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Looking for a small 'practice amp' with 'THAT' sound...

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by advid, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. jmg257

    jmg257 Electromatic

    Jun 13, 2010
    Sounds like the Fender Champions get some love here, when paired with a Gretsch.
    I picked a 40 up at a pawn shop a few weeks back, for use as a cheap light 'fun' practice amp I can haul out to the front porch now and then. Only plugged a Les Paul into so far....

    So how are these Champs with a single coil Jet?

    ETA: I wasn't too concerned about the amp being 40watt - as being SS I figured I could get a decent tone at low(er) volumes. Is that true? Would you need to crank it up to get anything special out of it?
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  2. Garruchal

    Garruchal Electromatic

    Oct 21, 2013
    My current living-room amp is a Bugera T5 head with an Orange PPC108 cab. Bugera also sells the same amp in a combo, but I haven't tried it. This is a small, handy set-up with great tone. It is quiet; perfect for home use, but if I plug it into a 1x12 it gets pretty loud. It has a built-in attenuator (of sorts; not sure how the attenuator works yet) which makes it possible to play even when my wife is sleeping. The sound is rather Vox-like, with a single 12AX7 and a single EL84. It is only really loud when cranked into break-up territory, but it sounds extremely good clean at a volume just enough to fill up the room. Great practice volume. I keep it just below break-up and it has a nice smokiness around the edges.
    My wife, a pianist, says this amp sounds better than any of my larger amps. I think she just likes that it isn't loud, and that it has no hiss or hum. She also thinks it looks better than my other amps.
    I used to use my ZT lunchbox in the living-room, but it needs pedals to get any real overdrive and doesn't have reverb built in.
    I made a slightly larger 1x8 cab for it with a Weber speaker, which has much more low end than the PPC108 and a bit more volume. I still have to paint it, and I'm happy with the Orange cab until then.
  3. jmg257

    jmg257 Electromatic

    Jun 13, 2010
    You guys are bad news! :)

    Went back to the pawn shop at lunch time, and they had a Vox Pathfinder 15R on sale. Had checked it out when I got the Fender last month, but tried it again. Actually played it against a Orange Tiny Terror (clean) and sounded pretty darn good for a SS.

    After much thought, I figured it would be worth it, as a different & decent no fuss practice amp.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    330 pounds for a 4 watt amp with one channel, one clean tone, no loop and not a good pedal platform either.
    Is that really what they cost in the UK ??
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  5. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Coke into Bollinger again.
    Anything will work you say - are you joking ?
    I repeat - what is the point of owning a great sounding Gretsch guitar if you gonna play it thru with a crap amp.
    You're totally wasting your $$ on the Gretsch if you do that.
    Gretsch deserves so much better than you guys are giving it imo :)
  6. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008

    1) Grestch AIN'T the end-all-be-all; personally I much prefer Fenders.

    2) Beauty (or "crap") is in the eye of the beholder.

    3) The bottom line is, a clean sound isn't that complicated. I'm not saying the clean on my Microcube sounds as good as the clean on my Fender tube amp, but he is asking about a PRACTICE amp don't forget. I remember getting a GREAT clean tone out of my little Fender Campion 600 (after I upgraded the foam-surround speaker)

    4) The golden rule of tone is: if you dig it, do it. And if you really dig it, do it twice. In other words, listen to your ears, not other people's opinions.
    Henry and wabash slim like this.
  7. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    I dunno man. Someone told me not to listen to other people's opinions.
  8. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Well Ruger I only agree with your no 2 and 4 points.

    On your 1) - doesn't matter which you prefer - my "Coke into Bollinger" comment applies equally to any good/great sounding guitar.

    On 3) I think most players and amp makers think getting a good clean tone is very complicated.
    I certainly do and have never heard 1 SS amp that is worthy of any Electromatic or Proline Gretsch....or a made in US Fender either.

    Look at my previous 2 posts in this thread.
    My comments are based on owning only an el cheapo SS amp and nothing of quality.
    If that's all you have then there's no point owning a Gretsch, or any good quality guitar.
    It will always sound poor imo because you are greatly restricting its potential.
    The potentially limiting factor is always the amp - same goes for poor quality pedals too :)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  9. midnight340

    midnight340 Gretschie

    Nov 29, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    You CANNOT go wrong with the Vox Pathfinder 15R. Lots of love for these, and they are somewhat hard to find these days. Will never part with mine. Lots of good tone for not much money.
  10. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    I disagree with this, because the guitar- even tho it is an electric one- is not only about sound, but also about feel and playability. I would go so far as to say, a good guitar is MORE important than a good amp. A bad guitar will stop someone from learning to play, I don't think a bad amp would- if the guitar was a good one.

    It ALL starts with the guitar, as that is what you are holding, touching, feeling, and playing.
  11. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    yeah I agree it starts with the electric guitar and ends with the amp :)
    Some people might prefer to have a better guitar and some prefer a better amp but ..........either way.......doesn't really matter imo ........the weak link in the signal chain is always the limiting factor :)
    Bertotti likes this.
  12. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I have a problem with all this don't use cheap stuff. Some cheap stuff isn't half bad and if someone wants a proline Gretsch who are we to stop them? It's up to the person spending the cash. If they have the money and want to play a Gretsch proline through a SS amp of some sort it's their choice. Their cash their choice irregardless of what anyone else thinks. I play my Jade Penguin, poorly but I try, through several different tube amps Peavey and Vox and a Pignose 7-100, does it sound as good as tube amp? Hell no does it sound bad? Hell no. I like the sound it gives clean at the point of slight fuzz. No one will stop me from playing it just because they think it's cheap. Same for the Peaveys. You can't imagine how many guitar guys I know who snickered under their breath because it wasn't a Marshall or Fender or Vox, until they tried it. Now they don't snicker anymore and have even asked to use. Tone is so subjective. I say if some one chooses a top line or middle line guitar and they have the cash go for it. Play the hell out of it. They can always save for better amps and gear as their needs and tastes grow and mature.
    russmack and audept like this.
  13. audept

    audept I Bleed Orange

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Wouldn't it be mind-numbing boring if we were all the same, with similar tastes, predictable and conforming responses to the same stimulus?. I'd rather be weird, a little unpredictable, and occasionally unstable. :cool::D:cool:
    ruger9 and Bertotti like this.
  14. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Agreed and fit that description, although my friends tell me I am not weird I'm twisted, I like that better!
    audept likes this.
  15. wildeman

    wildeman Friend of Fred

    May 10, 2015
    I've had and have loads of amps. Tweeds, BF,SF, brown, Supro, Magnatone, Marshall,Ampeg.....what have you, know what i play most of the time? A 80's Roland Cube 60, bulletproof reliable and killer sounding SS amp, ballsy enough for anything so don't listen to tube amp cork sniffery. I love tube amps but learning to make better sounds with your hands is far more important than gear.
    Dave-B, Tony65x55 and Ricochet like this.
  16. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    LOL, I did a gig tonight with my old 80s orange Cube 60, just cause I love to play it once in a while. Does it sound as good as my best tube amps? Nope, but it comes damn close. You could live a long lifetime and never need another amp.
    wildeman likes this.
  17. jmg257

    jmg257 Electromatic

    Jun 13, 2010
    Yep - I keep plugging into it just to compare to my Classic 20MH and it is VERY good - and VERY loud! A nice (& handy) amp to have around.

    I checked inside & apparently someone did the "LED mod" so it is only clean no matter how loud/boost I make it. Will probably eventually try to add some LEDs/diodes back in to get some gain back.

    Either way it certainly is a keeper!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  18. workknot

    workknot Country Gent

    Feb 15, 2009
    Brainerd, Minnesota
    "That Sound" is usually in the ear of the beholder, if it sounds good to you, try to ignore the negativity.
    russmack likes this.