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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to the forum. I'm looking for some advice on an amp. Been playing for about 10 years, mostly fingerstyle and classical but have been getting more into electric the past year. I like to play rock, blues and a bit of beginner jazz standards. I own a Strat. I had an Egnater Tweaker 30W amp but the power transformer died. My wife bought it for me as a B-day gift and she can't find the bill. Store is out of business so I can't ask them. So Egnater won't honor warranty without it. Amazing that they can't tell the manufacture date by the serial number. So fixing it means that I'd have to buy the part from them for $150US + S/H and duties and get someone to install it (~$60). Tubes may also be gone which may have caused the problem in the first place. So I think I'm just going to buy a new amp. Not a Tweaker this time. It only lasted 2.5 years although it had a 3-year warranty.

I'm not an electric guitar wizard by any means. I play mostly in the evening for an hour or two and rarely at loud volume. I know very little about amps. I think I want some overdrive (gain?) for that heavy metal (AC/DC, GnR...) and grunge (Nirvana, Greenday...) sound and the basic tone knobs. I'm open to buying a pedal for Hendrix-like effects. Nothing too complicated. I'd like a headphone jack so I can play louder at night and not wake everyone up. Maybe a second input but that's not a show-stopper. I'm confused about solid state vs. tube. I hear tube is warmer and better all around. Does it really make a difference? I want to keep the cost under $750 for a new amp or less than $400 for a used one. Am I better buying a used, but a better (maybe vintage) amp or new? Obviously, I want something that has a good rep for quality. The Tweaker turned out to be a made in China piece of crap.

Thanks!
 

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Hello Richard....Welcome to the GC forum.

Sorry to hear about your Egnator. Worse yet is the fact that it is a birthday gift from your wife... How sad!

$400 to $750 will get you a very nice amp IMHO
It really helps to know your budget and the fact that you will consider buying used, as typically you will get much more for your money buying used.

The tube vs solid state (SS) discussion is a very deep rabbit hole to venture down. Vintage just adds another dimension to that adventure.

Personally, I would go to music stores with large selections of both tube and SS and play some through some amps at your upper price point (and lower) and see what appeals to you.

You probably have thought of everything I have mentioned...but it is a starting point.

Just so my post is a total loss, I'm going to suggest getting a used Peavey Classic 30.

Let the games begin!!

Again, welcome to the greatest guitar forum on the planet!! ENJOY !!


Good luck finding your new amp.
 

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Given that you like heavier gain applications, a digital amp can also be a good choice. Line 6 modeling amp or a Roland Cube 30W / 60 W is a good start. You can get decent tones at bedroom volumes and jam volume levels. The Orange Tiny Terror combo tube amp is a good sounding amp combined with an overdrive pedal. Lots of choices and check out the Amp section of this forum for many options and discussions.
 

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I would suggest a peavey classic 30 on the used market, and an affordable interface (I use the scarlett 2i4 personally) so you can use free software via headphones for the night-time jams.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello Richard....Welcome to the GC forum.

Sorry to hear about your Egnator. Worse yet is the fact that it is a birthday gift from your wife... How sad!

$400 to $750 will get you a very nice amp IMHO
It really helps to know your budget and the fact that you will consider buying used, as typically you will get much more for your money buying used.

The tube vs solid state (SS) discussion is a very deep rabbit hole to venture down. Vintage just adds another dimension to that adventure.

Personally, I would go to music stores with large selections of both tube and SS and play some through some amps at your upper price point (and lower) and see what appeals to you.

You probably have thought of everything I have mentioned...but it is a starting point.

Just so my post is a total loss, I'm going to suggest getting a used Peavey Classic 30.

Let the games begin!!

Again, welcome to the greatest guitar forum on the planet!! ENJOY !!


Good luck finding your new amp.
 

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Morning! Welcome!
Well, I would personally go for the Fender SuperSonic 22 in a used.
It's the one I take with me to jams & small venues.
Peavey Classic 20 or 30 work well.
The new Bassbreaker Fender series is great!(over budget)
In Solid State, the Roland blues cube or JC series are really cool.


I could go on all day, but these are one I've tried & liked.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks greco! Watching some YouTube vids, the Peavey Classic 30 sounds nice. It's $1000+tx new though. I'll see if I can source a used one. There are lot's of other used Peavey's for sale (Bandit, Pro 112...). Only drawback with the Classic 30 is that it doesn't seem to have a headphone jack. I will go to my local music store (Steve's in Montreal) and test some out. Only thing is that I'm not the caliber of electric player with the skills to really test an amp out.

I found a used (but apparently brand new, never used) Traynor Custom Valve 20WR Tube for $400. The guy says it's never been used and still has the tags on it. Traynor seems to be decent and made in Canada. What about Fender? When I was shopping for amps 2.5 years ago, I remember the sales guy trying to sway me to buy a Hot Rod Deluxe III or Blues Jr. III. But then I read some reviews and people said that Fender was not so great. Other brands that seems to get good reviews are VOX, Hughes & Kettner, Blackstar, and Orange but I have no idea if they are that good.

As far as gain is concerned, I'd like flexibility to be able to play AC/DC for example. I was talking to an amp repair guy and he said get an amp with no gain and use effect pedals if you want distortion. He thinks that the more knobs you have, the more that can go wrong.
 

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Just gonna tackle this point by point haha.

1. Used Classic 30's in montreal and area should not be a problem at all.

2. If you can make a guitar make noise, you can test guitar gear.

3. The YCV20WR is a good little amp, lots of members here like them.

4. Fender makes some OK amps, and some pretty decent amps, and some stellar amps. When companies develope new products there are sometimes kinks to work out - I don't know what may be wrong with some Fender amps, but I've had positive experiences (I only owned a vintage one) and know many with the same experience. An amp that is reliable and gets the tones you want is good - I don't think there's much room for argument there. An amp can be completely not your thing, but if people tour them worldwide they're still probably a good amp.

5. You can use amp overdrive distortion, pedal overdrive/distortion, or a combination thereof. There are no rules here. I love a good dirty channel on an amp, but I gig a clean amp with an overdrive out front because it fits what we do. "The more knobs you have, the more that can go wrong" - not necessarily. Again it goes back to my reliability comment.

Testing gear is part of the fun of playing an instrument!
 

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If you mostly play Ac/Dc or guns, then I suggest Dsl 5 from marshall, great clean, pedal friendly and good gain from the amp
 

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I'm very inexperienced with playing thru an amp. I need to get better, not louder. This amp interests me, because it appears it's designed for the living room/bedroom/neighbourhood rock star. It's in your price range at around $350. Not an endorsement, just generally a fan of the triple tuning forks. I'm hoping more knowledgeable folks will either yay, or nay it. I really only 'know' what I've read.
 

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Amp recommendations? Yes, you should buy one. Or many.

Seriously though, it really depends on what you want to do with it.

Just using at home and want to get lots of variety (which you alluded to)? Probably some of the smaller modelling type amps will work better for that than, say a 30 watt tube amp. Tube amps tend to work better when you 'get into the power section' IMO, so not always the best solution if you are always going to playing at home and not in a band environment. And you may think 30 watts isn't much, but play one cranked to 75% and you might feel differently. 5 watts is about as loud as a trumpet player.

If you want something to play out, then probably a bigger amp, perhaps less suited for bedroom/home play would be a better option. Some amps sound better than others at lower volumes - and everyone hears things differently. A small amp cranked or a big amp with pedals? Lots of options if you go that way. And that isn't to say you can't play out with modellers - that too is an option, although it generally requires different 'reinforcement/monitoring' equipment to be effective at drummer levels.

Or you can just get one of each (modelling amp, play out amp). Or more. Or many more. Hang around here for a while and you never know.
 

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The Traynor YCV20WR is an excellent amp, good size and power. There are so many choices of great amps these days, solid state or tube or hybrid are all worth looking into and doing some demoing with. Your ears will tell you what each amp sounds like but good advice from a seasoned player will be very valuable as well. You could grab one quickly or take your time and get to know a few brands and their pricing before dropping the loot, there is no shortage of used amps, especially good home or practice amps. Good hunting, I'm sure you'll find the one.
 

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Get yourself a nice low watt tube amp as mentioned above. Don't sweat the headphones, you can run an app on your phone for that (Amplitube, GarageBand etc).
 

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I owned a YCV20WR for a while and my bandmate has it now.
It is a nice little amp and he's run it for a few years now without issue.

I use a YGL1 in the band, another good choice.
Both of these are good clean platforms, imo. I wasn't totally crazy about the drive on either amp.

I've heard good things about the Fender Mustang, for an SS modelling amp and it should have a headphone jack.
Roland also make a good SS amp.

You should hit up some music stores, try the different setups, tube vs SS and see what you like and go from there.
Second hand is usually the best way to go, where you are there should be many choices on Kijiji, Craigs List or the local Buy and Sell.

Welcome to the forum and good luck on the hunt, let us know how it pans out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey folks,

Just wanted to put a coda on this thread. I ended up buying a Vox AC4C1-12 amp. It was pretty reasonably priced at $550 tx in. Sounds great too: Here's a demo (not by me)

I do have a couple of quick questions: The amp has 4 controls: Gain, treble, bass and volume. Why is it that if you turn the gain to zero you get no volume? Shouldn't it just play clean? It seems that you need at least some gain. I'm guessing that this is normal.

Also, if I wanted to add an effects pedal to get that "Hendrix" sound (like Wind Cries Mary)? I know there are a million pedals out there but is there one that's versatile enough to cover a broad range of effects? I have a Digitech RP 150 modeller but I find it a bit complicated and sort of a cheap gadget.
 

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Congrats on your amp!

I don't know how to explain the gain setup so I will let someone else do it. Re: effects pedals, you'll want to head to the effects section and post there.
 

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Hey folks,

Just wanted to put a coda on this thread. I ended up buying a Vox AC4C1-12 amp. It was pretty reasonably priced at $550 tx in. Sounds great too: Here's a demo (not by me)

I do have a couple of quick questions: The amp has 4 controls: Gain, treble, bass and volume. Why is it that if you turn the gain to zero you get no volume? Shouldn't it just play clean? It seems that you need at least some gain. I'm guessing that this is normal.

Also, if I wanted to add an effects pedal to get that "Hendrix" sound (like Wind Cries Mary)? I know there are a million pedals out there but is there one that's versatile enough to cover a broad range of effects? I have a Digitech RP 150 modeller but I find it a bit complicated and sort of a cheap gadget.
That amp, is essentially two seperate sections. The Preamp and the Power amp. The Gain control is nothing but a volume control in between the pre and power amps. At zero there isnt any signal going to the power amp. The master volume controls the overall volume leaving the power amp heading to the speaker.

The magic in tube amp distortion is turning them up to the point where the tubes become overloaded and "break up". The gain control allows you to push the preamp tube(s) into breakup, without pushing the power amp to loud volumes. Non master volume amps push both sections simultaniously.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Have you ever done any soldering work? Replacing that power transformer would be a fairly easy and informative project for you, on that Egnater
Unfortunately soldering is not my strong suit. I ended up selling the Celestion speaker and the chassis / cabinet for decent money so I don't feel so bad. That guy was probably better at soldering than me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That amp, is essentially two seperate sections. The Preamp and the Power amp. The Gain control is nothing but a volume control in between the pre and power amps. At zero there isnt any signal going to the power amp. The master volume controls the overall volume leaving the power amp heading to the speaker.

The magic in tube amp distortion is turning them up to the point where the tubes become overloaded and "break up". The gain control allows you to push the preamp tube(s) into breakup, without pushing the power amp to loud volumes. Non master volume amps push both sections simultaniously.
Ah, I see. Makes sense. There's no master volume on this one. So If I want to play clean, I'll dial the gain to about 1/4 and up the volume. For some reason I though gain was an effect like reverb that you could set at a given percentage.
 
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