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Small 'practice amp'.....?

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

  1. advid

    advid Electromatic

    Mar 5, 2017
    London UK
    .....just purchased a used 5120 'Electromatic' with's got a nice neck and plays good. Acoustically - not a lot coming out...SO.... can anyone recomend a nice smallish practice amp that will 'hopefully' give me that Gretsch / Chet Atkins type sound.
    Please don't tell me that I have to change the pickups and all that stuff in order to get that 'twang'.....I don't really want to do that ...but I am a Chet fan and would like to try and get somewhere near that tone of his when plugged in....
    I've looked online (Amazon) at the Fender Champion 20....this looks like a verstatile little amp with plenty of tone settings and effects...could this get anywhere near it...
    Or - are there any other little amps that might do the trick ?
    Any help and advice - most welcome.
    Joe90 likes this.
  2. Rikki Ericson

    Rikki Ericson Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    I think you've already hit the nail on the head. For the price, that's a nice little modelling amp. Old school tones aren't that difficult to emulate, especially when you have a few effects to use in moderation. Congratulations on the guitar too.
    Joe90 likes this.
  3. Scarabeus

    Scarabeus Gretschie

    May 17, 2014
    I have a Vox VXII, Fender Mustang I, Blackstar ID:Core 10 (in different rooms) and even a little Vox Mini3 that I gave to my daughter to practice with... all good little practice amps with lots of good usable tones
  4. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Is this practice amp in addition to a larger amp, or your only amp for the forseeable future?
  5. Zeke

    Zeke Gretschie

    Aug 14, 2017
    United States
    Reedlvr and zebulon like this.
  6. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Gretschie

    Jun 25, 2017
    Italy (Rome and Genoa)
    Why don't you look for an all valve small amp (for example Vox Ac-4) it could gives you a more "vintage" sound ...
    Reedlvr likes this.
  7. dswo

    dswo Electromatic

    Apr 8, 2017
    East Carolina
    I recently tried the Fender Mustang GT 40, Marshall Code, Boss Katana 50, and Vox Vt20x. I bought the Fender, but I'm sure I would have been happy with any of them. For clean sounds, I'd probably get the Fender or Vox.
  8. Dead Roman

    Dead Roman Country Gent

    Dec 22, 2015
    The little Yamaha amps are really good for a bedroom jamming.
    Reedlvr and Zeke like this.
  9. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    I'm afraid that I'm going to have to be the bearer of some bad news; the stock pickups in a 5120 are not really going to produce the twang you desire. They are full-sized humbuckers and much more suited to a Gibson sort of sound. Filtertrons have a much closer bobbin spacing which samples a shorter portion of the string giving a more focused sound which is compatible with the Chet sound you desire.

    My own recipe for a Chet sound is a Gretsch with Filtertrons played through a clean amp with reverb. Chet used a 25 watt Standel and later, a Musicman RD 50. I use a Winfield Cyclone, Winfield Typhoon (a perfect practice amp, although it's also great on stage when mic'd through a PA) or a Deluxe Reverb.
  10. jsp737

    jsp737 Electromatic

    Dec 30, 2016
    I've got both the THR 10C and Katana 100 1x12 and they both do fantastic cleans. For portability you can't beat the THR but for adjustability and the option to play at higher volumes, I prefer the Katana. I've got a couple of really nice tube amps that aren't getting much love since I got the Katana. I haven't played the Champ 20 so I can't comment on that.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
  11. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    If you buy a fullstack Marshall Superlead you can use it onstage with two 4x12 or use it as a practice amp at home with only one 4x12. Makes it quite a versatile beast. :cool::D
    b80_, T Bone, 5120mantis and 3 others like this.
  12. Rikki Ericson

    Rikki Ericson Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    Digressing a little here, but I used to enjoy a little jam night in my local pub. I took along my little 8'' laney combo. The room was only about 15x15ft. One night a guy turned up with a half stack. When I asked him why, he said 'its my sound man'. I couldn't play for laughing......
    Pete66, Ricochet, NJDevil and 3 others like this.
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    That is absolutely ridiculous. Some of the best sounds I've ever gotten were with a 5 watt amp. I have a TRRI broken up into a piggyback cabinet with a closed back and a single 15" speaker, and it sounds great, but it's not for rehearsal volumes or small venues.
    Rikki Ericson and loudnlousy like this.
  14. Byron

    Byron Gretschie

    Sep 4, 2009
    How about the fender super champ xd or the discontinued vibro champ xd. Good s/h price and really great quality sound and effects. Good delay and reverb
  15. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    My home amps are:
    Fender blues jr iii tweed with some ciruit mods (unknown)
    Fender Excelsior
    And Fender champ 600 re-issue.
    P.s. fender!
    Outlaw and T Bone like this.
  16. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    IMG_2697.JPG Let me echo Byron's suggestion of a Fender Super Champ XD or X2. I've really been enjoying my X2 head/cab. 15 warm tube watts, with great, usable amp models along with a variety of effects (reverb is especially good).
    Mag3 likes this.
  17. ronbo

    ronbo Gretschie

    Feb 28, 2012
    Broomfield, Colorado
    I've played the Champion and would suggest the Champion 40...just a bit more volume on the off chance you play with someone and you get the 12" speaker, which definitely sounds better. I currently have the Superchamp X2 and it basically the same circuitry for the FX and amp models, only with tubes for the amp and pre-amp. Both have very useable tones and effects for my basement/bedroom playing.

    I've also had the Mustang II and III, liked the III better, easier to see the effects and had a 12" speaker also. I sold it for the Superchamp, mostly because it had too many effects combinations and just confused me most of the time. I like the FX layout of the Superchamp and Champion series much better.​
  18. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I'd work student lack of talent shows in our small theater. Most guys would show up with 10-15 watt amps, and invariably one would show up with a full stack---and want it to be miked. Then, he'd futz with pedals for half an hour because he couldn't understand why it sounded different in a 400 seat theater than it did in his dorm room. Go figure.

    Get your sound dialed in on a 15-20 watt amp, say a Vox AC15 or a Fender Deluxe Reverb or something else in that range. That'd be loud enough to play with most normal drummers (mutually exclusive terms?) and can be miked if you need more output for a larger room.
    GVDobler, russmack, Kitvin713 and 2 others like this.
  19. NJDevil

    NJDevil Gretschie

    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    Wabash beat me to it and was just going to suggest the Vox AC15
    wilblee likes this.
  20. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    C'mon guys. Ac15 may be a good amp but it is not a smallish bedroom amp. It is medium size, heavy and loud.
    TSims1 likes this.