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 vink
(@vink)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 722
Topic starter  

I am thinking of getting an Avatar 1X12 cab, to use with my EVJ combo when I feel like cranking it up, and for future use with some small head (I've been thinking about getitng a VOX night train or something like that, but not quite ready yet). I like to play blues and classic rock stuff. I am debating:
a) closed back or open back -- leaning towards closed back
b) Whether to get a Celestion GH 12-30 or Greenback
c) 8 ohm or 16 ohm (either one of those would work for both EVJ and the night train, but I don't know if one is better for future expandability).

Any opinions, especially on (b) and (c)?

Thanks!

(PS: I've been not here for a while, and not playing that much -- too much work etc, but been playing more again, hope to hang around here a bit more too.)

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@scrybe)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

If you go with the greenbacks, I think they're lovely, I have them in my JTM 45. But I'd say go closed-back, since they supposedly sound much better in a closed back system (the major criticism of the JTM 45 is that it uses greenback speakers with an open back design). I was considering the possibility of modding my amp to make it closed back, but dunno if I'll ever get around to this or not. I also can't vouch for how accurate that open-back criticism is, I'm just relaying what I've heard countless times in countless places about those speakers in particular. YMMV.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@musica23)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 278
 

Hey vink,

As the proud and happy new owner of an Avatar cab (just acquired a few days ago), I can at the very least say that the cab is very well-made. As for the G12H vs. Greenback thing, I find them fairly similar. I've got a 4x12 closed-back Marshall loaded w/ Greenbacks and it sounds great w/ nearly everything. My new open-back Avatar is a mixture of the G12H and a Vintage 30. The G12 smoothes out the V30 highs and they work together nicely. Also, I've got the Vox Night Train but haven't tried it yet w/ the Avatar. However, with the Marshall it sounds great. (I'm sure this really helps. )

Anyway, I went for an 8 ohm open-back cab. Originally I wanted a 16, but realized I could connect both my Fender amps to an 8. I think the 8 ohm is slightly more versatile. Also, I believe the Greenback tends to break up faster than the rich and full-sounding G12H. So if you like more natural break-up, I'd say the Greenback is the way to go. If you prefer more cleans, I guess I'd go with the G12. I do know that the 2 are very similar sounding, so you'll probably be happy either way.

Good luck and please report back!

Take care,
Cindy :D :D :D

Love and Peace or Else,
CC


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 vink
(@vink)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 722
Topic starter  

Thanks for the replies! I do like tones on the edge of breakup, so sounds like greenbacks are the way to go. And I am getting more and more convinced that I will not go for anything more than a 15W or 20W amp.

(Cindy, do write a review on the NightTrain - preferably through the Avatar cab! I would love to hear how you like that amp).

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@musica23)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 278
 

(Cindy, do write a review on the NightTrain - preferably through the Avatar cab! I would love to hear how you like that amp).

I'll do my best, vink. I'm not exactly good at the technical aspects/terminology of amps, but I'll try and give you my impressions of the Night Train through the Avatar after I hear 'em together myself! It should be sometime this weekend, so stay tuned...and wish me luck!

Love and Peace or Else,
CC


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(@musica23)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 278
 

Re: the Vox Night Train...

Yesterday I played for about an hour and a half through the NT and my Avatar cab w/ Hellatone 30 (G12H) and Hellatone 60 (Vintage 30). I had a blast! I'll try and give some helpful details for you, vink. The guitar I used is a PRS SE Custom w/ stock pups, which I find to be fairly bright for a dual humbucker guitar. If I'd had more time, I'd also have used a Strat and a LP. I'll get around to that!

The amp is pretty versatile (especially as compared to some other low watt tube amps such as the Tiny Terror, Epi Valve Jr., and even the Egnater Rebel 20 IMHO). There's no Reverb (as you probably know), but that seems to be the wave of the future w/ these lower watt amps. There is full tone control (Treble, Mid and Bass), Volume, Gain and the all-important Bright/Thick switch! Also, you can go from Triode (7.5 watts) to Pentode (15 watts) and there's a Standby mode, thankfully. The build seems very sturdy (especially the switches) and its appearance is called "sexy" by many guys. While I don't find it sexy, I certainly wouldn't call it unattractive. I just prefer the look of the cuter, more vintage-y amps (e.g., the cream-colored Vox Heritage Collection AC15HTVH 15W...yeah, sure...for 2x the $$$, it's very cute... ).

I began in Triode mode w/ the Bright switch on. The gain needs to be on at least a bit for the volume to come through, so I put the gain on the lowest setting possible and the Volume midway. I found it to be too low in volume and worried that it'd be difficult to get much of a Clean sound from it. I switched to Pentode and found the same thing. It took some experimenting with the Gain, Volume and tone knobs for me to hear a nice clean sound. Lucky for me, I prefer it somewhat dirty/dirty, so there's no problem there! Of course I didn't have time for the manual, but I managed to find a lovely array of sounds on my own just by playing around with the knobs and switches. Overall, I prefer the Thick setting to the Bright, and I greatly appreciate the contrast between the two. Perhaps with a Les Paul, the Bright switch would be my fave setting.

Luckily I have other small, low watt tube amps with which to compare the Night Train. I nearly passed this one up due to my husband's possible adverse reaction to yet another amp in our home, but I'm really glad I didn't! This one is tonally diverse (I'm not as familiar with the classic Vox tone as I should be as I only recently realized that I love the sound of Vox amps. I love The Beatles, but I thought that was the extent of the Vox tone...wrong!), and I'd say it's got enough chime to it to satisfy Vox lovers. It can get extremely bright but is easily adjusted. It gives off a deep and rich tone (lotsa bass when needed, partly thanks to my G12H, I think) and I think it's well worth its asking price. I also used it with my 4x12 Marshall w/ greenbacks for a few minutes, and found tons of volume and early break-up.

My main concern (if not only) is the quality issue for which Vox has become known. I actually wanted a AC15 or AC30, but was afraid to invest that much in a product that's known to have so many quality issues. I know nothing about the technical aspect of amps (I've yet to even change a tube), so I was unwilling to take the risk of investing more. The Night Train is no AC30...that's for sure. But tonally-speaking, it has the Vox characteristics and it's FUN to play, and can get quite loud! There's no shortage of gain, and that's good news for someone like me. Connected with my concerns over quality, the Night Train really gets H O T after a relatively short time. It's vented on every side but the bottom, but I worry that after a longer playing period it might melt its own heavy-duty plastic carrying strap! Most of the heat seems to come out the top, so we shall see...Other than that, I love my Vox Night Train and can't wait to try it out with some other guitars and cabs!

Please write me, vink, with any questions or comments (or whatever) if you like. I'll do my best to answer! Btw, I really love my Avatar cab and would recommend them highly to anyone (on a budget or not)! :D P.S. Forgot the first round...although my tonal quest is supposed to be over, I now would LOVE to hear this thing through an Alnico Blue-equipped cab.

Take care,
Cindy

Love and Peace or Else,
CC


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

The absence of "features" on the Valve Junior and similar amps isn't an omission or defect, it's the soul of the sort of amp they are. A reproduction of the old small steel guitar amps of the '40s and '50s, albeit with more gain when the knob's cranked all the way on the new ones. The ones with tone stacks, gain controls and such are nice and have their place, but they're different sorts of amps.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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 vink
(@vink)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Topic starter  

Thanks for the review on the Nightrain, very helpful! I was really curious about how well it does clean/bluesy crunch. I was pretty sure it does the classic rock driven tone quite well.

Ricochet, on the amp being flexible: at least one of the other amps mentioned -- the Orange Tiny Terror -- is reputed to do overdrive/distortion very well, but then not so great on clean or less driven tones. That's a different dimension than flexibility from having "features" ..

(PS: I have not ordered the cabinet yet. Most of the time, I have to play very quietly, so I am sure it's not worth the investment, but then GAS beckons -- have to see what will win :-))

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@musica23)
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The absence of "features" on the Valve Junior and similar amps isn't an omission or defect, it's the soul of the sort of amp they are. A reproduction of the old small steel guitar amps of the '40s and '50s, albeit with more gain when the knob's cranked all the way on the new ones. The ones with tone stacks, gain controls and such are nice and have their place, but they're different sorts of amps.

Oh, I know, Ricochet! I was merely trying to describe the Night Train as being versatile for a low watt tube amp. In my experience, some are (but most aren't) whether or not by design (e.g., the Egnater Rebel 20...IMHO).

I own and love the Epi for what it is, and I agree that it's in a different category from the Vox. I certainly wasn't criticizing it in any way. In fact, I feel it's one of the best bargains (if not THE best bargain) one could hope for in any tube amp.

I also own the Rebel 20 (which actually offers more features than the Vox), but I believe it to be less versatile and less distinctive-sounding. Perhaps I should have left the Epi and the Orange out of that equation to avoid confusion. (Btw, I agree with vink re: the Orange as far as being great for overdriven sounds and pretty bad for clean. I still love it, though! )

Vink: As for clean/bluesy crunch, the Night Train's got it! Good luck whatever you decide to do! I understand the battle all too well.

Take care,
Cindy

Love and Peace or Else,
CC


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(@ricochet)
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There's always the question of flexibility vs. doing one (or two) things well...

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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 vink
(@vink)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 722
Topic starter  

There's always the question of flexibility vs. doing one (or two) things well...

I have a couple that do at least one thing well, I guess the next amp must do two things well :-) But I still need to figure out which two things ...

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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