tube amp question
First off I have been visiting this site for awhile now (just joined the forum) and its a very well done site, great lesssons and such. Anyways my current amp situation is as follows, Ive been playing a mim strat for about 1 1/2 years now, this summer I am totally ready for an amp upgrade. I don't really get into effects or anything at all, what I am looking for is that warm blues tube amp tone and some great clean, thats all. (and a smaller price range of $300) This screams fender amp, I was pretty set on getting a blues jr preowned, but my problem is I need an amp that can perform well under "bedroom levels" (not a 15w tube amp haha) but at the same time I need an amp that can give me great sounds at a volume high enough for jams with a bassist and another guitar player (once in a while a light drummer). Right now I am debating between a those crate v or palomino 15watters or the fender super champ xds. The best part of the crates is that its all tube 100% nothing fake bout it, but at the same time I see that there is a single channel on the super champ that is pretty much a 15w tube amp (at least thats how it seems) this would allow me to have that fender clean tube sound (if its real tube haha). The only downside to the superchamp is if the 2nd channel's modeling aspect is too loud. Im pretty sure the 2nd channel works off solid state, which would transform the amp into a great bedroom amp??? Anyone who owns this could help me out, if that first channel is a 15w single volume tube amp then im golden, i could have an amp that performs the way i need to :D hopefully im right, i kinda think its a bit of a gimick to sell these amps as tube amps :cry:
You can keep the Blues Jr. down to bedroom level. Since it has a channel volume and master volume, you can get some drive even at low volumes. There's not a whole lot of range between silent and loud, but it's there. There's no "it's midnight and everyone else in the house is asleep" volume. And it will definitely handle jamming w/ a drummer. I had jammed w/ my son with a 10 watt practice amp and had to turn it all the way up to even hear it. The first time I hooked up the Blues Jr., I figured I would have to crank it up to 5 or 6 to get over the drums, but quickly found out that 3 was all it needed. It goes to 12 (not 11 :D ) and I'm physically afraid to turn the knob past 5.
This is just the Amp I'm looking for too...
Is the attenuator neccisary to play the Blues Jr. @ Apartment volume?
I've also got a bit of a crush on the VOX AC15... But I have no experience on how quietly you can play it.
People keep suggesting to me that I visit a music store and try out the amps on my wishlist, but as a very green new guitar player it is a bit daunting to waltz into Sam Ash, plug a nice guitar into a $600+ amp and then start playing pentatonic scales! I guess I should work on some blues licks for purposes of amp auditioning!
An attenuator's not necessary to play any amp at bedroom volume. That's what the volume knob's for, and I play quietly all the time with some fairly powerful amps. But an attenuator's necessary if you want to hear output stage distortion at low volume.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
People keep suggesting to me that I visit a music store and try out the amps on my wishlist, but as a very green new guitar player it is a bit daunting to waltz into Sam Ash, plug a nice guitar into a $600+ amp and then start playing pentatonic scales! I guess I should work on some blues licks for purposes of amp auditioning! :)
I remember that feeling all too well. I'd been playing (O.K. plunking around) for about 6 months at 45 years-old, no prior music background whatsoever, and a brand new Squier Strat Pack. A "player" at work convinced me that
A) it would improve my playing;
B) bring peace to the Middle East;
C) cure the common cold;
D) reduce my carbon footprint;
if I would upgrade the Fender Frontman to a GENUINE TUBE AMP. Well with all those worthwhile benefits on the line, I packed up my El-Cheapo, '59 Cadillac-Blue, Squier Strat and headed down to the largest Mom & Pop guitar store in town. With absolutely no pride whatsoever I pointed out that I was a beginner, but wanted to hear what my guitar would sound like through a GENUINE TUBE AMP. They were more than happy to oblige, even pointing out that it was better to upgrade the amp first and then the guitar.
The store manager, who is quite a player, spent an hour playing my guitar through several amps and pointing out the differences. He also asked a lot of questions about the type of music I liked and my goals as a player. We both agreed on the Blues Jr. as the best fit at the end. I thanked him, but didn't purchase on that day. About three weeks later I was in the store and he called me over and told me about a clean, used Junior he had just pulled in on trade. I called my wife on the spot and told her that's what I wanted for Father's Day that year. The manager put a sold tag on it until she could pick it up later in the week with no money down and no other questions asked.
Moral of the story: find a store where you can be comfortable and talk with them about what you want. Chances are, they'll be helpful. On the other hand, don't expect miracles from the amp. You are still going to sound like you (and that's a good thing). Now if you find the "Pick of Destiny". . .