Well to each his own. I own several classic Vox amps including a 1965 AC 30 with top boost. I didn't say it sounds like a Vox. I said it's sound is somewhere between a Vox and Fender amp. I play it through a Vox AC 15 cabinet with a Celestion Alnico blue and it sounds good to me. I also use it to run right into a Neve preamp for getting a direct sound with my Rickenbacker 12 string and it works great that way with an 1176 compressor on the back end. Sometimes you have to work with an amp and know it's limitations to get the best out of them. I mean really who in their right mind would ever think they were going to get the sound of a $3000 classic Vox Ac 30 out of a $150 practice amp....I bought one and they were terrible!…. Really really terrible… and they don’t sound like any Vox I owned. It went straight on Gumtree (Craigslist to the yanks) and come poor sod bought it.
For playing at home I’ve had to settle on a Orange Crush which is a better amp not perfect but decent. Next I’m just gonna go all out and get the iridium and stop buying gear blind. I love the sound of tube amp and all this tat doesn’t come close. The best home amp I owned with a headphone out was a Vox Superbeetle which was decent but I got rid of it as it made my Aclam Dr Robert pedal sound very different to how it sounded on my HWac15 and it was giving me the hump so I got sold it for more or less what I bought it for minus about 30 quid
They are great little amps but the cost might be a bit too much for a super low watt bedroom amp. Midlife seems to be looking for something very quiet. The AC4 is a perky little amp - great tone but maybe a bit too loud....Having played amps with a single, 10" speaker, I would go for an amp with a 12" speaker, like the VOX AC4C1-12 (4 watts).
Though a 4X10 '59 Fender Bassman sounds great.
I haven't any experience of the lower wattage tube amps but the Tweed Blues Junior I tried sounded great when dialled in to it's sweet spot. The only problem was it was way too loud for home practice. Once I turned the volume down, it lost some of its sparkle and shimmer (don't quite know how else to describe it) and I ended up buying a Blues Cube Hot. Very pleased with that, even though it isn't a tube amp. Has served admirably from home to gig. No need to change any settings, just turn the attenuator from 0.5W or 5W (home) to either 15W or Max (gig) as necessary. I don't tend to play heavy overdrive/distortion, so not sure about how good, or otherwise, the Blues Cube is for those tones compared to other amps.
Thanks everyone for the input...much appreciated. I see the prices go from suspiciously cheap to eye wateringly expensive. Need to work out how much I want to spend and choose accordingly.
Anyone got the Blackstar HT1 or HT5?
I just got one of those (the tweed version) a few weeks ago and really like it. It is 1 watt, which is not real powerful, but from your description sounds about right (and even 1 watt can seem too loud to some neighbors or house mates). Watts by the way, not amperage, is the term relating to volume.
If you aren’t afraid of tech……there are a LOT of great amp sims these days that you can play at whatever volume you choose through a set of computer monitors. Just another option for your consideration. And in that world…..you can have any and every amp you want.
A better question would be "how loud is an amp before it to starts to break up?" I use a Princeton Reverb for in the house for cleans, but if I wanted it at the point of breakup it would be too loud for the room, and not having a master volume the only real comfortable way of getting it growly is with a pedal in front.
Realistically a 1w amp in a house is probably enough. Most guys I know that practice indoors use a software interface and play through their computers.
I wish I'd known this starting out. I'd have built fewer amps only to end up trying to tame them with unworkable attenuators and stuff. The 5w Champ on breakup is too loud, and sounds small and boxy otherwise.
That goes away with time (oddly as does your hearing).I can't wear headphones they give me a headache after about ten minutes, same with buds.
Honestly, you could drop $150 (beats me what that is in £) on a practice amp (example Roland Cube GX at 3w, lunchbox size if you have a super-sized lunchbox) with a few effects if you’re not too fussy. Decent enough sound for what you’re trying to do, if you aren’t attempting to dial in a perfect match to a tune.I'm just starting out in guitars so I'm not going to blow a £1000 on an amp yet, looking at £250-£350 range.