Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

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Fuzzbuzz
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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by Fuzzbuzz » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:37 pm

What about an Orange micro terror? They sound great through a 1X12 mic’d for live, but also have a headphone jack for playing at home.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:02 pm

somanytoys wrote:
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.
okay great. Good to know about the cables. I don't know about the interface yet, but I'll keep that in mind. I think getting a bugera and swapping the tubes is the way to go. Then I'll worry about the effects. I'll probably wind up purchasing a cab in that case. I wouldn't want to screw up the tone because I'm inept at building. :D
This was really helpful, thanks!

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somanytoys
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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:53 pm

You're welcome. I hope it all turns out well.

Also, it's only 1 preamp tube in the Bugera T5, that you'd need to swap out for that purpose if you decide. 1 preamp tube and 1 poweramp tube, which you don't need to swap, unless you want to buy a backup. It doesn't have multiple tubes in stages, like the larger amps.

Just wanted to say that so that you don't buy more than you need. I bought 2 because I have 2 T5's.

I don't know anything about the Orange amp suggested above, but I read good things about them.
-David

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:51 pm

Fuzzbuzz wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:37 pm
What about an Orange micro terror? They sound great through a 1X12 mic’d for live, but also have a headphone jack for playing at home.
Hmm. I hadn't considered the micro terror. Orange isn't the first thing I think of in terms of mildly overdriven clean tones. Although I suppose I could do the same thing I'd do with the bugera in theory and swap the preamp tube for something like a 12at7 and coax something cleaner out of it.

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:53 pm

somanytoys wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:53 pm
You're welcome. I hope it all turns out well.

Also, it's only 1 preamp tube in the Bugera T5, that you'd need to swap out for that purpose if you decide. 1 preamp tube and 1 poweramp tube, which you don't need to swap, unless you want to buy a backup. It doesn't have multiple tubes in stages, like the larger amps.

Just wanted to say that so that you don't buy more than you need. I bought 2 because I have 2 T5's.

I don't know anything about the Orange amp suggested above, but I read good things about them.
oh okay. Cool, good to know. I wouldn't need to do any biasing if I only swap the preamp tube, right? Should I put a new tube in the power section as well then in the event I do get the bugera?

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:12 am

No, no biasing, the 12AT7 is in exactly the same family of tube as the 12AX7, just roughly 60% gain vs 100% gain. I thought that you only have to bias power tubes, unless you buy an amp that has a bias switch that allows for changing types out, I don't know about biasing preamp tubes. There can be a lot to know with all of that, and it can be dangerous if you do something wrong, so I just stay within what I know or what I can google up and do, or just bring it to a shop.

I didn't bother with the power tubes, I only changed the preamp tube because the AX really screamed and I figured I could dial it down with the AT, get more headroom for milder effects, and still generate enough tube saturation or put it over the top with whatever dirt pedal I want. Whatever amp you decide to get, I think you should check it out with the AX for a bit out before you swap the tube out - just for the hell of it if nothing else, but it will also make a good reference for the difference in sounds between the 2 tubes. And of course, keep the original AX tube, you never know when you may want to swap it back, or use it in another amp.

Oranges appear to be very nice amps, they have a great reputation. I just have no experience with them whatsoever. It may be a much better amp than the Bugera, and might be as cheap (I haven't looked). I bought the Bugeras because they were small, cool looking, low wattage tube amps, and they're very affordable. They serve my purpose well for what I bought them for. But I also have other amps, the pretty screamy (and 1 less watt) Voxes, and 25 watt amps for big sounds if I need.

I don't want to try to push the Bugera on you,it's just a suggestion because it has worked well for me.
-David

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:51 pm

somanytoys wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:12 am
No, no biasing, the 12AT7 is in exactly the same family of tube as the 12AX7, just roughly 60% gain vs 100% gain. I thought that you only have to bias power tubes, unless you buy an amp that has a bias switch that allows for changing types out, I don't know about biasing preamp tubes. There can be a lot to know with all of that, and it can be dangerous if you do something wrong, so I just stay within what I know or what I can google up and do, or just bring it to a shop.

I didn't bother with the power tubes, I only changed the preamp tube because the AX really screamed and I figured I could dial it down with the AT, get more headroom for milder effects, and still generate enough tube saturation or put it over the top with whatever dirt pedal I want. Whatever amp you decide to get, I think you should check it out with the AX for a bit out before you swap the tube out - just for the hell of it if nothing else, but it will also make a good reference for the difference in sounds between the 2 tubes. And of course, keep the original AX tube, you never know when you may want to swap it back, or use it in another amp.

Oranges appear to be very nice amps, they have a great reputation. I just have no experience with them whatsoever. It may be a much better amp than the Bugera, and might be as cheap (I haven't looked). I bought the Bugeras because they were small, cool looking, low wattage tube amps, and they're very affordable. They serve my purpose well for what I bought them for. But I also have other amps, the pretty screamy (and 1 less watt) Voxes, and 25 watt amps for big sounds if I need.

I don't want to try to push the Bugera on you,it's just a suggestion because it has worked well for me.
Okay, good to know I won't have to worry about bias then really. I guess what I was really asking is if I'm swapping the 12ax7 for a 12at7, should I also get a high quality el84 to replace the one in the power amp section? My thinking is that like a cheap guitar having mediocre pickups, an affordable amp might have some lower quality tubes. I definitely think the bugera is what I'll go with. I've been doing research on mods for it other than a tube swap and there's plenty that apparently sound great if I decide the tube change wasn't enough

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by somanytoys » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:05 am

Uh, I forget what kind of tubes they come with, Electro Harmonix maybe? I do think you're right with that, I'd imagine that they aren't the best tubes, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to swap out the power tube for something better as well. It just wasn't something that I was that worried about at the time, I'll just wait until that tube goes out and get something better and see how much of a difference it makes.

Both tubes and the speakers were upgraded in my Vox amps, and I think that all of it makes a big difference in those, but from everything I read, especially the speakers. Not by me, it was all done before I bought them, but that went a long way for my decision to buy them.

That's interesting, I haven't really ran across anything about mods to do on the Bugera, but I haven't looked, either. Let me know what you think after you get it, and the difference in the tube swaps, and if you do any, the mods.

I hope this all works out really well for you, you seem to do a lot of good research, and that's definitely smart. There's sooo much stuff out there...
-David

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Re: Need amp recommendations, help appreciated

Post by hillerheilman » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:50 am

somanytoys wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:05 am
Uh, I forget what kind of tubes they come with, Electro Harmonix maybe? I do think you're right with that, I'd imagine that they aren't the best tubes, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to swap out the power tube for something better as well. It just wasn't something that I was that worried about at the time, I'll just wait until that tube goes out and get something better and see how much of a difference it makes.

Both tubes and the speakers were upgraded in my Vox amps, and I think that all of it makes a big difference in those, but from everything I read, especially the speakers. Not by me, it was all done before I bought them, but that went a long way for my decision to buy them.

That's interesting, I haven't really ran across anything about mods to do on the Bugera, but I haven't looked, either. Let me know what you think after you get it, and the difference in the tube swaps, and if you do any, the mods.

I hope this all works out really well for you, you seem to do a lot of good research, and that's definitely smart. There's sooo much stuff out there...
okay cool. I'll probably go ahead and replace both then. Might as well. There's several threads on the TDPRI forums about modding both the v5 and t5. Apparently they make quite a difference. I'll report back after the holidays once I get this up and going. Hopefully with some nice results.

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