Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

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Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (pathelms) » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:54 am

My AC15HWx1 is nirvana with my 660/12 and 6120. However, it’s too damn heavy for me to be hauling an hour away to practice every week. It’s particularly no fun carrying back up the stairs to my loft in the middle of the night w/o a moon! We rehearse in a living room and our drummer just brings a machine instead of his set. In other words, I don’t need a lot to cut through the mix. But I sure do love that tone I’m getting!

Since I just splurged on the Vox, I’m not really prepared to indulge myself with a pricey low watter. Does anybody have a favorite applicable amp that can give a good enough tone for under $350.

It doesn’t have to be nirvana, but I would like to at least get a trip to the ice cream pallor out of it!
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Re: Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (teb) » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:26 am

Despite not having been made in big numbers or recently, there always seem to be a few VOX Pathfinder Super Mini Reverbs floating around on the used and eBay markets. The heads are only 15 watts, but can get quite loud if desired, and are really clean sounding. They have reverb and tremolo. There were two sealed back cabinets built for them, one with two tens and one with four eights. Rickenbacker twelves sound really good through both. Price varies from pretty reasonable and affordable to ridiculous, just depending on who is selling them and what they think the amp should sell for. I think the smaller combo version of the Pathfinder 15 has the same amp built in, but I don't know how it sounds with the built-in speaker.
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Re: Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (pathelms) » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:03 pm

Thanks Todd. I did not realize the Pathfinder was on sort of a hiatus. I had thought about it, but was hoping to try one out. Really, as cheap as they come used, can’t go too wrong either way. The MSB25 Superbeetle looks like it might fit the bill perfectly. Or, I could override my anti-splurge switch (just a little) for an AC10c1 if it was a real jump. Any experience with either?
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Re: Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (jps) » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:57 pm

pathelms wrote:...I could override my anti-splurge switch (just a little) for a...

... Swart STR-Tremolo. Great little low powered amp. Try something different than a Vox (that you already have). :wink:

Loved the one I had.
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Re: Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (pathelms) » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:07 am

True, if I’m gonna forfeit my integrity, might as well go all the way. :D

Cute little amps!
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Re: Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (pathelms) » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:08 am

jps wrote:
pathelms wrote:...I could override my anti-splurge switch (just a little) for a...

... Swart STR-Tremolo. Great little low powered amp. Try something different than a Vox (that you already have). :wink:

Loved the one I had.


Well shoot, that’s one sweet sounding thing! Now you got me all worked up! :wink:
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Re: Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:26 pm

I've been curious about this li'l guy. 15 tube watts, 12" Celestion, reverb, 25lbs. $199.99. Reminds me of a modern day Lectrolab:

Monoprice.png
monoprice amp


Not intending to overstep but I do have a Vox 1967 Cambridge Reverb SS in truly excellent condition I've been wanting to find a good home for. The price is right, but there'd be shipping.
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Re: Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (iiipopes) » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:38 pm

I like my modified Vox Pathfinder R: 17 watts of Vox tone. It is modified by removing the LEDs from the circuit board (which function as diodes to clip the signal) so it doesn't fizz out on the overdrive; and I jumpered the external speaker jack so I can run two 8-ohm speakers, the internal and an external together, instead of either/or as the jack is wired from the factory. Don't worry: I looked up the "white paper" on the output MOS-FET, and it actually prefers a 4-ohm load.

Solid State? Yes. Even though everyone wants the tube Vox amps, remember the Beatles went on tour in the USA with the Super Beatle 100-watt amps which were solid state Thomas Organ designed and built for JMI under the Vox name.
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Re: Best CHEAP low watt amp for living room rehearsals?

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:59 am

The ss Thomas amps were good, especially for their day. The reverb in the ss Cambridge is more full with less residual hum than the tube version. Great tremolo, too. People complained that the Westminster bass amps were under powered, but maybe they trying to have them compete with Marshalls. A 60 watt version I had always rumbled when playing against Fender Supers and Bandmasters.

This picture of Captain Beefheart playing on a beach in France says a lot: A solid state Supreme each for the guitars and two tube AC100s for the bass:

download/file.php?id=50743

The video of that gig sounds good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCSPf5Viwd0
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