Monoprice 15W tube amps - 2 versions, which to keep?

darkvoice

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
762
Reaction score
809
Monoprice just had a $202 (shipping included) sale on their popular 15W guitar tube amp combo and I could not resist, thinking it would be fun to experiment with this unit that so many players recommend.

I was also doing some garage cleaning this weekend and found an unopened box which said Monoprice Stage Right 15W on it. I opened it and it was a brand new Monoprice 15W tube amp. It seems I bought this amp few years and with covid and other events completely forgot about it, never even opened it. LOL!!!

Now, with the second amp in the mail I need to decide which is a keeper (if any). Despite model being the same, these two amps are different in appearance:

- Older one (let's call it V1) has controls on top and most recent one (call it V2) has controls on front - see photos attached.

- Some functional differences: V1 has 2 inputs vs 1 on V2 (there's a button that switches between inputs) and V2 having larger (better?) reverb unit.

Are there any functional differences between V1 and V2?

The big question is - which one should I keep?

PHOTOS

Front - V1 vs V2:
Mono_15W_V1_1.jpeg
Mono_15W_V2_1.jpeg


Back - V1 vs V2:
Mono_15W_V1_4.jpeg
Mono_15W_V2_2.jpeg


Controls - V1 on top vs V2 on the front:
Mono_15W_V1_5.jpg
Mono_15W_V2_3.jpeg
 
Last edited:

darkvoice

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
762
Reaction score
809
Also, V1 seemed like almost identical copy of Laney CUB12R 15-Watt 1x12" Tube Guitar Combo Amp. V2 - I have no idea what it was inspired by.

Front - Laney CUB12R vs Monoprice V1:
Mono_Laney_15W_V1_1.jpeg
Mono_15W_V1_1.jpeg


Back - Laney CUB12R vs Monoprice V1:
Mono_Laney_15W_V1_2.jpeg
Mono_15W_V1_4.jpeg


Controls - Laney CUB12R vs Monoprice V1:
Mono_15W_V1_3.jpg

Mono_15W_V1_5.jpg
 

judson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
6,789
Reaction score
10,996
i have the V1 with reverb, bought the small,cheaper with no reverb 8" speaker as well on a whim..my 76 fender twin and 72 ampeg V4 sit behind the mono V1 , which gets the on switch hit more often..great little amp.

sell me V1...

they are great practice amps...or keep em both
 
Last edited:

Banastre

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
182
Reaction score
224
V1 is oftened talked about as needing a better reverb. Also, some have reported V2 has been shipping with JJ's. Wait and see to decide.
 

darkvoice

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
762
Reaction score
809
V1 is oftened talked about as needing a better reverb. Also, some have reported V2 has been shipping with JJ's. Wait and see to decide.
True about the reverb, however it can be upgraded to a good one, they cost around $20-25.

Not sure JJ tubes are still offered, as recent Amazon reviews indicate that as of Aug 2022 they equip the amp with no name tubes instead of JJs.
 
Last edited:

cybermgk

“No such thing as fun for the whole family"
Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2011
Messages
16,749
Reaction score
25,829
I am not you.

IF it were me, I prefer the controls on the front. I also prefer the ease of a switch to set the power scaling.

That said, on an amp of this price range, that little switch is exactly the kind of component that would be a cheap item and will be a matter of when, not if, it breaks.

SO, again, if it were me, I would ignore those preferences above, and:
,
1. I would pull the chassis out, and look at the construction quality, component quality etc.

2. Play them both, both with new speakers, and after they have broken in. THose different cab sizes could make a difference. Which sounds better, less boxy, etc. I'd also look at how well the pots feel and their taper and effect on what they control.
 

darkvoice

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
762
Reaction score
809
I also find controls on front more convenient. Also in case I want to put something else on top of the amp I don't want controls to be blocked.
On the other hand clean front and controls on top is more of a classic look like on many vintage amps.

Good point about build quality, I will check, although I don't expect decline in quality on new one, as amps were built only couple years apart.
 

darkvoice

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
762
Reaction score
809
Also, Version 2 looks exactly the same as Harley Benton amp. They are likely made by the same manufacturer"
 

Gold_topped

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
485
Reaction score
372
Replace the reverb tank on the V1. Its a better sounding amp to my ears. I owned both. I say owned because I sold the V2 once I replaced the reverb tank on the V1.
 

eddie_bowers

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Messages
904
Reaction score
220
OMG I so relate to this

I like the looks of the V1. It just looks more like a vintage TV front amp.
 

edro

Chief Discombobulator
Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
45,725
Reaction score
190,280
V1, guts wise, IS the 12R with the exception of the blue plastic rev tank... I have the V1 and love it... Although I have pondered putting a real tank in it, it finally dawned on me I don't use rev in my amps much anyway, I have the RP500 to do all the 'stuff'....

When I finally got the severty80 speaker broken in, I really started loving it.... I liked it when I got it (190 to my door I think)... Several 'Mulers' bought those things so I got one after reading their remarks.... I'd grab my Steiny five skrang bass and play walks at low volume watching tv...a LOT... Different keys, up and down the neck... I wanted all kinds of freqs tickling that paper cone... It ain't about volume (in MY opinion), it is the freqs.... After a while, it started changing and surprisingly more responsive... enough I could tell it was more sensitive I guess.... If I ever dick with it, it will be to put an old JBL 12" in it.. Other than that, the seventy80 Celestion does a great job after being broken in....just seemed to take a lot longer with that particular speaker...

I haven't played a V2 so I can't speak to that. I do love my V1 and until I bought a Spark, out of all my amps,it is what I played every day.... Corner of living room and could sit in recliner and practice..... I should have bought more than one...
 

darkvoice

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
762
Reaction score
809
How can you return an amp that you've had "a few years" ?

Sounds they have a great return policy, or a foolish business model susceptible to abuse.
Sorry if it's not clear, I meant my options are either to return V2 amp or to sell V1, of course it's not possible to return V1 to Monoprice (30 day return window).
 

Neofelis Nebulosa

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
1,173
Reaction score
1,185
Sorry if it's not clear, I meant my options are either to return V2 amp or to sell V1, of course it's not possible to return V1 to Monoprice (30 day return window).
My bad, I read the thread incorrectly. Sorry for the confusion
 

darkvoice

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
762
Reaction score
809
I decided to keep Version 1 of the amp, it has more classical look, sounds better and is a bit rarer.
 
Last edited:

edro

Chief Discombobulator
Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
45,725
Reaction score
190,280
Cool beans.... Now to break it in... The Seventy80 is NOT a bad speaker....it is also not a great speaker until it gets broken in. I posted upstream as to my break-in method.... That speaker seems to take a while to limber up.....

At minimum, I would get an adapter to stream music through it for a while... Smooth jazz would be good because varied instrumentation, varies freq ranges, varied rhythms... Volume is not an issue, freq content IS.... Soooo, it does not have to be loud at all.... Different freqs have different λ which flexes speaker material differently....
 

Latest Threads



Top