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Setup for an Apartment

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by charby, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. charby

    charby Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a while but this is my first time posting (kinda creepy right?!)

    Anyway, I'm finally making the dive into buying my first Stratocaster. I currently own a MIM tele that I'm playing through a fender champion 20.

    Initially I was planning on splitting my budget towards a strat and amp (MIM classic series strat with blues jr), but I don't know if this is the best idea as I am moving into an apartment soon. Does anyone have experience living in an apartment with a smaller tube amp? How much will my neighbors hate me?

    Due to this issue, I'm leaning towards buying an American Professional and keeping my current amp. I know I won't get my desired tone out of the guitar but at least I can play through headphones and at lower volumes. With this option I'll be able to save up for blues jr when I don't live in an apartment anymore.

    I've gone to my local guitar centre and played both the MIM and MIA... and I LOVE the American Pro. My dilemma is that I know it is more practical to get a better amp... but will I actually be able to use it?

    Any opinions on the best setup for a small apartment? Sorry if this is asked a lot on this forum, but I wanted feedback on my situation :)
     
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  2. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    The blues jr. has a master volume so you will be able to tame it but IMO tube amps sound best when cranked up and if you are using a master vol to keep it at apartment volume levels you might as well stick with your Solid State amp and get the nicer guitar.
     
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  3. dbolt

    dbolt Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Get the nicer guitar. While you can control the volume somewhat with master on a Bues Jr they sound fizzy to my ears. I stopped using the master on mine after listening to players smarter than me. I don’t use the master or the reverb and it’s an OK amp but not in an apartment.
     
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  4. El_Pistolero

    El_Pistolero Strat-O-Master

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    Welcome to the forum. Have you looked at the Yamaha THR 10?
    It's not a tube amp but I personally think it sounds fantastic. My situation was somewhat comparable to yours. I started off with a Roland Cube but I didn't really like the way it sounded and through headphones it sounded like a tin can so I sold it. Then I got a Fender Vibro Champ XD 5W hybrid tube/modeling amp thinking it would be more tame, but it does get pretty loud for a little amp and naturally that's when it sounds best.

    The game changer was the Yamaha because not only do I think it sounds great, but it sounds just as good through headphones. I have the "C" model (classic) which is geared towards the cleans-overdriven spectrum as opposed to heavier distortion, which was what I wanted. Judging by your interest in the Blues Junior, it may be able to provide what you're after. It's more expensive for a small SS amp but I think the price is justifiable given what it's capable of. Whether it's worth the portion of your budget will be up to you, but I wanted to share my experience. Best of luck.
     
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  5. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

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    I play and record a lot with other people in the house busy doing things where they really don't want to hear me. I often listen through headphones through my computer/DAW, usually run through my Yamaha THR10C, which in it's own right isn't a bad little amp for apartment use, both out loud and through headphones.

    I don't think I'd use my Blues Jr in an apartment though. It's too tempting to light it up to the happy zone.
     
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  6. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    I have a Fender Vibro Champ XD, and find it perfect for lower volume playing. Being a hybrid, you can get all the usual Fender tones plus AC/Brit/Marshall at decent volumes. The Blues Jr is just too inflexible to give a decent sound at low volume.

    They don't make the XD's any more, but they seem to be available on ebay - the Vibro for around $150, the Super Champ XD for a bit more.
     
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  7. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    A lot of the little (>/= 15w) tube amps these days have a built-in attenuator, often with a 1W or even 0.1w setting. An amp at .1w can be cranked all the way up at the volume most people watch TV. There are a lot of options for amps that will do this--monoprice, bugera, marshall and plenty more. If your amp is not directly on the floor (set it on a chair) it will be fine, unless your walls and floor are cardboard or your neighbors are super sensitive. If there's a big amp or classic amp that you just have to have--if you're handy you can build an attenuator for just about anything. I have a 75w Fender Bassman that I crank up and still play at living room volumes, playing through a homebrew L-pad attenuator.

    The alternative approach is, get whatever amp you want, set the volume low. If you play clean, that's all you need--if you want distortion shape it with pedals.
     
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  8. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 Strat-O-Master

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    The classic series MiM guitars are great! But the American Pro is greater so get it and a less expensive amp that sounds good to you. I use a Roland Cube 60 that I scored off Craigslist for a steal but there are MANY good sounding and inexpensive amps...especially when putting your fingers to a fine instrument .
     
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  9. charby

    charby Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. I've never seen the Yamaha THR10C but it seems like a very good option. I see that it can also be used as an audio interface to a computer? I forgot to mention that I already have a audio interface that I use with biasfx for when I want to record or play quietly. Still seems like a good option to get the tone I want at lower volumes.
     
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  10. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 Strat-O-Master

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    Is there a thread for these home brewed attenuators?
     
  11. dbolt

    dbolt Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yamaha THR10C is perfect for bedroom. Pricey tho.



    23ADACAF-6917-466E-AC76-12910434A389.jpeg
     
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  12. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    A Katana 50 and a set of headphones would work perfecto for your amplification needs.
     
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  13. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    Not that I have seen. You can Google it and there are plenty of places that sell kits but it's only a couple of parts and a box to house it in.
     
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  14. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

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    I've done gobs of recording on mine using the direct USB out, including two tunes on yesterday's Challenge here at ST. I love it. I've also played it out and about using batteries when power was nowhere to be seen. Plus is has an acoustic model and covers some bass if you want that. It's got a lot and sound surprisingly good.
     
  15. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    I figure you are eventually going to get both a new guitar and a new amp. Personally, I'd get the guitar first. Sounds like you won't live in an apartment forever and if you spend money on an amp just because you now live there, you are going to want a bigger/better amp after you move, anyway. With the guitar, it will be with you always, no matter the size and privacy of your dwelling.
    I preach and preach that an amp is a more important part of your sound than the guitar, but I simply didn't practice what I preach. I want the right instrument first, then I find the right amp (or truthfully, a financially obtainable suitable amp--still never got the Budda I really want).

    Or look at used and see if you can get both. Of all the amps I've owned, I've only bought two new ones.
     
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  16. El_Pistolero

    El_Pistolero Strat-O-Master

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    If you've already ventured into mixing your playing with computers (I'm not at that point yet) the THR10C also lets you modify the modeling programming at the circuit component level then export new settings to the amp from there. Read up on it and you'll see what this little guy is capable of. My $0.000000002
     
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  17. Tim S

    Tim S Strat-O-Master

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    Or you could go with one of the Mesa Boogie amps that have the built-in Cab-Clone feature that lets you use headphones. (Maybe a Triple Crown or a MkV:35) :D
     
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  18. Sonicboom

    Sonicboom Strat-Talk Member

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    I live in an apartment. Practice with a 10 watt fender amp, playing songs on a mustang 1, 20 watt. I wanted a tube amp, but they need volume to sound right. So im sticking with the mustang one. I can keep it down and it sounds great. It keeps me out of trouble with the people up stairs and next door. If nobody is home , once in awhile i crank it up. Lol, just got to check the cars in the parking lot, cars gone, nobody home. Yup...we gonna rock bro. Or i invite them over for the audience factor. Fresh beverages help the situation. One thing about playing loud, it knocks the dust off of stuff. Why do girls complain about dust? I don't even notice it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  19. Alan Crossley

    Alan Crossley Senior Stratmaster

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    If you’re not creepy, you’re on the wrong forum :eek: welcome to the forum anyway. And, go with the small amp, don’t fall out with the neighbors and use the headphones. This way you will be relaxed, play better and enjoy yourself.:rolleyes:
     
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  20. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Charby, Welcome!

    Large tube amps on a cranked setting are not so popular among some neighbors of apartment dwellers. My suggestion would be any amp with a headphone jack option. Since you may be in a spacious place later, don't let your neighbors tell you what to do, now. :thumb:
     
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