it!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@cuppajack)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 25
 

Check out the soon to be released Vox AC4. A 4-watt all-tube amp switchable to 1 or 1/4 watt!


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Sorry, I missed this thread! :?

I have a Fender Champion 600. It is 5w, tube, and sounds very well to me but I was looking for that tone. I had a problem with the first unit but the store changed it for a new amp (I think there must be an old thread on the issue).

I like the Epi as well and I don't know if I'd buy again the Fender now, perhaps I'd buy the Epi. I like the tone I get with the Fender but I don't know if it is enough reliable: it broke just in some months and I only play at home!

IMHO 5w is more than enough for bedroom levels.

And a comment. Some weeks ago I was trying a Conford 6w in a guitar store. It is very, very loud! I can not believe that it was only 6w, it seemed more than like a 30w tube amp.


   
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