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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Can someone recommend an amp for home use please?

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I'm looking for an amp to use at home. Something that can nail tones from surf to garage rock, by way of The Velvet Underground and The Modern Lovers.

Essentially that Fender valve, clean but breaking up tone.

I need something I can play with headphones as I live in a tiny flat heh. Would love to bust out a Princeton or Blurs Jr but it'd be pointless as I'd never get it above 1 on the volume scale!

I've tried a Katana which was alright, same for a Yamaha THR5 and a Fender Mustang GT. They're all ok.

I was just reading on here about the Quilter 101 or 101 Reverb, which sound awesome given that you can use headphones or plug into a cab.

But it's hard to find something I can play at low volume/with headphones, that will actually sound not digital and bad, especially as a solid pedal platform.

Can anyone offer some thoughts please? Thank you!

Oh, I bought a Strat so that'll be the guitar I'll be using!

If you haven't already, take a good look at the Hotone nano series. They're really cheap, but sound pretty damn good. I like the Vox one better than the tweed one, personally, and should be a really nice fit for some garagey type tones.
Beyond that, the quilter rep is pretty flawless around these parts.

I have a little Vox Valvetronix modeling amp in the bedroom that cost about $250. I was very surprised by the number of nice and different tones it puts out. It comes in a 20 Watt version as well.
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Last edited: Mar 12, 2019 16:39:02

Old solid state Peaveys are cheap, durable, and surprisingly flexible. They have active controls and decent crunch so they can go from mid heavy rocker stuff to scooped out reverby Fender sounds to raggedy tweed gnarliness.

I recently got a 20W Back Stage from the 80's with these characteristics and I was pretty blown away by how good it sounds. Given that it's solid state and I paid 20 bucks for it. It's the era with the three knob gain section with Pre (white), Saturation (grey), and Post (blue) knobs.

Last edited: Mar 12, 2019 16:34:46

I use to use the Fender G-Dec 15 watt practice amp with studio headphones that are pretty realistic - but sounds lousy with the cheapo speaker it comes with. It has RCA inputs in back for CD player etc. I have three and they all sounded different for some reason. They run 75 to 130 dollars used - there ok not good for gigs though.

If you have no budget to worry about, I use the Avid Eleven Rack for about two years or more now. The headphone jack output is lame so I run it through a single rack space 6 channel mixer for my CD player and drum machine gear I use with it. You can buy these around $ 299 to 399 without the recording software for your computer etc....some are lower used bidding - You could spend a 100 grand buying all the effects and amp combo's in this modeling unit - really amazing studio sounds. I wish they fix the headphone out put is totally lame though, but a mixer takes care of that, Unless you play out or in a band I would look at these or aome other modeling rack brand similar o it.

Last edited: Mar 12, 2019 17:41:49

Fender Vibro-Champ


Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

VOX DA-5. No longer made but you can still find them on E-bay for $100 or a little more. I have a variety of original Fender Blackface amps including a Princeton, Vibrolux, and Super Reverb, and also live where I can't use these because of their volume. The DA 5 comes remarkably close to their sound and can do it at super low volumes; it also has a head phone jack. I've used this as a line out to record and had great results. It also has more than decent built in effects - reverb, delay, distortion, among others. I've bought several so as to have a spare or two.

Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 04:13:43

Headphones? Vox amPlug 2.

I'd strongly recommend a Fender Vibro-Champ XD. It has a huge range of sounds and a very convincing blackface sound. Reverb is digital but convincing. It's a 5W tube amp. I love mine, I play it all the time.

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