#1
The other day I had to take the bus to my friend's place to jam cause my car was out of service. It sucked really hard. I had to carry my amp (a 1980s yamaha jx50 which weighs around 40 pounds + a crybaby and a can of soup in the back) with one arm, and my guitar with the other, along with a backpack (with a laptop, my pedalboard, and some other stuff) as well. My friend's place is about 1.5km (~1 mile) from the bus. My place is also about the same distance from the bus. While walking back home, through slushy, cold conditions, with an aching back, I thought there's got to be a better way to do this.

So I researched smallish combo amps that are loud enough to jam with a drums, keyboard, bass, and another guitar while staying clean. All I could find was the zt lunchbox (http://www.ztamplifiers.com/products/lunchbox.html). Are there any other amps kinda similar to this?

Budget: ~$500 max
Genres: surf, garage, stoner rock, blues, funk, ambient
Open to secondhand, but the secondhand market in Ottawa, ON, CA is pretty limited

Integrated reverb would be nice, I use pedals for most everything else, but the reverb on my current amp is dimed 95% of the time. If there's tremolo and a decent overdrive, I could probably get away with just bringing my chorus pedal which would be nice. Speaker size isnt super important cause I'll be mostly in the higher frequencies. Low weight is key.
Edit: It has to be a combo cause none of my friends have spare cabs laying around.
Last edited by &baconstrips at Jan 13, 2012,
#2
Take a look at any of several of the Roland 'Cube' amps.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#3
Tweaker Combo. It might be a bit above your price range, but very versatile and can get pretty loud. Cleans are great and should be able to handle any of the styles you mentioned. Not sure how heavy the combo is as mine is a head unit.
Fender American Vintage '62 Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul Custom
TC Electronic Polytune
Danelectro Blue Paisley
EHX Big Muff Pi w/ Tone Wicker
Dunlop Crybaby
EHX Deluxe Memory Boy
Egnater Tweaker

Quote by Jackal58
Yer pretty fly for a Canadian.
#5
Quote by Jimmy_Page_Zep
Tweaker Combo. It might be a bit above your price range, but very versatile and can get pretty loud. Cleans are great and should be able to handle any of the styles you mentioned. Not sure how heavy the combo is as mine is a head unit.


Even the 15w tweaker combo weighs 35 pounds, so he wouldn't be helping himself much...

Any decent tube amp is probably going to exceed his weight requirements.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#6
Quote by irnmadn88
cart


Yea cause I'm gonna take a cart on a bus... then push it over snow and ice covered sidewalks.
I can deal with my current amp over short distances, up stairs, etc. but i'd rather not have to walk a mile with it.

Tweaker would be great tone-wise, but it doesn't really solve my problem.

I used to have a cube 15 and found the tone pretty dull, especially the clean. I suppose just for jamming, tone isnt that important (within reason of course, as long as its better than an mg).
#7
A lot of your level of noise has to do with how big the speaker is and how many of them there are. So, for example a 30w amp with 2x12 will be much louder than a 30w 1x12(I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, I have a point) however, at a certain point the amp can't push those speakers with as much force. This doesn't matter if you're maxing out a speakers strength, however when you start to starve a speaker of power it gets quieter.
Personally, I jam out with a Crate 15w 1x12 tube next to drums and I'm plenty loud, however if you want to play clean, I can't see that happening.
My suggestion is try the Peavey Valve King 2x12(50w). They run around $650, so it's a bit above your price range, however, I think it comes closest to what you are looking for.
The other option is a 2x12 roland cube. Cubes are pretty much the only SS amps that seem to be worth the money.
Last edited by Vital-Signs at Jan 13, 2012,
#8
You're better off finding a practice studio/rehearsal space that has cabs, and buying a lightweight head.
I used to carry a 30W Orange Dual Terror to gigs on a shoulder strap....was a bit weighty and not hugely comfortable, but fine for walking to and from the local train station/bus stop. I could have carried a light 1x10 cab in the other arm if I really had to, but not for more than 5 minutes or so.
#9
or have you considered going to a hardware store and mounting some straps to the cab so it can be carried on your back?
#10
Save up for a car/snowmobile? If you want wattage, it doesn't come light. Either tube or SS amps. Neither do speakers, unless they have neodymium magnets, but the cab itself is also pretty heavy. The Tweaker is a great option for you, it's tube, it's loud, and has the tone, and rather light...except the cab.
#11
Quote by Vital-Signs
A lot of your level of noise has to do with how big the speaker is and how many of them there are. So, for example a 30w amp with 2x12 will be much louder than a 30w 1x12(I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, I have a point)


I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, but you're wrong.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#12
Quote by Arby911
I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, but you're wrong.

No, he's right... He just doesn't state where that 'certain point' is. See below.

Quote by Vital-Signs
A lot of your level of noise has to do with how big the speaker is and how many of them there are. So, for example a 30w amp with 2x12 will be much louder than a 30w 1x12(I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, I have a point) however, at a certain point the amp can't push those speakers with as much force.

That 'certain point' is when you move this hypothetical situation to the real world...
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#13
Quote by Vital-Signs
A lot of your level of noise has to do with how big the speaker is and how many of them there are. So, for example a 30w amp with 2x12 will be much louder than a 30w 1x12(I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, I have a point) however, at a certain point the amp can't push those speakers with as much force. This doesn't matter if you're maxing out a speakers strength, however when you start to starve a speaker of power it gets quieter.
Personally, I jam out with a Crate 15w 1x12 tube next to drums and I'm plenty loud, however if you want to play clean, I can't see that happening.
My suggestion is try the Peavey Valve King 2x12(50w). They run around $650, so it's a bit above your price range, however, I think it comes closest to what you are looking for.
The other option is a 2x12 roland cube. Cubes are pretty much the only SS amps that seem to be worth the money.


I'm fully aware of the impact of the size, number, and sensitivity of speakers. Volume isn't my problem, weight is, and Valeveking 212 combos are 75 lbs haha.

Quote by kyle62
You're better off finding a practice studio/rehearsal space that has cabs, and buying a lightweight head.
I used to carry a 30W Orange Dual Terror to gigs on a shoulder strap....was a bit weighty and not hugely comfortable, but fine for walking to and from the local train station/bus stop. I could have carried a light 1x10 cab in the other arm if I really had to, but not for more than 5 minutes or so.


Not sure why I didn't think about this before, but I suppose I could just leave my yamaha at my friend's place and use my little old tube amp at home. My only problem is that I'll miss it a bit.

I'm still curious though, anybody know any other small but loud combo amps that don't suck?
#14
Quote by &baconstrips
Yea cause I'm gonna take a cart on a bus... then push it over snow and ice covered sidewalks.
I can deal with my current amp over short distances, up stairs, etc. but i'd rather not have to walk a mile with it.



Forgive me but...

Your car is out of commission and the solution is a new amp?

Is the car situation permanent or temporary?
#16
Quote by coolstoryangus
What you really need is a new car.


$500 wont get me much better than what I have now haha
#17
Quote by coolstoryangus
What you really need is a new car.



I was going to say "Mesa Mk2's are small" but yours is funnier.
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
#18
Quote by irnmadn88
Forgive me but...

Your car is out of commission and the solution is a new amp?

Is the car situation permanent or temporary?


Car situation is temporary, but if I stop being cheap and decide to move out I might not have space for parking. I guess this could have been mentionned before.
#19
Quote by tubetime86
No, he's right... He just doesn't state where that 'certain point' is. See below.


That 'certain point' is when you move this hypothetical situation to the real world...


No, I don't believe he is.

All other things being equal (speaker efficiency & size, input power etc.) 2 speakers are NOT significantly 'louder' than 1. (There is some gain, due to the increase in cone area, but not as much as you might think...)

That they are is a common misconception though.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Ya I was making a bad joke, he's just wrong.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#21
Quote by tubetime86
Ya I was making a bad joke, he's just wrong.


My bad, sometimes I need a parabolic dish to catch the ones that go over my head...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#23
Quote by Arby911
My bad, sometimes I need a parabolic dish to catch the ones that go over my head...

Its all good, I knew the joke was bad before making it.

He did say that 'at a certain point the amp can't push those speakers with as much force' I just thought it was funny that that certain point was basically when you turn the amp on, which completely negates his previous statement.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!