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#1
Hello,

I am looking for a small tube combo (better no more than 10 kg) with a good vintage-style sound assuming that I would like to use it with my Fender Stratocaster.
From the effects I am interesting only in a good-quality reverb + possibility to connect with an external looper pedal is very desirable !!
For this dimensions I have found only Vox AC4 blue edition, (however I am not sure that this will be fine for my case) as well as bugera v22 and Peavey Classic 30 (but its very big!).

I will be thankful for everyone for any suggestions!

J.
Last edited by James Starlight at Jul 31, 2017,
#3
What do you consider vintage sound? And how much do you want to spend?
Hooper drives the boat chief...
#4
I am interesting in the sound of Classical Rock from UK 1970th (Pink Floyd) or 1980th (Chris Rea)
I'd like to spend around 300 euro.
for this I can buy now  AC4 "blue edition" (around 250)
or Classic 30 (around 350).

I think AC 30 is more functional - its easy to connect to external looper. And the sound is less crunch 
#5
I was going to suggest the Carvin Vintage 16, but it may be too pricey in Europe.
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!
#6
So, assuming that Classic 30 is really good amp (but it has a big size ) what someone could tell me regarding VOX AC4 "blue edition" ? Is it possible to add to this amp reverb, looper and other effects? (I didn't find there FX loop)
What the sound quality should be expected compared to Classic 30 ?

Thanks !

J,
#7
Quote by James Starlight
So, assuming that Classic 30 is really good amp (but it has a big size ) what someone could tell me regarding VOX AC4 "blue edition" ? Is it possible to add to this amp reverb, looper and other effects? (I didn't find there FX loop)
What the sound quality should be expected compared to Classic 30 ?

Thanks !

J,

I am not the biggest fan of the AC4. You can run effects into the front input of the amp, but if you are driving the amp hard your delays and verbs may sound not very good as they will distort the amp. The AC4 has really low headroom (on purpose) but it is a little too low headroom in my opinion, especially if you are wanting to use effects as well. Plus the tiny cabinet and 10 inch speaker are not going to do you any favors. If you want a "vintage sound" as in the small, boxy, ratty tube amp of days of old, then yes the AC4 would work.

But for 70's-80s classic rock, which typically involves bigger and more stout amps, the Classic 30 would do you well methinks. The Classic 30 is kind of a take on a VOX circuit; it could maybe be viewed as a VOX with bluesy flavorings. Plus it has an effects loop so your delays and verbs will come out pristine. And you should have plenty of headroom if you need to do gigs.

Another option could be something like the older version of Peavey ValveKing (found used). The clean channel is based on a Fender circuit, the lead channel is based on a Marshall circuit. You can get vintage tones out of it for sure, and it might save you a bit of $ as well. Although the stock speaker is often considered not very good, you might want to swap it for a Vintage 30.
#8
Sure, C30 seems for me much more functional but its dimensions are really big. In one year I will need to transfer this amp via airplane :-)
Are there some other smaller tube amps (up to 10kg) however with broad spectrum of options like FX loop? 
#9
Quote by James Starlight
Sure, C30 seems for me much more functional but its dimensions are really big. In one year I will need to transfer this amp via airplane :-)
Are there some other smaller tube amps (up to 10kg) however with broad spectrum of options like FX loop? 


Tall order I mean that isn't much weight for a tube amp to begin with. A classic 30 is going to weigh 50 lbs but can do what you want. A valveking weighs about the same.
#10
How about the mini head versions - VK II 20mh and Classic Mh?

Pair those with a small 112 cab - maybe a speaker with a neo magnet to keep the weight down.

When you fly only take the head and borrow/rent a cab or go direct to the PA from the mh.
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
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I was going to suggest the Carvin Vintage 16, but it may be too pricey in Europe.


And it's a bit too heavy. He's looking for cheap, lightweight stuff.

I'd also recommend the Vintage 16 or even the Carvin Nomad, but both are over the 10kg and $350 pricetag.

I think the thing we need to impart to the OP is that tube combos tend to be heavy and more expensive. The Epiphone Valve Junior, surely a minimalist amp that would fit his specs, is still around 25 pounds, and it's only got an 8" speaker. A good tube combo imposes the penalty of good transformers and their weight and the weight of a competent magnet on a speaker (neo-based speakers are lighter, but more expensive).

If it were me, I'd recommend something solid state (which makes it both less expensive and less heavy).
#12
yep, the ss amps also can be considered here (with a particular models  where looper can be easy added) taking into account that I am playing alot of bossa jazz tunes with clean sound (that's why I am initially considered AC4). En example with roland AC33:  
but this sound with strat I don't like at all :-)

it was much better with super champ x2:
#13
Quote by dspellman
And it's a bit too heavy. He's looking for cheap, lightweight stuff.

I'd also recommend the Vintage 16 or even the Carvin Nomad, but both are over the 10kg and $350 pricetag.

I think the thing we need to impart to the OP is that tube combos tend to be heavy and more expensive. The Epiphone Valve Junior, surely a minimalist amp that would fit his specs, is still around 25 pounds, and it's only got an 8" speaker. A good tube combo imposes the penalty of good transformers and their weight and the weight of a competent magnet on a speaker (neo-based speakers are lighter, but more expensive).

If it were me, I'd recommend something solid state (which makes it both less expensive and less heavy).


yeah pretty much. maybe one of the mini/lunchbox tube heads and a 1x12 cab (maybe with neo speaker?). But that still may be too big and heavy.
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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?
#14
but for small bed-room VOX AC4 10 will be fine? I have read that only the major drawback of that amplif is lack of the head-room which is not crucial for my case ( I am playing in small room with clean sound).
I am not sure what the difference between 10 and 12 speaker for 4 W amplif but AC4 can be connected with the external speaker (not sure if it reasonable)
Will AC4 be good with the external pedal effects assuming that it will be pluged via input of the amplif?

P.S. give me more models plz of good small heads :-) For Vintage sound I have found in local shops only VOX night-train for range of 250-300 euro.

Thanks!

J.
#15
Laney has some lower wattage heads out too that may work - the Cub series and the LionHeart.  Never heard or played either so take this for what it's worth. . . 
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. . .
#16
Quote by Guitaraxe
The VOX AC4 "blue edition" is a sweet little amp. 

Swap the tubes with 12ax7 Electro Harmonix and JJ EL84, and swap the speaker with a Jensen C10Q which gives a lot more bass, and I promise you happiness...  
#17
Quote by James Starlight
but for small bed-room VOX AC4 10 will be fine? I have read that only the major drawback of that amplif is lack of the head-room which is not crucial for my case ( I am playing in small room with clean sound).
I am not sure what the difference between 10 and 12 speaker for 4 W amplif but AC4 can be connected with the external speaker (not sure if it reasonable)
Will AC4 be good with the external pedal effects assuming that it will be pluged via input of the amplif?

P.S. give me more models plz of good small heads :-) For Vintage sound I have found in local shops only VOX night-train for range of 250-300 euro.

Thanks!

J.


yeah for home volumes 4 watts should easily be enough headroom

bigger speakers usually sound bigger but also usually a bit louder. depends on the specific speaker, though.

i haven't tried the ac4 so that's only general advice.

vht special 6 or special 6 ultra will do the fendery thing. QC can be a bit patchy, though.
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?
#19
Here a couple of additonal questions:
does the VOX AC 10 C1 better than AC4 blue ?

What about Vox Adio Air GT (how that accoustic staff compared to roland AC33) ?

J.
#20
Quote by James Starlight
Here a couple of additonal questions:
does the VOX AC 10 C1 better than AC4 blue ?

What about Vox Adio Air GT (how that accoustic staff compared to roland AC33) ?

J.


The AC10 has 10watts and built in digital reverb which would make it better (imo) if one wanted those additional spec's. They both use the same 1x10 speaker iirc. The AC4 also comes in a 1x12 version which might be a better fit if you do not like a 1x10 configuration and/or do not have cab options for either the 1x10 AC10 or AC4.
#22
Quote by James Starlight
Laney VC15-110 Limited Edition Old English White
What's about that guy?

J.


I haven't heard the model, but checking out the spec's online it seems to have a bit going for it ...15 watts, high/ low input, reverb (prol' digital), 2 foot switchable channels, FX loops, ext speaker jacks....
#23
yep
it seems as a very functional amp,
+ made in UK (compared to present VOX which are m.i.c.) 
and the price for the second hand is about 350 euro.
#24
James Starlight check out the Laney cub 12r if you are on a tight budget, I own one and can say it can suit most of your needs. It weighs around ~11-12 kgs, got a 12 inch speaker, built in reverb and an FX loop. It's a single channel 15W which gives you plenty of headroom for the cleans, and a >1W input if you want to get bluesy break up on lower volumes. It does certainly does have a vintagy vibe to it and i got one used for about 200 euros.
I'm not sure how it would sound with a strat as I do not own one or any guitars with single coils, but do try it out it might the amp you're looking for.
#25
nemo178 Hi, that is also UK crafter model or m.i.C? 
What principal difference betwen it and Laney VC15-110, besides 12 inc speaker ?

Thanks!

J,
#26
James Starlight I think its made in China, I'll make sure once i get home.

I haven't really tried the VC series, but the principle difference just specs wise would be single channel (cub) and 2 separate channels (VC)

I just dial a clean tone on my cub and get my distortion from a pedal (RAT2), but a dual channel would be ideal especially if it has separate eqs
#27
BTW could someone give me a possible improvements of The VOX AC4 "blue edition" e.g via changing the native lamps? 
Also I found that people use it with external mic during live sessions? What kind of external amplifiers are good to work with it? 
#28
i'm not sure i'd worry that much about the tubes... in my experience you're talking minor, pretty subtle improvements.

changing the speaker is usually a much better idea (if the stock speaker is crap). that will usually make a big difference.
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
I am not sure if addition of 12 inch speaker will changes dramatically the sound of the 4 watt combo :-)
BTW how the effect pedals can be added assuming absence of FX loop? I think it is not a good idea to join the reverb (like EHX hole grain)  to the input, isn't it? What about small looper processor like Vox VDL1 dynamic looper? 
#30
.. and if the guitar processor is possible for the AC4, which one should be better- VOX VDL-1 Dynamic or Zoom3x or Zoom5?

Thanks!
#31
naw a new speaker will massively improve almost any amp- if its stock speaker is crap and if you like the new speaker. the watts thing doesn't really matter. if the stock 10" speaker is crap (I dunno, I haven't tried the amp), changing it for a good 10" will be the single biggest change you can do.

the loop depends... you're right, things like reverb usually like to be in a loop, at least if you're using the amp's preamp distortion. the looper depends... probably better in a loop but i'm not sure it's just as bad as reverb or delay.

i'm not sure about the processor, i haven't tried either.
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?
#32
Well the available effects loop in small low cost amps is usually crap, so removing that from your wants list opens up a lot of possibilities.  The AC4 is a good choice, also a Fender Pro Jr, Blues Jr, Super Champ XD, Laney Cub.  You can use a looper pedal in front of any of these amps and get a good vintage tube tone.  The Laney and some of the Fenders have legit onboard reverb and the SC has delay and Vox voicing as well.  

Vintage tube tone is a game I play.  Lots of good choices once you accept that low cost amps have inherently bad effects loop circuits.
"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
#34
Yep, so the guitar processor with a built-in looper like Zoom should be a good trade off for the AC4 which lack of the FX loop.
Which guitar processor should be better for AC4 assuming that I am going to use it in the input of amplif preventing a vintage sound?

Thanks!!
#35
UP: still the same question regarding the chosing of the looper pedal for AC4 blue.
Does the Vox VDL1  can be connected just to input of the amplifier? Any other suggestions?

James
#36
Vintage basically means reverb most of the time - so budget that in. A Fender Blues Junior would make sense.  The AC 4 sounds great, but it has zero headroom, so keep that in mind.  

I would run an amp primarily clean and use pedals for overdrive if you plan on using a looper. 
#37
but theretically the looper processor is possible to join with AC4 just plugin it to the input of the amplif ?
So I plug guitar to looper proc and the out of looper proc join with the  input of the AC 4. Doest it seems OK?
#39
Does it possible also with the stereo loopers like Electro Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper? I have noticed a big output impedance in both output channels of that guy  which is about 330 ohms. 
#40
Quote by James Starlight
Does it possible also with the stereo loopers like Electro Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper? I have noticed a big output impedance in both output channels of that guy  which is about 330 ohms. 

It's a guitar pedal - it will work. 
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