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Author Topic:  Smallest Tube Amp with Good Reverb?
Mark Helm


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2020 7:17 pm    
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Hey, Guys:

Any idea what the smallest tube combo with reverb is? I had a Vox A/C 10, but it was pretty big.

Thanks!
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2020 7:24 pm    
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Take a look at the Bugera v5
Inexpensive, decent sounding. The 8” speaker can be replaced by a 10” if one is reasonably handy.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/V5Infinium--bugera-v5-infinium-5-watt-1x8-inch-tube-combo-amp
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Joe Breeden

 

From:
Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2020 8:08 pm    
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I use the Fender "Blues Junior.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2020 8:20 pm    
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I don't know if it's the smallest. But I think a Princeton Reverb is the best small reverb amp I've ever heard, bar none. I play a lot of gigs with a Princeton. Even my surf band - smaller clubs freak out if I bring anything larger. Misirlou through a Princeton Reverb? No problem, actually. Steel sounds great through one, as long as it doesn't have to get over a loud band with no PA support.

The good news is that a silverface sounds, IMO, just as good as a blackface. The bad news is that they're getting expensive too.
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2020 8:59 pm    
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Dave Mudgett wrote:
I don't know if it's the smallest. But I think a Princeton Reverb is the best small reverb amp I've ever heard, bar none. I play a lot of gigs with a Princeton. Even my surf band - smaller clubs freak out if I bring anything larger. Misirlou through a Princeton Reverb? No problem, actually. Steel sounds great through one, as long as it doesn't have to get over a loud band with no PA support.

The good news is that a silverface sounds, IMO, just as good as a blackface. The bad news is that they're getting expensive too.


Yes. If it’s in your budget, and not too big, a Princeton Reverb is fantastic. I have one of the new tweeds with a 12” speaker.
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Mark Helm


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2020 11:12 pm     I should have said "Under $400!"
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Dave Mudgett wrote:

The good news is that a silverface sounds, IMO, just as good as a blackface. The bad news is that they're getting expensive too.


Indeed. About $700 on the low end. Out of my league at the moment. The Bugera sounds like a great idea. Maybe upgrade the speaker?
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Bob Carlucci

 

From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 12 Oct 2020 5:46 am    
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I would not worry about the reverb,, get the best small tube amp you can afford.. To me, that would be a Fender Princeton without reverb.. With good modern day reverb pedals, the reverb sound is indistinguishable from an original onboard spring reverb amp, and non reverb tube amps are a LOT cheaper than reverb amps... bob
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 12 Oct 2020 7:29 am    
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Dave Mudgett wrote:
I think a Princeton Reverb is the best small reverb amp I've ever heard, bar none.

Agreed. My perfectly stock late '70s silverface Princeton Reverb has the sound to die for. A big plus is it's serviceable by any competent tech, not disposable like so many of the modern Asian imports. You get what you pay for.
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Paul McEvoy

 

From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 12 Oct 2020 7:54 am    
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An old Fender Champ and a reverb pedal would be hard to beat.
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ajm

 

From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 12 Oct 2020 7:54 am    
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The problem with a lot of small amps is that they can sound "boxy", for lack of a better term.
The reverb might be great, but the overall sound may not be up to snuff.

I don't know what your definition of "small" is.
Physical size?
Weight?
Wattage?
Other?

That said, I suppose it's possible, but I don't know how you'd beat a Princeton Reverb or Deluxe Reverb (or a clone of either).

If it doesn't absolutely have to be a tube amp, the choices can increase to other good sounding amps.
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Michael Brebes

 

From:
Northridge CA
Post  Posted 12 Oct 2020 9:06 am    
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Fender Champ 12 from the 80's can be had for about $300-400 these days. 12 watts, 12" speaker, and reverb.
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Michael Brebes
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Mark Helm


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 12 Oct 2020 9:36 am     Champ
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Michael Brebes wrote:
Fender Champ 12 from the 80's can be had for about $300-400 these days. 12 watts, 12" speaker, and reverb.


A tube Champ?
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Paul McEvoy

 

From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 12 Oct 2020 12:27 pm    
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My understanding is that the solid state champs are fairly mediocre without modification.

I have heard good things about the current champs and I think they have reverb.

Not a tube amp but the Boss Katana series seems amazing for the size and price.
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Fred


From:
Amesbury, MA
Post  Posted 12 Oct 2020 1:19 pm    
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It’s out of production, but the Mesa/Boogie Subway Blues was nice single channel amp with reverb. Twenty watts with a 10 inch speaker in a pretty small cabinet. Direct out for recording or bigger stages. It was designed as a grab and go amp for city dwellers (cabs, buses and subway)

I only played one with non-pedal steel, but it was nice sound. Much better reverb than the 22 and 50 Caliber series amps.

Fred
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Michael Brebes

 

From:
Northridge CA
Post  Posted 13 Oct 2020 6:55 am     Re: Champ
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Mark Helm wrote:
Michael Brebes wrote:
Fender Champ 12 from the 80's can be had for about $300-400 these days. 12 watts, 12" speaker, and reverb.


A tube Champ?


Yes, a tube champ with two 12AX7's and one 6L6.
_________________
Michael Brebes
Instrument/amp/ pickup repair
MSA D10 Classic/Rickenbacher B6/
Dickerson MOTS/Dobro D32 Hawaiian/
Goldtone Paul Beard Reso

Mesa Boogie Studio Pre/Hafler 3000
RP1/MPX100
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Joe Kaufman

 

From:
Lewiston, Idaho
Post  Posted 13 Oct 2020 12:33 pm    
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I like my Champ 12. It’s definitely a tube amp. The clean is great but the distortion channel isn’t worth much. It’s also very light.
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 13 Oct 2020 8:12 pm    
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There’s always the Fender Blues Jr.

Not everyone loves them, but lots of people do. There are also loads of mods available if you like to tinker. I’ve read a couple comments about the newest version being the best.
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Paul McEvoy

 

From:
Baltimore, USA
Post  Posted 14 Oct 2020 6:13 am    
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I think the blues junior is Chris Scrugg's touring amp. There was a post on Instagram about how he loves them because they fit under the seat on an airplane so he can fly with a telecaster and a lap steel in the same bag and put the amp under the seat. It was from a year or so ago.
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Loren Tilley

 

From:
Maui Nō Ka ʻOi
Post  Posted 19 Oct 2020 12:03 am    
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https://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=611815&seq=1&format=2
We used one of these for our coffee shop gig for a long time. Worked great and sounded pretty good.
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Chris Boyd

 

From:
Leonia,N.J./Charlestown,R.I.
Post  Posted 19 Oct 2020 4:43 am    
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My '67 Champ and '66 Princeton Reverb are terrific yet you may also want to try a Fender Mustang I or Mustang II. I've done a lot of session work with guitars,slide and lap steel using the '65 Twin Reverb setting, and a couple other settings for lap.(Surprising good for pedal steel too) Huge sound in the studio and very lightweight.I bought the I and II for the hell of it, but then discovered how versatile they are, and now use the II as my go to live for lap steel too.
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Christian Siegmund

 

From:
Germany, Schauenburg
Post  Posted 28 Oct 2020 1:38 pm    
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I use a "VHT" tube amp in the practice room, it now has 10 watts. I replaced the loudspeaker with a 12 "Eminence. I use an" Alesis Microverb "for this.
I am very satisfied with the sound in the practice room. On big stages I hang a "Shure" microphone in front of the amp and go to the PA with them. And my ZUM Steel sings.

sincerely Chris
(Christian Siegmund ... Germany)
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 29 Oct 2020 3:03 am    
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Define small ! Start there.

Blues jr is smaller than a Princeton Reverb and there are amps smaller than a Blues Jr.

What other features do you desire ? Headphones out, MP3 IN ? The world is full of stuff these days.
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Bud Angelotti


From:
Larryville, NJ, USA
Post  Posted 29 Oct 2020 7:26 am    
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I have a tiny SS Yamaha amp. Sounds pretty brittle. No reverb. Turn the treble off. bass & mid 1/2 way.
Put it in a brown paper bag. Even better in a small cardboard box. That gives it reverb.
Sounds perfect volume wise with the acoustic guitars, at least to me. Winking
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 29 Oct 2020 9:16 am    
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The Headstrong Lil King is an absolutely amazing amp:

http://headstrongamps.com/lil-king-amp

I used one for years in NYC.

I am now sold on Milkman amps. Tim is building the best amps pretty much ever right now.

Keep in mind with vintage Fender Princetons that a Princeton is not the same as a Princeton Reverb. The Princeton reverbs have substantially more headroom and do not sound the same. I made the mistake of buying a Princeton and it was a big disappointment. If you are looking at a 60's Fender keep in mind that very few of the components will be original at this point.
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John Goux

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 31 Oct 2020 10:40 pm    
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'60's Princeton Reverb. Benefits from upgraded speaker. I like a 12" in them, but that amp is magic with a 10.

Blues Deluxe. Not as sweet, but more headroom and volume. Underated amp. Slightly heavier and larger than the PR.

Many of the reverb stomp boxes sound as good as the current spring reverbs. In my opinion the newer replacement spring reverbs don't sound that great. Too long and dark. Hard to beat those old units if you can find an original.

If you have any grit in your sound, the onboard reverbs are post distortion, and that sounds better. If you are playing squeaky clean, the reverb in front of the amp may be fine for you.

John
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