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Best sounding Practice Amp


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Hi all, I'm new. I'm 62 years old. I have played for years then stopped playing due to illness, I Just Purchased a

Gibson SG vin 61. it feels so much lighter than my old 98 SG Standard. I was wondering what you all thought of it?

I am not used to the new amps out their with built in effects, was wondering for some advice, I been listening  to demo's

of the Fender companion 100 / Marshal code 100/ vox. I really thought the Fender companion 100 sounded great and the 

head phone Jack I was told gives a professional sound. that important to me, until I find some old timers  to Jam with. the wife

hated so much when I turned on my Marshall JVM 410 stack. anyway I just want a really good sound amp with some stuff built in

but has really good head phone sound. THANK YOU ALL, Rich1195

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Hello and welcome.

Depends on two things really..  What sort of budget you have in mind and what sort of music you play...

Lots and lots of nice solid state amps out today and the effects and gizmos that they have in them are more useful than ever... Old solid state amps were just crap...  If you have the budget theres some nice small 1 or 5w tube amps out there..  

Theres also that Positive Grid amp which apparently jams along with you and creates a backing tracks that I have heard good things about.

 

Edited by Rabs
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Out of the options you listed, I'd personally lean toward the Champion 100.  But here are a couple of other options to check out:

Fender Mustang LT25 25W 1x8

Fender Mustang LT50 50W 1x12

These are digital modeling amps with simplified controls.  Has headphone jack and they sound very good in headphones. Try it in the store if possible.  

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Thank you for your response, I was thinking of spending between $500 or $600, but if I can find a really good sounding one Id probably spend a little more.

T

he code 100 has a lot of stuff in it but I saw someone's review that said it sounded like crap. I was hoping to find one with some good stuff built in but not to compromise

sound quality Ill check out the fenders you listed. I really like playing the lead along to the music to that live at  the film more east . Almanbrothers, I played a Les Paul Custom for years

though a Marshall Tube amp, I like the sound of the modes. when I was playing they didn't have much in the way of effects the fuzz, wa, wa. Just the basics. anyway thank you both for your advice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome, Rich1195.

I must confess right up front that I believe that there are great guitar amplifiers, good guitar amplifiers, and poor amps as well. 

Terms such as "practice amp" and "bedroom amp" are just marketing niches, in my humble opinion. 
As are "performance amps" and "high-end tube amps". 
I can take any great-sounding amplifier to a live gig, no matter how large or small, and mic it to the PA. 
And we will rock the house. 

Your search for a great guitar amplifier must, therefore focus on the critical customer desires more so than the package labels. 
It feels to me that you require a great-sounding amplifier with some built-in effects that sounds fantastic thru head-phones. 
(And you would really rather that it not occupy the same space as a large bookcase.)

My recommendation is to take the advice of all these good men and ladies, on the merits attached to those simple standards. 
Chances are that the amp will sound fabulous thru your headphones therefore, and then later on, you can schlep it to live gigs. 
And everybody wins that way. 

Since you are willing to drop $500 t0 $700 on it, I don't think you'll have any problem finding plenty of great candidates for your dream amp. 
And it may have a Fender logo on it, and there's a good chance that it may carry the badge of Marshall, Crate, Vox,  Blackstar, Boss, or Orange. 
Who knows?

Only you will know when it's right. 
Just don't paint yourself into a corner, I guess that's all I'm saying. 

Okay, I'm gonna shut up now. 
😐

 

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In the solid-state vein, another humble consideration should be the Line 6 Spider V Mk ii line, too.  Besides being very affordable, they are very well made with very nice tones and a very slick, controllable package overall.  

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I have been hearing good things about this new generation of Classics that captured the sound of the first gen from the 90's (from guys that were using Classic 50 heads with Marshall cabinets).  The tube powered Peavey Classic 30 II 112 Tweed.

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTBClLVnY2CCYkJez-o2

Edited by mihcmac
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I have a Code 50, and a Mustang III (the oldest version, v1)

The Code's factory presets are a bit more sterile sounding than the comparable mustang presets.  You HAVE to learn the edits, and then you can get just about anything out of the amps.  The Cab simulators play a key role in the over all sound and really do make a pretty noticeable difference.  Lots of times, these opinions are coming from people who haven't figured out how to edit the settings.  

I think the Mustang does edge out the Code to my ears.  But that doesn't make the code a bad option for a practice amp.  The Code will use Bluetooth to your Android or iPhone (Marshall Gateway App.)  this allows a very easy interface to the amps edit functions.  Not sure what the new fenders are doing, I think they are using Wifi and most likely some app  not sure, I am not familiar with the new Mustangs.

They both have a lot of usable sounds, but to get there, takes a little bit of editing and patience.   Once you get a few presets dialed in, you'll be digging either one.

I just picked up a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, what a fantastic sounding amp...  not a lot of bells and whistles, but man these things sound insanely good.

 

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I haven't mentioned the amps that I currently used because of the stigma associated with inexpensive Chinese built amps. But here I am several months down the road with two tube powered "Monoprice Stage Right 15w with a 12" Celestion". These things are very well below the $600 mark at $249.99 delivered. If you like squeaky clean amps these are not for you, but if you like a little 60's driven sound like you can get from a Vox, you might like them. I boost the clean headroom by turning the Tone control to 10 with the Gain on about 4 and Volume to wherever I can stand it for my environment, I do play outdoors frequently. Also it has Bass Mid and Treble EQ's to tweak your tonal range. The Spring Reverb I use a little, but I also use an analog  Delay and Chorus in the Effect Loop. I liked the sound of these from the beginning and to me as the tubes burn in, they sound even better. This amp does seem to work very well with my P90's, I do use two of them when practical, but one will normally do and they have a 1 watt button for low volume practice... 

Stage Right on the right..

OV3h0O7.jpg

Edited by mihcmac
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5 hours ago, mihcmac said:

I have been hearing good things about this new generation of Classics that captured the sound of the first gen from the 90's (from guys that were using Classic 50 heads with Marshall cabinets).  The tube powered Peavey Classic 30 II 112 Tweed.

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTBClLVnY2CCYkJez-o2

 

I used Peavey Classics in the late 70's for quite a few years.

rct

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On 2/13/2021 at 5:58 PM, Rich1195 said:

but has really good head phone sound

The Monoprice Stage Right 15w and Peavey Classic 30 have no headphone sound as far as I can tell from the photos.  The headphone requirement also rules out most (if not all) of those 1-5w tube amps.   You're mostly looking at DSP amps. 

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Play anywhere and use headphones with Roland Micro Cube, multiple amp samples, effects and much more.

micro_cube_gx_b_angle_1_gal-194fe2a2025c

micro_cube_gx_b_top_gal-2893259c9b5aacad

micro_cube_gx_b_back_gal-7dcb27a5a9ca795

I have been using older versions for a long time, my earlier model cubes could play for up to 20 hrs on a set of batteries. These new ones claim up to 25 hrs.

Edited by mihcmac
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I have very limited experience with "practice amps," but I can recommend Roland SS amps. I had a Cube XL-80, and when I was between houses and lived in a basement apartment for a year, I plugged in with head phones. It had some very useable amp sounds and effects, plus it had a layered looper capability for close to a minute. It had bright, beautiful, punchy cleans, and it was light and loud. I had gotten my money's worth out of it when I gave it to a friend (to use in his middle school) after I got my Tone Master DR.

I do NOT recommend Roland bass amps... not even in home studios.

Edited by zigzag
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Hi and welcome Rich,

Smaller tube amps & or attenuators are still popular. However, I suggest considering digital.

Examples are:

Boss Katana Mini

Positive Grid Spark

Yamaha THR

 

I bought a Yamaha THR 30 last year and found it to be an ideal home amp. Easy to use. Wonderful sounds. Its also has a re-chargeable battery onboard so you can play it outside, especially if you add a G10 relay - your guitar becomes cordless too. Its a result of Line6 modelling & Yamaha hifi colab. 

THR30IIWL-large.jpg?v=9fd01228ab370a43&f 

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With the new amplifiers that are available now I'm not sure we need to have a "practice" amp anymore.  What was the purpose of the "practice" amp?  We had a powerful amplifier for playing with the band, it had to be loud enough to be heard over the drums, and to fill up a large room as well as achieve great tone.  So that amp might be a Fender Twin Reverb, or a Marshall stack or something comparable, but those amps were large and very heavy to carry around, and at lower volumes (for at home use) you couldn't get the same tone you could when it was cranked up on a stage.  So we invested in a second amplifier that was smaller, lighter, and lower power so we could crank it up to get tone, but still not be too loud.

Now we have amps like the Fender Tone Master line that can serve both purposes.  With the band it's a full out amplifier, and at home you just set the output down to 1 watt to get cranked tone at lower volume.  The Deluxe Reverb for example only weighs 22 pound I think so it's not  hard to move around.  It costs a little more than the budget you mentioned, but you eliminate the need for two amps, so you can trade your old stage amp in toward it.  I don't think they have any headphone jacks, but they do have a line out that you can use with the amp on standby, you'd just have to run the "out" into something with a headphone jack.  They don't have a long list of built in effects, but you have 2 switchable channels (one for clean, one for drive or crunchy), reverb and tremolo and they take pedals very well if you need chorus or whatever else you like.

Your original question was "what is the best sounding practice amp?"  And the reason I believe that you ask that is that we all just assume that a small low powered amp isn't going to sound as good as your stage amp so what is the best of a bunch of bad options?  With these new amps you don't have to settle.

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I use a Roland MicroCube as a preamp for my Leslie speaker and it's a dead ringer for the Fender Blackface sound.  I can A/B that with a Deluxe Reverb and they sound really similar.  The Leslie has a tube power amp, so I guess that's part of it.  I'm not all that familiar with the digital Fenders.

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On 2/15/2021 at 1:38 PM, mihcmac said:

I have been hearing good things about this new generation of Classics that captured the sound of the first gen from the 90's (from guys that were using Classic 50 heads with Marshall cabinets).  The tube powered Peavey Classic 30 II 112 Tweed.

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTBClLVnY2CCYkJez-o2

Great sounding amp!

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