~5 watt amp options

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by cynic79, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. TWANG

    TWANG Senior Member

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    the vj combo I've done several times. probably 8 or 9 of 'em.. no sweat!

    It's the same as the head version.. the only difference being if you have a version 1 or the later versions. the v1 sucked! but.. I have V2/3 boards here so we don't care. I'd just swap it out and put in a couple new standoffs *they are different* and you'd have a Version 3 modded.


    the champ 600 can be done better. the speaker does kill the pants off it..
    and they have some issues with room, etc... but it's doable and there are quite a few mods for it, too.
     
  2. rocknhorse1

    rocknhorse1 Senior Member

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    Non-master amp that has a good crunch when cranked? Vibro Champ, or SF Champ.
    I have a Ceriatone Champ Ultra that has a switch that allows you to go from the Vibro, to the 5F1 Tweed sound. It's basically a tone stack bypass. Killer sounding amp. I run it through a 10" Weber Alnico, the 10A100, a fantastic sounding speaker for the amp. I bought it used for $300 for just the chassis, and the speaker was used, but brand new, and still in the box for $65. Had a tweed cab built that is bigger than a Champ combo cab for $200...and now that rig is just awesome. She gets loud, not too loud, but loud...and oh so sweet.
    Oh yeah, all hand wired PTP. You should see the inside of that thing, it's immaculate.
     
  3. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    Champ.

    Silverface and blackface have the same circuit from 1960 to 1980: it's one of the amps that CBS did not screw around with. As far as crunch is concerned, the Vibro Champ and blackface / silverface Champ have the same. These can still be had second hand in the US for reasonable prices.

    The tweed Champ is even dirtier, but vintage ones aren't cheap.

    Any of these amps can be built as a head very cheaply. In fact, it's about the simplest amp you could make, so it's a good starter. As mentioned already by rocknhorse1, Ceriatone and some other manufacturers will build it for you if want.

    Here's my home made blackface Champ head:

    SoundClick artist: splattle - page with MP3 music downloads
     
  4. Tuya Customs

    Tuya Customs Senior Member

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  5. cynic79

    cynic79 Senior Member

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    After careful consideration, and some time spent with an Epi VJ combo, I opted to go with the VHT Special 6 combo. I was quite pleased with the one I played a while back, and it has the features I was looking for in a small amp. I am still keeping TWANG in mind if I opt for any mods in the future though.

    I should get the amp tomorrow; I ordered it from the shop where I test drove it a few months back. I will try to get some sound files up this weekend.
     
  6. tojo

    tojo Senior Member

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    Congrats ! Sounds like you'll be happy with it - that's what matters most.

    :thumb:
     
  7. White94RX

    White94RX Senior Member

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    Has anyone mentioned a Vox Lil' Night Train?
     
  8. cynic79

    cynic79 Senior Member

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    I've played the NT and the Lil'NT, and I really like both of them. If I ever get rid of my Egnater, I'm getting a Night Train, and if I ever see a good price on a new or used Lil Night Train head, I'll buy it. Right now, though, I'm interested in a slightly different kind of amp.
     
  9. D_Strasse

    D_Strasse Senior Member

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    Weird double post.
     
  10. D_Strasse

    D_Strasse Senior Member

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    No, I assume because the OP was looking for a 5W amp and later mentioned not wanting a master volume amp. The Night Train fails on both accounts even though many think its a nice amp.

    I was going to mention the AC4 head but it sounds like he's made a decision already.
     
  11. rocknhorse1

    rocknhorse1 Senior Member

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    Congrats on the new amp. Play the crap out of it!
     
  12. hipofutura

    hipofutura Senior Member

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    Sounds like you made the right call. I tried an EPI once and thought it was an awful sounding amp. No doubt they can be modified into something wonderful, but why bother?

    Enjoy the new amp!
     
  13. cynic79

    cynic79 Senior Member

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    I tried the combo version, and it just didn't do much for me. It sounds great in most of the demos I've heard, but it sounded pretty flat in person.

    What drew me to the VHT was the fact that the clean sound was much more three dimensional than any of the similarly priced and spec'd five watters I've tried, and it can still get some grind when cranked.
     
  14. D_Strasse

    D_Strasse Senior Member

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    Sounds like you made the right call.

    I have the AC4TV8 and have been looking to see if I could do "better". My needs are different than yours but I will still give the VHT a try when i can.
     
  15. TWANG

    TWANG Senior Member

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    I build the 5E3 Tweed deluxe.. probably one of the sweetest blues amps around.
    and I have two 18 watt amps more marshall in style I build.
    The original idea was lower wattage for home practice.

    a vj.. pentode/triode.. gain volume tone, power standby hi/lo input
    efx loop optional but not spendy at all.

    will cost less than the others mentioned and can be fitted with your choice of power tubes so you can decide in advance how to tweak the tone.
     
  16. cynic79

    cynic79 Senior Member

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    Got the VHT today. I have not gotten to really open it up yet, but I'll drag it out to my new place this weekend to put it through its paces.

    My initial impression is favorable. Lots of nice clean tones on tap. Very Fender-y, although not as smooth as some actual Fenders I've played. It's a little more aggressive sounding, but in a good way. The low power mode is actually quite effective at cutting the volume of the amp. I got the volume about 3/4 of the way up on low power mode without bugging my wife (or my sleeping baby), while I could not even get the volume up to 1/4 on high power mode. The sound is darker in low power mode, but unless you really want some searing Tele tones it should be fine for most of the people who post here. The boost function is nice as well, and it gives you a healthy kick in the pants for leads.

    I ran my MXR Classic Overdrive through the amp with good results. Between a decent overdrive pedal and the boost, you could have a pretty versatile low volume rig for very little coin.

    I'll have to play around with the higher volume tones this weekend, but I'm enjoying the clean tones so far.
     
  17. TWANG

    TWANG Senior Member

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    congrats!
     
  18. sledge57

    sledge57 Member

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    Well that's cool as hell, how do I do the mod to my SF Vibro Champ? Got a link to how it's done?

    Thanks
     
  19. Case24

    Case24 Senior Member

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    Desolder the ground connection on the 15K resistor on the back of the bass pot. If you like the sound, you can wire a switch between the resistor and ground.
     
  20. cynic79

    cynic79 Senior Member

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    I haven't forgotten about this thread, and I still need to do a proper NAD thread, but between getting slammed at work and moving to a new house, I haven't had time to do a proper review.

    Generally, I only have time to play at night or when the baby is asleep, so I've rarely turned the amp up past 1/4 on low power mode. I did get to play around a bit at higher volumes yesterday, and was quite pleased. The sound really opens up once you get some volume going, and the clean and slightly overdriven tones are very tasty. I did not get to crank the amp in high power mode, but in low power mode it gives up a very good blues tone with a Les Paul.

    I'm waiting to get my music room in the basement set up properly before trying to do some sound clips. Alternatively, if my wife and son leave the house sometime, I will try to record something while they are gone. I will say that I am very pleased with my purchase, and that this is, by far, the best of the cheapy five watts I've heard, at least in stock form.
     

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