Practise amps that aren't digital modellers?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by gnoll, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Yo guys.

    SO, I am pretty sick of my Peavey Vypyr 15 amp. I just don't like the digital-sounding tone. I would really like a small, not too loud practise amp that is NOT a digital modeller. I also DON'T want to use amp sims and monitors.

    Basically I guess I'm looking for either a tube or solid state (not digital) amp that can sound good at bedroom levels and preferably at even lower volumes than that (so really low). Some kind of 1x12 or 1x10 combo I suppose?

    I have my eyes on the new Marshall DSL5CR. It seems pretty cool, more or less the right size, has low wattage modes and seems to sound pretty good.

    Are there any other amps like this I should check out?
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I've been trying to find a great sounding tube amp for bedroom use since aroud 1999. Almost 20 years and countless amps later I haven't found anything better than current generation modelers. Heck even older stuff like the POD HD and original AxeFx models do a hell of a lot better than even some of the most expensive and well regarded small amps.

    Even the smallest tube amps with single digit wattage are going to be really loud when they sound good.

    I don't think it's digital tone you don't like just the mediocre digital models in the Vypyr. They haven't help up so great in the last few years.

    If I had a gun to my head and absolutely had to pick a bedroom amp that was either tube or solid state I'd go for a ZT Lunchbox with an AMT pedal of choice out front. Depending on your budget an old Marshall MG or Randall RG would be good too.
     
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  3. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Hmmm...

    You don't think the small Marshalls are better than modellers? I realized now there's also a 1 watt JVM. Idk, I just associate digital with lots of flashing lights, unreliability and terrible tone.

    Actually I have a spare 2x12 v30 cab I could use, so maybe I could get a small head or something, that might be better than a combo. There's that Engl preamp, E530, it's got a tiny built-in power amp. Are there more things like that maybe?
     
  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Small doesn't mean quiet. Those 1watt Marshalls are adorable, but they sound best loud. That's just how it works with tube amps and everything done to them to make them quieter has a negative influence on the tone.

    The truth is, it's not necessarily the amp itself that sounds so good, it's the speakers moving the air. That's why you hear folks talking about cabinet Impulse Responses or "IR"s.

    It takes a nice amount of volume to make those V30s sing, so I don't see it as a net positive for quiet bedroom playing.

    What's wrong with lights? They looked great on my Recto. Reliability wise I'd say my digital stuff, on average has been far better than the tube amps I've owned. Tone is subjective, I'll give you that, but at the same time, besides your Vypyr, which should not represent digital amps as a whole, what have you tried?
     
  5. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    About the speakers I see your point, but then the only solution to that would be to get a really small speaker and that wouldn't sound good anyway, would it?

    My first amp was a Line6 Spider II :( From that I went straight to Peavey 5150. And yeah, that probably shaped my opinion of digital modellers...
     
  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Once again, don't think in terms of size. What you need are simply different speakers. More inefficient designs tend to sound better at lower volume because they eat up the power just to move.

    I wouldn't let really old, low end digital tech influence your decision now. That's like playing a Crate Blue Voodoo and shaping your opinion of tube amps around that.
     
  7. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    I have a Blackheart Killer Ant which is 1w tube and it is LOUD. Don't underestimate 5w of tube power it's still half the volume of a 50 watter...
     
  8. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    I use the Recto model on a Roland Cube 30x with a Maxon OD808 in front. I have it at low volume and the overdrive heavily colours the sound so I'm quite happy with the tone I get from it.
     
  9. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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  10. Lasik124

    Lasik124 SS.org Regular

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    I always come in these threads to say how much I love my 6505Mh with a 1x12 cab. It does get great tone even at low volumes and at the 1 watt setting :)

    I've heard good things about those Orange micro Terror and micro darks by the way, but have never played!
     
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  11. trem licking

    trem licking SS.org Regular

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    look around for a little peavey transtube practice amp. they can be had for very little money and they sound great for practicing. try it out a bit though if you go this route, as they are quite old now
     
  12. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, I've got a Tech 21 Trademark 60. It's good for crunch and clean, but not for metal or hard rock. It's just not articulate.

    I have a Fryette 50CL and a 4x12 Fat Bottom cab. But I STILL play though my POD 2.0 bean on setting 4D 90% of the time (with headphones). You just can't beat those modelers for low volume stuff.

    OP, try headphones, if you can. It's a little easier to get a "big amp" sound that way.

    The BEST bedroom amp I've played was a friend's little brother's MG10 Marshall. Just a piece of crap amp, but it was so thick and greasy it was a lot of fun to play through. It reminded me of the recto looseness. I wouldn't want it for articulate metal, though.
     
  13. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Stop expecting a practice amp to sound great. It's a practice amp - you're supposed to be able to hear yourself, and hear yourself well enough to hear the flaws you need to correct.

    In what universe should a solid state 1x8" amp sound even remotely comparable to a $3K (new, retail) head into a $1500 cab? It's like asking why my Huffy doesn't ride quite as smooth as my friend's 325i :lol:.

    I have a marshall MG15. The cleans are decent, the dirt sounds dirty and I run my board through it most of the time I even bother to turn it on. When I'm not using the MG I use my passable user patches in Garage Band for clean and dirty. I just need to hear my idea well enough to know if it's going to work. I know my live rig sounds great, because it's where I bought good equipment.

    The only time your practice amp should sound comparable to a pro level rig is when your practice amp is actually a pro level rig (Line 6 POD/Helix, AX8, Kemper).


    *note* I don't own a huffy and don't have any friends with 3-series BMW's.
     
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  14. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    I happen to have both the 6505MH and the Micro Dark. The Micro Dark has a great tube sound but the EQ on it is a single knob as opposed to a 3 or 4 band EQ so you're limited as to what you can dial it. Mine currently lives at work with a set of ATH-M20X's plugged into the headphone jack for lunchtime practice, works well. When I had it running through a no-name brand 1x12 it sounded wicked and it drives 4x12 well too.

    The MH is an absolute tone monster, highly recommended if you have the coin. Mine's currently plugged into a 212-6 cab and on the 1w setting I can drive it well whilst still being quite. The headphone out is really good as well, I use that for "It's 2AM, can't sleep, ah fuck it I'll do some practice."
     
  15. beerandbeards

    beerandbeards Majestic Shoveler

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    Get a Roland Cube or a Boss Katana
     
  16. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Hmm, what do you guys think about getting a tube distortion pedal and plugging it into a random small combo?
     
  17. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    You are literally ruling out all digital modelers based on one that is fairly old at the moment.

    For the very low volumes you are looking for, you will not be happy with any non-digital solutions. For the less than bedroom levels you should be using headphones into a digital modeler with IR-based cab simulation. For bedroom levels that same modeler would work just fine.

    The whole beauty of digital modelers is that they are not limited in the same way tube amps are for circuit design. You can't turn that 1W tiny Marshall into something that sounds like its 100W counterpart. It just won't have the same response and sound due to the way it's designed.

    Go and try some newer modelers like the Boss Katana or Yamaha THR series.
     
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  18. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    For the $600 you're going to spend on that, you might as well just get a combo that you like.
     
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  19. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    Was just about to post this. Tube pedals are dumb money.
     
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  20. lurè

    lurè Thy Art Is Mambo

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    I have a Vypyr 15 as practice amp and it's a really cool amp imho.
    If I had to buy a new amp I'd probably go for the new Vypyr VIP or a Yamaha THR10X.
    Digital practice amps are cool: lots of different amps and effects in a small combo and the're also relatively cheap.

    For non digital combo maybe a Marshall MG or a Blackstar HT1.
     

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