Hey guys.

So I play electric guitar in a worship service for a Christian organization at a college campus. We're usually in a pretty small room (50-75 seats) and at the moment it's just me, an acoustic guitarist who plugs in to our PA, and a vocalist. I've been using a Peavey Vypyr 75, and although its a solid-state amp, it's a huge improvement on plugging in to the PA which is what I was originally doing.

I know tube amps are superior and I'd really like to upgrade. I'd be really excited if I could get something a bit physically smaller than my Vypyr, it's rather large and ungainly to carry, and I never need to turn the volume knob past 1 or 2 so I feel that it might be a bit overpowered.

So, questions:

I'm looking at the Vox AC4. Don't know which model; I know I've seen one for about $250 with a 10 inch speaker and another was a mini half-stack format with a 12 inch speaker and it was about $349. Is that extra $100 worth it? My Vypyr has a 12 inch speaker; will the downgrade from 12 inch to 10 inch have a noticeable effect on the sound?

And how do you guys feel about the AC4? It's only a 4 watt amp, but we do play in fairly small rooms, and I know tube amps perform better when cranked up. Will this thing get loud enough? I'm not really too concerned about the lack of reverb controls or much EQ; I have reverb and EQ pedals. If you don't like the AC4, is there another amp in the same price range that is better? As much as I'd like to spend $800 on an amplifier, I'm a college student and it's just not in the budget.

Thanks for the help!
Going from a 12 inch speaker to a 10 inch speaker will have a huge effect on your sound, in my opinion 10 inch speakers sound awful, they're really tinny and weak sounding, I would always stick with 12s personally.

Your Vypyr isn't a bad amp if you want a pretty loud and versatile amp for cheap, which I assume you already know, but yeah, the Vox AC4 will sound a lot better for clean and lightly distorted tones. Playing ina Christian rock band, I assume that those are the tones that you are looking for.

If you don't want high-gain, you don't need to be too loud, you like small amps, and you want tubes. The AC4 is a really good choice, if I were you, I'd definatly get the 12 inch speaker with it though.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
The AC4 is pretty great in my experience (and quite loud for an amp of that size). From what I can tell that's about the best all-tube amp you can get for under $300 (correct me if I'm wrong), but if you'd like something a little more you could always look for used gear. My amp is a Fender Hot Rod Blues Junior NOS, which costs around $550 new but I got mine for $350 used. If you can find one of those I think you'll really love it, it has a gorgeous clean tone, as all fender tube amps do. Handles pedals very well too.
Last edited by Bardo's Jangle at Jul 20, 2010,
Would I be better off purchasing the head + cab combo, or buying a cab separately?
do you not think you may need something louder than 4w? there won't be much clean headroom ...
Jet City 20watt Combo.
This thing is awesome, has really nice cleans and can get dirty too.
plus, they are on sale right now at guitarcenter
Gibson RawPower SG 2009 (Zales)
Gibson Hummingbird 70's? (Amy)
Jet City JCA 20 Watt Combo
Dunlop Crybaby wah
MXR 10 Band EQ
Ibanez TS-9