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View Poll Results: Which 20W tube amp with built-in speaker simulation kicks the proverbial a$$?
Peavey Valveking II Micro Head 20W 0 0%
H&K Tubemeister 18 4 30.77%
Blackstar Venue HT Studio 20H 1 7.69%
Other 3 23.08%
Speaker sims are for noobs!!!! 100W and 4x12s FTW!!! 5 38.46%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-07-2016, 08:38 PM   #1
frogPeace
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"Best" ~20W amp with speaker emulation

So I'm looking into getting a tube amp with built-in speaker emulation for silent songwriting/practicing and recording.

I've been using a crappy SS amp in a home-made isolation box, and I've decided that the semi-OK tones I'm getting out of that setup aren't anywhere near worth the growing aggravation that this behemoth of a wooden box is causing in my ever-patient spouse in our tiny third-floor apartment. I'm well aware of the whole "emulated out vs. mic-ed cab" argument, and my thoughts on it are "meh". Demos I've heard on YouTube generally sound pretty good to me, and it's not like I'm working with pro-level hardware now, so, again, "meh".

Anywho, to get to the point of this thread, I've all but made a decision to go with the Peavey Valveking II Micro Head, but I'd like to get some last-minute opinions on alternatives. The H&K Tubemeister 18 and Blackstar HT Studio 20H are both around the same price with similar features, so I'd appreciate the opinions of anyone who's tried any of these three (or any other similar) amps. Also, even though I'm primarily interested in the emulated outputs, opinions on the amps in general will also be greatly appreciated.

Last thing, I tried doing a search for a similar thread and couldn't find anything. However, if I missed one, I'd be happy to delete this one if someone could direct me to it.

Many thanks, good sirs/madams!
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Last edited by frogPeace : 02-07-2016 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:03 PM   #2
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Randall RM20 has an emulated speaker out. They sound as good as the preamp module you buy for them. You'll have to go used.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:28 PM   #3
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^I've never even heard of that one. Thanks for the input! I'll check it out.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:16 PM   #4
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:34 PM   #5
KillRoy Ver 3.0
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The Tubemeister has the H&K Red Box DI built into it which is definitely one of the better ones you'll come across and with the power soak being able to go right down to a 0W dummy load would definitely be ideal for apartments. I have the 36 and I had the 18 and in both cases I would suggest swapping out the Chinese preamp tubes. I put Tung Sols in both of mine but a lot people on here speak highly of JJs and it would save you a little bit also.

One thing is the Tubemeister does have a bit more of sterile "hi fi" sound, especially on the clean channel. To some it lacks warmth but I've found it quite nice for my needs and I like the clarity of it.
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Old Yesterday, 01:54 AM   #6
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^I've heard about the Red Box DI. The Tubemeister would be my first choice, except I'm more into warmer cleans, which the Valveking seems to have (at least on Youtube). What kind of effect did the new tubes have on the tone?
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Old Yesterday, 03:08 AM   #7
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How about audio interface with plugins? :>
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Old Yesterday, 03:23 AM   #8
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^I've considered plugins, and I have a perfectly stupid reason for why I'm not going that route: because having my amp in software form doesn't sound "fun" to me.

I know that's a stupid answer. I'm sure people get awesome results out of plugins, and I'm sure a lot of people have fun with them. But I like having my little knobs to play with, and what's the point of music if you're not having fun?

I know it's a stupid reason, but I'm sticking to it.



And for the record, I am both joking and completely serious right now....
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Old Yesterday, 06:43 AM   #9
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I just found the stock tubes to be muddy an undefined especially on the crunch and lead channels. Once I swapped the Tung Sols in, it just really seemed to bring clearer note definition to the table.

What sort of music are you looking to play?
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Old Yesterday, 06:07 PM   #10
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^interesting. I've been going in a alternative/hard rock direction with some bluesy classic rock influences. I'm also used to using pedals for my dirt, so i wonder how the tubemeister would take to, say, a big muff... TBH, this thread is slowly twisting me towards the tubemeister now... I figure if i don't like it, i'd probably have more luck selling it and getting the valveking than going the other way...
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Old Yesterday, 06:21 PM   #11
Arby911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogPeace
^I've considered plugins, and I have a perfectly stupid reason for why I'm not going that route: because having my amp in software form doesn't sound "fun" to me.

I know that's a stupid answer. I'm sure people get awesome results out of plugins, and I'm sure a lot of people have fun with them. But I like having my little knobs to play with, and what's the point of music if you're not having fun?

I know it's a stupid reason, but I'm sticking to it.



And for the record, I am both joking and completely serious right now....


I don't think that's stupid at all. I've got both, and for the very simple reason that I have fun with both. There's something exciting about the near-infinite tweakability of software, and something visceral about being able to switch on, let the bottles heat up a bit and CRANK THAT SHIT!!
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Old Yesterday, 11:11 PM   #12
KillRoy Ver 3.0
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I'm not sure about individual pedals but I did use my Tubemeister with my PODHD 500 and now with my Helix (using 4CM with both) and I never found anything off putting about it nor did my band. At the very least the Tubemeister has a very pristine clean channel that I imagine would respond well to dirt/od pedals.
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