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View Full Version : Gartar players, I call upon thee to remedy my embarrassingly little knowledge of amps



the_unknown_soldier
06-18-2012, 12:59 PM
Okay, so I'm looking into getting a new amp in the near future. I've been using a Line 6 (I know, I know) for the last six years, and I think I'm ready to move on. Of course, everybody that I know is a tube amp purist, as I understand a lot of you are as well. And I'm not ready to decline my invite to hop on that ship yet, but I'd still like to know what I'm getting into.

Despite its reputation, the one thing I always liked about my Line 6, along with other solid state amps, is the amount of various settings and tones I can make without having to invest in a ton of pedals. Also, they're relatively cheap.

So in short, I just want some input on the matter, and I'd like to find some tube amps that have a range of sounds and don't cost a shit ton. The closest I've found is a tube/solid state hybrid that I was liking: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/vox-valvetronix-vt80-80w-1x12-guitar-combo-amp/h68251000001000?src=3WWRWXGB&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CP7YyI_T2LACFQrf4Aodbi1b0w





So, let's talk!

the_unknown_soldier
06-18-2012, 01:17 PM
Funny you mention that, before I started asking around about tube amps I was looking into the Mustang III. Seems way better than any other solid state that I've played. (Way better than my Line 6, anyway.) And for it's price and what I'm looking for it looks extremely enticing.


Every review I've seen has even earned praise from tube purists as well.

riskitforabiscuit
06-18-2012, 03:21 PM
I have a Vox Valvetronix and I am very happy with it. It's perfect for getting basically any sound you'd want. Of course it's not going to sound the same as a full tube amp, but I can guarantee you'll be happy with it if you like versatility and being able to screw around with different sounds and effects and stuff.

Unless we're talking about those rad little 5watt amps, tube amps are pretty impractical unless you're playing live a lot since they are so damn loud. If it's likely that it will never leave your bedroom then something like that Vox is the way to go.

Skateselect
06-18-2012, 03:25 PM
best way to decide is to go to a guitar/music store and try a ton out with your guitar. tube tone can be pretty varied, so try out a good amount of different brands and styles. emphasis on bringing your guitar because that plays such a big role in tone

the_unknown_soldier
06-18-2012, 04:50 PM
I have a Vox Valvetronix and I am very happy with it. It's perfect for getting basically any sound you'd want. Of course it's not going to sound the same as a full tube amp, but I can guarantee you'll be happy with it if you like versatility and being able to screw around with different sounds and effects and stuff.

Unless we're talking about those rad little 5watt amps, tube amps are pretty impractical unless you're playing live a lot since they are so damn loud. If it's likely that it will never leave your bedroom then something like that Vox is the way to go.

This is pretty much what I've been thinking. I like to jam with people, and at very most I'll play house shows and shit, but otherwise I feel like I just don't need THAT much power. Though the two that I'm looking at (The Vox and the Fender Mustang) both provide a lot of kick, and seem pretty good for what I'm looking for.

But I'm still not sealing the deal on anything yet.

riskitforabiscuit
06-18-2012, 05:03 PM
This is pretty much what I've been thinking. I like to jam with people, and at very most I'll play house shows and shit, but otherwise I feel like I just don't need THAT much power. Though the two that I'm looking at (The Vox and the Fender Mustang) both provide a lot of kick, and seem pretty good for what I'm looking for.

But I'm still not sealing the deal on anything yet.
I've played house shows and small venues with my 50 watt Vox and it was definitely loud enough. If you're playing anywhere larger you would probably end up being mic'd into the PA anyway.

igrindtwinkies
06-18-2012, 05:05 PM
what type of music do you tend to play?

bubbleboy
06-18-2012, 05:38 PM
I have a buddy with one of those valvetronix. They sound pretty good surprisingly. I have a vox tube amp and the setting meant to mimic the way my amp sounds is pretty spot on.

It gets plenty loud but can be very quiet too

the_unknown_soldier
06-18-2012, 05:39 PM
what type of music do you tend to play?

I guess mostly punk, but I also like to dabble, which is why I'd like some versatility without having to blow hundreds on a series of pedals.

riskitforabiscuit
06-18-2012, 06:12 PM
I guess mostly punk, but I also like to dabble, which is why I'd like some versatility without having to blow hundreds on a series of pedals.
Sounds like me. I say go for the Vox!

Snake
06-18-2012, 07:01 PM
valvetronix's are cool,so are mustangs. I have a voxac4tv and both come pretty close to nailing that angelic chimey tone. I'd go with the vox in the end tho.



You may want to look into this as well tho-

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/blackstar-ht-series-5w-1x10-tube-guitar-combo-amp

not the most versatile amp, but hey..cmon

riskitforabiscuit
06-18-2012, 08:14 PM
valvetronix's are cool,so are mustangs. I have a voxac4tv and both come pretty close to nailing that angelic chimey tone. I'd go with the vox in the end tho.



You may want to look into this as well tho-

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/blackstar-ht-series-5w-1x10-tube-guitar-combo-amp

not the most versatile amp, but hey..cmon

Yeah I've heard nothing but good things about a lot of these little 5watt rippers. They are pretty much perfect for getting that tube tone without your neighbours wanting to kill you.

graffeedy5
06-18-2012, 08:31 PM
I've got an orange 5w tube amp, I think it's called the tiny terror. It sounds great, two gain controls so you can really get the kinda distortion you want, sounds awesome clean too, warm even tones. I highly recommend it, I got mine used for like 70 bucks. I like it better than the 400 dollar valveking I had before it.

Snake
06-18-2012, 08:46 PM
Yeah I've heard nothing but good things about a lot of these little 5watt rippers. They are pretty much perfect for getting that tube tone without your neighbours wanting to kill you.

Yep. They get a little boxy when cranked all the way, but on the lower watt settings they're dreamy..I don't think the Blackstar has an attenuator unfortunately, but it's rad regardless.

riskitforabiscuit
06-18-2012, 09:55 PM
Yep. They get a little boxy when cranked all the way, but on the lower watt settings they're dreamy..I don't think the Blackstar has an attenuator unfortunately, but it's rad regardless.
I think there's some you can connect to external cabs, if boxiness is an issue.

the_unknown_soldier
06-19-2012, 03:53 PM
Any thoughts on VOX's AC15 amp?

drizzle
06-19-2012, 04:02 PM
Any thoughts on VOX's AC15 amp?

doesnt that only have a volume and a tone control? not much in the way of playing punk unless you're playing full volume all the time. if you want clean tones at drummer volumes, forget it


i've heard nothing but good about the vox valvetronix amps.

and i'm a tube amp purist so w/e

the_unknown_soldier
06-19-2012, 04:07 PM
^^ I was waiting for you to see this thread. :D

Tony
06-22-2012, 01:18 AM
Unless we're talking about those rad little 5watt amps, tube amps are pretty impractical unless you're playing live a lot since they are so damn loud.

Yes, there's a way around this problem though. A tube amp gets to its full potential when you increase the volume of the head so the tube gets its shit done, right? This would mean that you'd have to play extremely loud at home, which isn't always the wanted situation. With my hybrid head I turn the notch up as much as I want and then choke the sound with my G-Major in the fx loop of the head from the multi-effect's outpot knob: the sound is really alive because the head is feeding a lot of its capacity but the G-Major just cuts the sound's intensity down.

Stratman
06-25-2012, 12:30 PM
Get a Tube amp. You will eventually replace a solid state amp with a tube amp if you gain a better ear for tone or start playing live. Its not a volume thing. Its a tone thing. Even if you get a little tiny tube amp with under 20 watts, you should, like in most live situations, be mic'ed.

I use a Fender hotrod deluxe II. Its only 40 watts but if I pass 5, its unbearably loud despite the size of my large room (16x24). Sooo, I bought an attenuator. Its a series of coils that soak up the power from the amp before it hits the speaker. This drastically reduces the volume. Unfortunately, my amp is a combo with a 12" speaker (4ohm vintage30). When reducing the volume to bedroom levels, the 12" no longer gets distorted. If your into distortion, get a small speaker and lower watt amp if your going to be practicing at night or with people in the house.

With the attenuator, the amp still overdrives and sounds excellent. Dynamics are not sacrificed at all which is another reason for buying tubes. The hit of a tube amp is just unmatched by solid state. Idk what causes this, but you truly feel the power. I know that probable sounds corny. Go to guitar center mid weekday when no ones there and crank a tube amp up loud. Let it warm up first of course.

I bought the hot rod used for $500 of craigslist and the attenuator is made by dr. z and was $160. Thats a lot of money but it is all worth it.

You can also get a tube amp, make a isolation cabinet, get a mic, a interface, and a DAW and practice that way through headphones. Which I also do from time to time.

Pros of tubes:
Overdrive
Volume is loud
Speaker Distortion
Options of switching to different tubes for different tones

Cons of tubes:
Volume is too loud
No onboard effects
Faulty old school technology
Maintenance costs replacing tubes, transistors, and biasing
Weight