#1
I don't have much experience with tube amps other than playing with them once in a while when I rarely go to Guitar Center. Basically I wanted to get something that was small enough (mostly in power, size doesn't matter) that I could crank it for tube saturation (is that the correct method still?) and not blow the doors down.

So far I like how it sounds, and right now I got a used Line 6 Amplifi on layaway (minimum down payment only so far) just in case I decide I can't hear enough of a difference between a real tube and a modeled tube and decide to go for something with more variety.

I was thinking, I could still use something to practice with that has virtually 0 latency and nice dynamics, so maybe I will keep this tube amp, or trade it in for another one.

So what do you guys think, did I make a good choice for a small tube amp, or are there much better options? The most I want to spend on a tube combo is like 500 bucks, though I want to do 300 or below if I can help it.

I like clean and metal. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Johnson, Gary Moore, all the nu metal bands like System and Disturbed, classic metal, melodic death/deathcore metal, you name it. To be more specific, I want to be able to get that colorful emotional clean and crispy tone when playing the blues, almost sounding like you're using a wah just with the picking dynamics and bending alone, and then also be able to distort it up and play rhythm shit from death metal bands, and crazy pinch harmonics, and a good tone for sweeping and tapping arpeggios all over the place and all that.

I already realize the amp I got can't really do all that alone, but probably could if I had the right pedals.... which is why I'm wondering... should I keep the amp and add some pedals, or get a different bedroom tube amp? I was kinda wondering if I bottle necked myself with the type of tubes and speaker size I could even fit in this tube amp. You guys are the experts though, lemme know what I should do.

Whichever one, I could also use a good suggestion for pedals.

Does getting anything other than analog pedals defeat the purpose of getting a tube amp? I'm not sure exactly how it works, and who to believe when I read these articles, and what digital tech is capable of these days with keeping true to actual tube nuances.

Thanks guys.

edit: I forgot, the guitar I'm using is a MIM Fender Stratocaster, with S-S-H all Seymour Duncan pickups, and some custom hardware and crap that the old luthier said helps transfer the vibrational energy throughout the neck and body and to the pickups better... so he says. Got it in a nice trade for my generic Agile 8 string. I've always wanted a Fender, and this thing looks as beautiful as it sounded when I got to test it out on his much better amps.

Other than, I plan on using my acoustic guitar on clean settings just to see what an acoustic sounds like on it, and for really heavy metal playing I'm going to pickup some kind of 7 or 8 string again... probably another Agile but this time I'll give it better pickups to pick up the low strings better, which is why I traded it in the first place, just tired of the dull sound, and the scale length.
Last edited by yamdiddle at Jun 10, 2015,
#2
That's not even a real tube amp, is it ?

It has no power tubes...


Anyway, the test is, if it sounds good, then it passed test 1.


The next test is, does it take pedals well? Especially overdrive pedals. If it does that well, then it passed test 2.


That's just my requirement that's all, being all tube may not be all that important for me but so far I use pedals only with my AC4TV and not my Vox VT30.
#3
^ it uses a 12AU7 as a power tube.

It has all sorts of opamps and IC's in the pre section tho.

If you ask me there are much better options, like a DSL401, or a blackheart BH15.
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#4
I got one for my college dorms, worked a charm.
Is it the best sounding amp ever? No
But it takes pedals well, it has a headphone socket (which for me in shared accommodation has been handy), and I've been able to use it in a live setting mic'd up and it sound actually pretty good.
I would imagine an 8 string would probably sound arse on such a small speaker, but that will be the same with any low wattage tube head, unless you get an extension cab
For pedals, get a tubescreamer type pedal

Basically it probably won't have been a waste of money, but there are probably a few limitations to it
#5
you could have definitely done worse. they are not my favorite, but what you matter is more important.

i would get a 12" cab for it with a good speaker (V30/T75 pr something. i think that would be the best bet.

keep in mind that 1w is still damn loud. at 1m through a V30 puts you over 101 dB. LOUD!
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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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youre just being a jerk man.



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#6
If you like it, that is what matters the most.
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#7
having a small wattage amp to rock out on in a dorm room or a small apartment is paramount. 1 Watt wont be the best in a mix, nor will it be the best on a stage. But for messing about, you'll be fine - go Hog-Wild and buy as many pedals as you can do comfortably and craft your sound, this wont be the last amp you ever buy, and odds are the hard work you put in now to find your sonic footprint will pay off in spades when you upgrade to your main rig.

Quote by trashedlostfdup
i would get a 12" cab for it with a good speaker (V30/T75 pr something. i think that would be the best bet.

keep in mind that 1w is still damn loud. at 1m through a V30 puts you over 101 dB. LOUD!


^ That's some wise-old-sage level troof right there. Get a solid cab and you'll be set for almost anything.... you'll need the headroom later, but were not worried about later.


Have fun with that little guy.
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#8
Since you've already purchased it, seeking validation after the fact doesn't seem particularly productive.

If you like it, you like it.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#9
Quote by Powersurge213
I got one for my college dorms, worked a charm.
Is it the best sounding amp ever? No
But it takes pedals well, it has a headphone socket (which for me in shared accommodation has been handy)



Ok I realize people might be getting confused thinking I don't actually have a tube combo. I got the actual tube amp, not the solid state. It has no reverb or headphone jack, just clean and gain channel with a volume, gain, and tone knob. It's the HT1LE, and it has the ECC83 and ECC82.
#10
Quote by Arby911
Since you've already purchased it, seeking validation after the fact doesn't seem particularly productive.

If you like it, you like it.


Because I bought it at Guitar Center with a 30 day return policy... I can always return it and get all my money back. That's why I said I put another amp on layaway just in case, and/or someone recommends me a better tube combo I should look for at GC.

So yes, it is productive, thanks for trying to be a condescending dick though.
#11
Quote by Spambot_2

If you ask me there are much better options, like a DSL401, or a blackheart BH15.


I looked them both up, and they look great... but they're not available in stores now. I'd have to get lucky and find them on craigslist, or I'd have to be a real risk taker and buy one used without seeing if the insides are totally ****ed before I give away my money.
#12
Quote by yamdiddle
Because I bought it at Guitar Center with a 30 day return policy... I can always return it and get all my money back. That's why I said I put another amp on layaway just in case, and/or someone recommends me a better tube combo I should look for at GC.

So yes, it is productive, thanks for trying to be a condescending dick though.


As I noted, if you like it you like it. That's really the only touchstone for an amp.

It's not what I would have chosen, but I don't know anything about your needs, intent or influences.

I am sorry that you feel that my statement was condescending. If it makes you feel any better, a LONG time ago someone here told me the same thing after I purchased a set of Bareknuckle pickups and then asked about them.

They were right, it was a silly way to do it.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#13
Ah I see what you're saying now.

And anyways, actually I clearly stated what I'm looking for in a tube amp in my original post. Where I mention Red Hot Chili Peppers, that paragraph describes my influences and what I'm looking for. Something that can achieve those sounds with minimal help from pedals, wattage not so high that I'd have to wake up the neighbors just to get tube saturation.
#14
Thing is 1W kinda leaves you with very little versatility. You looked into the Vox AC4? Or score a Blues Jr. You won't get tube saturation as soon as 1W, but you'll get wonderful clean and you can work your OD tone with some pedals/boosts.
#15
Yea I might go back tomorrow or Friday (when my layaway item becomes available to buy) and test out more of the tube amps. I actually just made a sale on craigslist for tomorrow, so if it's REALLY worth it I might be looking into an actual Vox AC tube, or a nice Fender tube amp, in the Desktop PC full tower size, if you get what I mean. Or if there's a modeling amp worth like 600 that just blows everything out of the water until I can afford a several thousand dollar tube amp, maybe I'll do that.

Hell maybe I'd just return the amp, and use that and the cash from my CL sale for another guitar, and just try to fix my own Roland Cube Street. And I also have Guitar Rig 5. So... Tube amp, modelling amp, or 600-700 dollar guitar? I guess I'll see in a little bit.
#16
Quote by yamdiddle
Ah I see what you're saying now.

And anyways, actually I clearly stated what I'm looking for in a tube amp in my original post. Where I mention Red Hot Chili Peppers, that paragraph describes my influences and what I'm looking for. Something that can achieve those sounds with minimal help from pedals, wattage not so high that I'd have to wake up the neighbors just to get tube saturation.


Fair enough, I should have paid closer attention instead of focusing on the timing.

I will say that you need to quit worrying about wattage and volume, while there is a mathematical relationship between the two, it's not really a practical consideration.

I've several tube amps that are 50w or greater, and power tube saturation is seldom (never?) a requirement for a competent tone in a bedroom environment.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#18
Quote by Jonny Ryan Mac
having a small wattage amp to rock out on in a dorm room or a small apartment is paramount. 1 Watt wont be the best in a mix, nor will it be the best on a stage. But for messing about, you'll be fine - go Hog-Wild and buy as many pedals as you can do comfortably and craft your sound, this wont be the last amp you ever buy, and odds are the hard work you put in now to find your sonic footprint will pay off in spades when you upgrade to your main rig.



^ That's some wise-old-sage level troof right there. Get a solid cab and you'll be set for almost anything.... you'll need the headroom later, but were not worried about later.



Have fun with that little guy.


its actually the textbook definition. 1w @1m from the cone is the sensitivity of that speaker. are all amps the same? are all speakers the same? probably not, there is fudge room.

if it is incorrect, correct me, thats fine, just give me a reference to where and i will happily stand corrected.
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/
#19
Quote by trashedlostfdup
its actually the textbook definition. 1w @1m from the cone is the sensitivity of that speaker. are all amps the same? are all speakers the same? probably not, there is fudge room.

if it is incorrect, correct me, thats fine, just give me a reference to where and i will happily stand corrected.


No, you're fine. 1w into any decent speaker is LOUD!
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I'd return it. Start a new thread and follow the proven method for advice as laid out in the Stickies both here and in the Electric Guitar forum.

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You gave literally zero explanation why and he already gave all the necessary information and more in the OP.
#21
Quote by TheLiberation
You gave literally zero explanation why and he already gave all the necessary information and more in the OP.

But this thread is already tainted.

'I bought a Blackstar...good choice?'

I was merely suggesting he start a new 'What Amp?' thread and keep it simple. Yes, he has some of that information in this OP but it is buried in paragraphs of information. It was just a suggestion. He can tell me to **** off if he likes. At least I made a suggestion. You on the other hand....did not.
#22
Quote by Arby911
Since you've already purchased it, seeking validation after the fact doesn't seem particularly productive.

If you like it, you like it.


I'm onboard with that.

I wouldn't buy one and think it's a waste of money, sorry.
The last cheap tube amps I bought were a pair of Epiphone Valve Juniors ($99 each at the time), and those were 5W with a real power tube (EL84). One got about $400 worth of Mercury Magnetics modifications built in (and that was stupid money to spend), and it's now a great small amp, easily on par with any 5W on the planet. The other remained bog-stock and it's still a great buy.

But there's really nothing to recommend that Blackstar in my book.
#23
Quote by yamdiddle
And I also have Guitar Rig 5. So... Tube amp, modelling amp, or 600-700 dollar guitar? I guess I'll see in a little bit.


I don't think there's really a point for a tube amp in a bedroom situation. They are certainly USABLE there, and I have 50W and 18W tube amps that I'll just keep turned low and play through. But I'd never consciously buy a tube amp specifically for bedroom use.

Modeling setups make sense because you can always turn off the amplification part and blast your eardrums out with a set of headphones.

And if one of the options is a $600-700 guitar, it becomes obvious that the whole thing hasn't been thought through and that you just have money burning a hole in your pocket.

My advice then becomes, "Save the flippin' money and keep packing that account, pounding it with as much money as you can." Don't touch it. If you're going to blow it on impulse buys, don't squirt small amounts away on little garbage that will be tossed later. Wait, wait, wait, and get something insanely great.
#24
I got money saved, and money to burn, rent and groceries get paid, my car isnt a piece of shit anymore, everything's fine with me financially.

But yea anyways now its up to 2500 in expendable cash after returning some stuff from some previous purchases elsewhere. Kinda wondering if I should splurge on Kemper or Axe FX... or a very nice workstation keyboard.
#25
If you want a lot of amps in one, get the Axe FX.
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You can call me wrong, 'cause
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#26
Yeah, I'd say: if you're into having a variety of tones and effects, then looking into these two might be a reasonable option, but if you have a more straightforward idea of your playing, it most likely makes more sense to just get a good amp.
#28
If you want a lot of amps in one, get an RM, way cheaper (to an extent)(than an Axe FX) and arguably better tone.
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#29
Quote by lucky1978
If you want a lot of amps in one, get an RM, way cheaper (to an extent)(than an Axe FX) and arguably better tone.

Doesn't the RM only have 3 modules?
#30
Quote by lucky1978
If you want a lot of amps in one, get an RM, way cheaper (to an extent)(than an Axe FX) and arguably better tone.

Arguably. Most can't tell the difference.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on