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Good/Cheap combo amp?

Member for

21 years
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?

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Member for

19 years 10 months

Kev Fri, 04/11/2008 - 15:05
tubes
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

Member for

16 years 6 months

moonbaby Sat, 04/12/2008 - 07:22
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...

Member for

15 years 10 months

Kapt.Krunch Sat, 04/12/2008 - 07:55
moonbaby wrote: Do try to get a seperate head/cab rig, it will help save the tubes lifespan.

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.

Kapt.Krunch

Member for

13 years 8 months

sshack Sat, 04/12/2008 - 10:07
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.

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 06/18/2008 - 05:58
Halifaxsoundguy wrote:
The best amp is the one you think sounds best regardless if its 5W or 500W. It's all taste.

Word! I mean, I know this is a recording forum and all but it seems bassackward to suggest amps based on how easy they are to record without taking the actual sound of the amp into consideration.

A Champ with it's small speaker and a single 6V6 isn't going to sound like a cranked 100W Marshall with a 4x12 and a quad of EL34s regardless of the fact it's easier to control vibrations and mic up in a studio situation.

That's not to say a small amp can't sound huge in a studio environment or anything...but it doesn't have the same tone or distortion characteristics of a higher wattage amp with different power tubes.

This is coming from a source that knows more about amps and guitar tone than recording though...so take my opinion (obviously biased) for what it's worth... :wink:

Member for

14 years 8 months

Halifaxsoundguy Sat, 04/12/2008 - 13:14
I'm thinking of this amp:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DA5

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.

Member for

19 years 9 months

Davedog Wed, 06/18/2008 - 09:36
RECmole wrote: [quote=Halifaxsoundguy]
The best amp is the one you think sounds best regardless if its 5W or 500W. It's all taste.

Word! I mean, I know this is a recording forum and all but it seems bassackward to suggest amps based on how easy they are to record without taking the actual sound of the amp into consideration.

A Champ with it's small speaker and a single 6V6 isn't going to sound like a cranked 100W Marshall with a 4x12 and a quad of EL34s regardless of the fact it's easier to control vibrations and mic up in a studio situation.

That's not to say a small amp can't sound huge in a studio environment or anything...but it doesn't have the same tone or distortion characteristics of a higher wattage amp with different power tubes.

This is coming from a source that knows more about amps and guitar tone than recording though...so take my opinion (obviously biased) for what it's worth... :wink:

Okay. I want to point out that in an on-stage situation (or rehearsal studio/barn/basement) there are factors in play that arent going to get you a good recording no matter how many stages of preamp, how many winds on the output transformer, how many speakers in play....etc etc...

If you want to OR NEED to play really loud to 'get that sound' and feel that this best for your recordings, then you better be prepared to shell out for a room that can handle the high spl's without introducing a bunch of nodes that will translate into the mics being used and print a horrid sound that even the best protooler cant fix.

What you hear in a high volume, dense, sound setting, is simply not what a mic hears. The brain will function as a filter in every situation like that and will tune out a lot of the really bad stuff thats being thrown around the room. A mic and a recording chain simply wont logic away all the bad stuff.

Theres an old old phrase in recording thats still true.........."mics dont lie."

Yes, you can get a great sound with high gain , multiple speaker cabinets, lots of pedals etc, but it will take a lot more tweeking to achieve this than to use a low-wattage high gain amp that will most likely sound great in many different rooms as opposed to the alternative which needs a very specialized room to truly work properly.

I think this is the point of the thread.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Kev Sat, 04/12/2008 - 15:27
?
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
but
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

Member for

16 years 6 months

moonbaby Sat, 04/12/2008 - 21:03
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.

Member for

13 years 8 months

sshack Sat, 04/12/2008 - 22:07
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.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Kev Sun, 04/13/2008 - 04:19
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

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 04/13/2008 - 07:13
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?

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