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Living room amp for the uninformed


Darcy H

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Howdy.

 

I've been playing acoustic and recently bought a Squire Mini and a Marshall MG15DFX for my 8 year old daughter (she rocks!).

 

Loving her electric I went out and bought myself a Mexican Fender Strat, and considering getting my own amp.

 

I honestly doubt that at this point I could tell the difference between a solid state or tube amp, but someday I probally will, and I don't want to wish in a years time I had bought something else.

 

I'm a blues (SRV, Winter, Muddy Waters, Burnside, Vega, Thorogood, David Wilcox...) and a Fender fan, what do you guys think?

 

Considering a '65 deluxe Reverb, '65 Twin Reverb (more$$$) or maybe one of those Blues Juniors. There's also the Hot Rod Series. My kid's solid state Marshall is 15 Watts and barely loud enough, so not sure if the Blues Junior would suffice. But it's probally never going to leave the living room and I've heard the larger tube amps don't play nice at quieter volumes. Don't need any effects, just a nice bluesy crunch.

 

Any input most appreciated.

www.myspace.com/darcyhoover
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Originally posted by Hfx_Buzz:

Any input most appreciated.

There is no comparing 15 watts of solid state to 15 watts of tube power. I would dare venture to guess that, unless your living room is the size of a gymnasium, the Blues Jr will be plenty loud for you. If you're talking about something decorative as well, if my recollection is correct, Fender made a few versions of the Blues Jr that came in fancy cabinets.

 

signed,

a happy owner of a tweed Blues Jr

Vinny Cervoni

vcbluzman@hotmail.com

www.bluzberrypi.com

www.42ndstband.com

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What are you gonna do in your living room? Will you play by yourself, with your stereo, with your daughter, or be jamming with other folks, including a drummer? That would have a lot to do with how large an amp you need.

I used to jam with my stereo (a forty watt component system) with an 8 watt solid state Pignose, and it worked just fine. But, as you might imagine, it wouldn't work so good playing with other folks...

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Yeah, what Vinny said about wattage and tubes! Side-by-side, that Blues Jr. would probably walk all over that MG15DFX.

 

For your living room, the ANY of those Fenders would be ample, even with a drummer. A Twin would be overkill, really, unless you want it loud 'n' clear, and I mean LOUD AND CLEAR! Although, the lower wattage models cited might not stay too "clean" when pushed loud enough to play with a full band, but I don't think you'll mind that considering your stated "SRV, Winter, Muddy Waters, Burnside, Vega, Thorogood, David Wilcox" leanings.)

 

Can you get out and try some amps? There are a number of other great brands and models out there that should suit you, as well... though you would do fine with a Fender Blues Jr, Pro Jr, Deluxe Reverb, or Hot Rod Deluxe. There are also loads of good used amps; a well mantained "silverface" Fender Princeton Reverb or Deluxe Reverb could be just the thing!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize that 15W solid state volume didn't compare to 15W tube.

 

It's not that big of a room, and probally just jamming with my kid and a drum machine.

 

As far as trying a few out, I'll do that before buying but not sure I could hear a huge difference at this point.

 

What about playing quietly (reduced volume...when the wife is home)? I've heard tube amps don't play well at lower volumes.

www.myspace.com/darcyhoover
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Carvin VINTAGE16

 

http://www.carvin.com/images/product/VINTAGE161.jpg

 

16 watts from two EL84 tubes in Pentode, switchable Triode which delivers 5 watts. Three 12AX7 tubes in the preamp section. Volume, soak, bass, mid, treble and Accutronics reverb controls.

 

$399.99 shipped.

.
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Originally posted by greenboy:

Carvin VINTAGE16

 

http://www.carvin.com/images/product/VINTAGE161.jpg

 

16 watts from two EL84 tubes in Pentode, switchable Triode which delivers 5 watts. Three 12AX7 tubes in the preamp section. Volume, soak, bass, mid, treble and Accutronics reverb controls.

 

$399.99 shipped.

Forgot about that one. :thu:
The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.
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The Blues/Pro Jr's are great amps and would be plenty for the living room. The Deluxe is also a great amp, but it may be overkill for just the LR.

 

If you're planning on ever playing outside or gigging in small clubs, the Deluxe would be the ticket. They also have a nice vibrato channel.

"Never back-up more than you have to"

REAL MEN PLAY TELECASTERS!

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those fender JR's are plenty loud. you might want to also check out the Traynor ycv 20 wr. the WR stands for wine red, and they come with one 12 inch celestion vintage 30 speaker. the regular Ycv 20 has a lower priced celestion.

i am thinking of getting a mini axe for my boys as well. does anyone know if epiphone still makes the mini LP?

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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

i am thinking of getting a mini axe for my boys as well. does anyone know if epiphone still makes the mini LP?

Epiphone still make those pee-wee guitars ... they sell them as part of a "rave rig" package with a tiny amp etc. ... looks pretty damn cheap ($99 US!) on Internet dealers.

 

There's also Squier's mini-Strat.

 

I imagine you could find that sort of thing on e-bay pretty easily too ... like this one here ...

Not actually by Gibson, but pretty nifty nonetheless.

 

I'm going to check out one of those Traynors at one of my local guitar stores next weekend (it's out of stock right now), since I've finally got the cash to get a moderately priced tube amp.

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Oh man, 6-8 tube watts is still TOO much for my living room.

 

For quiet playing, I'd suggest an amp with a master volume. Some people accuse them of not being so "blues-tone" pure, but they are much easier to get a decent low volume tone out of. My VHT 50 watter is the only amp with a master volume and while it's the highest watt amp I have, it's the easiest to get a decent quiet sound out of.

 

The elusive search for great tone at low volumes continues. :P

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Originally posted by James-Italy:

Oh man, 6-8 tube watts is still TOO much for my living room.

 

The elusive search for great tone at low volumes continues. :P

Good points James.

 

I have a Vibro-Champ, either 6 or 8 watts. To get that saturated tone, I do have to turn it up too loud for my living room.

 

The Blues Jr has a master volume which does help you get some good tone and saturation at lower volumes. It also has reverb. The Pro Jr has just two nobs - volume and tone.

Vinny Cervoni

vcbluzman@hotmail.com

www.bluzberrypi.com

www.42ndstband.com

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Originally posted by mdog114:

The Blues/Pro Jr's are great amps and would be plenty for the living room. The Deluxe is also a great amp, but it may be overkill for just the LR.

 

If you're planning on ever playing outside or gigging in small clubs, the Deluxe would be the ticket. They also have a nice vibrato channel.

Very true. I play a HotRod Deluxe, and it's almost certainly not a livingroom-only kind of amp. It's okay at very low volumes, but it doesn't really "sing" there (which will be tru of most amps - tubes especially - when the volume knob is set at about 0.3). I play in a 5-piece classic rock/blues band. We typically play small clubs/bars (at most a couple hundred people), and I've never had the amp turned up above about 3.5. It's a great amp, but if I was just playing in the house, I would definitely look to something smaller, like the Blues Jr..

 

Happy hunting! :thu:

May all your thoughts be random!

- Neil

www.McFaddenArts.com

www.MikesGarageRocks.com

 

 

 

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Thanks much. I googled reviews on the Blues Junior, everyone seems to love theirs and some guys play small gigs with them, so I'm sure it'd be more than ample for my needs.

 

Who knows, maybe I'll be playing Burnside covers at Bearly's (Halifax Blues Bar) within a year!

 

Now the tough part, convince the wife I need one!

www.myspace.com/darcyhoover
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Originally posted by Hfx_Buzz:

Now the tough part, convince the wife I need one!

That's easy!

Just point out to her that this is something that will lead to serious bonding time with your daughter. What parent would refuse that?

 

(And if that doesn't work, bribe her with something she really wants ;) ).

May all your thoughts be random!

- Neil

www.McFaddenArts.com

www.MikesGarageRocks.com

 

 

 

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I'd seriously look into the Gerhart Gilmore 1/2 Watt, as recommended by Myles a while back (check his web page). I got one about a year ago and I have to say it's amazing. Don't let the 1/2 watt fool you, it's still plenty loud (it will easily keep up with drums in a living room) but you can get great "big amp" sound and tone at relatively low volume. It really is a wonderful sounding amp that was designed for this type of application (and recording).
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I've mentioned them before... the Vox Brian May will get very crunchy and bluesy sounding if you dial it in right. That is what I use mine for. $150, though right now I see them on sale for closer to $100.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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The local shop (who has been quite good to me) only carry the big names..Fender, Marshalls, Peavey...

 

Thanks for the input though.

 

Everybody seems to want reverb on their amps. I apologize for being so out of the loop, but isn't reverb just for that "surf" sound? Isn't the majority of that rock/blues crunch I hear from overdriving???

www.myspace.com/darcyhoover
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Originally posted by Hfx_Buzz:

The local shop (who has been quite good to me) only carry the big names..Fender, Marshalls, Peavey...

 

Thanks for the input though.

 

Everybody seems to want reverb on their amps. I apologize for being so out of the loop, but isn't reverb just for that "surf" sound? Isn't the majority of that rock/blues crunch I hear from overdriving???

Although reverb is often associated with the surf sound (since it was used to extreme degrees on surf music), it is actually quite common in many, if not most styles of music. When used sparingly it just alows your sound to be a little more "open" and less "dry"; it essentially emulates a bit of room sound. A guitar without any reverb will sound very in-your-face, and right up front in most mixes (which is fine if that's the sound you are looking for); by adding some verb you sorta spread the sound out a little, and it will usually blend into a mix a little better this way.

 

There. Have I completely confused you yet? :)

May all your thoughts be random!

- Neil

www.McFaddenArts.com

www.MikesGarageRocks.com

 

 

 

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Originally posted by Hfx_Buzz:

...What about playing quietly (reduced volume...when the wife is home)? I've heard tube amps don't play well at lower volumes.

Who told you that, some keyboard player? :P If we stop playing big loud tube amps the terrorists win...I have a Hot Rod Deville (60 watts) and often play my Epi Joe Pass (hollow-body jazz box) at lower volumes in my living room. Sound very sweet and nice. This has been true of every Fender tube amp I've owned, including Twins.

 

The nice thing about the HR series is the dual-channel action, where you can get some not-bad distortion at a lower volume. (Maybe not low enough to satisfy your wife, but do what we all do - tell her, "At least I'm home and not out drinking and chasing women and blowing the rent at the track". It never works but it's always worth a try.)

 

Your best bet is probably the HR Deluxe. Not too powerful for the living room, but you can gig out at smaller venues with it without a problem.

 

 

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Originally posted by Hfx_Buzz:

Howdy.

 

I've been playing acoustic and recently bought a Squire Mini and a Marshall MG15DFX for my 8 year old daughter (she rocks!).

 

Loving her electric I went out and bought myself a Mexican Fender Strat, and considering getting my own amp.

 

I honestly doubt that at this point I could tell the difference between a solid state or tube amp, but someday I probally will, and I don't want to wish in a years time I had bought something else.

 

I'm a blues (SRV, Winter, Muddy Waters, Burnside, Vega, Thorogood, David Wilcox...) and a Fender fan, what do you guys think?

 

Considering a '65 deluxe Reverb, '65 Twin Reverb (more$$$) or maybe one of those Blues Juniors. There's also the Hot Rod Series. My kid's solid state Marshall is 15 Watts and barely loud enough, so not sure if the Blues Junior would suffice. But it's probally never going to leave the living room and I've heard the larger tube amps don't play nice at quieter volumes. Don't need any effects, just a nice bluesy crunch.

 

Any input most appreciated.

http://www.drzamps.com/ghia.html

 

http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/doctorzamps3.html

Myles S. Rose

www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com

www.la-economy.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/mylesr

www.twitter.com/myles111us

 

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I was thinking about a low-wattage amp...for my studio...

...but I just picked up a THD HotPlate on eBay for $200...and I am very impressed with what it does for my old 100W Traynor Mark III.

 

Man...I can't remember the last time I was able to crank my Traynor all the way up!!!

The HotPlate lets me get such a sweet crunch out of it...even at the very lowest volumes...so I may not even bother looking for a low-wattage amp now!!!

 

I'm curious about one thing...

...I know the HotPlate is really designed for tube amps...

...but why couldn't you use it with a solid state amp...not for crunch, but just as an attenuator?

I have a 100W Kustom that just gets too damn lound as soon as I turn it past 2, and I would love to be able to control the level better.

Anyone ever try a Hotplate with a SS amp?

 

Also...using the HotPLate with my tube Traynor...if I run the amp Full...how much am I shortening the lifespan of the tubes/tranny?

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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