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Best cost efficient under $1,000 bedroom tube amp

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Green Sub, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Green Sub

    Green Sub Strat-Talk Member

    83
    Mar 29, 2018
    Atlanta, GA
    I have two Strats and a Fender Mustang GT40 digital amp. I'm a beginner and would only play in the bedroom. So I really like the Vox 30 preset that I've downloaded on my GT40.

    What's a good tube amp for my needs? The VOX AC15C1X 15-watt 1x12" Tube Combo with Alnico Blue Speaker looks interesting or is this overkill for my needs?

    I doubt that I'll ever advance past beginner stage, just 59 y.o. with money to burn and have fun.
     
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  2. newplayeroldguy

    newplayeroldguy in the wind

    May 12, 2015
    north and east
    What's so bad about overkill? I've got a DSL40C as a bedroom amp- why not?
     
  3. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Good luck with this adventure. Keep in mind it's a journey and not the destination that's important.

    LOT'S of options in this list of under 1K amps:
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/se...yNSJdLCJQcmljZSBSYW5nZSI6WyI2IiwiNyIsIjgiXX19

    FWIW, I would almost recommend going for the inexpensive end of the scale for a starter tube amp. Something like the Bugera V22. If you stick with guitar I can guarantee you that you will go through a bunch of amps.
     
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  4. errikwong

    errikwong Strat-Talker

    Age:
    31
    188
    Mar 11, 2018
    Singapore
    Vox AC10C1. Vox tones for days.
     
  5. TomH8

    TomH8 Strat-O-Master

    947
    May 1, 2014
    USA
    For $1000? Go used! Get a vox ac10, a Marshall class 5, and a fender blues jr. if you’re patient enough you’ll stay under 1k for all three. And you’ll have a blast
     
  6. mabley123

    mabley123 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    60
    Oct 21, 2010
    kentucky
    Marshall DSL40
     
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  7. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

    Bugera T5...5 watt class A. $150. but you'll need a speaker...
     
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  8. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    53
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    @Green Sub - If you can go a bit over $1K, a Mesa amp is hard to beat.
    They are built like mini tanks and can get most any tone you could want.
    They can be had used for under a grand, and come in a few different flavors to suit your tonal needs.
     
  9. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    I have a T5. Got it for under $150 (on sale) and it's a cool little amp. Almost perfect for a small room low-mid volume.
     
  10. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog A Real Nowhere Man Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 20, 2012
    Not On Cloud 9
    With that kind of bankroll it's almost a sky's the limit for a bedroom amplifier. I'd take a look at a DRRI. Also, maybe something with an attenuator?
     
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  11. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog A Real Nowhere Man Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 20, 2012
    Not On Cloud 9
    @Green Sub With your budget, I'd take my sweet time to sort things out. You have a plethora of choices in that price range. And, who knows, one day you may want to pull it out & make some noise.
     
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  12. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

    I agree. I'm rather surprised with it.
     
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  13. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Connected to a 2x12................ the little amp that could. hahaha

    IMG_6420.JPG
     
  14. 98bigapple

    98bigapple Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    54
    46
    Feb 14, 2018
    North Carolina
    Another vote for the T5. Had mine for over a year with a 2x10 cab. Great sounds and the built in attenuator gives you tone at lots of volume levels.
     
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  15. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    Get one of the hand built Fender tweed style amp heads that @Jimgchord makes and use the money that's left over to buy a really nice cabinet for it to sit on.

    Or buy a 15w Monoprice tube amp and donate the $800 left over to a good cause.
     
  16. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    What kind of music do you play?

    Shouldn't we consider that?
     
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  17. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 29, 2009
    Ithaca, NY
    Bear in mind that tube amps sound best when turned up. Solid state amps are better at low volume, and have headphone outputs, where most tube amps don't.

    My advice: don't buy a tube amp -- at least for a couple of years. Spend the money on lessons.
     
  18. Bcorig

    Bcorig Strat-Talker

    Age:
    68
    396
    Feb 17, 2018
    Chino Hills CA
    I just took delivery a Blues Jr. IV after looking at several, including the ones you're considering. By far the most satisfying if you're looking for the fender sound. Great low volume tones, if that's what you're looking for, but will serve well in a small room gig.
     
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  19. 93-Strat

    93-Strat Strat-Talker

    Age:
    25
    461
    Aug 29, 2016
    Jeffersonville, OH
    I could build a Fender Replica for you of some sort. I'd recommend a Tweed Princeton or Tweed Deluxe depending on how badly you want to rattle the walls. The Tweed Princeton is 5 Watts and would be plenty around the house. I also build Blackface Champs and Vibro Champs and all the others but these are what I recommend for at home. I use US made components wherever possible and price reasonably. All these would be $800 or less. IMG_0530.JPG 20170714_173055.jpg 20170906_205003.jpg 20180730_213217.jpg 20180507_162826.jpg IMG_0532.JPG IMG_0583.JPG 20180507_162817.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  20. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

    The thing about tube amps, and please forgive if this is redundant, is that they have a point where their qualities come alive. Often referred to as saturation, or harmonic saturation...it is characterized as the "sweet spot".

    It's a function of what the preamp tubes are sending to the power tubes and what the power tubes are being asked to deliver in volume. The lower the output wattage of the amp, the lower the volume where one will find that point where the amp comes alive.

    Attenuation kills whatever tonal characteristics that the tubes are generating. The amp is driven, but there's little of its character left. Might just as well use a solid state amp with a modeling preamp if an attenuator is in the mix.

    You said "bedroom amp". A 15 or 20 watt amp will need a pretty large bedroom to be considered appropriate. A Deluxe Reverb is a 22 watt amp. It will be damn loud in that bedroom before the point where saturation is reached. A Blackface Champ is about 11 watts, and is a very desirable amp. I had one once. I wish i still did.

    Most bedrooms are best suited for 1 to 5 watts. There are some that offer various output capabilities; Mesa Boogie as a dual rectifier thing, H&K has built in attenuation (so does the Bugera T5, but at 150 clams it's sort of hard to take seriously...). I haven't any experience with any of those, except the Bugera, so I'm not able to say much about them.

    If I was going to throw $1000 at a bedroom amp, it would, without question, be a Blackface Champ or Vibro Champ. For a bit less, I'd build one.
     
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