Has anyone got any recommendations for a nice practice Amp. For electric guitar and electronics.
My criteria are -Not too loud . No amp sim modelling stuff (or change my mind about this) .can take the bass of a synth. I am not hung up about valves vs solid state.
Anyway a general discussion about small combo amps would be good -regardless of my needs
I really enjoy QSC K series powered speakers. I have a pair of K10 and a set of the newer K8.2. I use them for live sound, for synth and various iPad duties. They are able to handle a few inputs and offer balanced outs. They sound fine at low volumes, and the second generation (.2) series has some EQ options. I’m impressed with the low frequency response of the 8” and 10” drivers. They can get very loud. They are well built.
If you need something smaller, I like AR Powered Partner monitor speakers. They fit into your music setups nicely. If they had a mic stand mount they would be perfect, but you can use the clamp mounts on the back to attach them to a mic stand. I don’t know if they still make these. They are heavy and shielded if you use them next to a CRT or sensitive electronics. You would need a small mixer for these.
Outside of these, Roland cube amps or their KC series are nice versatile combo amps too.
I used a Roland Bass Cube most of the time.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Blackstar Fly series - I really want to get my hands on one!
It’s a modeller, but I have a Yamaha THR10C and it’s great:
I’ve used it more than my other proper valve amps since I had kids and stopped gigging/playing bands.
The problem with practice amps is most of them have 8" (or even 6") speakers which has a really negative affect on low end.
My favorite amp by far is the Fender Tweed Deluxe. I have one (built it myself), and although it can get loud (with lots of breakup), it can be used a practice levels, and has a lots of bass (some would say too much) and a lovely warm+‘woody’ natural tone.
They are also relatively light weight (get one with a pine cabinet!). They are fantastic amps.
Same and same. It has a flat setting for no modeling on the 1/4" input, and a 1/8" aux input which is always direct to the speakers (without modeling) and its own volume knob. I use it with my iPad all the time and I am surprised how loud and full it can get. Also battery powered.
Interesting variety here so far…i hadnt considered the yamaha ones at all. I was also wondering about the smaller epiphone valve amps - and i know people were modding them too.
I use a ZT lunchbox. I really like it, it sounds great, and is small. Can be used with headphones. Can also be used to power a much larger cab. Bass is not there, however.
I have a small Tech21 NYC Trademark 10. It’s basically a Sansamp with an 8” speaker and a spring reverb. Modelling but all analog. Pretty cool. Headphone out and line-out as well. (Won’t wake the family)
But then I also have a Fender Superchamp from the 80s. Tubes make a difference.
Another thumbs up for the Yamaha THR10C here. I’ve been really happy with mine so far, even when just using it with headphones.
That’s what I love about my THR10C; it’s so flexible.
You can use it with a variety of sources (guitar, bass, synths, separate line-in for music playback etc.). It has a built in tuner. It has built in effects. You can use it ‘flat’ (no modelling) as a basic amplifier
The enclosure is also a really nice compact shape.
If your not bothered about valves, it’s by far the best ‘practice’ amp I’ve owned and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Oh… almost forgot; it even has a built in USB audio interface
I’ve been thinking about getting a Yamaha THR, the newly released THRII look especially good
I am coming round to something from this Yamaha range too based on the recommendations that have been made above… but i’m not in a rush still researching and mulling it all over.
Curious about the bass…have you used yours for bass guitar @Ithacus? It does look like (at least the new ones) have an out…curious if that could be used to hook up a sub? I’m thinking that combo would Potentially be a lot more useful to me than a bass amp.
I’ve used it with bass for headphone practice, and low level practice volumes. On the flat setting it works great for extended bass response.
I don’t think it’s really designed for gigging though.
There is a new version which also has line out, and battery power (and Bluetooth!) which could be really nice.
As it does so much I think it could work it’s way into most guitarist/bassists/keyboard player setups (especially as a practice amp). Everyone I know who owns one loves it.
I was in the same boat: looking for something not too loud to play (mostly guitar) in my living room – and no amp sim modelling stuff. I ended up with… amp sim modelling stuff: a Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb. Not the typical (cheap) practice amp, but to me it sounds and feels/reacts exactly like the classic tube original and I can play it super quietly. 12" speaker, very warm sound. Haven’t tried it with my synth stuff yet, but my guitar loves it.
Not familiar with the tone master, but I’ve had a deluxe reverb reissue as my main amp for the past 15 years. It is indeed a fantastic amp but at 22w it doesn’t really cut it as an apartment or practice amp. At such low volumes the tone is pretty choked, it starts to sound good at about 4-5 on the volume knob, putting it in the ‘neighbour complaint’ range. I’ve found that a smaller 1/2w to 4w amp to be better suited for home recording or practice. There are plenty of options at about $200: Vox ac4, fender champ, vht super 6… as far as solid state amps, I’d look for one of the smaller Roland Jazz Chorus amps - one of the only SS amps I’d bother with for guitar, and a great synth amp.
I borrow one of these small, Behringer powered speakers.
As a keyboardist, I try to not to use guitar amps because someone somewhere once told me they all color the sound and/or lack the full range of frequency responsiveness that keyboard amps/PA speakers have. Not sure if it’s actually, universally true, come to think of it…
Exactly. With the Tone Master you can set the main volume knob to 5 – and there’s an additional switch on the back for the wattage: 5 steps from 22 W (full power) down to 0.2 W – so you get a neighbour friendly original volume 5 sound.
Oh cool. If only they’d had the foresight in the 60s my reissue would be seeing more regular use.