#1
I need some advice with amps as I am confused which way to go. First off, I am just getting back into playing guitar. I like a lot of different music. Blues, rock - classic/modern, some country. I am not into any metal but I do like anything from srv bluesy od up to heavier modern distortion sounds . Years ago I bought a Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue with the thought that I would have the wonderful clean fender sound and awesome reverb and use pedals to get distortion. I still think this is the way to go for what I like but the drri is very loud. I am not in a band and only play at home which is an apartment. I can't go past 2 on volume without pissing family and neighbors off. Therefore that warm tube sound and any powertube distortion is out. At 2 the deluxe is icepicky and distortion pedals are fizzy and thin. I have considered a thd or weber attenuator to get some warmth at lower volumes, but would still need to bring down to bedroom levels. Do you guys suggest attenuators or maybe think about selling deluxe and going with a smaller tube amp. I don't want to play through headphones or anything plugged into a computer as I don't own one. I have considered the blackstar ht1r as the cleans sound nice, volume won't break windows, and distortion sounds pretty good but after research I think this is a hybrid and will not get any powertube distortion for bluesy overdrive sounds, just heavier preamp distortion. Suggestions - keep the classic deluxe or go much smaller?
#2
Sell it and buy a digital preamp, like the Pod HD. The HD Desktop can be found used for $250 or less. Amps are loud. A 1 watt downgrade amp won't be any better.

You can then run it into a cheap active PA speaker. Carvin sells some good ones.
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#3
I love the DRRI but it is a gig quality amp that sounds best at least 1/2 way wide open. It is not an apt amp and attenuators will disappoint at really low volume. Choose a digital software solution for playing at home and keep the amp to jam with friends.
"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
#4
I would keep the amp and stick some suitable pedals in front of it. L-pad type attenuators kill the top end and only work well for small reductions, other kinds may be better.

I don't think a smaller amp will solve it unless you go tiny - less than 1w. I have a 5w Epi VJ, that has an attenuator that brings it down to less than 0.5w, and even then it is pretty loud for an apartment by the time you get into OD territory - around 12 o'clock.

I have a 18w H&K that sounds bright and ice picky at at man cave volumes, but it sounds fine with suitable pedals and some treble cut. My mate is using a Princeton at very low volumes, and it sounds very good - is the DRRI much different?
#5
I would keep the amp and stick some suitable pedals in front of it.

I have a Boss ds-1. Sounds very fizzy through deluxe. I also have a tech 21 sansamp classic which does give some nice crunchy distortion. But with volume rolled up where it needs to be on guitar when pedal is turned off back to clean it can be too loud. I have a maxon od9 on the way to try out.

I don't think a smaller amp will solve it unless you go tiny - less than 1w. I have a 5w Epi VJ, that has an attenuator that brings it down to less than 0.5w, and even then it is pretty loud for an apartment by the time you get into OD territory - around 12 o'clock.

Does anyone make a .5 watt or less amp that is not outrageously priced? I understand that even a 1 watt amp can be too loud to crank in an apt., but it has to be more forgiving than what i'm working with now. Volume goes from starving the tubes to way too loud in literaly 1/8 of a turn on vol. At least i could get some juice through tubes and use od pedal and perhaps an attenuator that would not be cutting signal nearly as much as with a 22w amp.

I have a 18w H&K that sounds bright and ice picky at at man cave volumes, but it sounds fine with suitable pedals and some treble cut. My mate is using a Princeton at very low volumes, and it sounds very good - is the DRRI much different? With pedals i can get a decent distortion, but i want that warm tube saturation you get by turning volume up a bit. Not sure if od9 will do that or not.I would like a clean sound on edge of breakup and just can't get anywhere near it because of volume.
Last edited by malibuclc at Sep 27, 2015,
#6
I'm using a Blue Magic FET Drive built from a GGG kit that gives that warm "edge of breakup" sound, the Bad Monkey gives smooth OD, and the Boss SD-1, which has asymmetric clipping, rough and edgy. Betwen them they cover a fair bit of tonal ground. I've never been able to get on with TS-type OD at the volumes I use.
Last edited by Tony Done at Sep 28, 2015,
#7
keep it and buy a little thing like a korg pandora (not bad for not much $$$), you can play through that, and hold onto the DRRI when you need it.
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#8
^ I agree. Super handy amp to have around, or perhaps trade for a princeton if something comes up, and get an iRig or something for silent practice.
#9
malibu - do you have a few bucks to spend? the korg pandora things are really cool, and really cheap.

honestly i think if one amp is too loud, most (if not all) are going to be too loud, OR you are making major sacrifices.

keep in mind that wattage doesn't make much of a difference at how an amp sounds quiet. i can get my mesa mkiv to sound better quiet than my orange dual terror. there are a ton of variables.
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/
#10
Don't sell the amp. You will regret it for the rest of your life. I'm still in mourning over my MV50, and that was 30 years ago.

There are a number of attenuators out there which will allow you to run the valves at a pleasing level but interupt and absorb the level of power to the speaker.

Attenators
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
Last edited by John Sims at Sep 28, 2015,
#11
For the most part if you've got any significant noise restrictions, power tube distortion is out anyway unless you're willing to part with some coin to get it, and you may not like what the compromises (attenuator, IsoCab) sound like either.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#12
Quote by John Sims
Don't sell the amp. You will regret it for the rest of your life. I'm still in mourning over my MV50, and that was 30 years ago.

There are a number of attenuators out there which will allow you to run the valves at a pleasing level but interupt and absorb the level of power to the speaker.

Attenators

This is my main concern. The deluxe is an amazing sounding amp and I don't see myself dropping 1000 on an amp anytime soon like I could years ago - you know before the kids, truck, rent etc. I think I would regret selling it. On the other hand with the volume restriction it's like owning a corvette and having the governer set at 35 mph - what's the point. I suppose in the future I'll have a house and be able to crank amp a little more, and I think I will try an attenuator before selling, but the main thing is I'm not inspired to play guitar with the amp as it is now. Ill check out the korg pandora as well. Maybe I can get some good tones out of a multieffects pedal and want to keep playing. Looks like a korg would be about as much as a weber load dump attenuator.
#13
I had a Pandora Px4, whose tones I really liked - "Scarborough Fur" in my sig link was recorded through one - but the build was very flimsy. The switching on mine packed up, apparently because one part was touching another. I would be looking at the stomp box version if I were to get another one.
#14
Like others have said above, unless you HAVE to sell the fender to put torwards something new, I'd hang onto it an pick up a nice MFX pedal or software that you can use with headphones.

Another option would be to build or buy an iso box, and run the fender into that. You could then mic it up with a small interface and listen back through headphones or monitors. I built one a couple years back for recording and late/early practice and its been working out pretty well. Cost me less than $50 CAD to build myself (minus the cost of the speaker that I have mounted inside - WGS veteran 30 = $70 on Ebay) I can crank my 50 watt tube heads up to about 7-8/10 before they start rattling too much, and you can barely hear it outside the box.
Guitars:
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Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
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Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
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#15
Selling the amp would depend on the solution. If the best solution was buy a new several hundred dollar on up amp, or buy a computer, software, speakers, pod or whatever at hundreds of dollars then the deluxe will probably have to go. The pandora stomps are around $90 so I would keep the amp in that case. A weber attenuator is 85-125 so I would keep the deluxe in that case. Do the mfx pedals sound any better or different through a tube amp than it would through a decent solid state amp?

Never heard of an iso box, will have to research that.
#16
I recently picked up a 1 watt tube amp called The Killer Ant. I got it for my son. It was a brand new store demo/display unit and total price for it out the door was $100. It's just the head, power button and a single volume knob. My son has it powering a Marshall Micro stack A and B cabinets....these are the little cabinets that look like the bigger 4x12's, but these are 1x10 cabs....the miniature version of the full stack. After getting this 1 watt tube head, he quickly got rid of the original Marshall solid state 15 watt head

The Killer Ant gets plenty loud for bedroom practice at full volume and the tubes get fully distorted (sorry if my terminology is not correct, I'm barely learning about music gear/terms).

When he jams in the garage with his band he will play thru the tiny amplifier and use a microphone to send the sound to his 150w Crate Power Block and 4x12 cabinet so he can get the little amp to be as loud as the drummer. Lot's of problems with the screeching sound comes from the big speaker cabinet when he tries this though.....it's a learning process., but the Ant does sound way better than the Crate set up. He can easily get classic rock and metal sounds out of it....Deep Purple, Sabbath, AC/DC.......if he wants more distortion for more modern rock/metal he will use his Boss Processor.
Last edited by tonysilva530 at Sep 29, 2015,
#17
Quote by tonysilva530
Lot's of problems with the screeching sound comes from the big speaker cabinet when he tries this though.....it's a learning process., but the Ant does sound way better than the Crate set up. He can easily get classic rock and metal sounds out of it....Deep Purple, Sabbath, AC/DC.......if he wants more distortion for more modern rock/metal he will use his Boss Processor.


Yeah, it'll be hard to get a good tone, or control feedback when micing thru a guitar amp. Its not meant to do that.

It might not be a bad idea to keep an eye out for a used PA system. You can get a pretty good deal on them sometimes when a band breaksup, but they all owed the PA and want what ever cash they can get for it.

A small powered wedge might also do the trick, but a PA would come in handy with a full band.

Quote by malibuclc
Never heard of an iso box, will have to research that.


Its basically a wooden box inside a slight bigger wooden box that has insulation in between them and a cover to block sound from escaping. I built mine to have enough room on the inside to mount a speaker and place a mic on a stand in front of it. Like THIS

I didn't want it to take up too much space, so I built it with a speaker semi-permanently mounted inside; but you could build it big enough to fit a whole amp or cab if you want. My singer built one that fits a 412 for his studio.
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
Last edited by red.guitar at Sep 29, 2015,
#18
i really don't think the attenuator is the best option. you are still going through tubes, sometimes hard use, and i don't really think it is worth it just to have it on headphones . i would consider a isobox. i haven't built one yet, but i am sure i will. at least with that route you are getting real tone, that is likely better than a headphone out on an attenuator.
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
Any form of headphone solution is going to be a compromise because all you get is the sound through the headphones.

My wife works nights so I periodically have to use headphones out of my rack based rig and it isn't anything like as enjoyable as using the rig through speakers even at lower volume. I have a Marshall valve preamp feeding a solid state power amp so reducing volume doesn't rob any of the valve tone.

An iso box may be a help but, if going that route, use it with an extension speaker. Putting the amp in a big sealed box would be a complete pain in the ass. But then the sound you hear is going to be weird because it is comming out of a box. If you put a mic in the box you then colour the sound further with the amp and mic you use to "listen" to the speaker. And don't underestimate the complexity in achieving significant sound reduction through physical means.

Attenuators don't necessarily need headphones. They are a load in front of the speakers so the amp can be run harder than the output of the speakers. As I understand it is a fairly common studio solution when people turn up wanting to run cranked valve amps.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#20
Alternatively there are a vast array of tiny wattage valve combos and heads available now for the same money as a good pedal. This is my favoured solution (I have one in every room that I play guitar). Be warned though, a 5W valve amp can still be damn loud if cranked. I will often plug into a small valve amp to noodle rather than fire up my rig.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#21
Quote by John Sims
Alternatively there are a vast array of tiny wattage valve combos and heads available now for the same money as a good pedal. This is my favoured solution (I have one in every room that I play guitar). Be warned though, a 5W valve amp can still be damn loud if cranked. I will often plug into a small valve amp to noodle rather than fire up my rig.

This is what I was thinking, keep the deluxe and use a 1w amp for now. I bought a 5w epi valve jr when they first came out and brought it back the next day because it was still way too loud and the deluxe sounds so much better. But I am not aware of too many 1w tube amps out there. It looks like they stopped making the killer ants but I will look around for used. The blackstar ht1 has some issues. Marshall makes some nice ones but for $1,000. I tried the voxac4tv that can go down to 1/4w but did not really like the tone at all.
#22
If you can't deal with how your amp sounds at bedroom volumes then I suggest you go digital.

1. Amp sims on the computer with decent headphones or speakers

2. Digital pedal like a POD HD500x plugged into your amp turned down or monitor headphones or speakers.

3. Buy another amp that gives you the sound you want at the volume you want (probably a modeling amp). I have some friends that love their Axe FX for Pink Floyd and Rush sounds. Though a Mustang or Valvetronics may fit budget better.

I think it's ideal if your amp sounds good at low and high volumes but certain characteristics need volume.

Amps are made to amplify sound and if it is too loud you will have to compromise somehow.
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

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Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#23
Perhaps a used Digitech RP20Valve effects processor and headphones (has cab simulators in it) something you can use in the apt, and also shove into any amp or P.A. without an amp. can be a bit of a biatch that it has so many presets, but there are some decent among those.
#24
I have a Blackstar HT-5RH 5w and pedals and play it in the bedroom at low settings and can still get good sounds . Even 5w is too loud I never really turn the volume knob up that much