Amp advice wanted

Lanaka

AKA GhostGuitars
Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
3,304
Honolulu, HI
Isn't that just a city tale ?

It's rare but does happen under specific conditions. I believe in controlling situations as much as possible to minimize such risks such as keeping those tubes clean, making sure there's good airflow thru the head cab, having good clean heat sinks, good connection of tubes to base, etc.

Yes, it's true for quartz-halogen bulbs, but not vacuum tubes.

Tubes creates heat, normally they're supposed to be wicked away via the base into the chassis. They're vacuum tubes because there's no air inside to conduct heat to the glass, but there is still radiative heat, if the glass has impurities they will act as heat foci and concentrate heat there. The glass is supposed to be made of tempered glass that is resistant to heat. Different grade glass has different heat limits. Cheaper brands can cut corners by using inferior but cheaper glass. If there is too much heat inside the cab, the tempered glass will go into heat soak and become less durable if it gets hotter than it's limits. Any impurities (fingerprints or inside glass materials) can create a hot spot that pushes localized temps past the limit. At this point it will crack or develop porosity and leak air into the tubes. If that happens the tube's electronics will get much hotter much faster and potentially could fail sooner.

true, normal valves/tubes should not get so hot that they get in trouble by differential dilatation caused by fingerprints...true, when you have one of those fancy mirror plated all naked tube amp with the tubes laid out bare to gawk upon, fingerprints DO look bad... In my little 15 Watter that 12AX7 tube is home to three fingerprints, the tech that must have installed it... and maybe someone else down the line...no probs, use it every 2-3 days for a couple of hours, well into its 5th year of faithful service. Granted it's a preamp tube but still...

With quality, and more expensive, tubes they tend to be more durable, provided ye keep the insides clean and airflow is unimpeded. With cheaper tubes I'm not as confident as normal whether they'll be as durable. What doesn't help is the situation of fake copies of quality tubes making rounds that are inferior to the real things. That's why makers like EHX are now doing anticounterfeiting things like QR authenticity codes, serial numbers, etc.

I hedge my bets by buying the real things from reputable sources, keeping everything clean and clear inside & out, and exercise restraint regarding playing all dimed out excessively.
 

Slacker G

Squier-Nut
Sep 6, 2021
543
Iowa
That Monoprice amp has Gain, volume, tone, bass, middle, and treble controls along with reverb volume.

I learned on Squire talk that "tone" came from the color of the guitar. So is this control for people that don't play Strats?
 

HikerDave

Squier-Meister
Feb 23, 2020
114
Tempe, Arizona
I get tube overdrive tone from my Vox Silk Drive (American Boutique) nuTube pedal; they make pedals with three other voices; Vox AC, Marshall, and High Gain / Metal. I think that the pedals roughly parallel their miniature 50 watt amp line.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,235
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
That Monoprice amp has Gain, volume, tone, bass, middle, and treble controls along with reverb volume.

I learned on Squire talk that "tone" came from the color of the guitar. So is this control for people that don't play Strats?

It's rare but does happen under specific conditions. I believe in controlling situations as much as possible to minimize such risks such as keeping those tubes clean, making sure there's good airflow thru the head cab, having good clean heat sinks, good connection of tubes to base, etc.



Tubes creates heat, normally they're supposed to be wicked away via the base into the chassis. They're vacuum tubes because there's no air inside to conduct heat to the glass, but there is still radiative heat, if the glass has impurities they will act as heat foci and concentrate heat there. The glass is supposed to be made of tempered glass that is resistant to heat. Different grade glass has different heat limits. Cheaper brands can cut corners by using inferior but cheaper glass. If there is too much heat inside the cab, the tempered glass will go into heat soak and become less durable if it gets hotter than it's limits. Any impurities (fingerprints or inside glass materials) can create a hot spot that pushes localized temps past the limit. At this point it will crack or develop porosity and leak air into the tubes. If that happens the tube's electronics will get much hotter much faster and potentially could fail sooner.



With quality, and more expensive, tubes they tend to be more durable, provided ye keep the insides clean and airflow is unimpeded. With cheaper tubes I'm not as confident as normal whether they'll be as durable. What doesn't help is the situation of fake copies of quality tubes making rounds that are inferior to the real things. That's why makers like EHX are now doing anticounterfeiting things like QR authenticity codes, serial numbers, etc.

I hedge my bets by buying the real things from reputable sources, keeping everything clean and clear inside & out, and exercise restraint regarding playing all dimed out excessively.
Thank you for putting this info here. I may just buy the reverb system I posted above, but if I could find a nice deal on a tube amp with a real spring reverb I would love it. I am not into playing all cranked up. Not going to be in a band, or play for a crowd. I recall that hands/finger oils getting on a tube is not a smart move, as you very clearly point out why it can focus a pin point of heat that is harmful to the tubes. New tubes equal money spent which my budget is as tight as it gets, so I am trying to do the best I can with what money I have to work with. And I am not a fan of pedals as it is. I know some guitar players love all the variety of sounds pedals gives them, but I am not into all of that for me. Can't afford a entire pedal board witha dozen or so pedals and for how I play I do not require them even if I am playing music from Pink Floyd or Hendrix, I work my way through without even a wah wah pedal.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,235
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
That Monoprice amp has Gain, volume, tone, bass, middle, and treble controls along with reverb volume.

I learned on Squire talk that "tone" came from the color of the guitar. So is this control for people that don't play Strats?
Well someone must have been pulling your leg about the tone and color of a guitar! LOL! But I have never owned a pink or purple strat so how do I know? LOL!
 

Dpsixstringer

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
214
Reading pa
I made the mistake of buying a fender champ 2x12 100 watt AMP. Nothing wrong with the amp but it seems too loud for me, does not respond well unless I have it turned up to about 5 or 6 on the volume and then it is too loud. I like the sound of reverb and the solid state reverb is sort of "flat" instead of "fat" The price and watt hooked me to buy it, now I regret not having a tube amp. I don't need 100 watts of power. I merely play in the house and I have other family members that are learning to play so the amp can stay but I need to find a good amp for what fits me.

I was able to buy some small amps that do not have any real reverb for my kids to use and got a deal for an amp for my Wife to use, they do not have the interest in the same type of music or effects that I do.

So what I am looing for is something for playing rock, blues, some pink floyd, but not wanting to be pushed into have a zillion pedals, just a nice combo amp with real reverb and tubes not solid state. Something that will not be eating tubes up or having speaker issues. I was at Guitar Center and checked out the fender line, the prices are a little steep for the amps I checked out but I am not up to speed on the amps available and do not live close to any music store. It is over an hour drive one way to Guitar Center and they are packed, so it is hard to check out other brands they have as it is. I'm not in a band and only be playing in the house, so what do you suggest?

Thanks so much for any and all input!
I do not really have an amp right now. No body get offended, but I have a nu x mg300 peddle which has some very convincing models in it. Long ago I had a mm 210 one thirty which I would push through my Laney 412 cab, you could unplug the 10s. You could not be in the same room with the master on more than 2 if you had the front end volume at a respectable 7 or 8 no matter which speakers you used. What a beautiful sound it had through that cab. Totally changed the character of the amp. That combo weighed a ton and the transformer was pretty close to the size of a softball. It had the original tubes and caps in it, and sometimes I would pick up foreign shortwave. Sounded like Russian. 😆 CHECK OUT MG 300 it really ain't near as bad as those things used to be. Not quite authentic, but good!
 

Dpsixstringer

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
214
Reading pa
I do not really have an amp right now. No body get offended, but I have a nu x mg300 peddle which has some very convincing models in it. Long ago I had a mm 210 one thirty which I would push through my Laney 412 cab, you could unplug the 10s. You could not be in the same room with the master on more than 2 if you had the front end volume at a respectable 7 or 8 no matter which speakers you used. What a beautiful sound it had through that cab. Totally changed the character of the amp. That combo weighed a ton and the transformer was pretty close to the size of a softball. It had the original tubes and caps in it, and sometimes I would pick up foreign shortwave. Sounded like Russian. 😆 CHECK OUT MG 300 it really ain't near as bad as those things used to be. Not quite authentic, but good!
Let me correct myself here, I just imagined my hands around that transformer, it was BIGGER than a softball. Next to lugging that brute around, I'll take my little half pound nu x all day.🥵 yup, that is what I looked like dragging it to practice allright.🤣
 

Dpsixstringer

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
214
Reading pa
I know they have made some decent amps but they made a lot of garbage ones too. Like this one or something close to it. I thought I was so cool at 16 when I had one, someone should have slapped me.
View attachment 235592

I heard good things about the V series and Palamino(sp?) amps but never heard in person or played them.

Yes she is.

I know I love how my 2x12 sounds, that has to be killer.
Oh come now, it must have sounded good, it has those blue splashy waves around the knobs and everything. 😆 🤣 😂 😹
 

AxelMorisson

Squier-Nut
Nov 15, 2021
985
Fagaras, Romania
Got a Bugera Bc 15 combo amp, it's cheap and versatile and it screams pretty convincing out of its 15 watts! (sounds nice at low volumes too). It's a 12ax7 on the input as a saturable pre, you get a clean and a hard driven (won't say the word overdriven for a good reason, heh, think of it more like a hotter channel in those Leslies...)channel from the pre, and the power section is , dunno, I suspect some IC. Thing sounds fabulous though although it looks corny. The guys at the guitar shop were making fun of them and had a lot of boxes around.. but I insisted to get one and try it (99 $ a few years back) and they liked it so much they took turns demo-ing it. It had such a nice low end! and mids too! Just don't ask for crystal clear highs, you won't get them and that's final.
Nice guitar tones and when used , the hard driven channel does sing the blues with the best of'em. Takes pedals like a champ (no, not a Fender Champ, look, there's another idea, lol).
 

driver8

Squier-Nut
Jun 19, 2020
626
Upstate NY
I wouldn't be so quick to discount the Superchamp XD/X2. Those have everything you're asking for and more. I've had my XD for at least 10 years, have used it at band practices, have left it there for others to use, used it as a harmonica amp, keyboard amp, a guitar amp of course, original tubes are just fine, and I still play it almost daily. The effects are really useable and easy to dial in, clean channel is great, and the majority of the voices on ch. 2 are definitely workable.

I did upgrade the speaker when I started using it with a band for some increased volume and headroom, but the original speaker is totally fine for home use. I even preferred it for that over the Weber I put in it. And best of all you won't even spend half of that $800 budget.
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,235
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
I wouldn't be so quick to discount the Superchamp XD/X2. Those have everything you're asking for and more. I've had my XD for at least 10 years, have used it at band practices, have left it there for others to use, used it as a harmonica amp, keyboard amp, a guitar amp of course, original tubes are just fine, and I still play it almost daily. The effects are really useable and easy to dial in, clean channel is great, and the majority of the voices on ch. 2 are definitely workable.

I did upgrade the speaker when I started using it with a band for some increased volume and headroom, but the original speaker is totally fine for home use. I even preferred it for that over the Weber I put in it. And best of all you won't even spend half of that $800 budget.
I will check that amp out. Thank you
 

miket1117

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2018
3,178
Kansas City
hey fellas... i was at a pawn shop (first time in forever) because i was at the DMV across the street (forEVER!).

anyway, found this Super Champ X2 for $295... hm... lotta comments in this thread about Super Champs, but most seem to be focused on the XD, not the X2.
1663966081035.png
what say you all about the amp? pricing, according to Reverb listings, is right in there... assuming everything works properly, cleanly.

any advice about what to look for when i plug it in? warning signs?

thanks in advance guys! @Paruwi @Eddie @Naked Strat Brat @AxelMorisson @Lanaka (hi jinn!) @Dpsixstringer
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,235
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
Dang it just spilled an entire shot glass full of single malt scotch on my desk! LOL!

DR Z Amp is out now, too much power and money. So I am going to check some of the suggested amps you all have given me and also see if I can play a few. Another tech at the GC store informed me the newer Harmony amps are very good and a good deal for the price point. So next week I go there and see what I can find. In the mean time, I am gonna have another shot of scotch.
 
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4406Pack

Squier-holic
Silver Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2021
1,160
80127
Dang it just spilled an entire shot glass full of single malt scotch on my desk! LOL!

DR Z Amp is out now, too much power and money. So I am going to check some of the suggested amps you all have given me and also see if I can play a few. Another tech at the GC store informed me the newer Harmony amps are very good and a good deal for the price point. So next week I go there and see what I can find. In the mean time, I am gonna have another shot of scotch.
Good luck in your search!
After my disappointment in the boss amp I returned i know how it is not wanting to be disappointed again
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,235
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
Good luck in your search!
After my disappointment in the boss amp I returned i know how it is not wanting to be disappointed again
Thanks. Yeah I would be very bummed to pay for an amp that did not work or just sucked period. It is sad the Champ 100 2x12 just sounds bad. It has a ton of settings and can do about everything short of burping out a pizza. The reverb is light and does not even sound like any Fender amp I've had or heard, overall it gives you what you paid for...sort of. It sounds cheap. No "fat' fender sound at all,, and the gain if you turn it up past 4, sounds like a tinfoil truck, the tone seems more like a volume control then an actual chamge of tone BUT you can almost bust windows with the actual volume it does have;. Nothing respomds well on any of the settings until you crank it up past 6 or so, just as cheap attempt of being an amp. It would probably work great for someone wanting to play heavy metal or acid rock, but fails greatly everywhere else. I have to wait now for buying another amp, hot water heater went out...
 

Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,235
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
Good luck in your search!
After my disappointment in the boss amp I returned i know how it is not wanting to be disappointed again
That amp seemed to be really great! I am fearful about buying another amp that I would have to return due to lack of quality control. Not sure what all Fender is doing wrong, but every single time I am at the local GC, never fails, somene walks in with a Fender amp that stopped working properly. I imagine one starting a house fire. Every amp maker has so much "good" about their amps, but they never tell us what is a bad trait for their amp(s), what goes wrong.;
 


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