#1
I debated on rack gear for a long time before deciding that I was going to come up with a fairly good practice (Bedroom) rig to take my playing to the next level. I've always been without amplifier for practice and now that I've been writing more I really want to be able to hear it nice and distorted.

Now the biggest problem for me here is obviously the wattage. I can easily throw together a 1x12 cab with a single speaker (IE greenback) that will provide a decent breakup at a low level. Add to that something like a Weber Minimass attenuator and I'll have a pretty good combo for either moderately quiet (speaker) or silent (attenuator) practice while retaining a decent tube feel/tone.

I'm looking for a low wattage poweramp which I can mount on a rack. I'm definitely looking under 30w. 20 or 25 would be ideal. If I can't find a good poweramp which fits my needs and price range (Under $500)

Barring that, I've also got several old tube amps I can modify/convert to poweramps and possibly even mount them in a rack, this is another option I have. How hard would this be to achieve? I have basic knowledge of electronics and I'm pretty handy with a soldering gun. I could even fab up an enclosure and powder coat it myself. The only thing is I wouldn't be sure about the specifics of said conversion (and possibly changing tube types, transformers, etc)

Trying to think of a decent pre to pair with the poweramp but it isn't as important, I'm really looking for a solution like a podxt except not shitty and rackmountable so I don't have to deal with any extra gear, I can just close up my rack and take it with me.
#2
Have you thought of an Engl Tube Toner?

EDIT: oops, POWERamp, ehh, Mesa 20/20? Or maybe a Marshall 20/20?
Last edited by El Codyo at Feb 17, 2007,
#3
Quote by El Codyo
Have you thought of an Engl Tube Toner?

EDIT: oops, POWERamp, ehh, Mesa 20/20? Or maybe a Marshall 20/20?


The tube toner was a thought but if I got that I could also just rather get one of the cheapie ENGL rack preamps that they've got floating around as well.

I'm not concerned so much with the distortion as I am the amplification side of it. I can work with alot of distortions for practice and I'm not all that picky because it'll be in my rack with my effects, gate, noise suppressor and EQ. I could easily pick up an MP-1 or a marshall JMP-1, something cheap. Maybe even a Keeley MT-2 if I really got desperate and used a pedal. I was just gonna surf ebay.


How much would the mesa/marshall cost? If mesa, I'd prefer to have a simul-class poweramp but I know they don't make them that small. They're the only mesa product I like anymore aside from the mark series (because of the simulclass power sections)

EDIT:

Basically I just want something moderately affordable to stuff in my rack to save space. I've been leaving my rig (both amps and cabs) at my rehersal spot so I have nothing to play with around the house. I'd like to be able to keep my rack at home and just bring it to gigs... So I thought of maybe building a 1x12 cab, sticking a used speaker in it and running 3-4 extra slots for a low volume practice rig for at home purposes.

Mesas are all weighing in at around $550-$600, which is more than I wanted to pay. For that much I'd rather save extra and get a simul-class poweramp

I'm open to economy suggestions such as peavey or carvin as long as they're reliable.
Last edited by xxgenocide98xx at Feb 17, 2007,
#7
I've been down this road: If it's not the Mesa/Marshall 20/20, you're not getting much smaller.

There are a few select poweramps which have real small wattage, but they're hard to hunt down and won't do great justice to tone. ie, Lexicon Signature 284

Your best bet is a conventional poweramp (wattage wise) and an attenuator.

Believe me Peavey Classic 50/50 and a Weber Mass will save you more grief than trying to isolate the poweramp of a 15 watt tube amp into a rack. Keep an eye on bargain and older brand poweramps and you'll get a steal.

PS: Cheaper Engl preamps aren't as sweet as you'd think, saturation problems ruin the party. The JMP-1 is a steaming POS as well. The MP-1 is a good option, just not stock. The 3TM pumps some good tones, as well as the Rocktron Pro-Gap, Piranha, or a Peavey Rockmaster for a few good, cheap examples.

PS: I'm not an e530 hater - it just has some saturation problems. Not to say it might not have what you're looking for (or some good tones) - I think it also might be a consistency thing because a lot of people seem to love them and see no problems with saturation.
-Mike
Last edited by HopePoisoned at Feb 17, 2007,
#8
Quote by HopePoisoned
I've been down this road: If it's not the Mesa/Marshall 20/20, you're not getting much smaller.

There are a few select poweramps which have real small wattage, but they're hard to hunt down and won't do great justice to tone. ie, Lexicon Signature 284

Your best bet is a conventional poweramp (wattage wise) and an attenuator.


I was hoping you were still lurking around here to come and post. I respect your opinions on this kind of stuff quite a bit.

I'm not really saying that the mesa/marshall are too high, more like they're too expensive for the range I want to kick down for at the moment (barring the availability of a higher paying job.)

Tone isn't as big of importance as some would think at this point. I'm not looking for an uber godlike tone, I'm just looking for something convenient that wont take up any more space than nessicary. I'd love to be able to just reach over and plug into a rack and flip it on without having to deal with a chain of pedals or a floorboard just to get my tone.


Believe me Peavey Classic 50/50 and a Weber Mass will save you more grief than trying to isolate the poweramp of a 15 watt tube amp into a rack. Keep an eye on bargain and older brand poweramps and you'll get a steal.

PS: Cheaper Engl preamps aren't as sweet as you'd think, saturation problems ruin the party. The JMP-1 is a steaming POS as well. The MP-1 is a good option, just not stock. The 3TM pumps some good tones, as well as the Rocktron Pro-Gap, Piranha, or a Peavey Rockmaster for a few good, cheap examples.

PS: I'm not an e530 hater - it just has some saturation problems. Not to say it might not have what you're looking for (or some good tones) - I think it also might be a consistency thing because a lot of people seem to love them and see no problems with saturation.


I see. I was thinking more along the lines of just mounting the entire amp into a fabbed up rack chassis (like I said, it wouldn't be hard. I'm pretty handy) and just using that. It'll have all the controls etc of the amp and I would just run the preamp into it.

Any particular poweramps to look for? Like I've been saying, this wasn't supposed to be bought right now, and since I have alittle bit of money at the moment I figure I could start piecing it together very slowly.

Like I said, though. I'm not worried too extremely much about tone. The 530 sounded like it was an option due to its decent price. I don't use all that much distortion, either. My powerball is usually around 4.

Basically I'm looking for a decent (economical) solution to a practice rig while staying away from floor-based multi-effects or cheapo distortions. Any clips would be nice. I'm basically looking for something like a 5150 or a powerball tone-wise. I'm not too picky , I have alot of gear and I'm pretty good at coming up with useable tones out of anything.

EDIT:

I found a clip of the 530 I liked. Something like that I could live with pretty easy. The clean on the amplifier also impressed me. Usually I despise clips from RockSolidAmps, but this one stood out.

http://rocksolidamps.com/mp3_player.php?ii=52&id=205

Something like that shouldn't be too bad. I could also run an overdrive in the tray to get more saturation. I'm not sure if I'd need it though, my guitars all run high output pickups (EMGs, BKP miracle man or Duncan SH-10)
Last edited by xxgenocide98xx at Feb 18, 2007,
#9
A Peavey Classic 30/30 and a modded ADA MP-1 could do really any tone you want. My guitar teacher has that set up and says he won't buy another amp.
#10
Quote by metallicaman80
A Peavey Classic 30/30 and a modded ADA MP-1 could do really any tone you want. My guitar teacher has that set up and says he won't buy another amp.


Anywhere I can get info on the classic 30/30?
#11
Yeah I suggest the Peavey Classic poweramps as well - they do very nice for great used prices. I don't know where you can get great info on it, other than saying google it.

(brb I'll edit this post if anyone sees this before I come back)
-Mike
#12
Harmony Central doesn't have much info on the 30/30 and when you google it all you get is info on the classic 30.

I don't have a problem with Peavey gear, I think its reliable as hell and personally if the poweramps are like on their classic amps that is good enough for me to use.

I'll search HRI real quick and see if anything comes up.
#13
You might get more if you search for the 50/50 or 60/60.

Anyway, the preamps I mentioned before are excellent - the Piranha is beastly and very versatile, very, very tweakable.

And when I said off brand I meant that there is a lot in store with poweramps - like one of my favorite poweramps was of the brand Paramount - it was 50 watts per side and it had el34s in it. It sounded killer. Older Mesa poweramps can come at a decent price and sound great as well - I'm not a big fan of Mesas but I must say I have been nothing but pleased with their poweramps. The new Carvin poweramp is a 50/50 and is 550 new. Great sounding, maybe you can find some Carvin on ebay for a great price. ADA poweramps are okay, maybe you could find a good deal on one.

And just for good measure if you have any solid state gear (Pod, sansamp) - the mosvalve poweramps are friggin slayers with those. They're killer deals and sound great.
-Mike
Last edited by HopePoisoned at Feb 18, 2007,
#14
I heard a clip on youtube of the Piranha and it was pretty good, relatively close to what I'd like but I definitely want to hear more.

Do you know of anywhere in particular with clips of various preamps?

I'll look into some of the poweramps you reccomended as well.

HRI has got huge since the last time I visited.. haha, that's a shitload of threads to wade thru.. Maybe the search isnt specific enough.

EDIT:

And that kid in your sig got owned. That was kind of sad..
#15
Well you can always find clips of the MP-1 on adadepot - the 3TM is a hot preamp.

But other than that I can't really hook you up with any clips, sorry.
-Mike
#16
The 3TM modded MP-1s seem rather expensive in comparison to the Piranha and E530 that I've considered... I kind of liked the tone of the latter two more as well.
#17
I love the Piranha as well, but the 3TM seems to have the going price of 250, or you could DIY for less...

But I would gladly recommend a Piranha or a Pro Gap.
-Mike
#18
Quote by xxgenocide98xx
Anywhere I can get info on the classic 30/30?


Ebay, my friend. I don't think Peavey makes them anymore.
#19
Quote by metallicaman80
Ebay, my friend. I don't think Peavey makes them anymore.


Nothing comes up for anything other than a 50/50 or 60/60.

The Piranha seems like its going to be my choice. I'll probably buy that and the E530 and see which I like more, sell the other.

Would a minimass 25w attenuator be adequate for a 20w tube amp?
#20
not really. get the 50 for a 20 watter

But I would just get the 100 or 150 watter so you could use it with a 50watt amp atleast

If you have larger rated gear, the 150 wouldn't be a bad choice for all times sake
-Mike
#21
Classic 30/30's are quite the rarity, but a 50/50 would work pretty well, too.

EDIT:

I was pretty sure 30/30's existed. I am almost positive I saw one, but my brain has been scattered lately, so a 50/50 could be the lowest wattage poweramp peavey makes. Sorry, man.
Last edited by metallicaman80 at Feb 20, 2007,
#22
I've never seen one before, I have seen the 50/50, 60/60, and I think I saw a 100/100.

But I know that both the 50/50 and 60/60 are great poweramps.
-Mike
#23
Let me explain a bit of the reasoning behind the rig.

I want a rig for at home use, both practicing and temporary recording (to record on the spot to bring to rehearsal later)

My current situation is that I have two half stacks already (one on loan to a friend) and they are at a rehearsal spot. I don't have a way to transport my cab back and forth and I don't want the hassle of dragging and potentially damaging my head back and forth for the 15 minute drive 3-4 times a week. I'd rather have it locked up under video surveillance than leaving it in my trunk or back seat while I run errands/stay out after practice ETC.

It is also very inconvenient to drag a half stack up and down stairs whilst the rest of the family sleeps at 12 AM. It is also hard to do this by yourself

I keep my effects at home and I just plug straight in at practice. My effects are soon to be rack-mounted and I figured that since I keep that at home in my room (save gigs and recording) I could set up a practice rig in my rack and after deciding that I don't want to use a cheap multi/distortion I just decided to use some moderate rack gear and move on with it.

I've thought about the larger attenuators except the more powerful units are useless to me because I don't use attenuators for my larger amps. I would only use the attenuator for my practice rig (if that..) I wouldn't need a 200w+ unit which would cost more.

I figured that a small (20w-30w) poweramp and a speaker with a low power rating would give me a sufficient level of breakup for a decent bedroom practice when I get the chance (I live in the suburbs and I'm only worried about really low volumes past 10pm. I can live with that lame unsaturated tone most of the time that late) would be the best solution. Even a small attenuator (minimass?) might help a bit more.

I honestly have no clue, though. This is mostly hypothesizing and I'm just trying to work out my purchase before I go out and spend my first paycheck in a long time on it.
#24
Well I still think 50/50 poweramps and a larger attenuator - if you're looking for tone and a good use of money

of course you could try a tube combo with a loop and see if that can work out for you....

or if you got the mesa 20/20, a 50watt attenuator should do fine
-Mike
#26
maybe, but i don't have a great low power solution on the ready that could topple 50/50+att. for price and performance
-Mike
#28
Anything you find.

I don't have a "look out for" list, but there are a handful.

Like a Peavey classic combo amp, any tube combo with an fx loop. Just keep your eyes on the bay, pawnshops, used stuff at guitar stores, and if you find a combo with a good power section have fun. Of course Peavey classic POWERAMPS come at good prices to begin with (but that + price of cab = def. more) - but I do think that having a cab (like an avatar 2x12 or something) is a very good thing.
-Mike
#29
didn't engl used to have a 20 watt poweramp? might be worth a look...

other than that, I don't know anything about rack stuff, unfortunately...

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?
#30
I have a strong doubt that that poweramp would be findable in the US, in any stretch - I also doubt it would be that much better than a Mesa 20/20. Mesa poweramps are fine pieces of equipment, although I generally prefer Engl poweramps to them (and VHTs above Engls)
-Mike
#31
^ heh, yeah, as I said, I don't know jack about it.

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?