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#1
For the last few weeks, I've been doing a lot of research on tube amps. For the past five years, I've only owned tiny little solid state amps with abysmal tone, and now its time for an upgrade. What I'm looking for is a tube amp that is quiet enough to play in my apartment living room or bedroom without bothering the neighbors while also being able to keep up with other musicians and possibly a drummer.

My main requirement is that it needs to be able to have a great Iron Maiden tone. I would like it to be somewhat versatile so I can play things such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Guns N Roses, and Dio, but I play Iron Maiden stuff way more than any other band. So my priority is finding a great Maiden tone.

Secondly, I'd like the amp to have two channels. I need to be able to switch from clean to distortion with a foot switch, and I would prefer if I didn't have to use a shitty solid state pedal to do so.

As far as budget goes, I'm honestly open to just about every price range. My main concern is value. I don't want to pay a huge sticker price because of the brand name or sacrifice quality to save some money. If you guys can justify the cost, I'd be willing to spend anywhere from 500-1500 USD on this amp.

So give me some recommendations! For the record, I'm a total noob when it comes to tube amps. So I have very little beginning knowledge. I'm just looking for a smallish amp that can crank out a kickass Maiden tone at relatively low volumes. Thanks in advanced.
#2
Check out the Blackstar HT 5. 5 watts, available in either combo or head. Gets plenty loud for apartments or bedrooms. Should be able to keep up with a drummer outside of gigging situations.
-----------------------------------
G.A.S. Afflicted
#3
I am in the same situation as you, tone wise and gear wise. I went to try the Blackstar HT-5 and HT-1 yesterday. Probably the best compromise on sound quality for bedroom volume.
The HT-5 has an external loop effect and many great options for a 5W tube amp, but is somehow loud even at 2-3. If you just need basic tone options, go for the HT-1.

The ISF feature also makes a great difference: it gives you the ability to sound more like a british or american amp with the twist of a knob. Actually it surprised me, but it works.

I will probably buy one of those in the near future.
AGEGBand
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Last edited by Anthoje at Apr 20, 2011,
#4
Blackstar ht-5. Though generally tube amps and bedroom practice don't mix, at all. You'll have to get one of these really low wattage ones, and even then they can be very loud, just the tubes break up on lower volumes so they don't sound like shit on (relatively) low volumes.

As for the Ht-1, it only has one channel so no footswitching there.
#5
I don't think the Blackstar would be the way to go if you're will to spend a lot on this thing. With 1500 on a (presumably) 5 watt amp, you might even get something boutique.
Just find a 5 watt british voiced amplifier, with pre amp gain, a 12" speaker and a boost. I don't know much about Maiden but I'm guessing they were using marshalls with quite a bit of gain. I'll come back with suggestions in a minute.
Quote by WtrPlyr
Quote by alans056
Maybe the price tag is clouding your judgment ?
yeah probably. Or the circuits.
#6
Marshall is making a great 5 watt amp right now. I can't remember what it's called but it's all valve and has the 3 band eq that you need. That is what I'd get if I were in your position.
Not taking any online orders.
#7
Peavey valveking if you want to stay on the low side of price. add an overdrive and you're good to go. seems like you really need to decide on a budget though as there are many options at the higher end of what you stated. no point in going into them if you aren't willing to spend the cash though. Marshall and Mesa are options at the higher end (and i'm not talking a 5 watt amp)
#8
I second the HT-5. Just because you have a bigger budget doesn't mean you need to blow it on a bedroom practice amp - it's still just a practice amp.
#9
Yeah, HT5. It has the footswitch, drives a cab and has an effects loop. You don't need more for a practice amp and it means you have more money for your live rig

I ordered a HT1 because I'm stingy XD
Only been playing a year and a bit, but I'd get the HT-5 when I'm not on a student's budget XD.

Even the HT-1 has the gain on tap for hard rock.

They are technically hybrid amps, but the clippings done by the tubes I believe.
#10
If you can find someone with Krank amps in your area, check out the Krank Rev Jr. Pro 20 or 50 watt amps. I have never played a Blackstar amp but I chose Krank over the Blackstar.
#11
Quote by farmosh203
If you can find someone with Krank amps in your area, check out the Krank Rev Jr. Pro 20 or 50 watt amps. I have never played a Blackstar amp but I chose Krank over the Blackstar.


I love kranks too, but not for iron maiden
#12
A rev Jr. standard could do Maiden, but there are other amps that could do it better. It's voicing is too modern to get the ideal maiden tone.

If you're really luck you might be able to find a Splawn Street Rod used in your price range, or you could try sacking away a bit more cash and get one new. IMO that'd probably be the ideal amp for you. It'll get all the tones you want (sounds damn good), excellent quality, and has all the features you're after.

With a $1500 limit you should look into a (used) Fargen Miniplex, should be able to nail a maiden tone. You could also look at a Peavey Windsor studio and maybe have it modded by some one like FJA. Unmodded it'll do Maiden, but it won't have all the features you're after.
#13
The Blackstar HT-5 looks pretty interesting. But I hear the cab it comes with sucks. Which speaker cab would go well with the Blackstar?

Also, that Splawn Street Rod sounds amazing. A bit pricey though. Do you think the Splawn could be played at bedroom levels?
#14
I'm sorry but for 1500 dollars he can do better than a HT-5 much better. Just because he is looking for a quite tube amp shouldn't mean he should go for a subpar one. If I was you I'd get either a Laney GH50L with a nice cab, or a Traynor YCV50B. Both of those will nail Maiden.
#ENTITLED
WENGER OUT!!!


lastfm
#15
The ht-5 is an awesome amp and has that tone that your looking for. however, i recently purchased a VHT special 6 ultra. its about $200 less than the ht-5. The ONLY sacrifice is that you'll have to run a pedal through it to get that gain at lower volumes. Its a handwired amp, 6watts and it sounds absolutely amazing. Not many stores carry them so you'd likely have to purchase it online. if you have any questions, feel free to message me about it. i am currently using an mxr fullbore to get tones from a clean crunch to metalcore tones.
#16
The Splawn would def nail the tones you are after but they are not bedroom friendly. They need to be cranked to sound good. In addition to the VHT Special 6, Fargen Mini and the Traynor I would also suggest the Egnater Renegade and the Vypyr 60. I know the Vypyr 60 seems like a joke with a $1500 budget but they are only $450 new, have great tone for a modeler AND they have a headphone jack. The Renegade has a switchable wattage from 65 to 18 and can run 2 different types of power tubes either separately or together. Basically Mesa Roadking type capability for $999. Check it.
#17
Egnater renegade
Baron snort watt
Used Marshall?
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BARE KNUCKLE PUPS RULE!
Quote by gumbilicious
thanks for making an old dude feel like his advice is actually taken into consideration
#20
$1500 budget and people suggest Blackstar? hahaha.
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#21
Quote by tr3nt
$1500 budget and people suggest Blackstar? hahaha.


Because $1500 for a practice amp = waste of money.
#22
Quote by OceansBetweenUs
Because $1500 for a practice amp = waste of money.

Wat?
Wat?

I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#23
I've tried the Blackstar HT5 on two seperate occasions and thought it sounded like poo. Maybe I didn't eq it properly, but I was disappointed. Tried different volumes, messed with the tone pots, everything I could think of and it simply sounded like shit. Sorry.
#24
Quote by robbo546hall
I'm sorry but for 1500 dollars he can do better than a HT-5 much better. Just because he is looking for a quite tube amp shouldn't mean he should go for a subpar one. If I was you I'd get either a Laney GH50L with a nice cab, or a Traynor YCV50B. Both of those will nail Maiden.


the ht5 isn't even all-tube

Agreed, go for something hot-rod marshally.

Splawns and stuff like that might even be within range within that budget- though i'm not sure how good they sound turned down, i've heard several people say they aren't really bedroom amps... the laney is a bit like that too. Haven't tried the traynor, but the 40 and 20 are very nice (just not hot-rod marshally).

Quote by gregs1020
Wat?
Wat?



+1

It's his money and his decision. It's not like the $1500 amps sound no better than the $300 ones.
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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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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Apr 21, 2011,
#25
It's crazy to spend that much on a bedroom amp and get a 100W amp for the bedroom. Save that for when you need it and buy yourself more time to look around and get a bargain.

If you want a good small lunchbox amp... I guess there's better stuff like the orange tiny terror, Mesa Transatlantic and Egnater Tweaker, Jet City 20w type stuff that could also do small gigs. They'd still get loud, so you may have issues cranking them without bothering the rest of the house/street.

I haven't got that much experience with that stuff, but I've decided to go cheap for a bedroom practice amp, and when I'm gigging I'll go out and get a proper rig.

Its all up to you and your needs really. If you're gigging soon, then maybe a 100w head on half power and with the volume on 1/4 will do for practice, but it's not really doing it justice XD. My guitar teacher practices on a 3/4-stack I guess, lol.
Last edited by baumaxx1 at Apr 21, 2011,
#26
Quote by Dave_Mc
the ht5 isn't even all-tube

Agreed, go for something hot-rod marshally.

Splawns and stuff like that might even be within range within that budget- though i'm not sure how good they sound turned down, i've heard several people say they aren't really bedroom amps... the laney is a bit like that too. Haven't tried the traynor, but the 40 and 20 are very nice (just not hot-rod marshally).


+1

It's his money and his decision. It's not like the $1500 amps sound no better than the $300 ones.


Given his budget doesn't change what I'll recommend the guy. It's the HT-5 for bedroom use only - all tube or not the thing sounds good. It'll do what he wants and he'll probably be happy. A lot of these other amps being recommended are getting out of the 'bedroom only range'. Even the Blackstar recommended above can get loud enough through a 4x12 apparently (never tried it through anything by the 1x10 stock cabinet).

That's like saying I have $5000 for a guitar. I want a Fender Strat. Lemme get the Yngwie strat because its more expensive and uses more of my budget, when all I really need/want is a Fender American Standard which can be had for $1500ish with any of the specs he wants. He never said he wanted scalloped frets/special neck profile/etc. He just said under $1500, whats a good practice amp?

Not a perfect example, but I think it at least proves my point.
Last edited by OceansBetweenUs at Apr 21, 2011,
#27
Again,

For $1500 he could get a JMP-1, a tube power amp, and a cab. With a guitar with a PAF or DiMarzio Super Distortion in the bridge, he would be pretty much there short of Dave's fingers.

As the distortion is coming from the JMP, the power amp can be set to bedroom volume rather easily and that set up can be used in a band setting.

But, that is going for THAT sound.

What of other sounds?
#28
Quote by baumaxx1

Its all up to you and your needs really. If you're gigging soon, then maybe a 100w head on half power and with the volume on 1/4 will do for practice, but it's not really doing it justice XD. My guitar teacher practices on a 3/4-stack I guess, lol.


to me that's dodgy logic.

Who cares if you're not doing it justice? It's still gonna sound better than a cheaper amp that maybe you are doing justice to (and which you probably aren't anyway... even 5 watts is too loud for bedroom volumes).

Quote by OceansBetweenUs
Given his budget doesn't change what I'll recommend the guy. It's the HT-5 for bedroom use only - all tube or not the thing sounds good. It'll do what he wants and he'll probably be happy. A lot of these other amps being recommended are getting out of the 'bedroom only range'. Even the Blackstar recommended above can get loud enough through a 4x12 apparently (never tried it through anything by the 1x10 stock cabinet).

That's like saying I have $5000 for a guitar. I want a Fender Strat. Lemme get the Yngwie strat because its more expensive and uses more of my budget, when all I really need/want is a Fender American Standard which can be had for $1500ish with any of the specs he wants. He never said he wanted scalloped frets/special neck profile/etc. He just said under $1500, whats a good practice amp?

Not a perfect example, but I think it at least proves my point.


that's fair enough if you're paying extra for features you don't want or need; if you're paying extra for better tone, then not so much.
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?
#30
I'm in the same boat as the original poster. Right now, I'm down to the Blackstar HT-5 and the Marshall Haze 15w head with a cab. From the dozens of Youtube clips I've watched, I'm leaning towards the blackstar. There is one clip of the Blackstar with a guy using a jeckyl and hyde overdrive and it was hands down the sweetest tone I have ever heard in my life. Ever.

At first I was dead set on getting a marshall because I like the classic tone and the prestige of 'Marshall'. But truth be told, Blackstar has great tone, better distortion and its made by guys who used to work for Marshall, so... I like to think of them as Marshall's badass runaway child, lol.
#34
Quote by CorduroyEW
Marshall is making a great 5 watt amp right now. I can't remember what it's called but it's all valve and has the 3 band eq that you need. That is what I'd get if I were in your position.

Class 5.

It's a great amp for album Zeppelin and other classic rock.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#35
Quote by baumaxx1
It's crazy to spend that much on a bedroom amp and get a 100W amp for the bedroom. Save that for when you need it and buy yourself more time to look around and get a bargain.

If you want a good small lunchbox amp... I guess there's better stuff like the orange tiny terror, Mesa Transatlantic and Egnater Tweaker, Jet City 20w type stuff that could also do small gigs. They'd still get loud, so you may have issues cranking them without bothering the rest of the house/street.

I haven't got that much experience with that stuff, but I've decided to go cheap for a bedroom practice amp, and when I'm gigging I'll go out and get a proper rig.

Its all up to you and your needs really. If you're gigging soon, then maybe a 100w head on half power and with the volume on 1/4 will do for practice, but it's not really doing it justice XD. My guitar teacher practices on a 3/4-stack I guess, lol.



I somewhat second all those mini-lunchboxs he recommended...i tried a Transatlantic at a guitar center and it was amazing
#36
The renegade is a pretty awesome amp. You should definitely check one out to see if it suits you. The master volume on it can really dial the volume way down if you set it right.

I have a 212 renegade combo I'm looking to sell, so if you're in the US and interested PM me. Depending where you live it could be pretty pricey to ship though, it's pretty heavy.
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And so it goes
#38
quit with the "x watts is too loud for bedroom volume".. srsly, theres numerous amps that perform well at low volume. you all seem to think it has to be cranked to sound good, rofl
#39
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Why is everyone reccomending a 400 dollar amp when TS's budget is 1500?


Why would you suggest something for $1500 that can be done just as well for $400?

People are correctly focusing on the "practice amp" part of the request, and not just the dollar signs...
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
- Stephen F. Roberts
#40
Quote by OceansBetweenUs
Because $1500 for a practice amp = waste of money.


Indeed it is. I can speak to the quality of the Blackstar HT-5. I've been playing it all afternoon in my living room while my kids have been napping; it has great tones at lower volumes and is an excellent bang-for-your-buck amp IMO.
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Blackstar HT-5
Last edited by 3volved at May 14, 2011,
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