Looking for a good amp for cleans.

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by ultrabot90, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Hiya folks.

    I want an amp for cleans and very minor gain, like a blues sound. I play touchstyle (two handed tapping). Key point, it must be portable - think carrying in buses, pub gigs, and busking. Prefer the price to be roundabouts 15k. And I'd totally love it if it has an effects loop (while I won't use too many effects, it'd be good to accommodate EQ pedals and so on, given how little tone EQing amps tend to give). I tend to favor tube amps.

    Initial ideas I had were the...
    -Roland Micro Cube (but I've heard they have reliability/quality control issues, and I feel the sound department would be decent at best. But battery powered = good for my settings. )
    -Laney Cub 8/10 (I'm yet to hear of a shop stocking this in Delhi, but they seem good.).
    -Vox AC4TV. (No idea how good it is for cleans, played it only once, on max overdrive. Will try it out again.)

    Any suggestions/additions would be greatly appreciated.

    PS, a problem I currently face is that playing my 7 string through my current stuff, the amp buzzes and rattles when I play the 6th and 7th strings loudly. It seems like an amp problem. Any method of eliminating this?
  2. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    You're not going to get an effects loop on a small amp that easily. And busking? In Delhi? Where?
  3. insatanity

    insatanity New Member

    Check the Vox DA5 and DA10 as well.
  4. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    (I read around a little, seems to me that FX loops are better utilized with distortion. Unless using an EQ pedal, compressor, delay and maybe a little OD requires one to sound fine, scratch what I said about wanting an FX loop.)

    Not busking, exactly, but just performing plein air. Surely not a physical impossibility? =)

    @Insatanity - Ah yeah, I had forgotten those. Seems like the Micro Cube and the DA5 have a big time rivalry, YT and reviews would testify.
  5. flood

    flood New Member

    a small tube amp will overdrive too quick. for touchstyle i would actually recommend an amp with a LOT of headroom. an FX loop is a bit pointless in an amp that clean. for drive, i'd recommend a small overdrive pedal set for unity gain and getting your distortion ONLY from that. do not overdrive the amp! that if you want to use time based effects, you can simply put them between the overdrive and the amp.

    the buzz and rattle sounds like a resonance issue. figure out whether the buzz originates from the speaker or from loose joints, screws etc. it's thoroughly possible that it's simply the amp - the MG10CD can'T handle the lows of a 7.

    final word: i would recommend a smallish solid state BASS amp with an adjustable tweeter or a keyboard amp, and the following pedals: compressor/overdrive, EQ, chorus/delay. you won'T get a more flexible setup than that. keep in mind that this will NOT give you any classic guitar tones - but then, you don't want that either. you're playing it more like a keyboard here. most chapman stick players want clean full-bandwidth amps. portability becomes an issue with larger ones... but how the hell are you going to make yourself heard in noisy crowded delhi with only 5W? get two Gallien-Krueger 2001RB heads and 8x10"s to match and be famous the next day!
  6. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Whoo, hi flood.
    ^That last one is just what I thought.

    That's an interesting one. I will have to try out the headroom point by trying the amps available - perhaps a master volume on a tube amp might help; one of the amps I tried, I forgot which (probably a Fender Blues Junior), had one, and the concept was alien to me back then. The sound required is clean to slightly overdriven (bluesy). I don't see myself moving to a specialty tapping instrument, making the choice *most probably* a tube amp. I'll try some bass amps out, though...any model (SS/tube) you suggest?

    Thanks. ^^
  7. flood

    flood New Member

    no specific models. i would go with solid state for your needs, considering portability as a factor too. keep the power highish so that you can maximise your clean headroom too.

    a good spanky clean tube preamp with a solid state power amp could be another option. will let you know after i'm done with my alembic F-2B build. this should be soonish.

    i'm assuming you have the crap-tastic ibanez INF pickups in your 7321 as well? i have those in my 321MH and boy, do they suck. the stock fernandes bridge pickup in my 7 was actually better. if you do have the INFs, i could do you a clip of the RG straight into the sound card from the preamp.

    i basically think you have a lot of options for your needs, but theyre not necessarily the standard ones.
  8. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    (Oft-debate question) Would solid state be as good as a tube for cleans? Distorted SS just won't cut it, so I hear.

    @flood, the hybrid build sounds fun, I'm waiting. And yup, stock p'ups (next upgrade after amp/pedals.).

    I'll just pop into the store with these in mind on Wednesday, and then report back.
    Thanks, fellas. ^_^
  9. Coal

    Coal New Member

  10. Side_Show_Joy

    Side_Show_Joy New Member

    Roland Cube series hands down.

    I own a Micro Cube (for 3 yrs) and a Cube 30x (for 2 yrs) - and they are great for doing what you describe - good touch sensitive amps for blues at bedroom volumes.

    While they are nowhere close to the response of a tube amp - they are still very good at their price point - and make excellent grab and go practice amps.

    Good luck with your search! :)
  11. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Coal, thanks, I'll see if they're here in Delhi.
    Side Show, yeah, that, and they make for a simple rig, which is what I prefer (and simplicity along with portability is something of a motive for this gear upgrade).

    Thanks for the replies, I'll be hitting the stores for trials in a few days, couldn't go today.
  12. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    UPDATE: Went to Furtados yesterday, tried out the Laney Cub 10, Vox DA5 and DA10.

    Either I'm tone deaf, or those three sound more or less similar. I could more or less get the same sounds out of them. Perhaps the Laney felt, what, 1% better? It may also be that being based as practice amps, they were probably very good for that (better than mine, definitely).

    When I go next, I'm gonna try out some of the ~20 watt tube combos, and then the 50+ watt half stacks to see how big the jump in tone is.
    (PS- I feel I'll end up with one practice/outdoors amp now and a big(ger) performance valve a year later, or just one good valve in a little while from now which I'll lug everywhere.)
  13. flood

    flood New Member

    never played the cub 10, still curious about that one.

    i'm beginning to see an alarming trend in sub-10W amps that simply don't deviate from the 12ax7 champ schematic.

    btw. ultrabot90, new batch coming up. email for more info :p

    EDIT: do you use a compressor of any sort?
  14. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    I eschew the use of any effects at this stage...(trying not to use them).
    Mail away, sir, and...

    ...clips or it didn't happen. :p
  15. flood

    flood New Member

    compression could help you, but i sincerely admire the motivation to get the technique right without any. takes balls to adopt a no-shortcuts route.

    you can has clips! here: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1046495&content=music

    moar as and when i make new ones :D
  16. theghost

    theghost New Member

    Hows the laney for overdrive?Any idea wat distorion pedal wud go with it?
  17. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    ^Forget the Laney, buy the first one in the list here! http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1046495&content=music xD

    Compared to this one, the Cube 10 lacks some 'body' to the sound. Never tried any distortion pedals with it, can't suggest. Though it's better to check out your own guitar with it, and not rely on my ears (just been less than a year playing electric -.-)
  18. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    By the powers of necromancy...(okay, really, it hasn't been years, and I didn't want to make a separate topic)

    I'm still looking for amps while I save up. Got a big list of tube amps I could buy...but let's forget those.

    I've been considering a Be3.

    Decisions to be made (this can get...long.)
    (for some I already have a 'verdict', but please tell me if I'm making a wrong choice for my requirements)

    1. Live versions vs Normal versions- (shared controls+no footswitch vs individual controls+footswitch) Live version. (a little flexibility, right out of the box)

    2. 18 watts vs 33 watts
    Will 18 watts be good enough for mid-size (using clean mainly) gigs, or 33 watts?
    Some say 30 (tube) watts is an absolute minimum for gigging amps.
    Ansar says in his FAQ that a 15 watt 1x10 will do for mid-size gigs.
    (I don't know if the above two statements mean mic'd or unmic'd gigs; also, this could mean clean or distorted, and people generally tend to use distorted more, which would be louder)
    I want to be able to handle mid-sized gigs unmic'd.

    3. 1x10/1x12 vs 2x10/2x12
    How bigger and heavier will a 2x10/2x12 be than a 1x10/1x12?
    How much difference will it make on the overall volume?
    How much difference will it make on the headroom?

    4. Tube 10s vs G10 Vintage vs Greenbacks/Vintage 30s?
    Tube 10s are cheaper, I could get an amp earlier and more easily with that.
    They even get 2x10s close to my budget.
    What and how much is the sound quality difference?
    Which one will give better cleans, more headroom, more volume?

    5. Combo vs Head+Cab
    Will heads do a line out through other amps? The space my band jams at doesn't have a cab. I can't carry a head+cab all the way there. Can I 'line out' the head to my friend's amp?
    Verdict - I don't think head+cab will be portable enough. ...Combo. *sigh*

    6. If an amp is marked to use a specific kind of tube (EL84 and 12AX7 in this case), can I replace it with other kinds? (a tube to give better warm cleans and more headroom, for instance. 6L6, maybe?)
    7. If not, should I get the amp customized in construction to support a tube different from the default one? Wonder how much THAT should set me back.
    8. What (default) tubes will be ideal for my stated requirements? If I have a EL84 and 12AX7 amp, what tubes *can* I upgrade it with so it's closer to the stated requirements?

    Miscellaneous issues
    9. What knobs will be used? Can I get something that is LED backlit to show parameter levels? (I'll probably have to ask Ansar about this)
    10. One (probably stupid) question about multi-channel tube amps in general. If I'm in the clean channel (and the amp explicitly has a dirty channel), playing clean tones, and then suddenly I switch on a lot of boost and OD pedals...do I destroy the amp or does it overdrive like on a single channel amp?
    11. Will using a clean boost give me more clean volume? (I don't understand the concept of clean boosts too well, help.)

    Go IGT! Your one chance to recommend something more than a Stranger, Kustom or Roland. xD Okay, seriously, waiting for replies with fingers crossed.


    PS, if at any point anyone feels I'd be better off buying production models like a Peavey Classic 30 or something, let it be known. I'll whip out the commercial model list in a flash xD
  19. insatanity

    insatanity New Member

    Call Ansar...
  20. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    That guy must have a list full of important things to do, and won't have no time to answer a tube-newb's questions, lol.

    Agreed, some things I wrote should definitely be discussed with the maker, but answer the ones you know 'bout, I wanna know what you guys would recommend for that requirement.


Share This Page