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zachjonesmail's picture
May 2017
3 weeks ago

Hi Guys,

Time to start the amp hunt! Here's what I'm working with:


I recently picked up a Guild T-Bird S-200. (Reissue of 1960s Guild Thunderbird - Funky "gumby" shaped body).

The guitar has a LB-1 Little Bucker pickups. I got the guitar because I wanted a low warm tone, but couldn't handle the weight of a les paul. I especially like playing through the neck pickup.


Boss Reverb pedal

Electro harmonix Qtron Mini Envelope Follower

Catalinbread Octapussy Fuzz


I know nothing of amps, to be honest. But here's what I'm looking for:

  • Something that will really bring out the humbuckers for the warm tones of my guitar.
  • Is compatible with my pedals (will purchase more in the future).
  • Is the appropriate size for playing at low volumes and getting the most sound. I live in an apartment with folks below me, and can't crank up the volume. I have a 60 watt bass amp I am playing through and it is way to loud - the volume is kept nearly at zero and I just can't get the pedals or the guitar to show their true sounds/tone.

Price range - Under $1000 if possible, but want something that's of good quality that will last and will bring out the guitar's tones.

Let me know your thoughts! Thanks for your help and feel free to throw me some questions.



monsembleman's picture
Jun 2017
3 weeks ago

I play solo jazz guitar and have used many amps over the years. In terms of low cost, warm tone and noice reverb and overdrive any VOX over $100 sounds great. I own a large pile of amps 100 watts and smaller including Fenders, Rolands, Vox, Line Six and Bose. When playing in places needing more power simply augment the sound by plugging in (or miking the small amp) into the house system.In my opinion no one needs a large amp anymore. 

As far as sound quality it is highly subjective and different styles of music are bestg rendered using different amps. Another option to considor to spare your neighbors (or others living in the same hosue as you) is remember that $100 headphones can sound better (and louder) than any guitar amp if you plug them into a good quality source. 

My curent favorite cheap low powered amp which also runs on batteries is the Vox Mini5. It is $160 and five watts and has many other features.  For something of higher quality and very clean with no overdrive the Roland AC-33 is also battery powered and 30 watts. It is $400, very flexible and clean and has two input channels and is a stereo amp!

I find for playing at home having a battery powered amp is really conveninet for moving around the house without having to plug in - this is particularly useful for practicing late at night with or without headphones. 

Ross6860's picture
Canton, Ohio
Jul 2009
2 weeks ago

IMO nothing sounds really good at apartment levels, so just get anything that sounds acceptable to you.  You don't need to spend a lot of money either.

I've been down the flea-watt amp road and never found anything I kept.  Even a 5-watt tube amp will get you evicted if you crank it up.

Headphones are a great option with something like a POD or any amp with a headphone out.  A small Line6 or Fender Super Champ, a bunch of others. 

I have a POS Kramer amp that sounds decent through the headphone out and with a better speaker is surprisingly acceptable.  I think it's a KA22.  Has reverb, master volume, drive, and the usual hhigh, mid, bass pots.  Probably less than $50 if you can find one. 

Carvin's solid state amps are relatively inexpensive and very good.

To really hear what an amp sounds like (especially a tube amp) you need to be at 6 or higher on the volume to start getting some power tube overdrive going.


Vox AC15HTVH, Acoustic B200 (for Thumpin'), '66 Silvertone 1452, Cox 5E3 Super Deluxe, Stu-Daddy BF Deluxe Reverb, Custom Vintage 47 Oahu, Valco Supreme Twin, '74 Silver Face Champ, Couple of 2x12 cabs, Couple of 2x12 cabs, Kramer KA22R (out on permanent loan)