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Thread: Tube amps for family home use?

  1. #21
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    Apr 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez4life SZ View Post
    So, to bring it all together- how do you guys work with tube amps in a family home environment? Are you able to get the volume low enough to work around restrained hours and not disturbing family members? I remember the volume jump in most tube amps between quiet and choked to blaring loud being essentially inexistent.

    Given all this, Im beginning to think that staying digital may be the best way to get playing time in, but let's hear your thoughts!

    Thanks,

    Eric
    I've got a Fargen with power scaling and a Maz 8 with an atenuator. Both work pretty well with at low volumes, particularly the Fargen.

  2. #22
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    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by geese_com View Post
    As silly as this sounds.... I picked up a Mesa Mark V as a "practice"/"low volume" amp and it does great.
    +1. The MkV does well at low volumes. Any good master volume valve amp should with really good speakers should work.

  3. #23
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    Dec 2012
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    my Reinhardt 18 with power scaling is the best amp I've owned and has several volume solutions/options. Many of the master volume/power scaling amps I've tried start to sound pretty anemic at low volumes but the Reinhardt still retains its thick, round tone even at low volumes.
    GUITARS: MJT HSS strat loaded with SD Antiquity PU's, Beat to hell cheap acoustic given to me by my dad when I was 14 (worth more to me than any other piece of gear I own)
    AMP: Reinhardt 18
    Pedals: Korg Pitchblack Tuner--> Fulltone Clyde Wah--> Fulltone Deja-Vibe--> Paul Cochrane Timmy Pedal--> Carl Martine PlexiTone--> Morley Mini Morley Volume--> Belle Epoch--> TC Electronics Hall of Fame
    KEYS: '73 Wurlitzer 200a, Komplete

  4. #24
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    May 2014
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    I settled on the Hughes & Kettner 18 on a 12" cabinet.
    The "Tubemeister" has a soak switch that reduces the output from 18W. to 5W. to 1W.
    Even at 1 W. it can be pretty loud, but still sounds great.

    I added a Fender Blues Jr. III in tweed, just because I liked it too.

    I think I'm done.
    Last edited by Twang; 10-18-2014 at 11:05 AM.

  5. #25
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    Morgan or PWE amps, both have power scaling...................

  6. #26
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    Apr 2012
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    The new Bad Cat range (2014) has excellent master control on the Black Cat 15 with half power options - great for home use

  7. #27
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    I highly recommend the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18 for home and the 36 version for gigging
    It is very flexible and can go from 18 to 5 to 1 watt to silent for recording
    I had the 18 version sold it to get the Blackstar HT5 which I like the distortion channel better
    But you can't go wrong with either one IMHO
    Hope that helps.
    " Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
    But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge."

    The Prophet

  8. #28

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    I guess it depends on what style you are playing, how much you want to spend, and what you want to do with it. Those old SF Fender Champs are a friggin steal for a P2P handwired amp. I've seen them under $300 and they sound amazing IMO. Probably my favorite bedroom/stuck on an island amp. If you want something that will get some great dirt, the Soldano Astroverb and Atomic 16 amps are awesome, reliable, and reasonable on the used market if you are patient. Good luck with your search.
    Good deals with: SLEV

  9. #29
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    May 2013
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    Foothills of Heaven, East Slope
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    Extremely enlightening thread, thanks folks, from many of us who still have a lot to learn.

    You can switch down the power of an amp? Does it retain the grit of the higher powered output while dropping down in volume?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twang View Post
    ... I added a Fender Blues Jr. III in tweed, just because I liked it too. ...
    I have been told my Blues Junior is too powerful to be considered a good living room amp. I don't know my butt from my elbow, but I think I understand. When I get the chance to crank my FBJ, I recognize the higher output's tonal qualities that are not present at lower volumes. As a result, I have over-relied on effects to make the living room volume level sound more 'interesting' ... probably not a good idea, eh? These lower powered amps you've all mentioned... I gotta try one.

    What'ya call the kind of GAS that sends you shopping for an amp, AAS?
    Wow, that is fascinating. Can we start rehearsal now?

  10. #30
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    Apr 2012
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    I've tried pretty much every possible option for tube tone at home, and the best I've found for me is:

    a) an amp with a power scaling feature (a 65 Amps Empire)
    b) an overdrive pedal (a Bixonic Expandora)

    Get the amp as loud/dirty as you can then add the pedal for EQ shaping and a bit of grit. Works for me!

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