Looking for small SS/modeling amp suggestions

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by thx712517, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. thx712517

    thx712517 New Member

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    I've got a Vox AC4C1-12 as my sole amp right now. It's beautiful when it's got gain and volume up around noon or higher, but with a small child in the house and less than happy neighbors, I'm playing it with volume and gain just a hair off of zero. Playing it at that low volume it sounds thin and blah, I assume because I'm not driving the tubes or working the speaker.

    So I'm contemplating a solid state amplifier or a modeling amp on the assumption that, lacking tubes, it will still put out a lively sound rather than sterile and anemic at low volumes. I'm throwing in the modeling amp option because my SE Standard 24 has the coil split option which gives it a lot of versatility, and I'm interested in the idea of an amp being a Vox or a Fender or what have you by turning a knob. The Katana Mini looks like an interesting option for a small quiet amp, but I'm new to solid state amplifiers. Are there others I should be looking at?
     
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  2. Ovibos

    Ovibos Unsure why all necks aren't rosewood

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    How small? The Katana Air is small and has a wireless in it, but pricy.

    I use a Katana 100 combo for everything, and play at home at 0.5watts while the kids are sleeping.
     
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  3. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    There's a wireless headphone amp from Boss that's quite a bit of fun. It's basically a Katana in headphones.

     
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  4. Mozzi

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

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    It really depends on budget, type/style etc.

    The Boss Katana 50 or 100 can both be turned down to 0.5w modes and come with a variety of Amp sounds like Clean, Crunch, Brown etc and if you go for MkII versions, you get 2 versions of each of these - it also includes an option for Acoustic guitars too. They come with a variety of effects built in as well and you can use an App to swap the FX out for others. These are probably the best you can buy if you want something that also looks like an Amp, can be used to go from Bedroom to Gig and also the cheapest option.

    The Yamaha THR10 is one of the more higher regarded 'table top' amps available. They sound great too but these type of amps tend to be more expensive and a bit more niche as well. Yamaha do a variety of versions too so if you play more Metal, there is a version more suited to that. You couldn't really take these out to gig with for example like the Katana but are easier to take to hotels or on a tour bus. Boss do make a table top version of the Katana, the Katana Air and Vox also make one if you prefer Vox

    If you want the ultimate in terms of variety and options, you could go for a Modeller - the Line 6 HX Stomp or Helix for example. You can plug headphones in, connect to your PC and use monitors, go out to the Line 6 Powercab that models different speaker types too, and even use it with your Amp. These come with a wide range of Amps/cabs/mics and of course FX that you can position in any order you want inc in a 'virtual FX loop' aswell. They can be your entire rig (apart from the guitar of course) but if you want to go from a Marshall to Fender to Mesa Boogie to Orange to Vox etc, then these offer that - as well as model the Cab and mic. This is the most expensive option but are also the most versatile. If you do or want to do home recording, you can plug these into your PC, can use them for live gigging - the HX-Stomp is a great 'pedal sized' option and the Helix is a complete Pedal board with Amp modelling. Even if you want to use these with your Amp for live/louder situations, you can still use them as just a multi-FX unit and just use the modelling for quiet times.

    As I said, it really depends on what you want/need and the budget you have to spend. All will do the job - although with the modeller, you will need some method of getting the sound out as it doesn't have speakers but if you have Headphones, a PC with speakers or willing to buy a speaker as well, its by far the most versatile and would also work with your existing gear - you could just gig with a Helix LT for example straight to FoH - have multiple Amps and Cabs on stage with you. If all you need is a small table top type amp purely for home use with a few different channels and built in FX, then maybe the Katana Air or Yamaha THR series would suit you better....
     
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  5. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Yamaha THR?
     
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  6. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    I'll also give a nod to the Yamaha THR10s. Very useful amp to have around the house. Run off batteries, plug in a phone to jam with, sound good at low volumes, don't have endless menus to tweak and most of all, don't look out of place sat in the lounge - mine lives in the little slot in the TV unit where a VHS player would have once lived.

    I'm intending to buy myself a Strymon iridium once they are back in stock at the end of the month. Modeling amp with only 3 amp types and a few knobs to twiddle. Perfect for someone who doesn't want to suffer from option paralysis!
     
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  7. bodia

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

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    Another vote for the Yamaha THR10. Especially the newly updated version. Rockin' little amp, that gets plenty loud.
     
  8. goat-n-gitter

    goat-n-gitter Dismembered

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    I'll cast my vote for Yamaha THR as well. I have a THR 5, and it's perfect for low volume practice. Plugging a phone into the aux input turns it into a great little boom box.
     
  9. Iceman101

    Iceman101 There's always room for one more.....

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    Yamaha THR10ii. I just recently bought this desktop amp. It is the new version with the 3 former amps on board and also bluetooth. You can even add a buetooth footswitch. The thing is loud enough and gives you lots of tweaking options. I highly recommend it. Just remember it is what it is: a desktop amp. It's not supposed to be a gigging amp or for bandpractice.
     
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  10. pac90

    pac90 In Helix Land, the waters warm

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    I went through the same thing with the same amp ;) AC4 are great amps but shine best at just a little too loud levels

    Katana 100 is perfect for preserving good sound at low volume, and they recently came out with a mark2 so you can get an original cheap and flip it later if you move on. I was really happy with it, and its very flexible.

    Ironically it does everything except vox cleans, so I went up a little in price range and have a small pedal board with hx stomp and a powercab, which does everything I need at any volume.

    ...for what its worth, this is what I have found or infer: Line 6 or Headrush with an FRFR are equivalent, which ever one you get, you'll love; Katana wins lower price range - the new fender amps are too expensive ; the new THRs are quite expensive compared to the originals, but better than Katana Air.
     
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  11. Tony M.

    Tony M. New Member

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    I also vote for the Yamaha THR 10.

    ...and yes you can too gig with it!
    There's this thing called a microphone.
    You put it in front of the amplifier and
    it gets plugged into a bunch of stuff
    run by some engineer person.

    Once that's done you can play any sized venue
    up to and including the continent of Asia.
    I've done this many times (except for the Asia part).

    All kidding aside, it's a great sounding and very versatile little amplifier.
     
    #11 Tony M., Jan 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
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  12. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    Couple of Ideas

    1) Mesa MKV 35 has the Cab Clone out and the amp is killer sounding :)

    2) TC Electronics Nova system - They can be had for resonable $$$ lots of tone running one of mine into my mixer and wedges can be played into headphones

    3) Roland Cube ( I have the 15 ) small, lite , sounds nice , low $$$

    4 ) Mesa Cab Clone - Plug your amp in - headphone and recording output !!!
     
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  13. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    There are some combinations you can try, though I’m not sure how much you’d want to spend.

    Universal Audio Ox Amp Top Box - This thing was one of the best purchases I’ve made in amplifiers in a while. There’s way too much to cover in a post, but suffice to say it is an attenuator that allows you to run your amp wide open and control how much volume gets to the speakers, it’s a cabinet modeling solution that allows studio quality sound to your computer/headphones/monitors with or without a speaker cab running (it provides the load to your amp at all times), and allows studio mics, effects, compression, etc all with UA’s world class algorithms built in. It has built in WiFi for control via an app. It’s a beast that I can’t recommend more highly. Look for Pete Thorn or Anderton’s demos for detail. The beauty is that you use the amps you have and know. I can run my 85 watt Carol Ann Tucana 3 into it set at deafening levels and get that roaring tone at practice levels. Same for a Deluxe Reverb that George Alessandro rewired to blackface for me. Great amps, so why not use them?

    Mesa Boogie and Suhr both have amps with both speaker and modeled or headphone outs for silent practice. I am pretty PRS did the same.

    I gig through an Axe Fx III, which is a pricy but totally top of the world option.

    Good luck!
     
  14. GrumpyOldDba

    GrumpyOldDba New Member

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    Katana Air replaced my THR10 its not cheap but a great practice amp for upstairs bedroom.

    Down in basement well theres a lot of stuff.

    One recent add is a bugera attenuator it allows to drive something loud then cut volume going into speaker cab.
     
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  15. evan47

    evan47 New Member

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    I would suggest the Blackstar ID15TVP. It has powertube modelling and enough effects to get you by. Add the 4 way footswitch and you can access the tuner function too.
    Great sounds at minimal volume level, you dont need headphones. Zero background noise too.
    I have had mine for a couple of years now and although I have thought about getting a small valve combo just cannot justify it as the Blackstar sounds so good.
     
  16. Micky!

    Micky! Dragon trainer

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    I use 2 solutions. In my music room I have a helix + monitoring speakers + my computer. It's the best set up I owned over the 15 last years. It killed all the GAS I may have around amps or pedals. Now I can have any type of sound I want at TV volume without loosing dynamic.

    Previously I bought a THR10C that I was using when I wanted to play with friends, or for holidays. I replace it by a THR10II + line 6 wireless. I have now access to high gain simulations without pedal. And the wireless and lithium battery makes it the perfect living room amp or Bluetooth speaker when you're cooking for example.
     
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  17. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

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    micky! cooking a boeuf bourguignon with that electric strapped on?
     
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  18. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    I use an HX Stomp with headphones. I had a Katana 100 and it sounded great on the 0.5 watt mode. I was very pleased with the tones and could easily tone match my Bad Cat Cub (which needed to be LOUD to get the goods - and it got loud FAST, lol). I hear a lot of great things about the Yamaha THR too.
     
  19. Micky!

    Micky! Dragon trainer

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    Nope, just alterbridge or steven wilson :D

    I do not use my prs to cook :confused: but I like to cook with music
     
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  20. Tony M.

    Tony M. New Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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