small guitar amps for recording

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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abodean
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small guitar amps for recording

Post by abodean » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:25 pm

here's the deal. i once used a silverface fender vibro champ for recording purposes, and it sounded great (i always prefered smaller amps for recording). it was a beast, but was stolen and is no more. i loved the way it sounded.

anyhow, i don't really want to spend 400 dollars on buying another vibro champ that will probably need worrk anyway. i do have an old silvertone amp that is comparable in wattage and size to the vibro champ, though the sound is very different. the vibro champ had a distinct high end to it that the silvertone lacks.

the question is: if i were to use this silvertone for recording only, but still wanted to obtain some of that fender treble, would an eq guitar pedal be of merit, or simply a waste? i've never used an eq pedal, but do see that mxr and boss both make very nice eq pedals. should i use the silvertone for what it is and not worry about the high end and try to score another vibro champ one day?

i know this is somewhat of a whatever works, who cares kind of question, but it is eating at me by the hour. i love the way small amps sound when recording, and definitely love that old vibro champ. i just need some quick, easy, economical fix for the time being. . .

just thought i'd throw it out there and see what any with experience think.

thanks in advance,
andy

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by vvv » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:08 pm

First, I would try changing the tubes. Do some searches herein, at
fenderforum.com, etc. and try a few types.

Next, consider changing the speaker. Weber, Jensen, etc. will give different sounds.

I say "use the silvertone for what it is," but don't be afraid to change "what it is " to the extent you reasonably can.
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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by @?,*???&? » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:44 pm

My rule has always been 10" or 12" speaker cabs with appropriate amp heads for rhythm guitars. I relegate the smaller speakers for lead work- always.

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by jca83 » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:46 pm

i have an orange "crush" 10 watt practice amp. and i love that thing. it's tiny, solid state, and cheap. but it's got some great crunch and tone. even it's clean is dirty.
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abodean
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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by abodean » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:53 pm

vvv wrote:First, I would try changing the tubes. Do some searches herein, at
fenderforum.com, etc. and try a few types.

Next, consider changing the speaker. Weber, Jensen, etc. will give different sounds.

I say "use the silvertone for what it is," but don't be afraid to change "what it is " to the extent you reasonably can.
the silvertone's got brand new tubes, philips actually - they made it sound better than ever before. the speaker, that's the problem. i've always wanted to change the speaker, but it is the original speaker, and i am partial to that fact. this guy i know builds his own pedals, but each is a pedal in itself (no two are alike). he made one pedal that sounded great with this amp. he sold that pedal, and moved on to a different design.

that one pedal was the best. i could try to talk him to making another based upon his other specs, but at the same time, i'd like to be able to walk into a store and buy an eq pedal and be recording by the weekend. . .

that is all. you all have great ideas, and you're all right. i just want that quick fix.

if ever there was a quick fix, i'd buy it.

-andy

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by mjau » Wed Jun 09, 2004 8:51 pm

For what it's worth...
I'm really happy with my Laney LC15 combo. They can be had for cheap on ebay (under $220), and are a nice small tube amp that can get some decent crunch.
I've also heard some good stuff about the Vox Pathfinder and the Orange Crush series - solid state, but good tone nonetheless.
If you're looking for sparkly highs on the Silvertone, see if you can try a Jensen speaker. I had a 10" Jensen in a small Orange combo, and it really did bring out the highs in a smooth way.

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by Crono » Wed Jun 09, 2004 8:55 pm

My pathfinder is a God.


Clean.

The overdrive channel is crappy.

But it sounds good through a decent pedal.

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by codashome » Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:17 am

Try the new speaker route. I had an Ampeg Reverborocket II that had a similar sound/problem as the Silvertone. I put an Altec in it and it opened right up! More apparent highs, plus it was louder. The curious thing is my budy who was an amp tech warned me not to do it. He said it wouldn't make a difference.

You can always store the original speaker if you need to swap it back.
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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by ubertar » Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:52 am

I love my Fender champ too. Another great amp for recording, and quite cheap, is the Pignose. It doesn't have that champ high end you're looking for, but it's a great little amp to have around. Sometime in the 90s they changed the circuitry a bit- they couldn't get the germanium (caps, I think it was? whatever they make from germanium) anymore, so you might want to look for an older one. It's also really good if you're getting grounding hum; you can run it on batteries.
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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by sonicmook56 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:59 am

I got this amp for $200. sounds GREAT! I think the basics are pretty much the same as a fender champ. This amp was made by alamo in the late 50's. (I think!)

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by darjama » Thu Jun 10, 2004 6:11 am

I've got a 5 watt tube Harmony amp from the 60's that has one of those oval shaped jensen 8" speakers. It's a cool sound, but I've been toying with the idea of putting male/female 1/4" jacks in the middle of the speaker wire so that I could connect it to a different cabinet if I want to. That might work for you as well.

Anyone have a good reason not to do this? I'm no expert, but I couldn't think of any drawbacks.

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by takeout » Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:18 am

abodean wrote:...i've always wanted to change the speaker, but it is the original speaker, and i am partial to that fact...
You can always change it back. It won't hurt the "value".

If the "original speaker" is worn out, it does you no good. I'm considering having Weber make me a replacement for my Les Paul Jr. amp's oval speaker, and that amp's worth twice what I paid for it on Ebay two years ago.

I suppose I could resell it eventually, with the worn-out speaker and the worn-out Sprague cap that I had to have replaced...

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by friendlybunny » Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:35 am

I was in the same situation with an old 50s Gibson amp. It has great crunch and low end, but the high end is definitely lacking. I tried everything to get some more high end, including re-coning the speaker, and switching out tubes. Nothing worked, so I got a Fender Deluxe. The Fender has everything the Gibson doesn't, but the Gibson is still great for certain stuff, like jazz/ blues.

My suggestion is to just get a Fender if you want a Fender sound. The design of the Amp and all of it's components give it "the sound." So it's probably very very difficult and time consuming to modify a silvertone circuitry to sound like a Fender.

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by vatoben » Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:35 am

i got a fender pro jr for $300 from gc. it's got "the" sound in a lot of ways. i like the smoothness of the high end of it alot. also, there's this amp from the 50's or 60's by daneletro called the "cadet". i'm not sure about the info but i think it was part of a guitar and amp package sold by montgomery wards or some shit. anyway, it's like 1 watt through a 3" speaker and i've actually put a u87 close up on it and cut some of the best sounding bass & guitar tracks with it. i can't do it justice with words.

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Re: small guitar amps for recording

Post by swingdoc » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:54 am

Obviously butt-loads of amp choices, but I personally think a pedal EQ is worthless and sucks to boot. That goes for any EQ prior to the amp imo.
Also, imo, the only fender sound is a fender. There's lots of small fenders available in your price range, early Princeton for example. Get what you really want, instead of getting what you dont and trying to turn it into what you do.

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