Small Tube Amp Debate

Discussion in 'Amp-a-ridifiers' started by Benlostforyears, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Benlostforyears

    Benlostforyears Squier Talker

    Age:
    35
    17
    Aug 17, 2020
    Western NC
    More good suggestions. I know I'm basically looking for a unicorn of an amp. The vox ac4c1 and joyo sweet baby don't have the headphone jack, which I know usually don't sound good on tube amps, but its a requirement for me personally. I already have a modeling amp, and yes you can get some good sounds out of it but not without a lot of fiddling, and it still doesn't sound great lower volume either.

    I can get away with higher volumes and push the tubes during the day, so that's why I want a tube amp. If the bugera sounds good with pedals then that helps too. It has the tones I want, but reviews say the HT-1R sounds better at low volumes? I see plenty of the bugera V5's for sale on the used market and less of the blackstar, which makes me wonder if more people are holding on to them or less people are buying them?
     
    StormCaster likes this.
  2. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    113
    498
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    The magic of DIY, for amps as well as guitars, is that you can make yourself things that don't exist on the market. Building amps isn't for everyone, but in some cases (some kits with good instructions) it's not much harder than putting together a partscaster.

    For me, I made two one-watt tube amps (the 5E3 inspired Deluxe Micro and the Magnatone-ish Radio-Tone) and two cabinets (an open-back 1x12 and a closed-back 2x10) for ultimate mix and match versatility, as well as some amazingly rich multi-amp setups with different effects running on each amp.

    The volume levels are more than enough for my small office where I play at home, and even at 1-2W I have to wait til the wife and kids are out of the house to turn it all the way up.

    -Neil
     
  3. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    73
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    It is important to know that lowering an amps power output can sound quite different from driving it at the higher level and absorbing some of that (changing it to heat actually). It all depends in how it is done. Just as a Master Volume control which reduces what reaches the power section of the amp sounds different.

    A well designed modeling amp emulates each if these changes, and that us another real advantage to going that route.

    -don
     
  4. Benlostforyears

    Benlostforyears Squier Talker

    Age:
    35
    17
    Aug 17, 2020
    Western NC
    Thanks Ken Rose that sounds exactly like all the things I need. I play a lot of clean tones and if it takes pedals well it keeps me at lower volumes too. But it also gives the option of playing loud when I have the chance. Cheers.
     
    Ken Rose likes this.
  5. TeleJason

    TeleJason Squier Talker

    20
    Feb 8, 2019
    Philly
    Like many, the 5 watt-ish is all I'm looking to use. My first lower watt was the Epi Valve Jr head (modded) and then I bought a Fender Champion 600 stock. The Epi can get Loud, too much before break up without a pedal push. I built a cab for a WGS 10" 20w 8ohm, it does sound good to me but like I said, loud.
    The 600 has that crappy little 6 speaker and no tone control. I just add an MXR EQ on it for tone control, Huge difference. I built a new cab so I can re-house the whole innards and use an 8 or 10 inch WGS speaker. Definitely has the tweedy sound to it and not too loud.
    I've heard great things about that V5. That might be next...
     
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  6. howserx

    howserx Squier-Meister

    403
    Apr 20, 2017
    Toronto, Canada
    I have the Bugera 5T and I quite like it. I think the 5t is the head version of the 5V but not 100% sure. It's a dark amp, but honestly I didn't notice that until I got a second amp. I like it at the 1W setting. the .1 setting is pretty quiet and at that volume it doesn't sound that great.
    It has the headphone out as well, which I used to hate and never used it but I tried it out again last month and it isn't that bad. It has some icepicky qualities but you can eq that out. You definitely have to change the EQ when using the speaker versus the headphones. Also, the attenuation doesn't affect the volume or tone through the headphones, just the volume knob.
    It was my first tube amp and I think it's great for the price. No issues about the build quality either. It's been rock solid for me(at home, no gigging out).
     
  7. mlimbolimbo

    mlimbolimbo Squier Talker

    5
    Sep 21, 2013
    Georgia
    I've owned the Bugera, and the Blackstar. Both are excellent. The Bugera will be cleaner and more Fender like. The Blackstar leans more toward Marshall tone with the EQ and is more flexible. If you can save up a bit, I would go for the the Marshall DSL5CR. The 1 watt Marshall is great but breaks up too early for anything resembling clean tones. The variable power output of the Marshall makes it ideal as a practice amp. Second choice would be the Blackstar for the tonal flexibility. One note, the Blackstar I had was not well built. The knobs came apart, and I treat things very gently.
     
  8. TeleZee

    TeleZee Squier Talker

    Age:
    67
    9
    Dec 19, 2019
    Victoria BC Canada
    I know it;s not a Tube Amp, but I recently purchased a Positive Grid Spark for home use. It is an awesome modelling amp that give you untold amounts of amp sounds. My smallest tube amp is a 20 watt Luker Tiger and I live in similar circumstance for noise so I can't use it. I have to use phones and I have not been disappointed in the tone.
     
  9. Chuditch

    Chuditch New Member

    Age:
    52
    2
    Sep 3, 2020
    Western Australia
    I have a Laney Cub 8 and a yamaha THR5. The Cub is typically loud as a 5 watt tube amp is going to be. At half volume and low tone its plenty loud in the low power input mode. Plugged in to the high input it is really too loud for my small home. I use it at levels the yamaha is probably a better fit for most of the time. Let her rip on the odd day off during the day time haha.
    I would recommend the Yamaha THR series and probably opt for a larger version than the five. Yes the THR series are a bit expensive for what you think you are getting but worth the coin in my experience. I might have to get another one of the new models.
     
  10. jptron

    jptron Squier Talker

    6
    Oct 15, 2015
    Check out the Monoprice 15w tube amp. Looks cheesy but it has so many great features and is basically a Laney Cub 12R but w real spring reverb. It doesn't have headphone jack but it has an onboard attenuator that lets you play at less than 1 watt. You can get great dirty tone at true bedroom volumes. QC can be spotty but folks rave about this amp. I have the 1st generation, the one w better styling but weaker reverb, and i love it. Around $300
     
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  11. Socal-Al

    Socal-Al Squier Talker

    4
    Aug 14, 2015
    I Would check out Stage Right Amps. I own the 15 watt version and it has a 1 watt button and 12 inch speaker. And many input and output options just like a expensive amp. It's basically a Laney Amp for less then half the price. Here is the 5 watt amp review.
     
    Nortally likes this.
  12. Nortally

    Nortally Squier Talker

    Age:
    62
    8
    Mar 7, 2018
    Berkeley, CA
    Stage Right is a re-branding of the Monoprice amps.
     
  13. Nortally

    Nortally Squier Talker

    Age:
    62
    8
    Mar 7, 2018
    Berkeley, CA
    I have several smallish amps, '75 Vibro Champ, Monoprice 611815, '90 Peavey Rage, but the only one with tubes AND a headphone jack is the Peavey ValveKing 20MH.

    The Peavey is cool for having so many connectivity options (USB, XLR speaker emulation, headphone, speaker), but it's also quite versatile. The clean channel is a great pedal platform, it also has a nice bluesy distortion if you crank its volume and use the master to set your level. (I don't dislike the lead channel, I just don't use it much.)
     
  14. jefffam

    jefffam Dr. Squier

    Age:
    62
    Jan 26, 2015
    Portland, TN
    I would hazard a guess, that the used market discrepency is primarily numbers. There are a lot of the Bugera's out there and I don't believe the Blsckstar has that kind of numbers. Like I said earlier, I have the 5 watt Bugera, often used on the 1 watt setting. And really like it a lot.

    I don't have a Blackstar as personally I find them ultra pricey for the wattage you get, like twice the price or more for the wattage/speakers.
     
  15. Jmv668

    Jmv668 Squier-Nut

    Age:
    41
    984
    Feb 21, 2017
    Chile
    If you want a 5 watt for the volume, you re lost.
    A 5 watt can blow your ears and a 1 watt too.
    I know cause crank them all the time.
    With headphones a bugera or marshall or any ,sounds bad.
    I have the bugera , the blackstar, the vox , the micro deluxe,the dsl 5 and others .
    The only way could be with a weber attenuator or the buguera at 0.1 or the vox (breaks very early).
    The headphones thing dont work or your will ruin your ears.
    If you like some with headphones the vox amplug or irig hd maybe . But dont like the little white noise in the background.
     
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  16. Robbmonster

    Robbmonster Squier-holic

    My personal experience with tube amps (limited) is that I could NEVER find one quiet enough for a house with 'paper thin' walls and neighbours in close proximity.

    When I am at home I use my Vox Pathfinder 15r and am extremely happy with it. Finding the sweet spot with the gain on the clean channel will even make it behave a bit like a tube amp, and at a volume everyone can live with.
     
    bloozstar likes this.
  17. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    73
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA

    Anyone who lives in a 'civilized' urban environment will soon learn this. And then there are the less 'civilized' areas where apartment dwellers just do what they want to do -- including practicing on their horn -- at any hour.

    The problem for a guitarist is the "loud" is more than volume to the ears. Playing loudly alters both how we hear the sound and, especially, its emotional impact -- a key part of much modern (or older, tribal) music.

    This is equally true for enjoying the cinema experience. It goes beyond the size of the screen to the felt depth of the lower frequencies. That to the point that many good home theaters have more than one sub -- one or more of which is tuned to the feel-it-in-your-gut frequencies. -The stuff you feel more than "hear." Watching the same film on the same screen with and without these is a very different experience.

    And we have to recognize and deal with that same truth when it comes to amplifying our guitars. -Something that in a close living environment (not just urban, but many suburban home built upon home, small lot, communities) will require either doing without so as to be a "good neighbor" or going the 'uncivilized' route.

    'Tis a simple fact of like. One you can't buy out of apart from buying a large amount of space around you

    Lack of recognition of this is, of course, encouraged by amp makers and sellers, and then by common lore. Thus not that many years ago sellers pushed, and buyers anteed up for, wacko big rigs. Now it's 5 watt amps. But the same underlying truth remains.

    Is there an answer? Yeah, bt not an easy one to accept: Stop buying additional gear and start saving for a house.

    Hey! That's what both John and Paul did! ;)

    Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 7.27.14 AM.png Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 7.30.19 AM.png


    -don
     
  18. brashboy

    brashboy Squier Talker

    35
    Apr 6, 2017
    Florida
    If you can hear people next door talking or hear what's on their TV, gonna have to use the headphones. Make sure 1) your amp has a hp jack and 2) you have decent quality phones. The Bug will be very difficult to beat for this application.
     
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  19. brashboy

    brashboy Squier Talker

    35
    Apr 6, 2017
    Florida
    Source, build time and cost?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  20. brashboy

    brashboy Squier Talker

    35
    Apr 6, 2017
    Florida
    Sorry, duplicate post... will see myself out
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020