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Les Pauler

*UPDATE* Looking for amp recomendations.

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I now have my 1960 Tribute Plus Les Paul and I want a better amp for playing it through. I have a Marshall MG30CFX amp that works ok but doesn't have the warm tube sound that I would like.

 

I am new at playing guitar and really like Classic Rock music. I am not into distorted / hard overdriven music. If I do any effects it is reverb. So an amp with modeling isn't that important to me. Clean is good! [thumbup] I am just playing around the house so I don't need an amp that would fill a concert hall with sound.

 

I have looked at some Vox (AC15C1), Marshall , Fender ( I like the Ramparte), Orange.

 

Just wondering what your thoughts were and if you have a suggestion for a web page where I can get more information that would be helpful.

 

Thanks,

 

Jay

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Funny, I just forwarded this link to a buddy yesterday. He got some good ideas out of it. Myself, I'm partial the EL84 amps. However, If it's tube driven cleans you're looking for, I'd probably focus on Fenders. Which one will depend on your budget. Maybe a '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue or a Pro Jr? Keep us posted on your quest, it's good to know what others have found.

 

http://guitargopher.hubpages.com/hub/Best-Tube-Combo-Amp-Under-1000

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After spending tons on tube amps that were too loud over the years, I finally found a couple that I'm very happy with. I've them long enough now to have played them quite a bit and I still think they are great.

 

I'm not suggesting that these are amps you should buy. I recommend these to add to your list of amps to check out for yourself.

 

For chimey clean to mild grit, I play my Bugera V22. Not only does it sound great, it sounds great at reasonable volumes in home practice spaces. If ringing ears and hearing loss are your thing, it will do that too.

http://www.bugera-amps.com/EN/products/V22.aspx

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Bugera-V22-22W-1x12-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp-105460992-i1470775.gc

 

For higher gain rockin', I love my Blackstar HT5RH. I play this thru a cheap Acoustic 4x12 which is wired 2x12 most of the time. This thing flat out rocks!! Same as the V22, it sounds great at reasonable volume levels, but has the ability to get very loud.

http://www.blackstaramps.com/products/ht-5rh/

 

This is a pretty accurate tone demonstration for the HT5R

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I just bought the VOX AC15C1X with the alnico blue speaker. I always loved the sound of the AC30 but I have gone tired of amps that are LOUD.

I sold a great Mesa Boogie .50 caliber that sounded awesome but I could never get the master passed 2! Rip your ears off loud.

The AC15 is light enough to move around comfortably and has the the most beautiful clean sound around. When you get into the distortion it does not sound like a cheep fuzz box but big fat love growls! Hahaha that just came to me.! lol (P.S. I have a couple of really great pedals but I just don't use them these days)

 

OTOH there is Fender. Their smaller amps sound great too. You can hardly go wrong with a Blues Junior. My father plays a LP and uses it on most of his gigs. It is the sound that many pros use. I have the Gibson mini pups in my Epi and my Strat shaped guitar has lace sensors so I was not looking for more brightness that I feel the Fender has.

 

Either of these amps are quite good enough to gig with anywhere! If you end up playing in a stadium to 60,000 people just put a mic in front of it! ;~)

 

As always these things are so subjective but I certainly feel it was helpful reading forums and watching videos to work out my ideas on the subject.

Good luck and I will say take your time and be sure to get exactly what you want. There is nothing like the feeling of great little rig to keep a big grin on your face! [biggrin]

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You are going to have to go to a GC or other store and try some amps out.

 

And look around on the Internet maybe for a suggestion, but then, a tube amp is going to cost more (and tubes have to be replaced every now and then) than a hybrid type amp or a solid-state amp.

 

With an Ibanez screamer box (whatever it is)

this amp is loud enough for the most part in a medium size blues bar club.

(for some guitars players, it is not loud enough but then - they play usually too loud).

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SupChampX2/

 

but if looking for cheaper amps that may sound good (according to whomever including me I guess).

I have the 100 watt Fender Mustang III V2 amp not the 40 watt.

http://www.sweetwate...ail/Mustang2V2/

 

I like this amp but again it is a hybrid with one tube and not quite loud enough at the blues club depending on

how loud anyone wants to run that god-aweful fender 100 watt frontman amp in the place there. But there is the VT80+ which is twice about as loud and the one I should have bought.

http://www.sweetwate...etail/VT40Plus/

 

not that you have to like any of those, or buy at any particular store.

 

The only way to tell what amp you want is to try the amp out at a store.

 

That is my cheap advice. If rich advice is needed then there are other amps that cost more, but usually a tube amp seems louder than a hybrid or solid state at the same wattage level.

I can turn the hybrids Fender Mustang or Vox Valvetronic amp to any level at home and get about the same sound (the Vox for sure) as if I am turning it way up louder.

 

A tube amp does not seem to be able to do that.

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Thank you for the replies gents! It is much appreciated. I am going to check out the VOX AC15C1 at my favorite local shop next week. They have one for $449. Looks pretty cherry. They also have an AC30VR (non tube) amp that I will try. There was a Fender Blues Jr. too that I will check out on the above recomendation.

 

Thanks again and if you have further to add, please do.

 

Jay

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I find that Peavey amps don't go well with Les Pauls unless you are inclined to play more of a hard rock style of music,Peaveys don't do mellow too well with Les Pauls-or even Strats for that matter-not the 3 that I have owned anyway.I have found that Fender Blues Jrs. are really well suited to Les Pauls and especially those that are based on the old PAF equipped models the Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue is also well suited to bringing out the best in a Les Paul.My AC-15 is usually my go to amp when I play my Les Pauls and I also suggest that you check out the Traynor tube amps-especially the Guitar Mate reissue.I have one of the first Guitar Mates made and replaced the original speaker with a Celestion Vintage 30,Les Pauls and other humbucker equipped guitars sound fabulous through it and I have no reason to doubt that the new models would sound great as well.

 

BTW: When I was trying out my Epi Traditional Pro Les Paul,I played it through a Blues Jr. and I was that impressed with the combination,that I bought the amp as well,even though I had only intended to buy just a Les Paul.

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The only issue you'll likely run into with a 15W or bigger tube amp is that they tend to get the sound people are after at pretty high volumes. If you do get a tube amp in that range, also look at getting a much less expensive solid state amp with tube modelling (Fender Mustang, Peavey with transtube etc) for practicing at home and not waking up the neighborhood. Some of the modelling amps sound REALLY good for what they are.

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A year from now you may want different sounds also. There are always utube videos around to listen to amps also.

 

 

 

Because one sound is probably just not enough.

 

But then..............................................the choice is yours.

[rolleyes]

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The only issue you'll likely run into with a 15W or bigger tube amp is that they tend to get the sound people are after at pretty high volumes. If you do get a tube amp in that range, also look at getting a much less expensive solid state amp with tube modelling (Fender Mustang, Peavey with transtube etc) for practicing at home and not waking up the neighborhood. Some of the modelling amps sound REALLY good for what they are.

 

That is really good advice. I my Marshall is pretty clear at very low volumes which I use most of the time.

 

I just wish there were more selection of amps in my area. Lots of Fenders, Marshall, Orange, a few Vox and some Blackstar too. It is like all the shops have the same amps. Maybe it is time for a road trip!

 

Jay

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Re the Vox AC-4,I recently got an incredible deal on a used one and I was blown away by how robust and full a tone that came from it.Even though it's only 4 W,it sounds much louder than that.Besides having an incredible tonal range and great response the AC-4 also has a 3 position attenuator which you can set at 1/4,1 and 4 Watts.I have used both single coil and humbucker equipped guitars and my P-90 equipped Casinos through this amp and it brings out the best in all of them,it has a well balanced clean signal that rings as clear as a bell but when you kick up the volume it gets the nicest warm overdrive tones that you'd expect from a much more expensive tube amp.I always have my AC-4 close at hand in my living room ever since the day that I bought it.

 

While I'm on the topic of Vox,you could also check out the Vox VT-20 which is a hybrid but is an extremely good hybrid and unlike most hybrids the Vox has the 12AX7 tube in the power amp stage as opposed to in the preamp stage as in other hybrids and this is where the Vox hybrids get their superior and more tubelike sound.The Vox hybrids are among the best of the hybrid amps and their amp models are incredibly like the amps that they are created to emulate.I have an AD-120-VTH and AC-15 settings are just like my AC-15 and one of the Marshall settings is just like my JCM 800,2204 model. You can pick up used Valvetronix Series amps these days for very low prices and because these amps are practically bullet-proof,you have little to worry about in the way of break-downs.

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I got a fender "champion 20" for knocking around the house for $99.00 from amazon. Also "The Guitar Shop" here in the Phoenix area sells them for the same price.

 

Just my 2 cents and worth exactly what you paid for it.

 

Jim

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Re the Vox AC-4,I recently got an incredible deal on a used one and I was blown away by how robust and full a tone that came from it.Even though it's only 4 W,it sounds much louder than that.Besides having an incredible tonal range and great response the AC-4 also has a 3 position attenuator which you can set at 1/4,1 and 4 Watts.I have used both single coil and humbucker equipped guitars and my P-90 equipped Casinos through this amp and it brings out the best in all of them,it has a well balanced clean signal that rings as clear as a bell but when you kick up the volume it gets the nicest warm overdrive tones that you'd expect from a much more expensive tube amp.I always have my AC-4 close at hand in my living room ever since the day that I bought it.

 

 

 

 

I've found the Vox ac4 to be exactly like you describe. the attenuator is a fantastic feature/benefit of the amp, it's required on amps for me and all of the amps I listed above have an attentuator that takes the power down to sub 1 watt while still maintaining the tones and vibe of the amp.

 

more amps need this!

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I've found the Vox ac4 to be exactly like you describe. the attenuator is a fantastic feature/benefit of the amp, it's required on amps for me and all of the amps I listed above have an attentuator that takes the power down to sub 1 watt while still maintaining the tones and vibe of the amp.

 

more amps need this!

 

That was critical in my search for an amp. This MesaBoogie 5:25 Express is switchable from 5 to 25W. Quite loud in both modes. It also has four different output configs, two per channel as well as reverb and contour (both of which are footswitchable) The newer version has a graphic EQ. I would recommend this type of amp and I also looked at a couple of Orange amps.

 

DSC_7817.jpg

 

I also rented this Hughes and Kettner for a month. It switches between 1, 5 and 18 W. I t was ok but not what I had in mind to complement the Boogie. Worth trying though.

 

DSC_3091_zps92108b53.jpg

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I just came from my lesson at the guitar shop. I spoke with my teacher, he has about 50 years of playing under his belt, I asked him as my lesson was wrapping up about amps. I told him what I was looking for and he directed me to the show room and put me onto a Fender '65 Princeton Reverb.

 

I tried it out as well as several others and found it to be pretty friggen fantastic. Clean and hearty is the way I would describe it. 100% tube power. At 15 watts I think it could blow the walls out in my house.

 

The only problem that I can see is the price. Nearly a C note. Ugg. [blink]

 

Mom always said that I have caviar taste and a tapioca budget!

 

Jay

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I just came from my lesson at the guitar shop. I spoke with my teacher, he has about 50 years of playing under his belt, I asked him as my lesson was wrapping up about amps. I told him what I was looking for and he directed me to the show room and put me onto a Fender '65 Princeton Reverb.

 

I tried it out as well as several others and found it to be pretty friggen fantastic. Clean and hearty is the way I would describe it. 100% tube power. At 15 watts I think it could blow the walls out in my house.

 

The only problem that I can see is the price. Nearly a C note. Ugg. [blink]

 

Mom always said that I have caviar taste and a tapioca budget!

 

Jay

 

Fender Superchamp X2 if you like the 65 Princeton the model is on there.

 

Make sure you download the latest version of Fuse, most models including the clean side have the Mids dimed roll them back in Fuse.

 

Channel one tube amp channel 2 the modeling side best of both worlds and only $350 max find a coupon code and even less.

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So I ditched the Marshall MG30CFX and now I am a proud owner of a Fender Super Champ x2. It is fantastic! Thanks for the recomendations guys. I looked at a lot of amps over the last few weeks and I am really happy with this amp.

 

Someday down the road if I am in a Beach Boy or Beetles cover band I may go back for a Princeton Reverb but for now I am very happy with the Super Champ and would highly recommend it for a great home amp.

 

Again, thanks for the advice and direction.

 

Jay

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If you know how to solder you can pretty much take your pick of some of the best tube amps ever made for a fraction of the price of the real thing. The circuits are often very simple.

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If you know how to solder you can pretty much take your pick of some of the best tube amps ever made for a fraction of the price of the real thing. The circuits are often very simple.

 

I do know how to solder (15 years in the electronic industry). Not really feeling the need to build my own amp just yet but maybe down the road I will.

 

Jay

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So I ditched the Marshall MG30CFX and now I am a proud owner of a Fender Super Champ x2. It is fantastic! Thanks for the recomendations guys. I looked at a lot of amps over the last few weeks and I am really happy with this amp.

 

Someday down the road if I am in a Beach Boy or Beetles cover band I may go back for a Princeton Reverb but for now I am very happy with the Super Champ and would highly recommend it for a great home amp.

 

Again, thanks for the advice and direction.

 

Jay

 

Those X2s have a solid following. I have yet to find one in stock when I visit the Big Cities, so I have yet to play one. Who knows, I might end up with one of my own some day :)

 

Congrats & HNAD to you!

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