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Author Topic: Small amps  (Read 9802 times)
fulltone1989
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2012, 10:54:27 PM »

What about a Rivera Champ? I think those are 15w and handwired.
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Guitars: Gibson ES-339 and LP studio w/ grovers and WCR Fillmores. Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood CW, PRS SE Semi Hollow w/ mods, modded Ibanez MC300NT
Amps: Groove Tubes Soul-O 45, Fuchs ODS 50 mod - EVM12L, Emi RW&B, and Weber Cali cabs
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 04:21:53 AM »

The Mesa Express looks interesting. All hand wired, lots of options and switch between 5, 25 and 50 watts!
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manicstarseed
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 05:49:37 PM »

The Mesa Express looks interesting. All hand wired, lots of options and switch between 5, 25 and 50 watts!

That is the 5:50+ model - 6L6s
the new 5:25+ model does 5/15/25 with EL84s.

I have the 5:25 that does 5/25W.. This thing is a mini monster 5W is LOUD. I love the tones the new plus series has even better cleans. I am gasing over it and I love my Experss 5:25. Fairly light to carry too.
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Guitar>GCB-95 Wah>Qtron+>Vibe Machine>TS9> Booty Queue Retro Comp>Phase 90-script >Express 25 - FX loop> Nova Repeater>Nova Reverb>Boss- RC-20XL>Amp Return.

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Amps: Mesa Nomad 55, Express 25 (both 1x12 combos) and Fender Frontman25R w/ 10" Eminence Rajin Cajun speaker
sour d
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 07:54:53 PM »

I can't stop playing through this amp


6 watts and a 12" speaker
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2015, 12:14:33 PM »

Sour d, have you tried anything higher in wattage than that 15 watt blue? Curious because I just bought an extension cab for my small amp rig (tweed champ and 80's sidekick 15 watt) and am trying to max out headroom on the champ. I know the blues are some of the best speakers for this amp, but I am really wanting to put something > 15 watts in it if it will sound pleasing. Curious to hear successful champ, or 5 watt amp, and 12 inch speaker combos.

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Heady Jam Fan
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2015, 01:24:06 PM »

Sour d, have you tried anything higher in wattage than that 15 watt blue? Curious because I just bought an extension cab for my small amp rig (tweed champ and 80's sidekick 15 watt) and am trying to max out headroom on the champ. I know the blues are some of the best speakers for this amp, but I am really wanting to put something > 15 watts in it if it will sound pleasing. Curious to hear successful champ, or 5 watt amp, and 12 inch speaker combos.



I tend to like my speakers to be able to handle much more wattage than my amp puts out. I'm not big on speaker distortion. Rather than just thinking about small amps, consider ratio. Trey used his 22w Deluxe Reverb (a small amp by some standards) with at least a 4x12 of Celestions Blue's totaling 60w power handling. Some people use 1 Celestion Blue for a Deluxe, so he has 2-3 times the power handling necessary, plus I believe he at least sometimes kept the combo's internal speaker plugged in. At some point in time, he was using a 50w Weber Blue Dog; if he used this with the 412, it would total 110w power handling for a 22w amp.

Similarly, he uses at least a 212 with V30's for his Mesa Boogie Mark III. The 2x12 would handle 120 watts. His Mark III is Simulclass in Class-A mode, which usually puts out 15w with EL34's, but he uses 6L6's, so his Mesa would probably max at 30w in that mode. Not to mention his master volume is on 3 out of 10. So again, he is using at least 4 times the power handling than required by his amp. Not to mention if he uses both 212s, then he has over 8 times the power handling indicated by the amps max output based upon his settings.

The Mesa originally came with a 200w EVM12L speaker, which is about 3x the power handling of the amp in Simul-Class mode. Likewise, I think many amps come stock with speakers that would be unlikely to get fried by the amp. Fender sold various versions of the 15w Blues Junior including ones with a 50w handling C-Rex or 60w handling V30.

Conversely, there are many people out there with the opinion that you have to push a speaker near its limit to get it to give up the goods. That is not my opinion. I could see that for some heavier classic rock tones, like the ones made popular by a cranked 100w Marshal Plexi going into a 412 cabinet with Greenbacks that handle 25w each. Then you have a 1-1 ratio of power output and power handling. However, this is not the sound I go for most of the time, and not a sound I think is ideal if your aiming for a jammy tone a la Trey.

However, other aspects of sound will be influenced by increasing power handling. For example, going from a Blue to a Gold will be warmer top-end and less bouncy with a punchier bass. Of course you could go from a 1x12 with a Blue to a 2x12 or 4x12. You'd get a bit more warmth in the bass without too much effect on the top-end of the speaker (retain more chime than switching to the Gold possibly). You might retain a bit more of the bouncy feel that goes along with lower-wattage power handling speakers. And the speaker(s) would be less likely to distort as the amp's volume increases.

So the difference is probably largely preference. I went with a 212 with V30's because nothing else sounds the same and they are affordable. 212's sound a bit better than 1x12s, but are less portable. I don't think a Blue that handles 15w will distort in a 5w champ. A Gold might sound bigger and warmer, but somewhat less bouncy/lively. A 212 with Blues might sound a bit bigger while retaining the bouncy feel, but I don't think it would be cleaner or louder (since even a single 15w Blue would not be pushed near its max) - it would largely be due to the bigger cabinet.
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2015, 10:18:06 PM »

Thanks Heady, very insightful. I totally agree that a 1-1 ratio of power is not the goal for a jammy tone. I had recently played the champ through a 50w cannibis rex and it was pretty inaudible. This was most likely due to the 4/8 ohm mismatch. Really bassey. Anyways, it kinda of raised a flag with the wattage issue for me as well, and has me  leaning towards a lower wattage 12" speaker for the amp.
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« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2015, 05:53:30 PM »

Thanks Heady, very insightful. I totally agree that a 1-1 ratio of power is not the goal for a jammy tone. I had recently played the champ through a 50w cannibis rex and it was pretty inaudible. This was most likely due to the 4/8 ohm mismatch. Really bassey. Anyways, it kinda of raised a flag with the wattage issue for me as well, and has me  leaning towards a lower wattage 12" speaker for the amp.

I think your right - probably the mismatch, especially since the T-Rex is an efficient speaker. Its also definitely a dark speaker from what I remember having had it in a Blues Junior.
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Headless Hollowbody > Mesa Boogie MK III > TRM Trucker 212 w/ V30's
Whammy 5 > Mini Wah > 74 Script Phase 90 > CP9Pro+ > 82 TS9 > 83 TS9 > Ross Compressor > Turbo-Tuner > 83 AD9
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2019, 11:23:27 AM »

go to reverb and just search "vintage small amp" most small amp designs are just rehashings of old Valco, Harmony, Gibson stuff. If you research the backlines at your favorite recording studios, youll notice very few use these newer low wattage amps, as they are usually pretty overpriced for what they are, or made of plastic. Zappa cranked pignoses. Jimmy page loved to crank anything under 10 watts that was handy. Get several and see for yourself. The small amp market is kinda a joke. That being said there are some awesome ones out there.

the Fuchs lucky 7 MKi is my favorite right now. Comes in a giant head size. Loaded with NOS 50's glass, and a 6l6, its loud and does the pushed fender thing very well. Based on Ken Fischers trainwreck express, but with some mods to the circuit, it wails. The single ended OT can handle 2 6l6's. You read that right. They heyboer tranny is huge and can dish out over 20w... Technically you could make a non reverb trainwreck fender beast just by adding a socket and a second bias point. The lucky 7 can also run any power tube, and a decent variety of preamp valves. Once you get familiar you can make it a poor mans studio backline or rehearsal monster.
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Arafel
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2019, 04:16:31 PM »

go to reverb and just search "vintage small amp" most small amp designs are just rehashings of old Valco, Harmony, Gibson stuff. If you research the backlines at your favorite recording studios, youll notice very few use these newer low wattage amps, as they are usually pretty overpriced for what they are, or made of plastic. Zappa cranked pignoses. Jimmy page loved to crank anything under 10 watts that was handy. Get several and see for yourself. The small amp market is kinda a joke. That being said there are some awesome ones out there.

the Fuchs lucky 7 MKi is my favorite right now. Comes in a giant head size. Loaded with NOS 50's glass, and a 6l6, its loud and does the pushed fender thing very well. Based on Ken Fischers trainwreck express, but with some mods to the circuit, it wails. The single ended OT can handle 2 6l6's. You read that right. They heyboer tranny is huge and can dish out over 20w... Technically you could make a non reverb trainwreck fender beast just by adding a socket and a second bias point. The lucky 7 can also run any power tube, and a decent variety of preamp valves. Once you get familiar you can make it a poor mans studio backline or rehearsal monster.

I got a Swart Atomic Space Tone Jr about a year and a half ago on a whim. It's really loud for 5W. I have no problem using it with a full band, but it won't play clean when i do. Still, it's an absolutely astonishingly good amp. I used it to record this song in the studio:


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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2019, 04:45:50 PM »

yup STR is a take on the old fender tweed circuit, with some reverb on top. Once you start digging through those classic recording amps - youll either really get why you dig the swart, or just discover a variety of classic recordings were made with all the small watt amps in the 60s-70s
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« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2019, 11:16:24 PM »

I rock a 1965 Princeton Reverb at home. I love it.
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Guitars: Paul Languedoc, Matt Atringer, David Myka, Ron Thorn

Amps: '65 Princeton Reverb, Clark '59 Bassman clone
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