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Ollie

Practice Amps

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I just brought my first Gibson, a les paul studio and am in love. I'm pretty new to the whole electric side of things and was after any thoughts on good practice home amps in the price range of about 100 to 350 (Australian) dollars? I was looking for a more clean orientated sound. thanks

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Ollie - I was going to suggest a small valve amp but you wont get one for that price in Oz

 

Therefore, I suggest a Roland Cube amp. There are multiple options in terms of power/watts.

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I have a Roland Cube 30 ($250 US) which I am very satisfied with. I even gig it with the jazz bands. I've been very impressed with the "Cube" series amps, lots of features and reasonable prices.

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i have a peavy VYPYR 15w modeling amplifier, which is 100 USD. it is my only amp, but i love it i can get marshall tone easily.oh and congrats on your les paul. OI MATE NEVER SELL THAT THING!!!!!!!\msp_thumbup.gif

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Guest BentonC

wow- sounds like there is a general consensus on the Cube series. I'll have to check that out...

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See if you can find a second hand 1970's (silverface) Fender Champ or better still a vibro champ. People often do ask too much for them, but they do often come up reasonably priced too, especially if you are willing to take one that is in poorer cosmetic shape. I think they are really excellent amplifiers. They are serious amplifiers, for example Joe Walsh used one on many of the James Gang recordings and although I am not a Clapton fan I believe Layla was recorded using one. I find they sound particularly good with a Les Paul. You will get the clean sound you want, but they break up nicely at full volume too . . . especially if you get some good valves in them.

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See if you can find a second hand 1970's (silverface) Fender Champ or better still a vibro champ. People often do ask too much for them, but they do often come up reasonably priced too, especially if you are willing to take one that is in poorer cosmetic shape. I think they are really excellent amplifiers. They are serious amplifiers, for example Joe Walsh used one on many of the James Gang recordings and although I am not a Clapton fan I believe Layla was recorded using one. I find they sound particularly good with a Les Paul. You will get the clean sound you want, but they break up nicely at full volume too . . . especially if you get some good valves in them.

 

Clapton used a 50's tweed champ on Layla.

 

Craig

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The Cube amps are great for clean tones. You may want to check out the Vox AC4(I think that's what it's called) too. They are low wattage, and sound great(and are cheap)!

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Nice suggestion. Champs are great (though I don't like the reissues at all...).

 

The Epi Valve Jr. is excellent too. You can probably find one of those on sale at a dealer for a really reasonable price. Check it out: http://www.epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=254&CollectionID=13

YES~ I have the head, modded by Rockstahamps.com -rocks hard!

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Guest BentonC

YES~ I have the head, modded by Rockstahamps.com -rocks hard!

 

Nice! I've heard good things about their work.

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Small amps are often more fun than big ones

Roland Cubes are excellent

There are some true valve amps in this price area eg

Epiphone, Laney

Pignose is legendary !

Hybrids like Marshall Valvestate and Vox Valvetronics

Are excellent.

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I have a Fender Vibro Champ XD. It's not a true valve amp, more of a hybrid, but it does produce some good sounds and it's great to record with . . . and it's cheap.

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Guest BentonC

I have a Fender Vibro Champ XD. It's not a true valve amp, more of a hybrid, but it does produce some good sounds and it's great to record with . . . and it's cheap.

 

Does it just have a tube pre-amp?

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I've tried a small valve amp and they are still way too loud for a home practise amp. I've got a Vox VT30 and it's excellent. It's got a valve preamp but the rest is solid state. The best thing is, there's a control knob on the back for adjusting the output to the speaker so you can turn it right down without affecting the tone. The only down side is that there is no line in socket for backing tracks. There is a mod to fit one though and that's on the Valvetronix website. There's also a headphone socket.

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I've tried a small valve amp and they are still way too loud for a home practise amp. I've got a Vox VT30 and it's excellent. It's got a valve preamp but the rest is solid state. The best thing is, there's a control knob on the back for adjusting the output to the speaker so you can turn it right down without affecting the tone. The only down side is that there is no line in socket for backing tracks. There is a mod to fit one though and that's on the Valvetronix website. There's also a headphone socket.

 

There's demo here

 

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I just brought my first Gibson, a les paul studio and am in love. I'm pretty new to the whole electric side of things and was after any thoughts on good practice home amps in the price range of about 100 to 350 (Australian) dollars? I was looking for a more clean orientated sound. thanks

 

I don't know what brands you get down there, or if retailers will price match, or what on-line retailers you have. Some mentioned Roland Cube amps; good choice. Fender Mustang I & II combos are an option 99&199...The Vox VT 15, 30, & 50s are very good and cheap ( as Sproggie says ). The Jet City JCA 2112 RC combo is great, all tube, costs only 299 ( in U.S.A. )...If you get Bugera amps, check them out; well built all tube and cheap...The Vox VT 15 and even better the Vox VT 30 will suit you well...Good choice going with a Gibby LP.......There are other choices of amps, but you have enough choices now......

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I use a Egnater rebel 30 head and a matching cabinet.I play a es 335 thru it and the tone is amazing,I also have a fender blues junior that I use sometimes.Egnater custom amplification is hard to beat,and they are reasonably priced

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if you like clean, the silverface fenders are actually the real deal. and while it might seem a little more than you want to spend, nothing for the money will come close. i'm not wanting to knock all these other cool amps poeple like, but i can't stress enough how different the game is when getting the real deal as opposed to an aproximation. you will learn more about playing electric and what makes the les paul such a great axe by playing through an amp that is its equal. and when you think of electric played clean, what do you think of? a fender amp more often than not, and there is a reason for it. the way the amp reacts to your playing has a lot to do with it.

sinse you are on a budget, it doesn't make sinse to say which you should go for, but it is definitely worth digging through whatever ads you can to get one. the 70's silverfaced ones are great values. as it happens sinse you are looking for clean you don't have to worry about it being to loud (big) because silverfaced fenders sound GREAT at low volumes before the get cranked, so anything you get can be played low.

as it is i have a little gratch i bought because it actually sounds pretty ok (it is the same as the champ-talking about the newer ones here) and it is actually a clean amp, nothing like the real ones. (i have a real one too, NOT clean). i end up using my deluxe anyway turned down.

if it also applies, you might also want to be aware that should you consider one of the fender reissues like the deluxe reverb reissue or the like, the 70's silverfaced ones are actually in the same price range, and especially cranked sound worlds better than the reissues. should not even be considered in the same league, (not supposed to be, one is an approximation) but really, they are about the same price.

having said that, ditto the cube, it is just fine and sounds good. same with the valve jr (can sound good cranked, which is what most use them for). if you have a chance to go to a music store and try some of these, i would keep in mind that while it is true that tubes are better than solid state, just because it is tube doesn't mean it sounds good. i have been surprised at how bad some of the little tube offerings sounded last i checked a few years ago. makes reaching for the cube seem pretty good.

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Guest BentonC

+1 on the silverfaces. You can often get a really great deal on those, and most people pass them up when they are looking for a blackface.

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I'd recommend you try a Vox Pathfinder 10, which is a solid state amp but to my ears has a very tube-ish chime played clean. For the money (£49) I think it's unbeatable, and am very pleased with mine. I've played a friend's Roland Cube but didn't think it had anywhere near the same tone.

 

They also look great!

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Guest BentonC

So you like the Pathfinder more than the Cube? Nice tip- I'll have to check one out.

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Definitely; I thought the cube had less character to the sound. If you check out the Pathfinder it'd be interesting to hear what you thought. I play a Casino through it and like it best with the overdrive 'just' on, set about 10%. I've seen Youtube videos of Norah Jones using a Pathfinder live.

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