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Good/Cheap combo amp?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Sethiroth, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Sethiroth

    Sethiroth Guest

    Im looking for a good, cheap combo amp in the neighborhood of $299 or less. Somthing that will sound good with a mic jammed in its speaker. I don't know how many watt's or what size of speaker you would want to have to get a good sound for recording.

    It will be used for many different styles, but mainly used with a distorted guitar. I would also like to use it with a keyboard a little as well.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    small watts .. 5 or 10 perhaps 18W
    10' ... but I like 12 inch for more cone break up

    and I think a separate is a better idea to a combo
    less microphonics and more variety

    Black Heart little giant was suggested on RO a few days ago and looked interesting
    I only know what I have found on the net but does looks cool
    around $200 and you should be able to find a speaker cheap ... even if you have to make your own box

    anything based on Little Fender Champs would also be OK

    there is a Little Epiphone amp out there and I think Peavey had a small tubed toy amp combo
    these could be good second hand
  3. You might find a Peavey Classic 30 1x12" used for that price. Not a great amp, but it's a decent value.
  4. [youtube:504c1742b3]http://www.youtube.com/v/SvcPfcjVPzo[/youtube:504c1742b3]

    (Dead Link Removed)

    Two things to consider, though:

    (Dead Link Removed)

    2.) some on the internet have mentioned it isn't loud enough to keep up with a full band, but I sort of doubt that notion.
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I can assure you that these 5-watters are not designed to be onstage-with-a-live-drummer type of giggin' in the first place. They are meant for the bedroom and/or studio, and that's probably what Seth wants it for.
    Do try to get a seperate head/cab rig, it will help save the tubes lifespan.
    Also, be careful driving keys thru a lighter-duty guitar speaker, especially the low notes, as they will rip the cone out at louder, distorted levels. You might look at pushing keys thru a bass cab instead. I bought a small Bag End-style of bass cab complete with a real JBL D-140F for $100 in craigslist. It makes a great guitar cab because it isn't too bright. Just a thought...
  6. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Have to ask...what is that statement based upon? :? Never heard of that. An amp is an amp is an amp, whether it's in a box with speakers, or a box without...isn't it? Tubes work no harder in either configuration?

    I could grasp the statement that "It will save your back's lifespan", though. :wink:

    Just wondering.

  7. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    I believe it has more to do with vibration and residuals from sound waves, supposedly being more prominent in a combo configuration rather than a head/cab. Hard to say how much truth is in it really.

    All things considered with other factors involved in using an amp (moving around, riding in cars/trucks. rolling across stage, volume, tube types, play time, etc.), I personally think it's negligible. When the amp starts to sound bad, change the tubes. It's not like it costs much money, unless you're using some huge Mesa head with 37 power tubes and 90 preamp tubes.
  8. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    I'm thinking of this amp:


    I played it yesterday as was quite surprised. (I've been playing guitar for about 14 years). This amp has some clever effects, but it has a neat feature in that you can change the output power from .5 watts to 5 watts. This amp is is comparable to a chihuahua in that its small and loud as F---.

    I'm thinking about this one because I want something suitable for a small jam, practice and maybe miking.

    This amp also has a headphone out and a mic in.
  9. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    but that's not a tubed amp ?

    great for busking as it is battery driven and has some effects
    and the mic in
    and the CD in

    he said he wants " to get a good sound for recording "

    as for the speaker
    yes named brand speakers could go over budget
    my favourite speaker for recording is a worn out and damaged cone ... with a stable spider and good voice coil
    so no buzzes and pole problems

    I use a variety of speakers and cabinets when recording

    sit the head on top of the speaker cabinet and you can get some good microphonics
    you have the choice

    the peavey classic was the peavey unit I was thinking of
    thank you patrick
  10. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    He never specified tube or solid state. I think any amp can be miked for recording. I stand behind my word as the VOX DA5 as a solid cheap amp. He could buy two amps and do stuff in stereo.
  11. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    just saw this, its a little over budget but on topic.

  12. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    My statement regarding keeping the speaker away from the tubes comes from many years of dealing with tube amps. Yes, the constant vibration of a near-by speaker DOES affect the tubes negligbly. The internal components of a vacuum tube are much more delicate when they are heated up. The rattling they get from the speaker they are within inches of can be brutal to their life. I've personally had to deal with this issue too many times before, preamp tubes are especially more vulnerable to microphonic problems in that situation. The practice of hanging the tubes down right behind the speaker is an economical one, not a reliability consideration.
  13. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Sure...I'm not arguing the point, just saying (as did you) that it's negligible. You could also pose that argument to a head sitting on a cab with insufficient feet to isolate it. Same potential result, different paths.

    It's just the nature of the beast really. FWIW, most of my amps are EL84 based and those are probably the hottest burning tubes so they get changed the most often, usually whether they need it or not.
  14. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    How does a rectifier tube work?
  15. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    is that a serious question ?

    the rectifier tube makes use of the diode properties of a tube to rectify an AC into a DC to get the DC volts required by the tubes

    the transister amp will have a similar thing ... diodes or a bridge rectifier (4 diodes)

    in both cases this is then smoothed with capacitors

    People like the sound of tubed amps for the 2nd order harmonics
    they also tend to like the effect that a tube rectifier can bring
    some call this power supply sag

    it can bring a compressed quality to the sound

    when tubes get hot the vibrations can shorten their lives
  16. Sethiroth

    Sethiroth Guest

    So 5 Watt amps are the best for recording?
    Wow, I never really would of thought that! haha!

    I've been a drummer for years. I can "play" alittle guitar, but not enough to know anything about it. I just want to get an amp so I can maybe practice alittle more, and also so I have one at my house so people can use it for recording guitar.

    Question. If I would need to use one of these little guys on stage, would it work with a condenser shoved in its face going to a PA?
  17. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    The best amp is the one you think sounds best regardless if its 5W or 500W. It's all taste.
  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I am a firm believer in low-wattage amps for recording. The reason being, you want the speakers as well as the power section to be able to develop their particular types of distortion and overtones to get that sound that we all seek in a guitar amp.

    In an intimate studio setting where volume is not all that necessary, since you arent trying to cover the area of a 2000 seat hall, low wattage with all the tonal characteristics of an amp turned up is a no-brainer.

    Having a cabinet to match the amps efficiency is an important step in this process. This is where your lower rated speakers (wattage wise) make a huge difference. Also as I said the efficiency is important.

    Theres a couple of schools of thought towards this end.

    One would be using a speaker that would allow the maximum excursion of the cone and its related distortions at a low output to get that 'speaker sound' with the head being up enough to bring the power section into that warm overtone state........

    Or allowing the head to do its magic and putting an efficient but sturdy speaker which allows the pure head overtones to be reproduced clearly without the speaker loading (so-to-speak)

    Either way, its much easier to get these conditions in smaller rooms without the advent of a 100 watt amp being turned up past the ability of the room and equipment to handle its level, with a smaller great sounding amp.

    As for the tube life with a head as opposed to a combo, if you are playing a lot, the combo will wear out the tubes a bit quicker...EL,6L6, etc....

    For recording purposes.....I put the head in the control room anyway connected to the cabinet out in the main room with a long speaker cord (not TOO long!!) so the vibrations arent an issue. IF the amp and the head stay in the main room and the player either stays with the amp or patches from the console, I NEVER put the head on the cabinet for the reasons which have already been touched on.

    You've got enough to worry about getting the sound right without trying to identify a little harmonic vibration being fed into the mic because of things being stacked on things being played really loud.

    Don ya tink......Lucy
  19. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I'm with Dave
    sometimes, only sometimes, I do put the amp on the speaker
    and sometimes I'll sit the guitarist right near the speaker to get some interaction and feed back

    Dave said
    " You've got enough to worry about getting the sound right without trying to .... "
    keep it simple s....

    as Halifaxsoundguy said
    " It's all taste. "
    no matter how you got it ... if you think you have the right sound ... print it

    as for the live PA Question.
    " If I would need to use one of these little guys on stage, would it work with a condenser shoved in its face going to a PA? "
    yes, if the PA has a good foldback and side fill then a small amp or POD only can work
    I'd probably use an SM57 and not a condenser

    small amps in road cases with condensers is a whole-nuther thread
  20. tubetwang

    tubetwang Guest

    my take

    hey guys,

    first post, new to recording but, have been building guitar tube amps for the past 8 years and playing since 1965.

    I assume this here "under 300$ amp" is for recording...

    get the Tweed Champ from Ceriatone.com new or...get a second hand Fender Pro Junior or Peavey Classic 20.

    All the best!

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