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  • Low Watt Boutique Amplifier Advice

    Hey gang,


    I'm looking for some advice on boutique amplifiers. Long story short, I'm selling off some gear in hopes to acquire a new amplifier. As I've been poking around online, I find that my research is only complicating things since there are so many choices in the boutique realm. I'm looking for something with fantastic tone that isn't sacrificed by a lower wattage. Basically, something that I can play in my apartment without disturbing my neighbors, but something I can throw a mic infront of and play a show.

    Ideally, I'm looking for:

    - Hand-wired

    - Maximum of 5 watts

    - 12" Speaker

    - Attenuator or power switching of sorts

    Am I asking for too much??? Does anyone have any recommendations on a quality boutique amplifier with all or most of the above?

    Thanks in advance!

    Greer Underdog Mod 1 - Vox AC4HTV
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  • #2

    Can't really think of anything that fits the bill, but since you mension it's got to be 'boutique', I'm assuming the  price of a quality attenuator might not be a hige problem...Right?

    Cause that migh open up a lot more possibilities. There's not a whole lot of 5W 12" combos out there that I know of (Gries 5, that's one), it's usually either 12"/15W or 10"/5-10W. 

    I'm more of a vintage/oldschool guy rather that a booteek buff, so my vote would go to a Fender 5E3 style amp, with something like an Ultimate Attenuator. Either that, or settle for a 10" speaker and go with a fender champ. 

    The reason why 10" speakers are not for me: Volume. I mean even when things are loud, dirty tones are too boxy/garage to my taste. It sounds like it might work perfect for someone who's more into blues/jazz than me, but anything remotely modern/heavy sounds a bit thin with anything smaller than a 12" speaker. I basicaly go for a 'quiet half stack' sort of tone, which is tricky since a big part of that tone is enherant with the  volume. 

    Anyway, I'm derailing. I'm just curious why you insist on the 12" speaker?

     

    Comment


    • bq9187
      bq9187 commented
      Editing a comment

      I've only ever used one attenuator that wasn't built into the amplifier. Wasn't a fan of it, but it was pretty cheap.

      I agree with you on the volume and the boxy tone you're identifying in your description. I find that the smaller speaker just doesn't sound the same, like it's missing something and doesn't offer the same range of sound or openness of a 12" speaker.


      The Gries sounds nice!!!!!!


  • #3

    Since you said "most of" the above, I will recommend the Reeves Custom 18:

    http://www.reevesamps.com/custom18.htm

    The only thing missing from your list is the 5watt limit, but this thing has power scaling (there is a link on the page for the full description - not like an attenuator at all, actually effects the output power) and will give you the desired effect.

     

    I'm Brian of Nazareth

    Comment


    • #4

      Caee mini-Mercury is a great pick. I've never owned a Carr, but it is on my list. Great low vol tones

      Comment


      • Stonedtone
        Stonedtone commented
        Editing a comment

        Stonedtone wrote:

        Caee mini-Mercury is a great pick. I've never owned a Carr, but it is on my list. Great low vol tones


        sorry--- Carr


    • #5

      What about a Reason Bambino?

      tlbonehead@yahoo.com
      www.myspace.com/tbone_tommy
      -For Sale:
      -set of GFS Dream 90s- gold and black pearl- $40 shipped in the cont. US
      -(2) Celestion G12M-70 16 ohm guitar speakers in good condition $40 ea. + shipping.
      - Vox VT15 Valvetronix very clean - $85 + shipping
      - Hughes Kettner Edition Tube 20 (the early Voxy sounding one) Sounds & looks good. $250 + shipping. SOLD
      - Crate Palomino V8 - 10" Celestion - Very clean - on Ebay (sold)

      Comment


      • #6

        bq9187 wrote:

        Hey gang,


        I'm looking for some advice on boutique amplifiers. Long story short, I'm selling off some gear in hopes to acquire a new amplifier. As I've been poking around online, I find that my research is only complicating things since there are so many choices in the boutique realm. I'm looking for something with fantastic tone that isn't sacrificed by a lower wattage. Basically, something that I can play in my apartment without disturbing my neighbors, but something I can throw a mic infront of and play a show.

        Ideally, I'm looking for:

        - Hand-wired

        - Maximum of 5 watts

        - 12" Speaker

        - Attenuator or power switching of sorts

        Am I asking for too much??? Does anyone have any recommendations on a quality boutique amplifier with all or most of the above?

        Thanks in advance!


         

         

         

        Ceriatone Mini 20 Lunchbox:

        http://www.ceriatone.com/productSubPages/Overtone\%20LunchBox/OTSLunchBox\_Complete.htm

         

        I think their American distributor sells it for $762.

         

         

        American Ceriatone:

        $762!

        http://www.ceriatone.net/upload/index.php?route=product/product&path=59\_104&product\_id=116

         

        OLunch\_0S.jpg

         

         

         

        Fuchs Lucky 7:

        $1295

        http://www.fuchsaudiotechnology.com/amps/casino-series#lucky7

         

        lucky-seven-tan-400x253.jpg

         

         

         

        Also, not that it is handwired, but the Marshall SL5 is a dandy little amp, for cheap! 5 watt and 1 watt setting.

        Figure about $620.

         

         

        VVT recently came out with a Dumble style preamp:

        http://www.vvtamps.com/portfolio/x-model-guitar-preamp/

        VVT\_PreFront-420x236.jpg

         

        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #7

          Go to the emery amp site. People are raving about the quality of sound and build.

          I am blessed with a tin ear, I love poorly made cheap guitars,and terrible sounding amps though I do prefer solid state amps over tubes.

          Comment


          • hosehead
            hosehead commented
            Editing a comment

            After having excellent results with a prototype  of mine there is a couple of them  in use  I made for local musicians/friends. The idea  was to have a direct, pure sound that connects you to your guitar and have as little crap in the way coloring the sound of a beautiful guitar. First thing I did was get rid of capacitors in the  signal chain and directly coupled the EF86 to the EL84. To still have tonal options I needed to figure out different ways of doing things and one is  midrange scoop switch. The switch allows you to  scoop the mids to get that fender or marshall sound using local feedback and not the  typical RC tone stack. I adjust treble with the guitar's tone controls because that's what they are there for.  Ok so I also have a global feedback control off the speaker tap to clean up the amp so this is similar to a gain control. It goes from nice and clean to  screaming mean. Then lastly it has an internal Lpad to adjust volume, this allows you to have the gain cranked and get that  overdriven sound at low output volumes.

             

            It is 5W single ended class A

            Direct coupled

            midrange controls

            Gain controls

            Volume control

             

            My point to all this is I find that a lot of "boutique" amps out are just  clones of vintage amps with some bells and whistles. The info is out there just take your time and  do the research, eventually you will come across something your  ears and  fingers can't beleive and you will know  it's right for you.  After studying Hi-Fi topolgies form various designs I came up with alternitive methods to get better tone in guitar  amplification, but I do love the classics too. Thom above suggested a 5E3 topology which I have one and can say that these little amps are really fun to play! I haven't used one with an attunuator though.

             













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