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What Amp Should I buy


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I am a newbe all the way, I started playing last June when I retired and noticed my son's cheepo Fender Squire rig sitting in the corner of our family room. I typed in how to play the blues and away I went. I purchased my Les Paul Standard used on ebay and I'm still using the cheepo Fender amp. I have been looking at combo amps. I will be playing the blues for the most part along with some 70s rock and would like some suggestions on what would be the best amp for me. I like used gear and someday hope to start hitting the local blues jams so I want something of quality with enough power to handle clubs. What would you suggest?

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

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The price is a concern but not a major factor. I would rather wait to save a little more in order to get a great amp rather than spending money on something that I will not totally enjoy and will want to replace. That's why I bought a Gibson Les Paul, I know I can enjoy it for the rest of my life.

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Definitely get a small tube amp. Just google "best small tube amp" and you'll be overwhelmed with choices. Small amps, I have a Vox AC4, Blackheart Little Giant, Fender Champ 600. They all sound great...except the 600; it's just OK. Blues Jrs are also great (have one of them, too) but a 15 watt tube amp is a lot of power.

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I've only played thru one at a store.

 

It has 40watts of power which is a lot of power.

 

Here is the thing about tube amps (simplified version). They sound great when the tubes are pushed (volume turned up) to a certain point. The louder your amp (40 watts vs. 5watts) the louder it's going to be to find that "sweet spot" on the amp. Lets use an general setting of around 6 on the amp; think about how loud that is - try it out at the store on 6 or 7 and see what you think. However, you can get a nice distorted sound by turning up the pre-amp volume and a lot of people prefer that sound.

 

Here is my point - a higher wattage tube amp will need to be louder to sound it's best. This is great when playing in a band and especially with a loud drummer and/or bassist. However, it's not so good at home unless your family is very understanding.

 

That's why I suggested the Blues Jr. It can get loud but it's not crazy loud. When cranked it sounds great in a small room situation with drums and other guitars. I've used a 10watt amp I built in band situations and it was plenty loud except when we did songs by The Who or Led Zeppelin (loud drummer).

 

Oh and $450 sounds like a pretty good price on that particular amp by the way. If you bought it and decided it's too loud you can probably get your money back.

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Definitely get a small tube amp. Just google "best small tube amp" and you'll be overwhelmed with choices. Small amps, I have a Vox AC4, Blackheart Little Giant, Fender Champ 600. They all sound great...except the 600; it's just OK. Blues Jrs are also great (have one of them, too) but a 15 watt tube amp is a lot of power.

 

I am in the same place with regards to needing an amp. I plugged into an AC4 last week and was fairly impressed, but heard some rumblings about longevity not being so good.

Any feedback on it?

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Welcome and you will definitely not be short on opinions about things here. So for what it's worth here is my opinion.

 

I think amps are harder to choose than a guitar to be honest. I think they take longer to get used to and take longer to find what you like and dislike about them. I love tube amps but they can be persnickety and sound different day to day even hour by hour. Tubes are constantly changing so tone is constantly changing. replace tubes and tone and gain changes, filter caps and other components drift or fail over time so once replaced tone is different again. Plug into an electrical circuit that is fluctuating and tone/gain will change. Use a different guitar cable can even change the tone. I know it sounds like I don't like them but that's actually what I do like about them.

 

I would try out all kinds of amps big and small, tube and Solid state and find a place that you can return it within 30 days. Bring your guitar with you when your checking them out. If you find something you like take it home and play it ( a bunch) you might hear things you like or hear things you can't stand that you didn't notice before and once you do notice it, it will drive you crazy!

 

The other thing is your ears are always changing so what sounds good one day might not sound the same the next....

 

Welcome to the chase for tone brother!!!

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Andy

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They don't seem to get a lot of mileage around here except from me but do yourself a favor and at least go play an Egnater Rebel 30. They are not cheap but rather a mid-range price point. I had a Krank Rev Jr Pro before and they are actually a great little amp that despite their metal reputation you could dial in an awesome bluesy crunch on it. It lacked clean [Kleen in Krank jargon] channel headroom though so I sold it and got the Egnater after playing one. The Rebel 20 is great too but just a single channel amp. The 30 gives you separate channels with separate EQs and even separate reverbs that though digital are really quite good. Great for home but you could absolutely gig with it. From Clean to Blues to Classic Rock they can't be beat. Probably a little short for metal heads but they make pedals for that.

 

The Renegade is even better and as I've stated on other threads their boutique amp the MOD50 is still the best amp I've played bar none. Bruce just does great things with amps IMO and it's quite amazing that you call tech support to ask a question and Bruce actually picks up the phone. Not always but he does.

 

Now, that said, if I didn't own an Egnater, I would likely have gotten a Blackstar. I do like what they're doing as X-Purist Marshallers.

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Get the one that sounds best to your ear. That is the only way to do it.

 

 

Andy has it right.... go play them. Take your guitar and see which one sounds best to you. Play a bunch of them. Big ones, small ones, fat ones and tall ones.

 

 

 

I'm not telling you to do anything that I'm not doing.... I'm shopping amps too :)

 

Mostly... enjoy the hunt!

 

 

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They don't seem to get a lot of mileage around here except from me but do yourself a favor and at least go play an Egnater Rebel 30. They are not cheap but rather a mid-range price point. I had a Krank Rev Jr Pro before and they are actually a great little amp that despite their metal reputation you could dial in an awesome bluesy crunch on it. It lacked clean [Kleen in Krank jargon] channel headroom though so I sold it and got the Egnater after playing one. The Rebel 20 is great too but just a single channel amp. The 30 gives you separate channels with separate EQs and even separate reverbs that though digital are really quite good. Great for home but you could absolutely gig with it. From Clean to Blues to Classic Rock they can't be beat. Probably a little short for metal heads but they make pedals for that.

 

The Renegade is even better and as I've stated on other threads their boutique amp the MOD50 is still the best amp I've played bar none. Bruce just does great things with amps IMO and it's quite amazing that you call tech support to ask a question and Bruce actually picks up the phone. Not always but he does.

 

Now, that said, if I didn't own an Egnater, I would likely have gotten a Blackstar. I do like what they're doing as X-Purist Marshallers.

 

 

Three words; Egnater, Egnater, and Egnater.....Lots of amp choices..I own many amps...My favorites are Egnaters. RENAGADE, try one, you'll stop amp shopping.......

 

Drive a Fulltone pedal in front or two like a Plimsoul, you' never stop playing.......

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Don't forget the Vox Night Train. I get great tones from it with all my guitars.

 

Craig

 

God do I love my Vox Night Train....Its a little box of monster tone...the dirty sounds you can crank out of it are phenomenal and the chimey cleans arent bad either!...+1 [thumbup]

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