Amp choice...

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by gilbertpsk, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. gilbertpsk

    gilbertpsk New Member

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    Hi all. I have an amp question but I'm not sure if I should ask here because the amps are not PRS that I'm asking about .I'll be playing with my PRS said that helps . Anyway, mods please correct me if that is the wrong forum .

    I'm on the search for a new tube amp. It's my first one, been playing through a Peavy solid state 12" for years, never gigged, just with friends.

    Based on price, sound, features, look, brand, I've narrowed it down. What I was looking for: two channels. I want variety of tones. And I want USA/Canada/uk/Japan made. Around 15watts. Name brand.10 or 12 inch speaker. For ease, a combo unit preferred. I play rock, blues, stuff like that. Used, around $300-400. I'm not opposed to pedals but don't want to be required to use them to make it dirty. Good, clean sound.

    I've narrowed it down to Peavy classic 30 and Vox Night train. They have their pluses and minuses but both meet most of my criteria.

    Does anyone out there have experience with these amps and some free advice?
     
  2. WEDGE

    WEDGE Zombie five, DFZ

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    I just went Kemper. Now I have ALL of the amps st my disposal. :)
     
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  3. DickBanks

    DickBanks New Member

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    Don't buy a tub amp until you try a Katana. At your price point, a Katana 100 new.

    Make sure you understand that tube amps typically don't have their best tone without some serious volume.

    I have the Katana Head and 2x12 cab, along with a Mesa Boogie Mark IV and a Vox AC15.

    I love the tone in the tube amps, but at home, I am rarely able to play them at volume. The Kat can drop down to 0.5W and pretty much keeps the same tone. 95% of the tube tone is there. In the mix, indistinguishable. Takes pedals well, plus LOTS of tone options--Google "Katana Sneaky Amps."

    Exactly like a tube amp? I don't think so, but REALLY close. Some like the Katana tone, and some don't. You should know where you fall.
     
    #3 DickBanks, Mar 28, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
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  4. gilbertpsk

    gilbertpsk New Member

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    You knew, I was considering a modeling amp. After listening to some comparisons on the old YouTube, I was discouraged. I'll check again. What do you think about the difference between the katana and the nextone?
     
  5. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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  6. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    Sonzera
     
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  7. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Zombie Eight, DFZ

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    Never played the Night Train, but the Classic is a respectable enough amp.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I’ve played through a friend’s older Classic. Nice amp.

    Modelers don’t have the same dynamic response, but neither does the solid state amp you’ve been using, because among other things, tubes release power exponentially and transistors linearly, and after that, transformers and damping factors also affect the way the amp sounds and responds. Tube amps and solid state amps differ there as well.

    It’s not just the texture and harmonic distortion of sound, it’s also how the amp behaves dynamically, and that’s hard to describe, but can be heard and felt.

    This isn’t to say modelers necessarily suck, it’s to say they’re different beasties.

    Head to a store, play through a bunch, and you’ll see what type’s going to work for you. I don’t enjoy playing through a modeler, it makes me want to stop playing and do something else, but you may feel differently.
     
  9. Lister

    Lister Playing guitar badly since the 70's...

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    As a Classic 50 owner I'm a little biased, but another vote for the Classic, but only in tweed! If you're patient you can find mint older American made C30's that are crazy deals, and those things are built like freaking tanks. And if the time ever comes that you need to move a little more air, there's always the 112E cabinet you can add to that combo. Ironically, I've seen 112's sell for the same price or even more than the actual amp itself!
     
  10. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Navin R. Johnson

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    I promise I'm not trying to start trouble or give you crap, but I don't understand when I read posts like this. With solid state amps, WHY is it even a thing that they offer reduced wattages? I mean, if you buy a 100 watt SS amp, and it has 25, 5, and .5 watt settings, I would think they'd be nothing but a gimmick given how SS works. What possible benefit could they offer, vs. just turning the volume knob down? Again, not giving you crap, I just don't understand it, and I see people touting it ALL the time.

    The basis for my thought is very simple. While we all know how tube amps work with regard to wattage vs. volume, we also know that lower wattage tube amps will get to their "sweet spots" at lower volumes than big high wattage amps. SS amps don't HAVE sweet spots. So I'm confused as to how a .5 watt or a 5 watt setting could be any better than leaving it in 100 watt mode and turning it down to the same volume. Plus, we're not "pushing the amp to power stage saturation" like we do with tubes. Unless the volume pot taper is too sensitive to balance at a spot for just the right quiet volume level, I can find no reason to even offer this feature. Am I missing something? Or is it just a gimmick?

    I mean, I'm no amp designer or EE, although I sometimes play both on Les' podcast show.
     
  11. DickBanks

    DickBanks New Member

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    True in the general sense, but Roland has attacked this issue with their "Tube Logic," which, among other things, replicates the tube "sag."

    It's up to each to decide if they have been successful, a binary decision really. For me, and the sake of my back, with both the Katana, and the Blues Cube, it's really close, and close enough.

    My tube amps no longer leave the studio. And my neighbors love me now.
     
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  12. DickBanks

    DickBanks New Member

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    Valid point!

    I believe that the answer to your question is that the SS volume knobs are replicating the volume knobs on the tube amp, i.e. they are really "gain" knobs." The difference is subtle. You get different tone, and not just different "loudness" by tweaking them. So the true SS Tube Emulator "loudness" adjustment is the variable power switch (0.5W, 15W, etc.) just like for a tube amp, how a variac would work.

    This is true in the general sense, but is it exact? Not really. You just have to try it. For me, and the SS "emulator" amps I have (Katana, Blues Cube), it's very close.

    I've seen opinions from experienced players on this and other forums, that KNOW what they are talking about, and the SS experience (Line 6, Boss/Roland. Kemper) just doesn't do it for them. The one mistake I see people making is the "I bought this new SS amp, plugged in, and promptly sold ALL of my tube amps."

    I believe that you would regret that at some point. In the end, nothing sounds like a Marshall except a Marshall.
     
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  13. DickBanks

    DickBanks New Member

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    Never tried the Nextone, but players that own both see the Nextone as an improvement.
     
  14. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Navin R. Johnson

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    Yeah, I wouldn't sell my tube amps, even if I got an SS amp and liked it. I have a couple, actually. Small SS or modeling/SS. I just see those posts all the time at TGP about people using Katanas or other SS and touting the reduced wattage settings as a good solution for home/quiet playing and I'm thinking... "why?" If you clip SS, it's USUALLY not going to be pretty (depends on a lot, but most aren't designed for it in the power stage). If they are trying to digitally model a pushed tube amp, that's different though...or could be.

    I have asked this at TGP 3-4 times, and never got a good answer, so I quit asking. Guys like to tout the feature but when you ask how it's really an advantage over just turning it down, they don't have a solid answer and seem to just believe the marketing that they should be using lower wattage settings for low volume playing. IDK...
     
  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Yup, they’ve been attacking it ever since they came out with COSM in the early 90s (my studio had a VG-8 back in the early modeling days). It’s not just tube “sag” that’s important, it’s how tube amps almost (to me) act as a “spring” on that speaker cone, for lack of a better description.

    No doubt you’re familiar with it - that’s why people say “tube watts are louder”, when of course they’re not louder, they just goose the volume in a different way.

    Modeling amps, even the nice Roland ones, sound more like a recording of an amp than an amp - to me. Nothing wrong with that. It’s great for practicing, and there are lots of benefits to modelers, so I’m not putting them down. They’re just less satisfying for me as a player.

    I do use modelers as scratch pads in my work (software types).
     
  16. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I love my AXE FX. I could live without tubes and just use that at this point. Yet I keep buying tube amps.

    I think I love how the different amps all have their own thing going, and also playing with the knobs to see what I can get out.

    I'm all about mild to med crunch and lots of dynamics. Tubes are really good at this, the modelers so far not so much. When you mute the strings and scratch the pick across them, the amp should punch you in the face. The axe doesn't.
     
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  17. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    It is my assumption that they do not reduce the SS supply. The power soak more likely acts as a master volume that adds a bit of harmonic content in the digital model as you reduce the volume. No way they would clip the amp at the rails.

    So it emulates a VARIAC.
     
  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    This. Exactly what I tend to go on and on about, only stated better.
     
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  19. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    To be clear, by "scratch" I meant "strum"
     
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  20. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open - Eared

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    Used: Fender Blues Deluxe RI 40W 1x12 combo (2 channels: Clean/Dirt; 6L6s; tweed tolex; be sure you receive the 2 button foot switch) ~$400 VGC.
    Big ungainly thing, good for gigs and medium rooms.

    Also Used: Fender SuperChamp X2 15W 1x10 (2 Channels: Clean/Dirt; 6V6s; black tolex; likewise, be sure of the 2 button foot switch) ~$225-$275 Exc.
    Compact for its size, loud for its size, very portable, could do well in coffee house or small-medium room settings by themselves.
     
    #20 CandidPicker, Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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