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#1
Low watt tube head suggestions

Hi all, I am looking into aquiring a seccond guitar amp.

Requirements:
  • Head & Cab
  • All tube
  • Around 15/20 watt
  • Clean/Blues/Rock/Hardish Rock


I want something that gets to its sweet spot at a more reasonable volume. Versatility would also be good since I would like to use it at church as well.

I have looket a bit at Orange Tiny/Dark terror & Blackstar HT20. Has anyone had any experience with these?

I live in South Africa and can get both these with matching 1x12 Cab for around +-$700

What other suggestions do you have?
#3
I hear great things about the Blackstar, but I don't think they have any all-tube amps. I'm pretty sure those are hybrid. Digital pre-amp, tube power-amp. But IMO the power-amp section is what give you most of the tube characteristics.
#5
Jet City JCA22H

I had the single channel version of this thing and it was awesome. The cleans aren't sparkling, but they get the job done and the OD channel is pretty amazing on this thing. It won't do heavy metal w/o a little help but for hard blues rock it does perfectly.
#6
i would recommend the dual terror over the tiny terror or dark terror. i have and love mine, but the fat channel is really nice to have. i don't use the tiny terror channel as much but it is identical to the tiny terror amp so you will get what you want. the fat channel is a little more ballsy and pretty much enough gain for anything with an OD. IMO it turns it from a one trick pony (tt) into a few more horses.

just so you know with this recommendation, i am not just throwing bullshit up to raise your budget. i was was hellbent on a tiny terror but i played the dual, and it was worth the cash. at least try it if you can.

either way, the terror series are great amps.
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#7
You might want to check out the OR15 as well.
Quote by CodChick


Seriously, I'm not a fan of iphones and guitars mixing.
#8
I really wouldn't get too hung up on wattage. If its got a good master volume it'll sound awesome at any volume (like any amp you tweak the eq for the volume).
By not getting hung up on wattage, your choices widen considerably.

Ignore the "ooh blackstar* use diodes, how dare they, they're not all tube" amp snobs and cork sniffers. If it sounds good to you, it is good. Don't let anyone webnerd tell your ears what they should like.

Go try a few and have fun.

*insert any other brand here.
#9
Blackheart BH15
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#10
I gotta say Peavey Classic 30.
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#11
Thanks for the quick replys

Firstly amps we don't get in South Africa include things like Egnater & Jet City, Marshall and Mesa Boogie are also becoming scarce.

Just to clarify, the wattage is not set in stone. I currently have a 100w tube combo (2x12) Which I really like and It sounds great a church but I can't get a good Overdrive sound at room volume, It is just a bit too loud so with a lower wattage tube amp i should be able to push the tubes a bit more at room volumes.

I looked at the tiny terror and it was alright, It was a bit bare on features (Like fx loop etc).
I have played lots on a peavy classic 30 but my problem with that is that it is a combo (I would prefer a head and cab) and It is unbelievable expensive here (almost double what you would pay for the others)

Also I believe that the blackstar HT20 has a tube pre & power amp?

How is reliability on these amps? Orange and Blackstar? Anyone have any experience with them?
#12
^ no, it's hybrid, as far as i'm aware. it does have some tubes in the pre and power amp, but they're not doing all of the amplification and distortion-generating.

what 100 watt amp do you have? what type of distortion tone are you after? if you need power tube distortion, then keeping the wattage in mind is a good idea, but if you're willing to rely on preamp distortion you have more options...

Quote by Leather Sleeves
I hear great things about the Blackstar, but I don't think they have any all-tube amps. I'm pretty sure those are hybrid. Digital pre-amp, tube power-amp. But IMO the power-amp section is what give you most of the tube characteristics.


some of the blackstars are all-tube (the artisans, for example). but the ht series, far as i'm aware, is hybrid. it's not digital, though, it's analogue solid state. and the hybridism is spread throughout the preamp and power amp, really, it has op-amp gain stages in the preamp, clipping diodes in the preamp, and a transistor-based phase inverter (which is really in the power amp).

Quote by -Ed-

Ignore the "ooh blackstar* use diodes, how dare they, they're not all tube" amp snobs and cork sniffers. If it sounds good to you, it is good. Don't let anyone webnerd tell your ears what they should like.


No-one is telling anyone to ignore his or her ears. We point out that it's not all-tube (and fwiw, it has a heck of a lot more SS stuff going on than merely clipping diodes, see my post above), and then the threadstarter is free to make up his/her own mind.

As opposed to blackstar which (in my opinion) tries its best to muddy the waters to make an informed decision much more difficult than it needs to be. And as opposed to the fanboys like you who back them up.

Yet we're the bad guys?
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jun 20, 2013,
#13
what 100 watt amp do you have? what type of distortion tone are you after? if you need power tube distortion, then keeping the wattage in mind is a good idea, but if you're willing to rely on preamp distortion you have more options...


Marshall MA100c, Before anyone says something about the amp, I like it, so there. The thing is I have gotten into a more vintage overdrive sound, I can get this sound with the Marshall but I need to have the volume up a bit to get that sound.

I also want something that will provide a different tone than a Marshall because I am very fond of experimenting with different sounds and tones and At the moment the Marshall is limiting me a bit. It is also very heavy to carry around.

I am also into collecting things so thus the reason for the head and cab (so I can expand in a few years with lets say another head/cab)

PS. Him/His/He

PPS. Any have any experience with H&K Tubemeister 18?
Last edited by Lucky13! at Jun 20, 2013,
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc


As opposed to blackstar which (in my opinion) tries its best to muddy the waters to make an informed decision much more difficult than it needs to be. And as opposed to the fanboys like you who back them up.

Yet we're the bad guys?




Calm down, all I really say there is try some amps, let your ears decide and be wary of cork sniffing. I never said they were any good - although I would try one if there was a shop nearby that sold em.

I tend to take all marketing with a pinch of salt so am not really concerned how they market stuffs. YMMV and all that.
#16
Quote by -Ed-


Calm down, all I really say there is try some amps, let your ears decide and be wary of cork sniffing. I never said they were any good - although I would try one if there was a shop nearby that sold em.

I tend to take all marketing with a pinch of salt so am not really concerned how they market stuffs. YMMV and all that.


oh i agree about being wary of corksniffing- but there's tgp-level corksniffing and then there are actual things which genuinely do make a difference. claiming (or more accurately, very, very strongly implying) that an amp is all-tube when it's not is the latter, if you ask me.

i agree with trying them- i haven't got round to trying them, nothing more to it than that funnily enough, the one blackstar i have been able to try, the artisan, was all-tube and i didn't really like it but if you are gonna try them you might as well go in with your eyes open, that's all.

i take marketing with a pinch of salt, too, but i'm still gonna point out dodgy (in my opinion) marketing.



Quote by Lucky13!

PPS. Any have any experience with H&K Tubemeister 18?


i don't think it's all-tube either I haven't tried it.

EDIT: and to answer your other question, yeah, if you're after a more vintage type of sound then power tube distortion probably wouldn't hurt. Some amps have power scaling/VVR now, though, so that might be worth considering? or else just get an amp which is the exact wattage you need...
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jun 20, 2013,
#17
Quote by Apollo1449
Jet City JCA22H

I had the single channel version of this thing and it was awesome. The cleans aren't sparkling, but they get the job done and the OD channel is pretty amazing on this thing. It won't do heavy metal w/o a little help but for hard blues rock it does perfectly.


+1 on the JCA 20 watters. Love it.
#19
Quote by Dave_Mc

i don't think it's all-tube either I haven't tried it.


H&K tubemeister is 100% tube amp, 2 x 12AX7 in the preamp and 2 x EL84 in power amp.
#20
bullshit. that much gain out of one 12ax7?

i mean i suppose they could use a paraphase PI or something like that which only needs one triode, leaving 3 gain stages, but i sorta doubt it. Plus even 3 gain stages is arguably hardly enough to provide that kind of saturated gain level which the tubemeister is capable of.

Also, H&K has form with hybrids, the edition tube had solid state stuff going on.

As i've said before, I'll withold judgement until i see a schematic... but i strongly suspect it's hybrid. Could be wrong.
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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
Quote by Dave_Mc
bullshit. that much gain out of one 12ax7?

i mean i suppose they could use a paraphase PI or something like that which only needs one triode, leaving 3 gain stages, but i sorta doubt it. Plus even 3 gain stages is arguably hardly enough to provide that kind of saturated gain level which the tubemeister is capable of.

Also, H&K has form with hybrids, the edition tube had solid state stuff going on.

As i've said before, I'll withold judgement until i see a schematic... but i strongly suspect it's hybrid. Could be wrong.


i agree, they sound good, but there has to be something we are missing there. you can't get that much gain out of three gain stages, that is even if the last tube isn't full PI. so likely two gain stages.

but one point is, that regardless they sound good. even if something is hybrid doesn't mean its bad, most often they aren't as good as all tube, but there are some nice hybrid amps out there.

but if it were to have some SS components in the signal path i wouldn't be thrilled about their specs and claims on advertisements.

i would love to look at one, but i wouldn't have the opportunity to.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
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#23
Quote by JackovSlayer
H&K tubemeister is 100% tube amp, 2 x 12AX7 in the preamp and 2 x EL84 in power amp.


Only problem is the 18 watt head costs $600 on it's own. Also needs a retube, they cheaped out on the tubes, at least for the type of sound I like.
#24
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TM18H/

Specs show 2 preamp (12ax7) and 2 power amp (EL34) tubes. So that's 2 less to get 2 channel, right? I kinda remember when they released that on their higher end Alex Lifeson sig amp (can't remember name) and I talked to H&K back then and their rep told me that they were using a different way to switch between the channels thus saving one tube loop, I guess two different input paths??? Might be wrong here but I guess it could be possible to do by wiring in such a way when you change channels to have it change the settings for the same tubes? Not sure if you can call it "all tube" in that case though.
#25
i am at the point, i just don't care... if its got SS components in it you like it good. buy it, however the only problem i have is false/misleading advertising like blackstar did.

and the tubemeisters' are a bit pricey for what you do get IMO. i could pick quite a few amps at that price that would do me much better.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#26
Quote by diabolical
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TM18H/

Specs show 2 preamp (12ax7) and 2 power amp (EL34) tubes. So that's 2 less to get 2 channel, right? I kinda remember when they released that on their higher end Alex Lifeson sig amp (can't remember name) and I talked to H&K back then and their rep told me that they were using a different way to switch between the channels thus saving one tube loop, I guess two different input paths??? Might be wrong here but I guess it could be possible to do by wiring in such a way when you change channels to have it change the settings for the same tubes? Not sure if you can call it "all tube" in that case though.

You keep showing how little you know yet you still offer your opinions.
If it was all tube then you would be using one 12AX7 tube in the power amp as the phase inverter. That leaves one tube for the entire preamp. So where's all that extra gain coming from?
I haven't seen inside the H&K TM18 so I can't say exactly what they are doing but the specs that seem to say to you that it is full tube are telling me (somebody that builds tube amps) that it isn't.
That doesn't mean it's a bad amp though.
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Cathbard Amplification
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#27
Look at the Krank Jr series amps. They run $300-$450 used and have 3 models: 1980Jr, Rev Jr, K-Stein Jr and each comes in a 20 watt or 50 watt model. The 1980 Jr is easily the best sounding small amp I have played for heavier music and for $300 its an easy winner in my book.

The 1980 is a very Marshally sound, the Rev and K-Stein might better suit you if you want a more modern sounding gain from your amp
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#28
Just thought id throw in a review of Blackstar from someone who uses them as their main amp

I've had my Blackstar Ht Stage 60 for a year now, and, really, I couldn't ask for a better amp. It's genuinely versatile. Yeah, the gain channel isn't all tube, but I've genuinely never found anyone who can tell the difference. The clean channel will be good for church, there's a clean, fender ish kind of setting that can be achieved by pushing a button, although it is naturally British voiced (which can be achieved at the push of a button.)

The gain channels are very good, if you want to switch between a crunch and anything up to high gain metal (which I play mostly). The channels have both a modern and vintage setting, but, tbh, I never go near the vintage setting, not enough punch. But then, my band plays modern music.
The ISF is really cool, switching between American and British sounds.

It isn't the gainiest amp on the market, but im at a loss as to how anyone could need more gain, to be honest.

This is just my opinion on one amp, but I imagine others will e similar
#29
Cathbard, don't see why you have to be so confrontational on every post. I am simply relaying what H&K answered when I asked them on another amp that was listed as "all tube". I don't pretend to know exactly what we are talking about here, and I could care less if it is an inverter or a douche nozzle. I didn't buy the other H&K amp because at $3000 the lack of two tubes in the preamp section was highly suspect.
#30
^ what's the point in posting what h&k said, though? of course they're gonna claim it's all-tube if they've already claimed that in advertising or on their website, you don't (allegedly!) make something up and then the first time someone calls you on it, say, "yeah, we just made that up, sorryLOLOLOLOL". I mean we've all read blackstar's infamous (and hilarious) response about whether the ht5 was all-tube, and it didn't exactly clear anything up (in my opinion).

Quote by trashedlostfdup
i agree, they sound good, but there has to be something we are missing there. you can't get that much gain out of three gain stages, that is even if the last tube isn't full PI. so likely two gain stages.

but one point is, that regardless they sound good. even if something is hybrid doesn't mean its bad, most often they aren't as good as all tube, but there are some nice hybrid amps out there.

but if it were to have some SS components in the signal path i wouldn't be thrilled about their specs and claims on advertisements.

i would love to look at one, but i wouldn't have the opportunity to.


agreed. I'm not saying hybrid is necessarily bad, but it's definitely something to keep in mind.

for example, when i tried the edition tube, i thought it was pretty nice, but thought the od channel was a bit modern/hard-edged sounding. At the time I just assumed it was all-tube and that's the way it was voiced. Now I'm thinking maybe it's because it more or less had a distortion pedal built into the od channel

Quote by Cathbard
You keep showing how little you know yet you still offer your opinions.
If it was all tube then you would be using one 12AX7 tube in the power amp as the phase inverter. That leaves one tube for the entire preamp. So where's all that extra gain coming from?
I haven't seen inside the H&K TM18 so I can't say exactly what they are doing but the specs that seem to say to you that it is full tube are telling me (somebody that builds tube amps) that it isn't.
That doesn't mean it's a bad amp though.


+1

sharing tubes across channels doesn't mean it's not all-tube. not having enough tubes and having to use solid state shenanigans does, though

Quote by Paddynbob
Yeah, the gain channel isn't all tube, but I've genuinely never found anyone who can tell the difference.


i don't think the clean channel is all-tube either. at least, if the ht5 is anything to go by. the higher wattage ones have an extra tube so might have a bit fewer ss shenanigans going on (but still some).
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?
#31
Reason I posted their response on the other amp was that they claimed that it used some kind of innovative switching that allowed them to half the amount of tubes. Don't know it that is possible and not a solid state section with two preamp tubes in front and back, kinda like what the old Valvetronix ss used.
#32
Quote by diabolical
Reason I posted their response on the other amp was that they claimed that it used some kind of innovative switching that allowed them to half the amount of tubes. Don't know it that is possible and not a solid state section with two preamp tubes in front and back, kinda like what the old Valvetronix ss used.
The Valvetronix uses a tube in the power amp as a buffer. Seriously man, give it up, you're just making yourself look foolish.
Gilchrist custom
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#33
I have what I think is the 70's Ampeg, maybe early 80's that is hybrid and it is phenomenal for cleans. I also have an early musicman hd212 130 watter that has a ss preamp and full tube poweramp, mine had a tube pi that was replaced by ss components the next model year. The music man is perfect for me, nice pedal friendly and really nice cleans. Then the power tubes go in at high volume with a blissful light tube od.

But that is two of probably 12 amps. I am definitely a tube amp player and always will be.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#34
I've managed to coax something pretty nice out of my JCM900 with small mods. It's hybridness isn't the problem with it. A well done hybrid can be a good thing - but let's call a spade a spade.
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
#35
Quote by Cathbard
The Valvetronix uses a tube in the power amp as a buffer. Seriously man, give it up, you're just making yourself look foolish.

I am quite enjoying it actually, put another skewer on the barbie mate!

So you're certain this is not happening with the HK "Tubemeister"? Two channels with two tube buffers in front? Have you seen the schematics?
#36
I sort of skimmed through this thread, so I probably missed a lot of what you're looking for, but reading your OP, I think an Egnater Tweaker is a great option. I forget what features it has, or if they're footswitchable, but I vaguely remember this little amp covering about all of your requirements when I tried it out thoroughly in a little guitar shop in Sioux City, IA. Correct me if I'm wrong about this, though, as this testing of mine was quite a while back, and I have a horrible memory.

EDIT: Not sure of what the going rate is in South Africa, but in the US, an Egnater Tweaker 15W half-stack is less than $700: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/egnater-tweaker-series-head-and-tweaker-112x-half-stack

I would love a Tweaker-88, if only for it's footswitch capabilities.
Last edited by The.new.guy at Jun 23, 2013,
#37
Quote by diabolical
I am quite enjoying it actually, put another skewer on the barbie mate!

So you're certain this is not happening with the HK "Tubemeister"? Two channels with two tube buffers in front? Have you seen the schematics?

It would be stoopid; really, really stoopid. The alternative is a couple of op-amps in front of an 18W Marshall type circuit.
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 Jun 23, 2013,
#38
Okay so from someone that isn't nearly as technical as some of the people on this thread. I don't really mind Whatever technology they use in an amp as long as it "works". By that I mean, If they need to use ss stuff to get a good sound then I am happy with that. I think it is ultimately a balance of cost and sound and it all depends on how much you want to pay.

I do however have a problem with companies that "Claim" that there product is something when it isn't just to bulls*** the average buyer. That is why I always attempt to do as much homework as possible because I am not so technically inclined to pick these things up myself.

On a lighter note, Do Orange also use some of these SS techniques on their amps? Also I played the TinyTerror and it lacked a bit of versatility.

What are your opinions one something like the Orange TH30? I know it costs a bit more, but then again It might be a better investment and the budget could maybe stretch a bit.

Also I just saw something called the Mesa Boogie Mini Rectifier and it looked quite cool, Any opinions? (I probably won't find it in SA but, we get the duel Recs here so maybe)
#39
Orange tend to be honest about what they are doing. When it's a hybrid, they say so.

The TH30 and Mini Recs are fine amps.
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
#40
From what I can gather, and I may be wrong, the clean channel on Blackstar is all valve until you employ the button that simulates an American voiced amp
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