Little practice amp

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
720
Okay - I've had baby #2!  Thank you, thank you.  However, I now need to play at less than acoustic levels in the bedroom at night.  I have been strumming my electrics unamplified, and that is fine, but I would like to get a little practice amp.  Any suggestions?  What about those little Line 6's?
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
The small Epiphone Valve Jr comes to mind.  Pignose comes to mind for a tiny amp (battery or AC!~~). 
 

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
720
I have the 5w Epi Valve Junior head and it is LOUD.  I mean I need something at tv volume or less.  I just don't like playing into headphones, though, or else I would do that.

Also, did anyone notice in last month's Guitar World how it showed Eddie Van Halen playing through a regular ole' Line 6 backstage?  I wonder how many amps that will sell for them.  Does Fender own Line 6?
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Vox Valvetronix series tube / solid state hybrid, will blow away any line 6 amps for tone and is quiet when you want it to be, has headphone out too. Clean sounds (emulations) are pretty fair imitations of the real amps as far as I can tell and though the high-gain amp emulations don't seem to sound very much like the originals, some of them do sound pretty good. The 30 watt version has a built-in attenuator too, so you can have a "1 watt" tube amp. Includes a mediocre but usable set of effects presets; on the one hand it's not as versatile as the line6 stuff but it is way easier to use.
These things sound far better than line6 products.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,150
Pignose will still annoy the neigbors.  It'll be too loud. I'd really recommend headphones.

The only option I can think of, where you could keep the volume down is to play thru a pod and into a reference powered monitor like a Yamaha MS101.  The MS101 can do double duty as a really quiet acoustic amp for sound reinforcement, or for recording.  Much better than computer speakers.  Without headphones, that'll be the best you can do.  And you can use headphones out of the pod or the ms101.

I have to agee about those epi's.  Nice little heads and combos, but it'll be too loud.

It's a hard thing to play an electric without making noise.
 

Kostas

Senior member
Messages
1,380
spauldingrules said:
I have the 5w Epi Valve Junior head and it is LOUD.  I mean I need something at tv volume or less.  I just don't like playing into headphones, though, or else I would do that.

I have the same head and I agree, it is loud. No tube amp is versatile enough or quiet for bedroom levels. I have the POD and I'm not so impressed with the sounds through active speakers. It's good but not good compared to my pedals with the Valve Junior.

Check the trademark series: http://www.tech21nyc.com/guitar_intro.html They are still my favorite amps when it comes to solid state.
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
What I'm doing, as we speak, is searching out an old "school room" type record player, with tubes of course.

You remove the record player.  Wire in an input jack on the wires where the cartridge was.  Done.  Record player needle output was very low, like a guitar... even lower.  You can easily overdrive them.  They EASILY give you this great blues tone.

Now that I let THAT secret out... they're gonna disappear from ebay at huge prices.....
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
Wow great tip CB.  Now delete your post so nobody except you and me knows.
 

riverbluff

Senior member
Messages
733
I have ( well, my son has it and lets me use it if I let him use my JCM 800) the 30 watt Line 6 and it is a great little amp.  With the modelling, you can really keep the volume low and still get a great sound out of the amp.  At very low volume, you still get the same sound/tone as at higher volumes.

Bill
 
I

ildar

Guest
-CB- said:
What I'm doing, as we speak, is searching out an old "school room" type record player, with tubes of course.

You remove the record player.  Wire in an input jack on the wires where the cartridge was.   Done.  Record player needle output was very low, like a guitar... even lower.  You can easily overdrive them.  They EASILY give you this great blues tone.

Now that I let THAT secret out... they're gonna disappear from ebay at huge prices.....

I've heard there are concerns with this type of equipment not having isolation transformers, especially with "hi-fi" type tube power amps. Obvioulsy there are very high plate voltages, which without an isolation traffo can potentially travel up your guitar cable. Not sure if that would pertain to what you're talking about.
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
This is all great but if you just want to practice while the kids are asleep, get a Digitech RP-50.  It actually sounds fine and you can turn on amp and cab emulation and run it into headphones or an old pair of computer speakers.  The thing costs like $50, and it's got a tuner and a dopey little drum machine, and chorus and reverb and a bunch of random digital effects... Obviously CB will tell you this is heresy...
 
G

guitlouie

Guest
Well, congrats on the rugrats.  I have two kids as well, mine are a bit older though.  What we did was just to be loud ever since they were young.  They are so used to it now that I can have three or four buddies over after they have gone to sleep and we can sit around jamming and I never hear from the kids.  I realize that I am sooo not helpful!
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
Yeah, good idea Louie... just blow out their eardrums before they leave the womb.  :headbang1:  They'll make good bassists!  ;)
 
N

neilium

Guest
ildar said:
-CB- said:
What I'm doing, as we speak, is searching out an old "school room" type record player, with tubes of course.

You remove the record player.  Wire in an input jack on the wires where the cartridge was.  Done.  Record player needle output was very low, like a guitar... even lower.  You can easily overdrive them.  They EASILY give you this great blues tone.

Now that I let THAT secret out... they're gonna disappear from ebay at huge prices.....

I've heard there are concerns with this type of equipment not having isolation transformers, especially with "hi-fi" type tube power amps. Obvioulsy there are very high plate voltages, which without an isolation traffo can potentially travel up your guitar cable. Not sure if that would pertain to what you're talking about.

The thing to look for are tubes with 25, 50 and 60 volt heaters or filaments. These were used primarily in tabletop radios, cheaper record players and some really cheap guitar amps. The heaters would be strung together in series until they added up to 120v, and heater current came directly from the wall. Sometimes these devices did have 1:1 isolation transformers.

The other thing to look for is a power transformer.
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
ildar said:
I've heard there are concerns with this type of equipment not having isolation transformers, especially with "hi-fi" type tube power amps. Obvioulsy there are very high plate voltages, which without an isolation traffo can potentially travel up your guitar cable. Not sure if that would pertain to what you're talking about.

You heard wrong.  They dont have isolation transformers, but no guitar amp does.  Isolation transformers are not used for that anyway. 

Your input (the guitar cable) gets noplace close to the the plate voltages... except in each tube.

That has often been a source of debate.  What happens if a tube shorts from grid to plate?  The guitar is connected through a resistor to the grid... but on some amps, its connected directly, and the resistors normally used are 68k, not huge.  They're there for isolation, should you decide to use both inputs at once... ie, two guitars at one input.  Some amps (very few) use a capacitor input at the first grid.  There are problems associated with that, and generally, the tone and dynamics suffer.

However, on a turntable, film strip projector, old movie projector (all sources of good low wattage amps), they run them pretty much like a guitar amp.  If the tube shorts grid to plate, then you got a real bad (but real short lived) problem.  In all the dealings I've ever had, I've not once seen it.  Ever.  There will no doubt be stories of ... that guy I knew from Kalamazoo had a cousin, who knew the brother-in-law of a gal at work, who once shocked himself silly!  Very few actual reported incidences of it, and the situation is no better, or no worse today, and all the manufacturers still use the same circuit, even in todays lawsuit happy society.

So... to wrap it up... the turntable amps are no worse, and no better than a guitar amp in terms of safety.
 

skydigger

Active member
Messages
39
I'm not sure why nobody talks about these, but I love my Line 6 Toneport UX-1 as a practice (headphone) amp.

You get loads of quality amp mods and effects for less than $200...
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
The toneport has the same sounds as the POD, which everybody has heard. Very good, considering it's computer software. I really think the Vox stuff is head and shoulders above the line6 product.
 

JamesL

Senior member
Messages
1,019
I would say The Vox DA5, I also have one of thease for a "Practice" amp and I love it, It has effects and amp models. And you can get a shitton of sounds out of it. 5- 2.5- 0.5 watts (Switchable)
 
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