Amp Ignorance...


Hero Member
Hey guys, I really don't know much about amplifiers, so I was hoping for a few recommendations.

What I'm looking for is an amp good for the bedroom volume to small gig range.  My plan is for an amplifier that has a clear clean sound, which I could color with an array of effects pedals, so one channel, right?

And I don't even know about effects loops, so are they recommended?  Or not necessary?

All I know for sure is that I like the idea of one channel, with no built-in effects.  I like the idea of having a simple amp setup, and only tweaking the dials on my effects pedals.

What say all you amp guru's out there?  Suggestions?
I'm not sure what kind of price range you are thinking, but if you are just looking for a nice clean sound I don't think you could go wrong with a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe $699.
Are you looking for tube or solid state? Go for tube I say, I also have heard great things about the Fender Hot Rod amps, also I hear the blackheart tube amps are pretty good, small wattage on some of them also
Edit: just reread your post, the blackheart probably isnt big enough for any real gig
A Fender Hot Rod or Blues Deluxe would certainly work, but getting either to "bedroom volume" is a stretch. If your bedroom is at one end of the house, OK; if you live in an apartment the minimal volume level will probably be too loud.

Another idea if the latter is the case is go with the Fender amp, but pick up a Blackheart Killer Ant 1 watt Class A amp and use that for the bedroom; you can always connect the Killer Ant head to the speakers in the Fender.

Another suggestion would be the Blackheart Handsome Devil 15 watt head (switchable to 7 watts in triode mode) and one or two 1x12 cabs; again the same cavaets apply and the Killer Ant in the bedroom. Both heads can be had new for under $500 and the 1x12 cabs are $150 each; you could use another cab(s) with the head, the Eminence speakers that come in the Blackheart 1x12 cabs are definitely "British voiced".
The ultimate bedroom amp...

Loving my BH little giant; too small for club volume at least with clean sounds of course. The handsome devil Jack mentioned sounds like just the thing for you.
I also really like my avatar cab with the "hellatone" speaker, and it's very reasonably priced. You could get a 1w head for bedroom volumes (my "killer ant" just shipped) and a 15-30 w head for gigs, and swap easily. \

For effects, I'm very happy with my Boss ME-50 - no menus or software stuff to deal with, all knob and switch, and most of the stuff on there sounds really nice. Built solidly.
I want one of these:

ooops - actually i want the pro version:
The Fender Hot Rod is a great amp but it does need some help.  By changing the phase inverter tube to one that is properly matched you will get great gains in sound.  That runs about 15 to 17 bucks for the matched tube.  Then you also have to change the volume pot to one that is an audio taper pot.  For some reason they put linear taper pots in them.  After 2 on the dial it goes way too loud.

As far a effects loops, the delay based effects generally go here.  Phase, chorus, reverb, delay...  They alter what the preamp did.  You don't need to distort reverb.

I have a 5 watt homebrew amp and it is loud.  I am not sure about club loud, but it is plenty loud for home use.  More than enough loud.  If you are going to want club loud, a 20 watt tube amp is fine.  Again, it sounded like you wanted a clean amp, and you can't go wrong with a Fender tube amp for that sound.  The Hot Rod Deluxe is a very popular amp.  Although it is a pain, try looking for a used one to make the two little mods to and you will have a wonderful amp.

What do we think about this?
RLW said:
The ultimate bedroom amp...


....and a volume so loud, and a tone so deep anyone within 50 meteres may loose control of their bowels  :sad: ! That Marshall is a bedroom demolisher (and the rest of the house). :laughing7:
Someone needs to give a report on this thing - on paper it's amazing.
I know the Fender Hod Rod is a little loud for the bedroom but it is very gigable and can work through a band practice without a p.a.

I haven't played a blackheart yet, what kind of volume do they put out?
My Blackheart LG 5W is louder than Satan. ;)

Seriously it's kind of loud. It's too loud for my little house, without annoying everyone else that lives here. I turn it down and use an OD pedal or just play clean. Sounds sweet.
thumb55 said:
I know the Fender Hod Rod is a little loud for the bedroom but it is very gigable and can work through a band practice without a p.a.

I haven't played a blackheart yet, what kind of volume do they put out?

The Handsome Devil is switchable between 7 watts in triode mode and 15 watts in pentode mode. Unlike many "R.M.S." bullshit ratings on many solid state amps, that's REAL watts. At max power through the Blackheart 1x12 cab(s) or a cab loaded with efficient speakers (100-103dB @ 1watt/meter S.P.L. rating), you're pushing around 112-116 dBs at max volume.

See the pasted chart below to see where that fits into examples dB levels

Jet aircraft, 50 m away   140 dB
Threshold of pain           130 dB
Threshold of discomfort   120 dB
Chainsaw, 1m distance   110 dB
Disco, 1 m from speaker   100 dB
Diesel truck, 10 m                90 dB
Kerbside of busy road, 5 m    80 dB

As each time you DOUBLE the wattage rating, you gain only 3 dB (logrithmic scale), a 50 watt tube amp would be approx. 5 or 6 dB louder than the 15 watter, rather than 3 times as loud. A 15-20 watt amp is plenty loud enough to play small venues. If it isn't, the venue should have a serious house system and you can always mike the amp through the PA.
But isn't playing guitar all about having a nice 100 watt tube head on top of two 4-12' speaker cabinets and just turning up every damn dial to 10 and playing loud? Yeah its pointless and impractical, but it makes me smile :party07:
In the 70's I went through, in order...

Peavey Musician 400 (With the matching 8X10 speaker box. It's probably still trucking along somewhere, you can't kill Peavey amps)
Twin Reverb w/master volume (sold it to a church player, the first time he played it it burst into flames, probably a residual effect of all those Black Sabbath songs that I had played through it...)
Sunn Model T (Staggeringly loud once you got it biased right, they came biased cold from the factory. Output was rated on the Richter Scale, not wattage)
Ampeg VT-22 (Never met a Marshall stack this thing could not obliterate)
MusicMan HD-something (Bleeding-ears loud. Sadly, once they break, you need a trust fund to be able to fix them. Gutted and turned into a speaker box)
Acoustic 360 bass rig (Hit a low E, look 36 feet into the audience where the sound waves converge, and watch their drinks leap off the table. I'm not kidding)

HD-130? What did you do with the guts?

I assume you had the 18" folded horn enclosure? You could move more than drinks with one of those!
> HD-130?

That sure sounds familiar. Had an old Electro Voice speaker, you could cut people in two with that beast.

> What did you do with the guts?

Tossed it in the trash. Nobody around here could fix the solid state bits.

> I assume you had the 18" folded horn enclosure? You could move more than drinks with one of those!

That's the one. Plug a P-Bass into it, and you had a REAL weapon of mass destruction. Used to regularly rattle the neon beer signs off the walls.