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Best small amp for 6120

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Gretsch6120ga, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Gretsch6120ga

    Gretsch6120ga Electromatic

    Oct 19, 2017

    After two decades playing Les Paul, I have sold it and finally bought a Gretsch 6120GA :). My new Gretsch deserves a great tube amp and I am in doubt which one I should go for. I already have a vox ac4tv, but I do not like the sound of it (it is muddy, needs full volume to sound decent, no reverb and it lacks gain - especially on low volume)

    I like the vintage Gretsch sound but also like to play some 80' rock like acdc, GnR, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters etc. The amp is for low volume home use only. My budget is around 1000$. I have thought about Vox ac4hw, Vox ac10c1, Vox ac15hw or Fender 68 princeton reverb.

    My concern is if any of these will sound ok on low volume? Or would you suggest something else?

    Best regards
  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Country Gent

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    Welcome to the forum. For home use you could do worse than a Blues Junior. Versatile, and with a few simple mods can sound killer. They're not that robust, but you could say the same for almost all mass produced amps.
  3. allmodcons

    allmodcons Electromatic

    Oct 9, 2008
    Halfmoon Bay,B.C.
  4. GeorgiaGreen

    GeorgiaGreen Electromatic

    Oct 19, 2017
    I've only had my 5622T for a week but it sounds amazing when overdriven through my Vox Night train 15 (NT15H). Sparkling cleans, Switchable between 7.5 and 15 watts. Wish it had a Reverb spring.
  5. afire

    afire Country Gent

    $1000 is a great budget for a small home-use amp. Every time somebody asks about a good small amp for home use, my mind immediately goes to tweed champ kit. Great amp, and simple enough that just about anybody can get good results with minimal tools.

    But that's leaving too much of your $1000 unspent, and if the lack of reverb on your AC4 bugs you, then no reverb and no tone control on the Champ may not suit you.

    I'd bet somebody out there makes a 5F2 tweed Princeton circuit with reverb.
  6. musicman100

    musicman100 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2008
    A peavey classic 30 all the way.
    Pete66, mbkri and Trash Kidd like this.
  7. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Well those amps are all useless for G&R, Pearl Jam, ACDC, Foo fighters and anything requiring mid/high gain.
    Vox ACs are not good pedal platforms either.

    There's many tube amps around in your budget that sound better clean than Fender or Vox and are also versatile with fantastic overdrive and distortion tones, effects loop, reverb, power switching, independent EQs on several channels and are also light weight. Move out of your Vox and Fender obsession and look around :)
  8. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Peavey classic 30 but also check out the Fender Bassbreaker, covers a wide sonic range.

    One note I don't own either just like their tones. I play through PEavey and Vox and oddly enough a little pignose but it has a limited sonic range for my tastes. I would love a Mesa Mark Five 25, it seems to hit a lot of sonic territories as well but you pay for it.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    Pete66 likes this.
  9. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    The VOX AC4TV doesn't have a lot of tonal flexibility; it only has a single tone control. I really like my AC4HW with Celestion Blue; it gives me the sound of the bigger amps---AC15/30---at lower decibels. And it has some tonal flexibility; hot/cold circuits and hi/low inputs.

    On the Fender side, the Deluxe Reverb reissue is a great amp. This Fudge Brownie model has an alnico speaker, and it's within your budget, if you shop around.

    russmack likes this.
  10. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Mesa can do all those genres beautifully. From clean to break up crunch and high gain. You can find some, particularly heads, used like the TA15 for less than $1000, around $700, but not sure about Europe. Rectoverb 25 combo used availa me at $1000.
    wilblee and Bertotti like this.
  11. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    So, you're looking for one amp that does everything. We all are.
    As Henry recommended, the Mesa Transatlantic 15 will fit the bill better than most.
    russmack likes this.
  12. Joey L

    Joey L Gretschie

    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    Princeton Reverb
    MKunie likes this.
  13. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    DavidLee likes this.
  14. audept

    audept I Bleed Orange

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, Gretsch6120ga!
    welcome mat multi 2.jpg
  15. jmg257

    jmg257 Electromatic

    Jun 13, 2010
    You might want to try one of the Peavey mini heads with a matching cabinet. With your 80s stuff, the 6505 could be a good fit, and under budget.

    Great home use features like attenuator switching, headphones, plus effects loop, various outputs, included footswitch, etc.

    The Valve King and Classic are similiar, with steps down in gain.

    Oh, Vox also has an interesting 15w head with attenuation...with a matching 2x12 could be sweet!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  16. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Synchromatic

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    I have a Mesa Subway rocket 1x10 Combo that is really versatile and breaks quite nicely at low volume doesn't have reverb, but I believe some do.
  17. a willingham

    a willingham Electromatic

    Nov 30, 2016
    Sweetwater has a Fender FSR Princeton with a 12” Cannabis Rex speaker that I can vouch is amazing. Great pedal platform also
    MKunie likes this.
  18. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    These discussions come up regularly and everyone has their own tastes. For a home amp, volume is usually a limiting factor. Even a small amp will sound very loud at full amp drive settings. Non-master volume amps like a Princeton Reverb will sound louder than a 747 taking off if you have to dime the volume to get natural amp drive to GnR levels. (and for the record, I love Princeton Reverbs and own four.)

    I too find the AC4 muddy and lacking in clarity at any level. (yes, I own one) I share this opinion about the Fender Champs too. Just me I guess.

    Mesa's have their own thing going and while some folk love them, I'm not one of them. To be fair, I have never owned a TA15 but have owned a 5:25, a 5:25 head, a Blue Angel and a Studio 22+. I sold them all because they were not to my tastes. My mind remains open however. I am looking to find a Mark IIC at a reasonable price.

    As much as I love Fender amps, I really can't recommend one for a home amp wih lots of drive, unless you are willing to use pedals to get it. Big Drive is not what they do best. Maybe trying out one of the new Bassbreaker 7 amps is in order. If you are going to use pedals than the Princeton/Deluxe Reverb (any variant) and the 5E3 are wonderful amps.

    My recomendation to you is the Vox AC10. It has a master volume and a decent speaker. The cleans and mid grunge are very nice and mine sounds very good with pedals. It is however, a home/rehearsal amp. Unless you're on a very mic'd-up stage it does not have the power to hang with a live drummer.

    I would love to see Vox make a variant of this amp with a 25-30w power section.
    MarkyMac and Bertotti like this.
  19. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Agreed, we all hear things differently and judge sounds differently, hell on any given day I may prefer a different amp then the one I used the day before. Probably why I have five different amps. In the end, and I don't know why I didn't say this before, when I want to be quiet I use the amp models in my audio interface. I can, depending on what I want to hear, go from a Fender to a Vox to a Marshall to several other amps, and they sound great through a pa or headphones. Perhaps something like that would be your best bet.
  20. Gretsch6120ga

    Gretsch6120ga Electromatic

    Oct 19, 2017

    Thanks everyone....

    @Waxhead: I am absolutely ready to try something else than Vox or Fender.
    Are you thinking Custom amps, Mesa Express or??