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#1
I upgraded from my Roland Microcube to a Peavey Windsor half stack today. I only play at bedroom / television volume levels. I've found almost 99% of responses to potential purchases are very negative about half stacks for casual playing, so I thought I would play a bit of devil's advocate and give some insight to other people looking at new amps.

First of all, I didn't buy the half stack because I wanted a half stack. I was looking at the radically opposed end to a half stack. I went into the store looking for a Crate V-18 1x12, something small but with a tube. As nice as the Microcube is, it doesn't have that warm, creamy JTM45 tone and it's just not a tube amp.

Well, they didn't have that but they did have a few others. I tried a few small tube combos, some had nice warm overdrives and such, but they were all so loud that I couldn't turn them much past 2 (at a practical volume level) and the prices were soaring towards the $500 range before I found what I liked.

Then there was that beastly half stack in the back. On sale for $589. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I'll go try it out just to compare a monster to a combo. Once I started playing it, I fell in love with the bass response and the thick tones oozing out of the stack. I could only play it at 1, but that's really not very different from the 2 I could play a combo at.

A quick call to the wife for approval, and I came home with a 100w half stack for $640 out the door. Is it ridiculous? Yes. I play it at 0.5 master volume and it's no louder than the television. I live in a duplex and the neighbors below me don't hear a thing.

At this volume, I can get cleans, smooth blues overdrive, all the way up to plexi-like Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, and Black Sabbath. I got the tones I want for a bit more than I wanted to pay, but a lot less than a real Marshall.

The stack itself is a heavy giant of a thing. I don't gig or play professionally, so I don't move my stuff around. If I did I would have most certainly gotten a combo. Lugging these monsters around would be a nightmare.

So for anyone on the fence about noise and a half stack (well, at least my half stack), the quietest you can possibly play them is an average television volume.

Anyways, just wanted to throw that out there. The only microphone I have is a headset, so recording would be difficult, but I can answer general questions about the Windsor if you have them.
#3
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
pics or it didn't happen!
Ah, I can do that!

#4
Quote by Komet
Ah, I can do that!

*big pic*


Wow. Haha... The problem with that is you won't be able to get any power tube saturation at usable volumes. My advice to you is to invest in a Power Attentuator. If it sounds good to you at .5, just wait till you get it cranked with some power tube saturation.

This Guy is Stupid.
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#6
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Komet - that is sick looking! NiiiiiiiiCE

that amp is pretty dirty right, so you should get nice break up early. what speakers you got? That is damn near furniture art.

ok - clips or it didn't happen!
lol, I might try for some clips, but not tonight. Yeah it's a pretty dirty amp, but you can coax some twin reverby cleans out of it with the preamp on < 1, master at 3 or 4 (perhaps louder, but that was a clean as loud as the distortion I was getting in the store), and guitar volume on half. Once the preamp goes past 3 or so, you start getting some good blues grit going on.

The speakers are whatever in the stock Windsor cab. Peavey says they're "UK" voiced, probably some poor copies of celestions, but they beat the pants off my 6" cube speaker
#7
The windsor is a great deal - good sounds at a really low price.

I would have got one, but a 15w amp suited my current needs better.

Although, my next amp might be the windsor 0_0
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#8
some amps sound better at lower levels than others.

it's as simple as that.

like said, you might want to eventually invest in a weber attenuator, get additional od out of it.

also, maybe for christmas you can pick up an amp platform or similar. lift the speaker a little off the floor, you'll be able to get the full effect of the speaker with less sound travelling downstairs. (not sure of your living setup, but there are many isolation devices will help.)


nice amp.
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#9
Well, at least you won't blow any speakers. Nice perch.
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#10
Very nice!! I just wanted to let you know, your new Windsor amp called me this morning and said to tell you it wants a Fulltone OCD or a Crunchbox so you can really get some nasty dirt/distortion out of it. An amp is NEVER wrong.
Congrats on your NAD!
#12
Nice work.

But if you're looking for JTM45 tone, you may want to look for an external OD unit, the Winsdor can get a MV JMP type of tone, but you will most likely not find that JTM45 crunch in there.
#13
All i can say Komet, is wait till the wife is out and crank it to 7 (tone sweet spot). You will die from the awesome tone. If you don't want it that loud I suggest looking into an antinuator.
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#15
I <3 my half stack too, sure it's solid state but I love it. Soon I'll have to edit this to say "I <3 my full stack" but that's a few months out.

Down with the combo band wagon!
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#16
Congrats, you win the "overkill of the day" award. Seriously, noice amp!
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#17
excellent!

as jenny says, some amps sound better at lower levels than others, if you find one which sounds good dialled back, it doesn't make much sense to buy a lower wattage amp which won't do the sound you want...
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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.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#18
I want clipz Nao


#19
i think im envious of you. VERY NICE AMP, and you got it for that much? damn. It looks absolutely spot less! you should take it somewhere and crank it to like 4 or 5 maybe more and hear it then.

edit: i just really looked at your guitar, did you paint that yourself? because thats a squire?...lol you sir have a beautiful rig!
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Last edited by bjovi400 at Sep 13, 2008,
#20
Congrats!!!

That's an awesome pic with your guitar.
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#21
Quote by imgooley
I want clipz Nao
hehe. I did some experimenting with it today. If I keep the preamp below 1, I can crank the master volume all the way to 12 with the guitar on half volume and keep a clean tone. It stays clean until at least 7 on my guitar's volume knob, which is as high as I dare go in terms of loudness. Almost every review out there says this amp can't do clean at gigging volumes, but I think a clean boost *might* be able to take it there, especially with something like a vintage wound single coil.

On the high gain channel, preamp on 12, boost in, with master volume < 1 and guitar volume on 10, it gets pretty close to an Iron Maiden kind of sound. Not quite as much gain, but a light touch more with pedal would do it. I'm thinking of a Fulltone OCD for christmas or something

I guess I could do something ridiculously cheezy like a youtube vid on my camera which takes crappy video + audio, but my playing isn't very good. I guess if you like Zeppelin I could cook up a couple minutes of half-attempts.
Quote by bjovi400
i think im envious of you. VERY NICE AMP, and you got it for that much? damn. It looks absolutely spot less! you should take it somewhere and crank it to like 4 or 5 maybe more and hear it then.

edit: i just really looked at your guitar, did you paint that yourself? because thats a squire?...lol you sir have a beautiful rig!
Thanks! Yeah, it was a floor model. The guy at the shop said it had only a couple hours of play on it, and he wanted to move it out because he's got too much stuff in the back.

I did paint my guitar myself, I did a build thread here:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=946938

Nobody posted after I finished it

And I did mod it because it's a Squier, lol. It's a good player for what it is, but that's not saying a whole lot. If I'm going to have a cheap guitar, I don't need to suffer with a repressively boring one.

Thanks for the responses everyone.
#22
Yeah I wish I could say the same about my new GH100L - everything I'd heard about it sounding great at low volumes without an attenuator was an absolute ****ing lie. It sounds like shit at anything below 9o'clock master volume, and then there's an enormous volume leap at 9o'clock dead on the volume knob so it always catches you by surprise when it suddenly cranks up by 20db across 1mm of knob-turning, and wakes up everyone in the bloody house.

Anywho; enjoy ze amp!
#23
Quote by Komet
hehe. I did some experimenting with it today. If I keep the preamp below 1, I can crank the master volume all the way to 12 with the guitar on half volume and keep a clean tone. It stays clean until at least 7 on my guitar's volume knob, which is as high as I dare go in terms of loudness. Almost every review out there says this amp can't do clean at gigging volumes, but I think a clean boost *might* be able to take it there, especially with something like a vintage wound single coil.

On the high gain channel, preamp on 12, boost in, with master volume < 1 and guitar volume on 10, it gets pretty close to an Iron Maiden kind of sound. Not quite as much gain, but a light touch more with pedal would do it. I'm thinking of a Fulltone OCD for christmas or something

I guess I could do something ridiculously cheezy like a youtube vid on my camera which takes crappy video + audio, but my playing isn't very good. I guess if you like Zeppelin I could cook up a couple minutes of half-attempts.

Bad playing and semi bad audio is acceptable for new amp days. I just want to hear it.
#24
Quote by Checker
Wow. Haha... The problem with that is you won't be able to get any power tube saturation at usable volumes. My advice to you is to invest in a Power Attentuator. If it sounds good to you at .5, just wait till you get it cranked with some power tube saturation.

yeah, an attenuator would be a great idea.
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#25
Quote by jj1565
some amps sound better at lower levels than others.

it's as simple as that.

like said, you might want to eventually invest in a weber attenuator, get additional od out of it.

also, maybe for christmas you can pick up an amp platform or similar. lift the speaker a little off the floor, you'll be able to get the full effect of the speaker with less sound travelling downstairs. (not sure of your living setup, but there are many isolation devices will help.)


nice amp.

Don't the windsors have a built in attenuator? or is that just the combos? or am I just an idiot?
Anyway, nice pickup!
#26
Quote by Checker
Wow. Haha... The problem with that is you won't be able to get any power tube saturation at usable volumes. My advice to you is to invest in a Power Attentuator. If it sounds good to you at .5, just wait till you get it cranked with some power tube saturation.

Doesn't matter if he has a 5 watts combo or a 100 watts half stack - none of them will give power tube saturation at "usable" volumes.
Quote by A Certain Death
my mum is a retard
#28
^ i dunno, my valve junior is pretty darn loud.

Quote by mcrfobtai
Don't the windsors have a built in attenuator? or is that just the combos? or am I just an idiot?
Anyway, nice pickup!


i think that's just the combo.
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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?
#30
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ i dunno, my valve junior is pretty darn loud.


i think that's just the combo.



Sure its loud, but even cranked its at a usable volume.

When I mean unusable, I mean to the point that you tell yourself, I'm going to lose my hearing if I keep playing at this level.

Then again my opinion of "usable volune" changed a lot when I started using a non-master volume amp. So I guess take it with a grain of salt...
Last edited by al112987 at Sep 14, 2008,
#31
thats awesome man! im glad you like it, thats what matters.
ive heard a few clip of the amp on youtube, most of them seemed pretty boring, but there was one where this guy had a vintage strat and the tone absolutly oozed that Frusciante/jimi sound. im not a huge fan of frusciante, but he has some pretty good tones.
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#32
^^ yeah, it really depends on the situation, and what people mean by "usable". I can crank mine if there's no-one else in the house, for example. but if people are in bed, or even watching tv in the next room, i can't.

Quote by mcrfobtai
Yeah I was pretty sure that it was just the combos. Wasn't sure 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?
#33
based on your username i thought you bought a komet


nice though

oh, and my champ isnt too loud to be cranked

Whodicted



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#35
Must be my parents then. They start to whine when I have above volume 1,5 on the 1 watt switch with my amp.
Quote by A Certain Death
my mum is a retard
#36
Quote by acdcrocks0323
That is all you ever say..

Congrats on the amp man!

It's true. I'm sure imgooley hangs around waiting to pester people for clips
#37
Quote by Komet
hehe. I did some experimenting with it today. If I keep the preamp below 1, I can crank the master volume all the way to 12 with the guitar on half volume and keep a clean tone. It stays clean until at least 7 on my guitar's volume knob, which is as high as I dare go in terms of loudness. Almost every review out there says this amp can't do clean at gigging volumes, but I think a clean boost *might* be able to take it there, especially with something like a vintage wound single coil.
.


It definitely can do clean tones at gigging volumes. It's just a pain to switch back and forth.
#38
Quote by acdcrocks0323
That is all you ever say..

Congrats on the amp man!

I like tsty clipz.


#39
Quote by imgooley
I like tsty clipz.


Okay first attempt at recording sound via digital camera:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olY7d1KufrA

I also tried using a headset mic on my laptop, but the audio recording sucks too much on it. If I could find a way to get the half stack close enough to my PC with a nice sound card, I could record some decent clips. For now, that will have to do.
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