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#2460848 - 01/07/13 09:17 AM 15-20 watts combos
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6890
I would like a less expensive 112 lower wattage combo. I didn't like reverb circuit on the Fender Blues Jr. I am thinking about a Vox AC15 but I play Teles and the Vox demos seem very bright. Any one familiar with the 20 watt Blackstar? Are Blackstars any good?

Any thoughts?
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#2460901 - 01/07/13 11:00 AM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: CEB]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1980
There's different models of AC15 that have different specs... the CC series are too bright, people just cut out the top boost capacitor because the value is way too high on it. The reverb tank is also awful, but I don't use very little reverb so it doesn't matter to me, but a better tank cost like $40. I play a Tele and Strat through mine and get a nice tone, though if I have to crank it up all the way to compete with a loud drummer using a single coil guitar it is too harsh and bright, but I also don't think I've broken in the Celestion blue speaker in mine.

The AC15 C1 might be better about both less harsh top boost and reverb pan. The Handwired Heritage AC15s are - of course - of a higher standard all the way around.

You could probably swap out a Blues Jr. tank to one you're more pleased with, or use an EH Holy Grail (people are just mounting them inside the back of amps, now).

The Fender Deluxe Reverb seems to have claimed it's place at the top of that wattage class. I like 'em... if one turns up cheap I'll grab it.

I was interested in the Blackstar combos. The one I read about seemed to be a high gain metal-ish amp, which I have no use for...

VHT has a "Special 12/20" combo that is supposedly like a tiny 1 x 12" 20 watt Fender Twin.

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#2460954 - 01/07/13 12:49 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: p90jr]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5517
Loc: Hwy 49, California
http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/VINTAGE16 <--- check this one out and ask Caevan what he thinks? sounds like something that may be of interest as opposed to the Blackstar or the Vox in the same wattage zone...

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#2460983 - 01/07/13 01:53 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: Larryz]
Fusker Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1178
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
Is anyone here using the Carvin amps?

I know a couple bass players using Carvin bass amps, and they are awesome. The Belair looks very interesting...
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#2460991 - 01/07/13 02:24 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: Fusker]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3917
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Fusker
Is anyone here using the Carvin amps?

I know a couple bass players using Carvin bass amps, and they are awesome. The Belair looks very interesting...


A few of us here have the tweed Carvin tube models. Caevan likes his, I'm real happy with mine. It beats the crap out of a similar size/power Chinese Vox solid state amp I have, in terms of headroom & general fullness & richness. My Carvin is the little 16 watt model.
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#2461001 - 01/07/13 02:49 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: Scott Fraser]
Funk Jazz Offline
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Registered: 10/06/03
Posts: 3460
Loc: Planet Utah
I'm not sure if they fit your idea of 'less expensive' but Lil Dawg amps are killer. I have a tweed deluxe with an eminence eric johnson alnico speaker in it, and it's hands down my favorite amp of all time. It ran me about $1100 for the complete build. He has some less expensive amps, too.

I just picked up a Fender Excelsior with a Weber California speaker in it for $400. Way better than the Blues jr IMO, but pretty bright with a tele. Sounds great with my jazz box though.

The Dr Z Carmen Ghia's are amazing also, but run around $1200 used.

I also really like the reissue Princeton Reverbs. I've seen them for $500+ used.

There's a lot of options... what is your actual budget and desired tone?

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#2461002 - 01/07/13 02:49 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: Scott Fraser]
Funk Jazz Offline
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Registered: 10/06/03
Posts: 3460
Loc: Planet Utah
*DP


Edited by Funk Jazz (01/07/13 02:50 PM)

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#2461012 - 01/07/13 03:27 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: Funk Jazz]
Strategery Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/24/07
Posts: 3232
Loc: Georgia USA
I've had the Carvin Nomad and although I liked it, I would not buy another one.

Presently, I have a Fender Supersonic 22 that has reverb and I really like it.
I've had several Fender combo amps and this one is a good reverb.

I also have an Egnater Rebel 20 and an Tungsten 5E3 Fender clone and neither of them have reverb but I use a pedal on those 2 that sound great!

Check out all the amps and pedals that you can in the stores.
You'll find something you like.
Good luck. rawk

Check this out as well.
http://tinyurl.com/a6jab6l

Randy


Edited by Strategery (01/07/13 03:31 PM)
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#2461059 - 01/07/13 07:04 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: Strategery]
CEB Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6890
My amp I have been playin since 92 is a 50 watt Boogie dual caliber 5. I love the tone but there is no audio taper on the bottom. She is either off or too loud for some gigs. I'm thinking about something in the 350 to 600 range. If I get much above 700 or 800 I would probably just bite the bullet and get Mesa Deluxe killer The Express 525 with 1 12"

Blues Jr are going used here for about 350. But the reverb set to 2 sounds totally washed in verb and reverb is to clangy for me. It would be nice for surf music though.

I can try out Blackstars. locally but know nothing about their reputation for dependibility.


Edited by CEB (01/07/13 07:12 PM)
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#2461090 - 01/07/13 10:10 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: CEB]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1980
Have you ever tried a speaker attenuator for your Mesa? Might let you lower the volume for those gigs, if you like it otherwise. If you have a tech you use ask his opinion.

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#2461171 - 01/08/13 09:02 AM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: p90jr]
CEB Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6890
No I never had one. I will ask my amp guy about them. I never thought about that. It might beat buying an anp and having a road case cut for it.
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#2461338 - 01/08/13 05:49 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: CEB]
desertbluesman Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 2892
Loc: Near Phoenix Az
I stick a volume control in a box in the effects loop of my Hot Rod Deluxe.

Twenty Bucks

http://www.carlscustomguitars.com/product.sc?productId=1

It does the trick, I can play at any volume, and get great sounds from it
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#2461353 - 01/08/13 06:35 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: desertbluesman]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1980
Yeah, when I used a Blues Deville 4 x 10 I'd borrow one of those for places where I knew I'd be too loud on 1, no taper just off then loud. I've been told that was a deign flaw with the early models (mine's from the first year).

Then I played a Twin for a bit and bought a simple speaker attenuator, which I used a lot with it. I keep it in the bag in case, but with the AC15 in the stable for smaller venues I haven't needed it.

But those volume box things don't make sense to me for an amp like a Mesa, which has a master volume already. The master volume stage is where the taper is severe probably, not the preamp volume stage... if I'm using the right terminology. An attenuator lets you pull down the voltage coming out of the power amp on its way to the speakers. The attenuator I have is pretty cheap - the Little Sucker - and simple, just an "L-Pad," like people used to put in home stereo speaker circuits, but it turns out that's all you need. It does get hot after a long gig of catching current, though.

You could probably build you own for 25$. I think I paid $35 and saved myself the trouble.

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#2461354 - 01/08/13 06:37 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: p90jr]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1980
The Weber/Dr. Z/THD/Komet/Trainwreck/etc. attenuators have a lot more to them.

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#2461359 - 01/08/13 07:04 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: p90jr]
CEB Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6890
It is problem with the DC series 0-2 is off the 2 is fairly loud. There is no taper on the bottom side of the master volume.

I talked to Dr Z today. I was interested in the Lite Brake Combo model attenuator but it is rated for 45 watts or less. I told them I didn't want to push the amp hard just add some output taper. He thinks I could use the Lite Brake SA (also rated 45 watts or below) and out it outside the cabinet well ventilated. He worries if I use the lite brake combo mounted inside the amp it could get too hot,


Edited by CEB (01/08/13 07:11 PM)
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#2461543 - 01/09/13 10:06 AM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: CEB]
Winston Psmith Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1947
Loc: Inside the Beltway
CEB, are you still using the GT-3 at all, and have you considered using the Reverb effect in it, with the Fender amp? If the amp does everything you want, except for the Reverb sound, maybe you should think about changing your Reverb. There are some great Reverb effects out there for less than $350. It's also possible that a short Delay effect could give your sound a little ambience, without that drenched-in-echoes Surf/Spy/Rockabilly tone.
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#2461719 - 01/09/13 03:15 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: Winston Psmith]
CEB Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6890
Yes the GT-3 is still on my pedalboard. I use it for a few speciality effects. I use the slicer on a Luke Bryan tune. The gated synth on a Miranda Lambert tune and the few times I may decide to do some modulation chorus I get it from the GT-3. I could use the GT-3 for reverb.

I really the Boogie I think I may put some power brake on it.
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Hammond. Anything else is just a clone.

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#2461730 - 01/09/13 04:27 PM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: desertbluesman]
henrysb3 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/03/01
Posts: 1026
Loc: on the move
Originally Posted By: desertbluesman
I stick a volume control in a box in the effects loop of my Hot Rod Deluxe.

Twenty Bucks

http://www.carlscustomguitars.com/product.sc?productId=1

It does the trick, I can play at any volume, and get great sounds from it


Gonna show that to one of the bandmates, who has a Hot Rod Deluxe.
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Is busy dyin'.

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#2463290 - 01/17/13 07:02 AM Re: 15-20 watts combos [Re: henrysb3]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1980
Excuse me, didn't think about posting anything here but Musician's Friend had the Bad Cat 15 watt amp as the stupid deal of the day the other day for $599.

I almost jumped on it early in the morning then I thought about it and I already have a Chinese-made PCB EL84 1 x 12" amp (AC15) that I'm happy with...

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