Practice amp

kplante

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So after getting my Effects pedal I've spent more time playing guitar and I'm finding that my Peavey Classic VTX is pretty loud. Being a tube amp I'm not able to play it loud enough to get a good tone out of it. Would a Solid State, Lower wattage amp work better?
 

stickinthemud

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If you are wanting distortion effects without the volume, you can either go with a solid state amp with distortion effects (either onboard or outboard), or a very low wattage tube amp, overdriven.

Line 6 is a pretty popular solid state option. Low wattage or high wattage would not really matter (I think), since with a solid state amp your distortion effects are not (typically) a result of overdriving the amp.
 

Lazmo

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Well as usual, there are lots of different ways you can go here…


Multifx into a clean solid state amp… since you have your RP500 multfx, you can use it to create patches that will provide you all the amp models, overdrive, distortions and effects… but you really need an amp that has a nice clean tone that you can build upon, and will take your multifx patches without fuss. I have a homemade SS amp called Kruton that I have tweaked to sound just like my Bassmans clean tone and it sounds great with pedals or multifx. I also have a Vox Pathfinder 15R which has a great Vox (duh) clean tone, which also sounds great with pedals or multifx.

Multifx into a small all tube amp… preferably with pre and post gain controls, so you don’t have to crank the volume too much… again you can use the multifx to drive the tube amp, which can be set clean as above, but you can also capitalise on the natural sweet valve tone of the tube amp and use multifx boosts rather than overdrives/distortions to get the tones you are after. I have a Laney VC15 all tube amp, and with my multifx boosts, it is my favourite rig. The just breaking up boosted clean is perfection and the Marsha style crunch is also on the money.

Modelling amp… another way to go, is to park your new multifx and get a small modelling amp that has all the amp models, overdrive, distortions and effects built in. There are loads of them these days and they are getting pretty good. I have a Vox DA5 which covers a lot of bases, runs on batteries so you can take it anywhere and it is tiny and can sound great at very low volumes… I run it at its 0.5watts setting and it sounds great with my Strat. Before I became obsessed with handmade acoustics, it was my camping electric rig.

But... I wonder, with a bit of determined, unwavering, persistence whether you could make it happen with the Peavey. Firstly, I would give up on getting sweet tube tone out its 6L6 output tubes, as to get there will be punishingly loud, great at a big gig, but way too loud at home. So with your multifx turned off, just try to tweak the Peavey so it has a nice clean tone that is pleasing on its own… not too fenderly bright, not too vox chimy, not too marsha dark. I would suggest tweak the clean tone of the amp, using the neck pickup of your favourite guitar… if that happens to be single coil neck pickup, even better. The reason I say this, is that it is easier to thicken up a thin tone, but near impossible to thinen (is that a word) up a thick tone. Then once you have that base clean thin tone, get to work on your RP500 multifx and tweak the patches to suit that tone. Try to get the warmth from the multifx and not from the amp. Use the amp as if it is the palette and use the multifx as if it is the paint. Good luck.
 

trappemann

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I'm not familiar with your amp, but If your amp uses 4 6L6s you may be able to pull the outside pair and reduce its wattage.

Check with a tech!!!

If you cannot pull a pair of tubes to reduce wattage, because there are only two 6L6s then try a set of yellow jackets.

They are adapters that allow you to change 6L6s for EL84s, which reduces your top possible wattage from 40 or 50 to 18 at the most.

You can still get plenty of clean tube-ey sweetness at a much lower volume.

My $.02! Your results may vary from mine.
 

Lazmo

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Two excellent ideas from Trappemann... but I just had a squiz at the schematic, assuming I downloaded the right one, keep in mind I am just on my phone because I'm travelling overseas, so it's small, but it seems to just be two 6L6 output tubes. But that still leaves the yellow jacket idea... and EL84's would sound quite different.
 

DannyPattersonMusic

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For low volume playing I use a Epiphone Valve Jr combo (tube) amp; it's 5 watts ... if you turn the volume up it can get loud.
 

Elvis

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+1 to what Trappeman wrote, or, 5F1 tweed Fender Champ (or a suitable clone).

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Olderschool

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I use a Marshall 2 channel 15W tube amp that can be switched to 7.5W. Can get that sweet tone at home and loud enough for most bar gigs. Play it down here in the Keys and it always delivers. The reverb sucks though....
 

kplante

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Thanks for the great ideas! Well I ended up getting a Marshall MG50CFX 50W amp. I like the sound and it has some nice effects built in. I also decided to have my Peavey Classic VTX gone through at a local shop. I should be all set for awhile. But we'll see...
 

Woody85

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Nice. I'm all about the low wattage amps. I'm currently using a solid state Marshall Lead 12 combo, a hotrodded fender 5f1 clone (10" speaker, switchable negative feedback loop and cathode bypass cap) and a vibro champ clone. Between those amps and a few pedals (which I build in my spare time) I can get a variety of tones at mostly friendly volumes.
 

Elvis

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In the late 90's I worked at the local music store and we were a Marshall dealer.
We always had an MG combo of one type or another on hand (usually an MG30).
They always sounded great and could be offered at the nice price.
Congrats on your new purchase. -b



Elvis
 

Elvis

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Woody85 said:
Nice. I'm all about the low wattage amps. I'm currently using a solid state Marshall Lead 12 combo, a hotrodded fender 5f1 clone (10" speaker, switchable negative feedback loop and cathode bypass cap) and a vibro champ clone. Between those amps and a few pedals (which I build in my spare time) I can get a variety of tones at mostly friendly volumes.
I'd love to build a Princeton.

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Woody85

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Elvis said:
I'd love to build a 6G2.
Nice. I'd love to build a Princeton reverb one day. Got too many projects on the go right now including a tube overdrive and a boss HM-2 clone with switchable clipping options (been listening to The Jester Race quite a bit lately).
 

Lazmo

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kplante … it is excellent that you got a new amp as you’re obviously getting into playing.

Tonight, I spent a few fun filled hours doing the ‘straight in’ to the amp thing… with my Strat going straight into my Laney VC15 tube amp... no effects. I just used the Drive channel with its Pre and Post (or Drive and Drive Volume) controls to dial in all sorts of sweet all tube tone at a really reasonable bedroom type volume. From clean to full on crunch, it sounds great, but I am super loving the Drive on 3 or 4 with the neck pickup of my Strat… I can play that tone all day. Like the last tone in the demo here...
 

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Elvis

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Been diggin' this guy for a few days now....

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...and thus I discover yet another sweet little amp....Victoria Ivy League.
Basically an updated Fender Harvard, its 14 watts through one of the nicest 10" speakers on the planet, the Eminence 1058 (or its big brother, the 1258).
Granted, price is a tad prohibitive, but just listen to that thing. Sweet.


Elvis
 
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kplante

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Lazmo, I'm digging that Laney!
So I sent the old Peavey Classic VTX out for some work. Had the footswitch plug replaced and new tubes put in. Found a replacement footswitch on eBay. Holy hell is that thing loud!! I'm real happy with the Marshall. In fact I let a friend borrow my Pedal for a while. I got it back a couple weeks ago, Used it for a while but I'm back to straight in the amp.
 

Pounder

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I'd hesitate to pull the outside tubes. That changes the impedance on the transformer, and that amp may or may not have a switch for the change. This could cause much more costly problems that that amp isn't even worth fixing for. I like the idea of finding your clean sound on it and then using the pedals for the distortion. Another option if you need tube tone is find a used little tube amp. There are several little amps and heads available and they often sound great as a recording amp too. Glad you found a smaller amp that works for you.
 

drumrman2002

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kplante said:
So after getting my Effects pedal I've spent more time playing guitar and I'm finding that my Peavey Classic VTX is pretty loud. Being a tube amp I'm not able to play it loud enough to get a good tone out of it. Would a Solid State, Lower wattage amp work better?
If you need to keep the volume down, but are looking to get that sweet spot you normally get when cranked, you could get a Powersoak. I think Marshall makes one. It's also known as an attenuator. You can get those tubes really glowing without blasting you out of the room.

Another solution might be an inexpensive class A 5 Watt tube amp like the Epiphone Valve Junior. Used Valve Juniors can be picked up dirt cheap on Ebay I bought a head and 1x12 cabinet a few years ago for around $150.00. A combo might run even cheaper. These things put out some volume for their size, and you can mod this amp with a Bitmo kit that will give it more amp modeling type features including an attenuator for driving the sound and keeping the volume down.

Vox also makes a small tube amp called the AC4 (4 British watts) that can also be modded with a Bitmo kit. 4 watts doesn't sound like much, but they can surprise you. You can check out videos on Youtube on both the Vox and the Epi Valve Junior.
 

bodinski

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If you wanna get really small, I heartily recommend the Blackstar Fly3. I can't get over how great a $50 battery powered amp can sound. It's got 2 channels & a really nice delay built in. Love this li'l thing!
 

Elvis

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Here's a sweet little practice amp....

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