#1
I'm looking for a low-watt tube amp for blues/rock. Budget is about $500 dollars, and I'm in a dorm room, hence the low wattage.

The three amps I'm kind of looking at are the Blackstar HT-5, Epiphone Valve Jr, or Blackheart Little Giant. The tones I'm looking for are Creamish Clapton, Nirvana, and Zeppelin. I'm not opposed to buying some sort of OD/Distortion pedal to achieve those tones.

This is my current gear:
Ibanez GRG170DX
Fender Frontman 65r
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-7
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#2
jsx mini colossal
small, versatile, effects loop, in your budget, or close to it
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#3
blues rock? BJ then and boost it to get some grit.
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#4
valve junior and then have an amp tech do this mod to it.
http://guitaramplifierpcbs.com/liteiib.aspx
I think its within your budget
$100 for the amp
$160 for mods(+$40 more if you have a tech do it for you)
Total=$260 (or $300)
Quote by envoykrawkwar7


edge11
that was an epic win
best thing ive read all day

[feel free to sig this statement]

Gear:
Esp Ltd Ninja 600
Esp Ltd F-50
les paul elite
5watt jcm800 clone
Roland jc-55
Crate V33
Jca20H
Ibanez tubescreamer ts9
Keeley ds-1
#5
Quote by tona_107
blues rock? BJ then and boost it to get some grit.


BJ? I dont know what that is. Maybe I'm not up on the amp lingo.

Edge11, thanks for the suggestion. Does that mod increase the watts from 5 to 18? If so, that would probably put it out of my volume range.
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#6
Valve Junior and pedals. I'd go with an eq first then what ever you have left over for the pedal of your choice.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#7
Quote by TDS
BJ? I dont know what that is. Maybe I'm not up on the amp lingo.

Edge11, thanks for the suggestion. Does that mod increase the watts from 5 to 18? If so, that would probably put it out of my volume range.

blues junior = bj
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#8
I can't vouch for any of the other amps, but i play rock and blues through my Blackstar HT-5, and it sounds great. I love that thing.
John Frusciante
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Jack White

HT-5 Owners Thread

Owner of an 1/4 watt custom combo.

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#9
I would vote for the HT-5....

It's more versatile as it has 2 channels and not many valve amps out there sounds good at low volumes....
#10
Id say either the Epi VJ or the Blackstar.

I chose the Epi, simply because it was much cheaper and i could use the saved money for pedals.
Greco 59-50 Mint Collection - 1982 - Iron Gear Hot Slag/Rolling Mill
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Ceriatone 18 Watt TMB/EF86 2x12 - Lorantz Greenback's
MI Audio Blues Pro Overdrive

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#11
Quote by TDS
I'm looking for a low-watt tube amp for blues/rock. Budget is about $500 dollars, and I'm in a dorm room, hence the low wattage.
The tones I'm looking for are Creamish Clapton, Nirvana, and Zeppelin. I'm not opposed to buying some sort of OD/Distortion pedal to achieve those tones.

Used Fender Blues Jr = $300 off craigslist
Used tubescreamer pedal - $80 off craigslist.
Easily does the tones your after. Can do quiet too.

Of the three you listed the HT-5 has more going for it in terms of features than the other two. All three are good amps don't get me wrong. But having 2 channels and an effects loop it is just more amp. But it costs more so there ya go.
#12
Can the EVJ achieve the tones I want unmodded? I'm not technically inclined, and I'm not sure there are any amp techs who are up to the task in my area.

Also, can both the HT-5 and the EVJ handle pedals well?
DOESN'T REALLY CARE ABOUT RON WILSON
#13
Blackstar for gain and features
Valve Jr for bluesy cleans and price
Blackheart for a midground


personally i'd go for the Blackstar
Gear's : Peavey Vypyr 60 Tube | MicroCube | Noisy Cricket | Ibanez S470DXQM Blue Burst | Takamine EG440C
Pedals : MXR M-108 EQ | Digitech Bad Monkey, Sanpera I, GFS Tuner

Seref : Cali would put a health warning on celery if they could
#14
Quote by TDS
Can the EVJ achieve the tones I want unmodded? I'm not technically inclined, and I'm not sure there are any amp techs who are up to the task in my area.

Also, can both the HT-5 and the EVJ handle pedals well?


Vj handles pedals very well. With my POD XT Live and pedals I can get just about any tone i want. Can't beat it for the money. Upgrade the tubes when the time comes and it's even better.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#15
I'd throw in on the Valve Junior. It won't break the bank and it sounds pretty decent as well as being easily modded. The VJ lacks a bit in the low-end region, so I'd recommend a mod (even though you say you're not technically inclined). There are tons of mods out there for VJs, but they don't need to be as expensive as the one edge posted. Additionally, like you mentioned, you may not want/need to go from 5W to 18W. I've used mods from both BitMo and B5 Amplification. From the two, I prefer B5 - the mods both upped the tonal capabilities of the VJ (I tried the SatFat module from B5 and the Tweaky from BitMo) but the BitMo was definitely more shoddely constructed and introduced a lot of RF leakage noise into the signal. Links below to the two modders.


http://www.b5amps.com
(I recommend)


http://www.bitmomusic.com
(The other big name, but I uninstalled in favor of B5).

Good luck!
Last edited by WhoIsTheDrizzle at Mar 23, 2009,
#16
Regarding the tones you mentioned:

If you crank the VJ (stock) you can probably start to push Cream out of that amp. Maybe even start to see some Zeppelin, but don't count on any Smells Like Teen Spirit.

With mods, Cream and Zeppelin are easily obatainable; Smells Like Teen Spirit is still out without a pedal.
#17
Quote by WhoIsTheDrizzle
I'd throw in on the Valve Junior. It won't break the bank and it sounds pretty decent as well as being easily modded. The VJ lacks a bit in the low-end region, so I'd recommend a mod (even though you say you're not technically inclined). There are tons of mods out there for VJs, but they don't need to be as expensive as the one edge posted. Additionally, like you mentioned, you may not want/need to go from 5W to 18W. I've used mods from both BitMo and B5 Amplification. From the two, I prefer B5 - the mods both upped the tonal capabilities of the VJ (I tried the SatFat module from B5 and the Tweaky from BitMo) but the BitMo was definitely more shoddely constructed and introduced a lot of RF leakage noise into the signal. Links below to the two modders.


http://web.me.com/cwox/B5_Amplification/Valve_Junior_Modules.html
(I recommend)


http://www.bitmomusic.com
.
(The other big name, but I uninstalled in favor of B5).

Good luck!

Check out kurtlive's vj mods on the modding forum of ug, its better and cheaper i think.
Quote by envoykrawkwar7


edge11
that was an epic win
best thing ive read all day

[feel free to sig this statement]

Gear:
Esp Ltd Ninja 600
Esp Ltd F-50
les paul elite
5watt jcm800 clone
Roland jc-55
Crate V33
Jca20H
Ibanez tubescreamer ts9
Keeley ds-1
#18
As I said in my first post, I'm fine with buying a pedal or two to get the sound I want. I've been watching a lot of youtube videos, and I'm liking the Epi valve jr. What pedal should I get to bring out more of the hard rock OD that I want?
DOESN'T REALLY CARE ABOUT RON WILSON
#19
I use a few different pedals with my Valve Junior - a Korg Multi-effects pedal and also a Big Muff PI. The Big Muff really sounds hard-core through the little bugger. A Multi-effects also gives you loads of sounds. I love my Valve Junior and I have 6 amps sitting here including 3 tube amps.
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
#20
Blackstar, due to amazing tone, 3 band EQ and effects loop.

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#22
So I think I've decided on the Blackstar HT-5. I need to decide whether to get combo or mini-stack. Is there going to be a difference in sound? Should I get a cab from a different brand? Can you replace the speaker in the combo, and what speaker should I get to replace the standard one? Is there a big size difference between the combo and the cab?

Also, I want to look at any pedals I should get to get the right sound. One thing I was thinking about an EQ pedal. Any recommendations on a good EQ pedal? And maybe an OD or distortion pedal to really push the amp into Nirvana-ish range?
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#23
I went with the Blackstar. I'll be pumping it through a Marshall 1936 cab as soon as it gets here.

There's a few clips of setups identical to mine on YouTube. Go have a listen, it sounds good.
#24
Yes you can swap out the speaker in the combo. Yes you can use a different cab with the head.
#25
Blackstar>Blackheart>Epi
Blackstar>MOdded Epi> Blackheart
Hot Rodded RAT Little Giant + Bitmo Mod + V30's(or Greenbacks)>>> Blackstar > Epi

just my way of ranking the 3
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#26
TS, get a Boss DS-1 if you want the Bleach/Nevermind Nirvana tone. If you prefer the In Utero tone, go for a Tech21 Sansamp.
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#27
I'm still debating whether to get the combo or head+cab blackstar. Is there a noticeable sound difference between the combo and the stack? Is it worth the extra space? Space will be at a premium next year in my dorm.

I found this Marshall 1936 2X12 Cab with 2 greenbacks on craigslist for $180. It looks like a pretty good deal. It does 8 ohms mono and 16 ohms stereo. The Blackstar HT-5 head can do 8 ohms and 16 ohms. Does that mean they would work?


http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/msg/1050023558.html
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#28
Quote by guitarsftw
jsx mini colossal
small, versatile, effects loop, in your budget, or close to it


No.


Go for the Little Giant, and see if you can pick up a Fulltone OCD to boost it

Imho, don't go for the Blackstar unless you're planning to play metal. It just doesn't sound that good for anything else, very hyped up.
Last edited by JilaX^ at Mar 24, 2009,
#30
I say Fender Blues Jr. Even the pros use that baby, so you can't go wrong
#31
Quote by SY22
I say Fender Blues Jr. Even the pros use that baby, so you can't go wrong

This is true, but it's kinda hard to get a good Nirvana tone out of one
#32
Quote by JilaX^
No.


Go for the Little Giant, and see if you can pick up a Fulltone OCD to boost it

Imho, don't go for the Blackstar unless you're planning to play metal. It just doesn't sound that good for anything else, very hyped up.


Can you elaborate a bit on this please?

I'm trying to decide between a blackheart BH5H (Little Giant 5W head) or the Blackstar HT-5, and so far, the Blackstar is winning because of it having two channels and an effects loop.

However! All of the samples I've heard showcase the Blackstar's metal tones. It seems to be favored for metal and I want a more versatile amp.

Can you or anyone else tell me if, for example, the Blackstar can produce tones like these? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhvHUR8ROHA

Either way, I'm planning on paring the head up with an Avatar 1x12 w/ a Celestion Vintage 30.
Guitars
1996 Rickenbacker 360 Jetglo "Christine"
2003 Schecter S1 Blackjack w/ SD JB/59 "Lenore"
Gear
Lopo Line 1x12 w/ WGS British Lead 80
Blackstar HT-5 (buying)
Pedals: GE-7 EQ | BBE SS | V847
#33
Quote by TDS
BJ? I dont know what that is. Maybe I'm not up on the amp lingo.

Edge11, thanks for the suggestion. Does that mod increase the watts from 5 to 18? If so, that would probably put it out of my volume range.

not much difference in loudness between a 5watter and 18watter.
Quote by envoykrawkwar7


edge11
that was an epic win
best thing ive read all day

[feel free to sig this statement]

Gear:
Esp Ltd Ninja 600
Esp Ltd F-50
les paul elite
5watt jcm800 clone
Roland jc-55
Crate V33
Jca20H
Ibanez tubescreamer ts9
Keeley ds-1
#34
I ended up getting the Blackheart Little Giant and have been pretty happy with it. The Blackstar sounds interesting, but it seems to be the hype-of-the-month lately, and I didn't feel like waiting 2 months to get one and see if the hype is true. I'm sure it's a decent amp, but come on - it's a $400 setup, it's not like it's the holy grail of amps. The Blackheart sounded great, was a good price, and I could actually get one now.
#35
it's not just hype imo, the HT-5 is a great sounding little head. Not saying it's better than everything else mentioned, but it's a really surprising little amp. Friends of mine that have tried it have been impressed right off the bat. These are seasoned gear whores I'm talking about too, lol. The little ISF sweep/parametric deal really lets you dial in a lot of tones. It seems to do more than the typical sweeps I've used. I actually consider it's strength more in the rock tones than metal tbh. It can get up there with some help, but that's not where it excels IMO. It simulates a much bigger "saturated" tube amp with a little push-pull power section on a dual triode tube. It's actually the first mini amp I've tried that claimed to do that and actually delivered.
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