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The right amp for me?

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Postby Legendaryk4 » May 10th, 2012, 5:38 pm

Hello all, I currently have a Peavey Vyper 30 and a Roland Cube 15xl (both modeling amps). The issue is I dont use the effects on the amps because I use a Boss ME-70. I love both amps but I dont need all the effects. I am looking for just a regular old amp that is under $300, I play in a bedroom for the most part, and maybe a small gig in the near future. I play heavy metal and thrash if it matters, but it shouldnt cus I get all my sound from my pedal. If anyone could help I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank You,
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Postby EzraplaysEzra » May 10th, 2012, 9:05 pm

I just got this months Guitar player in the mail, they have a shoot out of a dozen or so lunch box amps. They are all tube amps. But honestly, for $300, I don't know that your going to upgrade to from the Vyper for what you're using it for. Even the cube is considered on of the better sounding inexpensive solid state amps. If you just want to get an amp, go with the new Kustom tube thinger for $200 and change for a tube half stack.
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Postby Legendaryk4 » May 11th, 2012, 4:42 am

EzraplaysEzra wrote:I just got this months Guitar player in the mail, they have a shoot out of a dozen or so lunch box amps. They are all tube amps. But honestly, for $300, I don't know that your going to upgrade to from the Vyper for what you're using it for. Even the cube is considered on of the better sounding inexpensive solid state amps. If you just want to get an amp, go with the new Kustom tube thinger for $200 and change for a tube half stack.


I'm not trying to really upgrade but to just get rid of the stuff I dont need. I just feel all the effects are going to waste. If there is any way you could send me a link to that amp I would appreciate it.

Thank You,
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Postby EzraplaysEzra » May 11th, 2012, 5:03 am

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifie ... r-amp-pack

You don't get more basic than one knob.
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Postby Legendaryk4 » May 11th, 2012, 5:32 am

EzraplaysEzra wrote:http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/kustom-the-defender-guitar-amp-pack

You don't get more basic than one knob.


Thanx m8, you really cant get more basic than that lol... So after doing a little research its either that or spend an extra $150 and get a http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/jet-city-amplification-jca20h-and-jca12s-half-stack
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Postby EzraplaysEzra » May 11th, 2012, 6:51 am

I thought you didn't want to upgrade? I have a modded JCA20H, and depending on what you needs are, you may never need another amp. Of coarse, If you get the Kustom Defender, you can tell me how you like it so I don't have to buy it. wink wink. But if your willing to pay the extra $150, you'll get an amp you can gig or record with, no problem.
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Postby Legendaryk4 » May 11th, 2012, 7:18 am

EzraplaysEzra wrote:I thought you didn't want to upgrade? I have a modded JCA20H, and depending on what you needs are, you may never need another amp. Of coarse, If you get the Kustom Defender, you can tell me how you like it so I don't have to buy it. wink wink. But if your willing to pay the extra $150, you'll get an amp you can gig or record with, no problem.


The "may never need another amp" is what I am looking for. I hate spending money on something I will only use for a year or so. I am going to sell my Peavey to get the Jet City amp and keep the Cube for a practice amp. I have never owned nor do I know much about tube amps. Anything I should know about them, such as maintenance and how to keep good care of it and also how often do you need to buy new tubes, and if so how much are the tubes.

Thank You,
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Postby EzraplaysEzra » May 11th, 2012, 10:32 am

There are two switches, on/off and standby/play. Before switching the amp on, set the amp to standby then power up. Allow the power tubes to warm up for 30 seconds than crank it and murder it. That will prolong tube and transformer life. Tube can last years, I have a silvertone with the original, 50 year old tubes in it. They don't like to be left dormant for long periods and they operate best when they have good airflow to them. I just run a regular desk fan near the back of the amp for extended use. That's about it. It'll need re-capping eventually like any amp and you'll want to locate a tube amp repair specialist if you need one. Also, tube amps wont forgive you for dropping them the way some S/S amps will. When transporting it treat it like a wooden box full of glass, because it is.
The great thing about these smaller amps is that the tubes are cheap enough that you can afford to try afew different ones until you find something you like. It has 3 12ax7 preamp tubes and 2 EL84 power tubes. You can get the 12ax7's for as little as $9 each and a matched pair of EL84's for about $20. The stock tubes are not that bad though, especially for metal. I'd suggest getting a premium 12ax7 or 2 and a 12au7 and trying them in different positions to see how it changes the dynamics. But I would also suggest playing the originals as long as you are happy with them. It will be like getting a whole new amp when you do change them finally. Changing tubes is one step easier than changing a light bulb and this particular amp does not require biasing. Congrats, you wont be disappointed.
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Postby Legendaryk4 » May 12th, 2012, 3:30 am

Thank you very much for everything. It will be a couple months before I can actually get the amp but as soon as I do I will let you know.

Thank You Again.
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Postby Legendaryk4 » May 25th, 2012, 10:06 pm

Good news, the wife is letting me buy it for fathers day... can not wait!

Other question, I just noticed but you mentioned "re-capping" and having to get a specialist. What does that mean?

Thank You,
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Postby EzraplaysEzra » May 27th, 2012, 7:25 pm

Re-capping is something that you could do yourself if you study up on amplifier circuits and its a great way to get to know and amps path, but generally you need to take it to a specialist. But it's simple as removing the soilder joints and replacing the caps with the same values.
It's literally replacing all the capacitors in the circuit. Capacitors are much like batteries in their construction and contain an oil or a thin film as the dielectric between the two conductors. In time, usually decades they "dry out" and need to be replaced through out the circuit. This isn't anomalous (how often do you get to use anomalous, really?) of guitar amps, capacitors in any circuit are the least hardy part of the structure and are usually the culprit in more terminal failures like blown transformers and the such. So, it's good practice to rotate the old caps out to extend the lives of more critical, and expensive components. But you wont have to worry about that until your kids are celebrating fathers day themselves and it'll cost you less then your initial investment even then. Give them tubs some fresh air during long stints and always use a surge protected source and the standby switch and you'll be in good clip.
Congratulations man!
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Postby imalone » May 27th, 2012, 11:35 pm

EzraplaysEzra wrote:Capacitors are much like batteries in their construction and contain an oil or a thin film as the dielectric between the two conductors. In time, usually decades they "dry out" and need to be replaced through out the circuit.


Tiny amendment: electrolytic capacitors (the big ones, usually can-shaped and blue) are the ones that contain a gel and can (among other things) dry out. The smaller ones you'll find in a tone circuit (generally disc or drop shaped, not blue) most often use mylar or ceramic/mica and should last as long as anything (it is possible to blow them up, but you have to try).
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Postby TRGuitar » May 29th, 2012, 6:08 am

The big ones that look like batteries can also kill you dead if you mess with them.

Changing tubes = changing a light bulb

Changing caps = messing in the breaker box of your electrical service
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Postby EzraplaysEzra » May 29th, 2012, 6:58 am

imalone wrote:
EzraplaysEzra wrote:Capacitors are much like batteries in their construction and contain an oil or a thin film as the dielectric between the two conductors. In time, usually decades they "dry out" and need to be replaced through out the circuit.


Tiny amendment: electrolytic capacitors (the big ones, usually can-shaped and blue) are the ones that contain a gel and can (among other things) dry out. The smaller ones you'll find in a tone circuit (generally disc or drop shaped, not blue) most often use mylar or ceramic/mica and should last as long as anything (it is possible to blow them up, but you have to try).


Smaller capacitors on the board also use oils, particularly older ones and higher end reproductions. And I really wasn't endorsing a wholesale recap. I was trying to give him a heads up as to what he might experience in the life of an amp. Any tech worth a salt would diagnose issues and short comings and replace components. To be clear, tone caps in the first stage in general tend burn out sooner than other chiclet and waffers, but filter caps usually have a shelf life much shorter than that of the rest of the amp.
And I completely agree, changing filter caps requires the same care as working on the service in your home and both can be done safely by my wife after reading an article or two.
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Postby TRGuitar » May 29th, 2012, 8:09 am

EzraplaysEzra wrote:And I completely agree, changing filter caps requires the same care as working on the service in your home and both can be done safely by my wife after reading an article or two.

You just need to understand that they store a charge and the amp can be off and unplugged and still kill you. You need to discharge them prior to working on them is all. There are many good articles available on line that can inform you. I wouldn't let worrying about replacing tubes or caps stop me from buying a tube amp. They are worth it.
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