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The problem with low wattage tube amps.

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Headroom, headroom, headroom.

They for the most part seem like they're okay, but it's hard to find one that doesn't rawk hard after Vol 3. I never would have thought it, but the peavey classic 30 seems to be the best option. I like the Badger as it seems to be Marshall based, but even the 18 is still out of my 'just have a tube amp around' budget.

Is there such an animal that can be 20-30 watts and doesn't distort if over 3-4 on the knob? Love to hear your responses.

Rasputin.
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special. It can be set to 30w, 15w, or 5w. I had one in my studio for years. Finally sold it to one of my guitar students. It was an amazing amp. Clear as the Texas sky or thick as Texas toast. Best of all, anything in between.
 

sskkmm

Power User
Funny when you said Low Wattage I thought of my 6-8 watt amp. Heh.

Love my Dr Z Z-28. Two 6v6s. Stays pretty clean with a 5751 in v1 preamp.
 

Stagepig

Member
The little 5150 LBX seemed to sound right when I checked it and compared it to the bigger 50 Watt version I have at home.
But I dont know much about the clean channel since nobodys buys a 5150 for the clean channel :sweatsmile:
 

Bman

Power User
Marshall DSL40. Ton of headroom and two channels. Avoid the 70/80 speaker or replace it. I replaced mine with a Creamback and made the C19 cap mod to reduce the cap value. The mod is well documented and easy to do. It transformed the amp.

It’s also great for running my AX8 into the FX return. They’re pretty cheap too
 

wcfieldskx

Power User
Depends what you mean by low wattage. I wouldn't really classify a Classic 30 as low wattage. That being said my DSL20HR has lots of headroom on the clean channel...and it's 20 watts. I've played several other smaller low wattage amps that are fine on the clean channel also.
 

mr_fender

Axe-Master
Try more efficient/sensitive speakers. Any amp through a 90 dB sensitivity speaker can be quite noticeably quieter than the same amp through a 100 dB sensitivity speaker at a given volume knob setting.
 
At what volumes do you need your clean tone to remain intact? Are you looking for a home/studio amp, or something for the stage? For live use, if I absolutely do not want amp breakup under any circumstances , I’ll use a Fender Twin regardless of the venue size. If space is an issue, I’ll go with a Hot Rod Deluxe, but even those can break up quickly depending on the makeup of the band.

Personally, I always err on the side of higher wattages, and compensate for higher volumes at home by using a load box or attenuator. A used Hot Rod Deluxe and the Fractal or Suhr load box together wouldn’t be that much more expensive than a new Classic 30.
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Well, after doing some research, the Peavey still looks good. I also like the Egnater Rebel (and the tweaker sounds pretty good too.) Even the VHT seems like fun.

Going to head down to GC and check out the Fenders for sh!t's and G tomorrow. Maybe that will scratch the itch and I'll just get over this irrational desire for an amp. Hell, it's been over 10 years since I owned one.

Damn that email just cannot come fast enough for me.
 

Bman

Power User
Do yourself a favor and test the green channel on the DSL 40. It’s got a really great clean sound at all levels. Adding the crunch you can dial in the gain to break up and back off the guitar Vol. and stay clean. Or keep it clean and play it as a clean amp.
 

wcfieldskx

Power User
The Classic 30 has a nice clean channel, but the drive channel didn't impress me. Had one for a bit, and had issues with it....so i sold it. Peavey seems to still have a quite a bit of reliability issues these days. Lots of better options, but hey JMO..
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Thanks for the suggestions. Since I'm a Marshall guy, I may get that DSL40 or the Peavey (I still might have a hankering from the old Skynyrd days and 'run back to mama'.)

But I may have weathered the 'just have a tube amp around' storm. It's in my mind to actually concentrate on LEARNING the instruments I have. Since I've been tinkering with Violin, Sax, and Keys these days, I may just put that money into a few months of lessons on all the instruments rather than getting an amp that I probably won't look at that often once the III shows up.
 
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