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:

Your help and ideas are greatly appreciated..

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True. And actually a better word to describe them. Since the grid, cathode and plate work together like a valve.

Aha check out a
line 6 dt 25 (valve output stage )

Digital tuneable preamp at stage with 4 tuneable output valve channels

This would have really worked if they hasn't used 12ax valves..!

you can get a Champ kit for under $500

Cool but you can buy a champ on eBay for 100?

Check this concept shame about nano tubes
But it's getting there?
These below don't work sound wise, as they have nano tubes too.
But 2x12 speakers is the way to go poplar body.

If you ripped the guts out and redid it
With high voltage tubes this might work..

You wont get this it even confuses me lol

15watt tube amp, you will never need anything else for performing or recording, though many just plug in to the PA these days :-)

...and a 2 x10" or 12" cab.

Steve I'm looking at an second hand Orange tiny terror combo  .. 1 x 12 and about 15 watts valve ( and it rocks)

Strolling T and you have one, I like the sounds you get from them... any idea if it has an effects loop?

as it could do some reverb... 


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