What Tube amp to start with?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by ThaJuicyJuice, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. ThaJuicyJuice

    ThaJuicyJuice New Member!

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    I am a complete noob when it comes to amps-- the wife hates it when I plug in and play, but I have watched a fair amount of videos of vintage fender amps and would like to get a tube amp for practice and maybe small gigging in a 3 piece band. I currently have a Fender Mustang II modeling amp which is eh... I've listened to Matthew Scott on Youtube and am a sucker for that beautiful vintage sound. He walks through using various vintage Fenders and I'm not only jealous of all the rigs he has, but also of his playing.

    I am guessing that a Blues Jr would probably be the place to start but is this as versatile for home practice and maybe small gigging?

    And stupid question-- can you plug headphones into a tube amp?
     
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  2. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-O-Master

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    A blues jnr is a very affordable and hugely versatile amp. If you buy used it will probably hold its value too. :thumb:

    Re: headphones, eh you can by using an audio interface or line out in to a mixer etc. Not worth the bother though. Better to just get a cheap audio interface like a Focusrite Scarlett Solo and software amps like Scuffham S-Gear etc. Its never going to sound better than a modelling amp.. so just get a cheap Boss Katana or something with digital fx/models and a headphone jack.

    The thing about a real tube amp (1x12 or better) is that it moves air and excites the senses and inspires you. They aren't something I use daily tbh. I practice digital or solid state and save myself for a weekly session/blast on the real deal. The neighbours are much happier that way! If neighbours weren't an issue I'd just have an AC30 or a Marshall half stack for everything. :)
     
  3. myredstrat

    myredstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    I have an old modded blues jr, it is versatile, but wouldn't say it sounds like a vintage fender. None the less, it's a good amp, and I am happy with it.
    So is the pro jr.
    I believe the various Princeton amps,
    or deluxe reverb models will get you closer to "that" sound that you are after.
    Last band I played in (early 80s) I ran a deluxe reverb, and LOVED it. wish I still had it.
    there is also a Fender tone master deluxe reverb (solid state). I have not heard it, but it seems pretty well reviewed
     
  4. RL21980

    RL21980 Strat-O-Master

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    Princeton Reverb Reissue
     
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  5. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Buried alive in the blues Gold Supporting Member

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    That Princeton RI is a neat little amp, and delivers the classic "Fender" sound with one small caveat: it exhibits (as a part of its design) a high-end "fry" that you might not notice if you're using a dirt pedal in front of it. For me, the noise was objectionable while recording, so I sent mine back in favor of a Deluxe Reverb RI, which doesn't have the noise.

    (Full disclosure: I ended up sending the DRRI back, too. I was looking for a replacement for a 50 watt Fuchs ODS. Turn out there isn't one.)
     
  6. drex123

    drex123 Strat-Talker

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    Super Champ X2.

    Affordable, has a vintage blackface tone on Channel 1, plus also has some modeling/effects features. Kinda best of both worlds and is a great size (15W, 1x10").

    Great bedroom/practice amp that gets plenty loud for smaller gigs too.
     
  7. Lewbypls

    Lewbypls Strat-Talker

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    If your wife hates when you plug in, chances are she isn't going to like you playing through a tube amp. Your best bet would be to either stick with an amp that has a headphones out, get an attenuator with a headphones out for the tube amp or go the audio interface route. There are some tube amps that have a headphones out but not many have them from my exp
     
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  8. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    What's your budget?

    I've got a Fender Super Champ XD and it sounds a lot more vintage-Fendery than my friend's Blues Jr. You can pick one up for around $300 used.

    '65 Princeton Reverb Reissue mentioned above is a great amp if you've got the cash.

    Not sure about headphones. I don't think I've ever owned an amp that had a jack. Also, a 15-watt tube amp is going to be pretty darn loud. Not really a bedroom amp.
     
  9. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    I can also recommend the Super Champ XD. No headphone out though...but the volume knob does work in two directions:thumb:

    Noise canceling headphones or earplugs for the wife is also recommended.;)
     
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  10. StratUp

    StratUp Strat-Talk Member

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    I'd say reissue Champion 600 for in the house play, but you might need to add a master volume to work with the wife. If you want to play out with the band, I'd be going Blues Jr.
     
  11. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    Don't overlook the Monoprice 15w tube amp as a possibility. A friend leaves his 40w Egnater at home and takes his MP15 to local gigs.
     
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  12. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    Good suggestion. Remarkable value, and since they upgraded the reverb tank more reliable and better sounding as well.
     
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  13. dbolt

    dbolt Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Blues Jr doesn’t sound like a classic Fender. When modded it’s a handy little helper with pedals. I have a Carr that’s Fenderish, a Music Man that’is Fenderish and a 5e3 that is the full blown over the top Fender sound all day or all night long.
     
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  14. Stratoholic

    Stratoholic Senior Stratmaster

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    Tube amps are MUCH louder than you'd think, and to get them sounding their best, they generally have to be turned up quite a bit. Which means they can be brutally loud.

    Even a 1 watt amp with the right speaker(s) will blow out your windows.

    But there is a silver lining. Attenuators. They do mess with the tone a bit, but most amps have enough EQ range to compensate, and you can get a tone you like, at even whisper quiet volume levels.

    I have a Marshall Origin 20, it has power scaling, it can go from 20 watts to 3 watts, and down to 0.5 watts. The difference between 20 watts and a half a watt is only about 6 db. So I run an attenuator, and I can get it down to about 75 db, (which isn't much at all) before the tone starts to suffer.
     
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  15. mabley123

    mabley123 Senior Stratmaster

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    Used Fender Cyber Twin.

    Headphone jack
    Line Out
    Effects Loop
    MIDI/SPDIF
    130w MONO
    65w x 2 STEREO
    IN/OUT of Phase.
    2 x 12 Celestion G12T100
    2 x 12ax7 Preamp Tubes
    Solid State Power Amp
    55lbs

    Killer Effects
    Especially the Delays
    Reverb
    Compression
    Echos
    Flanger
    Phaser
    Chorus
    Vibratone

    All of them are way more than usable. Only drawback is the ability to combine effects.

    If you cant get convincing Vintage Fender tones out of this amp, you arent using it right.

    Ive got a 69 Fender Dual Showman x 2 Altec Lansing 418H-150w 15in Alnico V speakers so Ive got a really good amp/speakers to compare the CT to. Ive had the DS since 1973. I had it completely gone over some time back, and had it Blackfaced, and an ODS mod on Channel one. Also disconnected Rvb, and Vibrato.
    So say it is a killer amp is understating it.

    But when I got the CT new when they 1st came out in 2001, it instantly became my main practice amp, and grab and go amp, and still remains so to this day, and Ive never had 1 problem out of it.

    I did swap out the tubes, and speakers, but wasnt necessary, I just wanted to upgrade an amp that I think is a great amp, and is easy to dial a good sound in with. Especially Fender sounds.

    Also this is NOT a Modeling Amp.

    The Effects ARE, but the amp signal path is 100% Analog.

    Instead of being a sample of an amp, the CT has a Virtual Circuit Board, and Physically Reconfigures the circuits, to those of the original amplifiers.

    Other than the materials for the circuits arent the same as the originals, I think its a much better concept than modeling
     
  16. Stratoman10

    Stratoman10 Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    My first amp was a 135 watt Twin Reverb. You may not want that one. Unless you truly enjoy getting everyone in a 2 mile radius riled up

    It is kind of fun though
     
  17. GuitarSolo

    GuitarSolo Strat-Talk Member

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    If your wife hates it when you play loud ;-) then my advice would be: check out the Boss Waza Air Headphones. The sound is awesome and you can play along with backing tracks and you think you are right on stage. I own these headphones for 6 months now and I am still enthusiastic about it. You can play as loud as you want and the sound you'll get out of it is better than plug headphones into any other amp :)
     
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  18. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    Maybe I should not say this... But I'm going to say it anyway.

    Headphones... Recording... Interface... All the tube amps you'll ever need... A ton of effects...

    Get a Helix (LT / Stomp)

    You may need some extras to gig with it though. Depending on what you already have, at least a cable...
     
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  19. ThebiggestJerk

    ThebiggestJerk Strat-O-Master

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    Fender Superchamp X2
     
  20. ThebiggestJerk

    ThebiggestJerk Strat-O-Master

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    A 135w twin is not a starter tube...
     
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