#1
Ok, so I think my playing had got to the stage where I would like to upgrade from my thr10 to a tube amp. It will go into the dining room where I do most of my playing and there is space for a 1 x 12. I want the best sound of course and at times when maybe everyone is out I will crank it but most of the time it will be played at low volume or even through headphones, and that last part make the choice quite limited. I think I'd like a head to allow me to experiment with cabs with different speakers.

I love my cleans, Mayer, Frusciante etc. but often play GnR, Slash etc with some occasional Metallica thrown in so need something with a wide range of brilliance ;-)

I've watched a whole heap of YouTube demo's over Xmas (sorry, appreciate I probably should have been hitting the local guitar emporia!) and there are some that sound great. I think my fav is probably the Line 6 DT25, but no way to use headphones as far as I can see.

Here are the amps I can think of that would fit the bill:-

Blackstar ht1rh
Blackstar ht5h -When I bought my electric, a nice Washburn wi66 pro-f (mahogany body, sad pick ups) I played a ht20 which was really nice.

Laney studio irt 15 - these look good but I read they are improved with an immediate re-bias. I would n't use any of the studio stuff as I have no intention of writing / recording etc.

Mesa boogie V 25 - clearly this is the most expensive and might have to wait until I save more but could be worth it. I think this could be my dream amp (if the cleans are good enough) whereas the others might leave me dreaming of more.

Did I miss anything?

I think my suggestions give you an idea of budget, the Mesa would be a stretch but I'd rather wait and just buy the once. I think I'd prefer to buy new but as I'm experimenting it could be safer to buy used in case I have to eBay off my mistake.

So really after that rather long thread I would like to know what other tube amps there are that sound great across genre, but especially clean, and take headphones.

Or should I consider another strategy?

Many thanks,

DM
Last edited by Dangermouse1968 at Jan 1, 2016,
#2
I think it's getting very hard to justify a tube amp in this scenario. There just seems to be no real point.
#3
Quote by dspellman
I think it's getting very hard to justify a tube amp in this scenario. There just seems to be no real point.



Ok, so your recommendation would be what? To stick with my thr10, buy a better modelling amp or alternatively something like a line 6 HD300????
#4
The mesa would be nice
The 5150 III 50watt would work

Dspellman is gay for modeling and full range cabs
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#5
how low volume? if you're talking whisper or headphones, dspellman may well be right. if you're talking loud TV/action movie type volume then tube might be ok.

you realise those blackstars are hybrid rather than all-tube, right? (just making sure, if you already know and don't care, no problem)
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
I play a tube amp at low volumes, and there's no reason not to. Sounds brilliant.

I have the Carvin v3m....has a 7watt switch (it's a 50w) amp.

Most of your tube micro amps will suit you fine...and then if you ever need more power, you have it and won't have to buy another one.
#8
I can see why dspellman replied with that answer but I am thinking that in my guitar evolution I have n't really had much experience of what true tube tone is and learnt how to really use one at all.

Dave: Maybe inbetween whisper quiet and action movie levels. Yeah thanks, I've lurked around long enough to have picked up that the Blackstars are some kind of hybrid.

I have just watched vid on YouTube that freaked me out a bit, an Australian chap who looked at a Mustang III and a Fender tube amp side by side, trying to get the Mustang to model the exact tone of the tube amp. It was pretty close.

Thanks for the other suggestions guys, will check them out (in a typical YouTube kinda way!!)

My other annoyance are amps that make a background noise inbetween notes, I find that upsets my OCD ;-)
#9
Personally, I think getting the right tool for the job is what is in order.

Nothing wrong with a 1x12 tube amp in your house. I have a 40w Fender HRD combo, and plan on adding AT LEAST one more amp to my collection.

...even though I rarely get to use my HRD as designed, due to concerns about volume.

When I need to play quietly- which is often- I use a portable digital modeler (I have Korg Pandoras and a Tascam GT-R1; Boss & Line 6 and others make similar products) or my DigiTech iPB-10.

So, my advice is to separate the two wants/needs into 2 separate purchases. This isn't a binary, one or the other situation. Get the tube amp you want for when you have the opportunity to play as you please, but ALSO get a portable digital modeler or MFX pedal with a headphone jack for when you have to be quieter.

That way, your inner rock-star and your outer responsible adult are both satisfied.
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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
I agree with Danny probably need both ..... since you want to use the headphones with the amp that rules out a lot of other amp choices , of what you have listed I would get the MK V 25 , built over kill it would last a life time and can still plug in head phones when you need to , a bigger investment for sure but built for the long haul
#11
To clarify further, not only does my HRD not have a headphone jack, AFAIK, none of the amps on my wish/watch lists have one either.

As a practical matter, ignoring the headphone jack as an amp criterion keeps my options as broad as possible.

More deeply, it also means that when I buy an amp, I'm buying it for how IT sounds, not how it sounds through headphones.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
Just watched Andertons video of the 6505 mini - what a cracking amp that will appeal to many I'm sure. I'll maybe try to get a go on one but whilst the gain tones were amazing I'm not sure the cleans are what I'm after.

So ..... I still have n't found what I'm looking for ;-)
#13
Quote by Dangermouse1968
Just watched Andertons video of the 6505 mini - what a cracking amp that will appeal to many I'm sure. I'll maybe try to get a go on one but whilst the gain tones were amazing I'm not sure the cleans are what I'm after.

So ..... I still have n't found what I'm looking for ;-)

Then look at the 5150III 50watt: ch1 Fender clean, ch2 any marshallish tone you want, ch3 great modern high gain and it even has a headphone jack.

IMO much better all around than the 6505 series
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
#14
Quote by Robbgnarly
Then look at the 5150III 50watt: ch1 Fender clean, ch2 any marshallish tone you want, ch3 great modern high gain and it even has a headphone jack.

IMO much better all around than the 6505 series



Rob , with shared EQ how do you separate channels 1 and 2 on the 5150III 50 watt ???...... other heads I've seen with shared EQ had separate gain knobs for each channel to differentiate the channels , the 5150III 50 watt doesn't seem to have that .... what am I missing here ???
#15
Quote by Dangermouse1968

Dave: Maybe inbetween whisper quiet and action movie levels. Yeah thanks, I've lurked around long enough to have picked up that the Blackstars are some kind of hybrid.


yeah that's what i figured it's pretty much a judgement call you have to make yourself.

also some amps sound better at low volumes than others, and it's not always related to wattage, so unfortunately it's a matter of trying out a lot of stuff. and bear in mind that it always sounds quieter in the shop than it will at home
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Quote by Fumble fingers
Rob , with shared EQ how do you separate channels 1 and 2 on the 5150III 50 watt ???...... other heads I've seen with shared EQ had separate gain knobs for each channel to differentiate the channels , the 5150III 50 watt doesn't seem to have that .... what am I missing here ???

I think ch 1 and 2 share all controls and ch 3 is separate
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
#18
I would suggest keeping your THR for low volume practise. A great clean amp is a Fender blues junior. and if you can add distortion pedals for overdrive and distortion. Alternatively, a more Metallica tone especially the early albums, a Marshall DSL15C would do the trick. I would not suggest anything smaller than 15W as for a tube amp.

Personally, I own the 40W version of each, the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and the Marshall DSL40C. I play mostly at low volumes but I guess I would bother someone watching TV next to me. Both are good amps. I played quite a bit on the Blues Jr too. Its a nice amp. The DSL 15C I do not have that much experience using it. Also, you may try the Vox AC15, but its not my cup of tea.

15W allows you to play with others if you may require in future as 15W should be able to keep up with a drummer. Also, most amps that are rated less than 12W tend to have a significant loss in the bass response.
#19
Having been jumped on before I hesitate to suggest an nice 5W valve combo or head and speaker. Perhaps even 1W would be fine. 5W is pretty much too lound to crank in a living room.

Second hand Fender Champion 600s can be had for under £100 (pedal money) . They are small and brown and sit on a side table very inociously. You would need pedals to get a driven sound at very low volume and if you want reverb. They provide a range of clean tones straight from your guitar that you never knew you had. A real revaluation.

With a bit of work, new valves and shoe horning in an 8" speaker they can create some fabulously enveloping sounds, and all at TV watching volume.

I also have a Bugera V5. It is less discrete being black and armed with an 8" speaker and could perhaps even accommodate a 10" with work. It has the added flexibility of a 0.1W, 1W, 5W switch, gain, tone and reverb. New they are more than a second hand Champion but does provide more control. The shipped Bugera tubes aren't great and someting a bit more agresive helps the gain to do more of its thing. The original speaker (even the supposedly better Turbo Sound) isn't great and again is worth replacing. So at £150 with another £75 for tubes and speaker a great "at home" amp. It even has a headphone socket.
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.