#1
Right then UG, I'm off to the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in london in october, and I move to Hampstead in 10 days time.

And regrettably, my sound city SC50h isn't going to be able to come with me. Shame, it's a lovely sounding head and has served me well at many a gig.

Time to downsize to a nice little valve combo/head!

So what am I looking for?

Cost - Preferably under £500. Something fairly inexpensive.

Genres - I'm mainly a blues/classic rock guy, so something that has a nice vintage vibe to it.

Gear - I'll be using it with my Les Paul studio and custom built strat. Pedal wise, all I use is a clean boost and wah. I like to keep things fairly simple.

I do have a 1x12 cab with a G12T-75 in it which i could use with a head.

Combo wise, I guess a 10" speaker would be preferable over a 12", my room isn't the largest in the world and I'll be sharing with a friend who plays bass.


Amps i'd already had in mind were;

Orange Tiny Terror
Laney VC15
Fender Pro Jr
Fender Blues Jr
Fender Superchamp XD
Marshall class 5

Anything else i should add to that list to try? Help me out UG!
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#2
Epiphone Valve Junior or a low watt Blackheart could be good. I use a Blackstar HT-5 in my dorm, but thats probably too much gain for you.
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#3
VC15. Of course it's pretty loud, but it's superb for blues/classic rock stuff. Two channels, pretty small, you could put it on top of the 1x12 cab and use the 12 inch speaker to get nicer bass response and better sound overall. An OD pedal could be useful but I guess that the clean boost put in front of the amp could push it to harder overdrive if needed.
#4
I've got a VJ already that i'll be getting rid of. Really not a fan of it, it just sounds muddy as hell to me. No definition, and it'll be far too loud before I can get any break up out of it.

I've never tried a HT-5 so i'll have to give it a go, they're meant to be quite versatile arn't they?
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#6
forgot about the AC4! I'll add that to the list, cheers
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#7
I'd go with the AC4. I have a Blackheart BH5H and I would recommend that, but it might be too loud for a dorm. I played an AC4 and it was close to getting it. It would be perfect for you.
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#8
GAK have it listed at £189 too, that seems insanely cheap. Doesn't sound half bad on youtube either. Speaker sounds a tad balls, but I'm assuming my cab will sort that problem out.

EDIT; The ac4 combo only seems to have a 16ohm output. My cab is 8ohms, would it still be safe to use with the combo?
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Last edited by Inspired_by_Vai at Sep 9, 2009,
#9
Orange AD5, perhaps, I've not had a chance to try one out yet.
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#10
In my opinion, it's not worth spending money downsizing for uni. I have my 50 watt 2x12 with me, my mate took his 8x10 bass halfstack... sure, they take up more space, but in my experience nobody really cares about noise. The way I see it, any valve amp turned up loud enough to really sound good is going to be way too loud to be considered sensible, so you may as well keep the big one. If you really need something for a dorm, just buy a cheap modeller like a DA5/Microcube etc. It's always nice to have all your gear with you.
#11
Quote by timi_hendrix
In my opinion, it's not worth spending money downsizing for uni. I have my 50 watt 2x12 with me, my mate took his 8x10 bass halfstack... sure, they take up more space, but in my experience nobody really cares about noise. The way I see it, any valve amp turned up loud enough to really sound good is going to be way too loud to be considered sensible, so you may as well keep the big one. If you really need something for a dorm, just buy a cheap modeller like a DA5/Microcube etc. It's always nice to have all your gear with you.


You do have a point. I think that a Vox AC4 could be worth it, since you can get it down to only 1/4W which isn't that loud. But the rest of them isn't going to make a huge difference. A third option is to get an attenuator for your current amp...
Quote by stratman_13
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#12
get that valvepower head i just got. It's 18 watts, but has virtual voltage reduction/powerscaling fitted.

assuming you like the tone of marshall 18 watters.

http://www.valvepower.co.uk/index.htm

EDIT: it's tiny and very light (i'd say it's smaller and lighter than my VJ head), and has an 8 ohm output (mine has anyway).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Sep 9, 2009,
#13
^^True. But then you could argue that attenuators don't produce good results at "dorm volume", too.

I just like having my massive amp to scare people with lest they piss me off with noise.
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc
get that valvepower head i just got. It's 18 watts, but has virtual voltage reduction/powerscaling fitted.

assuming you like the tone of marshall 18 watters.

http://www.valvepower.co.uk/index.htm

EDIT: it's tiny and very light (i'd say it's smaller and lighter than my VJ head), and has an 8 ohm output (mine has anyway).


Dave saves the day! A power scale keeps the tone MUCH better than an attenuator. That amp is perfect for it. Have a listen to mine, they are basically identical!
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#15
^ yeah, i mean, i haven't tried yours and you haven't tried mine, but the tone on your video is pretty close if not identical to mine, excepting the other variables like speakers, guitars, pickups etc..



EDIT: I haven't actually tried any attenuators but the powerscaling seems pretty good. At really low volumes, it does sound a little constrained, if that's the right word, it sounds better at around about shouting volume. but considering how loud 18 watts would be without the power scaling...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Sep 9, 2009,
#16
^Yeah, but we have the same basica amp. The schematic is the same and there are small differences, but basically it will sound just the same. But yeah Power Scaling at too low can sound "constrained", I know what you mean. Still it does a great job though!
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#17
^ yep
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#18
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ yep


But really I'm glad you like it. I love mine. They are very limited amps and are a bit of one-trick ponies. But the basic tone they have is just so good and I like how simple they are. It's one of those amps that really let's everything through
Quote by stratman_13
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#20
Quote by Gabel
But really I'm glad you like it. I love mine. They are very limited amps and are a bit of one-trick ponies. But the basic tone they have is just so good and I like how simple they are. It's one of those amps that really let's everything through


thanks gabe, and I agree with your assessment of the amp. Thanks for making that youtube video too, it helped me to decide to go for it.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#21
that valvepower amp looks fantastic, thanks dave. Only £300 aswell? Gabe's sounds pretty damn good to me.

I'm off to a music store tomorrow to hopefully try out everything on the list so far, but unless any of them really blow me away that 18watter seems perfect. Something that's essentially a bit of a miniplexi seems right up my street
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#22
good luck
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#23
Vox AC4 buy it nao.
Gear
Tokai Love Rock
Vox AC4
Danelectro Transparent Overdrive
T.C. Electronic Nova Repeater
Stomp Under Foot Violet Rams Head
#24
Quote by Dave_Mc
thanks gabe, and I agree with your assessment of the amp. Thanks for making that youtube video too, it helped me to decide to go for it.


Glad it helped you

Quote by Inspired_by_Vai
that valvepower amp looks fantastic, thanks dave. Only £300 aswell? Gabe's sounds pretty damn good to me.


Yeah, but it sounds even better now. I have a nice speaker for it, but the Power Scale opesn up the tone a lot too. Still glad you like it
Quote by stratman_13
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18watter video demo

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Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#25
yeah that power scale is ideal for me really, means I can still have great tone at bedroom volume, and also gig with it!

I've got a feeling it'll come down to the valvepower and the orange tiny terror. I know the AC4 has been recommended a lot, but it sounds shocking on most of the youtube clips. It just sounds really woolly and generally blerrghh. Hopefully it'll be better in person.
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#26
I can assure you it doesn't sound "wooly".
Gear
Tokai Love Rock
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#27
Quote by Inspired_by_Vai
yeah that power scale is ideal for me really, means I can still have great tone at bedroom volume, and also gig with it!

I've got a feeling it'll come down to the valvepower and the orange tiny terror. I know the AC4 has been recommended a lot, but it sounds shocking on most of the youtube clips. It just sounds really woolly and generally blerrghh. Hopefully it'll be better in person.


The AC4 is very nice sounding. I liked it a lot but the 18watter is in another class of amp to be honest.
Quote by stratman_13
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18watter video demo

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Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#28
for sure. The only thing that'd really steer me away from that 18watter is the fact I can't try before I buy, which is something i'd really like to do.
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#29
^ I haven't tried the ac4 yet, unfortunately. I wasn't too fussed on the tiny terror, though, it was alright, but i didn't see what all the fuss was. Though it does depend a lot on personal preference and what type of music you play.

you could always see if you could find an 18 watt marshall or clone to try. it's the normal channel of the 1974x, as far as i'm aware (though i haven't tried the marshall version). Marshall does a reissue, which shouldn't be too hard to find, and cornell does one too (the 18/20, i think- you'd want to try the "18" side of it), along with, i assume, lots of other people. You won't be able to try the exact amp, in other words, but you shouldn't have too much bother in finding something pretty similar to try.

Quote by Gabel
Glad it helped you


I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#31
In addition to the AC4, I'd check out the Hayden Mofo.
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#32
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ I haven't tried the ac4 yet, unfortunately. I wasn't too fussed on the tiny terror, though, it was alright, but i didn't see what all the fuss was. Though it does depend a lot on personal preference and what type of music you play.

you could always see if you could find an 18 watt marshall or clone to try. it's the normal channel of the 1974x, as far as i'm aware (though i haven't tried the marshall version). Marshall does a reissue, which shouldn't be too hard to find, and cornell does one too (the 18/20, i think- you'd want to try the "18" side of it), along with, i assume, lots of other people. You won't be able to try the exact amp, in other words, but you shouldn't have too much bother in finding something pretty similar to try.


Yeah the Normal channel of the Marshall is what this amp is, but without the harshness.

Quote by KRANK ADDICT
KRANK REV JR 20 watt all valve.


I hope you realize he wants a blues/classic rock tone. No matter how much you like them, but Krank is about as wrong as it gets for that.
Quote by stratman_13
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Last edited by Gabel at Sep 9, 2009,
#33
Quote by Raijouta
In addition to the AC4, I'd check out the Hayden Mofo.


good call on that. I haven't tried it yet, but it's bound to be worth a try if you can find a dealer close by.


Quote by Gabel
Yeah the Normal channel of the Marshall is what this amp is, but without the harshness.


is the combo version more harsh? I haven't tried it to find out...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#34
Not like that. But the Greenback is much brighter and because of the low headroom, the amp can sound very bright before you hit distortion.
Quote by stratman_13
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18watter video demo

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Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#35
ah, ok, i get you now. Thanks
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#36
How about the Blackstar HT-5 or the Blackheart BH5 head (5 watts, both of them)?
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#37
I'll add another one to the "try an AC4" collective. I picked up the 8 inch speaker version (attenuator goes down to 1/10th of a watt...) for the specific purpose of low volume usage, and I must say I'm pretty impressed so far - lovely for just-breaking-up mellow bluesy tones, and pushed a bit harder it's got a pleasent crunch to it. It's certainly worth trying both the 10 inch and 8 inch speaker versions a go, as I personally found that whilst the 10 inch had a somewhat fuller sound (as you'd expect), it wasn't quite so inoffensive on the volume and sound carry front when pushed to the edge of breakup and low volume was a real must for me. I'd post sound clips but the combination of no microphone and my generally woeful standard of playing would make this both impractical and inadvisable.

It's definately a try-before-you-buy job though as it's a bit of a one-trick (well, one voice) pony, and a few pedals will be needed to get the best from it.
Oh, now I've gone and spilled my tea. This really won't do at all.