#1
currently i have a microcube which i enjoy alot but i'm thinking about upgrading to a small tube amp....

so...some info

price range - up to $500

amp type - i'm only interested in tube. if there are no tubes in this price range that will be better than my microcube, then i simply won't upgrade at this time.

purpose - i'm still in the learning stages right now and i don't feel i will be gigging anytime soon. because of this, i'm purely purchasing this amp as a practice amp so i can enjoy my own music in the meantime. since i plan to be in this "phase" for 1-2 years...i need something that will last me for a while.

music interest - satriani, vai, petrucci, gilbert, scales and finger exercises...

volume constraint
- i live in a one bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor with people below, above, and to the side. i work a fulltime job but i usually get home at around 6pm. this allows me to play relatively loud for about 2-3 hours before i have to turn down the volume to be respectful to my neighbors. then i will usually play another 2-3 hours quietly until i get tired and go to bed.

i know that volume tends to be a relative term alot of times so let me kinda break it down to what I mean by "loud" and "quiet".

"loud" - guitar volume to about 7-8, microcube volume 7-8, microcube gain 6-7, model "R-Fier" (mesa model?).

"quiet" - guitar volume to about 4-5, microcube volume to 3-4, usually no gain but if i "must have gain" then only 4-5. with this volume i feel i can play till about midnight without disturbing the neighbors.


alright, i hope i didn't miss anything..

with that said, i've narrowed amp choices down to 2 but i'm always open to suggestions as long as they are within my price range.

blackstar ht5
pros
great reviews
supposedly plays better at low volumes than most low wattage tube amps
high gain for small tube amp
reasonable price at $400

cons
i haven't been able to try one out live since they seem to be sold out everywhere...

peavey JSX mini
pros
satch's "supposed" practice amp
power sponge (this was really the selling point for me for this amp. basically switchable from 0-5w)
high gain for small tube amp

cons
satch's "supposed" practice amp (woohoo, let's jack up the price)
i did try it out live but did not try a jsx 2x12...it sounded pretty good to me but i've read alot of people saying it sounds nothing like its older sibling
doesn't seem to have alot of features, 1 channel, no EQ, etc
seems very expensive for so little features at $500
#2
blackheart little giant 5 to 3 watt switchable, but i heard that it is still very loud.
Quote by illuminatiano
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#3
Peavey Royal 8. Practise version of the vk i think, out of those two i'd go for the blackstar due to its good reviews
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#4
Looking at your post I read that you turn the volume down on your guitar, I wouldnt advise doing that, you lose alot of sound quality that way
#5
you should probably try the blackstar before making any decisions. the jsx mini colossal isn't that great in my opinion, really overpriced and not that similar to satch's tone.
you could get a pedal to aid you like satch's old keeley ds-1 (i don't reccomened the satchurator) or grab an eq pedal to help shape a cranked tube amp into the sounds you want.
Ibanez S320 with Dimarzio Fred + Seymour Duncan 59-> Weeping Demon Wah -> Ibanez TS-7 -> Homemade iBoost x3 -> Keeley DS-1 -> Visual Sound H2O -> MXR Ten Band -> Traynor YCV20
#6
Quote by Capt_Clarkson
Looking at your post I read that you turn the volume down on your guitar, I wouldnt advise doing that, you lose alot of sound quality that way


Don't listen to this.

Ride that volume knob. There are so many different textures to be had doing this.
#7
Quote by Capt_Clarkson
Looking at your post I read that you turn the volume down on your guitar, I wouldnt advise doing that, you lose alot of sound quality that way


hmm, learn something new every day!

would you suggest that i keep it at 7-8 all the time then and just fiddle with amp volume?
#8
Quote by sp4zmo
hmm, learn something new every day!

would you suggest that i keep it at 7-8 all the time then and just fiddle with amp volume?

Well I personally keep it at full volume, and just use the amp volume control
#9
Quote by Robino_Ibanez
you should probably try the blackstar before making any decisions. the jsx mini colossal isn't that great in my opinion, really overpriced and not that similar to satch's tone.
you could get a pedal to aid you like satch's old keeley ds-1 (i don't reccomened the satchurator) or grab an eq pedal to help shape a cranked tube amp into the sounds you want.


haha, i like the sig ;p "Getting your first tube amp? Check here first!"

do you think i should also consider the blackheart little giant? i haven't tried it yet but only because people say that it is more for blues/classic than metal due to the lack of gain?
#10
Quote by The Real Ming
Don't listen to this.

Ride that volume knob. There are so many different textures to be had doing this.


He's right. The volume knob does a lot for the tone.
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#11
Quote by sp4zmo
haha, i like the sig ;p "Getting your first tube amp? Check here first!"

do you think i should also consider the blackheart little giant? i haven't tried it yet but only because people say that it is more for blues/classic than metal due to the lack of gain?

Haha, yeah if you want some info click that link.

The blackheart is great for what it is but i'd say it's more a blues/classic rock amp.

One idea: if you went for a higher wattage amp, you could get a Vypyr tube, which has a JSX model as well as several other high-gain models. Since the core of it is a modelling amp, it'll still sound great turned down at home, and who knows, you may eventually gig with it.
Ibanez S320 with Dimarzio Fred + Seymour Duncan 59-> Weeping Demon Wah -> Ibanez TS-7 -> Homemade iBoost x3 -> Keeley DS-1 -> Visual Sound H2O -> MXR Ten Band -> Traynor YCV20
#12
Quote by The Real Ming
Don't listen to this.

Ride that volume knob. There are so many different textures to be had doing this.


^ ^ ^

If it ruins your tone, it's because your guitar has a ****ty volume pot
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Way to show everybody up jackass.

Guitar: _______________ Amp:
_ Ibanez SZ320 _________Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

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#13
Quote by Exo M7
^ ^ ^

If it ruins your tone, it's because your guitar has a ****ty volume pot

Hmmm.... It seems I might of been mis-informed
are you guys sure about this? I know quite a few people who have being playing for many many years and they have said that it does affect the sound quality
#14
Quote by Capt_Clarkson
Hmmm.... It seems I might of been mis-informed
are you guys sure about this? I know quite a few people who have being playing for many many years and they have said that it does affect the sound quality


It might be because the ohms of the pots was wrong. Not everybody puts the right pots in.

When I use my volume knob, there's usually a sweet spot where the tone was improved. It differs for what you play, clean and dirty. Also the ohms of the pots depends on the pups it's with. You can change pots, caps and add a resistor then your guitar becomes a different beast.

I'm always messing with my guitars.
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