02-02-2013 08:26 AM
It's been a while since I visited this forum. If anyone here remembers me, I'll try my best not to bring up "my old topic"
Anyway, I'm looking for a small tube amp. Small in size, preferably also in price, for real low volume type of gigs (to give you an idea, coffee house type, no mic for the vocals, unamped stand- up bass, that sort of thing, jazzy blues, folk songs). I have a Fender Excelsior now which is great in many ways but just too damn heavy to carry around for me since I get to gigs on the subway.
Also, the Excelsior, while a great sounding amp IMO is a little too biting for my ears. I play an electric balalika, there's no bass and barely any midrange to speak of from the instrument but loads of treable. It has a violin's range. There's no way I'll ever start to hear this amp breaking up even a little bit for the type of gigs I do. For this reason I've been looking at other smaller amps. I've mostly been interested in the Gretsch 5 watter, Bugera has one that also has a reverb (could be nice) and then there is the Marshall Class 5 but perhaps even more interesting lately is the Marshall 1 watter, the JTM1 (but this amp is so pricey).
Any thoungts, hints or ideas about this? I once had a Velocette that was great, just a little too loud and perhaps just like the Excelsior a little too bright. Had a Fender Champion 600 but I never liked how that amp sounded cranked.
02-02-2013 11:13 AM
I actually had someone give me an amp from a company called Alamo. it's called an Embassy. I've looked on ebay and have found they go for pretty cheap. I tell you what Terje, it actually sounds really nice! Its a solid state preamp with a tube driver. It seems like that setup, with the tube driver, sounds much better than a lot of other products I've heard that are the other way around. The stock speaker could use an upgrade but produces a nice, full, natural sound even for what it is. I know it's an unknown brand, but if cost is a concern this one sounds great for the price point. Good luck!
02-02-2013 11:31 AM
02-03-2013 12:01 AM - edited 02-03-2013 12:02 AM
LeQuack: Alamo, huh? I was in San Antonio this fall visiting my step-son. We passed the Alamo but never really stopped to look. Old historic placces, not my thing.
Anyway, sounds like it could be something and I'll check it out but I see two problems arising from the fact that I live in Sweden and that is shipping and the volts.
It could end up pretty pricey by the time it can be plugged into the wall over here
02-03-2013 12:05 AM
bjcarl, I'm beginning to see that the urge to buy that mini Marshall is simply the urge to have some distortion in my life
Another option, than the small tube amp idea, is to go for a great sounding solid state amp, like something intended for jazz guitar. Henriksen makes one that I've tried and liked a lot.
Yet another idea is to mod the Excelsior, to make its tone less bright.
02-04-2013 07:04 PM
02-08-2013 12:18 PM
I can understand why the champ 600 never sounded right with your instrument as it too has restricted bass for which the speaker couldn't deal with anyway which equals two bright instruments.
Marshalls are cool and all,but not ideal for your needs as they excell in midrange and tight bass.
What you need is a rich bass response,mimimum 8"speaker size,El84 output valve with lower than normal voltages to enable lower volume breakup that is less harsh than the 6v6 valve in the champ.
Good candidates would be any 5 watt amp with an EL84 valve with maybe a few mods to shape it to your needs.Or you could just get the Fender modded for less highs and more bass with only a few quick part changes.
02-09-2013 05:14 AM - edited 02-09-2013 05:16 AM
Dual 6V6 tweed toned 15w, 2 channel, tube rectified, tube driven tremolo & 12" alnico speaker. It's very light, maybe 12 lbs, and sounds like a much bigger amp. They sound fantastic. Here is a tone compilation.
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