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Old 26th November 2006, 12:05 AM   #1
pjpoes is offline pjpoes  United States
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Default small practice amp with master volume

Hey guys, I'm looking for a backup practice amp of some sort. I'm debating what direction I want to go right now. In one sense, I would like a nice small 8"-10" guitar amp with less than 5 watts as possible, if not like 1 watt clean and maybe 2 or 3 at say 10-20% distortion. Another Idea that I had was simply to build a 5 watt amp with a mast volume control to get the distortion I want, as many even half watt amps through a big enough cab is too loud. However, then I have my other need. This is gonna make my main amp sound useless, but its heavy, over 100lbs, and a pain to move around. I get this little impromptu gigs, if you want to call them that, where I just show up and set up for a small group and play. Things like maybe a small bar scene, a friends party, a club, whatever. In this scenereo, my main amp can be perfect to a little large, but made to work, its just too heavy. So for that I thought a single 12" practice amp with 5 watts might work, especially the smaller ones. Maybe even a 10 or 15 watt amp would be better.

Anyone have a recomendation. I have considered a modifed 5e3 amp design, I thought I saw some places that showed how to impliment a master volume control. I also considered the Vox AC15 and then I believe I read about an AC5 somewhere once. There is the Marshell 18 watt combo cuircit.

My playing style ranges from jazz, blues, and classic rock on up to some heavier rock styles and even occassionally some classic punk. For the heavier stuff I probably can use a pedal, but I do like the sound of overdriven tubes, and a fender with the output tubes stressed just sound better to me than a distortion pedal or even a Marshell at lower volumes. Any recomendations? Any complete kits worth looking at? I'm not afraid to diy without a kit, but its always easier, especially because I would like to finish this before Christmas. Thanks.
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Old 26th November 2006, 12:29 AM   #2
Sherman is offline Sherman  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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I built a slight modification of the AX84.com P1 that I like a lot. It is a SE EL84 that gives about 4-5 watts in pentode mode.

The 'slight' modification I made was to use the preamp/tone stack section from the P1 Extreme with the EL84 output section of the P1. I wanted the tone stack, clean/dirty switch and master volume control that the Extreme offered. It worked out well.

I've used it with everything from a 4x12 cab to a single 8" driver. Nice tone and with the drive above about 50% good 'crunch'. With the drive cranked and the switch on dirty it has great distortion and grunge.

Check out the 'Legacy Projects' section of ax84.com for details. They also have a kit with everything for $215. I don't know anything about the kit. I bought my trafos from Triode Electronics. A nice little 5W 5K SE output, a 4 Hy 90mA choke and a power trafo good for about 80mA, more than enough for the P1.
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