#1
Hey guys, I'm looking for an all-tube practice amp for band practices. I want a combo amp, as the point of this is portability, and our drummer uses an electronic kit, so anything 5w and up will can be loud enough. We play metal, but I'll probably be using my Hardwire TL-2 for the distortion. I'm just upgrading from my Marshall MG that I'm using for practices now, as it's got a hole in the speaker and just generally sucks anyway. I don't really care how many watts it is, but I want it to be fairly small and lightweight. A headphone jack would be super awesome, too, so I can have good tone and not piss people off. CD Line In would be another good feature, but not 100% necessary.

My budget is no more than $300, preferably $200.

I'll be playing just about everything on it, honestly, but for band practice, mostly Metal. I play everything from SRV and Clapton to Lamb of God and Children of Bodom.

I honestly don't care if it's new or used.

It'll be used for home and band practices with a drummer that has an electronic kit. If he's busting out his acoustic kit, we'll be busting out our quarter stacks.

Closest City in terms of Craigslist is just Tuscarawas County. Other than that, I'm about the same distance from Columbus, Ohio and Akron/Canton/Massilon, Ohio.

My current gear is in my sig.

I was looking at these:

Bugera V5

Bugera BC15

Any opinions on these two amps? I'm open to other suggestions, for sure, but these two fit everything I was looking for.

Thanks for any help you give
#2
Just turn down the volume of your JCA's. You haven't even received your JCA100 yet have you?
#3
I know you said a tube amp, but just for home practice, you can't beat a Peavey Vypyr imo. Very versital, and it sounds nice for metal.
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#4
Quote by Sputnik1
Just turn down the volume of your JCA's. You haven't even received your JCA100 yet have you?


No, I haven't. Don't get me started on that...

It's not a matter of volume, though, it's a matter of portability. I don't want to have to haul my quarter stack halfway across campus for band practice, and I kinda want something with a headphone jack for in my dorm.


Quote by classicrocker01
I know you said a tube amp, but just for home practice, you can't beat a Peavey Vypyr imo. Very versital, and it sounds nice for metal.


I don't really need a modeling amp, though. I was just looking for a small tube combo to keep the tube response and feel, plus it would let me play around with a different amount of headroom
#5
i don't think that bc-15 is a tube amp in the non-blackstar sense...
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#6
Get a Blackstar HT-1. If you don't wanna just use it as a combo, on occasion you could hook it up to one of your cabs?
#7
Cough Vypyr Tube Cough
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
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Douglas Grendel 725
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#8
Quote by Blktiger0
No, I haven't. Don't get me started on that...

It's not a matter of volume, though, it's a matter of portability. I don't want to have to haul my quarter stack halfway across campus for band practice, and I kinda want something with a headphone jack for in my dorm.

I don't really need a modeling amp, though. I was just looking for a small tube combo to keep the tube response and feel, plus it would let me play around with a different amount of headroom


If you want something small and portable, 100% analogue tube, 5 watt, headphone jack, cabinet out jack, seperate clean and dirty inputs...possibly check out a BWM Chimp. They go for about 250 new. Class A - 12XA7 preamp tube, 6L6GC power tube. Even has a wattage selection switch between 2 and 5 watts and an analogue attenuator if you want the crunch but don't want to disturb the people in the next room.

I got a second hand one for 150. Its small, very portable. Only drawback is the 6" speaker doesn't do it justice to which you can hook it up to a cab and it sounds very respectable. I ended up modding mine completely and put it into a bigger cabinet with a 12" celestion.

The sound is all tube. Love it.

Check it.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1493248

I got one because like you I didn't want to lug the JCM around everywhere

Only thing is I live in Aus, and we use 240 line volts. You'll have to check if you can get a 110v line version for the US (I think you can request your volt requirements on the Big White Monkey website, just nice to make sure).
Last edited by Phoenix V at Dec 8, 2011,
#9
Quote by Jacob<3Guitar
Get a Blackstar HT-1. If you don't wanna just use it as a combo, on occasion you could hook it up to one of your cabs?


Once again, the main reason for buying this is so I don't have to carry my 2x12 to band practice. I'm on campus with no car, and carrying a 30w with a 10" speaker sucked. I do not want to have to lug a 2x12, a 100w tube head, and my guitar across campus, so a head version of anything is a no.


Quote by Offworld92
Cough Vypyr Tube Cough


The smallest version is 60w, which has a 12" speaker, plus, like I said above, I don't want a modeling amp. It's too big, it's not all tube, and not the kind of amp I want.

Quote by Phoenix V
If you want something small and portable, 100% analogue tube, 5 watt, headphone jack, cabinet out jack, seperate clean and dirty inputs...possibly check out a BWM Chimp. They go for about 250 new. Class A - 12XA7 preamp tube, 6L6GC power tube. Even has a wattage selection switch between 2 and 5 watts and an analogue attenuator if you want the crunch but don't want to disturb the people in the next room.

I got a second hand one for 150. Its small, very portable. Only drawback is the 6" speaker doesn't do it justice to which you can hook it up to a cab and it sounds very respectable. I ended up modding mine completely and put it into a bigger cabinet with a 12" celestion.

The sound is all tube. Love it.

Check it.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1493248

I got one because like you I didn't want to lug the JCM around everywhere

Only thing is I live in Aus, and we use 240 line volts. You'll have to check if you can get a 110v line version for the US (I think you can request your volt requirements on the Big White Monkey website, just nice to make sure).


I'll definitely keep this in mind and check it out. It seems like that whole mod worked out pretty awesome.
#10
I second the Blackstar HT-1 combo. Sounds very good for a 1 watt practice amp and is surprisingly loud when cranked.
#11
Quote by VegasBlues
I second the Blackstar HT-1 combo. Sounds very good for a 1 watt practice amp and is surprisingly loud when cranked.


I must have missed the combo part above I didn't realize they sold a combo version. Will 1w be loud enough, though? I don't want to have to worry about volume when we have 2 guitarists, a drummer, a bassist, and a singer (who has a PA he's running through). That's why I was leaning more towards 5w.
#12
The ht5 sounds much better than the ht1 if your heading in the blackstar direction, I use mine for the same purpose.
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Cry Baby 95Q-> Digitech Whammy -> DD3 -> MXR Micro Amp-> TU 2
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Amp
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#13
maybe a vox actv4 with a tubescreamer?
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
Get a Laney LC15.
It's not an amp you hear about a lot, but, I got mine for £150, so you should comfortable be able to afford one, if not new, used.
I used mine for everything, I practiced with my band with one for months (doesn't retain cleans perfectly when with a heavy hitting drummer, but it was good enough), I've gigged with it, used it for jams of all kinds.

Easy to move around, can hit decent tones, is valve. I'd say that's good enough!
#15
Quote by Punk_Ninja
Get a Laney LC15.
It's not an amp you hear about a lot, but, I got mine for £150, so you should comfortable be able to afford one, if not new, used.
I used mine for everything, I practiced with my band with one for months (doesn't retain cleans perfectly when with a heavy hitting drummer, but it was good enough), I've gigged with it, used it for jams of all kinds.

Easy to move around, can hit decent tones, is valve. I'd say that's good enough!


A 15 watter is a good idea, small and light to move around and loud enough to play small gigs with an acoustic kit. A 5watt amp is not loud enough for gigs with a acoustic kit.
07 Gibson Les Paul LE
06 Fender Mex Strat - SDJb Jr, duckbucker, lil 59
Floor
Cry Baby 95Q-> Digitech Whammy -> DD3 -> MXR Micro Amp-> TU 2
Loop
Holy Grail ->Boss Rc20 Loop Station
Amp
Laney GH50 with Zilla Fatboy 2x12 (celestion g12-65)
#16
Quote by Blktiger0
Hey guys, I'm looking for an all-tube practice amp for band practices. I want a combo amp, as the point of this is portability, and our drummer uses an electronic kit, so anything 5w and up will can be loud enough. We play metal, but I'll probably be using my Hardwire TL-2 for the distortion. I'm just upgrading from my Marshall MG that I'm using for practices now, as it's got a hole in the speaker and just generally sucks anyway. I don't really care how many watts it is, but I want it to be fairly small and lightweight. A headphone jack would be super awesome, too, so I can have good tone and not piss people off. CD Line In would be another good feature, but not 100% necessary.

My budget is no more than $300, preferably $200.

I'll be playing just about everything on it, honestly, but for band practice, mostly Metal. I play everything from SRV and Clapton to Lamb of God and Children of Bodom.

I honestly don't care if it's new or used.

It'll be used for home and band practices with a drummer that has an electronic kit. If he's busting out his acoustic kit, we'll be busting out our quarter stacks.

Closest City in terms of Craigslist is just Tuscarawas County. Other than that, I'm about the same distance from Columbus, Ohio and Akron/Canton/Massilon, Ohio.

My current gear is in my sig.

I was looking at these:

Bugera V5

Bugera BC15

Any opinions on these two amps? I'm open to other suggestions, for sure, but these two fit everything I was looking for.

Thanks for any help you give


They're both going to be crap for metal. Any low-wattage tube amp will be, there's no headroom so you'll end up with an overcompressed tone that's both fizzy and muddy simultaneously. And a higher-wattage compact valve combo would be over budget.

I think a cheap modelling amp like a Vox VT+ or Vypyr would honestly be the best choice. Don't go tube just for the sake of it - different tools for different jobs eh?
#17
Quote by Punk_Ninja
Get a Laney LC15.
It's not an amp you hear about a lot, but, I got mine for £150, so you should comfortable be able to afford one, if not new, used.
I used mine for everything, I practiced with my band with one for months (doesn't retain cleans perfectly when with a heavy hitting drummer, but it was good enough), I've gigged with it, used it for jams of all kinds.

Easy to move around, can hit decent tones, is valve. I'd say that's good enough!


I'll definitely check it out. I've been wanting to grab a Laney to try for a while now, so why not start here?
#18
Quote by Punk_Ninja
Get a Laney LC15.
It's not an amp you hear about a lot, but, I got mine for £150, so you should comfortable be able to afford one, if not new, used.
I used mine for everything, I practiced with my band with one for months (doesn't retain cleans perfectly when with a heavy hitting drummer, but it was good enough), I've gigged with it, used it for jams of all kinds.

Easy to move around, can hit decent tones, is valve. I'd say that's good enough!


+1, is the amp I own and it's perfect for your needs IMO, all tube combo, medium gain, cheap, 10 inch speaker and very versatile (modifying it for cheap). Btw, it doesn't feel like garbage, very solid amp.

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#19
Quote by Perverockstar69
Btw, it doesn't feel like garbage, very solid amp.


Definitely. Doesn't just feel solid either.
I've carried mine long distances in heavy rain, had a bus splash it as it passed a puddle ( ), and had it knocked about in all manner of ways. Still works perfectly fine, original valves and all (had it a few years though, should probably think about changign them at some point...though my main amp could do with a re-valve too... ).
#20
Quote by Blktiger0
It's not a matter of volume, though, it's a matter of portability. I don't want to have to haul my quarter stack halfway across campus for band practice, and I kinda want something with a headphone jack for in my dorm.
Portability? Man up, ya pansy!

...I'm kidding, obviously.

What would be ideal would be a JCA22h or 2212c, to give you the same tone as normal. Unfortunately both of those are out of budget.

I guess since it's just for practice, and your drummer isn't even using a full blown acoustic set, you could probably get away with a Blackstar HT-1. I'm not sure that you'll be satisfied with those Bugeras if you plan to play mainly metal.

If you are willing to go used, I've seen old mid-90's Fender Roc Pro 700 amps go for as cheap as $1500. It's a hybrid amp, capable of metal and works well with clean. It's not the best amp in the world but it works well as a wanking amp. If you get one you might have to replace the stock 12ax7a, as they are usually worn. The amp is also USA made, if that even matters.
#21
Quote by Blktiger0

The smallest version is 60w, which has a 12" speaker, plus, like I said above, I don't want a modeling amp. It's too big, it's not all tube, and not the kind of amp I want.


I hope you realize that it's going to sound like shit for metal if you don't have at least one 12" speaker.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#22
Quote by Ian_the_fox
Portability? Man up, ya pansy!

...I'm kidding, obviously.

What would be ideal would be a JCA22h or 2212c, to give you the same tone as normal. Unfortunately both of those are out of budget.

I guess since it's just for practice, and your drummer isn't even using a full blown acoustic set, you could probably get away with a Blackstar HT-1. I'm not sure that you'll be satisfied with those Bugeras if you plan to play mainly metal.

If you are willing to go used, I've seen old mid-90's Fender Roc Pro 700 amps go for as cheap as $1500. It's a hybrid amp, capable of metal and works well with clean. It's not the best amp in the world but it works well as a wanking amp. If you get one you might have to replace the stock 12ax7a, as they are usually worn. The amp is also USA made, if that even matters.


Yeah, I swear to god I've added 15 pounds of muscle to my shoulders just carrying an MG and my Les Paul...

I've thought about just getting a smaller Jet City, but where's the fun in that? Why have the same amp in different sizes when I can have a completely different amp?

I might save up and get one of the 20w versions from Jet City to stay consistent, but it seems more fun to buy a different amp to play with

I'm assuming you meant $150? Cause if I'm paying $1500 for a used Fender Hybrid, it better be one of a kind and sound better than Odin's farts. I'm not big on where amps are made, personally. Everything has to be made somewhere, and in the end, it's the company's quality control that decides how high the quality should be. I'll look into it for sure, though.
#23
Quote by Blktiger0
I'm assuming you meant $150? Cause if I'm paying $1500 for a used Fender Hybrid, it better be one of a kind and sound better than Odin's farts. I'm not big on where amps are made, personally. Everything has to be made somewhere, and in the end, it's the company's quality control that decides how high the quality should be. I'll look into it for sure, though.
Yes, sorry. $150, not $1500.

I'm actually seeing the head version on GC's used website for only $99. Pretty good deal if you ask me. Understand that it won't sound supremely supreme (Yngwie used them for clinics and sessions, if that means anything), but for the price it is a crazy steal. Just replace the worn 12ax7a and you're good to go.
#24
Quote by Ian_the_fox
Yes, sorry. $150, not $1500.

I'm actually seeing the head version on GC's used website for only $99. Pretty good deal if you ask me. Understand that it won't sound supremely supreme (Yngwie used them for clinics and sessions, if that means anything), but for the price it is a crazy steal. Just replace the worn 12ax7a and you're good to go.


:O Damn! I'll have to check it out!