#1
How do chaps...

I have a '93 LP Special and have just bought a Duncan SP90-1 Vintage and SP90-2 Hot (Vintage in the neck, Hot in the bridge) to replace the P100s that the guitar was built with back in the day...

I think this will really open up the guitar in terms of its tone but I've got a feeling my amp might not be allowing me to get the best out of my kit.

The amp is a Roland Cube 15, I only need a small amp as I only jam at home (on my own and with people playing piano) but regardless of volume I would definitely like to be getting the best sound I can out of my setup - I play clapton and john mayer stuff so like a more mellow vintage bluesy sound so am I using the right amp for the job? I don't know a lot about amps so maybe the amp is fine but if there is a few specific amps which would really suit what I'm doing and compliment my guitar better I'd be interested to hear about them

Stick with the cube? or maybe swap it for something else?
#2
You're not going to get the best sound out of your guitar and pickups with that amp and you'll definitely notice a difference in sound if you were to upgrade. You could try something along the lines of a Fender Blues Jr. which would, I think, be good for the kind of music you play.

By upgrading from the Cube 15, which is solid state, to a blues-voiced valve amp, you're probably going to find it much easier to get closer to the tones you hear from the guitarists you like and the sound of your guitar will shine through much better.

If you're in the UK, you could also try a Laney VC-15. I had one of these and it did bluesy tones quite well indeed.
#3
Ahh ok very interesting indeed out of interest would stretching the budget to a 30W amp improve the sound and tone or only the volume it can maintain the quality of the sound?

I play relatively quiet I think so if I can get away with a 15 it would be a bit easier on the wallet, going to go second hand anyway...

(and yeah I am in the UK )
#4
Quote by SooTyLaD
Ahh ok very interesting indeed out of interest would stretching the budget to a 30W amp improve the sound and tone or only the volume it can maintain the quality of the sound?

I play relatively quiet I think so if I can get away with a 15 it would be a bit easier on the wallet, going to go second hand anyway...

(and yeah I am in the UK )


Volume doesn't necessarily determine tone.

But you will be good with a 15 watt valve amp or less from the sound of it.

A 30 watt valve amp would sound a shit ton louder than your Roland Micro Cube.
Squier Strat
Behringer Fuzz
GFT-90
#5
yeah a 15 watt tube amp is WAYYYYY louder than a 15 watt solid state amp like ur cube 15.

some amps to check out
Fender blues junior
Laney VC15
Laney Cub 10 or 12r
Guitars
Fender American Standard Strat 2008
Burny late 1980's Super Grade RLG-70 Les Paul
Sterling by Musicman JP50
Fender Classic Series 60's tele
Yamaha FS720S
Amp
Roland Microcube
Fender Blues Junior III Humholdt
#6
The same brand/line in a 15 watt compared to a 30watt changes in tone, volume has little to do with it. Go play some amps, anything tube from 15 watts up will be more than enough, just look for the tone you like. There are some amazing low wattage amps coming out that sound great, and are fairly affordable. The new Fender super champ sounds wicked, and has huge variety. Anyway, a good tube amp will give you the dynamic and depth that you probably can't get with the cube 15, and for some good blues needs a good dynamic.
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Gibson Les Paul Studio w/dirtyfingers pickups
Gibson Joan Jett Melody Maker
VOX ac30 head
Marshall 1960 4x12 cab
Fender Hot Rod Deville
#7
Quote by SooTyLaD
Ahh ok very interesting indeed out of interest would stretching the budget to a 30W amp improve the sound and tone or only the volume it can maintain the quality of the sound?

I play relatively quiet I think so if I can get away with a 15 it would be a bit easier on the wallet, going to go second hand anyway...

(and yeah I am in the UK )


Oh you'll easily be able to get away with a 15 watt amp. I had a 5 watt Epiphone Valve Jr. and my parents used to complain about it

You can probably get some good deals on Blues Jr. and VC-15 amps on eBay if you look for them. The VC-15 was easily loud enough for playing in the bedroom. I think I only had the volume above 4 once

If you're thinking of stretching the budget, you'd be better off getting a better quality 15 watt amp rather than the 30 watt version of one you were considering, as the tonal quality will likely be better.
#8
Those two amps have been mentioned a few times now so I'll keep my eye out for both on eBay... If hypothetically both were available for a similar price, which is the better amp?
#11
if you're only playing at home, a 5 watt amp would be better than 15 watts, as the stuff you're playing uses power tube overdrive.

alternatively (actually probably a better idea) get something with powerscaling or VVR built-in- valvepower 18 watt marshall clone would be my call there (I have one), but if you can't stretch to that, maybe a vox ac4 (haven't tried it, i just know it has variable wattage).

EDIT: mayer is more fendery, as is modern clapton. so that'd be worth bearing in mind too. the valvepower is marshally.
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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
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#12
Good stuff guys... From my first post you can tell I don't know a whole lot when it comes to amps, I will as I said keep an eye out for these mentioned amps on ebay but I've got a couple of questions:

1) my current amp (Roland Cube 15) seems to be quite well thought of, so where does it fall short and why do people think I should upgrade? Is it a simple case of you get what you pay for?

2) are tube amps better or is it just a coincidence that both of my recommended amps are valve? Is it maybe that tube is better for that bluesy sound, or better suited to my guitar with it's P90s?
#13
Quote by SooTyLaD
Good stuff guys... From my first post you can tell I don't know a whole lot when it comes to amps, I will as I said keep an eye out for these mentioned amps on ebay but I've got a couple of questions:

1) my current amp (Roland Cube 15) seems to be quite well thought of, so where does it fall short and why do people think I should upgrade? Is it a simple case of you get what you pay for?

2) are tube amps better or is it just a coincidence that both of my recommended amps are valve? Is it maybe that tube is better for that bluesy sound, or better suited to my guitar with it's P90s?


1) For the price, I actually think the Cube 15 is a good practice amp. However, it's not very high quality and the tone is nothing special. After a while it started to sound quite bland to me. You can pay for more expensive solid-state amps that sound fairly good. For example, Line 6's higher-end modelling amps (the Flextone and Vetta ones, not the Spiders) sound good to me. They still lack the warmth of a valve amp, but considering the price and flexibility, it sort of makes up for it if that's the kind of thing you need.

2) Generally, they produce nicer tones, particularly when pushed - you get very nice breakup from the power-amp section if you push the master volume, though at bedroom volumes that's not always something you can do. For bluesy sounds, in my opinion, they're better for the most part. There will always be one or two exceptions, of course, but in general I'd rather have a valve amp than a solid state based on my own tonal preferences.

I'm sure someone can answer your questions with better explanations, but I hope that helps a little.
#14
My first amp was the Roland Cube 15, and I own an Epiphone Valve Jr. I'd definitely recommend it to you if you're looking for Bluesy tones. You'll find the tone from the Epi to be much more natural sounding and responsive in comparison to the Cube.

The Cube 15 is often recommending by those who are a fan of the Cube series' amp modeling capabilities, but they fail to realize that the Cube 15 doesn't have any amp modeling nor effects. The Microcube does, but not the Cube 15. I'd say the Cube 15 is about as generic of a practice amp as any other.
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Quote by utsapp89
^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
Last edited by FacingUsAll at Aug 29, 2010,
#15
i don't think the cube 15 is that well thought-of, in my opinion, anyway, the cubes only really start getting good at the 30 (or the micro) because of the amp models- +1 on what FUA is saying, in other words. Plus the cubes are more aimed at the heavier stuff, that's where they excel (imo). For the stuff you're playing, valves would be more authentic and sound better, imo. You just need some way of getting the cranked tone down to home levels, which is why i suggested ones with powerscaling/VVR.
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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?
#16
All good advice guys, I think if I'm going to get one from the bay I should at least try and play with a few in the local music shops - so thanks people you've given me some good stuff to go off

On the topic of tube amps, do they take much looking after? Do they need much servicing etc these days or is that a thing of the past with older technologies and whatnot?
#17
I haven't needed to service either of my tube amps ever.

My '90s Peavey Classic 50 2x12 still has the original tubes.
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Quote by utsapp89
^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
#18
depends on the amp. I mean any amp can break, but i guess that's true for solid state as well. Assuming it doesn't break (lol), you pretty much only have to swap valves. If you get a single-ended (one power amp valve) or cathode-biased amp, you don't have to bias when you swap valves, so it's pretty much the same as swapping a lightbulb.

Bear in mind, though, that for some reason the vox ac4 requires you to open the whole chassis when swapping valves, you could electrocute yourself if you're not careful (even if it's off). That put me off getting one

But yeah, on e.g. the valvepower i mentioned, it's just a matter of unscrewing the cage, pulling out the old valves and popping in new ones.

maybe 20 years down the line (not sure on the exact time frame) you might have to start getting the filter caps replaced etc., but it's a fair while before you have to do that, you might have a new amp by then, lol.
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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?
#19
Well... Took everything said into account, read a load of reviews and finally decided (unfortunately none of my local shops had any in stock so couldn't try first so its a bit of a leap of faith...)

So I bought this:



Managed to find one for a great price in Limited Edition Old English White

Looks quite retro and will match my LP Special nicely visually and more importantly in tone I'd have thought
Last edited by SooTyLaD at Aug 31, 2010,
#20
nice. laney vcs are very nice for the money (though laney upped their prices a while back, before that they were awesome value in the UK ).
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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


I got it from the "As New" stock from DV247, could be a return or whatnot but its in as new condition only difference is the box is opened... set me back £269 delivered so I'm happy - Still gets the 4 year warranty etc etc...

EDIT: actually sorry, it was £259 not £269 - extra bargainage
Last edited by SooTyLaD at Aug 31, 2010,
#22
That is a good deal indeed

Nice choice, I really liked the one I had. But I didn't have one in the nice-looking colour like yours

Enjoy it
#23
Cheers

The Old English White is a limited edition run, don't know how many they made tho (edit: I do now... 350 worldwide, mine is number 119 )... As soon as I saw it it struck a chord ( no pun intended )

I'll have to take a photo of my whole setup once I'm done, I'm in the process of giving my LP a bit of TLC and customising the look and sound a bit... you'll see when its done
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
Jim Dunlop Original Crybaby
Boss DS-1
Last edited by SooTyLaD at Sep 2, 2010,
#24
I have a Cube 15x for home. With my active Cort it was ok. With my Ellis it was great but the Ellis was a very bright sounding guitar anyway. Now I have Skatterbranes in my Ellis, the Cube sounds terribly bassy and thick/muddy.
In a small tube amp, I'd be thinking along the lines of a Vox AC4TV which is enough for home use and has a reputation of being a bit on the bright side. Maybe a Fender Vibro Champ is another possibility.
A 15w tube amp is overkill for home and is more suited to small gigs in a bar etc.
I pick up my guitar and play
Just like Yesterday

T C Ellis Series 2 LP w/Skatterbrane Quiescence pups
Cort EVL-K6
Yamaha RGX211 modded
H&S Electric 12-string
Shaftsbury Ricki 4001
'84 Fender Yale
Roland Cube 15x

#25
just out of interest, how are the skatterbranes?
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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?
#26
Guys... My new amp is beautiful, thanks for the advice!

I can't believe the difference from the cube! The new sound is just so warm, clean and powerful... sounds like the difference between a nice top end stereo and a phone ringtone

Stunning looking aesthetically too

Couldn't be happier
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
Jim Dunlop Original Crybaby
Boss DS-1