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Large amp for little room

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by KyryllK, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. KyryllK

    KyryllK Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Would you rather have a large tube amp in a small place where you would not be able to crank it up to even half, or a small digital amp but with the ability to go to eleven?

    Do you lose tone or any other valuable aspects if you are constantly unable to play at mid-high amp volume?
  2. michplayer

    michplayer Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 2, 2014
    Personally I have a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and it's too much amp for most situations. I like the warm tube sound but it's a ***** trying to dial up a volume that isn't too loud or too quiet on this thing and I kinda wish I'd gone solid state and a bit smaller.

    I can rarely turn it up past three and don't use the amp to its potential. The tone definitely sounds better played at higher volume than what I typically use it for.
  3. Vindibona1

    Vindibona1 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I have a small office space in a condo complex (complete with crabby neighbors). My amps aren't that large and I can't turn the volume up more than 4 or 5 MAX. My Blues Jr. usually stays at around 2 or 3. Cranking to 11? None, never.

    Yamaha makes a LITTLE practice amp that's supposed to be pretty good, but for what it is it is pretty pricey. Though my Blues Jr. NOS is the best basic amp I LOVE my Cube 40XL (top amp).

    Perhaps you have a more specific question on which amp to get?

    Here's a shot of my current amp situation. I've recently moved the Cube to to the other side of the room near my desk.

    Attached Files:

  4. KyryllK

    KyryllK Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Not at all, I already have a ValveKing I can't turn past 2 :D

    I had moved into a somewhat smaller place and while I could play however loud I wanted in the past, currently it's not an option.

    I was considering buying a small 15 watt solid state but ultimately bought pedals :)

    Now, I am just curious to hear from you guys because Im certain Ive heard somewhere that there is a reason you wanna use smaller amps in smaller spaces vs bigger in bigger spaces.

    I'm just curious what it is and, as always, learn from you all. :D
  5. waparker4

    waparker4 Strat-O-Master

    Mar 31, 2014
    There is no reason to go to 11 on a digital amp.

    I'd rather have a nice small tube amp, personally.
  6. Stratoholic

    Stratoholic Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 30, 2010
    I use a Marshall Class 5 in low power in a 10 by 10 foot (that's about 3x3 meters) bedroom. I can turn it all the way up, because it's only putting out something like 1/10th of a watt in low power, and it doesn't bother anyone. (well, I've never gotten a complaint) and it's a decent practice volume.
  7. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Strat-Talker

    Apr 3, 2012
    Northern California
    This is not a great option. I have, for instance, a Carvin BelAir that is really too loud for living room at two on the dial, so for home playing I use a Princeton RI which is much more reasonable at home volumes, though still quite loud.

    Ugh! Does it have to be digital? How about a great SS like the Vox Pathfinder, the Peavey Bandit, or the like. Tones are much better at friendly volumes and none of that digital sizzle, or unpleasant note decay from noise suppressors.

    Yes, the tone coming from a large tube amp at quiet volumes is meh at best.
  8. smurph1

    smurph1 Senior Stratmaster

    May 29, 2013
    West Virginia
    I really like a cranked small tube amp, because I can roll the volume back to clean the tone up and the amp will break up without blowing my ears out.. Plus it's easier to carry.. My 2 cents.. A Vox Ac-4 does this very well!!
  9. madryan

    madryan Strat-Talker

    Jun 5, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    I've got a Kemper Rig running through a couple of QSC K12's that'll do everything from whisper quiet to ear bleeding loud and sound good doing it. All told it's about $5k worth of gear though so it better sound good lol.

    My boogie collection for the most part are big, loud-as-hell amps that excel at producing excessive SPL's. They definitely sound good doing it.

    FWIW, that little Yamaha 10w modeling amp sounds great.
  10. twangless

    twangless Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 22, 2010
    Nothing smaller than a twelve inch speaker. A 112 combo is as small I'd ever go.
  11. candyapple1964

    candyapple1964 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 9, 2014

    In a word yes. You will lose tone at lower volumes, IF the tone you like is what you get at higher volumes ;)

    It is a compromise. Even at a gig you are not always able to crank the amp.

    I use an old fender champ at home, it allows a little more drive while staying low volume.. I also use my 71 deluxe reverb. Great for home. Just use a pedal for grit if you need it.

    I can say from experience that modelling amps like a Line6 get the tone close. But it simply loses the touch and feel of a real tube amp. I can get a decent tone out of my Line6 SPider 4, not worries, and it will be reasonably authentic at a gig even. But I simply prefer the touch and feel of my old Fender amps. The Line6 amp I have seems to make it too easy and sort of homogenizes the sound. No matter what guitar I use it ends up being really similar. The old Fender amps I have make every guitar show its true character. And that is what I prefer
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  12. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    look at a VHT Special 6 Ultra.
  13. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Ad space available Strat-Talk Supporter

    What i found works for me is my blues jr or tweed deluxe with an efficient speaker like a c rex is plenty loud to gig or jam. An extension cab with a less efficient speaker like a weber 12a125 to play at home. For me its the best of both worlds. Eminence makes a speaker that does both. But I agree at least get a decent ss amp, the pathfinder is a great practice amp. I would go with a valve jr or even better special 6. There was a special 6 head for 100 $ on local craigslist, I almost went for it even though I need another amp like I need ahole in my head.
  14. ezrocks4u

    ezrocks4u Senior Stratmaster

    I play a half stack and 4x10 combo amp in my very small room(10x1_) and I play pretty loud, make the walls shake. I want to know what you guys consider bedroom volume..... Because I play as loud as my ears allow, or at minimum above any tonal loss in volume.
  15. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014
    Yep, the condom theory possibly applies here...

    "Better to have it & not need it, than to need it & not have it"...

    Go for a reasonable size amp, & just wait for those moments when the house is empty & your neighbors aren't home !
  16. KyryllK

    KyryllK Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    I'm sorry, I meant to compare Solid State with Tube.

    I do not feel cheated of tone or anything for that matter, but just curious if I am missing out on something and after buying a 15 watt (something awesome) in the future I will have a wow moment.
  17. smurph1

    smurph1 Senior Stratmaster

    May 29, 2013
    West Virginia
    Small amps are the way to go unless you are playing a huge venue.. Remember Jimmy Page recorded the first Zeppelin album using a tiny Supro amp and a Telecaster.. What tone!!
  18. JohnDH

    JohnDH Senior Stratmaster

    I practice in a room 8'sq, using my 40W Marshall DSL401 combo. This amp is particularly good at low volumes due to the post phase invettor master volume and EL84 valves. Its often at sub-TV volume. An OD pedal into the clean channel works great, or, with a few tweaks its own OD channels also work well. I run it on an extension cab, which helps, even in that small space. Later, at a loud studio rehearsal im up at about 5, or 6+ for a gig. I have no need for a 'small' amp, but I could see a purpise for something of more compact dimensions sometimes.
  19. madryan

    madryan Strat-Talker

    Jun 5, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    If you've ever played one of those "tiny Supro amps" you know they're stupid, off the hook, loud. I've been kicking around the idea of building one but honestly, my 90w Boogie Mark III sounds better at low (Sane) volumes.

    Small class A amps in the 10-20w range will destroy your hearing while a bigger amp with a good master volume will sound good at a variety of volumes.
  20. wildhawk

    wildhawk Most Honored Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2014
    If you want a good versatile "home amp" don't bother with tubes.