#1
Hi there!

I found this old thread: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1287627&highlight=small+tube+effect+loop

Since I am thinking somewhat along the same lines and that thread now is (close to) five years old I dare ask the same question again. The Blackstar HT-5 seems like a nice little amp for my mostly blues bedroom noodling but the price tag seems a bit steep to me. I was thinking more into the Jet City range but their specs seem to indicate that they are louder.

I am looking for suggestions on a small tube amp (preferably a combo) priced around the same as Jet City's smaller models that I (in due time) will be able to pair up with some sort of "bells and whistles" multi effects processor like Atomic Amplifi, Boss ME-80 or maybe a Line 6 HD 500 - just to be able to have some fun once in a while.

For now I play an Epiphone Les Paul "Standard Plus Top Pro" that I may or may not change for a Gibson ES-339 in a year or two. I am into Joe Bonamassa and the likes - nice sustain but not too much of af driven sound.

Any suggestions, please?
#3
the blackstar is hybrid rather than all-tube- if you don't care, that's ok, but you said you wanted a tube head, so...

the jet cities are all-tube. probably a little louder if you want to crank them, but if the jet city is too loud to crank the blackstar probably is too, and if you're ok with turning them down then either would probably be ok in terms of volume (assuming you don't have to play at whisper volumes).

some of the jet cities have the loop in a kind of a silly place. and also the loops tend to be line level so you need to be sure the pedals you want to use will work in them. http://www.guitarampboard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1615
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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?
#4
a lot of people think that less watts=quieter. that is not always the truth for usability. at one meter at one watt through a celestion V30 produces ~101dB or so. that is loud. here is another quick spec. 100 watts is only TWICE as loud as 10.

the low wattage amps are giving people the impression that you can get the poweramp tubes cooking. that isn't the reality in most cases, as in most cases, it is too loud. what you get with more wattage is headroom.

also lower or higher wattage does NOT mean that it will function better at the volume you use it at.

i would personally look at a jet city combo. the blackstar is hybrid and mediocre at best. IMO.
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#5
^ +1 (other than the blackstar's being mediocre, I haven't tried it).

if you're after joe bonamassa tones i'm guessing some of the lower gain jet cities would be worth a look, but i haven't tried them.
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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?
#6
Meh I'd shy away from Jet City. They're cheap Chinese budget amps. Check out a Blackstar HT and whatever the small VHT is called. If you're interested in some more gain Randall's Diavlos are pretty cool too
#9
Quote by Baconjerky
Meh I'd shy away from Jet City. They're cheap Chinese budget amps. Check out a Blackstar HT and whatever the small VHT is called. If you're interested in some more gain Randall's Diavlos are pretty cool too


vht is more budget than jet city. and made in china.

and blackstars are made in korea i think (or at least they used to be)
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?
#10
Honestly, for a Bonamassa type sound one of the Jet City amps is likely your best bet on a budget.

I've only tried the original HT-5 combo with a 10" speaker and thought it sounded pretty lacklustre at any volume. I guess the current 12" version is likely better, but still, seems like crap value for money when there's JCA amps around.
Also take a look at the Laney Cub12 for good measure. Not as gainy as the JCA, but maybe alright for your needs.
#11
A Randall diavlo for bonamassa? Okay then...
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#12
Quote by Baconjerky
Meh I'd shy away from Jet City. They're cheap Chinese budget amps. Check out a Blackstar HT and whatever the small VHT is called. If you're interested in some more gain Randall's Diavlos are pretty cool too

such a miss informed post
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#13
The Carvin Vintage 16 might not have an effects loop, but the Nomad and V3Mc definitely do.

http://www.carvinaudio.com/products/vintage16
http://www.carvinaudio.com/products/nomad
http://www.carvinaudio.com/products/v3mc
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 30, 2016,
#14
Well shit I apologize for the suggestions. Still think Jet Cities are turd boxes though
#15
Quote by TheQuailman

Also take a look at the Laney Cub12 for good measure. Not as gainy as the JCA, but maybe alright for your needs.


I always forget about them because i haven't tried them. aren't they more or less an 800 preamp? if so they'd probably be better for JB than the jet cities.
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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?
#16
Quote by Dave_Mc
I always forget about them because i haven't tried them. aren't they more or less an 800 preamp? if so they'd probably be better for JB than the jet cities.

Yeah, I just looked it up and it's pretty much the same preamp, I didn't even know that. Good point man.

It's worth noting though that the Cub10 is completely different though.
#17
Quote by Baconjerky
Well shit I apologize for the suggestions. Still think Jet Cities are turd boxes though

that is fine, not everyone likes them, but the reason I was ragging you is because all the other amps you listed are also cheap Chinese budget amps


The laney Cub 12 is a good suggestion. I forget about them too dave
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#18
If it were me, I'd pick up a Carvin Nomad (new, at the moment, they're $552, but used around $350-400). http://www.carvinaudio.com/products/nomad
US-made.

This is a 50W EL84-based two-channel 1x12 combo amp (clean, gain channel) with an FX loop and more. It's relatively compact, fairly lightweight, and if you buy a new one, splash for the Vintage 30 speaker as an option. Used, same deal. While you're considering, google Hasserl Mods. These are inexpensive modifications that can be applied (I have the stage II mods in my chassis) and that are very worthwhile when you've got more money to throw at it.

Here's the thing with 5W and 10W amps. When the Epiphone Valve Jr first showed up, it was $99 and the thinking was, "Wow, a real tube amp for a hundred bucks. How can you go wrong?" and they became extremely popular. Folks offered modifications for them that were easy (usually) and that extended their capabilities. Some of those modifications were insane (I have a Mercury Magnetics-modded one that cost $290 for the parts and another $140 to have it done right. For a $99 amp!).

When manufacturers slithered onto this bandwagon, they created "value added" modifications and suddenly the stupid things were $500.

Make no mistake; you're not getting an amp designed for the bedroom by getting a 5W or 10W piece. You still can't dime them without having the neighbors shoot through the walls. So if you can have a gig-worthy amp with a LOT more headroom (you're simply going to use the volume knob to keep from having to add quarter-inch steel to the wallboard) for near the same price, I very much suggest it.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 31, 2016,
#19
Quote by dannyalcatraz
The Carvin Vintage 16 might not have an effects loop, but the Nomad and V3Mc definitely do.

http://www.carvinaudio.com/products/vintage16
http://www.carvinaudio.com/products/nomad
http://www.carvinaudio.com/products/v3mc



Danny , there is a guy on the Carvin forum that showed how to install a effects loop on the VT16 and it didn't cost 20.00 ......... I also agree on the Carvin Belair and Nomad , I have the head version and it's sweet amp that don't break the Bank account
#20
That's good to know. That could be a real solution for the OP and those like him. But I'm not the handy sort, though. If I tried to wire something myself, it is likely I'd commit solder me.
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!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 31, 2016,
#21
Quote by dannyalcatraz
That's good to know. That could be a real solution for the OP and those like him. But I'm not the handy sort, though. If I tried to wire something myself, it is likely I'd commit solder me.



you could probably have a local amp tech install , it looks straight forward and don't think it would cost much to have it professionally installed

http://www.carvinforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1017
#22
Bookmarked!
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!
#23
Quote by dannyalcatraz
That's good to know. That could be a real solution for the OP and those like him. But I'm not the handy sort, though. If I tried to wire something myself, it is likely I'd commit solder me.




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#24


I vill be here all ze veek. Please to tip your waitresses.
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!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 31, 2016,
#25
Well, I'm not handy i any way, so I wouldn't be able to install an effects loop myself.

But there has been interesting advice here, and I will look into the Laney Cub 12 as there is a store that sells those close to where I live. Otherwise I am still considering the JCA head with a Harley Benton cab.

Thanks for all your input!
#26
JCA's have line level loops. Could be a problem with lots of gear.
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#27
^ yeah. that link i posted lists stuff which is known to work in them.
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?
#29
Quote by Skotland
Have you looked into the Orange series? The Tiny Terror really delivers!


A little more (almost too) pricey - and no effects loop as far as I can see...
Last edited by AllanAnd at Feb 2, 2016,
#30
Quote by AllanAnd
A little more (almost too) pricey - and no effects loop as far as I can see...

The Orange #4 Terror head features a tube-driven FX Loop. Sounds awesome