Good Small Valve Head?

ecc83

Well-known member
Your Blackstar has no break-up? :confused:

I thought that's what people bought Blackstars for.

To me, that would be like someone saying that they use a Pignose for cleans.

Well not quite!
It is true that when the HT-5 was first released everyone and his dog loved it (it was the first new 5 watter for many years and was moreover a "proper" guitar amp, not just "two tubes and a tone pot"! Others soon got on the 5watt bandwagon)

Soon of course, being a British design and a runaway success, it had to be knocked by the home guard. "No clean volume" was the criticism. It's only FIVE watts FCS into a decent but not 100dB/W Celeston 10 incher!

The five is clean enough for its intended use, bedroom or studio and you can get pre amp distortion at any volume and output stage distortion if you want it. Being fixed bias push-pull, if you drive the beans off the 12BH7 the amp delivers nearer 10 watts and is therefore pretty loud. Quite a few people gig one into a V30 4x12.

Jus' sayin'??

Dave.
 

Greg_L

Banned
I really want to like Blackstar, but fuck, they just never sound great to me. Big ones, little ones, they're all just meh. They sound okay, not terrible, but they lack their own character.....unless their character is a bland generic nondescript sound. They got that in spades.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
I really want to like Blackstar, but fuck, they just never sound great to me. Big ones, little ones, they're all just meh. They sound okay, not terrible, but they lack their own character.....unless their character is a bland generic nondescript sound. They got that in spades.

You are of course very welcome to your opinon and I would not dream of trying to "convert" you.

If you have tried the HT-5 tho' I think you must agree it is a very versatile "just meh"!

Dave.
 

Greg_L

Banned
You are of course very welcome to your opinon and I would not dream of trying to "convert" you.

If you have tried the HT-5 tho' I think you must agree it is a very versatile "just meh"!

Dave.
It is pretty versatile, and that's what makes it meh to me. It does a lot of stuff but none of it really knocks my socks off and how much of it is actually useful? Maybe it does too much? That ISF nonsense is silly. You can't be everything at once with two measly tubes and some circuit trickery. It's not loud enough to compete with a drummer, and it doesn't have enough headroom to sound like a big amp pushing air. It is what it is - a small inexpensive second tier budget tube amp. I will say that it's speaker emulated out is pretty nice sounding. It's probably one of the better direct outs that I've ever heard.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
It is pretty versatile, and that's what makes it meh to me. It does a lot of stuff but none of it really knocks my socks off and how much of it is actually useful? Maybe it does too much? That ISF nonsense is silly. You can't be everything at once with two measly tubes and some circuit trickery. It's not loud enough to compete with a drummer, and it doesn't have enough headroom to sound like a big amp pushing air. It is what it is - a small inexpensive second tier budget tube amp. I will say that it's speaker emulated out is pretty nice sounding. It's probably one of the better direct outs that I've ever heard.

Coming from you Greg I will take that as a total top reccy!

Dave.
 

XploZiveToyz

All American Un-American
OMG! that is freakin awesome. Good taste in amps dude!
LOL! I don't know if I have good taste or not, but I buy a lot of shit I don't need! I didn't need either one of those, but I wanted'em so I got'em. LOL! I also have a real JTM 45 re-issue from the 90's. I actually had an original one from the 60's but sold it back in the early 80's so I could get two 100 watt Marshall heads and four cabinets, which were the norm back then for the type of music I was playing. Wish I still had it now! Wish I also had my Dodge Challenger and Pontiac GTO from back then! LOL! But fuck, I had no idea that stuff would become classic.
OP, I just remembered an amp that is exactly what you are looking for and only cost around ninety-nine bucks or so. Go to Four Force | An Amp Worlds Apart and check it out. It won best of show at the 2013 NAMM show and is everything they say it is. I just took mine out of my storage room a few minutes ago, hooked it up to my Marshall cab, and wailed on some AC/DC. This thing sounds as close to a Marshall as you can get without buying a real Marshall. I'm so confident about what I'm saying that I'll do this for you: you pay the shipping and send me $50.00 through PayPal and I'll let you have this one. If it isn't everything I'm telling you it is, you just return it and I'll return your money. Like I said earlier in this post, I buy a lot of shit I don't need! LOL! PM me if you want to do it. :guitar:
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
Where'd the OP go?

Oh I'm still here...lurking...absorbing it all...processing. Realistically I need to shift a couple of bits and pieces to make room for whatever I opt for - its nice to finance new things with old things I no-longer need/want.

Thanks for all the comments!
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
So in the end I pulled the trigger on an Orange OR15 head. Looks pretty nice, a slightly more specc'd out Tiny Terror. Should be here Monday, maybe Tuesday and I'll be plugging it into one or two Vox Night Train speakers. All there is to do now is restring a Telecaster and wait! :)
 

jonny deep

Disappointing Member
I loved the sound of the Tiny Terror, so I guess the OR15 is at least similar?! In the end I preferred the Vox cleans so went that way, but the Orange OD is great.
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
10460261_10203647742067223_8408596775553427198_n.jpg

Well guy, here it is. Haven't had much time at all to play it, but so far so good. The break-up is pretty much as expected, and as described via YouTube and other review sites. I won't get much clean head-room here, but the fact that the cleans have a decent amount of depth to them is nice. Still need to figure out what the 7 watt vs 15 watt switch will mean for headroom, but really pleased with the way it takes pedals so far.

More to come!
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
Cool man. That's a lot of fancy big pedals too. Whatcha got there?

Hey man! How're you? Yeah, lots of relics from when I was a junkie for this stuff, you know yourself! Let me see if I can get this right in my head:

- Big orange one is a Morely Tripler, basically an A/B/Y. One output goes to the big Orange head, the other goes to that small one on top; that's a Micro Terror, cool little amp, vale pre with a 20 watt power amp.
- Into the Micro Terror are the two pedals on the right; one is a fuzz pedal a guy in work made for me - it's quite noisy but reasonably good fun. And there's a Micro Pog too, which is just awesome, I use the octave down with the fuzz.

- Into the new Orange Head are a Jerry Cantrell Crybaby (don't use Wah much, but liked the idea of this one, it lets you fine-tune the mid-range).
- Then there's a Blackstar HT boost, really nice, basically just use it as a clean boost. Awesome pedal, if I could only keep one, this would be it.
- Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone compressor. Not sure about this one, kicked off a thread on compressors because I think this one is slightly over-the-top. It's very quiet though, which is cool.
- Couple of Wamplers - everyone was raving about these, and they are good, but they're just another distortion box, you know? There's a Tweed overdrive (which works kinda like a Fender pre) and a Paisley overdrive (which I actually use for more heavy stauration).

The top three in the middle row run in the FX loop; Holy Grail Nano, which is simple as they come. Then there's a Memory Boy which I just love because you can use a Vibe on the delay and nail the 'She Sells Sanctuary' intro. And then an Akai Headrush as a looper and I'm done.

Too much stuff but better to be looking at it than looking for it I guess.
 

Greg_L

Banned
Damn, lol. That's a lot of stuff going on. I have a few pedals myself, I just never use any of them. I'm a plug-right-in-and-go kind of guy. I carry one pedal with me to practices and gigs - a tuner. :thumbs up:
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
Damn, lol. That's a lot of stuff going on. I have a few pedals myself, I just never use any of them. I'm a plug-right-in-and-go kind of guy. I carry one pedal with me to practices and gigs - a tuner. :thumbs up:

Yah there's heaps to be said for that. What Marshall are you running these days? I'd probably be less inclined to use pedals if I had a couple of channels in play, and if I stripped it back, I could probably use the Micro Terror as my 'clean' and the OC 15 for the drive tones. And reverb - I'd miss my reverb.
 

Greg_L

Banned
Yah there's heaps to be said for that. What Marshall are you running these days? I'd probably be less inclined to use pedals if I had a couple of channels in play, and if I stripped it back, I could probably use the Micro Terror as my 'clean' and the OC 15 for the drive tones. And reverb - I'd miss my reverb.

I'm rotating between four Marshall heads and three 4x12 cabs because I have a serious sickness. A Plexi 1959, JCM 800 2203, JMP 2204, and a JVM 410. The first three I listed are single channel no nonsense, no frills amps. I love their basic simplicity. In the rare event that I need to clean it up, I just roll the guitar vol back. I like moderate output pickups so it all works out great for me like that. The JVM though is a four-channel jobbie with three modes per channel. It's like a 12 channel amp with 4 reverbs, individual channel volumes, two master volumes, programmable six button foot controller, and a series/parallel effects loop. It goes from pristine clean to more gain than you can even imagine. It's like the NASA of Marshalls. The stupid thing's got 28 knobs! Tons of options and flexibility. I like the first three amps best though. The old school primitive designs sound better to me.

I have three overdrive pedals that I occasionally use set as clean boosts - an old ProCo Rat that's worth a little bit of money, Tube Screamer, and a Boss SD-1. They work well with Marshalls, but they sound too hair metal 80s for me most of the time. I rarely use them for anything but goofing around. The Rat literally never gets used at all for anything. I like my "effects" pedals though. Wahs, flangers, phasers, tremolo, etc. I don't use them live, but I like having them for recording.
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
I think Jeff Beck was a big fan of the ProCo into a Marshall sound. To be honest, those heads are still what I picture when I think about electric guitar amps, even though I've never gone down the Marshall head route. They're pretty awesome looking. Do you find yourself programming the midi switch much? Remind me, are you the guitarist or drummer in your group?

And are you fishing much these days?
 

Greg_L

Banned
I think Jeff Beck was a big fan of the ProCo into a Marshall sound. To be honest, those heads are still what I picture when I think about electric guitar amps, even though I've never gone down the Marshall head route. They're pretty awesome looking. Do you find yourself programming the midi switch much? Remind me, are you the guitarist or drummer in your group?

And are you fishing much these days?
I play in two bands. Guitar in one and drums in another. I don't use the footswitch really at all. I use it in it's basic stock setting to jump through channels and modes. I don't have any presets or combinations saved. Buttons 1 thru 4 control the channels and modes, button 5 kicks in a second master volume, button 6 activates the reverb for each channel. That's the factory stock setup. Being just a minimalist punk rock guitar basher, I just use one sound for everything depending on what guitar I'm using. I don't use different sounds from song to song. I'll sometimes kick in the second master volume for a little lead boost, but it's still the same channel and sound, just louder. That's how I use 1% of my JVM's actual capability. I use it like it's a single channel amp, and why I really just prefer to use the old school actual single channel amps. I don't need or use any features, and I certainly don't use even half the gain the JVM is capable of. It's just fun to have. It sounds great, it records great, but it's not my go-to amp anymore, and more than half the time I leave the footswitch at home.

I have been fishing, but it's been bad for about 3 years now. The summer seaweed has been brutal. This year especially. It's piled up several feet thick in some places on the beach and it's constantly out in the water. The winters are nice though. I catch my best fish in the fall/winter/early spring. Summer is just yuck unless you have a boat and can get away from the seaweed.
 
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