What would you say is an equal to this? low wattage amp

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by freddyfingers, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. sligo ray

    sligo ray Synchromatic

    Jun 17, 2011
    New Zealand
    There's been so many of these "what small amp will give me big amp at bedroom levels" threads. Here's how it goes...

    You buy a small amp, it sounds fizzy. You crank it to get mojo, the bedroom's too close to the bed. You buy another amp with a drive channel, it sounds fizzy. You crank it to get mojo, it shakes the bed. You look on the internet. There's an amp that promises to be big, but in a small package. You buy it, play it with your drummer, think the volume knob must be broken. At this point you have so many amps, you have to build another room... hey! it's a practice room at the other end of the house with insulation from the thousands of egg crates you've been eating to be able to afford all the amps. You go back to playing your bigger amp.

    Although it's got EL84s, the 30 watt Delta Blues runs a 15" and sounds great. But you still have to play it loud enough to move the hairs in your ears. Volume has its own tone, you know.

    All with ;););)
  2. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    One thing that is rarely mentioned when the bedroom amp subject comes up is that the quality of sound itself changes with volume. Louder sounds are perceived more smoothly than soft sounds. So a big amp cranked up to 15% THD will sound different than a smaller amp at 15% THD. it's similar to the way that nearby objects get blurry. When you move past them at a high rate of speed. Just as the eye can't keep up with something that is moving fast the ear can't keep up with the rapid variations within a loud sound so the perceived sound is smoother. IMHO, that's the main reason that amps that sounded great on a store don't sound so great when you play them at living room volume.

    Stately Synchro Manor is situated in a remote, gated community (OK, it's a cattle guard but that's sort of a gate) :) so I can play as loud as I want on my front porch. I don't do this often because I don't want a bunch of hissed-off rattlesnakes in my yard, but I have taken my Twin out on the porch to hear what it sounded like at 8. It was clean. I would have cranked it further but the SPL at 10 might violate the nuclear test ban treaty.

    Amps with very small speakers sound tinny to my ear. However, even a half-watt amp can drive a 4x12 cabinet if the impedance matches. I haven't tried this myself but my nominee for a full sounding bedroom amp would be a tiny amp with a large speaker.

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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
  3. I just don't need it for solo practice, i need something zI can play out with, that breaks up at a reasonable level, and still has cleans that can be heard. Which leaves me with the baseman, and pedals. I love my brain, and the Tim is helping the situation, but i wish I could just plug into an amp and get that sound. The search goes on.
  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I was pretty impressed with the Excelsior but I'm Mr Clean so for my purposes it'd be inadequate for all but the smallest gigs. For all around gigging my Deluxe seems perfect unless it's an outdoor gig in which case I play my Twin. I have a lot of irons in the fire right now and want to stay liquid but I'm thinking that I'll probably end up with an Excelsior. I had actually toyed with the idea of a Pro Jr IIII with a custom cabinet and a single 15" speaker but the Excelsior would be fine.

    FWIW, Bill Machrone, the Blues Jr guru, is planning some serious mod kits for the Excelsior including a tone knob.

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  5. Axis39

    Axis39 Country Gent

    Jun 2, 2008
    Beaumont, CA
    I've truly been very excited about this amp since they first announced the bias vary term. I am still excited about this amp and will probably end up with one before Fall.

    I tried it, but only for a few minutes and not with any of my guitars. I am planning on heading back this week to give it a thorough thrashing. I'll report back with real details then.
  6. griole

    griole Electromatic

    Jul 20, 2010
    Have you played through a Fender Mustang III? I lugged a Twin Reverb around for decades. They sound awesome, but weigh a ton. And although the Mustang is solid state, it nails most of the Fender sounds very well, including the Twin. 100W solid state does not equate to the power of a tube amp at the same wattage, but it will suffice at lots of gigs. At $300, it's a lot more bang for the buck than the Excelsior, IMHO. The Excelsior's main attraction is cosmetic. I don't think it's intended as a gig amp.

    Modeling amps (especially Fender's) have come a long way, and the Mustang series have lots of features. If you're dead set against solid state, try the Super Champ XD. I have 'em both, and I personally think that the Mustang III is more versatile, lack of tubes notwithstanding. Good luck in your quest.
  7. I appreciate all the input guys. Its looking like i cant have the cake and eat it too. I need to stop comparing smaller amps to the bass man. It just seems that you loose the fullness with one speaker and lower wattage. I may be wrong, and will continue to look. When time permits, i will take the brain to the store and plug it into the excelsior. Then play it, after explaining to the sales people what a brain is, and that they cant buy it from me for 35 dollars.
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