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Small, clean, WARM amp for home studio
Old 20th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Small, clean, WARM amp for home studio

Hi guys,

I need a small (15W or so) guitar amp to run a Telecaster through in my studio. I'm only really interested in the classic warm, clean tones all the way up. I'll probably use an SM57 most of the time, but also play around with LDCs.

There are many people who swear by the Twin Reverb, but I think it's just too big for my studio, considering you need to crank it to stadium volumes to get any warmth out of it.

Anyone got any insight and experience with this?

Thanks!

(I tried this thread on the ***** Telecaster forum a few days ago and got lots of different opinions. Should probably have come here first!)
Old 20th September 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Tommy D's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you can find a brownface Princeton, it would fit the bill nicely. It does clean well at lower settings, and will get nice and gnarly if you need it to. The tremolo is special on these, in that unlike most amps, it modulates the output tubes to get the effect.

I lucked into one of these a while back. I am a Tele guy, and for years the benchmark amp for me was a Deluxe. But they can get too bright with a Tele sometimes. This Princeton is "browner" sounding, rounds off the "icepick", and has a nice spongier feel to it. I normally use it with a 12" speaker in an Avatar open back cabinet, but the 10" is decent. The 12" is bigger and fatter sounding, plus that way I can keep the amp in the control room and have the cabinet miked up in an iso room.

Here's a good article on it....

The thing about any vintage Fender is if you buy it right and keep it in good condition, you won't ever lose money on it.

Good luck! It can be something of a "Holy Grail" search for sure....
Old 20th September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cravenmonket ➑️
Hi guys,

I need a small (15W or so) guitar amp to run a Telecaster through in my studio. I'm only really interested in the classic warm, clean tones all the way up. I'll probably use an SM57 most of the time, but also play around with LDCs.

There are many people who swear by the Twin Reverb, but I think it's just too big for my studio, considering you need to crank it to stadium volumes to get any warmth out of it.

Anyone got any insight and experience with this?

Thanks!

(I tried this thread on the ***** Telecaster forum a few days ago and got lots of different opinions. Should probably have come here first!)
You'll find plenty of appropriate answers in a thread just a little further down asking about a bedroom amp.

and yes, a Twin is stupid loud for a bedroom, it has about twice as much power as is needed on most stages in 100-500 seat clubs. (You may or may not need the amp headroom, depending upon what/how you play.)
Old 20th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
for recording, a Princeton or even a Vibrochamp will sound great with your Tele. While the brown Princetons do have that awesome vibrato, the black and silverface princeton vibrato is still very nice. Save money and buy a silverface as little was changed (save cosmetics) on these "beginner" amps.
Old 20th September 2012
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Check the reissue of the White Amp that Satellite Amps is currently doing. It's a recreation of an amp made by Fender back in the 50's, very similar to a Tweed-era Princeton. I got to play one at the Satellite shop when I was down in San Diego, great amps that would be perfect in a recording studio. index
Old 20th September 2012
  #6
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Gries 5 or Gries 12 for recording.
All hand wired, super fine quality.

You can track the smaller amp and then re-amp the recorded signal through
the twin at low volume to fatten it up if desired.
Old 21st September 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
fastlanestoner's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm a big fan of the Vox AC4. It can sound great on record, takes pedals well, and can get pretty loud.
Old 21st September 2012
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I have a Dr. Z mini Z with an attenuator built in. Nice tube sound. Was playing a Tele through it too.
Old 21st September 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
godotzilla's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The Dr. Z stuff is great. Generally low watt, beautiful tones, and not ridiculously boutique priced.

My low-watt studio champion is my '70 Princeton Reverb, hands down. Gorgeous clean tone with that signature Fender reverb and "vibrato." They did a really nice reissue of the amp a few years ago. Not cheap, but worth every penny if you want dependable, awesome clean tones (though the amp can get dirty if you push it).
Old 22nd September 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
litepipe's Avatar
I like tweed champs 5watts. Tweed Pro's 35 watts give you some nice headroom and clean sounds.

You might like a tweed Harvard. Tweeds are a happy match for a tele. Warm, breaks up in all the right places. That's what Steve cropper was using.

Victoria makes all of these models as well as the narrow panel deluxe. Warmth and character.
Old 24th September 2012
  #11
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You might really like the little Allan Amps Chihuahua.

Best 10 watter I've heard.
Old 24th September 2012
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Try the new Fender Excelsior it's a 15 watt 1x15 combo and it stays pretty clean when you crank it you get a slightly bluesy breakup.

Definitely a fun amp for recording and it's got a lot of mojo.

Plus it's a fun amp to mod/tweak new tubes, new speaker, new transformer, etc and you could really transform that amp.

I can second the various Fenders and Dr Z suggestions mentioned already I figured I'd throw something different out there.
Old 24th September 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
chrispick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
New AC15c1.

I just bought one a few weeks ago for home studio recording. Still loving it. It's not the much-maligned AC15cc from a few years ago.

Two channel (top boost and normal), 15w, 12" Celestian Greenback. Great tremolo, too. It'll suit your Telecaster well.
Old 24th September 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I bought a Peavey Classic 20 on ebay a little while ago.
The seller had put in a WGS G10C/S speaker.
I replaced the preamp tubes with a 12AU7 and 12AT7 in that order, which cleaned it up quite a bit.
I would definitely say this amp is "warm". Almost too warm. shied
I wish it was just a hair brighter. I usually have the treble at 3:00 o'clock.
But, if you want warm with a bright guitar (like a Tele), it may fit the bill.
Old 24th September 2012
  #15
Here for the gear
 
Shazam007's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Get an old Fender Princeton Reverb
Old 24th September 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I agree princeton reverb is right for you.

Or check out the port city twelve for a new amp that has the same flavor.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispick ➑️
New AC15c1.

I just bought one a few weeks ago for home studio recording. Still loving it. It's not the much-maligned AC15cc from a few years ago.

Two channel (top boost and normal), 15w, 12" Celestian Greenback. Great tremolo, too. It'll suit your Telecaster well.
while it's a fantastic amp I wouldn't necessarily describe it as warm

voxes (ac15 no exception) are known for their signature jangly/chimy highs. they are a very bright and open sounding amp in the mids and highs with a nice low end extension. And like most british amps they aren't the best clean tones since they seem to always have some hair/grit to them. I really like the tones but just have to clarify.

I love voxes but it just doesn't seem to meet the criteria the OP is searching for imho, ymmv.
Old 25th September 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
chrispick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think if you go through the normal channel and roll the tone cut, you can get a warm, clean tone at a decent volume -- it's got some lower mids going for it -- but I get what you're saying. It does break up earlier than, say, some renowned Fender amps. And yeah, the top boost channel is all about the brightness and chime; that's why a lot people take to it.

In any case, I think it's a great 15w so far in my use, and a nice complement to my Gibson 5w. Both are proving to be really good small studio tools. So, I pass that along.
Old 25th September 2012
  #19
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
I bought my daughter a Fender Mustang and it's pretty sweet deal for the cost. USB support with FUSE software for programming onboard effects. I played around with it for a couple of hours and the amp is very good.
Old 26th September 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The Vox AC15 with it's Celestion Greenback is great sounding and really versatile option. The controls are interactive and you can get jangle or take it away. A Fender amp usually has an extended deep bass that is dynamic, scooped mids and beautiful clean treble. An AC15 will give you a bass that is a little less extended into the super lows and it will be compressed and coloured. The mids are characterful and have a touch of grit to a lot of grit and they're dynamic. The treble is less present and clear than a Fender amps due to the mids but there are sparkling frequencies available at the very top that chime and jangle in ways that a Fender can't. You can definitely get wonderful cleans out of an AC15 that aren't broken up. I like both Vox and small Fender amps. Some Fender amp models are warm and some aren't. Telecasters sound fantastic through both.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
TobyToby's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ersheff ➑️
I bought a Peavey Classic 20 on ebay a little while ago.
The seller had put in a WGS G10C/S speaker.
I replaced the preamp tubes with a 12AU7 and 12AT7 in that order, which cleaned it up quite a bit.
I would definitely say this amp is "warm". Almost too warm. shied
I wish it was just a hair brighter. I usually have the treble at 3:00 o'clock.
But, if you want warm with a bright guitar (like a Tele), it may fit the bill.
I have this amp for years, fitted with Telefunken EL84 Round Plates. I love the rich jangle distortion sound it can deliver but the cleans are miles away from a Fender clean. The Headroom for its 'Clean sound' (if it's clean at all) is tiny to phrase it nicely. I also have a Princeton Reverb Silverface and the clean sound is big & round and has soul and depth
Old 26th September 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Fender pro junior. Might be too loud for a bedroom, but you said 15w. Itll get you those warm Fender cleans though. I've heard some telecasters sound great through them too.
Old 26th September 2012
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
bluzkat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Telecaster and a Fender Blues Jr... a killer combination!!!


Old 27th September 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 
litepipe's Avatar
Those pro junior 15watts have some smack to them. Sound really good.
Old 27th September 2012
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
I had a lot of fun with my old pro jr before I sold it

swapped tubes, swapped speakers, did some minor tweaks/mods to it that thing smoked clean headroom if I remember correctly began to taper off at about 3-4 on the volume.
Old 19th January 2013
  #26
Gear Addict
 
skinnypete's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I love the Vox VC4 for the jangly indie rock thing, but I haven't been able to get it to do the warm jazzy thing. Has anyone heard the Ampeg GVT amps?

Sent from my Droid
Old 25th January 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I think you're just going to have to take your tele to the store and start playing amps. Who knows what sounds will be "warm" to you? No question that Fender Princetons and Pro/Blues Jrs have done this for a lot of folks, as have Vox AC4s and AC15s, Marshall 1987 and 2061s, Peavey Classic 15s, Carvin 15w. My personal preference is an Emery Superbaby and a whackload of tubes for different sounds!
Old 25th January 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Ron Vogel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I had several amps with my tele...liked the princeton the best, champ can be killer too...very much a rock amp..pr is more versitle.

Sent from my MB612
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