Hi Gain Little Amp's

I agree 100% But If I can't play the damm thing I suck, no matter what kinda gear I have.  A lot of people think that just because someone plays with a lot of distortion there is no consideration for tone.  I feel like no matter what you are playing, it starts with the guitar and goes on from there.  I've been off playing bass for a few years, so the more time I'm back around the guitar, the more I get a feel for what I really want again.

My best friend had a MIG 50. (Sovtek) Thats a loud rude amp.

I really want a Mesa/Boogie.  Either one of the new Express amps, a Nomad, or a Rect-o-verb.

Torres Engineering has some cool sounding (on paper) amp mods for the  Fender Blues series, has anyone tried them?

I'd really like to have a lot of amp's but it's just not that practical right now

thumb55 said:
I'm looking for a replacement for my Line 6 XL (I really like it but I'd like to have a tube amp again)

I love the looks of the new Krank mini stack,  and I also like the new Boogie Express line.

What I'm looking for is a Hi Gain tube amp of 50 watts or less for under $1200.  (no gigs just around the house)

Personally, I'd stay away from the Express line if you're looking for hi gain. It's a very nice little amp, but from my experience with it, it seems more along the lines of a blues/rock type of thing.

For hi gain, I'd recommend a Mesa F-30/F-50. These little guys cover a lot of tonal ground and has enough gain on tap to get some Recto-ish tones (with the Contour engaged). The clean channel is wonderful as well. The 'verb is pretty lack luster, but I personally like it's 'dry' sound. They're discontinued, but on the used market they go for $700-$800.
Last year I went down to visit my sister I Ca. her Husaband and I get together and Jam.  He had this amp I had never heard of before  Tech21
It's a solid state amp that sounds like a tube amp, if someone told you it was a tube amp you would never even question it. they sound that good.

So a few months ago I bought a 60 watt 4x10 Tech21 and love it.  It's got 2 channels 1 is really clean, and the other with a bit more crunch,

With an MXR90 ,digital delay and Flanger I can and do get the VanHalen sound all day long.

One advantage that solid state has over tubes is this, tubes work best in their "sweet spot" which in a home is often times too loud. Solid state can give a good output sound at a low volume,,    This is generally speaking people I know theres tubes that defy this rule of thumb.


Tech 21 has actually been on my radar.  I have a old Flextone XL right now and a couple of the other options have been an Flextone III or one of the Vox valvetronic combos.

The little Krank Stack has me curious though.

I need to go to the city with my guitar and play through some stuff.
Did some shopping in K.C. today.  The Boogie express is cool, but not quite what I'm looking for.

NOW the Engl Screamer 50 combo is just what I've been looking for!!!

Now I just have to get my finances in order..... :icon_scratch:
Had a blues deluxe before they offered the extra gain stage.  Nice amp, great verb.  I'll look into it again.

But I'm in LOVE with the Engl  :headbang:

Has anyone ever heard of Dailey Amplification?  Played one of those today too.  Really sweet.  Just a little more than I am looking to spend.  But anyone looking for a unique amp needs to check that out.  Nicer than half the high dollar stuff out there (Dr.Z, Matchless, etc) really reasonably priced.
check this one out

Changed my mind; forget the Blues Deluxe, I'm trading mine in on a Fender SuperSonic; go play one of these before you buy anything else. Essentially they built a 1x12 combo with a dual 6L6 power amp and built TWO selectable preamp stages, one duping the Vibrolux and one duping the Bassman. Played one yesterday and it blew me away; check out the sound samples at this link at the Fender website, they are very representative:


Now the only question for me is whether to buy the 1x12 combo or the head.....
and the winner is........................................the Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb 50 1x12"!!!!!!!! :hello2:

really, it's all I've ever wanted in an amp.  No matter what I want to do, this amp can do it.

For low watt fun amps I'll throw these into the mix.  The first is a Zvex nano.  It is a 0.5 watt tube amp.  The product page is here:
The movie about it is here:
The movie is informative and kinda funny.  The second is a DIY amp, the High Octane version of the AX84. 
These are all based on a 5 watt tube amp, but then the mad scientists of the group have modded it to quite a number of combinations.  There is a forum and there are quite a number of modifications that have been OK'd by the group.  It is quite a bit of reading, but you can build pretty much what you likeif you are willing to read enough on the site.  Doberman Amps makes the kits that go with the projects.  Just add elbow grease.
Patrick from Davis

From my understanding these microwatt amps are just pre-amp tubes used as power tubes right? so any gain gotten from them are just basically same as turning down the master volume on a big amp and turning up the gain... might make good battery powered amp if you can make a battery work with them...
If you're looking for an small inexpensive tube practice amp, check out this new little dude from Fender, the Champion 600:


Played on one at the GuitarCenter yesterday and it's hard to believe the sound coming out of a 6" speaker, and at $199 it's a steal....
Actually they are built just like larger amps.  The output Wattage is dictated by the output transformer/tube combo, and you can use the same power tubes that are used in the much larger wattage amps.  Usually you have a Class A version of the amp, because it is not really that feasable to make a push pull version that is that small in wattage.  It has been done though, just search for it.  The Zvex one doesn't have a lot of info about how it is made, but I don't think he would be to keen on giving away his secrets.  I am gearing up to make one of the 5 watt amps with a KT88 power tube in it for more of the hot rodded metal sound.  Also, don't be fooled by the small number of watts, they are still very loud.  I read that the difference in volume between a 50W and a 100 W tube amp is about 3 decibels, but I am unsure about the numbers there.
Patrick from Davis

There is no magic in making a low wattage push pull amp.  None at all.  But neither would you do it, unless it was for some other reason than wattage considerations.

There are designs for parallel single ended (good ones too) and for micro push pull. 

I personally designed an amp using three tubes, one 12AX7, two 12AT7's as output.  They ran push pull parallel, each delivering about .5 watts for a total of about 1 watt.  One input gain stage, cathodyne inverter, and then the output... remember each 12AX7 has two halves.

1 watt is loud.  Remember your speaker efficiency?  Lets say a Vintage 30, at 99dB at 1w at 1meter.  Loud.  Some speakers go to 102 or 104 db efficiency.

But you're right.  You can do 99db at 1 watt. 
102db at 2w 
105db at 4w 
108db at 8w 
109db at 10w
111db at 16w 
112db at 20w
115db at 40w
119db at 100w
122db at 200w etc etc

3db is a perceptable volume difference, but 10db is akin to a "double the loudness" to the human ear (on which the dB scale was created)
Man go try out an Express head!!!! my friend just bought one and it is blissful! So much tone, you have to try it...the two channels each with 2 different setting, all 4 sound great.
I looked at the express pretty hard.  close but not quite.  Just dosen't do the Chugga Chugga thing.

Anyway I bought the Rect-o-verb. :rock-on: