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What Would Be A Good Tube Amp For Jtv Guitar?

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#1 dchernov551

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:23 PM

Hello, brothers (and sisters) in Variax!  :) 

 

I am not sure if this is the right forum branch to ask about it, but since I am the JTV user and the question is related, I'll give it a try! 

 

The question is: what would be a good tube amp to use with the JTV guitar mostly for the bedroom playing? Currently I have Roland Cube 40XL amp which suits me fine, but I always wanted to move on to the tube sound. I do not know if the difference is really significant or it is mostly the legend from the old times, but even Youtube videos show how different, vivid and rich the tube amps sound when played in "guitar straight to amp" chain. I went through the search engines to look for information and opinions differ from person to person which makes it pretty hard to understand for a person like me who has never played a tube amp before. From what I have understood, for a bedroom playing and recording straight into audio interface, even 5-10W should be more than enough. There are different brands, different tubes and so on, but what would be a good option to come along with the JTV guitar to showcase all of it's capabilities and beauty? If I could, I would get Line 6 amp, the part of the Dream Rig, but for the moment it is too expensive, so I have to look for something cheaper. In terms of sound, I would be happy to get something that could give me the VOX AC30 sound and some tones from the alternative rock of early and middle 90's, maybe even a bit grunge sound here and there. 

 

And would tube amps like Fender Greta or Crate V58 would be any good to get to know what a tube sound is?  :D  ;) 

 

Any advices, opinions and thoughts are welcome! 

 

-- Denis


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#2 sparkyERTW

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 04:58 AM

Good tube amp for bedroom playing with a JTV... well, as you have a guitar that has all different types of guitars, you'd probably want an amp that can do variety of amp tones for some suitable pairings (or off-the-wall pairings, if you want to have some fun).

 

I've got an Egnater Tweaker that does alright at bedroom levels; maybe still a tad loud for that (the G12H30 is an incredibly efficient speaker), but it's a great little amp and very versatile.  I've also played through my wife's uncle's Blackstar HT-5, and that's a killer small, versatile, budget amp as well.

 

I haven't tried a Fender Greta (though I have been curious) or the Crate V58.  I'm sure they're fine little amps, but I'd say start yourself off with a 1x8/1x10/1x12 combo or head/cab pair for a good introduction to tube amps.


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#3 TheRealZap

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 05:01 AM

I was pretty impressed with the blackstar HT1 for it's great tube sound at lower volumes.


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#4 DieterWelzel

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:38 PM

I play my JTV-59 TSB at home, rehearsal room and live with my Marshall JMD:1 50 head and a 2x12 box. This is a hybrid amp with 16 Marshall modeling preamps and a valve power amplifier. It sounds like a tube amp and it feels like a tube amp. The sound at lower volume for bed room is great and also loud for gigs.


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#5 Benni2407

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 03:30 PM

I always recommend my Blackstar HT Club 40. Maybe a bit too loud for bedroom playing, but it is really versatile, not expensive and sounds amazing! Also the emulated line out is really good. I do a lot of recordings with that line out!

 

regards,

Benni


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#6 dchernov551

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:58 AM

Thank you so much for your replies, guys!  :) I am currently trying to decide between Egnater Tweaker and Blackstar HT5R as the most possible applicants for what I am trying to do. Even though it is my birthday tomorrow, I still want to do more research to be sure what is the good and the right choice. As Sparky kindly suggested, the tube amp for something like JTV guitar should be able to do variety of tones to show all the great things that the instrument can do. A place where I bought my JTV89F has Egnater Tweaker available, but I am wondering if it might be a bit too loud for bedroom playing. 15W versus 5W in Blackstar HT5 would be some difference in terms of volume. Sparky, how would you compare Egnater Tweaker to the Blackstar HT5? Which cleans were better for you and what would be better for direct recording from the output, in your opinion, if you have tried this option? 

 

@DieterWelzel, thank you for your message! I haven't considered anything from Marshalls before, so thank you for the tip. Did I understand you right that this particular amp that you have will do fine at the bedroom volume levels? I am completely new in the world of tube amps, so I am always wondering if big amps do require loud volumes in order to give the right sound.  :D 

 

@Benni2407, yes, the emulated line out is an important point since recording with the tube amp is what I am after and the way how it works in this relation is probably one of the most important aspects for me, not to mention the tube feel and the sound. So another plus to the Blackstar amps, it seems.  :) 

 

Thanks again for all of your messages and help! With a JTV guitar, a good amp looks like a must have!  :wub: 

 

-- Denis


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#7 sparkyERTW

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 07:43 AM

Sparky, how would you compare Egnater Tweaker to the Blackstar HT5? Which cleans were better for you and what would be better for direct recording from the output, in your opinion, if you have tried this option?

 

Both great amps.  I'm not sure I could tell you which had better cleans; I didn't A/B them side-by-side or anything.  You could probably get more clean headroom out of the Tweaker at 15W vs. 5W, but if you don't need loud cleans the HT5 would probably work fine (speaking of which, remember that wattage is not analogous to volume output; speaker efficiency and pre-/power-amp design factor in a lot).  The Tweaker doesn't have any sort of direct/emulated output, so given that it's important to you the HT5 might be the better option for you.


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#8 toneman2121

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:02 AM

Hello, brothers (and sisters) in Variax!  :) 

 

I am not sure if this is the right forum branch to ask about it, but since I am the JTV user and the question is related, I'll give it a try! 

 

The question is: what would be a good tube amp to use with the JTV guitar mostly for the bedroom playing? Currently I have Roland Cube 40XL amp which suits me fine, but I always wanted to move on to the tube sound. I do not know if the difference is really significant or it is mostly the legend from the old times, but even Youtube videos show how different, vivid and rich the tube amps sound when played in "guitar straight to amp" chain. I went through the search engines to look for information and opinions differ from person to person which makes it pretty hard to understand for a person like me who has never played a tube amp before. From what I have understood, for a bedroom playing and recording straight into audio interface, even 5-10W should be more than enough. There are different brands, different tubes and so on, but what would be a good option to come along with the JTV guitar to showcase all of it's capabilities and beauty? If I could, I would get Line 6 amp, the part of the Dream Rig, but for the moment it is too expensive, so I have to look for something cheaper. In terms of sound, I would be happy to get something that could give me the VOX AC30 sound and some tones from the alternative rock of early and middle 90's, maybe even a bit grunge sound here and there. 

 

And would tube amps like Fender Greta or Crate V58 would be any good to get to know what a tube sound is?  :D  ;) 

 

Any advices, opinions and thoughts are welcome! 

 

-- Denis

any one you like


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#9 DieterWelzel

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:33 AM

@DieterWelzel, thank you for your message! I haven't considered anything from Marshalls before, so thank you for the tip. Did I understand you right that this particular amp that you have will do fine at the bedroom volume levels? I am completely new in the world of tube amps, so I am always wondering if big amps do require loud volumes in order to give the right sound.  :D 

 

@Denis

The Marshall JMD:1 also have a great sound at the bedroom volume level like my POD X3 Live and a transistor amp. But the advantage of the Marshall JMD:1 is the tube sound. I think this comes from the valve power amplifier of the JMD:1.

 

Bedroom volume level was not avaible for me with my Hughes & Kettner Switchblade that I sold. That combo has a tube preamp and valve power amplifier.


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#10 Benni2407

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:08 PM

You always have to make a difference between full tube amps (tube preamp and power amp) and so called hybrid amps, that only have valves in one of these two.

A hybrid amp with a tube preamp and transistor power amp normally sounds the same at all volumes (more or less...) A full tube amp changes its sound a little, when the power amp valve reaches saturation (at high volumes), which makes the sound warmer and more compressed.

 

BUT: I also play my Blackstar HT Club 40 (full tube amp) at Bedroom volume (in a flat) and it sounds great! The volume pot is very sensitive at low volumes, so it is a bit tricky to adjust it to the volume you want :)

 

kind regards,
Benni


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#11 anthonylee

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:53 PM

Hello, brothers (and sisters) in Variax!  :) 

 

I am not sure if this is the right forum branch to ask about it, but since I am the JTV user and the question is related, I'll give it a try! 

 

The question is: what would be a good tube amp to use with the JTV guitar mostly for the bedroom playing? Currently I have Roland Cube 40XL amp which suits me fine, but I always wanted to move on to the tube sound. I do not know if the difference is really significant or it is mostly the legend from the old times, but even Youtube videos show how different, vivid and rich the tube amps sound when played in "guitar straight to amp" chain. I went through the search engines to look for information and opinions differ from person to person which makes it pretty hard to understand for a person like me who has never played a tube amp before. From what I have understood, for a bedroom playing and recording straight into audio interface, even 5-10W should be more than enough. There are different brands, different tubes and so on, but what would be a good option to come along with the JTV guitar to showcase all of it's capabilities and beauty? If I could, I would get Line 6 amp, the part of the Dream Rig, but for the moment it is too expensive, so I have to look for something cheaper. In terms of sound, I would be happy to get something that could give me the VOX AC30 sound and some tones from the alternative rock of early and middle 90's, maybe even a bit grunge sound here and there. 

 

And would tube amps like Fender Greta or Crate V58 would be any good to get to know what a tube sound is?  :D  ;) 

 

Any advices, opinions and thoughts are welcome! 

 

-- Denis

Try the Yamaha THR 10   


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#12 nikoniablue

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:32 AM

Fender SuperChamp X2 works well for me.  It has one pure valve channel and a second (switchable) with digital emulations of various amps. Great clean tone on valve channel, lots of options on the other.  Small enough for a bedroom, loud enough for a moderate rehearsal.   


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#13 thorneven

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:35 PM

When asked this question I always respond the same - go to the store, try different models and buy the one you like.  And for amps, even that is not the best advice because the sound of an amp in the store is going to sound different in your BR because of factors like sound absorption.  But I recommend trying in the store anyway, ensure there is a return policy so if it doesn't work out in your BR, you can return it and try something else.  The only one who can say what sounds good to you is you.


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#14 pheld

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:07 PM

The choice of tube-amp will depend on what tone you want. However, few tube-amps perform well at low volumes so an amp-sim with flat response-speaker(s) or a modelling amp may be a better choice. Most such units can also turn the tube-simulation completely off and are thus much better at amplifying the acoustic sounds a variax is able to produce.
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#15 rlumpkin

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:23 PM

Try the Yamaha THR 10   

 

I love this little thing.  You can even switch it to flat input (no amp sim) for the acoustic setting of the JTV.  Even though it's solid state, it sounds like a tube amp.  And it runs for hours on batteries!


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#16 dchernov551

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:57 PM

Thank you so much for all of your messages! I did not make my choice yet and still searching for a good amp that would open up all the greatness of the JTV guitar. So far (if we speak of the tube amps), I still think of the Blackstar HT5 amp. If we put the tube thing aside and speak of the solid state and digital amps, Yamaha THR 10 sounds good. 
 
I want to thank each and everyone for your kind replies and suggestions! 
 
@Sparky: Thank you so much for your reply and the comments concerning the Blackstar amp. Out of all the options, it seems to be the most suitable for my needs. However, I am still a bit concerned about the volume, wondering if it can sound well at the bedroom levels. 
 
@Toneman2121: If I could choose, then that would be Vox AC30!  :D  :) 
 
@DieterWelzel: Thank you for clearing things up with the Marshal JMD:1! 
 
@Benni2407: You discuss an important point in your message. As I was looking through the reviews and opinions on Blackstar HT5, I was constantly hearing about the hybrid amps and some people were saying that Blackstar HT5R is not a full tube amp. Then others claimed that it is a full tube amp which was built by some interesting and innovational scheme. Anyway, it is the sound that matters and the response that can echo the movements and the feelings in your fingers. Since I have never played a tube amp before, I have zero experience and always remind myself that only a fully cranked tube amp can give that proper sound. Since I can't play at high volumes, I am looking for something that would give me a good tube sound at the bedroom levels, if at all possible. 
 
It's great that you can play your Blackstar HT Club 40 in a flat and that the sound is great! What do you think of the emulated output? Have you tried it? I wonder if the volume pot sensitiveness is the same with HT series of Blackstar amps. But in any case, it would be possible to adjust it! :)  Thank you so much again for your message! 
 
@Anthonylee: Thank you! Yamaha THR 10 sounds like a very interesting amp and Soren Andersen is one of my favourite guitarists. I have to thank him for my choice of effects and inspiration! It's hard to tell - I have Roland Cube 40 XL which is a digital amp, so that would probably leave it standing in the corner. A tube amp would probably differ (or not?), so it's hard to decide. Thank you very much for suggestion! 
 
@Nikoniablue: Fender Super Champ X2. Actually, it was one of the amps I was looking for and sounds like a good one! Unfortunately, can't find it in the local shops to try out. There is Fender Champion 600 amp that I can try!  :D  :lol: 
 
@Thorneven: You are absolutely right - it has to be the amp that you have tried and liked the most at the local store. Unfortunately, not every store in one's reach carries each model that sounds or looks interesting. There is always a certain risk which you kindly mentioned, - the sound is not the same in the store and in person's bedroom and the impression that we may get may change when we get home. It is when and where Internet comes to help - you get advices, opinions, thoughts and people share their experiences and tell of how they got their tone and what it took. JTV guitar made it possible to cover a lot of musical ground and play different styles of music. Now it looks like I need to find an amp that would let me play in the vein of progressive rock, starting from the beautiful cleans and getting good overdriven tones once the heavier parts kick in! Thank you very much again for your kind message and advices! 
 
@Pheld: Thank you for your message! If I could name a tone that I would like from a tube amp, then the first thing that comes to mind is VOX AC30 tone and the likes of Tom Petty, R.E.M., The Shadows, Pink Floyd. I do play 80's metal and metal ballads and sometimes like going through the heavier territories, but my heart is always with good clean tones! That's right - very few tube-amps perform well at low volumes and the only amp I still think of is Blackstar HT5R (12 inch speaker), but I do not know how well it will do at low volumes. 
 
An amp-sim... What would you advice from the amp-simulators? I have my Roland Cube 40XL modelling amp, but there is no flat response-speaker option as far as I'm aware. It has good cleans through the clean channel, but having good acoustic sounds from Variax would be very important. What would you advice from the modelling amps or amp sims? Thank you again! 
 
@rlumpkin: Thank you for your reply! Yamaha THR 10 sounds interesting and always calls up a smile. It has a very good sound, too. Did you try to record with it via USB? 
 
Thank you again! :)  
 
With the best wishes and deep respect, 
 
-- Denis

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#17 LarryLion

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:05 AM

Best affordable "bedroom tube amp", IMO, is the Fender Super Champ, but change out the speaker!  Replace that crappy 10 inch Fender speaker with an Eminence Rajin' Cajun, and replace Fender's cheap tubes with JJ's, and you are good to go.  Awesome little amp, for the money! 

 

HOWEVER ...

 

If money is no object, the Allen Chihuahua (http://allenamps.com/chihuahua.php) is a simply amazing little amp - listen to the sound clips on their site.  Serious money, though.

 

Cheers

 

Larry


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Plus lots of Tele's, Gretsches,

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#18 Dunkin_Dal

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:45 PM

Egnater Rebel 20 you  can turn it down to 1w or crank it at 20w and blend tubes


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#19 pheld

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 11:34 AM


@Pheld: Thank you for your message! If I could name a tone that I would like from a tube amp, then the first thing that comes to mind is VOX AC30 tone and the likes of Tom Petty, R.E.M., The Shadows, Pink Floyd. I do play 80's metal and metal ballads and sometimes like going through the heavier territories, but my heart is always with good clean tones! That's right - very few tube-amps perform well at low volumes and the only amp I still think of is Blackstar HT5R (12 inch speaker), but I do not know how well it will do at low volumes.


Smaller solid-state amps with simulation circuits built in are imho better than tube-amps for low volume applications. The most flexible solution is a separate amp-simulator. With it you can practically have the same tone for everything from your bedroom (headphones even) to an outdoor stadium gig by scaling the FRFR amps and speakers. I play just about anything except the most extreme high-gain styles (pre WW2 jazz and folk to 80s metal and modern progrock) through a high-end modeller that is able to analyze (profile) the behaviour of any guitar2tape signal chain (amp/cab/microphone). With it I practise through a headset, living-room stereo, studio monitors, keyboard amps, FRFR wedges, anything that doesn't color the sound. I also perform playing the sim through various PA's using IEM for my own sound. All manufacturers who build amp-sims, L6 and their POD-series products included, offer decent simulations for the styles and types of amps you have requested.
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#20 stevekc

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:35 AM

I like my Kemper Profiling Amp, or Fender GDEC 3 Thirty

With those, I have not turned on my Tube Amps in several months.
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#21 ColonelForbin

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:29 AM

Some factors to consider- how much $$ do you want to spend? And, are you using or ever considering using the JTV with an HD500?

I already have the HD500 floor POD, looking at add a JTV59 soon..

Beyond that, I can' speak from experience yet, but will be soon -as the DT25 I just ordered is arriving tomorrow! I am on a little tight budget, so ended up ordering the DT25 combo from Zzounds, and doing the 8 payment installment plan. I can afford $125 every 30 days, and they call it "pay while you play", they ship your gear after the first payment clears. Sort of 'reverse layaway'.

 

If you have the $$ ready to go, you can probably get a lower price from a Guitar Center, or a scratch and dent thru an online store (Zzounds, American Musical, Sweetwater, etc.) I don't think they do installments for scratch and dent gear, but the price can be wayyyy lower. I am scoping the JTV59 tobacco, it's like $1,500 new on Zzounds. But they are offering some blemished for closer to $1,000; just not with the multi-payment plans... SO be it! Same for GC; they have the JTV59 cherry in stock by me, and it's around $1,000 also, new. But they don't let you take it home until it's all paid for! ;)

Now, the DT25, others with experience can chime in, but its a Bogner tube amp with Line6 interface. It runs as 25w or 12w; though I think it may also have a low volume mode - not sure how that works in terms of what it's actually running into the power amp. Same for some of the Class A, A/B, etc models. If I end up with the JTV, will report back on "bedroom" volumes with the DT25. I live upstairs in a two flat, so I am very limited on how much speaker volume I can make at home...

 

Combining those three items [JTV + HD500 + DT25, or DT50] is going to give you some overall majorly heady options.. The HD500 can store Variax data, so when you change patches on the HD500 it changes the guitar models and setting on the Variax (when using the ethernet cable), which also powers the JTV while you play. I have read it can take 12 hours to charge the JTV battery up, which could be an issue without that external power source. [NOTE - the connection powers the JTV but does not charge the battery]

In terms of JTV into front jack of a tube amp, endless options. Egnater! As far as JTV+POD HD, or others, into a tube amp, it can be picky. I prefer sending POD to the fx return of my Fender or Marshall amp, and do XLR to the mixer / PA. I did a jam recently, and borrowed the amp that was at the spot. Amazing amp, sounded horrible with the POD though. I had to turn the tone stacks all to zero, and mess with my patches ALOT to get it not sounding really, really bad. I listened back to the direct feed from my POD that got recorded with a line in to a Tascam, and it was 100% not what I heard in the room. That amp was a beautiful old Fender 4x12, amazing amp- it just didn't play nice with the "Full Studio" mode coming off the POD into the front jack. With an FX return, you get some better options - but again, this may all be off topic if you do not intend to use an HD, POD ,etc.


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