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Amp for the music room...?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by trapdoor2, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    60
    79
    Oct 25, 2017
    Nawth Alabama
    Up front: I know bupkis about amps.

    Really. I had an little mid '60's Gretch tremolo about 30 yrs ago and all I ever did was turn it on/off. Messed around with the trem occasionally. Gave it away 15 yrs ago. Been almost totally acoustic since then (if I sat in electric, it was usually on Bass with somebody else's equipment).

    Now I'm enjoying the Strat and learning the ropes. I'm currently dinking around with the Vox Amplug2 (one "Blues", one "Classic Rock") and although they're pretty cool and work pretty good, the controls are impossibly tiny. I need a "real" amp.

    Yah, I know. These "what should I buy?" threads usually get filled with subjective and silly commentary. I'm ok with that.

    My needs:
    1. Affordable (under ~$200).
    2. Versatile...but efficient. IOW, I want reverb...but a zillion effects? I'll never use 'em.
    3. Small. Probably never get out of the music room. 20W max. A head unit would be fine.
    4. Primary use with Headphones. Speaker optional.
    5. Aux in. I can see me playing with jam tracks.
    6. To tube or not to tube? Face it, I'm an old fart with bad hearing. Call me "nuance challenged".
    7. Cheese free, please. I'd like something solid, with some weight.
    Guitar: HSS strat.
    Style: 50's and 60's rock, Blues, Surf, etc.

    I've been kicking around the Orange Crush 20RT, various Vox, Fender, etc. I do like the Orange "Micro Terror" head...but it gots no reverb. Add a reverb pedal and I'm over my $$$ limit (which is really not all that firm but I'd like to keep it to a single unit).

    Anything I'm missing? Obviously open to suggestions. I have no brand preferences. I'm not capable of discriminating between "Brit" and "American" amp sound (yet!).
     

  2. ryunker

    ryunker Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    53
    Feb 18, 2014
    Crystal Lake, Il
    Mustang fender stuff, cheap decent, and have reverb. Gray place to start and well under $200
     

  3. moullineaux

    moullineaux Strat-O-Master

    794
    Jul 11, 2009
    ATLANTA, GA
    Personally, I’m a tube amp guy exclusively ( except for a SS Fender frontman I️ got for free) so I️ am biased. $200 isn’t a big budget for tube amps so I️ would go up a bit and perhaps consider a Blues Jr. you can find great deals on good used amps. I️ have a Peavey Classic 20 That does a variety of tones very nicely though its a bit above your price range, worth it though in my opinion. Good verb and all the accessories you mentioned. Also switchable to 5 and 1 watts. My 2 cents. Good luck.
     

  4. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    60
    79
    Oct 25, 2017
    Nawth Alabama
    Just got back from local GC. Took my strat with me and did the nasty demo thing on several amps. Actually, I got one of the kids to do the demos for me (as I know nothing).

    Blues Jr. = awesome. If it had an aux input, I'd be haunting the classifieds/Craigslist for one. Might still do that anyway. It is physically a little big for my needs...and too expensive new.
    Mustang = excellent but has too many bells and whistles. I'm just sort of turned off by all the crazy settings.
    Vox = excellent but in my price-range, see "Mustang" above.
    Orange Crush 20RT = "Clean" is not quite as mellow as the Blues Jr. The reverb is somewhat different also. Has aux input, dirt simple controls and the footprint is small. I liked it.

    So far, so good. Any more suggestions to try?

    Big plus: the guys at the shop really dug my Strat. I was somewhat worried that my DIY efforts might have produced a monster. Nothin but good comments.
     

  5. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Strat-Talker

    Age:
    53
    277
    Jun 30, 2016
    Heart O' Dixie
    Look at the Roland stuff too - used is a good way to go with SS, pretty durable. With 50's and 60's material including surf, you need a clean Fender, good reverb and maybe delay. The Cube series with an 8" or bigger speaker sound YUGE at home, and do an early Fender tweed with reverb or delay really well, do a decent Marshall, the chorus, flanger and phaser are fun to have, two channels, and the other stuff you listed, $75:

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Roland/Cube-20X-1X8-20W-Guitar-Combo-Amp-113755352.gc

    Don't discount CL - I've bought three Cube's on CL.
     

  6. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    You should be able to find a used Mustang III for around $200. IMO, it's one of the best amps in terms of umph/tone at that price point.

    A Katana 50 is just barely over $200 now. IMO, it's the best value (new) amongst the lower priced 'modelers' right now.

    Honorable mention (at this price point) should go to the Bugera V5 combo ($200 new).
     
    carolinaeasy and Thrup'ny Bit like this.

  7. nuculer terrist

    nuculer terrist Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 12, 2014
    center of the mind
    Honestly I would look in pawn shops for an older solid state fender or peavey with spring reverb and aux in plug, headphone jack.
     
    steben and JustABluesGuy like this.

  8. GoodGolly

    GoodGolly Strat-O-Master

    526
    Jan 16, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    You wanted small? THR5. If you can stand something closer to the bulk of a regular amp - Katana 50. They are both fantastic and easy to use.
     
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.

  9. Kstu

    Kstu Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    41
    38
    Oct 18, 2017
    Massachusetts
    I have to say Katana or Roland has the various cubes. I use the microcube late at night. Very easy to dial in tones and effects, the Katana is too and made by same company if I'm not mistaken.
     

  10. nederemer

    nederemer Strat-Talker

    Age:
    31
    366
    Oct 25, 2017
    Somerset, Kentucky, USA.
    There's my rig. Micro terror 20w hybrid head has 1 12ax7 tube and a solid state section. Has aux in, no reverb though and it's made well but very light. Might also suggest a blackstar ht5r if you want reverb. You'll want to play these and I don't know if British sounding amps are even your thing.

    Edit: didn't realize the blackstar was so expensive for some reason i thought I had seen them for around $200.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017

  11. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    The bass player in my band has one of those Micro Terrors. He brought it to rehearsal one night so I could try it out. I plugged it into my Epiphone Valve Jr 1x12 cab and I loved it! That thing rocks!
     

  12. nederemer

    nederemer Strat-Talker

    Age:
    31
    366
    Oct 25, 2017
    Somerset, Kentucky, USA.
    I actually had it mounted to my pedal board briefly lol. I love that little thing I hook my fulltone OCD and the carbon copy into it and can get some great tones. I would like to get a 2x12 cab for it though the bass is not very good on the 8 inch cab but I guess that is to be expected with such a small speaker.
     

  13. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    Sounded great with my 1x12. I ran my OCD into it as well, with my Les Paul. It was seriously amazing to me the tone that came out of that tiny little thing. It was way better than what I was expecting. Huge difference between Youtube vids and real life.

    I would not think twice about buying one if I needed another amp.
     
    nederemer likes this.

  14. nederemer

    nederemer Strat-Talker

    Age:
    31
    366
    Oct 25, 2017
    Somerset, Kentucky, USA.
    My suggestion is orange micro terror and a t.c. electronics hall of fame reverb. Both can be found on reverb.com.

    Micro terror head $99 + $12 shipping
    Hall of fame reverb $85 +$8 shipping

    Total $204.00

    And, the hall of fame reverb is considered possibly the greatest reverb of all time.
     
    nuculer terrist and kchurch like this.

  15. problem-child

    problem-child Strat-O-Master

    764
    Aug 28, 2008
    Left Coast, USA
    I'll second the Roland Cube series of amps. They fit your stated needs and budget. At least the Cube 10GX does... I have a larger cube (and four tube amps) when it is headphone time or doing the living-room jam with a buddy, I use the Cube.

    The sound is not bad at all, and the feature set is just what you are looking for.
     

  16. TheDuck

    TheDuck Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    @trapdoor2 - Have you considered the Bugera V22?

    Absolutely killer all tube amp with volume to spare, a great clean tone and sweet classic crunch. A little over your suggested price range, but can be had used, and are well worth the money. Sounds really good at "bedroom" volumes too.

    If you dont need two channels and an effects loop, the V5 might suit you well, and its in your price range. Its all tube as well.
     

  17. Mesaman

    Mesaman Strat-O-Master

    639
    Oct 20, 2014
    Mesa AZ
    I'd probably go with the Orange Crush 20rt. Seems to hit all your requirements best.
     

  18. papergoblin

    papergoblin Strat-Talker

    Age:
    36
    287
    Sep 21, 2017
    Alabama
    I like simple amps and then use pedals to complicate everything. Honestly, I'd look for an amp with the best clean and then get a pedal/pedals for dirt.

    Vox Pathfinder 10 - Good clean and dirt plus cheap $80 new used under $50. Leaves room to buy pedals and such. It isn't a tube amp but for the price I like it more than many comparable priced amps.

    Vox VT20+ - May be more complicated but can be found used for under $100, got one a GC for $80.

    Orange Micro Terror or Micro Dark - Simple hybrid amp and loud

    Laney Cub 10 - $250 area (unless on sale) new, used should be where you want. All tube and sounds pretty good.

    I'd say wait a week or two, when Black Friday sales start up. I bet you'll be able to get more amp than you expect.
     

  19. steben

    steben Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 9, 2012
    Zulte, Belgium
    I agree on this....
    Consider the Peavey transtubes.... especially the older ones back to 2000. They have insane value for money. Personally I modded a red stripe 112 with an extra master level control to have the power amp emulation in it on 80 watts to less than a watt output..... The clean on it with reverb is great surf material.
     
    Kstu and nuculer terrist like this.

  20. nuculer terrist

    nuculer terrist Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 12, 2014
    center of the mind
    Awesome! Last week I picked up a usa envoy 110 teal stripe for $21, needed a speaker swap, got a celestion 10 30 for $33. So for $54, I have a ideal amp for home/jam use.
    And yeah, they sound fantastic for surf!
     
    steben likes this.