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> Okay, Help Me Out With Amps.
JVM
post Aug 16 2007, 03:18 PM
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I'm on the verge of buying a vox valvetronix hybrid amp, I think it sounds pretty good and I like the variety it gives. It's also very loud (100w). But I am really feeling a twinge of guilt, though I'm not sure if that's the right word for it!

You see my friends, I feel a pull to go the tube route. I'm not exactly sure why - maybe andrew, you can help me out with this, as you have been converted yourself tongue.gif I love the variety the vox would give me, and even my dad who has played guitar for 40 years, and a self proclaimed tube fan with a very nice vintage fender 212, says he likes it. But on the other hand, I feel like by doing all of these modeling things, they're compromising the quality somewhere.

I'm not exactly sure, I can't really point out the differences between tube and solid amps if just listening to them (amp newb here). I know most people agree that tube is better, and even though I can't completely hear it myself, it just FEELS right.

I'm looking at these carvins:

http://www.carvin.com/products/single.php?...16&CID=VINT

http://www.carvin.com/products/single.php?...LAIR&CID=GA

http://www.carvin.com/products/single.php?...OMAD&CID=GA

The first and the second ones appeal to me the most.

Pros:

- Made in the USA - almost all of the common amps found in a guitar shop in the under 600 range seem to be made outside of the US, and I'm dubious of their quality. These looks sturdily built and all that.

- Tweed is cool tongue.gif

- From the sound clips, they sound awesome. Not that much variety, but that's okay, I can get pedals. The only thing the vox has on it in the sound department is the high gain stuff, and delay. I already have a nice wah pedal, and I wouldn't mind buying a delay pedal or some high gain distortion pedals to go along with them (partly because of the next reason). They also has built in reverb, so that's cool.

- Price. It costs less than or about equal to the valvetronix model I'm looking at.

Cons:


- wattage. But that's okay for reasons specified above. And two of them reach 50 watts, which I know is more than enough.

- variety - but thats also okay for reasons specified above.

- I haven't tried them, and I don't know where to go to try them I think if I could try em and just affirm that they sounds as good as I hope they do, I'd buy one in a snap.

HELP ME GMC!

[edit] sorry, I meant the first and second ones appeal to me the most. I got it mixed up and thought I put the belair last.

This post has been edited by JVM: Aug 16 2007, 03:47 PM


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blindwillie
post Aug 16 2007, 07:57 PM
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No help here. Just more questions.
The Vintage16 looked interesting. When I buy a tube amp it will probably, as I feel for it now, be a low wattage amp with a bluesy tone.

I don't understand the prices.
$795 is the price in a store and $399 is the price ordering online?


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Otto
post Aug 16 2007, 08:37 PM
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I'm not exactly sure, I can't really point out the differences between tube and solid amps if just listening to them (amp newb here). I know most people agree that tube is better, and even though I can't completely hear it myself, it just FEELS right.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


:Try to put a wah pedal infront of a "digital pre/amp" vs a real amp... hmm ? laugh.gif
:Try to "mute" the tone with the volyme control on your guitar on a digital vs the real thing

blink.gif : never end a reply with no tube link its a sin... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T54lGP29Oes


laugh.gif
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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 16 2007, 09:11 PM
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Yes I am travelling this exact path ...

The most important thing to realize about tube amps is that they only sound their best when played at close to the max volume. If you get a 50 watt amp, be prepared to play it at ear bleeding levels to get the best out of it.

If you want something for practice and/or recording, get something a LOT smaller - the Vintage 16 will still be very loud. In general tube wattages are louder than solid state wattages, and unlike solid state you can't turn them down without sacrificing tone. This means you need to really thnk about what you will use it for.

I wanted an amp for practice and recording, the one I am building is about 10 watts, but I still think it will be too loud. For comparison, a 30 watt AMP on full at 10 feet is as loud as a jet plane (not scientific but you get the idea)

So, step one is to loose the predisposition with power and be honest about where and how you will use it.

BTW, the Vintage 16 was high on my list because of its versatility and 5W mode, it ticks a lot of boxes. Never played one though.

Hey, why don't you build one smile.gif

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Aug 16 2007, 09:13 PM


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blindwillie
post Aug 16 2007, 11:04 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Aug 16 2007, 10:11 PM) *
I wanted an amp for practice and recording, the one I am building is about 10 watts, but I still think it will be too loud. For comparison, a 30 watt AMP on full at 10 feet is as loud as a jet plane (not scientific but you get the idea)

So, step one is to loose the predisposition with power and be honest about where and how you will use it.

BTW, the Vintage 16 was high on my list because of its versatility and 5W mode, it ticks a lot of boxes. Never played one though.

Hey, why don't you build one smile.gif

Ye, I'm following your progress with interest. That might be the way to go but I'm not sure I haev the knowledge or time for it. Judging by the advices in your "blog" there is lot's to know, think about and know how to calculate.

For me the amp is for practicing. Power is definitly not what I want. It's the tone. The tone!
At very moderate volumes. I'll follow these threads carefully.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 17 2007, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE (blindwillie @ Aug 16 2007, 06:04 PM) *
Ye, I'm following your progress with interest. That might be the way to go but I'm not sure I haev the knowledge or time for it. Judging by the advices in your "blog" there is lot's to know, think about and know how to calculate.

For me the amp is for practicing. Power is definitly not what I want. It's the tone. The tone!
At very moderate volumes. I'll follow these threads carefully.


Yeah, don't worry about the calculations too much - I am building an existing design this time, not trying to design something myself, so it is fairly well defined.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 17 2007, 12:22 AM
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Carvin amps are generally pretty good and also pretty reliable. If you buy direct from Carvin they're good value as well JVM. Sadly in Europe we have to pay full list plus import and all the rest. Because of that I can remember seeing a Belaire years ago that was priced about the same as Vox AC30 - not a fair contest really.

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Hardtail
post Aug 17 2007, 12:25 AM
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Hey I just wanted to point out that wattage translated to volume is COMPLETELY different from solid state to tube. I would wager a guess that a 50 watt tube amp will get MUCH louder than a 100 watt solid state.

My Junior (15 watts) almost doubles the volume of my Studio 85 (65 watts). A good case in point: people tend to not like the Fender Blues Deluxe because they can't get it loud enough for tube saturation (distortion) without their ears bleeding and it is only rated at 40 watts but is tube driven.

The Belair and Nomad both will be so loud you will never want for more volume and I'd guess you'll rarely ride the volume past 4! tongue.gif

Hope that helps!

Hardtail

Doh!

I didn't see that Andrew already covered everything in my previous post hehe

Hardtail


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JVM
post Aug 17 2007, 02:15 AM
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Okay, so I'm assuming that to really get the full effect out of the nomad or belair, I would have to push the volume right? At about what level would it naturally overdrive?

Is the vintage 16 loud enough to play with a drummer, in a live small gig situation?

I'm thinking I would probably go for the vintage 16 because I would never really have need to push a belair or nomad up to their full volumes, and if I never do that, I would lose much of the tone right? So as long as the vintage 16 can do what I said above, it seems like a good deal to me.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 17 2007, 02:20 AM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Aug 16 2007, 09:15 PM) *
Okay, so I'm assuming that to really get the full effect out of the nomad or belair, I would have to push the volume right? At about what level would it naturally overdrive?


When its about as loud as it can get - when it overdrives it doesn;t reallly have anywhere to go so even if you turn it up further (maybe because you have the preamp set high, or maybe have a high output guitar) it CAN'T get any louder, just more distorted.

QUOTE (JVM @ Aug 16 2007, 09:15 PM) *
Is the vintage 16 loud enough to play with a drummer, in a live small gig situation?


I would think so but I am guessing here.

QUOTE (JVM @ Aug 16 2007, 09:15 PM) *
I'm thinking I would probably go for the vintage 16 because I would never really have need to push a belair or nomad up to their full volumes, and if I never do that, I would lose much of the tone right? So as long as the vintage 16 can do what I said above, it seems like a good deal to me.


I think that's right - get a 50 when you start gigging in 500 seat theatres smile.gif


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MickeM
post Aug 17 2007, 03:16 AM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Aug 17 2007, 03:15 AM) *
Is the vintage 16 loud enough to play with a drummer, in a live small gig situation?

I'm thinking I would probably go for the vintage 16 because I would never really have need to push a belair or nomad up to their full volumes, and if I never do that, I would lose much of the tone right? So as long as the vintage 16 can do what I said above, it seems like a good deal to me.

I think 16 might be a bit too little for live gigging and fighting hard hitting drummers with, or rather the combination of a 16W amp and 1 speaker. Problem with gigging is that when you soundcheck you should turn the volume up a bit further because usually you soundcheck in an empty room, later when there's people, cheering and plenty of drunk noice you dont want your sound to get stuck in the first row. A 4x12 cabinet or a 2x12 combo will move some more air to help solve that problem. So let me change that first sentence, 16W with enough speaker elements would likely do.

For reference some of my gigging experience;
30W with one 12" speaker I think, for a large room, that was too little, it's likely a 4x12 would have made the difference. 30W in a small room full of people is perfect
50W with a 4x12 in small pub size room I had to hold back the volume.
15-30W with a half stack should be alright for small room parties and small pubs.

And after all 16W compares as 80% loudness of a 30W so it's loud alright (or more than 55% loudness of a 100W). 3W would make 50% loudness of a 30W amp.

I never gigged with less than 30W so I wouldn't know from own experience... well, except for a 20W solid state *ashamed* laugh.gif ...but that was then, all forgotten.

This post has been edited by MickeM: Aug 17 2007, 03:19 AM


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JVM
post Aug 17 2007, 03:30 AM
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So, you think with the 1x12 it just doesnt have enough power to actually push the air enough for a gig? tongue.gif If that's the case, it does have a speaker output I think. Or I could mic it or something?

Or, do you have any other suggestions for a good tube amp that would be good for gigging without being, at the same time, too loud? Do you think the belair and nomads would be too loud (thats the impression I'm getting)?

Or could I for example buy the 212 extension cab, or even the 1x12, and if so, would that only affect the amount of air being pushed, or would it also be louder?


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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 17 2007, 03:56 AM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Aug 16 2007, 10:30 PM) *
So, you think with the 1x12 it just doesnt have enough power to actually push the air enough for a gig? tongue.gif If that's the case, it does have a speaker output I think. Or I could mic it or something?

Or, do you have any other suggestions for a good tube amp that would be good for gigging without being, at the same time, too loud? Do you think the belair and nomads would be too loud (thats the impression I'm getting)?

Or could I for example buy the 212 extension cab, or even the 1x12, and if so, would that only affect the amount of air being pushed, or would it also be louder?


Miking through the PA is definatley worth thinking about - you have your small amp for tone and monitoring and let the PA do the heavy lifintg ... if you KNOW you have a PA at the gig or have one of your own that is.


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MickeM
post Aug 17 2007, 04:06 AM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Aug 17 2007, 04:30 AM) *
So, you think with the 1x12 it just doesnt have enough power to actually push the air enough for a gig? tongue.gif If that's the case, it does have a speaker output I think. Or I could mic it or something?

Or, do you have any other suggestions for a good tube amp that would be good for gigging without being, at the same time, too loud? Do you think the belair and nomads would be too loud (thats the impression I'm getting)?

Or could I for example buy the 212 extension cab, or even the 1x12, and if so, would that only affect the amount of air being pushed, or would it also be louder?

Getting a 1x12 extension speaker is useless since when you connect it you disconned the built in speaker.
I have gigged with a 30W and had problems getting the sound spread in a large room. The sound rather gets beamed in one direction.

A 4x12 will not be louder but more efficient. A 1x12 can sound louder if you face it, but if you stand 30 feet away the 4x12 will be better heard.
The Belair and nomads will be plenty loud, not that I ever played any of them I don't know Carvin very well at all for that matter but just looking at the wattage. So they will be loud but nothing is stopping you from lowering the volume... except for that the sound will suffer.

And you know, it also depends on what band you're in. Some rehearse so crazy loud it's ridicilous, we play loud but what some do... I don't understand how they can stand the sound level themselves.

Between the ones you linked to I'd choose the Belair. It's got 2x12, fx-loop (which the Vintage 16 lacks) and you seem to have some kind of soak control in all of them so maybe 50w doesn't have to bee too much so to say. I suggest you check what the soak does to the 50 watters!

So back to rehearsing and gigging, as mentioned I never gigged with a 16W, 30W 1x12 was too weak, 30W + 4x12 I suspect is good. 50W small room is too loud. 16W + 4x12 I guess is fine. Would be nice to hear from someone who gigged with a 15W tube amp.


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Hardtail
post Aug 17 2007, 04:06 AM
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My Blues Junior (15 watts) is loud enough to cut through the loudest drummer like butter. It will also easily fill a room with about a 200 to 250 person capacity depending on structure acoustics. So yeah, I'd guess the 16 will be plenty loud.

Like MickeM said though the 1x12 will be slightly directional. Where I play I am about 30 feet (9 to 10 meters) from the first audience member so they get washed over pretty well. If I were to play in larger venues I would simply buy a 2x12 extension cab and run the junior through that. Any larger venue or concert hall you'll want to be miked and put through the PA anyway.

Hardtail

This post has been edited by Hardtail: Aug 17 2007, 04:10 AM


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MickeM
post Aug 17 2007, 04:09 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Aug 17 2007, 04:56 AM) *
Miking through the PA is definatley worth thinking about - you have your small amp for tone and monitoring and let the PA do the heavy lifintg ... if you KNOW you have a PA at the gig or have one of your own that is.

Yes, that will work for sure! All you need your amp for is to put it behind you and keep it loud enough for you to hear yourself in it. And you'll hear the rest of the band in a monitor in front of you, it's a pretty wierd feeling the first time. laugh.gif

EDIT: And then you don't have to worry about cutting through the first rows of flesh that will absorb the sound. It's someone elses problem and that someone (sound techician) will have his speakers in the scieling or similar. tongue.gif

This post has been edited by MickeM: Aug 17 2007, 04:11 AM


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Hardtail
post Aug 17 2007, 04:13 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Aug 16 2007, 11:09 PM) *
Yes, that will work for sure! All you need your amp for is to put it behind you and keep it loud enough for you to hear yourself in it. And you'll hear the rest of the band in a monitor in front of you, it's a pretty wierd feeling the first time. laugh.gif



Another suggestion is to place it in front of you if the stage allows it. This way you and the drummer can hear it and the Audio Technician isn't fighting stage volume while he is trying to set the master levels. This is what I do and I can REALLY crank it and the sound guy loves me cause I don't color what the audience is hearing if that all makes sense.

Hardtail


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MickeM
post Aug 17 2007, 04:16 AM
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QUOTE (Hardtail @ Aug 17 2007, 05:06 AM) *
My Blues Junior (15 watts) is loud enough to cut through the loudest drummer like butter. It will also easily fill a room with about a 200 to 250 person capacity depending on structure acoustics. So yeah, I'd guess the 16 will be plenty loud.

Ok, cool, so there we have it, 15W will do great!

It's easy to be fooled and think 5W or 15W is nothing, I need 200W at least, but the 15W will likely perform better since it can be pushed... unless you're playing the Yankee Stadium laugh.gif

JVM, if you need a solo boost just use an EQ or an Overdrive.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 17 2007, 04:20 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Aug 16 2007, 11:16 PM) *
Ok, cool, so there we have it, 15W will do great!

It's easy to be fooled and think 5W or 15W is nothing, I need 200W at least, but the 15W will likely perform better since it can be pushed... unless you're playing the Yankee Stadium laugh.gif

JVM, if you need a solo boost just use an EQ or an Overdrive.


Heh, these Amp threads are fun now - I used to ignore them smile.gif MickeM, you've created a monster!!!


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MickeM
post Aug 17 2007, 04:35 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Aug 17 2007, 05:20 AM) *
Heh, these Amp threads are fun now - I used to ignore them smile.gif MickeM, you've created a monster!!!

laugh.gif "Story of my life, from POD guy to tube amp builder in one month"

I look forward to your (and mine) amp project. One day I want to build my own 18W Marshall (or a 100W Superlead) biggrin.gif I ruled that option out this time and decided on a beginners kit instead of aiming too high and fail miserably. I count on learninf plenty from your project wink.gif

For me up till now it's been all about tone, now I find it thrilling to find out what's inside an amp.


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