Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Instruments > Guitar Gear & Accessories
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 09-30-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
miketar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Small tube amp

Just joined the forum (just started to learn to play) and have read some of the posts about small watt tube amps. Live in a small apartment and was wondering if there is really such a thing as a 1 watt tube amp that can be pushed in a small place that will break up at low volumes. From what I have read, it appears that I would have to turn up anything 5 watts or more pretty loud to achieve the necessary volume to get any distortion, and I do not have the ability to get too darn loud here, although I would like too. If there are such animals, can you give me some ideas what to check out. I really appreciate your knowledge and assistance. In case it helps, I enjoy older blues and 60's, early 70's rock. I have a Fender Frontman 10 watt that really does not do much for me. I got it with a Squire Affinity Strat, but recently purchased a MIM Strat, so I would like to upgrade my amp also. I need it solely for playing at home. If, I mean when, I get good enough to gig I will look at a larger amp.
miketar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 07:47 PM   #2
Offworld92
One among the fence.
 
Offworld92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southern California, USA
I was just looking at the Blackheart BH5-112 and the VHT Special 6 Ultra the other day. Might want to look into them. Low wattage and 12" speakers (hard to find together, unfortunately).
__________________
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

Epiphone Firebird VII
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Peavey USA Predator
Ibanez RG520QS
Line 6 Pod HD
VHT Special 6 Ultra
Pedulz
Offworld92 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
Robbgnarly
Registered User
 
Robbgnarly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NSB, FL
^+1
Also look at these:
Vox AC4c1
Vox Lil Nite Train
Laney Cub
Badcat Cougar 5watt
Fender Champ
__________________
2002 PRS CE22
197? Sanox Sound Creator LP clone (GFS Fat Pat)
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Robbgnarly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
trashedlostfdup
land of white cannibals
 
trashedlostfdup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: deep south
the VHT special 6 is a cool little amp. i played with one for a while and would pickup one myself to play mess around with.

iirc, its on turret board (really easy to mod).

1 watt mic'd dimed at 1 watt would put you near 100db (for example a Celestion Vinage 30)

surprisingly 1 watt is loud.

however you will not have headroom (so you can hold cleans longer typically the higher wattage the more clean you get.
__________________
FRYETTE SIG-X
SPLAWN KT88 NITRO
SPLAWN KT88 PROMOD
MESA TREM-O-VERB
MESA MKIV...

Ibanez Prestiges
Gibsons
and Wolfgangs

WTLT
trashedlostfdup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
Fumble fingers
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Bugera V5 tube amp sounded decent at the GC the other day ... also check out the Ibanez TSA5 is a nice little tube amp with a built in Tube Screamer , they sound nice at low volume for not blowing out the windows or PO'ing the neighbors
Fumble fingers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 09:43 PM   #6
trashedlostfdup
land of white cannibals
 
trashedlostfdup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: deep south
i may have missed, but what is your budget? in whatever currrency or or USD/AUD/EUR,etc
where you located (US if so what is your local craigslist, overseas i don't know what)?


look up 311, he has one of the smaller blackheart amps. he is a good guy and does pretty nice clips.

have you looked for an interface for a computer so you an play through headphones? link 6 pod 500 would be great for something like that. another benefit of the pod 500 is that you could directly plug in to the mixer.

just a thought.
__________________
FRYETTE SIG-X
SPLAWN KT88 NITRO
SPLAWN KT88 PROMOD
MESA TREM-O-VERB
MESA MKIV...

Ibanez Prestiges
Gibsons
and Wolfgangs

WTLT

Last edited by trashedlostfdup : 09-30-2013 at 10:38 PM.
trashedlostfdup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 10:06 PM   #7
Shadowofravenwo
Recent tube convert
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
^+1
Also look at these:
Vox AC4c1
Vox Lil Nite Train
Laney Cub
Badcat Cougar 5watt
Fender Champ


AC4 is such an overpriced amp IMO.
__________________
Washburn MG-44(E)
Ibanez RG421 (Eb)
Art & Lutherie Electric Cutaway
Vox Valvetronix VT40
Vox AC4tv 1x10
Vox Original Wah-Wah Pedal V847-A
MXR '78 Custom Badass Distortion
Shadowofravenwo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 10:39 PM   #8
Blackfire.
There goes my money
 
Blackfire.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Beyond the North Waves
Blackstar HT-1R(1 watt). It has a nice overdrive at low volumes. You can also plug in headphones and has an mp3/line input. Emulated output for recording also.

Last edited by Blackfire. : 09-30-2013 at 10:41 PM.
Blackfire. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 11:40 PM   #9
miketar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Have not thought about a budget, although $300 or so would probably be about the range I would like to be in. I trully appreciate all the guidance you gents have given me. I will look forward to checking your suggestions out in the near future.

Last edited by miketar : 09-30-2013 at 11:42 PM.
miketar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 03:29 AM   #10
Robbgnarly
Registered User
 
Robbgnarly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NSB, FL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowofravenwo
AC4 is such an overpriced amp IMO.

The AC4c1 is different than the AC4, it is basically a 4 watt AC15 with a 10" speaker
__________________
2002 PRS CE22
197? Sanox Sound Creator LP clone (GFS Fat Pat)
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Robbgnarly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
miketar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Tras- I use a set of Bose headphones now when I want to play a little louder. I would like to get something that has a little better tone and character than the Frontman 10W that I have now.
miketar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 09:29 AM   #12
Spambot_2
Custom User Title
 
Spambot_2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Italy
If you don't want amps with lots of options, the Blackheart BH-1 together with a cheap cab would do pretty nice - if you can find a relatively good and cheap cab.

Keep your eyes peeled for harley benton vintage cabs, those are good for the money.

It seems to me though that you just want to be able to get some good distorted tones from your amp even at low volumes, which is not necessarely the same thing as wanting a small wattage tube amp.

Basically, if you want power tube distortion you want a small wattage amp while if you want phase inverter distortion, usually referred to as preamp distortion, you just need a master volume amp - one with both gain and volume controls.

If it's the first case, again, up for the BH1.
If it's the second case, a Bugera V22 is a very nice amp for the price - you can probably find one used for $300 or less.
If you don't know what you want search some more information about that.
If you don't want or are not able to understand more about the argument, go with the second in my opinion.
The sound is not better nor worst - it's different, but the second case is waaaay more convenient: you get more volume, you get more clean headroom, and you get a nice distorted tone at low volumes, too.
__________________
The actual name's Luca.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Spambot_2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 07:12 PM   #13
miketar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Spambot- If I understand correctly, and I don't know if I really do, if I were to get an amp with more wattage like the Bugera 22, you would be required to kick the volume up higher in order for the tubes to break up and get that distortion, which might not be an option where I live. Please correct me if I am wrong. I will be going to my brothers this weekend and his son is an excellent player with several amps and different guitars, so I will check out what his sound is like and pick his brain. He is the one that has pointed me in the direction of a tube amp. He wants me to get a Blues Jr, but I am thinking that I would need to have the volume up too high to take advantage of the amps abilities. That is why I was thinking more along the lines of a small watt tube amp that I could push the volume some and take advantage of the tone you can get out a tube amp at higher volumes. Yours and everyone elses post have been very helpful with my amp knowlrdge and possible choices. Please don't hesitate to comment further.

Last edited by miketar : 10-01-2013 at 07:14 PM.
miketar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 09:00 PM   #14
lucky1978
Registered User
 
lucky1978's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
What about getting an od/distortion pedal for crunch at low volumes?

I have a modded Epiphone Valve Jr that has an added gain knob so it can get crunchy at very low volumes. That may be a way to go if you know how to do it or you can have a tech do it. I paid $100 for the amp, $40 for the mod and $45 for the RCA and JJ tubes, so $185 and I've had it for bout 4 years now with no problems whatsoever. I still use a pedal for crunch though. Just an idea though, there are better options within your budget.
__________________
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale>Madeira LP Special/GFS P90s >nameless boost/dirt box >Big Muff clone>Randall RM20
lucky1978 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #15
Blackfire.
There goes my money
 
Blackfire.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Beyond the North Waves
I've never used one but they also make these, but the amp needs an FX Loop for it to work...

http://www.amazon.com/Carls-Custom-...ower+attenuator
Blackfire. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 07:55 AM   #16
Spambot_2
Custom User Title
 
Spambot_2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Italy
The thing is, Mike, that you basically can get distortion even at low volumes if your amp has both a gain and volume knob, but usually lower wattage amps don't have both because they are designed with the idea that you can crank it in mind.

Most bigger amps have a gain knob too, which in short is volume number 1.
Then you have volume number 2, which is the actual volume.
Cranking the first volume while keeping the second low will result in distortion as much as cranking just the second or both would, though the sound would be a bit different.

The thing is, in short - if you see that an amp has both a "volume" and a "gain" knob, ou can obtain distortion at low volume levels raising the gain and lowering the volume.
The good thing here is that bigger amps can produce more volume, so say a Bugera V22 could produce both distorted tones at low volumes and clean tones at higher volumes.
__________________
The actual name's Luca.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Spambot_2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #17
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
 
Dave_Mc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
^ yep, exactly.

Now- some players prefer power tube distortion, so if you do, then a lower wattage amp might be a better idea (though it's worth pointing out that even low wattage amps are very loud to crank, probably too loud for most home situations). But if you don't care, then higher wattage combined with a preamp gain control is often a better idea that gives you more options- better suited to home playing while also being better-suited to live playing.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blew1
I've seen some great videos on YouTube e.g The Tone King


er....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
Rob Chappers would tell you he couldn't tell a cat from a dog if it would get him more hits on youtube.
Dave_Mc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 12:38 PM   #18
fly135
Cheap Gear Enthusiast
 
fly135's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Orlando
I'd suggest the Fender SCXD. IMO power tube distortion from a 1 watt tube amp is nothing impressive. They lack the balls to deliver strong bass, and most tubes in a one watt amp are just odd ball or preamp tubes adapted to a power stage. Not the same power tubes associated with the power tube distortion heard when artists perform live.

Most low volume distortion is generated in pedals or the preamp. Low volume is aurally lacking compared to a loud amp, and all the power tube distortion in the world isn't going to fix that. I'd way rather have a more powerful clean amp that I could put pedals in front of than a 1 watt amp. The SCXD is versatile enough to give you that plus has built in effects and some very good modeled preamp distortion tones.
__________________
Tasty Licks - A collection of my music
fly135 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 12:52 PM   #19
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
 
Dave_Mc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
i'd tend to agree with that.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blew1
I've seen some great videos on YouTube e.g The Tone King


er....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
Rob Chappers would tell you he couldn't tell a cat from a dog if it would get him more hits on youtube.
Dave_Mc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 03:48 PM   #20
311ZOSOVHJH
G G & A - B A B Y
 
311ZOSOVHJH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by trashedlostfdup
look up 311, he has one of the smaller blackheart amps. he is a good guy and does pretty nice clips.

Thanks dude but my clips are not near as good as yours and others here. Also, I only had one Blackheart clip and it has a rock/blues vibe in my profile. I think something like that would be good for the TS.

That said, I'm going to mostly* agree with what fly135 is saying. I agree with most all of that 90% and I often provide the same advice. I also agree that the SuperChamp XD would be an excellent choice. *My only real disagreement would be that you can sometimes preserve some low end if you have the right setup (cab etc) (see below). Also, I am from the camp that wants most of their distortion from the amp and not hitting a clean amp with pedals.

My general advice is don't let the watts of an amp be the determining factor. The architecture, tone stack, features, voicing, controls, quality, builder intent, tubes used, etc have a greater impact on the tone and your happiness (and even acceptable volume) than just the number of watts.

3 quick examples for you involving 3 of my amps:

1.) Blackheart 1 watt amp. Low watt, 1 control (volume ), simple, uses 2 -12AX7 Chinese tubes, a bit fizzy and muddy through its original 112 cab. Now - replace the tubes with JJs, hit the front end with a clean boosting OD pedal, turn the guitar volume back a bit, and run it into a decent 212 cab/speakers and BAM. Good tone at low volumes.

2.) Splawn Quick Rod. High watts (100), multi-channel, multi-featured, somewhat finicky, awesome parts, build quality, trannys, tubes, etc. Now - pull two power tubes and run at half power, EQ pedal in the loop, volume pedal in the loop, gain on 1pm, volume on 9am and BOOM. Good tone at low volumes.

3.) Vypyr Tube 60. Medium watts (60), hybrid modeling amp, multi-featured, cheaper Chinese tubes, decent parts and quality, decent speaker. Now - find a amp model and effect(s) you like, and use the Pre Gain, Post Gain, and Volume controls to get you virtually any combination of tones at any volume and POW. Good tone at low volumes.

Point being, you work with what you have and there is no one good answer.

If you mainly play classic rock then a cranked power section is sometimes more desirable. "That" tone by in large came from high volume power tube saturation. If that is the tone you are going for and cleans are not that important then a low watt all tube amp may be perfect for you. If you don't mind preamp distortions (most all modern amps operate this way), really good cleans, and more features, then a higher watt modern amp might suit you better while still pulling off your classic rock/blues tone. Maybe a hybrid modeller would give you everything you need and more.

Here is clip of my Blackheart 1w that I did recently doing some metal riffs. It is slightly muddy and buzzy but it held up pretty well and still has a fair amount of low end.

http://s545.photobucket.com/user/bu...f41353.mp4.html

Now some will say, "but 311 that sounds muddy and undefined what gives". Well, that may be true but keep in mind that is a 1 watt amp doing metal riffs using a cheap digital camera. It has cheap chinese tubes in it, no OD pedal and the volume is cranked. If I implemented some of the fixes I mentioned above - I could get a better tone out of it.
__________________

Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH : 10-02-2013 at 03:56 PM.
311ZOSOVHJH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:25 AM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.