#1
A little back story for anyone who cares (if not then skip to the bold):

So basically I picked up my second JCA20H about a year ago because I really liked the first one I had. Turns out I got a dud, the tubes and something else went bad and I'm too lazy to fix it.

I was gonna get the 22H anyways, so I got that. Decided to give JCA the benefit of the doubt. Now I've had the 22H for about a month or two and it's already acting weird. Takes about 20-30 minutes (sometimes way more) for the amp to warm up and make the sound it's supposed to make, which tells me that there's a weak soldering job somewhere.

I know this is waaay out of left field for the reputation that JCA has, but it's left me shocked as well and overall discouraged with their products, and I thought I should at least share that with you guys.

I'm looking for a small tube amp that can do tones similar to Blink 182, Anti-Flag, and early Green Day. Kind of like a mix between the three sounds.

This will not be for gigging or jamming with a drummer, this is specifically for home recording use.

I don't have a budget, I'll spend a lot of money if I think it's worth it.

I also don't necessarily care whether it's used/new, though I prefer new. I've already browsed my local cl and I don't see anything I like.

I mostly use a Charvel San Dimas strat and a WhiteBox cab with a G12K-100 and a V30 inside.

These are three heads I've heard good things about -





        I've also considered contacting Craig about getting something custom built, but I don't know whether or not I'd be building something that I can already buy for a bit less. Though, getting dud after dud makes me want to spring for the quality control of something that he makes

        Thanks for any help/suggestions in advance!
        Quote by SG_dave at #33549256
        I've never wanted to see a guy eat dick so much in my life.
        Quote by ali.guitarkid7 at #33553650
        If you are white, you are scum.
        #2
        Blackstar HT-5 head/cab or combo. Blackstar products are phenomenal values, great quality and made by former talented engineers from Marshall.
        Jackson: DKMG w/Zakk Wylde EMGs
        Fender: Fat Strat HSS
        Epiphone: Les Paul Custom w/SD Pickups
        Dean: Performer E Acoustic/Electric
        Vox: DA5
        Vox JamVox
        Digitech: GNX4 Workstation
        Digitech: EX-7 Distortion Factory
        Boss DR-880
        MAudio Bx5a Deluxe
        #3
        Quote by CL/\SH

        I'm looking for a small tube amp that can do tones similar to Blink 182, Anti-Flag, and early Green Day. Kind of like a mix between the three sounds.

        I've also considered contacting Craig about getting something custom built, but I don't know whether or not I'd be building something that I can already buy for a bit less. Though, getting dud after dud makes me want to spring for the quality control of something that he makes

        Thanks for any help/suggestions in advance!

        CEC Toll Free Express would suit you well.

        http://www.cecamps.com/main/amplifiers/toll-free-express/

        email craig, he'll take very good care of you.
        I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
        #5
        Quote by gregs1020
        CEC Toll Free Express would suit you well.

        http://www.cecamps.com/main/amplifiers/toll-free-express/

        email craig, he'll take very good care of you.

        Sounds like that's exactly what I need. Would sit pretty nicely atop my JTM45

        A bit more cash than I thought I'd end up spending, but I'm definitely willing to go that route since it'll mean never having to upgrade again haha. Once I have a few more dollars saved up I'll definitely contact Craig.

        Before I take the dive though, what are your thoughts on the other amps mentioned?

        Thanks for the other suggestions guys, I was also considering the Class 5.
        Quote by SG_dave at #33549256
        I've never wanted to see a guy eat dick so much in my life.
        Quote by ali.guitarkid7 at #33553650
        If you are white, you are scum.
        #6
        If you can afford to get Craig to build you something why are we having this conversation? You should be PM'ing or Facebooking Craig. Just do it.
        What's the deal? Why am I .... I don't even...
        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
        #7
        lol just considering all of my options Cath. I've never heard one of Craig's amps in person, though his rep on these boards is immaculate. If you're that confident in his builds then expect a CEC NAD in the coming months
        Quote by SG_dave at #33549256
        I've never wanted to see a guy eat dick so much in my life.
        Quote by ali.guitarkid7 at #33553650
        If you are white, you are scum.
        #8
        Hey guys, thanks for the recommendations!

        CL/\SH, I have started production on three TFE's and could have one ready to ship in the May-June timeframe. If you want to claim one, just let me know! A small deposit is all it would take.
        #9
        Just look at photos of the insides of his amps. Trust your eyes. You don't have to be a tech to recognise fine workmanship when you see it, even if you don't know what it all does.
        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
        Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 30, 2012,
        #10
        Quote by CECamps
        Hey guys, thanks for the recommendations!

        CL/\SH, I have started production on three TFE's and could have one ready to ship in the May-June timeframe. If you want to claim one, just let me know! A small deposit is all it would take.

        Sounds good Craig, I'm on way out right now, but I'll send you an email first thing tomorrow

        Quote by Cathbard
        Just look at photos of the insides of his amps. Trust your eyes. You don't have to be a tech to recognise fine workmanship when you see it, even if you don't know what it all does.

        Good point
        Quote by SG_dave at #33549256
        I've never wanted to see a guy eat dick so much in my life.
        Quote by ali.guitarkid7 at #33553650
        If you are white, you are scum.
        #11
        One thing I'd like to also mention, and Greg & Matt would probably agree, is that a TFE brings to the table some very important elements beyond tone. It sounds and feels like a 50 watt head, even at whisper volumes. That is something that other small amps don't bring to be quite honest.

        Unfortunately those things can't be conveyed over the internet, but everyone who has ever played one has told me that they haven't found another low watt amp that can touch it in those regards.

        FWIW!
        #12
        Quote by CECamps
        One thing I'd like to also mention, and Greg & Matt would probably agree, is that a TFE brings to the table some very important elements beyond tone. It sounds and feels like a 50 watt head, even at whisper volumes. That is something that other small amps don't bring to be quite honest.

        Unfortunately those things can't be conveyed over the internet, but everyone who has ever played one has told me that they haven't found another low watt amp that can touch it in those regards.

        FWIW!

        greg agrees.

        it's redonkulus, extremely low noise floor, more bass response than some 50 watt amps, wide range of tone conveyed through the pots and it's still almost impossible to find a bad setting really. i never found one anyway.

        for what you want i don't think you'd be disappointed. no it's not cheap, but the quality of the parts and workmanship are insane. fanboi? yes, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that's been in the same room with one that isn't.
        I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
        #13
        Quote by CECamps
        One thing I'd like to also mention, and Greg & Matt would probably agree, is that a TFE brings to the table some very important elements beyond tone. It sounds and feels like a 50 watt head, even at whisper volumes. That is something that other small amps don't bring to be quite honest.

        Unfortunately those things can't be conveyed over the internet, but everyone who has ever played one has told me that they haven't found another low watt amp that can touch it in those regards.

        FWIW!

        You've convinced me, Craig. Email sent

        Quote by gregs1020
        greg agrees.

        it's redonkulus, extremely low noise floor, more bass response than some 50 watt amps, wide range of tone conveyed through the pots and it's still almost impossible to find a bad setting really. i never found one anyway.

        for what you want i don't think you'd be disappointed. no it's not cheap, but the quality of the parts and workmanship are insane. fanboi? yes, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that's been in the same room with one that isn't.


        That's another good point

        This sounds like it's what I've wanted for the longest time, a great low-wattage studio amp with unbeatable reliability and a massive sound is worthy of a hefty price tag.
        Quote by SG_dave at #33549256
        I've never wanted to see a guy eat dick so much in my life.
        Quote by ali.guitarkid7 at #33553650
        If you are white, you are scum.
        #14
        Quote by CL/\SH
        You've convinced me, Craig. Email sent


        Awesome! You will NOT be disappointed.

        Replied.
        #16
        Quote by CECamps
        Awesome! You will NOT be disappointed.

        Replied.

        Quote by SG_dave at #33549256
        I've never wanted to see a guy eat dick so much in my life.
        Quote by ali.guitarkid7 at #33553650
        If you are white, you are scum.
        #17
        Sounds like your pretty well set, but just in case...

        And if money is not an issue...

        http://www.humbuckermusic.com/dr-z-maz-8.html

        Outstanding home/recording amp.

        Released in Sep 2011 - The Maz 8. It has a switchable Pentode or Triode Mode. (The Maz Jr. & Sr. do not.)
        Pentode mode produces a sound pretty similar to a MAZ 18.
        Triode mode is considerably softer and rounder, very "old school" just as Dr Z claims.
        Last edited by BurstBucker Pro at Apr 1, 2012,