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Best small valve amp (Sub 350)


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#31 EliasMooseblaster

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 09:43 AM

I can heartily recommend the Blackstar HT-1R for home practice. Even with just one watt, it goes louder than I could probably get away with at home, but not so loud that I can't run it reasonably hard and get a good spectrum of tones from clean to overdriven.

The only thing that may put you off is the "baked-in" tone - a lot of people on here aren't fond of it, and it's controlled by a single tone/shape knob. Basically it gives you a mid-scoop at one end and a mid-hump at the other. (Personally I like the tone, so I'm happy with the limited EQ options.)

It does also have jack outputs on the back for external speaker, headphone and line out (will have to check the latter), so you could always make it louder with a larger speaker cab and maybe an external power amp.

#32 Dad3353

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 11:24 AM

An old thread, but I'll mention it just the same...

'Cranked' volume can be controlled quite effectively by turning the cab face down on a carpeted floor. This'll tame even 4x12 cabs, but works very well for home combos, too, as long as heat dispersion isn't an issue. Valve warmth without the shattered windows. Best with sealed cabs; 'open-backs' could have a cushion over 'em.
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#33 Jonnydoghouse

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 10:50 AM

View PostBass_Guardian, on 13 September 2016 - 11:10 AM, said:

Honestly I would like break up at a fairly low level, nothing too loud but still have a decent clean thats not too quiet. Tall order I know!
Dunno if you're still looking, I'll weigh in with my choices though. Bugera 5w valve combo 8" speaker, nice digital 'verb and crucially a GAIN and MASTER VOLUME. Most tiny home valve amps don't have this luxury. Theres 1 pre amp valve and the output section is solid state.Overdrive is lovely, natural and creamy. If you wanted a metal sound, you may need to put a boost pedal in front. I've used this amp on big festival stages in a trio (no drums obvs) with a mic in front of it, the tone is so nice. 1 tone control giving a nice range. Also, the speaker is on a jack plug so you can run the amp through a bigger speaker cab which really opens it up. I used it through a 12, amazing blues tone. Small enough to use at home. Even if you have bought something already, these are so cheap it's worth a go!

Edited by Jonnydoghouse, 04 December 2016 - 10:52 AM.


#34 Skezza

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 12:13 PM

laney L5t best 5 watt valve amp out there with celestion greenback speaker will get one for £350

peavey bravo 20 watt valve amp from 1980 I have three all off ebay the most I have paid is £125 very loud so use attenuator

laney LC15 or LC15r about £150 each
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#35 JapanAxe

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:49 PM

^^^ +1 to the Laney LT5 (Lionheart)
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#36 Cathode_Follower

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:11 AM

View PostBigRedX, on 13 September 2016 - 11:08 AM, said:

As is speaker break up. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way to reproduce this at low volumes over than software modelling. I think the OP needs to identify what parts of the valve sound are important to him (pre-amp valves, power amp valves, speaker break up) and work from there.

Weber make some attenuators that are absolutely top-notch stuff with moving coil components that provide a proper inductive load that interacts with the output stage of an amp like an actual speaker, definitely worth looking into. https://www.tedweber...ets/attenuators

Of course you're still not actually driving your output speaker, but I guess if you push the attenuator you'll get a certain amount of that in the audible side of the output circuit.

Edited by Cathode_Follower, 16 February 2017 - 02:15 AM.

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#37 wrinkleygit

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:14 PM

look out for a late model Marshall Class 5, early models had design flaws, check the rear panel, valves should be seen hanging down, also h'phone socket & low power switch, ideal for home use plus almost enough volume for small gigs & jams, mike b.
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#38 bassbiscuits

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 12:13 PM

If you're not desperate for it to be a valve amp, i can heartily recommend the Blackstar ID Core range.

They have a really usable range of clean/dirty tones, multiple effects and sound absolutely staggering for the size/cost. And plenty loud enough.

Also does headphones for quiet practise, and MP3/CD input to play along with stuff.

Edited by bassbiscuits, 08 March 2017 - 12:14 PM.

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#39 kevin_lindsay

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 01:44 PM

I just bought one of these all valve heads via my local Facebook classified ads page. Mine is in the current metal "bird cage" format (so you can see the valves glowing while in use). Fantastic sounding piece of equipment.



#40 Bass_Guardian

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:27 PM

Thanks everyone for the options so far :)

very close to maybe getting a Vox AC15 C1 for close to £350

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#41 Bass_Guardian

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:39 PM

Pulled the trigger :) pick the amp up either tomorrow night or saturday morning
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#42 Bass_Guardian

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:38 AM

Now the owner of a Vox AC15 C1 :D boy it's alot louder than I thought it would be. It's in absolutely immaculate condition, the previous owner takes good care of his gear (cracking gear he's got too).

Thanks everyone for the suggestions :)
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#43 gary mac

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:26 AM

They are very pokey little amps :)

#44 JapanAxe

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:27 AM

View PostBass_Guardian, on 17 March 2017 - 10:38 AM, said:

Now the owner of a Vox AC15 C1 :D boy it's alot louder than I thought it would be. It's in absolutely immaculate condition, the previous owner takes good care of his gear (cracking gear he's got too).

Thanks everyone for the suggestions :)

Good choice, enjoy!
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