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Bedroom Tube Amp Recommendations

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(@allen-stowe)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

I'm considering purchasing a tube amp with an attenuator for bedroom playing (no recording). I am looking at the Tone King Imperial Mk II (20w) and the Carr Super Bee (10w).  Does anyone have any other recommendations?  My current amp is a Roland Blues Cube Hot, a 30w solid state amp designed to imitate a Fender Bassman.  Also wondering if I will notice better sound quality from these two tube amps since they're rather expensive?  Thanks!


   
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Bob Brozowski
(@bobby-b)
Member Admin
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 7
 

Hey Allen! If you're searching for a tube amp to use in your bedroom, we'd love to help you find the perfect fit. To get started, please tell us more about your goals. Are you looking for high gain, or do you plan to use pedals? This will help us narrow the options and find an amp that works for you. Many amps come with attenuators, so we can find something that works well for a bedroom setup. I have a Yamaha THR30II that is just fantastic, portable to carry room to room and has a 6hr battery and Line 6 receiver built in.  It sounds great, but not inexpensive...around $500.  A lot of pro players use this amp around the house.  There is an article on the site you should check out. I know it's not what you asked for regarding a tube amp, but a great alternative.

 


spinal tap GIF

Thanks for reaching out!

This post was modified 8 months ago by Bob Brozowski

Bob


   
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(@markzabel)
Member Moderator
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 17
 

Allen, the THR30II is quite good. If you're looking for a tube amp sound, I would also consider finding one that's much lower in power. A 20W tube amp will be LOUD! (So will a 10W one). For YouTube, I use a 5W amp attenuated to 0.5W and still need to keep the volume low.

I haven't really played many 1W mini tube amps though. My 5W amp is the Blackstar HT-5R. IMHO the issue with the tiny amps is generally the tiny speakers. Blackstar makes a 1W amp - both as a combo and as just the head. I played one 3 or 4 years ago. Don't really remember how great it was, but I didn't buy it.


   
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(@larrym)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 1
 

I use a Bugera V5 at home. It's a tube amp with built-in attenuation .1w/1w/5w

I mostly use the 1w power setting. It's a great little amp for a reasonable price. It has ok reverb (digital) 

I agree with Mark.... anything more is really loud! I have a Vox AC15 that I could never use at home unless the wife is gone shopping 🙂


   
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(@allen-stowe)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

Yes, I agree about the sonic power of low wattage tube amp, that is why I definitely need an attenuator.  I used to have a 4W VOX that was loud.  My local luthier has a 12W hand wired "Princeton" amp (not Fender brand) with an attenuator that he wants to swap for my PRS guitar.  It's a fair trade but I need to actually play through the amp with the attenuator engaged.  I want to determine if it can achieve the edge of breakup sound at bedroom volumes.

I appreciate everyone's input.


   
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(@allen-stowe)
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Joined: 8 months ago
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Topic starter  

I'm also considering the Tone King Gremlin 5W 1 x 12" amp.  It is about $1,000 less expensive than the Imperial MK II and also has an attenuator.


   
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(@allen-stowe)
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Posts: 15
Topic starter  

My luthier hand wired the 12 W "Princeton" amp using Mojo Tone components (chassis and cabinet) and other high quality parts from other manufacturers.  The speaker is a 10" Weber Ferromax and the attenuator is a Weber 50W MiniMass.  I can attest to the thoroughness and precision of the luthier (he was formerly an accountant so he's very attentive to detail) regarding guitar work.  Any thoughts, particularly on the Weber speaker and attenuator?  Thanks again!


   
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(@allen-stowe)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

I A/B ed my Roland Blues Cube with the tube amp.  To me the attenuated "Princeton" didn't sound that great.  Overall I think that the 12W tube amp is too loud for my needs even with attenuation.  This comparison did make me better appreciate the Blues Cube.


   
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(@nidlez)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 1
 

I've been using the Vox Valvetronix ADVT30 for over 15 years, love it. It's a combo tube/modeling amp with a 10" speaker, and a headphone jack for those times when you need to be super quiet. The preamp is powered by a 1W 12AX7 tube so it has decent depth to the sound. Full power is 30W and it can be dialed back down as far as 1W; the full 30W is way too loud for bedroom (I use it at about 7W) but not quite loud enough for stage or jamming with a group that has stage-worthy amps.

The modeling sounds are pretty good, a wide range of effects and simulated amps. I also have a Vox AC15 and at half-power it outblasts the fully cranked ADVT30, so I gotta wonder how the watts are being measured or maybe it's the 10" speaker that can't do justice to the full 30W.
 
Vox replaced it with the VT30 in 2008, adding more modeling wizardry but basically the same amp. That was replaced recently with the AC10C1 combo which has lots of modeling but no phones out. 

 


   
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(@allen-stowe)
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I appreciate the information on the VOX amp.  I bought a used VOX AC4TV several years ago.  It didn't attenuate well at all and was noisy (rice krispies - crackles and pops) so I sold it. I'm now looking at modeling options, helix, tonex, tonemaster, pedal amps, etc. I like the Fender DR Tonemaster Blonde but it's expensive to me, plus no head phone out.


   
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(@allen-stowe)
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Joined: 8 months ago
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Does anyone have any thoughts about using helix (or tonex) coupled with a FRFR amp, especially the sound quality in a small studio (13' x 13')?  Thanks!


   
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(@allen-stowe)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

I ended up purchasing a Carr Superbee 10w amp with 10" speaker.  It's an amazing amp with a great attenuator.


   
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