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Old 03-23-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
Elo01
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Need an appartment-amp #1402

Alright, so here's the catch:
My budget lies around 500 or 600 bucks.
But since I have to get an Eminence Maverick speaker (that essentially cuts volume in half so I can properly use the amp in my apparment) I've only got about 300 bucks for the amp itself.

I also play a lot of different stuff (RHCP, gilmour, sabbath, ...), so I don't want one of those one-trick pony amps (such as the vox ac4) - though getting into a gilmourish, comfortably-numb'ish territory has the highest priority

Current favorites:

VHT Special 6 Ultra Head
+Attenuator, able to get that saturated, overdriven powertube sound at "low" volumes
+Build quality
+Super cheap
-At least with stock tubes that thing sounds.. "thin".. Not sure how much new quality tubes would help

Laney Cub Head
+That sound. I don't know what it is, but even with stock tubes I really dig that tone
+0.75w mode for crunch at lower volumes
+Guy at gilmourish recommends it
-Unreliable, low quality. Man, I'm grounded via my guitar's strings. I don't want some cheap chinese amp to zap me because a cable got loose and touched something it's not supposed to touch

Laney VC15
+Tone
-Only a 15w mode, I won't be able to get powertube saturation at lower volumes
+Claims that it sounds excelent even at bedroom volumes


Any Input, whether it's other amps I should check out or pros / cons for my current favorites, would be much appreciated

Last edited by Elo01 : 03-23-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:18 PM   #3
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I'd go with the VHT. From my experience they're great amps.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
NakedInTheRain
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line 6 pod with headphones. just because those amps are low wattage doesn't mean they're a lot quieter. most likely you're still gonna piss off your neighbours. and in-built attenuators rarely give you 'proper cranked tone' at low volumes.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:15 AM   #5
ikey_
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egnater tweaker. i have the tweaker 40 specifically for 2 channels and it sounds great at low volume (with a preamp tube change). thats out of budget for 300, but the reg tweaker isnt.

vox lil night train is amazing also for a bedroom amp if you want single channel.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NakedInTheRain
line 6 pod with headphones. just because those amps are low wattage doesn't mean they're a lot quieter. most likely you're still gonna piss off your neighbours. and in-built attenuators rarely give you 'proper cranked tone' at low volumes.


+1

An attenuator only lowers your output volume by a fraction... the "creamy pushed sound at whisper levels" is pretty much a myth.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NakedInTheRain
line 6 pod with headphones.


+2
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #8
Elo01
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:(
Well it doesn't have to be whisper-levels, I just don't want a lawn mower in my apparment. I was hoping that the maverick speaker combined with low-wattage / low headroom could do that

Another option would be something like the Tubemeister or the Laney IRT which have a dummy load for the speaker and a speaker emulated line out

Enable dummy load -> crank powertubes -> feed the signal to my PA -> use PA's master volume

Yay?
Nay?

Edit: Will definitely check out the tweaker. What tubes did you use?

Last edited by Elo01 : 03-24-2013 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:52 AM   #9
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i found the stock tweaker to be slightly fizz with the gainer up higher. i am quite happy with a tung sol in V1, JJ ecc83 (whatever the naming convention is) in V2 and a NOS Jan-Phillips 12at7 off dougs tubes.

added a bit of clarity and brightness.

i still maintain vox lil night train, but its gonna be very vintage / grungey sounding. would love it for black keys stuff. fuzzy rock stuff. if you want a modern feel the tube meister is definitely more Hi-Fi as people say. thier lead boost is pretty modern and agressive (some say too solid state sounding). they both are in almost every guitar center.

the speaker in a 1x12 setup should attenuate quite well. or do what i did, shove your setup in the bedroom closet and shut the door (if you can run cables under the door crack). then you can really crank your amp.

but yeah basically using the PA as a pure volume attenuator could work quite well too. only problem with this is - you are not going to get all the goodness that comes from using a guitar speaker....which is a good portion of your tone.

probably not that big a deal, i would try both? A B and see how much different it sounds with the dummy load.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo01

Well it doesn't have to be whisper-levels, I just don't want a lawn mower in my apparment. I was hoping that the maverick speaker combined with low-wattage / low headroom could do that


Fair enough, just trying to disabuse people of the notion that an attenuator will give you that creamy soft-clip at whisper levels before the silliness starts.

Altho caveat emptor, with that much attenuation, you'd get a very dry, sterile tone that'd probably fuzz more than drive.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
ikey_
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yeah. that is a risk. thats why good attentuators are expensive. on that note - anybody hear of the new bad cat attentator / booster box? the leash?

on topic - yeah its really hard to make up for pushed tubes coming through a GUITAR cab and speaker.

but really try it. i would also try my idea. max attentuation on the maverick, shove the amp in your bedroom closet. about as good as its going to get without magical technology tricks.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:35 PM   #12
Elo01
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Alright, thought about it some more - I think I can stretch my budget to 700 or so

Current options:

VHT Special 6 Ultra + Maverick + Either a multieffect (M5, RP 255) or a bunch of cheaper pedals

Egnater Tweaker 15 Head + 112 Maverick cab (I wouldn't have any money for new tubes though :/)

POD HD500 + quality high impedance headphones - Though so far I have always only played through modellers. I'd really like to give the whole TUBEZ thing a shot

oh crap, I just realized that I could also buy a "proper" power attenuator with my now stretched budget... Something like the blues jnr or ac15 and a weber mass. I have no illusions about those attenuators, but it'd allow me to get at least *some* more tube saturation.
Or just a 100% powersoak with a speaker emulated line out

Oh man.

Last edited by Elo01 : 03-25-2013 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:25 PM   #13
Elo01
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In case anybody else is in the same situation as me:

I have decided to go with the pod HD 500 and a pair of DT-990s from beyerdynamic

I have done a LOT of research (3 weeks) regarding low volume amps - Tube amps certainly feel and sound awesome (i.e. better) at higher volumes, no question about that. But, after testing different amps, and reading/watching/listening a lot of reviews, comparisons and discussions, I honestly think that a good modeller/solid state sounds better than a tube at low volumes / headphones.
Keep in mind that I was not able to test attenuators. But the common opinion seems to be that they seriously degrade the tone if you want to get an amp down to appartment volumes.

Not to mention the _HUGE_ versatility

However, for music that gets most of its sound from the preamp tubes (modern metal tones) I thought that low volume tube amps with a good master volume and a good preamp tone are actually quite usable and I'd certainly buy a tube amp if that was my prefered style of music

Last edited by Elo01 : 03-27-2013 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
getmad24_7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragingkitty
+1

An attenuator only lowers your output volume by a fraction... the "creamy pushed sound at whisper levels" is pretty much a myth.

I'm not a technical wizard, but my VHT Special 6 gets pretty quiet via the attenuator.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:10 PM   #15
Deadpool_25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo01
In case anybody else is in the same situation as me:

I have decided to go with the pod HD 500 and a pair of DT-990s from beyerdynamic

I have done a LOT of research (3 weeks) regarding low volume amps - Tube amps certainly feel and sound awesome (i.e. better) at higher volumes, no question about that. But, after testing different amps, and reading/watching/listening a lot of reviews, comparisons and discussions, I honestly think that a good modeller/solid state sounds better than a tube at low volumes / headphones.
Keep in mind that I was not able to test attenuators. But the common opinion seems to be that they seriously degrade the tone if you want to get an amp down to appartment volumes.

Not to mention the _HUGE_ versatility

However, for music that gets most of its sound from the preamp tubes (modern metal tones) I thought that low volume tube amps with a good master volume and a good preamp tone are actually quite usable and I'd certainly buy a tube amp if that was my prefered style of music


HD500 is a good choice. Later you can add a DT series amp if you want.
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