Trying to find the right amp in life can be tricky and a life time search.

I am after advise on what is the best smallish gigging amp.

So far this is what have learnt on the various experimental trials I have made,

for the right sounding amp. The problem is still not resolved can you help?

1) Basic transistors amps can sound a bit flat

2) These sound way better with reverb

3) A valve in the circuit sound better (but the AX12 valve doesn't sound great)

4) This then lead me to combo amps with valve and effects

5) Valves sound better and more three dimensional, these need to be driven to get better distortion effect.

6) If you drive valves with valves pedals or over drive pedals this helps them come alive

7) But this leads you to what valves, I have tried  some EL84 mullards and these sound ok  

What valves have the best sound? 6v6, El84, etc?

Valve circuits can be noisey and lots of hiss and buzz for recording

8) This then lead me to "Rat amps" which modify valve amps and remove the noise from the circuit for recording

and offer power scaling, so you can turn it down but still sound crunchy. These are great see my Bugera rat amp and rat Grainger (Epiphone copy) amps (small 5 watt amps).

9) External speakers sound better than combo speakers, a 12inch has more bass then a 10" and pushes air

this is about all you would want to carry as they weight. 

However a four 10" also sound possibly better than 1 x 12" but vary depending on makes.( leads you to Jensen and vintage speakers etc)

10) I have no found some 2 no 2 x 10 inch 80's jap celestrians ( £20 each bargain.. see bugstack!) which sound pretty darn good (I may have preferred 2 x 12's if it was a big venue but still lightish and portable)

11) But am now back to the issue of what head unit to drive them with.

12) I like the sounds of Orange valve amps but these have no reverb (unless you go to stupid money), 

13) Hence I am on the quest for best valves to use and what second hand head to aim for?.

I hear Messa boogey are very good, but they may be beyond my badly listed ebay bargain bucket budget.

Hence I'm after any tips to the way to go on getting that Holy grail of sound...

I know the old Marshall stuff used to use a certain type of valve in old vintage stuff, but what is the holy grail of amp heads for sound? EC83 and EL84?

Now how can you get this on the cheap?.  

Here is some of my experimentation with amps etc:

http://www.cigarboxnation.com/video/amp-test-which-has-best-sound

http://www.cigarboxnation.com/video/amp-tests-2

Your help and ideas are greatly appreciated..

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Playtime!

Hi Bug,

Got me thinking about an article I read a few weeks ago. It was a Premier Guitar Magazine interview with David Jung about this very topic...small tube amp heads. Specifically, "sleeper amps", or "awesome amps" that were overlooked for the more popular brands of the day.

The article mentions and discusses the 60's Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve. You can read here: http://http://www.mercurymagnetics.com/pages/news/VGmag/VG-AndyBrau...

And guess what? I found one (and yes, it also has true reverb too) on eBay for a deal and a steal. It's been re-capped, serviced, and fresh tubes installed. The price? Well, it's so good, I may just have to get it.

Ha, actually, I won't. Here's the listing: http://http://www.ebay.ca/itm/SILVERTONE-1484-TUBE-HEAD-1967-RE-CAP...

Cheers Scott

What I sussed out is that a lot of these amps use the same valves and half the battle is knowing the best ones to aim for.. point for point wiring is said to sound better and the old components probably do to too

Some older amps make a lot of hiss and noise which i find distracting especially if recording.

what your take on the new

Roland blues Cube?

The take is they have got transistors to react like valve do,,do we believe them?

Been watching Rob Chapman on Youtube, from Anderton's Music in the UK doing a review of the Roland Blues Cube. Judging by their reactions, and how the amp sounds, it is a very compelling and great sounding amp. It has some great features too! The price for the two models, the Stage 60 watt, at around 430 pounds and the Artist 80 watt at 539 pounds. Actually, is a fair price for what the amps are.

Bonus is that tran amps are more reliable, durable, lighter, and best of all, there aren't any tubes that eventually need replacing (which takes a huge bite out of the wallet).

Yeh I'm sold but not sure the sound is quite there on it
Plan to try one (prob can't afford one)

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.........................................................

For gigging, the brutal reality is that the audience don't give a sh*t about what sort of amp you are using. Nobody stopped going to see BB King because he used Gibson Lab Series transistor amps instead of Fender Twin Reverbs. Gigging is about performing for an audience and putting on an entertaining show. There is no Holy Grail of tone, its a fruitless waste of time and money trying to find it.

All you need is that the amp sounds OK, is loud enough and it won't fail you. That's all you need. Have the confidence to find your own sound from what you've got to hand, and go for it. Commitment, passion and skill will make you sound better than any "Holy Grail" of rigs. 

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