#1
I play mostly acoustic, but have recently re-ignited my relationship with my electric guitar. I am considering buying a tube amp. I play mostly clean and I love the tone you get out of a good tube amp.

Are there any tube amps worth looking into that are in the $500-$700 range? or should I just wait until I can allocate more money to the project? (facts are, I could allocate more, but convincing my wife of that will be no easy task).

Additionally, I am looking for an amp that will perform at low volumes. I turn the volume up here and there, I play mostly alone and I live in a condo so I cannot be cranking my amp late at night.

---
My apologies if this is a common post... I did some searches and gathered some input, but I wanted some direct answers so I decided to make a thread.
#3
What sounds do you wanna get?
Give bands/songs/guitarists examples for extra clarity.

Are you willing to buy used stuff?

Where do you live?

What do you already own?
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.
#4
I live in the united states, I am willing to buy used if I can find something decent used.

I listen to a lot of different music styles, but mostly jam-bands. In terms of guitarists/bands, I like Jerry Garcia/Bob Weir, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Erik Clapton, and Jimmy Hendrix.

I like a bluesy tone out of electric guitar, but have been venturing more into jazz and classic rock.

I currently own a Marshall MG250DFX. I do not like the sound of this amp, hence the reason I want a change. I really only use the clean channel. It is also more power than I need. Frankly, I bought this amp before I really knew what I wanted and I have regretted the purchase ever since. I would like to trade this amp in if I can get anything out of it.

I play on a vintage mahogany Les Paul with a clean signal (only pedal is a loop station).

Your input is greatly appreciated. Ultimately, I am in the early stages and will need to plug into a variety of different amps to figure out what I really want, but I am curious what the forum knows about the market in this price range to see if it is worth going out and perusing this.
#5
Quote by apbluegrass
I live in the united states, I am willing to buy used if I can find something decent used.

I listen to a lot of different music styles, but mostly jam-bands. In terms of guitarists/bands, I like Jerry Garcia/Bob Weir, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Erik Clapton, and Jimmy Hendrix.

I like a bluesy tone out of electric guitar, but have been venturing more into jazz and classic rock.

I currently own a Marshall MG250DFX. I do not like the sound of this amp, hence the reason I want a change. I really only use the clean channel. It is also more power than I need. Frankly, I bought this amp before I really knew what I wanted and I have regretted the purchase ever since. I would like to trade this amp in if I can get anything out of it.

I play on a vintage mahogany Les Paul with a clean signal (only pedal is a loop station).

Your input is greatly appreciated. Ultimately, I am in the early stages and will need to plug into a variety of different amps to figure out what I really want, but I am curious what the forum knows about the market in this price range to see if it is worth going out and perusing this.


Your first post said that you want it to "perform" at low volumes, but tube amps don't usually work too well that way.

You could look at the Superchamp XD/X2. It has a clean channel that sounds pretty good and is mostly tube. It has a tube preamp and power section, it just uses solid state for a small part of the signal path and you won't hear any solid state clipping.
Then it also has a modeling channel that has Twin, AC30, Marshall, etc... they're a tiny bit less tube-like in general but they still sound alright.

And the amp costs less than 400$.
A few similar amps include the Vibrochamp XD (same idea, just less power) and the Peavey Tube Vypyr.

Otherwise you're going to have to make a compromise. A Fender Twin will have to be cranked too loud before it'll break up. A Blackstar HT-1 might break up enough at low volume, but maybe you won't get enough clean headroom.

Personally I prefer the sound of tubes but I think there's a lot to be said for a powered PA speaker plus a good multi-fx pedal. The Zoom G5 sounds pretty good for a modeler, has a built-in Looper and plenty of pedal effects. You can create any tone that you'd like and use the speaker volume to play it as loud as you'd like. It won't sound perfect but it should sound good.
#7
Quote by paul.housley.7
Your first post said that you want it to "perform" at low volumes, but tube amps don't usually work too well that way.


Thank you for your input. As I understand, tube amps often have a minimum volume at which they sound good, but I have heard that some perform better at lower volumes than others. That would be a consideration in my decision.

Ultimately, a tube amp may not be right for me, but I am seeking advice as to where to begin my search. Facts are, I dislike my current amp and would like something that has better tone on the clean channel (frankly, I only need the one channel).
#8
Quote by apbluegrass
As I understand, tube amps often have a minimum volume at which they sound good
Nah, that's marketing/misinformation/bs, however you wanna call it.

Stuff sounds better at higher volumes, and it has nothing to do with the fact that it uses tubes or transistors to amplify a signal.
Among the reasons are particularly (read: badly) designed speakers, the fletcher-munson curves, and psychoacoustic stuff.

TL;DR stuff sounds better louder so don't worry and get something that sounds good to you 'cause there are no ways of making it sound THAT good at lower volumes.
If anybody tells you otherwise 'cause "experience" or "he as read it on the internet" or "his guitarist friends told him" he's wrong.

Anyway, can you find a used fender supersonic 22 or 60 in your budget?
'cause that'd be good if ya ask me.

Or a blues deluxe.
Or a peavey classic 30/50.
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.
Last edited by Spambot_2 at Dec 2, 2014,
#9
I'll second the recommendation of the Peavey Classic Amps, also I would highly recommend the Marshall DSL40C. Swap the speaker and it is a fantastic amp at a great value. New $699, but on CL you can find them used for $400-$500.
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
#10
For home condo playing mostly I'll throw out the POD (HD500 or HD500X) option and pick up a used active wedge monitor with a 12" and 1" for when you want more sound. . . . This setup enables high quality headphone playing and happy neighbors and family.

You can also look at Peavey Revalver 4 (full blown is $99) on your computer and just plug into some decent computer speakers or a stereo when you want noise.
Guitars:
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. . .
#11
How loud do you need to get?

I think all of these are great on the lower wattage side:

Laney IRT Studio
Ampeg GVT15
Genz Benz Black Pearl 30
Orange Terror line
#12
Check out Mahaffay amps. I have one. It is the best sounding amp I have ever had. You can get these from the builder off ebay as opposed to ordering through his website, and avoid a long wait, as well as save substantially. You can play it in your room, quiet as a mouse, or plug into as many as 2 4x12 cabs and play at a club level. I have the Lani lei 3350. They usually sell for around $350 on ebay. Check out the reviews by Kirk Hammet, David Gilmour, Peter Frampton, etc.