#1
So, after 2 years of solid state crap, I'm finally ready to make the huge leap of switching to a tube amp. And since I'm not planning on playing in a stadium-sized venue any time soon, I decided to get a lower watt tube amp.

I'm gonna play mostly at home, but I do sometimes jam with drums so I'm going to need something with a decent amount of watts. So I decided to get a 15-watter. Which is quite perfect for my humble budget of 400-500 U.S. greens. Seeing as it has more features and tonal variety than 5-watters, and having read alot on these forums that 15-watt tubies can actually rival drums. So I think 15 watts will be more or less perfect for me.

As for what styles of music I intend to play, well this is where it's a bit different. Most of the guys seeking advice on these forums usually go, "Metal i.e. Metallica, Pantera etc.." or, "christian rock" or whatever. Well not me. I play Indie rock. Think R.E.M, The Strokes, The Hellacopters, Travis, Coldplay etc.. and I might play some blues now and then, that's always a blast.
However, sometimes I just like to crank the amp and play some angry Metallica riffs. But I'll probably get a pedal for that so don't give it too much attention

So I've been looking into these amps:

1. Fender Blues Junior: I've heard lots of samples on youtube and it sounds just great.
2. Blackheart Handsome Devil: All I hear is good things about these amps.
3. Peavey Windsor Studio: The "Power Sponge" feature really caught my eye, since i'm gonna be playing at home most of the time.

Advice please
Show me the way of the tube!
(sorry for the exhaustingly long post)

PS: I can't try any of the above amps, or ANY amp for that matter cos my music store doesn't have them.

Peace!
#2
Looks like decent cleans would be pretty important to you, so I wouldn't go with the Windsor if they are... it doesn't have a clean channel. The BJ and the Blackheart would be good choices, but I think a used Peavey Classic 30 would be a bit better than either of them, and would get you over drums much more easily, it'd even be giggable. Don't buy anything without trying them, though.
#3
Never played the Blackheart so I can't say, but the Windsor wasn't very nice on the cleans, it just lacked something. Maybe warmth?

I think for your music tastes the Blues Jr. would be quite fitting - The classic 30 is an option though, just depends on what sort of drums you'll be jamming with.
Basically, if it came down to two of them, BJ or Classic 30.
#4
Very true, walk through fire to try before you buy, seriously. and yes classic 30 well worht a look, i know its louder than you wanted but if you join a band and find u need more headroom, ull be glad you got it, plus it canbe found in your budget so y not?
Fender Deluxe Strat HSS
Fender Standard Strat
Fender Highway 1 Tele
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Orange Rocker 30 Combo
Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Mayhem
Roland Microcube
Boss Micro BR
Korg Pitchblack
EHX Holy Grail
Hohner 3/4 Classical
#5
+ another 1 to the Classic 30.

If you want to play clean over drums, the extra wattage will definitely come in handy. It's not like there's a big difference in total volume between 15 and 30W, either. But the headroom will be noticeable.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#6
Well the classic 30 has way more watts than I'll ever need. And I only had a look at the Windsor studio because it has that Power Sponge feature which allows you to get the tones of a cranked amp at low volumes, and it also has a recording out jack at the back, as I said before and will say again, this amp will be used mainly at home, and for recording. Besides if I ever gig anytime soon, It'll probably be hooked to a PA system.

As for drums, well, I don't REALLY REALLY need to be able to get over drums. But it will sure be a bonus. So, the classic 30 option is overruled, the windsor doesn't have nice cleans so that's overruled as well. I'm currently thinking about going for the Blues junior, am I on the right track?

And say if I hooked the BJ to a distorion pedal like a metal muff, would I be able to get a good metal tone?(or even an aceptable one?)

Thanks for the replies!
#7
bruce lee.
"Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." -Mark Twain
#8
Well I guess its ur choiceto veto an amp but lets make a deal, when u go to try out the blues junior (and you WILL try before you buy) try ur best to at least try a classic 30 aswell. The only reason why we suggest it is because it ticks the boxes for what you want soundwise more so than any other amp you're considering and that is within your budget.

Also, putting a metal muff in front of a blues junior will give you a metal sound cus thats what the pedal is for, but it wont be amazing and wont be a nice tube distortion, dont get me wrong the metal muff aint bad but nothing beats just the drive of your amp.

Happy hunting bro
Fender Deluxe Strat HSS
Fender Standard Strat
Fender Highway 1 Tele
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Orange Rocker 30 Combo
Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Mayhem
Roland Microcube
Boss Micro BR
Korg Pitchblack
EHX Holy Grail
Hohner 3/4 Classical
#9
Yeah, but just cause it's 30W doesn't mean it'll be too loud. The difference is mostly headroom, which if you play Indie rock, i will assume you want - cleans at volumes able to get over a drummer.
Adam
#11
Quote by The red Strat.
bruce... lee ?


way of the dragon
"Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." -Mark Twain
#12
True that just cos it's 30 watts doesn't mean it's loud, but the classic 30 IS loud. I know that it's miles better than the BJ in terms of the tones i'm looking for, but I still think it'll be too loud. I guess I'll put some more thought into the classic 30.

So what do I have to do to get a chunky high-gain sound with tube charactaristics?(And I'm not implying that I'm stupid enough to think that I can get the sound of a Dual rectifier on the classic 30. oh wait can I? )

And cut the bruce lee crap
#13
Vox Hybrid thingee??? It has a tube in it so has near as damn it as close to PURE TUBE TONE that everyone on hear seems to seek, but will also allow you to play at reasonable levels. Should be good for jammin too and heck if you ever get to play a gig there'll probably be a PA........

*engages flame guard for suggesting something other than a tube amp*
#14
Quote by UnicronAlliance
Vox Hybrid thingee??? It has a tube in it so has near as damn it as close to PURE TUBE TONE that everyone on hear seems to seek, but will also allow you to play at reasonable levels. Should be good for jammin too and heck if you ever get to play a gig there'll probably be a PA........

*engages flame guard for suggesting something other than a tube amp*


The tube is a gimmick. It might as well be superglued in there.

I gotta say +1 to the C30. If you're worried about it being too loud then consider that the BJ is actually not much quieter. If you're playing mostly clean stuff then this amp will work much better to get over drums and such. It also has good OD.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#15
EDIT: Changed my mind, I think the Classic 30 would be good. 15 watts isn't really much more noticably quieter, so I think the headroom would be useful. You don't want to get the point where you decide you do want to gig, and then realise your amp isn't really up to it.

I didn't try out my amp before I bought it though. If possible, try your best to try out an amp, but don't miss out on getting a new amp that will be far better than your old one just because you haven't tried it. I don't think that you can really go wrong with any of the amps people have suggested or that you thought of (except the Windsor, as you need cleans), they're all good amps.

*Engages flame shield*
Gear
Epiphone G-400
Orange Tiny Terror
Marshall 1936 2x12 Cabinet
Blackstar HT-Dual
MXR 10-Band EQ
#16
Give the peavey classic 30 a try. I have a clip of it on my profile, If you want to hear it. Sucky playing but, you get the idea.
#17
Well as a realist I just think that it doesn't sound like you are really ready for an all out Tube amp - just the impression I get from your posts (to the TS obviously). For Kevin I would justify my advice as thus: that for considerably less the TS can get a very close sound to true tube amp for less money even if it is a as you say a gimmick. I say horses for courses. Whilst I would agree with you that NOTHING replaces THAT TONE of as tubey, I don't think the TS is gonna get the best deal for money spent coz there seems to be some restrictions which stand in the way. I.E. get a b*llocking every time volume approaches 2-3 in the bedroom. And he therefor won't get the benefit of tone over a SS or hybrid.

I really don't want to sound pessimistic or worse still, get in the way of pursuit of true tone, but it just seems to me that TS won't get the benefit. Not enough research.

If you MUST go for a tube amp then C30 is prob best for bucks as well as Blackheart (haven't played but hear positive things always). I have a Laney TT50, but also invested in (GAS) a RAT Eng. customised Epi VJ with with new speaker / tubes and power scaling feature. Best pounds well spent of all my kit.

EDIT: I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to advise the best sound for your budget (whilst being realistic so you save some money and not telling you to automatically to get a MESA MKIV) bearing in mind TS says that will be mostly be BEDROOM AMP / JAMMING or PRACTICE amp.
Last edited by UnicronAlliance at Jun 8, 2008,
#18
The thing too remember is the 30 watt tube is about 15% louder that the 15 watt not twice as loud. if you dont beleve me read the stickyed topics (cant remember which tbh)
#19
^ A 30watt amp will be 3db louder than a 15 watt amp, (If the speakers are the same, or the same efficiency) It doesn't sound like much but it is a decent jump. As far as how loud a 3db jump would be, if you where watching a movie with a friend and they asked you to turn it up they are having trouble hearing, the amount you would turn it up would be approximately. 3db. Hope that helps, IMO a C30 would be a good option, and has plenty of clean head room and sounds really nice to.
#21
Quote by hrdcorelaxplaya
Looks like decent cleans would be pretty important to you, so I wouldn't go with the Windsor if they are... it doesn't have a clean channel. The BJ and the Blackheart would be good choices, but I think a used Peavey Classic 30 would be a bit better than either of them, and would get you over drums much more easily, it'd even be giggable. Don't buy anything without trying them, though.



the blackheart and bj dont have 2 channels either...
#22
I personally find my 15 watt to be more than adequate for live playing. However, i rarely use cleans, so thts fine for me. If you intend on playing indie rock youll want a much cleaner tone and so a 30 watt will give you the extra cleanliness you need, without being much louder than you are planning on.

In the end however, its your call.

Edit - Oh and ALWAYS try before you buy.
#23
Unicorn, appreciate the concern, and I admit that I'm quite not the expert when it comes to tubes, but, I say when I'm ready. And I'm ready. I know you mean well and all and thanks for the advice really, but I'm all set out on a tube one this time.

esp1234, I heard the sample on your profile and boy that monster's really got tone! Some overdriven tones too, sounded a little shrill to me but it could be anything. Overall I think this is what i'm looking for.

And seeing as nearly all of you say that 30 watts is not much louder than 15 watts, I think i'm gonna have to go with the classic 30. And I'm gonna try my best to try it out.
Last edited by squierkid71 at Jun 8, 2008,
#24
For your music style i would say the Fender and the Blackheart are really good for you. Try to try them out before you buy though.