#1
Looking for a small combo amp for an apartment, tube preferred.

Previous amps include AC30VR, which sucked, and a Marshall 100 watt head, which was great.

So basically I'm looking for a tube amp, which I could play at lower volumes, if possible.

I was looking at the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III, which I could get for a pretty low price.

My budget is about 1000€, so keep that in mind.

Any suggestions?

Just bumped into an Orange TH30C, would that be good?
Last edited by Izvire at Nov 8, 2013,
#3
I live in an apartment and have tried the low wattage tube combo thing. I bought a Peavey Windsor Studio and it even has a power attenuator built in. I really don't like it stock but if you mod it, it will do a decent plexi type gain. I still find it doesn't work well 90% of the time.

I ended up getting a used Line 6 POD XT and a decent set of headphones. This is the best apartment setup I have found yet
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#4
Current gear consists of a Gibson Les Paul Studio with Slash pickups. A few pedals, and that's about it.

I thought about going the headphone way but not really my thing.

Really thinking about going for TH30 + 1x12" Orange cab. Could be a bit loud but at 7 watt shouldn't be too bad. Not going to use it for gigging. Pretty much the only genre I will play is rock.
#5
I cannot speak on the combo but the head is f-ing loud. The clean channel is the louder of the two, and breaks up nicely. I rarely put my amp on the 30w setting. I live in a house and I can get the amp to sound good on the 15w setting but it is still really loud. I would not look to buy an expensive amp to just use the 7w setting. Like Robb said the line 6 with a good set of headphones might be the best way to go. I probably wouldn't own the TH if I lived in an apartment.
Gibson DC standard, PRS S2 Mira, Fender MIA strat, HWY1 tele, Reverend Manta Ray 290, Charvel Pro mod, ESP LTD EC1000 and Viper 400
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL100, EVH 5153, Peavey Classic 30 2-2x12's
Misc. Pedals
#6
Quote by bobafettacheese
I cannot speak on the combo but the head is f-ing loud. The clean channel is the louder of the two, and breaks up nicely. I rarely put my amp on the 30w setting. I live in a house and I can get the amp to sound good on the 15w setting but it is still really loud. I would not look to buy an expensive amp to just use the 7w setting. Like Robb said the line 6 with a good set of headphones might be the best way to go. I probably wouldn't own the TH if I lived in an apartment.


Just sold my AC30VR which was about the right volume level, but then of course it isn't a tube amp..

Really wouldn't want to go the POD way to be honest. It doesn't have to be quiet, since I'll only be playing by day and I feel that it wouldn't get so loud that it would bother anyone.
#7
Quote by Izvire
Could be a bit loud but at 7 watt shouldn't be too bad.

Obviously all amps are different, but I used to have the Vox AC4 stack. On the 4w setting I still had to keep the volume down to avoid upsetting the neighbours. 1w was OK during the day, but in the evenings they could even hear me if I cranked the 1/4w setting.

And that's in a semi-detached house, not an apartment.

Headphones may not be your thing, but if you have neighbours/family to consider they may be the best route forward.

Gibson LP Traditional, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm > TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
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.
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#8
Quote by Izvire
Pretty much the only genre I will play is rock.


This doesn't mean anything to us. Some people consider Journey rock, other people consider All That Remains rock.

Please tell us exactly which bands/albums/songs have a tone you'd like to get close to.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
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#9
Quote by Offworld92
This doesn't mean anything to us. Some people consider Journey rock, other people consider All That Remains rock.

Please tell us exactly which bands/albums/songs have a tone you'd like to get close to.


He DID mention the Slash pickups
#10
A few things I like: Slash, Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, all Tom Morello stuff, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers to get some reference. Old and new stuff. Classics.
#11
Like Gary was saying 7w can still be crazy loud. I still think for apartment use the POD and good headphones is the way to go. If you are set on a tube amp I'll recommend the Marshall DSL 401.
Gibson DC standard, PRS S2 Mira, Fender MIA strat, HWY1 tele, Reverend Manta Ray 290, Charvel Pro mod, ESP LTD EC1000 and Viper 400
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL100, EVH 5153, Peavey Classic 30 2-2x12's
Misc. Pedals
#12
Honestly, while not tube the best amp I've found for bedroom playing is the Diago Little Smasher, thing is really awesome.
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#14
Like Gary mentioned, I also owned the AC4TV mini stack.

Even at 1/4, that thing was still pretty loud. Probably too loud for an apartment.

Do you play in a band, or can you see yourself gigging in the future?

Like others have said, you're probably better off going with something like a small SS, or POD or something similar for when you practice at home, and then pickup a nice combo for band practice.

If you're not going to be gigging, I'd recommend a rack processor like the eleven rack or something similar. That way you can throw on some headphones, get some good tones, and not piss anyone off

Edit: I see that you're not gigging. I know that you want a real amp, but you have to ask yourself "is it realistic". Given that you're living in a small apartment, I'd say no. I don't see any point in paying that much for an Orange or Marshall, or whatever, when you realistically wont be able to take it past .5. You could pick up an attenuator, but I don't think that would make a huge difference, given your space.

Edit #2: Another option, not quite so economical, would be to pick up whatever head you want, get and isolation box, stick a mic in there, then use a set of headphones through a USB interface. Basically you would have a home recording set up that you would practice through. Could be a good idea if you're interested in doing some recording, but by the time you factor in the cost of a iso box, mic, and interface (assuming you dont already own any) you would be left with a pretty small budget for a head.
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Last edited by red.guitar at Nov 2, 2013,
#15
Quote by Izvire
A few things I like: Slash, Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, all Tom Morello stuff, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers to get some reference. Old and new stuff. Classics.


I also recommend a Marshall DSL401 for that stuff.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#16
I can't hardly believe neighbors could here the 1/4 watt during the day ??...... I have AC4TV and it doesn't sound much louder than the TV , maybe we keep our TV too loud ? ..... I could see it being loud at night but not by day ....... I guess I'm lucky to have a house and forgot about apartment life and neighbors close by
#17
^ That's why I said my neighbours could hear it on the 1/4 setting when I played in the evening

Actually they could probably hear it any time, they just don't mind during the day - my neighbours are OK with me being a bit loud in the afternoon at weekends, they know I keep the noise down at night.

Gibson LP Traditional, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm > TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#18
From the bands you listed/being and appartment dweller, it sounds like an Egnater Rebel 20/30 or a Tweaker 15 would be right up your alley. But honestly, any amp with a good range of tone controls (presence and/or resonance, plus the regular T/M/B) can get great sounds at low volumes. The biggest thing I you lose with low volumes is treble and definition. Having a decent eq to work with can get those back. If the amp only has the standard T/M/B layout, but it has an effects loop, stick an eq in there.

Just get something that makes noise you enjoy that in your price range.
Quote by patriotplayer90
Lolz that guy is a noob.

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#19
Tube preamp with speaker simulation to monitors is the way to go. I spent years trying different small tube amps that claimed to be apartment friendly and they all sucked. Sure, technically you can use them at TV volume. But that’s not what makes them sound good, so why waste money on another amp when you can just get useful gear and a set of nice speaker?
#20
Mesa Rectoverb sounds great at low volume and even better at high volume.
#21
Having a hard time believing that even 7 watts would be too loud to be honest.

As I live with my parents currently, I just sold my 100 watt Marshall head with 4x12" cab and I still could play that in the evenings on low volume and not wake up anyone.

Maybe I should just buy the Orange head and cab, and try it out. If it turns out to be too loud, I'll go your way and use headphones and something with those.

What's the best option to go with headphones?
#22
I doubt you can plug headphones into that amp. Or pretty much any tube amp for that matter. That's why everyones saying go with the pod.
I agree. Though I have a modded epi valve jr that gives me excellent tone at tv volume, you should do that.

Also, 1 watt can blow your eardrums if efficient enough.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
Last edited by lucky1978 at Nov 3, 2013,
#23
I've seen gigs played with 5-10 watters

But really, if the amp has a master volume I don't really see the issue here. If you can only play at .001 at night and lose some tonal quality so be it. Most neighbours will be okay with you playing during the weekdays if they've got work or what have you.
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#24
Quote by lucky1978
I doubt you can plug headphones into that amp. Or pretty much any tube amp for that matter. That's why everyones saying go with the pod.
I agree. Though I have a modded epi valve jr that gives me excellent tone at tv volume, you should do that.

Also, 1 watt can blow your eardrums if efficient enough.


I know. I didn't mean to plug headphones into the amp. Meant to ask what is the best option to use separate from the amp itself. Sorry for being unclear, writing this from work with my phone.
#25
Quote by Fumble fingers
I can't hardly believe neighbors could here the 1/4 watt during the day ??...... I have AC4TV and it doesn't sound much louder than the TV , maybe we keep our TV too loud ? ..... I could see it being loud at night but not by day ....... I guess I'm lucky to have a house and forgot about apartment life and neighbors close by

Believe it. I was shocked how loud that amp is with a 10" speaker.
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#26
Quote by Izvire
Having a hard time believing that even 7 watts would be too loud to be honest.


It all depends on how the apartment is built. Some apartments have a plywood floor and single-layer dryrock walls that sound passes right through.
#27
Moving in to a new apartment building in Finland, it hasn't even been finished yet. Should be pretty high quality when it comes to materials and such.
#28
Have you thought of using a decent solid state amp, which can be gotten pretty cheaply, with a tube preamp plugged into it?

I have a Crate Powerblock rated at 150 watts. You'd think that'd be overkill for quiet times but it sounds really good at any volume when I use my Behringer MIC200 preamp with it. I can get surprisingly nice sounds even at low volumes. It really warms up the tone of an SS amp.

Check out an old Yamaha G100. Yamaha makes some good stuff and the first and second series were designed by Paul Rivera so they're no slouches. The build quality is very good and those amps kill with the right additions. The amps go for less than $200 all the time and, when you a tube preamp into one, they sound very nice. You can probably get both the preamp ($40 new) and the amp for less than $200, total.
.

Remove V1 & V6. Put the 12AX7 from V1 into V6 and leave V1 empty. Try the vibrato channel.
#29
Tried some cheaper solutions, but they really weren't my thing. Atleast the hybrid Vox was pretty terrible.

I'll take another look.
#30
Fender has some new cheap tube amps you may wanna check out. They're astonishingly ugly though.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#31
Quote by Izvire
Having a hard time believing that even 7 watts would be too loud to be honest.

As I live with my parents currently, I just sold my 100 watt Marshall head with 4x12" cab and I still could play that in the evenings on low volume and not wake up anyone.

Maybe I should just buy the Orange head and cab, and try it out. If it turns out to be too loud, I'll go your way and use headphones and something with those.

What's the best option to go with headphones?

Low volume tones don't depend on the wattage. All amps with master volume controls can be turned down. Some amps just sound like crap at low volumes, again it doesn't have to do with wattage. For example my Laney VC30 sounds like crap when the volume is below 1. It's that kind of really fizzy thin sound. But volume at 1 and it sounds great - that's kind of loud volume or should I say not quiet (louder than TV), at least sometimes my parents bitch about it, but OK, they bitch if I play unplugged at night. Usually lower wattage amps have less features and they are actually meant to be cranked so they don't sound good at bedroom volumes.

Few tube amps have headphone outputs. The best thing to do is to go to a guitar store and try some amps at low volume and see if they sound good.

So how loud is your loud? If it's louder than TV, then tube amps could do it. But if you need to be whisper quiet, you need something with headphone output.
Quote by AlanHB
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Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#32
Caved in and went with the Orange. If that doesn't work out, I'll return it and try something else.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll make sure I look into those options if the Orange is too loud.
#33
I love my orange. Just be prepare for the volume difference between the clean and dirt channels. Enjoy the hell out of the amp and make sure to post a NAD.
Gibson DC standard, PRS S2 Mira, Fender MIA strat, HWY1 tele, Reverend Manta Ray 290, Charvel Pro mod, ESP LTD EC1000 and Viper 400
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL100, EVH 5153, Peavey Classic 30 2-2x12's
Misc. Pedals
#34
The Orange arrived today. Sounds amazing, the volume difference between clean and dirty is pretty noticeable but I can live with it.

Not sure how my new neighbours are gonna feel about it, but I love it.

#35
Nice rig! Happy NAD!
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
Last edited by lucky1978 at Nov 8, 2013,
#36
Quote by Izvire
Caved in and went with the Orange. If that doesn't work out, I'll return it and try something else.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll make sure I look into those options if the Orange is too loud.


Hey man. Get a volume pedal and put it in the effects loop. You can get it quieter and even out the channel volumes a bit as well. That's what I always do. An attenuator is really unnecessary.

The TH30 is pretty cool. I sort of miss mine. haha
#37
Quote by VishNuRoXoUt
Hey man. Get a volume pedal and put it in the effects loop. You can get it quieter and even out the channel volumes a bit as well. That's what I always do. An attenuator is really unnecessary.

The TH30 is pretty cool. I sort of miss mine. haha


Will do. Got a month or so left before I move into the new apartment, so I can blast away at louder volumes at the moment.
#38
Schweet!

Nice set-up dude! Hopefully it all works out for you.
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-GEAR-
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1999 Ibanez RG470 (TitaniumIce-MIJ)
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#39
Nice. Happy New Amp Day.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#40
Love the combo of the Gibson and the Orange, of course I am impartial. Enjoy the hell out it. Congrats on the new gear!
Gibson DC standard, PRS S2 Mira, Fender MIA strat, HWY1 tele, Reverend Manta Ray 290, Charvel Pro mod, ESP LTD EC1000 and Viper 400
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL100, EVH 5153, Peavey Classic 30 2-2x12's
Misc. Pedals