#1
Hey guys I need some suggestions for a decent combo tube amp. Right now I just have a 4 watt Vox AC4TV, which is a nice little amp and sounds pretty good. But I'm looking to get an amp I can practice with and potentially gig with. I don't need anything too big though.

Ideally I probably want something no bigger than 30 watts or so. Another big thing I want is separate clean and dirty channels. I mostly play pop punk and alternative rock, so the clean channel doesn't have to be the greatest but I at least want it available. I'm much more concerned with a good, smooth distortion and a good palm muted tone.

For example, I tried out an Orange Tiny Terror, which is only like 15 watts and can be attenuated down to 7, and thought it sounded awesome. If it had separate channels I would definitely be considering buying one.

I'm not trying to break the bank but I don't want price to restrict any suggestions. To be honest Im not sure what my budget is going to be when I decide to buy something so I'd welcome any and all suggestions, regardless of price. The more the better. That includes cheaper options too.

In summation:
Combo tube amp
Preferably 30 watts or less
Separate clean and dirty channels
Clean channel doesn't have to be great
Preferably a good, smooth distortion and good palm mute tone
Price is not an issue


Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
Quote by lefty_strat_str
Only buy guitars that have had their wood harvested from the north side of the tree, during the summer solstice, by virgin druids suffering from dwarfism. Next stupid question, please.
#2
If you liked your AC4, an AC30 is right up your alley.
You like the TT? Then you want the Dual Terror- basically a dual channel TT with 30W.
Mesa Transatlantic is good.
Hughe's and Kettner Tubemeister is also good, though it might be a bit too modern sounding.
#3
Got to agree with that first answer. The Vox with any decent pedal is a mighty combination. Don't forget that Marshall make a huge range of combos that would be appropriate.
#4
jet city amps jca22
marshall studio 15 (used)
vox night train
budda superdrive 18
engl gigmaster
baron snott watt
mesa transatlantic
orange TH30
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Last edited by Raijouta at Dec 2, 2011,
#5
I started with the AC4 head and cab about a year ago and like you i really liked it. Then i got a 15w nightrain and used it with the AC4 cab and that was also great, then i got a TT off e/bay and to me the Orange sound was what i was looking for. Then i sold the lot and got a TH30 and a 2x12, 7,15 or 30w it's just what i was looking for,,,Paul
#6
Just buy an AC30 and be done with it.
Gilchrist custom
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Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#7
Honestly, I think you're barking up the wrong tree.

I mostly play pop punk and alternative rock
I'm much more concerned with a good, smooth distortion and a good palm muted tone
I think you should be looking at a 50W amp or above. Pop punk/alt rock is all about a clear, powerful tone like a JCM800 or vintage Boogie. Low wattage amps will have the volume, but they won't cut through the same way. There's also the issue that they get a bit mushy at high gig volumes. There aren't that many with 2 channels either.

For reference, I've owned and gigged extensively with the Orange Dual Terror, Marshall 18W Bluesbreaker, Tiny Terror, Hayden Mofo, Mesa Boogie DC-5 and quite a few other compact low-wattage amps, so I'm talking from experience here

I'd also think about a head and cab - they might seem like overkill for home use but in some ways it's actually more convenient. Going to a practice studio? Hire a cab there for $5 and just take your head. Doing a gig? Ask the venue/other bands if you can plug into their cab to save stage space. It's also much easier to carry a 2x12 cab on wheels and a 100W head, than it is a 50W combo!
If you decide to persue the 'big amp' route, I'd look into something like the Bugera 1990 or Jet City JCA50.


Anyway, my recommendation for you would be a used Mesa/Boogie F-50:



Compact, extremely versatile, built like a tank, and with tons of volume on tap for gigging and jamming. They also sound pretty damn good at low volume, as tube amps go. They're voiced a little warmer and smoother than a lot of Boogies, but still with plenty of cut. They go as low as $500 on ebay, median price is about $650.

If you want to go even smaller, there's the F-30 (still the same size speaker but a little lighter and narrower). There's also the DC-5 and DC-3, which are slightly more aggresive but with the advantage of footswitchable graphic EQ.


One other amp I'd highly recommend is the Kustom Defender.



50W in a compact 1x12 combo, well, built and with a nice balanced rock voice for around $450 new. No clean channel, but it cleans up beautifully with the guitar's volume, due to some fancy-pants preamp circuit. There's a great demo of the tone here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsIrQC1ztOQ


Also check out the Traynor YV50 Blue.
#8
An AC30 is no good for pop punk and alternative rock? Are you mad?
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#9
Quote by Cathbard
An AC30 is no good for pop punk and alternative rock? Are you mad?

Hell no - I can totally see it working in that situation. But it's a big heavy bugger to carry around and to be honest when I hear 'pop punk/alt rock' I think of a tighter, more modern sound (JCM800 kind of thing).
#10
Check out the Blackstar HT line. They have some combos right around the size you're looking for. Good cleans, smooth overdrive and a great palm-muted tone. I love my HT Stage 60 for that...
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#11
Is pop punk back on the rise?

Anyways i know of atleast 3 different pop punk bands in my area the all use mesa roadsters, and not all of them ise the heads, sone are using the 212 combos. Actually the guy i almost got the roadster from a while back was in one of these pop punk bands
#13
Just like to put my two cents in here towards the pop-punk argument. Tom Delonge started using two Vox AC30's for his dirty sound and his tone has never really been better in live situations, not saying much I know but worth consideration. What exactly is your budget because that could help.
Quote by barden1069
A "tubescreamer" is a person paid by a guitarist to stand behind the amp and scream at the tubes. This terrifies the tubes into overdriving and delivers a thick, harmonic-rich tone.
#14
Quote by GS LEAD 5
^Well the Roadster IS a very versatile amp......


Yea well im just saying it seems to be a popular choice for the TS's genres. Atleast from what ive been seeing.

The dangerous summer, started out using ac30s but now live the use a 2010/reborn dual/triple recto amd orange rockerverbs? (some kind of orange amp head. Rockerverb makes the most sense to me). Theyre not pop punk but theyre similar tones, maybe just a bit less agressive.

So it looks like a recto could suit the TS possibly but my vote is AC30
#15
Does it have to be a combo? Im selling my Ht 5 full stack, thats 2 40 watt cabs, although you can obviously just run through the one, better sound than the ht5 combo. Its light and easy to carry, plus if you want to get a bigger cab you can just plug in the head!

Great sounding distortion, Im sure youve read the many reviews in mags, but honestly ive tried many of the smaller wattage amps and nothing comes close, tiny terror, night train ect.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1500826

Have a look if your interested.
Last edited by Voidintothe at Dec 2, 2011,
#16
The studio tech I talked to on Monday said get a Peavey Classic 50 if you can find one. They don't make them anymore. Close is the Classic 30.

Also try out some Egnater amps. They're great.

All of these amps are versatile and even if you don't need them now, the cleans are good so if your taste in tone changes you're still set.
#17
Quote by bbsbass
For example, I tried out an Orange Tiny Terror, which is only like 15 watts and can be attenuated down to 7, and thought it sounded awesome. If it had separate channels I would definitely be considering buying one.



Use your volume knob ya knob, that's how you're supposed to do it. An Orange Tiny Terror has way less gain than a Dark Terror, and I can get cleans out of it with the volume knob. Also, don't be expecting to get a loud enough clean sound live with less than 50 Watts.
#18
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I'm going to look through all of these as soon as I can.
Quote by lefty_strat_str
Only buy guitars that have had their wood harvested from the north side of the tree, during the summer solstice, by virgin druids suffering from dwarfism. Next stupid question, please.