amp for beginner

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by guitarmonkey, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. guitarmonkey

    guitarmonkey New Member

    Hey IGT gods...need your help. I want to buy a good tube amp with fair amount of clean headroom. Should I go with cub 10 or get a be3 bret? My budget is 16-17k. I have seen people in these forums shower heaps of praise on bret amps. Why is it considered good as compared to laney ones ?I'm a noob to the world of pardon my ignorance. Thank you :)
  2. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    i had the same doubt while choosin an amp for myself. Laney cub 10 will giv u more clean headroom as compared to be3 brat series in UR Price range. Also brat series is a class A amplifier whereas Laney is class A/B. In short for me the important difference was that Laney tubes will last longer than the tubes in brat.
    I Wud vote for Laney
    if u are from Mumbai come and try out my amplifier.
  3. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    The speaker in cub 10 sucks... Brat will definitely have a better speaker... Do try it out if you're in Mumbai...
  4. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Brat wud hav less clean headroom....Brat is approx 5W..whereas Laney is 10W.

    Laney speaker isnt that great..Thats true...It sounds boxy..But NOT BAD at all
  5. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    I am sure the OP doesn't want to gig with a 5W amp and for bedroom use, my 5W Valve junior has plenty of clean headroom (can't say how the Brat is gonna be like as i haven't played it yet)...Moreover the best part bout brat is that you can customize it to your specs...I'm sure ansar can make it the way you want it to...
  6. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    ^ and it comes tested properly before being shipped. The Cubs had an issue with the thermistors used in them, a particular batch that was released from the factory. They would shutdown unexpectedly & sometimes take a day to start up again. The fix was easy for a tech but if you do happen to get one of those then it will take a long time to get repaired & delivered back from Furtados. Otherwise the Cub is a fine amp, just needs a speaker & tube swap to performance at its best. The Brat however already comes with JJ's & some high end Celestion(?) in it, pretty much set to perform it's best from day one, hence the extra price for it.
  7. guitarmonkey

    guitarmonkey New Member

    I'm leaning towards the brat. I visited the be3 site and found that there are 2 versions of the brat. On august, they are launching the v3. Does anybody have idea about the extra features that the v3 may offer? But, what mymusicmyguitar told, is that true ? I would like the tubes to last longer. I am ready to sacrifice a bit of tone for longevity. I don't to end up with a broken amp 6 months down the road.
  8. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    It's true that power tubes wear out sooner in a Class A amp. IF you leave the amp "ON" all the time or extended periods of time while not playing on the amp at all, then that's when you'll notice them wearing out sooner than in a Class A/B amp. Here is a quote from Randall Aiken on the subject from another forum:

    "Running tubes in true class A doesn't shorten their lifespan at all - they are rated by the manufacturer to run at a particular max plate dissipation, and as long as you don't exceed that rating, the tubes last their "normal" lifespan. Running them cooler will likely extend them beyond their normal lifespan, whatever that may be. Now, this doesn't change a damned thing, but it sure makes you feel better about running tubes at their max ratings when you look at it this way. :)

    Actually, it is a common misconception that tubes in class A are running at their maximum all the time - they do indeed conduct *current* throughout the entire cycle, but the plate dissipation is not at maximum for the entire cycle. In fact, the average plate dissipation drops as the tube amplifies a signal. Dissipation is at maximum at idle, and drops to a minimum of half the idle power dissipation when putting out full power - the part of the total input power that is passed on to the load is subtracted from the idle dissipation in the tube, so they actually run cooler at full power than they do at idle. For more on the subject, read this paper: Idle Current Biasing - Why 70 percent?

    So, if you want to extend your tube life in a class A amp, play it at full volume all the time. When your bandmates tell you to turn down, inform them that you must play that loud to preserve the life of your valuable NOS output tubes.

    Randall Aiken"

    So basically if you have a habit of turning things on & forgetting to turn them off again or playing at very low volumes then expect to burn through the tubes a lot faster than usual ;)
  9. guitarmonkey

    guitarmonkey New Member

    Thanx henrynh for the reply. I have a doubt. The cub 10 uses 6v6GT as output tube whereas the brat uses EL 84 tube. What difference does it make in terms of tone ? Also, if I bias the amp properly and use it 2-2.5 hrs on average, then how long may I expect the tube to last in class A config? Can a class A be modded into class A/B?
  10. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    6v6 sound more smoother & darker than an EL84. But since these are two different amps with a different circuits & since you can't interchange between EL84 and 6v6 type directly, it's hard to tell which one would sound better without playing one, not to forget the speaker choice.
    At 3hrs of daily use, with current production tubes, the power tubes will last something like this in these amps:
    At full volumes- ~3-4 months
    At half volume- ~6-7 months
    At low volume- ~9-12+ months

    That's about the time it would take for them to sound tired or fatigued. Any of these can die at any given time, say even within the next day or within the first few hours of use. But those are rare cases & when it happens then it means that tube was a dud. Since the warranty period is 3 months on them, it's not a big deal in those situations, you'll get a replacement for free.

    The preamp tubes generally stay fresh for about 12 months. Around that time they'll sound a little dull. The stock TAD tubes in my Laney amps started giving problems in about a month of use, some at about 3 months. That's expected with these so not a big deal for me since personally I don't like the way they sound in laney amps. You are better off getting a Tungsol RI 12ax7, Mullard RI 12ax7 or JJ ECC83S, the JJ and Mullard RI have lasted me more than 1.5 yrs. The Tungsol RI usually last about 9 months, they sound a lot lively than the other two I mentioned, but a bit bright.

    For power tubes stick with JJ's from BE3, those have also been more reliable in my Laney amps than the stock ones, not to mention the price is lower + the sound is also better(fuller).

    I'm not sure if you can bias those two amps, it's very likely that they might be cathode biased with no trim pot to adjust on the amp inside(I'm not sure, you may want to send an email to BE3 and laney Tech Support regarding it).

    Don't worry about maintenance too much on either of these, since you only need 1 pre & 1 power tube, both together will cost around ~2k for JJ's (6v6 + ECC83s), ~1.6k for JJ's (EL84 + ECC83), ~2.5-3.0k for something else, the Stock TAD's will cost a lot more and aren't worth that amount at all! You'll most likely want to change the preamp tube in two or more years, the power tube in about 1yr or 1.5yrs.

    Not sure about converting a Class A to Class A/B, it's best not to bother with it, Class A sounds good the way it's initially designed. That's the reason you buy one in the first, because you like the way it sounds otherwise buy some other amp. It's really that simple, and if you are located in Mumbai then a trip to either outlets is of primary importance before deciding on them.
  11. guitarmonkey

    guitarmonkey New Member

    thnx again dude...You cleared all my doubts :) I was worried about the maintenance part, but not anymore. I think I will go with the brat ones. I live in vizag, so I can not go and try them out in person. But the demos that ansar uploaded on youtube really impressed me.
  12. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    If you want to get the Brat then get the ver.3, the improvement seems to be in the circuit design, can't find something different than the ver.2 in the description. There seems to be some discount and free shipping available on it if booked before 31st of this month. You'll get it in mid August delivered at your home though, so if you can wait that long then it might be worth it. Best is to call them rather than email them. Goodluck :rock:

    [Maintenance will be easy if you save up something like 10 bucks each day, you should have sufficient funds to buy a new power tube in 3 months. I mean normally people spend about that much a day sms'ing quotes/jokes/pics to others, if you can divert that to something else then it can practically prove useful at times. Not trying to offend people out there saying you are wasting your money doing that stuff, just thinking out loud j/k;)]

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