#1
I'm planning to get a Fender Lonestar Strat. Two single coils and a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates at the bridge. I'm a big fan of Blues...Clapton, SRV, Hendrix, etc. I also like a bit of Rock (think stuff like Aerosmith's Joe Perry plays).

Something smaller for home use only. I do not play shows and don't need a massive amp. I prefer solid state amps and want to stay away from tube amps, combo amps and modeling amps.

I'm not big into effects pedals, but I do plan to get a Tube Screamer, a looper pedal (to create my own rhythm and play lead over it) and perhaps try one of those blues driver pedals at some point just to have something to play around with. I'm not fond of the reverb and all of the other effects built into amps and those are the only three pedals that I think I will ever desire to have after researching all of the available options on the market and what they do.

I played (non-amp) acoustic guitar for 12 years. I did have an amp at one point (I think it was a Marshall 10 or 15 watt solid state) for a short time, but ended up selling it.

Suggestions? I'd prefer to not spend over about $300, but trying to keep it under that if possible. How much wattage is too much for home use?

Also, a very important part is that I want to be able to use headphones with the amp so that I can play a bit more quietly and not disturb family members. But I do want the amp to sound good without headphones for when I do play without them, of course. Any advice?
#2
The headphones requirement kinda puts you in a solid state/modeling amp category.

Considering that you mentioned blues I was going to suggest Fender Blues Jr or Vox AC15 but both of these lack the headphone jack.

If the headphone jack is a must then Vox Valvetronix amp, just pick your wattage, I'd go VT-20.
#3
Quote by diabolical
The headphones requirement kinda puts you in a solid state/modeling amp category.


Well, I guess there are two factors for me in that. I don't mind if it has a few extra bells and whistles on it, but I feel that there is a better sound with the use of a direct pedal as opposed to the digitally created effects. I know that the guitar community tends to be split between how true that is, but I also don't want to have to reach over and touch my amp when I want to turn an effect on or off. So I prefer pedals instead. I just don't want to put the money into an overly complicated amp with too many features that I don't want or need since I'll be using the pedals if I need an effect.

VT-20 looks like a tube amp. Aren't those expensive to replace the tubes when they blow out?
Last edited by jmr1068204 at Nov 28, 2014,
#4
Well, for your style tube is the way to go as in the Valve Jr, etc...and it is no big deal. I have several amps and honestly it isn't that much hassle.

The VT is modeling amp, solid state, but has effects and it is one of the very few that actually sound good for your preferred genre.

The Valve Jr takes really good to pedals in front and so do most tube amps. Most modeling amps are kinda hit/miss on that, usually miss.

Maybe this solid state:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Tech-21-Trademark-30-30W-Guitar-Combo-DI-Amplifer-103684577-i1145232.gc

has headphone out as well and they sound fantastic. Probably the only solid state amp I'd recommend at this point.
#5
Nano Legacy

I settled on the Heart Attack after trying the Purple Wind and British Invasion. Since metal and hard rock are not your preferences, the other two will be better for you. For $100 a piece, they're pretty decent. The headphone out tones are average at best, almost like a better Vox Amplug, but barely. But they sound pretty sound once connected to a cab, and plenty loud enough for home. The FX loop is a nice feature. Other downside is they can be quite noisy with the hum, probably due to the cheap power adapter. But as long as you keep the gain and volume to managable levels (or in my case, use a noise suppressor), they do the job.
#6
Quote by jmr1068204
I prefer solid state amps and want to stay away from tube amps, combo amps and modeling amps.
Why so?
Quote by jmr1068204
How much wattage is too much for home use?
It's not a matter of power, it's a matter of volume controls, and most amps have master volume controls, so whatever power will be good if it has a master volume.

If it doesn't, more than 1w is gonna be too much.
Quote by jmr1068204
Also, a very important part is that I want to be able to use headphones with the amp so that I can play a bit more quietly and not disturb family members. But I do want the amp to sound good without headphones for when I do play without them, of course. Any advice?
Then you don't want a guitar amp.

Get a pod HD bean or a used HD500 or used HD400 and a pair of K240mkII or ATH-M50, and plug the thing into whatever speakers you have lying around for when you don't wanna use headphones.
Quote by jmr1068204
but I feel that there is a better sound with the use of a direct pedal as opposed to the digitally created effects.
Good digital is hella better than average analog, and guitar pedals aren't really spectacular in terms of sound quality in general.
Quote by jmr1068204
I also don't want to have to reach over and touch my amp when I want to turn an effect on or off.
Hella good they invented pedalboards eh?
Like, pedalboards you control amp fx and channels with.
Quote by jmr1068204
I just don't want to put the money into an overly complicated amp with too many features that I don't want or need since I'll be using the pedals if I need an effect.
Fair enough, though if you get an amp with more features you will likely end up having more possibilities to choose from.
Quote by jmr1068204
VT-20 looks like a tube amp. Aren't those expensive to replace the tubes when they blow out?
First off, the VT-20 is a modeling amp with a tube for marketing.
Second, that tube costs $10 to $20.
Quote by diabolical
Well, for your style tube is the way to go as in the Valve Jr, etc...and it is no big deal.
For not wanting to disturb neighbors that wouldn't be my first choice really.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#7
+1 for the Vox VT and Epi Valve Jr. I have both amps but I prefer using the Valve Jr. There's only 2 tubes in the Valve Jr and they're very easy to change and it would probably cost you $30-$35 for both and they'll last you years. Given the VT is an entry level amp, I don't think the tube is meant to be changed. You have to pull out the entire chassis just to get to it, it is not easily accessible. Both are kickass lil amps though.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#8
I'd really consider some sort of pod and a used monitor speaker here for when you want volume. My low volume go to is Peavey Revalver on my laptop and I asked Santa for some Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#9
Maybe look at a Roland Cube. Good tone available for a SS practice amp, onboard OD with several useful voices that cover Jimi, Clapton, SRV pretty well, headphone out, onboard looper, and several simple but useful effects that you might find on Jimi or SRV's pedalboards.

Not a lot of menus and digital gyro-wizardry found on other modeling amps but the look and feel of analog controls with solid, familiar guitar voicings. I own the little Micro-Cube and for what it is... pretty cool kit.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY