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Nerdington Willoughby
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last week I started jamming with a new group and the drummer plays loudly. My 15 watt practice amp had a hard time keeping up. Is there a good rule of thumb for how much wattage you need to keep up with a drummer? Keep in mind I need clean headroom, since this is a jazz gig.

I thought I read somewhere that just 10 watts or so was enough to keep up with drums, so I'm inclined to try again with different settings since, to be fair, I didn't fully crank it last time. But of course I love new gear so I'm considering a 50 watt combo with good cleans that can also do metal.

Also, I should mention that my 15 watt amp is a Vox Valvetronix. It uses a 12AX7 in the power section to emulate power tube sag, but the real power is solid state. So I guess technically it's 15 watts of solid state power, and not 15 watts of tube power which, according to everyone, feels louder.
 

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Canis lupis robertus
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5,706 Posts
If you're a cheapy, and not a cork sniffer, the Behringer GMX212 is 100W, SS, and very neutral. Based on the Tech 21 models, it also has real good tones, from clean to high gain. Also, very loud.

If I were in your shoes, and looking for a tube combo, I'd think Mesa Roadster, likely. :shrug:
 

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Dream Crusher
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21,053 Posts
A Vox Nighttrain, Orange Tiny Terror, or Egnater Rebel 20 are all low-wattage (15-20 watts) amps that get VERY loud. They're all single-channel though, and they're not huge for headroom.

I'd go for a 30-50W tube combo myself. What is your budget?
 

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Nerdington Willoughby
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you're a cheapy, and not a cork sniffer, the Behringer GMX212 is 100W, SS, and very neutral. Based on the Tech 21 models, it also has real good tones, from clean to high gain. Also, very loud.

If I were in your shoes, and looking for a tube combo, I'd think Mesa Roadster, likely. :shrug:
How did you know I'm a cheapy? :D

The samples of the Tech21 Trademark I've heard are mind bogglingly good for a SS amp. If the Behringer's anything like that it's totally worth the asking price.

I don't gig too regularly (the jazz combo thing is a class that's just 8 weeks), so I can't justify dropping more than $1k on a nice tube amp I can't crank at home. I was looking at some of the more inexpensive small tube combos on the market, like the Peavey Valveking 112 and the B-52 AT-112. I just can't get on with the Valveking's high-gain sounds. The B-52, from what I've heard, sounds remarkably Mesa-ish, but apparently the reliability is crap.
 

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Nerdington Willoughby
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A Vox Nighttrain, Orange Tiny Terror, or Egnater Rebel 20 are all low-wattage (15-20 watts) amps that get VERY loud. They're all single-channel though, and they're not huge for headroom.
Agreed on the headroom issue.

I'd go for a 30-50W tube combo myself. What is your budget?
Definitely under $1k, preferably around $500 or less (I know that's pretty constraining for a tube amp).
 

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Canis lupis robertus
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How did you know I'm a cheapy? :D

The samples of the Tech21 Trademark I've heard are mind bogglingly good for a SS amp. If the Behringer's anything like that it's totally worth the asking price.
I've heard both (and own the GMX). They sound nearly identical.

The cleans are pretty lush - kind of from very neutral and flat, to a sort of dry mix between a Twin and a JC-120. Dirty does the Marshall vibe very well, most of the main flavors, all the way to a kind of Mark IV/Dual Rec hybrid type sound. At least, in that ballpark. But tighter.

Plus, it has all kinds of built-in 24-bit effects. Pretty cool.

Did I mention loud?
 

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Nerdington Willoughby
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've heard both (and own the GMX). They sound nearly identical.

The cleans are pretty lush - kind of from very neutral and flat, to a sort of dry mix between a Twin and a JC-120. Dirty does the Marshall vibe very well, most of the main flavors, all the way to a kind of Mark IV/Dual Rec hybrid type sound. At least, in that ballpark. But tighter.

Plus, it has all kinds of built-in 24-bit effects. Pretty cool.

Did I mention loud?
Hmm, I really trust your ears, so I'll have to check this one out...
 

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Canis lupis robertus
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You know why I really like it, John?

2 reasons. 1) it's stereo, with stereo ins and outs. Great for plugging external shit into. But the main reason.. it's not a frigging behemoth like most (tube) combo amps are. Pretty light to carry around, relatively. :lol:



They also got a 1x12 version, and I think a 2x10 version.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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My Mesa F-30 gets plenty loud to keep up with a drummer. Pushing lots of air through two ported 1x12s helps, too.

I'd say with tubes, you're good to go with 30+ watts, but with solid state, i'd want at least 60 watts to give you enough clean headroom.

The Behringer GMX amps are pretty cool. I played one a couple of years ago and it was a blast. It's too bad they've discontinued the 112.
 

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Dream Crusher
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Solid state amps are indeed nice and light. My old Spider 112 was great for that.

If tweaked properly, the new Spider amps actually sound pretty decent. They don't quite respond like a tube amp, but they're loud and incredibly versatile as well.

I have heard good things about Tech 21 in the past, but I have no experience with either that particular amp nor the Behringer version.

The only reason I haul around my 30W tube combo (despite it's weight) is that it sounds great and can somehow make itself heard (clean and dirty) in nearly any situation. I've NEVER had to crank it past half volume-wise for balance reasons, and (while this is mainly a function of this particular amp) it doesn't have a lot of the high-frequency 'wash' you can get with a modeler or cheap tube amp once it's running at higher volumes.
 

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Is Actually Recording
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32,765 Posts
Solid state wattage, the more the merrier. I'd recommend at LEAST 50 to play it safe, probably more like 100.

Tube? It depends if you need a clean tone. Even the 5-watt Crate V5 I played for a bit probably could have hung with a drummer with room to spare if you turned the gain relatively high and dimed the volume.
 

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I MG.org salute you.
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Another vote for something around 50W SS and 30+ for tube.

If you're happy with the sounds from the Vox why not look at upgrading to an AD50VT or even the 100W model. They have a very tube like feel and include the built in power soak so you can still get a cranked sound without blowing out the bedroom windows.

I've got an AD50VT 2x12 and find it fine in smaller rooms. It just barely keeps up with a drummer in a really big room (50x100 or so) though.

There might be some 60W models out there you can lay your hands on too. That would be just about the perfect size.

I'd say it will do the job and keep you within your budget.
 

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Banned
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Last week I started jamming with a new group and the drummer plays loudly. My 15 watt practice amp had a hard time keeping up. Is there a good rule of thumb for how much wattage you need to keep up with a drummer? Keep in mind I need clean headroom, since this is a jazz gig.

I thought I read somewhere that just 10 watts or so was enough to keep up with drums, so I'm inclined to try again with different settings since, to be fair, I didn't fully crank it last time. But of course I love new gear so I'm considering a 50 watt combo with good cleans that can also do metal.

Also, I should mention that my 15 watt amp is a Vox Valvetronix. It uses a 12AX7 in the power section to emulate power tube sag, but the real power is solid state. So I guess technically it's 15 watts of solid state power, and not 15 watts of tube power which, according to everyone, feels louder.
Mesa DC-5, Tremoverb, or Rectoverb all have (what I consider to be) great cleans, while also doing metal really well.
 

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Slow Money
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14,612 Posts
rectoverbs you can score for cheap, ~800 usually in great shape, for the combo. sound damn good too
 

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Is Actually Recording
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32,765 Posts
rectoverbs you can score for cheap, ~800 usually in great shape, for the combo. sound damn good too
That can't be right, dude I don't even see the heads for that little anymore, much.
 

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Slow Money
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14,612 Posts
im going off mid february, as far back as last july. if things have changed since then, maybe more
 
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