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Best guitar amp

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Halifaxsoundguy, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    A guitar player at heart, I own a stack but I'm finding better results going back to basics. I recently bought 2 tiny guitar amps (Vox Da5, Fender 15 watt), I use a splitter and get decent results. The vox alone is quite the powerhouse with a 57 on it.

    I have been playing for fun at the local open jam night and my new rig is not as loud as it needs to be (I wish I had a boost button). The cheesy effects are great as well.

    I want to stay tiny but want a big sound. I'm looking at buying a VOX VT15 or a Peavey VYPER (Yeah, seriously a PV)

    What is the best amp for under $300 US?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    For under $300 US? I know I know! A stolen one?? Did I get it right?

    Maybe you just need a larger microphone on the smaller amplifier?

    Why not just plug your 110 volt amplifier into 220 volt? It should then be twice as loud, right??

    Over 1 Google Burgers Sold
    Ms. Remy Ann David[/quote]
  3. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    if you find a used Mesa Boogie studio .22, you will be golden. small 30 watt amp that is PLENTY loud and great tone.
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    1+ on the Mesa Studio 22 and the Vox AD30VT is pretty impressive too.
  5. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    opps missed the 300 dollar thing....

    no idea...

    I was gonna say Glasstone Legend .....;)
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    While its always nice to find a great piece of equipment cheap, it doesn't happen often. I don't know of any amps under $300 that I can recommend, and I certainly wouldn't recommend one to someone who already has three amps. Make do with what you have and save your money until you can afford something that really does the job for you.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Tiny with a big sound with quality usually starts at a grand.

    Used you might find something but I would not count on it. Why not get a single speaker cabinet and take your head. ?? Not tiny but a good sound?
  8. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Any thoughts on a Fender Blues Jr? I too have been wanting a smaller amp and that one is tickling my fancy.
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The Jr amps are OK if you can plug them into a seperate speaker cab. With the internal speaker so close to the tubes, microphonics are a real issue. So is rattling and other mechanical noises. Personally, I had too many problems with mine and got rid of them, but a lot of folks here have had good results with them. They do sound pretty good, and there are now some mods out there to get the most out of them.
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I like my Blues Jr. It's basically my second amp after my little matchless Hurricane. I swapped the stock speaker for a Weber Blue Dog recently and that was a nice upgrade. I have an older unit. The reverb is basically useless and I have not done the mods to improve it. Supposedly the newer models have a better reverb and are a little brighter than mine.

    As moonbaby says, it's not the world's quietest amp. I am planning on getting an external speaker cab soon, so we will see if that helps. It has not been played that loud with the music I've been recording lately, so that helps a lot with issues like microphonics.
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I like mine a lot. It was obviously built on a Wednesday as it has been the better sounding one out of many that I hear every week at the Blues Jams. It will only get so loud clean and then you get to the brown sound. I have been thinking Webber and have experienced one with one of those marijauna speakrs in it!! Actually a very decent sound. The box is a little small and it does breathe a bit more with a bigger cabinet. I got astounding sounds with it through the mid-60's Dallas Arbitter cab I have in the studio...Caution here is its a 16ohm cab and cut the output on the BluesJr to half and increased the heat by a lot. Still was a great gritty sound reminiscent of a Vox AC15 on 11.
  12. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    You could look for a Carvin Nomad on Ebay, since unfortunately Carvin's resale value isn't huge since they aren't a big name brand. You might even get an X100B combo on Ebay if you're lucky. I have to agree with everyone else here that "cheap" and "tube" don't belong in the same sentence together. I know that B#$$inger is making copies of Peavey amps with their B%gera line of products, so if you want to try that, go for it. Just don't be surprised when your amp dies.
  13. BDM

    BDM Active Member

  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Oh yeah! Emminence Patriot Cannibus Rex. I was being funny about it being a pot speaker, but they do make cones with hemp. They have a nice brown sound to them. They're fairly ridgid so they're quick and not too tubby sounding. Great for clean expresive guitar playing...which I'm all about :wink:
  15. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Tone Tubby speakers are made of hemp too. They have a really sweet warm tone - ironically not tubby either. I haven't heard the Eminence Dd has been smoking.
  16. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    I wasn't entertaining a tube amp, at $300 I wouldn't want a that amp. I have the stack, but its size renders it useless in most applications.

    I live quite a distance from a Major music store, but they seem to have a ton of amps in the $3-400 price range (Perhaps this recession is putting a damper on the larger purchases). Every major amp manufacturer has an amp in this class. Of these types has anyone had an amp that has given you a boner?

    I want a small but mighty rig to bring to a jam, but don't want to break my back doing it.
  17. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Well, you'll get more out of a separate head, but if you insist on a $300 amp, then I'll browse the evil empire and see which amp I would pick if I had to use it.

    So, after taking a look, this is the best amp I could find for $300 and under: http://www.kustom.com/product_detail.aspx?TypeID=2&FamilyID=79&ProductID=79&Tab=0 These are darn good solid state amps: most vibrant cleans I've ever heard from a solid state amp. The distortion is definitely trying to emulate MB, but you can get some snap out of it if you play with the tone controls and back off the gain. Good luck and God bless.
  18. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I don't know what kind of music you're into, but the aforementioned Vox AD30VT is a modeling amp with one 12AX7 pre-amp tube. It has really good blackface and tweed sounds for blues, a really authentic sound of the classic Vox AC amps for the distinctive jangly clean sound. It also has some hot Marshall and Mesa sounds for pedal to the metal rock. It has some built-in effects models too, some more useful than others. I'm sure like most effects it's a matter of taste. The channel switching via (optional) footswitch is ok, but kinda cumbersome until you get the hang of programming it.

    I actually own a Mesa, a Marshall combo, a '69 Super Reverb with blackface mod, and on and on - so I have a pretty good idea what the modeled amps really sound like. I had a chance to buy this Vox at a really good price, and got it just for the class Vox AC30 sound that was missing from my collection. It turns out I was reasonably impressed with some of the other modeled sounds too. Will I be selling any of the old tube beasts because I got the Vox?... nope. Would I be willing to take the Vox to a small - medium club gig? ... yep. At about 25lbs. and comfortably under $300 it would be hard to beat pound for pound.

    They have higher wattage models, but they would set you back more than your $300 budget. Like any other amp they're not going to be for everybody, certainly not the $1k and up purists, but in your price range this is a solid choice in my opinion.

    Again, I don't know what kind of music you play, so you might absolutely hate it. You might want to check out YouTube. There are dozens of people putting them through their paces - some great players, some not so great. The official Vox promotional propaganda has decent sound quality, but really crappy video quality.

  19. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    I just go back from the closest music store where I demo'd some amps. I checked out a mesa boogie express, very nice but the I thought it was used because it was beat up pretty good, but it was new ...and $1500.

    I found the Peavey Vyper 30, Lots of fun, too many buttons and a bit confusing. The sound was good until I turned it up. Then it sounded like a toilet, it also had a nasty feedback.

    The third was the Vox Valvetronic VT15. Awesome. This amp is the winner. At $250, it crams in 22 modeled amps and a slew of effects. I also enjoyed the power knob on the back of the amp. It also doesn't sound like a toilet when you crank it up.

    There you go Remer! $250
  20. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Glad you found someting you liked, and the Peavey may not have been worth a second listen, but the line I put in bold [my emphsis] is a pet peave of mine. Modeling amps are complicated and I understand if people don't want to deal with them. But why do people think they have a useful opinion about any device that they won't learn the basics of using. Now I love the sound of tube amps and all things being equal record and play through tube amps when possible. But I also use modeling amps a lot and think there are a lot of situations where they give the best overall result. If I had a nickel for every time I read a post by someone who said, "I tried spinning the knobs for fifteen minutes in GC while three kids play Smoke On The Water in the same room and the sound just SUCKED!!"...well,... I'd have a lot of nickles.

    Now I have never played the Peavey and Hal (mid if aI call you Hal?) may have it dead to rights, but we went to the wine store today, and I found a nice new zinfandel and I thought I would vent. Cheers!

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