Strat in the Attic
June 18, 2011 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Which guitar amp should I buy? Requirements: small, all tube, nice tone at low volume.

So I want to get back to the electric guitar -- sold my amp a few years back as I did not like it, and now I need a new one. I want it to be tube (just because, no arguments please), want it to overdrive w/o waking the kids up. I may use it in band sessions, probably not on stage. Headphones out and FX loop would be cool. Switchable power stage, too. Not too expensive.
I tried
- an Orange AD-5 (which is great but wayyyyy loud)
- a Blackstar HT-5 (overdrive somewhat thin, but then the Orange was maybe unfair competition)
- A Laney Cub10 (nice thick tone but could use a bit more aggression)
- a Vox AC4TV (could be cleaner)
Which other amps should I consider (and try to locate in my area; Rotterdam NL)?
I looked at a few previous asks but wondered if there were any new insights?
posted by gijsvs to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
I have an old KMD, which were kind of popular for a while in the 80s. Pretty decent for rehearsals anyway...
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:10 PM on June 18, 2011

I think the Fender Frontman 212R is decent for everything you describe. Would work fine on stage too esp. with mic'd PA support.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:46 PM on June 18, 2011

Shit, just forgot that wasn't a tube amp.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:47 PM on June 18, 2011

Peavey classic 30.
posted by cosmac at 12:56 PM on June 18, 2011

I vote for the Mesa Boogie Subway Blues. They hold their own against a drummer, too, which surprised me given their small size.
posted by treblemaker at 2:23 PM on June 18, 2011

Hands down, Mesa Boogie.
posted by humboldt32 at 3:09 PM on June 18, 2011

Guitarist in our band bought a Bugera for lounge room practice - it's utterly amazing. And for the money- doubly so. It can be nice and loud too. But warm and valve-ie.
posted by the noob at 5:22 PM on June 18, 2011

Not too expensive as in $200, or as in $800? Low volume overdrive can only be achieved with low wattage, or you just happen to like the sound of the stomp box you're using.
posted by mzurer at 6:14 PM on June 18, 2011

Fender blues jr. Or pro jr. Make sure to take it to an amp repair shop and ask for the volume knob to be replaced with a logarithmic one.
posted by roboton666 at 12:25 AM on June 19, 2011

I had a valve jr and quite liked it for playing at home. I think the euro equivalent is the Harley Benton GA 15, same circuit with an EQ. For overdrive at lower volumes, put an MXR micro amp in front.
posted by dubold at 1:35 AM on June 19, 2011

Response by poster: mzurer: not expensive as in $400 -- that rules out the mesa boogies I guess.
Thanks for your suggestions so far. I heard good things about Bugeras too, will check that one out, as well as the Blues Jr and the GA15
posted by gijsvs at 5:51 AM on June 19, 2011

Response by poster: OK, I found a second hand Laney VC15, and like it a lot.
It's a beautiful little amp and sounds great at bedroom volume, plus has features like dual channel, fx loop and cabinet out. Thanks for your ideas, all!
posted by gijsvs at 1:03 AM on June 27, 2011

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