Hey guys. I just recently purchased a new tele and I love it, but I hate the amp I am playing it through (frontman 25r). Are there any good practice amps out there under 200$ that I can pick up new? If not, I will save up for a Blues Jr. or other high quality amp. I play mainly clean tones and enjoy blues, rock, and country. I do a lot of John Mayer, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, and other similar artists. I don't need anything fancy, just something that will give me much better sound than this darned amp!
I just bought the pignose legendary 7-100. The preferd practice amp of many famous musicians, or so I'm told. I love that little thing, portable, retro, too cool. It even has an output so you can plug that **** directly into a PA. Like I said I love it, very warm sounding but it the distortion gets a little muddy at higher volumes but its perfectly audible and lightly distorted at half volume. If you got the 7-100 you'd also have plenty of cash left over. I also recently tried out the kustom tube 12a also very nice for the price. I thik I'll buy that one next ****, I'll post a link for it and the pignose too I guess. http://www.guitarcenter.com/Kustom-Tube-12A-Practice-Amp-481230-i1145535.gc
I'm pretty sure either amp will suit your needs...
Last edited by david_highland at Mar 23, 2008,
I'm not sure bout the pignose but that Kustom looks great for what I'm looking for! I just wish it had reverb...o well! Thanks for the suggestion. I will wait to see what others say as well.
Yo - I would say this amp looks pretty sick - suppose to be pretty excellent for the price. its on back order ( means mad people been snatching them up) and it came out only a few months ago so its new.


if you want a battery powered amp check out the Vox Da5 and the Roland MicroCube if not go with the Black Heart
...and that Blackheart sure isn't getting any cheaper! The stack started at $249.99 and now it is up to $299.99 and that was just a few months ago .

For practice I don't think you can beat a Fender G-DEC. There are dozens of tones and amp models in there. Plus you get drum beats and bass lines. Yopu can change tempo and the key with the twist of a knob.

You'll never gig with it but that's not what it's meant to be. It's just a practice tool.

I have three other amps I use when I play live.

Here's a link if you need one:

Last edited by KonaNuNu at Mar 23, 2008,
Roland Microcube has nice cleans and distortion. I would try that. It's about $125.
I think you should go with tube. Just because its a practice amp doesn't mean that we don't want a nice tone. Getting something like a GDEC is going backwards in my opinion. It isn't much better tonewise than a Frontman. The Blackhearts are good (I've heard, I don't own one) as well as the Epiphone Valve Juniors (would handle Blues, Rock and Country nicely). Plus the Valve Junior is under $200. You might want to invest in pedals later in life, but for now I think it would be a great little amp.
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Go with one of the cheaper 5W Tube Amps (in order): Blackheart, Peavey Valveking Royal 8, Epiphone Valve Junior, Fender Champ 600, Palomino V8

And get an attenuator (Weber MASS). This will allow you to saturate the power tubes for great clean tones, but at a low volume (quiet enough to play in a house with other people / with neighbours). The Blackheart and Valveking have Gain & Master Volume which means you can also saturate the preamp tubes as well, without needing an overdrive pedal or boost.

The Hybrid Tube/Solid State amps, with Tube preamp stages, like Valvetronix and the Marshalls, wont be any good for what you want, because you can only get preamp tube breakup, you want the power tube saturation which only comes from cranking an amp right up (which is why you need the attenuator to keep the volume down).
This is a newb question, but can someone explain to me the advantage of a half stack amp? I have a lot of research to do and I plan to do some more reading on the function of the different amps. In particular I am wondering if it possible to use just the amp head for the time being. Also, if the controls on an amp do list for example, overdrive or reverb do I have to purchase a pedal to achieve those desired results? I apologize in advance for the newb questions.
The advantage of a half stack amp is that you have an amp head and a separate speaker cabinet. Whereas a combo amp will have the speaker built in, and in the case of low end amps that usually means it's a smaller size and doesn't sound quite as good.

If you just want it for practice it's not really a big difference, so if there's a big difference in price it's not worth it.

e.g. the Epiphone Junior, you can get that as a combo amp cheaply but it only has an 8" speaker and it doesn't sound quite as good as having the half stack, but that's almost twice as expensive.

With the Blackheart though it's only an extra $20 for the half-stack so that is a great deal. That is the amp you really should get. If not, then get a combo like the peavey Valveking Royal 8 or epiphone valve junior.

If the amp lists reverb and overdrive then you don't need a pedal, but which amp are you looking at?

If you play clean blues/country/rock then I really think you want a tube amp, and that's all there is to say. You can buy a reverb pedal afterwards, and it will be far better than anything you'll get on a low-end amp.
Last edited by 7thSon at Mar 23, 2008,