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Old 12-06-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
laylo
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Which valve amp?

Need some advice on 'what amp'.

I want an all valve amp, not hybrid (I currently have a 15watt fender superchamp xd i'd like to move away from). I'm mainly a bedroom user, but would like an amp that can handle small gigs/rehearsals etc. Therefore i think I'm looking for:
15watt or up to 30watt if it has an attenuater (30/15/7 kinda thing)
Either head or combo
2 channel - 1 crunch/dirty/fat/overdrive and 1 for clean tones
Foot switchable
Effects loop

I'd be running the head through a Blackstar HT112 Cab which is 12" blackbird 50watt speaker, 16ohms impedance.

I've looked at the Orange dual terror, however it doesn't have an effects loop! The Orange Dark Terror is a contender as I love the shape control, easy to use and a good range of tonality, however it's only single channel. The Orange TH30 seems to meet my spec however i've not heard one and it is a little over my budget. I've looked at other options and am struggling to find what I need. My budget is around the £500 mark but can go a bit higher for the right amp. I mainly play improvisational blues stuff. Gritty, raw, fuzzy, crunch a bit of distortion and gain etc.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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Played a Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister, was an awesome amp
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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Hayden Mini Mofo. Should be well without your budget & capable of producing some fantastic tones! Go look!
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions - I've had a go with both of these amps - not for very long though - and was impressed. Been looking at the Egnator Rebel 30 even though this is a bit more expensive. It says it has a 'buffered effects loop', what does that mean exactly?
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:27 AM   #5
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it normally means either it's buffered to solve impedance issues (so you don't suffer signal/treble loss) or to make sure it's at the correct level for effects. I think.

basically it means it's not just a jack taken out after the preamp and another jack back in. so (in theory) it means it should sound good. in practice, all bets are off
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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@Dave_Mc cheers for the explanation. Makes sense. The egnator looks great, just need to listen to some reviews.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyGray
Hayden Mini Mofo. Should be well without your budget & capable of producing some fantastic tones! Go look!

Superb amp, nice recommendation.


On the whole I don't like valve amps for bedroom/home use, I think modelling is a better choice.
People often write off modelling amps because they've only heard the little 15W practice versions with 8" speaker....in comparison a 12" valve amp sounds huge! However, the larger modelling amps can sound fantastic down to whisper volume. I use a Line6 Flextone II at home and it's awesome, but my valve amps sound tinny and harsh at the same volume levels.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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@kyle62 you make a good point. I guess i'm looking for that authentic valve sound and understand that with valves you have to push it high to get the tone benefits. So maybe a good quality modelling amp is worth considering. I was looking at the Vox range - are these any good in comparison to Line 6? I've got a 15 watt 12" fender superchamp xd hybrid and am not too impressed with the voicings on this. What wattage in a modelling amp am i looking for to offer loud enough volumes when needed?
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #9
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If you are playing blues do you really need an effects loop?
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle62
Superb amp, nice recommendation.


On the whole I don't like valve amps for bedroom/home use, I think modelling is a better choice.
People often write off modelling amps because they've only heard the little 15W practice versions with 8" speaker....in comparison a 12" valve amp sounds huge! However, the larger modelling amps can sound fantastic down to whisper volume. I use a Line6 Flextone II at home and it's awesome, but my valve amps sound tinny and harsh at the same volume levels.


I'll certainly not argue about what YOUR gear sounds like but you need to consider that not all tube amps suffer from that affliction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laylo
@kyle62 you make a good point. I guess i'm looking for that authentic valve sound and understand that with valves you have to push it high to get the tone benefits. So maybe a good quality modelling amp is worth considering. I was looking at the Vox range - are these any good in comparison to Line 6? I've got a 15 watt 12" fender superchamp xd hybrid and am not too impressed with the voicings on this. What wattage in a modelling amp am i looking for to offer loud enough volumes when needed?


Not necessarily.

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Last edited by Arby911 : 12-06-2012 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perturabo
Played a Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister, was an awesome amp



However some people have been questioning if Tubemeisters really are all-valve, or do they have some SS clipping stage like Blackstar was busted having with their HT serie. SS clean boost is fine, but distortion is not because that practically makes it a hybrid amp. Not that there is anything wrong with that and it can indeed sound awesome, but when a person is asking for all-valve a clipping diode is the last thing he wants in it.

Take a note that this is all assumptions about H&K, nobody knows (yet) because H&K is sitting tight on their schematics and I think nobody has reverse engineered their amps yet.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #12
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^ i'd say even using opamps to boost the signal is iffy if you want it to be all-valve. and more to the point, if it's being sold as all-valve.

if you ask me, all-valve should mean no solid state amplification or clipping (so anything in the signal path that boosts/amplifies or distorts should not be a diode, transistor or op-amp- it should be done with valves, or with switching resistors/caps to bleed more/less signal to ground). I guess if it's a switchable boost that can be bypassed, then that can be solid state (but it should be pointed out).

SS rectification is absolutely fine (but should be pointed out).

SS-driven reverb and fx loop are also fine, but should be pointed out (and should ideally be able to be completely removed from the signal path when not in use).

it really is pretty simple. people act like no-one can agree on this stuff. I disagree. Anyone who doesn't have a vested interest (i.e. who doesn't stand to make money from it) and who has half an idea how tube amps work can normally agree pretty quickly.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
^ i'd say even using opamps to boost the signal is iffy if you want it to be all-valve. and more to the point, if it's being sold as all-valve.



True. But I'd say it would be splitting hairs, because even worst valve purists have no problem putting a tubescreamer as clean boost in front of their amps to make their solos stand out (or tighten the distortion), even though that technically breaks the all-valve idea.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:31 PM   #14
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i wouldn't say even the worst of them. The real purists won't use any pedals at all

I think the difference between having it on the amp (unless it's switchable) and using separate pedals is that you can turn pedals off (i.e you can check you don't just sound better without pedals), and you can also pick and choose the exact pedal you want to do the exact thing you want. Unless you're a beginner and don't already have any pedals, or want a convenient-as-possible all-in-one solution, I really don't see much advantage to having the pedals built in to the amp. It's just taking choice and options away from the player, rather than adding them, IMO.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:02 AM   #15
laylo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laylo
Need some advice on 'what amp'.

I want an all valve amp, not hybrid (I currently have a 15watt fender superchamp xd i'd like to move away from). I'm mainly a bedroom user, but would like an amp that can handle small gigs/rehearsals etc. Therefore i think I'm looking for:
15watt or up to 30watt if it has an attenuater (30/15/7 kinda thing)
Either head or combo
2 channel - 1 crunch/dirty/fat/overdrive and 1 for clean tones
Foot switchable
Effects loop

I'd be running the head through a Blackstar HT112 Cab which is 12" blackbird 50watt speaker, 16ohms impedance.

I've looked at the Orange dual terror, however it doesn't have an effects loop! The Orange Dark Terror is a contender as I love the shape control, easy to use and a good range of tonality, however it's only single channel. The Orange TH30 seems to meet my spec however i've not heard one and it is a little over my budget. I've looked at other options and am struggling to find what I need. My budget is around the £500 mark but can go a bit higher for the right amp. I mainly play improvisational blues stuff. Gritty, raw, fuzzy, crunch a bit of distortion and gain etc.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Are there any Marshall heads/combo's that can be suggested based on the above requirments?
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:07 AM   #16
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i dunno if marshall has much around the 15/30 watt region. the haze, maybe, but they're meant to be not so great (i haven't tried them).
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
i dunno if marshall has much around the 15/30 watt region. the haze, maybe, but they're meant to be not so great (i haven't tried them).


Not a fan of the Haze. If i went for a higher watt amp such as 50 to 100, how good are these attenuators such as the hotplate, to allow for home use?
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laylo
Not a fan of the Haze. If i went for a higher watt amp such as 50 to 100, how good are these attenuators such as the hotplate, to allow for home use?


Pretty clear you didn't bother to read what I linked you to, given that question...

Good luck.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:09 AM   #19
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i don't really have any experience with attenuators, but from what i hear they're much more useful for dropping a couple of dBs off the overall volume (say, for slightly quieter gigs) than for getting the thing down to bedroom volume.

the other thing is, even 15 watts tube is WAY TOO LOUD cranked in a bedroom. not getting a 50 watter that might do the tone you want (especially if you're more interested in preamp tube distortion-type tones) and then getting a 15 watter which won't, and which is still way too loud, is silly, if you ask me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby911
Pretty clear you didn't bother to read what I linked you to, given that question...

Good luck.


+1

I missed that. read that link, then come back.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:05 AM   #20
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Does anyone have experience of the Bugera v22? It's been suggested to me. It looks great in spec and price and has a great boutique look about it. I'm looking at either head or combo, however this is a 22watt, and as my search is for valve tone (crunch and grit for my blues playing whilst offering ample variations in tones) in a bedroom environment, is this wattage too high to get the best out of it?
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