Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Les Paul + Tube Amp + Apartment living = ??


Recommended Posts

It looks like it's coming down to this: Fender Blues Junior VOS or a Fender Princeton Reverb


I've played a few (Vox 15cc, Mesa 5:25, (others) Fender) and these are the two at the top of my heap right now. I play a Les Paul mostly and an SG and an Epi Sheraton II through it. I dig the tremelo on the Princeton but can do without it. The Mesa i liked but i liked the other two a little better. I've got my sights set on a solid all around utility amp and i think one of the fenders is it.


Anyone have any strong opinions one way or another? 15w is about all i can handle given my apartment situation (and i'll probably need an attenuator).


I owned the Blues Junior VOS a few years ago and really liked it. I decided it would be a good idea to exchange it out for a Hot Rod Deluxe but the deluxe was more sound than my house could handle.


I've been amp-less for about a year and need one NOW, the modeling interface i've been using just isn't cutting it anymore!!!


Cost wise i can deal with either of these. The Blues Junior is about 60% the cost of the Princeton Reverb so it's got that going for it. I don't mind spending the extra cash - is there anything else in that price range that i should look at?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it's modeling but it sounds amazing I'm talk'n real tube amp response. Dial up a JCM 800 go from crystal clean to full overdrive smooth with your guitars volume just like the real deal. This can save your sanity in an apartment.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear ya, jchabalk - it's tough as an apartment dweller.


I have a Blues Junior and it's too loud, plus the hair line between reasonable and too loud makes getting a tone with that amp - even with a master volume - a problem. It sits in the closet and gets pulled out only for casual jamming elsewhere.


For home, I use an old Fender Champ:




But that amp, at 5 watts, is still too loud to crank up in an apartment and doesn't do big overdrive anyway. So, I use a pedal with it (Analogman King of Tone as seen in the picture above). Since the amp has a tube rectifier, it does get some nice sag to it earlier even though it's not breaking up; just add your favorite dirt pedal if you want that sort of tone.


Here's a video of my LP with the King of Tone into the Champ (I was sort of drunk so you'll have to excuse me):




If you're looking for pure tube overdrive, there are some options out there but I've never tried any of them. But, here is what I am aware of:


Zvex Nano amp (1 watt)

Songworks Little Lanilei (1/4 watt)

Carr Mercury (selectable power down to 1/10 watt but pricey)


It's tough living in an apartment and I've been mulling the idea of a POD or some other modeling solution which could also serve double duty for song writing by being able to plug it into my computer. If you find something cool that you like, I'd love to hear about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey if you haven't checked them out, check out the mini-heads.


Blackstar HT-5 <= would love to have one myself if they'd ever get them shipping!


Orange Tiny Terror <= no personal experience but I've heard others brag about them.


Egnater Rebel <= this is a nice amp but the wattage control does not reduce the power of the amp it simply reduces the available headroom in the power amp from 20 down to 1 Watt. So to play the dirtiest, you'd dial it back to 1W so both the preamp and the power amp distort. You can go from 6V6 to EL84 or mix them on the preamp though I didn't see allot of difference and I liked it clean really well but it's a single channel and the effects loop on two that I tried were both really noisy.


Krank Rev Jr Pro <= I bought this one. It's not just for metal though it is high gain biased. True dual channel and those knobs on the thing really do work. I can dial in "acceptably good" though not Fender clean "Kleen" tones to a really good bluesy crunch to classic rock growl to all out shredder if that is your thing [not mine]. This one might actually be a tad much for apartment dwelling though you can play it quietly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i bought a fender champ 600 ($180) and then put a mercury magnetics kit in it ($250/kit $250 install) and it is far and away a tonal monster!

5w and it cranks clean or overdriven...


blackheart makes a nice low wattage amp as does orange as well...


but i will tell you that my next amp once i leave my condo is going to be the Princeton!

its that good!


i would def go with that one!

watch the video off of the fender homepage!


go for the princeton...take pics...and then make me sooo jealous that i end up buying one once i see your pics!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in an apartment as well. I have a Gibson GA-5 which is great sounding, especially with P90's. BUT I'm not hugely into running the amp so low that the clean tones don't even have any of that tubey goodness, not to mention jacking the gain on a disto/OD pedal for gain.

So I got a Tech 21 Trademark 30 combo amp.

Made in USA, 30 watts 100% analog SS, Accutronics spring reverb, 10" Eminence speaker, 3 different amp/mod/speaker modes, headphone jack, effects loop, speaker out jack, DI/PA XLR jack. KILLER TONES at any volume, from litterally whisper volume, to cranked. Seriously. Out tubes a lot of tube amps I've played at different settings. I can't stop playing thru it, I can't stop dreaming about playing thru it when I'm sleeping. I love it!!!! They just went up from $299 to $350, and the combo gig-bag goes for $49. I was lucky to find both on my local CL for a score. Love this amp!!!!!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks so much for all of the responses! i've been meaning to get back in touch but i've been slammed with work the last couple of days.


I like that everyone brought up the THD Hotplate. I used to have a Hotrod Deluxe, i couldn't even hit a note through it in my house, it was just too much. I ended up getting a HotPlate to sit in front of it and loved it. I ended up not using the amp much and about a year ago sold both the amp and the hotplate. In the back of my head i knew i should have held onto the hotplate. And here we are.


Last night i picked up a Blues Junior NOS (tweed w/ jensen) and a hotplate (craigslist, gotta love it). I got the amp at a Guitar Center, had to drive a little which is not usually the case. They were great and had pretty much everything i was looking at in stock. The guy let me have the "nice electric guitar" room for about an hour a/b/c/d/e'ing everything. The amps i tried out were:

- Fender Blues Junior (NOS)

- Fender Blues Junior (Standard/Black)

- VOX AC30 (used w/ upgraded celestion speakers at a good price)

- Mesa Boogie 5:25

- Mesa Boogie Texas Special (why not, it was there)


The Texas Special was way more than i was looking for both cost/size/power wise, but was overall awesome. I played it a while but just for kicks.


The VOX sounded really good by was a lot heavier/bigger than i wanted. The sound was great but i didn't like it significantly more than the NOS. The reverb was nice and the tremelo made it super tempting. Cost wise it was a good deal but in the end not the right amp.


After A/B'ing the NOS blues junior and the standard one i decided on the NOS. The sound was just a little brighter and overall a little more appealing. (plus i was able to get a good deal on it so buying the standard one and upgrading the speaker would have been a wash.)


I was pretty torn between the VOS and the 5:25, at nearly double the cost though the 5:25 didn't cut it for me - a damn nice amp too. The master volume worked granularly enough that at Class A 5W the hotplate probably wouldn't have been necessary even.


Anyway - this i a good setup for me and i appreciate all of the advice and options you guys threw out, i was doing a bunch of research while i was at work the last few days.


Now (unfortunately) the hotplate is a little noisy when it's at the lowest setting, i think there's something wrong with it that i'm going to have to look into. It makes noise at the -16db setting when dialing in the trim pot. I've got to see how easily fixable it is and/or maybe have to return it.


Here's a quick/crappy pic:


EDIT: my house looks pretty crappy eh, gotta love that. time for a place where the hotplate isn't necessary [-X

EDIT II: how dare i use my SG instead of my LP! The SG was handy, i'm very sorry!!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pod XT. I've got one set up in an Atomic Research 112-18 -- an 18 watt tube amp driving a 200 watt Eminence speaker in a closed-back cabinet. There's a hot-swappable bay that will accept several different kinds of modeler. It's designed to have "no opinion" (be pretty much neutral, but have an extended frequency response compared to most guitar speaker systems).



The Pod, of course, is the important bit; it can also be used with my Carvin TS-100 (100 watt tube power amp)


into a pair of closed-back ported 2x12 cabinets with a pair of piezo tweeters



or it can be run directly into a PA type system. It can be run directly into earphones or into a computer (for recording) via the USB interface. And, of course, it can be programmed from the computer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the blackheart little giant is the amp on my wish list for those reasons... i live in a duplex and i work nights... gr3 is great but i hate playing into headphones while my fender deville collects dust. the little giant has a tube head and you can choose between 3 or 5 watts, played one for a minute and loved it! just trying to persuade the wife i "need" it. good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the blackheart little giant is the amp on my wish list for those reasons... i live in a duplex and i work nights... gr3 is great but i hate playing into headphones while my fender deville collects dust. the little giant has a tube head and you can choose between 3 or 5 watts' date=' played one for a minute and loved it! just trying to persuade the wife i "need" it. good luck[/quote']


Trust me it's too loud! I have one. Buy the smaller one instead - the Killer Ant - if you want to be able to crank it into tube overdrive. The exception to this is if you get your gain from pedals - in which case you can set the Little Giant relatively quiet and still rock out without waking the neighbors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MESA Lonestar Special 1x12, but pull out the V30 and stick in a Gold 50! Also you've got switchable power, which can still shake the walls if you really crank the gain, master and pots on your guitar. But you can get your tone at low levels and gig loud with it. Plus you've got a switchable drive channel!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blackhearts are pretty good amps. I have a Handsome Devil and it's great, but pretty loud. I normally keep it on the seven watt setting unless no one else is home. It has pretty decent drive and if you need it to go a bit louder, it has outputs for a second cab, like the other Blackhearts. I wish I would have gotten the head and cab instead of the combo or even the Little Giant. I picked up the Devil because it had a separate drive control, but I usually use pedals anyway. I'd really love to try the Hot Head 30/50/60/100 watt variable, but I don't think it's been released yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...