#1
I am looking to upgrade from my starter Fender frontman 25R to a nice little tube amp. So far ive looked into these:

-Blackheart BH15H and the BH5H
-The Blackstar HT 5
-Jetcity JCA20H

Sadly the local GC store and Sam Ash dont seem to have these on the stores for me to try out so ive mainly been listening to some of the Youtube demos.

The most important feature for me is to have crystal clean clean sound. I tend to use pedals for the heavier stuff anyway. I cant really buy anything bigger because 1) i have little space and 2) i live in an apartment so i cant really have something too loud. That being said it would be nice to be able to heart the amp while a drummer is playing during practice.

Do you guys think these will do? if no, then can you please suggest something that would? My budget is 500 including the cap (a 1x12 is enough for me)
#2
I've had the HT5 and was pleased. The cleans were good. The only down side of the amp for me was no built in reverb but that was easy enough to fix with a pedal. The fx loop was decent too.
-----------------------------------
G.A.S. Afflicted
#3
get the jet city. its the only one that'll work with a drummer (the blackhearts BH15H will break up way to quickly and the 5w amps are nowhere near loud enough anyway).

Jet city sound better than the others anyway IMO.
#4
HT 5's now all have reverb, so thats no longer an issue. Having there is the slight issue that you will NOT get crystal clean cleans whilst playing with a drummer as the amp will turned up to 10 and may not even keep up...
If you can and want a blackstar (I highly recommend them, in true love with mine) get the 20 watt, sounds so much better and shit loads louder :P and only 150ish more.
#5
The Tweaker has some very nice cleans and comes alive with pedals.

I found the HT-5 to have less clean headroom than a Epi Valve Jr.
#6
If you want clean sound, get a bigger amp. The Jet City is barely enough. You've got a volume knob for a reason, use it.

Laney VC30 has a good reputation.
A Peavey Ultra will take care of both cleans and heavier stuff quite well, though it lacks in the crunch department.

What's with people and not telling us what currency they mean today?

Also, tha Blackstar HT-series are not all valve, they're hybrids.
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#7
While I haven't tried the Jet City 20, I'd go with that. I have the Jet City 50 combo and I love it.
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#8
So the Jetcity would be the best one to keep up with a drummer i take it?
#9
Quote by Remnest
So the Jetcity would be the best one to keep up with a drummer i take it?


Of those you mentioned, yes. But it's not gonna be crystal clean.
Quote by Todd Hart
Shooting your friends with a real gun is a definite faux pas.

Quote by mystical_1
Professor Plum in the Studio with a new Amp

Quote by snipelfritz
If only I were the only one at home right now. I don't need my parents asking who Mr. Wiggles is.
#10
Quote by AtaBorMan
Of those you mentioned, yes. But it's not gonna be crystal clean.


The Laney you suggested is a little out of my range, is it really that clean that it'd worth it or would you suggest something else?
#11
Quote by Remnest
The Laney you suggested is a little out of my range, is it really that clean that it'd worth it or would you suggest something else?


Oh, yeah, you're in America. Then Laney's out of the question.

As I said then, used Peavey Ultra.
Quote by Todd Hart
Shooting your friends with a real gun is a definite faux pas.

Quote by mystical_1
Professor Plum in the Studio with a new Amp

Quote by snipelfritz
If only I were the only one at home right now. I don't need my parents asking who Mr. Wiggles is.
#12
Any other suggestions? What do you guys think of the Orange tiny terror?
#13
What would be perfect for you is the Carvin V3Mc, though it's over your budget. Though the cleans are nearly pristine, and you won't need a pedal for heavier stuff. Honestly none of the amps you listed have crystal cleans, or hardly any cleans at all.

Typically if you are wanting highly pristine cleans you would want to go with a somewhat higher wattage. Lower wattage amps break up at an earlier volume and cleans often sound highly compressed and boxy (at least from my experience). Keep in mind there are plenty of higher-watt amps that operate great when quiet. Also check out the Nomad by Carvin. That one also has a sparkly clean and sounds great at quiet volumes: http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/NOMAD


And you say you live in an apartment: Are your neighbors sane, calm human beings who understand that guitar amps have volume knobs aren't just loud boxes that only run at full blast 24/7 and keep them from sleeping? Are you at good terms with them in general? If not, a tube amp, or any amp for that matter, may not be a good option. You could be asking for a fight.
Last edited by Ian_the_fox at Mar 29, 2012,
#14
My neighbors are good ppl and we are on good terms. Im fortunate enough to have the corner apartment so i can bump the volume up a little. I just tend to be really considerate of others so i dont exactly crank up the volume when i practice at home. When i play with my friends, however, i do blast it a bit.

As far as your suggestion i have tried the Carvin and it was incredible, but its beyond my budget even used.

Im also considering the Ibanez TSA15H any thoughts on that?
#16
How about a 15 watt Kustom Defender? The head sells new for $200 and they sell a 1x12 cabinet for $99.00. That's sooo cheap for a tube amp. It also comes in combo format but that has a 10" speaker.

Has anyone here used one? I have no idea what they sound like but it's a possible.
Last edited by woad_yurt at Mar 31, 2012,
#17
Quote by woad_yurt
How about a 15 watt Kustom Defender? The head sells new for $200 and they sell a 1x12 cabinet for $99.00. That's sooo cheap for a tube amp. It also comes in combo format but that has a 10" speaker.

Has anyone here used one? I have no idea what they sound like but it's a possible.


Ill check those out, thx for the suggestion
#18
Quote by woad_yurt
How about a 15 watt Kustom Defender? The head sells new for $200 and they sell a 1x12 cabinet for $99.00. That's sooo cheap for a tube amp. It also comes in combo format but that has a 10" speaker.

Has anyone here used one? I have no idea what they sound like but it's a possible.


i'm concerned how "all-tube" it actually is. not to say it's definitely not, as you can do a PI with one triode (and a simple preamp with one too, i think), but most amps use two triodes for the PI. and the defender only uses one preamp tube (iirc).

also, the defender's cab only uses ply for the baffleboard, which i assume means the rest of the cab isn't, or they'd say. i'd get a different cab (there are several cheap ply cabs available).
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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.

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#19
Doesn't the Blackstar HT5 use digital preamp? I've heard something like that.
I've heard good things about the Jet City and I'm considering buying the 50w combo.
Out of the three, I'd say the Blackstar and JC are the two best, but the Blackstar will break up at lower volumes (good for playing @ home, bad for playing in band).
#20
Quote by Dave_Mc
i'm concerned how "all-tube" it actually is. not to say it's definitely not, as you can do a PI with one triode (and a simple preamp with one too, i think), but most amps use two triodes for the PI. and the defender only uses one preamp tube (iirc).

also, the defender's cab only uses ply for the baffleboard, which i assume means the rest of the cab isn't, or they'd say. i'd get a different cab (there are several cheap ply cabs available).


Any thoughts on the Ibanez TSA15H? Sounded pretty decent when i tried it but seeing as most of the entry level tube amps are not available to try out at my local store i cant compare it.
#21
^ haven't tried it edit: haven't tried the defender either, just to clarify

Quote by RStrat
Doesn't the Blackstar HT5 use digital preamp? I've heard something like that.


analogue solid-state

hybrid, really
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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?
#22
ok, scratch that- i'm not concerned the defender isn't all-tube, i'm almost convinced it's not. if the signal path diagram in its manual is right, it doesn't seem to have a PI
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?
#24
Quote by RStrat
Doesn't the Blackstar HT5 use digital preamp? I've heard something like that.
I've heard good things about the Jet City and I'm considering buying the 50w combo.
Out of the three, I'd say the Blackstar and JC are the two best, but the Blackstar will break up at lower volumes (good for playing @ home, bad for playing in band).

No. It is all analog. The preamp is full of op-amps and even has what looks like a tubescreamer-like circuit in there. There is a tube in there too but the majority of the preamp is SS.
The Phase inverter is a couple of transistors rather than a tube too. Still, all analog, just not tube.
But all their SS shenanigans aside, a HT-5 just isn't loud enough to hear over drums.

Can you afford a Tweaker? If so, that's probably your best choice. Either that or one of those little Carvin V3 minis.
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Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 31, 2012,
#25
All the tweakers ive seen are beyond my budget but ill keep my eyes peeled for used one. The Carvin is amazing but also above my budget.
#26
What styles of music are you playing?
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
#27
Quote by Cathbard
What styles of music are you playing?


I like a lot of ranges of music but if i had to pinpoint it id narrow it down to hard rock. Think Chevelle/Breaking Benjamin tone. However i am very adamant about having as clear a clean sound as possible sinc ei can always get distortion from a pedal if need be while i cant really recreate a clean sound w a pedal much.
#28
That sort of tone is hard to get in a small amp without spending squillions. If you are intending to do it all with pedals (and you're going to want some good pedals - a Barber Dirty Bomb would be a good idea) and what you want is a loud clean amp as a platform you will probably be better served by a used Roland JC60. Not a tube amp but a brilliant clean platform for pedals. They are essentially one half of a JC120.
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
#29
Interesting, i think they have one of those at the local GC store so i may try it out. You dont have any suggestions tube amp wise though?
#30
Well, it's a bit tricky with your budget. The JCA20 is probably the best suggestion so far. Cleans at drummer volumes will still be an issue though.
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
#31
Quote by Cathbard
Well, it's a bit tricky with your budget. The JCA20 is probably the best suggestion so far. Cleans at drummer volumes will still be an issue though.


Fair enough, i know im asking for a hell of alot for my budget so im looking for used amps as well and maybe i can find a gem. That being said, the pedal you suggested seems like a great addition for what i am trying to do, so thank you.