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Lhdr

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Of my playing will be at home, (wife and dog), small place, practicing with backing tracks etc. For those of you in same situation. What do you use for an amp or setup? Has to be real low on the loudness but able to have that Tube amp break up sound. Is it okay to plug one of these beautiful les Paul’s into a crappy modeling amp and run at very low volume with tone, or am I spending way too much on a guitar for that kind of playing?
 

jstarr823

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I have a new Yamaha THR10 II. Not massively impressed with it. I also tried the Boss Katana Air and it was very lackluster. I’ve been using Bias FX and Bias Amp with my iPad via an interface, and that certainly doesn’t give the tube amp feel. I’ve tried pretty much every modeling amp out there (Vox, Fender, Boss, Yamaha, you name it) and none of them were inspiring to play. Thinking about trying a Line 6 HX Stomp, as those seem to have good feel and response.

The problem with trying to obtain tube amp response is volume. You might consider something like a Blackstar HT1 or HT5, but I’ve owned both and never fell I love with the tone. My Marshall DSL40 (with tube & speaker upgrades) sounds glorious, but it’s certainly not for bedroom use.

It’s a tough proposition, as I’ve been searching for that tube amp vibe at a VERY low volume. You really need to go out and play some amps for yourself, as everyone has a different sound in their head. I watched countless review videos, and read countless forum threads just like this one in hopes of finding that sound. After several amp purchases, I’m still not there.
 

mudface

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If you have a tone/sound that you hear in your head it doesn’t really matter how you get there.

Modeling amps,... digital effects,.... transistor or tube..... all of it is good to get the sound you want even if it’s low volume.

I use damn near everything,.... and the guitar is the same way,.... cheap to high dollar nothing is a bad choice if you enjoy how it plays and what you hear.

Just my opinion.
 

JMP

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I’m in a very similar situation- small house, wife who likes quiet and goes to bed early, chill older dog. For me, this means headphones 95% of the time I play at home. I occasionally get to crank an amp (usually at a friends house or a rehearsal space). I’m just a bedroom player these days and am fine with that. Loud amps are great, but not critical to just playing for fun (for me).

I’m in my 40s and just got my dream guitar (a Gibson Les Paul). It’s a 2016 Traditional in honey burst. At this stage in life, if it’s an expensive/pro quality guitar that makes you happy- do it and feel good about it.

For headphone amps, I use this older battery powered headphone amp called “iGTR”. It was cheap, has some built in effects, and sounds good. I also have an older Line 6 POD. The POD sounds good, but has more options than I need and frankly, I get overwhelmed with too many options, buttons and switches. I like simple. Used PODs are are inexpensive- give one a try. You can plug it into an amp or use the speaker modeling options for headphone use.

I’m currently shopping for another headphone amp. Some of the new ZOOM multi effects pedals are highly regarded and very affordable. Maybe try one of those into your current amp or experiment with headphones?

Good luck - I’ll be watching this thread!
 

Achysklic

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I have a new Yamaha THR10 II. Not massively impressed with it. I also tried the Boss Katana Air and it was very lackluster. I’ve been using Bias FX and Bias Amp with my iPad via an interface, and that certainly doesn’t give the tube amp feel. I’ve tried pretty much every modeling amp out there (Vox, Fender, Boss, Yamaha, you name it) and none of them were inspiring to play. Thinking about trying a Line 6 HX Stomp, as those seem to have good feel and response.

The problem with trying to obtain tube amp response is volume. You might consider something like a Blackstar HT1 or HT5, but I’ve owned both and never fell I love with the tone. My Marshall DSL40 (with tube & speaker upgrades) sounds glorious, but it’s certainly not for bedroom use.

It’s a tough proposition, as I’ve been searching for that tube amp vibe at a VERY low volume. You really need to go out and play some amps for yourself, as everyone has a different sound in their head. I watched countless review videos, and read countless forum threads just like this one in hopes of finding that sound. After several amp purchases, I’m still not there.
I run a Marshall Dsl40cr in a small room at 20 watt setting and it sounds great . Not too loud
 

BKS

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I used to have the Marshall dsl40c wich sounded great to me at low volume. Yes it might sound better cranked but at low volume sounded good too.
Have an amp with mastervolume or get a attenuator to control it a little.
 

Gibsonrocknroll

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I have the original Yamaha THR10. Nice sounding compact amp. I use it while watching tv in the living room.

 

NotScott

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I have several amps ranging from 100 Watts to 7.5 Watts, vintage to modern, master volume to non-master but none of them are very satisfying at levels low enough not to wake the Mrs. or the neighbors late at night. I use an Amplifire modeler with headphones. It is absolutely silent to the Mrs. and neighbors and gets fantastic rock tones that I mix with my practice and jam tunes. Although I don't use it this way, you could also run the Amplifier through your monitor system if you don't like headphones.
 

Ghostman

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All my heads run into a Two Notes Captor and into a DAW so I can play quietly at home.

Your guitar will not get ruined or explode if you plug it into something other than a cranked Plexi. :facepalm:
 

grumphh

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Personally i use either a 50W 2x12 V30 Silver Jubilee combo or a 100W Randall RM-100 through a 1960B g12t-75 for playing at conversation volumes. In an apartment where neighbours conversation can be heard as mumbling through walls/ceilings...

At those volumes these amps do not sound like they would turned up - but i like their preamp drive sounds just fine - definitely enough to keep me very satisfied.
Also, the big bottom end of the 4x12 helps in getting a somewhat satisfactory sound at conversation levels - a bit like pressing the "loudness" button on an older home stereo. I can definitely get my chug on at extremely low volumes :D

The combination of gain, channel volume and master volume makes it easy to dial in the right volume, even when the amps have barely begun working...
(My 50W Laney doesn't work for home use, simply because the master volume has a jump between unusably silent to "****, that's loud!" - that one only sounds good at volumes far above neighbour friendly volumes...)

What you just shouldn't expect from any amp that is not a modeler is "pushed" sounds at absurdly low volumes - physics simply prohibit that...
 

charlie chitlins

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The thing you will never get from a small amp or attenuator is the sound of a pushed speaker.
This is why you need to find a box that emulates a cranked amp in all its aspects...cooking preamp, output stage AND speaker.
I've not heard a Kemper, but I would imagine it does the deed.
Heck, I have a $27 Joyo American sound that does a pretty good job at delivering those groceries...
 

Mockbel

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I am 99% bedroom player too.. exclusively using headphones
 

jstarr823

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I run a Marshall Dsl40cr in a small room at 20 watt setting and it sounds great . Not too loud
I'm not saying that you can't run a DSL40 at low volume... It just doesn't sound nearly as good as when it's pushed at bit. It's a tease at low volume.
 

Lhdr

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jstarr, do you prefer the ”live” Yamaha type sound and ease, or the bias amp which I assume requires more setup and fussing around with? If I tried a bias amp on an ipad, can you Bluetooth to a speaker? I suppose I should put my head in the rabbit hole of software. Just dont want to go in too far.
 

shupe13

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Obviously you're spending way too much money. Get a First Act and belt clip amp.
 

ErictheRed

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I use big amps at home and playing with the band. Not huge, but the smallest amp that I have is a 35 Watt Fender Vibrolux, and the next smallest is a Mesa TC-50 with 1x12" cab. My third amp is a Hiwatt Custom 50 and 2x12" cabinet.

The Mesa is fantastic at low volumes, it has an incredible Master Volume circuit. It supposedly also has a great headphone out, but I never use it. You could definitely use this as a "bedroom amp," though it's obviously overkill for that. Still, if you ever play out you might want the extra power in the future.

The Hiwatt is actually quite nice at lower volumes, too. It needs pedals of course, but also has a good Master Volume circuit. The Vibrolux is not great at low volumes. It still sounds good clean and has excellent Reverb, but you really need to get it cooking before it has any of that vintage Fender magic.

So anyway the point is, I would recommend something like a Mesa Triple Crown or Mark V: 35. You will want something with a lot of preamp gain to get distortion at lower volumes, and with either of those amps (or others like them), you'll be able to play with a drummer and gig all day long.

On the other hand, there are some really excellent solid state amps these days, so if those are overkill and too expensive, don't be ashamed to find a good modeling amp for a lot less. Still, if I could only have one single amp for all situations, I would probably have something like my Mesa Triple Crown and lose the vintage Fender and Hiwatt, honestly. Those two amps both sound "better," but only when they're in the zone, and the Mesa is usable from true bedroom levels up to large gigs, and has a headphone out.

Lastly, remember that no larger speaker will sound good at low volumes unless it can move a bit of air. So using a smaller solid state amp can sound better at low volumes because of the speakers--or you can use the headphone out of something like a Mesa Mark V or Triple Crown to have the best of both worlds, i.e. a big tube amp that still sounds good at extremely lower volumes.
 




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