Amp advice

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by bigcountry, May 31, 2019.

  1. bigcountry

    bigcountry New Member

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    I am currently taking lessons to fully learn how to play. I bought an Archon 50 to go with taking lessons, but have come to realize it’s too much amp for me right now and flipping it to help over cover the lessons may be a better choice right now.

    With that said, I am looking for a decent and small (under 20 watts) tube (or solid state if I can be convinced) amp head to go with my 8 ohm 1x12 to play while I learn. Something with decent cleans, that can play blues, rock, and a little metal.

    What out there under $500 can do all that? I have looked at Egnater, used Mesa Studio 22’s (combo), Peavey Classics, and Tubemeisters.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Save the Archon. You’ll grow into it, and when you do you’ll appreciate having a solid amp. Plus, honestly, if it’s a volume issue, pretty much any tube amp will be too much. If you want a practice rig, a Yamaha THR or Boss Katana would be Great. But you’ll take a big loss selling that Archon. My one regret of years of gear flipping is not just saving up for an amp I would love, instead buying cheaper but ultimately disappointing ones.
     
  3. toothace

    toothace We've got, you know, armadillos in our trousers.

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    ^This. He's not just smart cuz he's a dentist ya know...
     
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  4. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    Always listen to the dentists. ^^^
     
  5. DickBanks

    DickBanks New Member

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    Playing the Archon at low volume should not be an issue for you--since I would guess you are not chasing "perfect tone" just yet.

    There will come a time when you WILL WANT that amp, and really wish you had not sold it.

    Personally, I'd dump the lessons before the Archon, but that's me.

    But if you must--I'd look at Katana 100 combo--closest thing you;re gonna get to that tube sound, and you can run it at much lower output without sacrificing tone.
     
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  6. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    There are done really decent amps at that price point, especially used. Blackwater HT comes.

    I don't like the tone of the katana, but it is a really cool amp.

    Peavey is always good bang for buck.

    Stick with lessons. Knowledge is power. After 35 years of playing I'm still taking lessons.
     
  7. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    You could pick up a 50w Boss Katana for a lot less than $500 - It can be turned down as low as 0.5w for home/bedroom practice, has multiple different sounds and effects too and a very decent sound sound! With the different settings, you can go from nice cleans to bluesy crunch to metal too - add reverb, modulation and delay too if you want - and, if you have an Electro-Acoustic, it has a setting for them too. Its good enough to gig with - at least in a small venue.

    I would keep your Archon though as you will regret selling later on down the line....
     
  8. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    The Archon is a great low volume amp. Keep it.
     
  9. n24re

    n24re Enjoying the ride...

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    Keep the amp you have....you will regret selling it. I have a Custom 20 I rarely use due to neighbors but when I do I love it.

    I have a different approach.

    My daily rig is Amplitube, laptop, iTrack Solo interface and Marshall headphones. I now have a million rig options and no sound at all to disturb anyone.
     
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  10. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Perhaps even in spite of it!
     
  11. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    If you can, try out a Blackstar HT 5R.

    We got my pops-in-law one and they are a lot of amp for the money. Not too heavy to move about. And fairly simple to dial in a nice tone.

    Happy hunting.
     
  12. bigcountry

    bigcountry New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    So, in my search, I noticed that there is a Sonzera line of amps, and they have a 20 watt combo that has caught my eye. How does it stack compared to the Archon? I could easily run it to my 1x12 at home, and it would be easier to tote to lessons as well...
     
  13. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    I will say what several others have said... Going to a 20 watt amp, or a 15 watt amp, is NOT going o solve your problem. They are still loud, and if they don’t have as good of a master volume as the Archon, they won’t sound as good at low volumes as the Archon will.

    Extreme example, because I know it’s big transformers and tubes, but my Mark V in 10 watt mode would shake pictures off the walls in my music room in Mark I’ve mode with the master at 3/4. DO NOT think that just getting a 20 or 15 watt amp is going to make the magic happen at TV volume levels.

    The Archon is better than any lower powered amp even at low volume with the exception of the high end ones that will cost you more than the Archon will bring when sold. Trust me on this, I have owned many 5 watt amps, modded some and even built my own. They just aren’t the same. I mean, unless you’re going to get a Carr Mercury or something, keep the Archon!
     
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  14. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    If you can swing it, keep the Archon head, and look for a good modeling amp head to plug in to your 1x12. You'll have a wealth of different amp sounds to explore at volumes that are manageable.

    Alternatively you might find a lower power tube amp you're happy with, but the key thing to look for is not the power rating in watts, but whether you're happy with the way it sounds with the master volume turned down low and the first gain/volume control dialed to a sound you like. A 20 watt tube amp is only slightly less loud than a 50 watt tube amp.
     
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  15. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    I have an Archon 100, it rarely gets above practicing-without-a-drummer levels, and it still sounds glorious. Most of the time it sits at trying-not-to-annoy-mrs-plaid level.

    I have played a few Sonzeras ... they have an ... umm ... specific ... sound. You have to really like that one sound, and your playing style has to really complement it. It doesn't compare to the Archon well at all. The clean on them is nice enough, but the overdrive ... it's ... got a character.

    Here's Ewald running through one of them, making the best of the od channel (and doing his regular magic with the clean as well)

     
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  16. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    To me the sonzera lead tone sounds like a fuzz pedal. Very loose, not really metal friendly.

    Personal taste of course. But you should try it before buying.
     
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  17. jvin248

    jvin248 New Member

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    .

    Try these


    All 15 amps for less than a single fancy amp


    Guitar Knobs are as important as the Amp, the Kirchen video is a master class in copying tones so watch that one a few times.



    .
     
  18. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    +1 re: the Egnater 40W Tweaker head. Footswitchable, takes pedals well, (no reverb), FX loop, IIRC 4/8/16 ohm speaker adaptable, was my interim amp between my Fuchs ODS-50 H/C and ODS-30 H/C. A lot of amp for the money and within your budget used.
     
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  19. bigcountry

    bigcountry New Member

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    Well, sad day as I with buying a home and everything I was able to get my money back on the Archon. I appreciate everyone saying to keep the Archon, it was just a lot of money tied up and a lot of amp for me currently .

    I am looking at some amps now, and currently the Egnater 20/40 watt heads are on the list, as well as the new Marshall Origin and TSL20 head. I’m also looking at Orange heads.

    My goal is to be able to learn to play, with one of the more budget friendly scopes, then jump back into something like the Archon, which is at the top of my list currently. On the list too is adding a PRS CE24 or a S2 Custom 24z

    If anyone has any input on the Egnaters, Marshall’s, or the Orange amps please fire away.
     
  20. pac90

    pac90 In Helix Land, the waters warm

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    You still have that 8ohm 1x12?

    The best bang for the buck would be a used (they don't break) Boss Katana head. Its best of current tech for assimilating tubes, and robust, portable and will work well with your speaker. It also has an inbuilt practice speaker
    The whole katana range sounds good at low volume too. I had an egnater 15w and it needed some goose to sound good, the kat keeps the sound character at very low volumes
    There are also a lot of boss effects built in so its a good all rounder.

    If you don't like it or when you upgrade you can probably sell a used one for same money anyhoo, so a no brainer
     
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