#1
I'm looking to buy a new amp for around 330-350 EUROS - My current gear is on my signature, great little portable amp,
and a quite decent guitar. I've grown to hate Tone knobs though, too vague in my mind to EQ a sound with just a tone
knob

An initial problem I have: small guitar stores around here don't stock anything of what I've been researching, small tube
amps, or even 15 watters and such, so, I'm basing myself through internet, which I know, isn't the best method

I'm somewhat of a beginner, but what I'm looking in an amp, for a possible future: Good/decent cleans (I like them
beefy/punchy and sparkly), that can do some crunch/distortion - let's think stuff like The Eagles, Thin Lizzy, Hendrix,
etc. It would be nice if it could also do some modern rock (Pearl jam and alikes), but I'm more into stuff like Lizzy,
Ac/DC, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, David Bowie, B.B. King, alot of other bluesy sounds also.

This is for exclusively for bedroom practice, but it would be really nice if it's able to jam with friends, though
it's not a necessity. As such, I'm looking for something like 5W tube, willing to go 15W if it meets some restrictions
that I'll post below.

So, summing up, I'm looking for an amp (Combo/Mini Half-stack, preferably tube) with the restrictions:

1. 330-350 EUROS Budget

2. Bedroom practice - up to 15W if it has something like: pentode/triode switch, Master Volume/Gain/Pre-amp volume
control; Although my fear of getting a 15 watter for bedroom practice, is that it seems that some amps (like
the Peavey Windsor Studio) don't sound really good before a certain Power-amp volume, which might then be too loud?
Not sure on this, looking for advice.

3. Preferably has 3way EQ rather than Tone knob (it would be cool if it takes pedals nicely, I plan on getting some
in the future)


So, Amps that I've been looking at, within my budget (price has quite a fair share of importance on my decision):


First of all:

The BlackHeart Litte Giant Mini Half-Stack (285€ at a Portuguese online store, free shipping and stuff): Has EQ, really
good price, pentode/triode, british voicing (good for thin lizzy kind of sounds I guess, educate my on this), cleans are
nice with a bit of grit - YouTube reviews I based myself on:
Guitar World review
and ProGuitarShopDemos
This is one seems to be my prime choice at the moment.

Vox AC4TV: 250€ (combo) or 333€ (Head/Cab) Voxy cleans (with less headroom ofc, so a bit more gritty, seems common to low
Wattage tube amps). Seems to have a nice overdrive, and the 4w, 1w, 1/4w Output seems nice for bedroom playing, but the
Tone knob is a real turn-off. The Head/Cab sounds better to me, a more loose sound.
Review at YouTube: Redbone Review.

Higher Wattage possible options:

Peavey Windsor Studio: 310€, 15W, EQ, Master/Pre-amp volumes, FX-loop, built-in reverb. Haven't studied this amp much, seems
a nice amp for the price, although my concern for "my fear of getting a 15 watter for bedroom practice, is that it seems that
some amps (like the Peavey Windsor Studio) don't sound really good before a certain Power-amp volume, which might then be too loud?"
comes from this amp, as shown here. It does sound good with the EQ pedal.
Though, the cleans don't sound really good, and seems more like a higher-gain amp than what I'm looking for.

Crate's new V5, V18. Haven't found a single thing about these, I was researching the Palomino V16, which seemed a nice option, but it
seems to be discontinued.

The strongest contender for the 15watters: Again a BlackHeart, the HandsomeDevil 15W Combo, 355€, priciest one, but seems to match my
options the best. The head (275&euro paired with a G112V Harley Benton cab (80&euro could possibly be an option, but seems that it would be
more expensive, and have a worse speaker. YouTube review: ProGuitarShopDemos


Other possible options that I haven't researched, and do not know much about: Marshall Class5, Blackstar HT-5, Jet Amps 20W head.

If you got some other recommendations, I'm open to other stuff, as long as it meets my criteria.

Thanks for your help
Gear:
Yamaha Pacifica 112VCX - Vintage white w/ red tort pickguard
Blackheart Handsome Devil
Vox DA5 Classic
Valencia C-60 Classical
#2
get this: http://www.valvepower.co.uk/index.htm

assuming they ship to portugal (and the price of postage isn't prohibitive), and assuming you can budget for a speaker cabinet as well. even something like the epiphone valve junior cab (or thomann's harley benton version, which is the one you listed, i think, assuming it's the same thing which i suspect, but am not certain, it is) would work nicely.

Doesn't have a ton of headroom, but it'll be clean at home volume with the power control up full and the volume turned down low. I wouldn't call the cleans sparkly, more chimey, but they're quite nice. The distortion, however, is perfect for the ac/dc, thin lizzy, etc. type of stuff you play. It doesn't get all that heavy, though, it doesn't really get much heavier than that, you'd need a boost or distortion pedal for more modern rock. But it's an awesome amp, and the price is verging on ridiculous for how nice it is.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Oct 24, 2009,
#3
Quote by Dave_Mc
get this: http://www.valvepower.co.uk/index.htm

assuming they ship to portugal (and the price of postage isn't prohibitive), and assuming you can budget for a speaker cabinet as well. even something like the epiphone valve junior cab (or thomann's harley benton version, which is the one you listed, i think, assuming it's the same thing which i suspect, but am not certain, it is) would work nicely.

Doesn't have a ton of headroom, but it'll be clean at home volume with the power control up full and the volume turned down low. I wouldn't call the cleans sparkly, more chimey, but they're quite nice. The distortion, however, is perfect for the ac/dc, thin lizzy, etc. type of stuff you play. It doesn't get all that heavy, though, it doesn't really get much heavier than that, you'd need a boost or distortion pedal for more modern rock. But it's an awesome amp, and the price is verging on ridiculous for how nice it is.
+ infinity. funny how the first answer is almost definitely going to be the best one.
Call me Cahum.


Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat
Epiphone AJ-10 Acoustic

Valvepower 18w
Blackheart 112 cab
#4
hehe, thanks. to be fair, "sparkly" cleans scares me a little (they're more chimey imo), but they are beefy and punchy. And he's definitely going to need a pedal for priest (which i didn't notice on the first read through). and of course he might have a perfectly legitimate reason why his original budget is set in stone, for both the head and the cab.

But yeah, unless there's some hidden, ridiculously good value gem of which I'm unaware, I can't see him getting much better for his budget. It's almost perfect for what he wants, if you ask me. As long as VP ships to portugal for a reasonable price.
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?
#5
I'm not a fan of the Windsor studio myself. I would suggest getting the Vox AC4 and a cheap EQ pedal, or really any other low-wattage tube amps and an EQ

I can't think of any 5-watters that have a 3-band EQ off the top of my head, other than the Blackstar HT5, but I think thats out of your budget and the Blackheart. Its a great amp though. If you go for 15 watts it will be MUCH too loud to crank at home. Even 5 watts is pushing it.

I think, out of what you specified, that the Blackheart is probably your best choice. You could also check out what Dave was talking about.

-Gibson LP VM
-Silvertone Kentucky Blue
-MXR CC Delay
-Ibanez TS-9
-Egnater Rebel 20
-Avatar 1x12

My rig is simple
Haha. UG's Chuck just said chuck. haha
You're not truly playing guitar unless you know theory.
#6
I'd go with your Blackheart Handsome Devil option, I have the head, it's delivers amazing crunch, but, the clean's aren't quite as good, still very nice though.
The 7watt is good for home, and you can easily keep up with drummer, bass and vocals with the 15watt.
Wait.



Roger Waters - 12th May!
#7
I also misread the part where he said about the tone knob, i thought he meant he didn't want a complicated eq section, turns out he does.
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?
#8
Quote by Dave_Mc
I also misread the part where he said about the tone knob, i thought he meant he didn't want a complicated eq section, turns out he does.

If the amp has an FX loop its nothing a Fish&Chips can't solve.

-Gibson LP VM
-Silvertone Kentucky Blue
-MXR CC Delay
-Ibanez TS-9
-Egnater Rebel 20
-Avatar 1x12

My rig is simple
Haha. UG's Chuck just said chuck. haha
You're not truly playing guitar unless you know theory.
#9
^It doesn't.
Call me Cahum.


Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat
Epiphone AJ-10 Acoustic

Valvepower 18w
Blackheart 112 cab
#10
indeed.
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?
#11
Thanks for all the replies.

That ValvePower, by the clips on their website, has some sweet sounding overdriven sounds, but there's 3 things that make me frown upon: No clips on clean sound (not that I found anyway), no EQ, and the price, even with the Thomann cheap cab, will definitly go over-budget. If I manage to stretch the budget (which isn't looking probable at the moment), it will definitly be a nice contender.

Also, the Vox ac4 combo + EQ pedal could be a decent choice I guess, but from the clips I've heard, the 10" combo (and even more so the 8") sound a bit thin, while the Head+Cab sounds alot... well, bigger I guess.

I'm not sure on this, but I believe the AC4 also does not have an FX loop. I'm not very educated in this; would it be bad, or mal practice to use an EQ pedal (or any other pedal for that matter) directly to the amp input, or is an FX loop a necessity for pedals? (No, I've never used a single pedal but there's something about the single pedals that attracts me like bees to honey)

My priority here, while I want good tube clean/overdrive, is keeping the best buck/performance ratio, aka getting the best bang for the buck
Gear:
Yamaha Pacifica 112VCX - Vintage white w/ red tort pickguard
Blackheart Handsome Devil
Vox DA5 Classic
Valencia C-60 Classical
Last edited by Boiller at Oct 24, 2009,
#12
generally you'd use an fx loop for things like chorus, delay, time-based and modulation effects, really. Though if you're running the amp clean, a loop isn't necessary- it's because those fx generally sound better after distortion.

I've never really used a graphic EQ, it depends on what you want it to do, you could put it either in front or in the loop depending on what you're using it for...

EDIT: the cleans in the valvepower are quite nice. Not fender nice, but quite nice. Chimey, warm- not a million miles from voxy. Not much headroom, but that wouldn't be a problem if it's only going to be used at home.
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?
#13
Since it will take me a little while before I buy (around christmas, or sometime after), I'll study the ValvePower a bit more. But 300£ + shipping + 98€ for cab + EQ pedal will be above budget, by alot I'll have more time to search for clean tone clips and reviews.

If I could get some more opinions on the other amps I listed, or even new recommendations, I'd appreciate
Gear:
Yamaha Pacifica 112VCX - Vintage white w/ red tort pickguard
Blackheart Handsome Devil
Vox DA5 Classic
Valencia C-60 Classical
#14
Quote by Boiller
Since it will take me a little while before I buy (around christmas, or sometime after), I'll study the ValvePower a bit more. But 300£ + shipping + 98€ for cab + EQ pedal will be above budget, by alot I'll have more time to search for clean tone clips and reviews.

If I could get some more opinions on the other amps I listed, or even new recommendations, I'd appreciate

Unfortunately I've never tried the Valvepower though I now have major GAS for one, (thanks Dave ) and Dave knows his stuff so it should be a worth a look.

I've heard good things about the Blackheart and it does have the EQ you're looking for. It sounds like a good option for you although I don't think it has a master volume and can only go down to 3 watts, which is still gonna be very loud. This is an important point, even at low wattages it still gets loud.

The Vox AC4 I'll recommend as I own one I love a lot of the bands you've listed and I think the amp suits them great. It only has a tone knob which is enough for me personally but if you want you could go the EQ pedal route. I've no real experience with them though so I can't help you there. The amp goes down to 1/4 watt which is helpful as it has no master volume, for late night practice though you definitely don't want to be cranking it for OD, it's simply too loud.

I don't really have much experience or knowledge on the other amps mentioned. Check out as many amps as you can before you decide!
#15
Both seem a good option at the moment, but the EQ issue is leaning me to the Blackhearts.

I need more input from people who have tried both. I'm looking for opinions on the clean sound too, as I really like nice clean sounds.
Gear:
Yamaha Pacifica 112VCX - Vintage white w/ red tort pickguard
Blackheart Handsome Devil
Vox DA5 Classic
Valencia C-60 Classical
#16
Quote by Boiller
Both seem a good option at the moment, but the EQ issue is leaning me to the Blackhearts.

I need more input from people who have tried both. I'm looking for opinions on the clean sound too, as I really like nice clean sounds.

The Vox will give you really nice clean sounds, very much like the bigger Vox amps if you know that sound. It doesn't have a lot of headroom as it is a small amp but if you use the 4 watt setting for cleans you shouldn't have a problem unless you need really loud cleans.
#18
Quote by aaronni
Unfortunately I've never tried the Valvepower though I now have major GAS for one, (thanks Dave ) and Dave knows his stuff so it should be a worth a look.


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?
#19
Quote by fly135
Fender Super Champ XD will cover your bases with great tone.


I took a look at them, but being a modeller amp is kind of a turn-off. I'd be more comfortable with a one-trick pony that can take pedals really well in the future, but has a really good sound. Not that I have anything against modellers and stuff, but it's just the way my mind works
Gear:
Yamaha Pacifica 112VCX - Vintage white w/ red tort pickguard
Blackheart Handsome Devil
Vox DA5 Classic
Valencia C-60 Classical
#20
I'd save and get the Valvepower I was playing it before and thought how the cleans sound really good, especially for a distortion focused amp.
Call me Cahum.


Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat
Epiphone AJ-10 Acoustic

Valvepower 18w
Blackheart 112 cab
#21
Like I said before, it will still be awhile before I make a final decision, so there is a possibility that my budget might stretch, just not at the moment. The 18W clone does sound really good, and has that boutique feel to it
Gear:
Yamaha Pacifica 112VCX - Vintage white w/ red tort pickguard
Blackheart Handsome Devil
Vox DA5 Classic
Valencia C-60 Classical