#1
Hi. My crappy 10W solid state amp has died after 3 years and I'm looking for a small, good sounding amp mainly for bedroom use. I know there's a sticky which I have looked at but there's something I don't get.

Does, say, a 5W tube amp have to be cranked to get a good tone? When I'm playing alone I mostly have the volume at 10-12 o'clock on my 10W SS amp. Also, I don't really understand how the amp's distortion works - can it be achieved at that volume?

Could you recommend a (preferably tube) practice amp to me, price range $150-$380? I won't be playing anything heavier than hard rock, mainly rock and blues. My favorite band is the Foo Fighters, so I'd like to get as close to their sound as possible but I'll also be playing all kinds of modern rock, grunge and older stuff like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and the Eagles. I'm using a guitar with humbuckers, if that's relevant.

Thanks in advance and apologies if my question is stupid.
#2
For the music you play I would recommend a Blackheart little ant or little giant with a boost pedal/overdrive pedal
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#3
Okay, to answer your question- I went from a horrendous SS amp to an all tube amp- first things first, the tube amp is going to be a LOT louder that the SS amp. I had a 15 W ss amp and now I have an 18 W tube amp and I could have the ss up all the way- Ive never had the tube amp up past 12 o clock (half) in my bedroom.

Secondly, you can get a tube amp with decent effects for cheap. If you can find one like I have, it's very good for the price- it's a Crate V18 and it comes either with 2x12 speakers or 1x12 speaker. It's got reverb and distortion, so you can get a crunch out of it at a low volume with no trouble. To me, it's the perfect practice amp. A Crate Blackheart is also a good choice. If you find a Crate V18 or V5, swap the tubes, the ones that come with it are meh and a tube swap helps a lot.

Just an FYI, I play a TON of AC/DC, Zeppelin, classic rock stuff, and I can "almost" get the V18 dialed in to sound like Angus. Foo Fighter stuff is no problem. Whatever you get, be sure to review it for us, we'd like to know!
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#4
Well the tube amps I've been looking at are all 5 W, which I reckon is perfect for me. The Blackheart Little Giant 5W seems like the best choice at the moment but other suggestions would be great.

Would the 5W tube be around the same volume as my old amp and would it have to be cranked to get distortion?
Last edited by Pengu1n at Dec 5, 2009,
#5
Vox AC4
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#7
The only 5W tube amp worth bothering with for rock tones (if you don't have any overdrive pedals) is the Blackstar HT-5. It has a lot more onboard preamp gain than most of its competitors (AC4, Little Giant etc), which need to be cranked a little more to get the most out of them.

However, any of the current crop of low wattage tube amps would sound great if you bought a suitable dirt pedal. The HT-5 is by far the best though, IMHO.
#8
Fender Super Champ XD or Vibro Champ XD. Don't worry that the SCXD is 15 watts, the SS front end allows you to get great distortion tones at low volumes.
#9
Quote by fly135
Fender Super Champ XD or Vibro Champ XD. Don't worry that the SCXD is 15 watts, the SS front end allows you to get great distortion tones at low volumes.


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#10
Bugera V5, Fender Vibro Champ XD, Vox AC4TV, all great amps, all 5 watts (except the Vox), and all in your price range. Also, the Bugera and Vox have switches that let you choose from 5, 1 and 1/10 watts.
#11
For the money I don't think you can beat the SuperChamp XD. My Valve Junior kicks it's butt, but I've got about $900 in pedals hanging off it to do it.
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Last edited by scott58 at Dec 5, 2009,
#12
I have a distortion pedal right now and would have no problem getting an OD too. Would the Vox AC4 be my best choice if that's the case?

EDIT: Also, what exactly is the difference between the AC4, AC4TV and the AC4TV8?
Last edited by Pengu1n at Dec 5, 2009,
#13
Quote by Pengu1n
I have a distortion pedal right now and would have no problem getting an OD too. Would the Vox AC4 be my best choice if that's the case?

EDIT: Also, what exactly is the difference between the AC4, AC4TV and the AC4TV8?

the first two are the same. The third is a smaller version.
#15
Quote by aerosmith513
the first two are the same. The third is a smaller version.


Ah, there was no indication of that online, thanks.

If I hook it up to some pedals, so, would pretty much everyone agree that I should go for the Vox?
#16
I've got a little practice amp called a Peavey Backstage Amp. Its really small so doesn't take up space and it cost me £20 on eBay, its in almost new condition although its second hand, I think they are about £50 New. It has this thing called 'Trans Tube' which makes it sound like a tube amp although it doesn't actually have tubes, which is good cos tubes can break or overhheat and wear out cos they're made of glass and can be expensive to replace. It also has an overdrive channel on it which is pretty cool and has bass and treble controls. It sounds pretty good, Ive been playing Foo Fighters stuff trough it and you can get close to the types of sounds you want without a distortion pedal. I recommend it for any guitarist looking for a bedroom practice amp. Oh and theres an input for listening to cds through the amp so you can play along, but I haven't used it yet. And its plenty loud enough for bedroom use.
Last edited by gary1991 at Dec 6, 2009,
#17
I've been looking into it online and I think the Vox AC4 is the right amp for me. I'm going to try it out in a store as soon as I can.

Really appreciate the suggestions guys but I have just one more query. For the type of music I'll be playing could you recommend an overdrive pedal?