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A small tube amp, can it be so hard?

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  • A small tube amp, can it be so hard?

    My basic problem with my "bigger" amp (a Roland AC33) is that since it's basically a solid state PA it has that sharp treble and sounds sorta cold. Looking for a small tube amp, around 5 watts will probably do for most events. I've tried a few, looked at many more on Youtube...


    The Bugera V5 seems to be "my" amp. Haven't tried it myself but it sounds fine, does a good clean (the cranked sounds aren't important, won't use them), has a tone knob, a reverb. None of these things are necessary but all make the amp more usable in many more situations. And is dirt cheap. People warn me about the quality of the workmanship, but those who say this don't own one. Thoughts on this?

    The Fender EC Vibro Champ is good but pricey, has no tone control, no reverb and no headphones out.

    Palmer FAB5 is somehwere in between the Bugera and the Vibro Champ in price, has a tone knob but no headphones out and no reverb. And is sorta big and a bit heavy.

    So is the VHT Special 6 but it has a tone knob and is very cheap.

    Laney Cub 8 sounds too harsh in the clips on Youtube. Can that be fixed? Cute amp otherwise.

    Any thoughts.

  • #2

    If you are looking for cleans with reverb you can go with a few amps.  on the bugera, the reverb is digital, so it is pretty much the same as running a pedal when you are running clean (if you crank the gain it is better to have verb in the amp.)  you just missed the big sale on all the ampeg gvt series, but you might be able to buy one second hand that someone impulse bought and didn't really like.  the gvt15 has a half power switch to approx. 7w and is really clean, with a spring reverb.  reverb circuit has a lot of noise when engaged tho.  gvt 5 is just tone control.  the nice thing about the gvt15 is the full 12" speaker, with 7w you can get a full sound.  they were selling for 300$ a month ago so someone might let it go for cost if you get lucky.


    • Terje Larsson
      Terje Larsson commented
      Editing a comment

      Yeah, I saw those. Sounded fine but I never considered the bigger one. I should explain... I play elelctric balalaika, it's like a violin in range. I don't need much wattage or a big speaker. There are no low notes to be had on the instrument. 12" is probably too big and too heavy for me. I want to be able to carry my amps easily and I get to the few gigs I have on the subway or on my bicycle, no car involved. Which means that anything over 10 kilos (around 20 pounds, right?) is too much. Yes, I'm weak too

      Anyway, I'll check those out again.

  • #3

    I own a Laney Cub 8 and it was harsh because of the stock Tubes. I put Vintage USA made 12AX7 and 6V6GT and it mellowed right out with creamy OT and Sustain. I re-tube all my Amps because the modern Tube amp is usually TAD, Sovtek, or Chinese tubes which are harsh sounding. EVH uses JJ which are OK. Marshall is brand Named and I read they are Russian.


    • isitnormal?
      isitnormal? commented
      Editing a comment
      There are so many low wattage amps out there today. I prefer a 15 VOX sound.

  • #4

    I use (2) VOX 4W Amps into a 4x12 Cab and they have Attenuators (3-stage) for Night Playing or no attenuation for 8 Watts of practice Amp. Also I have connected all together via the input jacks a VOX 15W, which is one Loud Amp. I call this my VOX-3 Setup. So I can have Loud. Practice, and Night playing in my VOX-3 Setup. - Stuart


    • #5

      I Love My Blackheart Handsome Devil 7/15 watts head,

      sounds great for anything,i boost it with an OD pedal.Blackheart amp 1.jpg

      i play it at 7 watts cuz 15 watts is too loud!!LOL

      i must be getting old!

      Attached Files
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      Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 head
      Blackheart Handsome Devil 7/15 watt head
      Laney TT100 2x12 combo amp
      Laney 4x12 Cab.w/Celestion75s
      Vox Valvetronix AD30VT
      Fender mustang2 amp
      Boss ME50
      Tone Bake OD(modded BD2)
      ibanez TS9 od
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      • isitnormal?
        isitnormal? commented
        Editing a comment

        Champ 62 2.jpg

        Attached Files