Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

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hillerheilman
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Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:36 pm

Hey all.
I recently completed my first project guitar, for which there is a thread in the mods and projects section for those interested, and now I need an amp that will suit it well to replace my current, and only, squier bass amp(which has zero gain, the eq does nothing, and sounds rather bland). Thing is, I don't really have any places near me with a good selection of amps, therefore I need to order one. So, I need some recommendations for where to start looking.
My living situation is sort of like an apartment. I rent a house with a few friends, so I'll have to be careful about the noise at night out of courtesy to my roommates. I'd like to get a head that's small enough I could reasonably move it around/carry with one arm. Then I could hook it up to a 1x12 or 2x12. I'd also like something that can do silent practice with headphones and record so that I can listen to myself and make adjustments in my tone/playing regardless of the time of night(I'm a bit of an insomniac, so I'm often up quite late). I've been told that most amps with built in headphone outs are not super great sounding, so I'm open to the idea of running the amp out to an interface, plugging headphones into that and doing silent practice that way. I'm aware I'd also need some sort of cab sim/dummy load thing for that to work, but I'm not precisely sure what I'd need.
This amp wouldn't be used for live gigging at all really, aside from maybe playing at a small local pub eventually. But mostly just noodling and jamming with friends. As far as tone, I'm not into anything with super heavy distortion, so no metal really. I'd like something that doesn't just distort immediately, but I like that sort of voxy thing where when you crank it it gets right on the edge of distortion but still has chime to it. Mostly looking for something with good cleans and an okay gain ish sound out of the box that I can supplement with pedals when needed. I'm mostly doing stuff with a slide, so I'd want to be able to stick a compressor/boost as well as an overdrive, and maybe some fuzz in there eventually. For an idea what I'm looking for, I really like the sounds of Peter Green, as well as Lowell George, BB King, a bit of Duane Allman, and earlier Clapton.(bluesbreakers, cream) On the more distorted end, I like Hendrix, Marcy Playground, and occasionally some nirvana for nostalgia purposes. I want to stay away from things like axefx, because I'd rather have an actual amp as opposed to just using a laptop. Let's say my budget, not counting pedals, interfaces or headphones, is in the ballpark of $1000-$1200, although less would also be cool.

Any help is appreciated, as always.
~Hiller

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by wooderson » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:05 pm

If volume is a concern and you want to use headphones regularly, in that price range I'd really be looking at something like a Helix LT.

I like my big 50W amp and 2x12, but I have a house to myself (and still use an attenuator) - tube amps require some volume. Even a 5W tube amp will start sounding 'good' north of 90db. The air being pushed matters.

There are good solid state/digital amps out these days (Blues Cube, Katana, Orange CR series) but the headphone out on the Blues Cube I tried pretty much sucked.

The Helix sounds good through headphones and will also sound good with a pair of studio monitors at low volumes. If you get to the pub gig level, then you could invest in an amp then (or a method of amplifying the Helix).

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by MT » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:14 am

If you’re never going to gig or jam with your mates then I’d look at the Helix. If you’re going to want to jam with mates or in a band as well as play late at night at home, then why not look at the Quilter amps?

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:21 am

I had the smallest Quilter, the microblock 45 "pedal" amp, and wasn't too impressed with it and sold it, but I have no experience with their other stuff.

I have a Bugera T5 Infinium head that is pretty cool and versatile, 5 watts with an attenuator that allows it to go from 0.1 to 1 to 5 watts. There are speaker out and headphone out jacks. This may be worth looking at for what you're looking for, but you'll need a speaker cab, or maybe a speaker cab emulator to get a better sound than just the headphones out.

I recently bought a Neunabor Iconoclast, which is a speaker emulator, and it seems nice, but I haven't tried it with this head yet. It's made to use to go direct into an interface to record (or mixer for live play), or use with headphones (1/8" input). You can push pedals straight into it, but that seems to lack the amp warmth, so I have used a couple of foundation or "amp in a box" pedals to dress up the sound (Catalinbread RAH & Galileo). It can take the signal from an amp, but only with the line out or headphones out. I want to try this with the Bugera, to see what sounds better through it.

I also have the Vox AC4tv, which is a lot like what you're talking about tone-wise, but (I think) it only has a speaker out, no line out. Using the speaker out cuts out the internal speaker, which I haven't tried because it requires a 16 ohm load. It also has has an attenuator for either 0.1 or 1/4 watt, 1 and 4 watts. I love the tones from that thing.

Hope that gives you some ideas, and at least gets you going in a good direction.

*edit - oh - and prices - Bugera T5 is ~$100 - 150; Iconoclast is ~$200; Vox AC4tv (10" speaker version, used) is about $200 - 250, but I recommend upgrading the speaker if you get one.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by Singlebladepickup » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:55 am

Dunno about the other models, but I had an ac4 with 12" speaker and returned it after 1 day. I had never had a tube amp, so I thought it might be me, but it made a really loud humming or buzzing noise. I've had several other tube amps since, and it was not just me. The vox had more noise than instrument sound. Still like the vox sound though

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:28 pm

I think that they have a certain noise to them, I think that a lot of tube amps do, especially if they're all gainy and high volume, and dirt pedals can make it really bad. But they don't have anything too bad that I've noticed by themselves, at least not at the levels that I tend to play at home (less than halfway, usually on the middle 1 watt setting). It could be it was a bad one, or it could be that I'm just not noticing it, but it sounds like it would be something that would bother me, if it bothered you. If for no other reason, to wonder why it's making so much noise without me making it make noise.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:50 pm

somanytoys wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:21 am
I had the smallest Quilter, the microblock 45 "pedal" amp, and wasn't too impressed with it and sold it, but I have no experience with their other stuff.

I have a Bugera T5 Infinium head that is pretty cool and versatile, 5 watts with an attenuator that allows it to go from 0.1 to 1 to 5 watts. There are speaker out and headphone out jacks. This may be worth looking at for what you're looking for, but you'll need a speaker cab, or maybe a speaker cab emulator to get a better sound than just the headphones out.

I recently bought a Neunabor Iconoclast, which is a speaker emulator, and it seems nice, but I haven't tried it with this head yet. It's made to use to go direct into an interface to record (or mixer for live play), or use with headphones (1/8" input). You can push pedals straight into it, but that seems to lack the amp warmth, so I have used a couple of foundation or "amp in a box" pedals to dress up the sound (Catalinbread RAH & Galileo). It can take the signal from an amp, but only with the line out or headphones out. I want to try this with the Bugera, to see what sounds better through it.

I also have the Vox AC4tv, which is a lot like what you're talking about tone-wise, but (I think) it only has a speaker out, no line out. Using the speaker out cuts out the internal speaker, which I haven't tried because it requires a 16 ohm load. It also has has an attenuator for either 0.1 or 1/4 watt, 1 and 4 watts. I love the tones from that thing.

Hope that gives you some ideas, and at least gets you going in a good direction.

*edit - oh - and prices - Bugera T5 is ~$100 - 150; Iconoclast is ~$200; Vox AC4tv (10" speaker version, used) is about $200 - 250, but I recommend upgrading the speaker if you get one.
I've looked at quilters, as well as the H&K tubemeister 18, with them it seems like it'd be easiest to do what I'm talking about doing, but after watching several demos I'm pretty underwhelmed by the tones in both cases. The vox 4 watters are definitely closer to what I'm looking for. Particularly the AC4TV. So it looks like I might want to go for something similar to what you're talking about.
I don't entirely know though, as it seems to me like it never really gets entirely clean. I suppose I could just try to remedy that with some guitar volume knob adjustment. So basically, I could use something like the iconoclast as my direct out/cab SIM, and then take that to an interface for recording? I assume it has an effects loop then so I could still use pedals?

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:23 pm

The Benson Vinny can be used as a preamp or a 1W amp. Definitely on the spendier end of your price range though.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:26 pm

I'm no real expert here, but I'll try to help as much as possible with my experience. Most of this stuff I just bought somewhat recently.

The Vox may not clean up as much as you want, at least the 4tv. It's nice, but it does break up, and I find pretty quickly. I like it, but it may not be what you want, and it only has the external speaker out. That's another reason that i bought the Bugeras, to be clean or distorted.

The Bugera T5 may be more in line with what you're looking for - low (5) wattage , an attenuator with 3 settings, and it can stay very, very clean if you want, with the gain down and the volume up, but it only gets so loud that way with speakers. I actually swapped out the 12AX7 preamp tube with a 12AT7, for less distortion and more headroom, so that's an idea for you, too. I did that on both of mine, although I may swap one back. It will still distort and get very loud, with the gain up and the phat switch engaged, so it's capable of that too, if you want it.

In answer your question, it Iconoclast has 2 ins and 2 outs. You pretty much treat it like it's a speaker cab. It does work into an interface, mono or stereo, even if you mono in, you can stereo out. If you use an amp, you would use likely use all of your pedals first, unless the amp has an effects loop (the Bugera doesn't), into the iconoclast, and into an interface, PA or headphones. Or, for using an amp in a box pedal, you would use dirt pedals first, into the amp in a box pedal, then the stuff you'd use in an effects loop, like reverb, delay, etc., then into the iconoclast, and on into the interface, pa, headphones.

And I think - I haven't tried it yet - I could use whatever pedals I want into the Bugera, and go thru the phones out of it into the iconoclast, for a better sound. That way the Iconoclast should get the benefit of the tube amp after the pedals, in whichever way you want to use the output.

Once I try the pedals into the Bugera's phones out into the Iconoclast (using headphones), I'll let you know how it turns out, especially vs using the amp in a box pedals.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:40 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:23 pm
The Benson Vinny can be used as a preamp or a 1W amp. Definitely on the spendier end of your price range though.
Damn, it does sound good though... I'm tempted. would it be worth the extra money for the cab as well? I'm not very familiar with having seperate cabs but it's just a box holding a speaker, right? It doesn't seem like it'd be that hard to build one myself for way less than what they're asking. Plus maybe I could find some sweet fabric for grille cloth or something....Hmm... being made around roughly my neck of the woods, broadly speaking, is also pretty appealing.
Last edited by hillerheilman on Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:05 am

somanytoys wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:26 pm
I'm no real expert here, but I'll try to help as much as possible with my experience. Most of this stuff I just bought somewhat recently.

The Vox may not clean up as much as you want, at least the 4tv. It's nice, but it does break up, and I find pretty quickly. I like it, but it may not be what you want, and it only has the external speaker out. That's another reason that i bought the Bugeras, to be clean or distorted.

The Bugera T5 may be more in line with what you're looking for - low (5) wattage , an attenuator with 3 settings, and it can stay very, very clean if you want, with the gain down and the volume up, but it only gets so loud that way with speakers. I actually swapped out the 12AX7 preamp tube with a 12AT7, for less distortion and more headroom, so that's an idea for you, too. I did that on both of mine, although I may swap one back. It will still distort and get very loud, with the gain up and the phat switch engaged, so it's capable of that too, if you want it.

In answer your question, it Iconoclast has 2 ins and 2 outs. You pretty much treat it like it's a speaker cab. It does work into an interface, mono or stereo, even if you mono in, you can stereo out. If you use an amp, you would use likely use all of your pedals first, unless the amp has an effects loop (the Bugera doesn't), into the iconoclast, and into an interface, PA or headphones. Or, for using an amp in a box pedal, you would use dirt pedals first, into the amp in a box pedal, then the stuff you'd use in an effects loop, like reverb, delay, etc., then into the iconoclast, and on into the interface, pa, headphones.

And I think - I haven't tried it yet - I could use whatever pedals I want into the Bugera, and go thru the phones out of it into the iconoclast, for a better sound. That way the Iconoclast should get the benefit of the tube amp after the pedals, in whichever way you want to use the output.

Once I try the pedals into the Bugera's phones out into the Iconoclast (using headphones), I'll let you know how it turns out, especially vs using the amp in a box pedals.
okay I think I kinda understand what you're saying. So, with what I'm thinking about doing I would want to ultimately be able to record with my iPhone/iPad for convenience. So I would be using the amp as basically a preamp, whether it be the bugera or vox or vinny or whatever, and having a 1x12 or 2x12 to plug into that for playing small live gigs or jamming with friends. Then for home recording/silent practice I'd basically be putting the iconoclast at the end of whatever pedal chain I have and using that as my headphone out and then to the interface? Basically normally it'd go: guitar ---> pedal chain. ----> amp /cab. But for a silent practice it'd have the Iconoclast or whatever cab sim/headphone out basically being hooked to the amp instead of the speakers. So it'd go: guitar---> pedals ---> amp, then from the amp speaker out ---> iconoclast or whatever cab sim thing ---> interface ---> iPhone/ipad. Right?

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:22 pm

Well, just to be clear (and safe), you CANNOT go from the "speaker out" of an amp into pretty much anything but a speaker or a load box - that will blow an emulator or an interface up, it's way too much power and they're not made for that. It has to be from a line out or a headphone out of the amp for using those, which is why those are important to have on the amp you choose for this purpose. That's why I can't do it with the Vox AC4TV, it only has a speaker out, but I should be able to do it with the Bugera, because it has a headphone out, which is a much lower signal. And just to be sure, instrument cables need to be used for this application, not speaker cables.

I *believe* that if the amp has a headphone out, and maybe even a line out, it's safe to do this and not to need to hook up a speaker or a load box, too. But with tube amps, you have to be sure that the load doesn't just build up in the tubes with nowhere to go, without a speaker or load box pulling that load from the amp, if it's not designed to just use the headphones or line out.

I think it all depends on how the amp is designed & built. The Bugera site says that you can use headphones with no speaker attached to the head - I wondered about that because there's no standby switch on the Bugera, just an on/off switch, so if there's a speaker attached to the head and the amp's on, the speaker is going to be putting out the sound. I'm going to read more closely about that before I try using the Bugera with the emulator and no speaker attached. **I did, see below**

Setup:
From what I think you're saying below, I would say that you would basically go like you would normally, treating the emulator as an actual mic 'd up speaker cabinet - which would be:

guitar -> pedals -> amp; then from amp's headphone or line out into the speaker emulator; then use the headphone jack of the speaker emulator for headphone practice; or (depending on your interface's inputs, 1/4" or 1/8"), use the headphone out for 1/8" output, or the regular out for 1/4" output (1 for mono or 2 for stereo) of the emulator, into your interface to record.

I hope all of that makes sense.
For reference, here is the Iconoclast page with various hookup scenario instructions: https://neunaber.net/pages/iconoclast-user-guide
If you get something else, you should follow their instructions.

**Here is a link which is directly about using headphones without a speaker hooked up for the Bugera T5 amp specifically:
https://music-group.force.com/musickb/v ... -a-speaker
- which just says this:
___
Can I use the PHONES out on the T5 INFINIUM without connecting a speaker?

Yes. As long as your headphones are connected to the PHONES jack on the T5, then it is possible to use the unit without a speaker connected to the speaker jack. The headphones will act as the necessary load for the amp.
___
That means that something has to be hooked up when the amp is on to alleviate the load - either a speaker or headphones, .

Also, check the prices on the stuff, especially if you decide on the Bugera, I think the price of those have dropped a lot over the past 6 or 8 months, to $100 or $150, so be sure you get whatever you get at good prices.

I hope that all helps, good luck.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:38 pm

Singlebladepickup wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:55 am
Dunno about the other models, but I had an ac4 with 12" speaker and returned it after 1 day. I had never had a tube amp, so I thought it might be me, but it made a really loud humming or buzzing noise. I've had several other tube amps since, and it was not just me. The vox had more noise than instrument sound. Still like the vox sound though
I'll be damned if I didn't turn these on last night and have a shit ton of noise coming out of them. Not sure if it was from the pedals, or that I haven't noticed it because I normally have fans on that produces background noise, but it was definitely noticeable. Nowhere near as loud as the signal/sound while playing, but it was definitely there.

The Frenzels didn't seem to have as much noise coming out of them, but I would've had to turn the Voxes off to be sure. And I was trying to accomplish something else last night, so I didn't bother with that. If that's the way it is, oh well, they're not super quiet anyway, and I love their sound. And I have the Bugeras for more quiet uses (and not).
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:25 pm

somanytoys wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:22 pm
Well, just to be clear (and safe), you CANNOT go from the "speaker out" of an amp into pretty much anything but a speaker or a load box - that will blow an emulator or an interface up, it's way too much power and they're not made for that. It has to be from a line out or a headphone out of the amp for using those, which is why those are important to have on the amp you choose for this purpose. That's why I can't do it with the Vox AC4TV, it only has a speaker out, but I should be able to do it with the Bugera, because it has a headphone out, which is a much lower signal. And just to be sure, instrument cables need to be used for this application, not speaker cables.

I *believe* that if the amp has a headphone out, and maybe even a line out, it's safe to do this and not to need to hook up a speaker or a load box, too. But with tube amps, you have to be sure that the load doesn't just build up in the tubes with nowhere to go, without a speaker or load box pulling that load from the amp, if it's not designed to just use the headphones or line out.

I think it all depends on how the amp is designed & built. The Bugera site says that you can use headphones with no speaker attached to the head - I wondered about that because there's no standby switch on the Bugera, just an on/off switch, so if there's a speaker attached to the head and the amp's on, the speaker is going to be putting out the sound. I'm going to read more closely about that before I try using the Bugera with the emulator and no speaker attached. **I did, see below**

Setup:
From what I think you're saying below, I would say that you would basically go like you would normally, treating the emulator as an actual mic 'd up speaker cabinet - which would be:

guitar -> pedals -> amp; then from amp's headphone or line out into the speaker emulator; then use the headphone jack of the speaker emulator for headphone practice; or (depending on your interface's inputs, 1/4" or 1/8"), use the headphone out for 1/8" output, or the regular out for 1/4" output (1 for mono or 2 for stereo) of the emulator, into your interface to record.

I hope all of that makes sense.
For reference, here is the Iconoclast page with various hookup scenario instructions: https://neunaber.net/pages/iconoclast-user-guide
If you get something else, you should follow their instructions.

**Here is a link which is directly about using headphones without a speaker hooked up for the Bugera T5 amp specifically:
https://music-group.force.com/musickb/v ... -a-speaker
- which just says this:
___
Can I use the PHONES out on the T5 INFINIUM without connecting a speaker?

Yes. As long as your headphones are connected to the PHONES jack on the T5, then it is possible to use the unit without a speaker connected to the speaker jack. The headphones will act as the necessary load for the amp.
___
That means that something has to be hooked up when the amp is on to alleviate the load - either a speaker or headphones, .

Also, check the prices on the stuff, especially if you decide on the Bugera, I think the price of those have dropped a lot over the past 6 or 8 months, to $100 or $150, so be sure you get whatever you get at good prices.

I hope that all helps, good luck.
okay I see. Must have been really tired and misread what you posted last night. So it'd basically all be set up as normal, but then from the headphone out you'd go to the iconoclast, into the interface, and then the Iconoclast becomes the new headphone out. And you're saying that as long as I would have headphones in the iconoclast it'd be good to use without a cab, and therefore silent? So basically I couldn't leave the cab plugged in unless I wanted noise out of it. So I'd have to unplug the cab for recording but then for live I would just plug in the cab and use the amp with pedals as normal without anything out of the headphone out. Right?

I definitely think I'm going to go with the bugera. It's cleans are okay from what I've seen, and it's lower price would allow me to get some higher quality pedals. So far with the math I've done getting everything I want ideally(I think I want to get a thorpyfx dane to take care of both my clean boost/low-med overdrive needs, a keeley compressor and a ditto looper. Maybe also a fuzz. Don't know what else I'd need) if I go with the T5 would put me right around $900 if I bought everything brand new. That would leave me with $300 for a cab. I'm pretty sure I could build one for way less than I could get them for online. Any reason I wouldn't want to do that?

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:45 am

Well, I tried it last night, and at least with the Bugera T5, you have to use a TRS (stereo) cable from the Headphones Out of the amp, it wouldn't work with a normal instrument cable into the Iconoclast. I should have realized that from reading the manual before, but it was late and I forgot about that.

What I did was went from my guitar into the pedals I used, then into the Bugera, then out of the Bugera's headphone jack (with the TRS cable! ha) into the iconoclast (mono in jack), and used the Headphones Out of the Iconoclast's headphone jack with my headphones.

I'm just not sure what size cable your interface accepts, which is why I keep talking about the 1/4 vs 1/8 cables, and using either the headphone out or the regular outs on the Iconoclast for recording. But if yours does require a 1/8" input, you could get a 1/4" to 1/8" converter cable to use the regular outs, and go into the interface That way I would think that you could use headphones at the same time you are recording if you wanted, to listen directly from the emulator, while you record.

-On your first paragraph - that all sounds correct. The iconoclast becomes the new Headphone Out for using headphones, and/or to go into the interface to record, if necessary. Yes, as long as there is something plugged in to the other side of the Phones Out cable from the amp, to draw the load (either headphones or an emulator), it should be good. You would only want a speaker plugged up to the Speaker Out if you're going to play out loud, quietly at home or louder out somewhere. On that amp, since there is no standby switch, if a you plug in a speaker to the Speaker Out, you're going to get real world sound when the amp is on.

If you get a Bugera, and you end up finding that it doesn't clean up as much as you'd like when you turn it up, you could buy a 12AT7 preamp tube to replace the 12AX7 for less distortion and more headroom. I think they're maybe $20 or so, it's pretty easy to swap out and there are videos on youtube that walk you through it. I'm not familiar with the Thorpy pedal, but you should probably only need something like that, because you can always turn up the gain and hit the Phat switch to get more natural gain out of the amp, and that pedal should push the tubes about as hard as you want for heavy distortion (even with the other tube). The Bugera is nice and very affordable, but keep in mind that it is only a 5 watt amp. It gets good and loud, and it keeps up with playing along with a looped bass through bass amps and drum machine through a PA at home. You really need less wattage for guitar anyway. I think it'll be really good for what you want it for, I just wanted to point that out. If you decide to play out with a really loud band one day, you may need to look at getting a higher wattage amp if the band is super loud, or let a PA do more heavy lifting for the amp. Keep in mind when you buy a speaker, you can get a 50 watt rated speaker. The Bugera will push it just fine, and it will also accept a higher wattage if you ever get a bigger amp, so that you can use the 1 speaker with both amps. Win.

On the pedals, the Keeley compressor is nice, I've had one for many years, but for me, I don't really use it that much. However you may love it and never want to be without it. I have a Ditto X2 and the only thing is that you have to get pretty good at your timing with the footswitch, but it's lots of fun and very useful. The Bugera has an acceptable reverb, so you don't necessarily need a pedal for that. Fuzz is always nice, but it depends on if you're happy enough with the distortion from the Thorpy & the amp, it's not really a must starting out, especially if you're on a budget. Maybe you'd like a delay/echo, those can be nice and a lot of fun. But if you're willing to tinker a bit, I'd HIGHLY recommend the Zoom MS 70 CDR. It's $120 and has lots of effects - chorus, delay, reverb, phasers, compressors, noise gates, all KINDS of other stuff, and most of them are really good sounds. It's digital and a bit of work, but you can stack different virtual pedals into a virtual pedalboard of sorts, up to 6 effects or until they eat up too much chip processing power, and in any sequence/order that you want to put the effects in. You can check it out online, I love mine, it gives you so much in one pedal, and it will allow you to figure out what you like and how the controls for each effect work, to help you with future pedal purchases of each effect.

I'd say that building the cabinet depends on your skills. The speaker and cabinet have a whole lot to do with your sound, it can make or break it. I'm sure there are tons of videos and lots of information out there to help you, if you want to build your own. It probably would be cheaper, but design and materials do matter, and a bad cab can make a good speaker sound bad. I had a couple of really good speakers and needed good cabs for them, so I bought some from Seismic Audio, the ones I got (Luke model, I think?) were about $150 each for 12" speaker cabs. They make lots of good stuff, including all kinds of great cables and adapters, and I find that they're not as expensive as other places. So if you decide not to build your own cab, that's at least a place to start, and then maybe start comparing to other places.

I know I'm kind of long winded, but it's a lot of info. I hope all that gives you lots of info to chew on, and make great purchases with your money.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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