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#1
So, I'm home for the weekend, and while I have my acoustic at school, I really miss being able to play an electric. I'm thinking about going to Guitar Center and trying out the Valve Junior, the Crate Palomino, and the Fender Champ and picking one of them up to take back to school with me.

Reason for this is because the Traynor (YCV40WR) I have now is way too big and loud for my dorm room and I can't stand my Vox (DA15) because I seem to have been spoiled by the wonderful organic responsiveness that I can get out of my tube Traynor (I never knew picking dynamics could do so much!). That's why I'm looking at one of these to take back to school with me. I am pretty awful with soldering and stuff, so I won't be doing any mods to these (no matter how easy anybody says modding a VJ is) and I don't really want to spend that much on it, no more than $200 probably.

I play mainly cleans-classic rock, so I don't really need too much distortion. I'd be running either a Fender Standard MIM strat, a Carvin DC125 or a Schecter C-1 Classic into it (mostly the Fender- that may be upgraded around Christmastime to a 50's Classic Series strat) and I don't have any pedals (although a clean boost or an OD might be added in the near future).

So, summary:
Guitars: Fender Standard Strat, Schecter C-1 Classic, Carvin DC125
Pedals: none
Future Upgrades: Fender Classic 50s series strat, clean boost or OD
Music Style: cleans-classic rock

Amp Choices-
Epiphone Valve Junior head + cab
Fender Champ 600
Crate Palomino V8
None of the above- provide alternate choice please
And I would love to hear reasons why too.

EDIT: I guess I should say that as of now, I'm leaning towards the VJ, but not for any particular reason. I WILL try it out before I buy it, I'm just trying to do some research before I trek over to Guitar Center.
Last edited by gibsonpenguin at Oct 6, 2007,
#2
i LOVE my palomino

its really loud when it needs to be
its got an amazing gain stage
and great cleans
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#3
I also love palominos. I'm getting one in about a month.
Quote by kyrreca
You could get $1000 custom made pickups hand wired with Eric Johnsons pubic hair, and they'd still sound pretty bad through a ****ty solid state practice amp.

Quote by Geetar_Axel
Really? I thought Frontmans where highly respected around here?!
#4
Which versions do you guys have/are you getting? Are you getting one of the MIA ones or the new ones made in Vietnam? I've heard that there are a lot of quality control issues on the new MIV ones, do you know anything about that?
#5
You really don't have to do much research; just go to the shop and play them all for as long as they'll let you.

You will know which one to get.
#6
Well, I suppose research might not have been the proper word. I guess I just wanted to see what suggestions people would have/see what other people thought of the amps/see if there was anything else I should look into/etc.
#7
Out of those I'd say the fender champ. But check out the peavey royal 8 as well, it's a great amp.
#8
I also like the V8 the best. I think you get the most for your money with that one. Gain and tone controls, and a bigger speaker.

That said, you might be better off with the Champion. Five watts tube is still damn loud. Too loud to crank that Palomino in a dorm (although it's the only one you could get strictly pre-amp gain from). The Fender is the quietest of the three (with the smallest speaker), and offers great cleans.

But like mr_hankey said, go try 'em.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#9
Oh!

I played..a Palomino at GC last time i went, with a Schecter C1 Classic!
I don't remember which one it was...it was small-ish and..was tan with a gold grill.But i don't remember the numbers written on it, sorryyy
=/

BUT!

I don't know why, but i didn't even look at the settings, i just hooked it up and played it. It was on a clean..so i guess...it was on a clean channel? But it sounded really good...

Not much help, because i was interested in the guitar.
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#10
Quote by slatsmania
I also like the V8 the best. I think you get the most for your money with that one. Gain and tone controls, and a bigger speaker.

That said, you might be better off with the Champion. Five watts tube is still damn loud. Too loud to crank that Palomino in a dorm (although it's the only one you could get strictly pre-amp gain from). The Fender is the quietest of the three (with the smallest speaker), and offers great cleans.

But like mr_hankey said, go try 'em.

I'm going to try them either later today or tomorrow, don't worry.

You say the champ might be my best bet because it's the quietest?

And I was looking more at the VJ stack than the combo.
#11
Quote by gibsonpenguin
You say the champ might be my best bet because it's the quietest?


Yeah, in that you could get the complete tube driven sound at the lowest volumes with this one. I have a little Harmony with a 6" Jensen in it that's probably only 2 or 3W, and it's great for lower volume practice. Same thing with the Champ.

Quote by gibsonpenguin
And I was looking more at the VJ stack than the combo.


Well, that'll run you more money than the V8 for what I'd consider to be less of an amp. I own the VJ head, but I would never've bought it if I didn't already have a cab. That little stack is cute and all, but it's no great value.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#12
Quote by slatsmania
Yeah, in that you could get the complete tube driven sound at the lowest volumes with this one. I have a little Harmony with a 6" Jensen in it that's probably only 2 or 3W, and it's great for lower volume practice. Same thing with the Champ.


Well, that'll run you more money than the V8 for what I'd consider to be less of an amp. I own the VJ head, but I would never've bought it if I didn't already have a cab. That little stack is cute and all, but it's no great value.

Cool, thanks for your help slats, and mr hankey too. And everybody else too- but slats and mr. hankey are two of the people that I respect most on this board.

If anybody else has any input that'd be great too. I just gotta go try them out. It's hard to tell my family that on my first weekend home from college this year I'd rather spend a lot of time trying out guitar stuff rather than spending time with them, haha.
#13
I have the VJ half stack, and I love mine. It will be too much to crank in a dorm room. But, with the half stack you can add an attenuator to get the nice tube sound.
#14
^If I wanted to use an attenuator, then I would just attenuate my Traynor. However, I'm just looking for something smaller, portable and less expensive to keep in my dorm room.
#15
I would lean toward the Palomino or the Peavey Royal 8 because both have a master volume. The Royal 8 also has a headphone jack (don't know how good it sounds through headphones though.) 5 watts will still be pretty loud to crank in a dorm so the master makes these more attractive.
#16
I live in a dorm, and my current rig is a (slightly) modded VJ into a 2x12". Even before I modded it, the amp (cranked about halfway) with a Bad Monkey makes a sweet < $200 classic rock rig (if you have a cab already). No one minds the VJ half cranked (even if it is loud) 'cause the douche accross the hall is playing Fergie at 300 decibils, and the nerd next door won't turn off ****ing CSPAN!
#18
So I just got back from Guitar Center a little while ago, and the only one they had in was the Fender Champ. Which I thought was pretty lame, because last time I went in there, they had a little wall with a Crate V8, a VJ, a Pro Junior, a Champ, a Royal 8, and various other practice amps.

However, I liked the Champ a lot, I know that it didn't get as dirty when turned up as the EVJ. (Although I tried the VJ a long time ago and don't remember it that well).

I'm not really sure what to do since they didn't have the V8 or the Valve Junior in. Would a V32 (the only Palomino they had) compare to it at all? Should I just stick with the Champ? Would a Digitech Bad Monkey be a decent OD to throw in front of it?
#19
I have the Champ and I play it with a bad monkey and it sounds good. I have to keep the bass eq on the pedal below 50% though, cus it muddys up with the 6" speaker.


I honestly wish I had gotten the crate instead though, it has better crunch, and a better speaker. I would wait and try it if I were you.
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Last edited by GuitarNinja12 at Oct 6, 2007,
#20
I don't think you would be able to keep a V32 down low enough for what you want. IMO you'd be better off with an online order for a V8
Quote by kyrreca
You could get $1000 custom made pickups hand wired with Eric Johnsons pubic hair, and they'd still sound pretty bad through a ****ty solid state practice amp.

Quote by Geetar_Axel
Really? I thought Frontmans where highly respected around here?!
#22
I've heard that plugging the new Champ into a 1x12 really makes it sound better, but that'd be out of your budget.
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#23
I liked the Peavey Valveking Royal 8 the best compared to the Champ and VJ. So I bought it.
But I never tried the Palomino. The Royal 8 is great because it has a master volume and tone control along with the headphone jack. And I love the sound I get with it.
#24
i haven't tried the royal 8, but i'd have to suggest the palomino v8, because with the VJ, you're gonna have to crank it quite a bit to get a fair amount of gain.

while with the palomino you can get pre-amp gain and/or poweramp OD. just my favorite little amp.
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#25
I didn't mean that I could use a V32 in place of the Palomino, I meant would I be able to test out the V32 and have that be a decent representation of the V8, just bigger.

I don't see the Royal 8 on MusiciansFriend, so I have my doubts about whether or not they'll have it at Guitar Center. Anybody remember how much it is?

Does anybody have any thoughts on the Digitech Bad Monkey? Or would I be better off just saving for something pricier better like a Maxon or an OCD?
#26
^Never played one but I hear it's pretty good for the price. If you don't have much money and need an OD that might be something to look into.
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#28
^ Pretty much no. You can get Peavey Nano Valves, Royal Eights, Valve Juniors, Champs and rebranded VJs though.
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#29
I tried all three combos, and the head VJ a while back. I like the VJ head through a 2x12 greenback loaded cab best, great for classic rock! The Champ has a terrible stock speaker, but I heard on with a custom Weber AlNiCo speaker once and that was pretty sweet. The Palimino had good OD, okay cleans, it was probably 2nd best of all of them.
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#30
So I think my plan is:
Go back to Guitar Center today. Ask if they have a Valve Junior, Crate V8, or Peavey Royal 8 in stock that I can try out. If they do, get them to bring one out from the back and let me try it. If not, see if I can try the Champ with a Bad Monkey and see how it goes.

I did like the Champ a lot, but from what you guys say the Palomino is much better, so I'm definitely going to try and give that one a shot.

Any other input?
#31
Quote by gibsonpenguin
So I think my plan is:
Go back to Guitar Center today. Ask if they have a Valve Junior, Crate V8, or Peavey Royal 8 in stock that I can try out. If they do, get them to bring one out from the back and let me try it. If not, see if I can try the Champ with a Bad Monkey and see how it goes.

I did like the Champ a lot, but from what you guys say the Palomino is much better, so I'm definitely going to try and give that one a shot.

Any other input?



Quote by kyrreca
You could get $1000 custom made pickups hand wired with Eric Johnsons pubic hair, and they'd still sound pretty bad through a ****ty solid state practice amp.

Quote by Geetar_Axel
Really? I thought Frontmans where highly respected around here?!
#32
might as well try the peavey royal 8 too.

other than that just try them to see which you like best... i've only tried the valve junior and the royal 8, and both are nice in their own way...

EDIT: dang beaten to it.

Just make sure you can turn it up, and use a similar guitar to your own... that's about it, really.
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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
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Oct 7, 2007,
#33
get a marshall MG...they have t3h br00talz

Seriously though...my money is on the crate or the fender champ. crate is going to do heavier stuff better than the fender though
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#34
So I just got back from Guitar Center again. The guy there plugged me into an MG mini-stack. I had my doubts at first but man, the distortion was absolutely crushing! I knew it was the amp for me.





But seriously. Frustration ensued when I went back and nothing had changed (including the 50's Classic Players strat I broke the string on- sitting on the same stand, with the same broken string). I asked an employee if they had any Valve Juniors and he said they were in the computer, but he couldn't find any in the stockroom. I asked about the Palomino and he immediately knew what I was talking about- but they're out of stock. I told him what I was looking for and he said that the Crate was awesome. Although it kind of confused me because he was the same guy who was telling me how sweet the Valve Junior was when I was playing the mini-stack version at the beginning of the summer. I figured he wasn't entirely out for a commission since he didn't really push the Fender Champ on me (and they're the same price). And due to UG and the Guitar Center guy singing so much praise for the Palomino, I've decided to wait to try one out before I make my purchase. I'm just kind of annoyed because I probably won't be able to make said purchase now until like Thanksgiving, unless I decide to come home again before that, which I don't really have much reason to. I guess I might bump this thread when that happens to let you know how it pans out.
#35
Quote by gibsonpenguin
So I just got back from Guitar Center again. The guy there plugged me into an MG mini-stack. I had my doubts at first but man, the distortion was absolutely crushing! I knew it was the amp for me.




Ohh man, that had my sides hurting.
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#36
yeah, let us know. if you're patient, you might as well wait to try it so you know it's what you want...

good one about the mg too...
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?
#37
gibsonpenguin you sound like a guy with a lot of patience. And if more people where like you they would own better equipment.

So good job on waiting to hear/play them all first. I know some people don't have the chance to be as thorough as they would like but some people just won't wait and buy the first pretty thing they see.

I own a VJ and am very happy with my choice, but i do want to have one of those Palominos. Its pretty cool when you get a good selection to choose from.
epic7734
#38
^ +1

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?
#39
Quote by gibsonpenguin
So I just got back from Guitar Center again. The guy there plugged me into an MG mini-stack. I had my doubts at first but man, the distortion was absolutely crushing! I knew it was the amp for me.



i thought you were serious for a sec, and all my hopes for teh people of planet earth vanished in a heartbeat. but, of course were immediately restored when i gazed upon the smiley.

my VJ is in the mail as we speak, but i wish i had even HEARD of the palomino before hand. maybe i'll have to grab one of those two and stereo those bad boys. and the thing about these low-wattage single ended tube amps that are all the craze now that i think gets overlooked (as it really isn't SO important) is how damn sexy they are! a lot of good equipment is ugly. a lot of bad equipment is pretty. here we have both in BOTH cases, so you really can't go horribly wrong. they're in the same ballpark. good luck. and down with guitar center!!! i swear, more people with enough money need to start opening music shops and counter these guys' regime. at least at MF (same company, believe it or not) you don't have to deal with crappy stock management or "metal mitch"'s suggestions on MGs.
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#40
^Yeah, agreed.

I don't really like Guitar Center either, but they usually have a decent selection (of the "mainstream" stuff) and it feels a lot more open so to speak- like, I'm not really afraid of going in, picking something up, and trying it out (except for being incredibly self-conscious of my playing of course). Compared to a smaller more boutique type shop back home, that has a lot of cool really expensive stuff, but with the way it's set up and how the staff acts, I'd be afraid of picking anything up and even more afraid of plugging it in.

I'm just kinda frustrated because now I'm back at school, no decent shops around (that I know of...) and I only have my acoustic, which I don't really have as much fun playing it seems. I'm not really sure when my next chance to go home is either, but hopefully whenever it is, they'll have some Palominos.
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