Help! I need some serious gear advice!

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JonHoskerJonHosker Frets: 392
edited April 3 in Amps
Dear all

I have been here for a few years and 300+ posts.
Love this community and support, and I would now appreciate a bit more.
Like some other enthusiasts, I have been on the roller coaster of pedal purchasing, Helix, Kemper, mini board, heavy amp, Tonemaster etc. 
My current Helix purchase five months ago has not brought joy as I have come to the conclusion yet again , that I don’t like digital computer based amps/updates, fiddling, patch downloading etc.
Unlike my favourite YouTuber John Cordy!
So, unused Helix (switched on four times and Screen plastics still on!) and Powercab will be up for sale shortly.
I love Vox tones especially, but also Fender cleans.

My gear swapping is not enjoyable and annoying me intensely.

Any advise re. Purchasing valve amp that’s not too heavy. Vox AC15 was!!

Home player and some stuff at church.

blah —— guitar wise I have sorted this swapping, but amps and effects em seem harder to master.

This is a symptom of my own mental health, but I need to find a solution.

ta all - jon

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Comments

  • MajorscaleMajorscale Frets: 1556
    Hey Jon, I've been there done that, and now permanently back with real amps and pedals. No solution is perfect, but the traditional route brings me the most joy, the best tones and the best usability. Of course thats the expensive & physically heavy route hence not a perfect solution!

    My recommendation is figure out what family of "amp" and "effects" you like the most from the Helix and then find the best real versions of those. 
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  • JonHoskerJonHosker Frets: 392
    Thanks Majorscale.
    Sound advice. I really want to buy a 1990 Vox AC30 (UK Kory era) which is for sale locally.
    Dream amp, but so heavy and I can’t imagine moving it!!!
    AC4 more sensible but that AC30 sound!
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 2236
    Ac15 matchless bad cat morgan is the way to go. For the church stuff a delay overdrive and maybe a reverb will get you there.


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  • Paul_CPaul_C Frets: 7772
    JonHosker said:
    Thanks Majorscale.
    Sound advice. I really want to buy a 1990 Vox AC30 (UK Kory era) which is for sale locally.
    Dream amp, but so heavy and I can’t imagine moving it!!!
    AC4 more sensible but that AC30 sound!

    ICBM has said more than once that the AC10 is closer to the AC30 sound than the AC15, and it would be lighter too.
    "I'll probably be in the bins at Newport Pagnell services."  fretmeister
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  • GoFishGoFish Frets: 1409
    AC10 would be a lot lighter.
    Ten years too late and still getting it wrong
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  • cmacguitarcmacguitar Frets: 24
    Depending on budget I had a Tone King Imperial a little while back. I'm not sure if the MKii with the attenuator adds much weight but the original version was an unbelievable Fender clean sound and weight was 13KG which was amazing for transporting 
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 24235
    Jon - you've managed to post this in the Classified section.

    You'll get more answers sticking into the main AMPS bit. You can move it yourself by using the little Cog Wheel icon on your first post.
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  • JonHoskerJonHosker Frets: 392
    Thanks
    Jon
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  • DannyPDannyP Frets: 1676
    Don't rule this out...

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ei7OMETiM_U1mSroXqbGwrKtxy19oWcRzhOCqXdO8Xg/edit?usp=sharing

    Seriously, give one a go before spending £££! The Nu-tube tech feels nice and valvey.
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 17597
    tFB Trader
    My experience of small valve amps is that they are often disappointing and you do need to be able to give things a bit of welly.

    One option is get a lightweight cab with a Celestion Neo or similar and then a head like an AC15 or something if you like Vox. 

    Other than that you might be better off with a tonemaster (although I see you've tried that), or a Bluescube. 

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  • strtdvstrtdv Frets: 2433
    I'd suggest getting both, a nice amp for home use and keep the Helix for live use. If you're using IEMs at church then you can sell the powercab and put that towards the new amp.

    At home it's too easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of tweaking endless settings rather than just playing, but once you get the helix set up it's also very handy having the portability and knowing that you've got 3 or 4 good sounds right there without needing to worry about mic position etc, and also just having the guitar and helix to bring rather than guitar, pedalboard and amp.
    In a band mix I find you don't notice the difference from a "real" amp

    That's why I just bought a helix having previously used a Nova System to leave my pedals at home, I'm now leaving the amp at home too
    Robot Lords of Tokyo, SMILE TASTE KITTENS!
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 33791
    If you like Fender and Vox then look at the Matchless Laurel Canyon.

    It is 20w but it gets great tones at low volume, has a great FX loop.
    Pricey though.
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  • LittlejonnyLittlejonny Frets: 134
    Maybe pick up a Hot Rod Deluxe for peanuts and give it a go for a while. Do the blackface tone stack mod and put some audio pots in their EQ pedal in FX loop. Then they’re hard to argue with. I think they’re underrated.
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  • ChesterChester Frets: 52
    I would also look at Dr Z options. Some great used deals around, EL84 tones on some models, that project extremely well. Too well sometimes.... The newer studio cabs are smaller and lighter than their usual 1x12 options, but sound impressive. My NOVA has a great MV that dials back volume very well, so suitable for all round use
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 5363
    When I played in a church band I ended up using a Laney Lionheart 5w combo for many years and that worked quite well. Does depend on the kind of church you're in/types of services - for some I still had to have it fairly quiet, for others could have a bit more fun with it. It was always mic'd and through the PA for mix though. Well, apart from at some youth event with a full band where everyone else went through the PA apart from me and the drummer, and I just cranked it and still got told to turn down :D



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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 5363
    Damn, meant to say, if I was doing church stuff now I'd probably just use my Quilter Superblock UK along with a decent delay, reverb and gain pedal, and a lightweight cab. Much less aggro, all fits on a pedalboard, and as long as you use the 24v supply enough clean headroom for what you need on the AC30 setting. Can also go direct to desk if you need it to (althought the built-in cab sim is a bit crap).
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 72293
    edited April 4
    AC10C1 or/and '65 Princeton Reverb. Neither are that big and heavy, but both sound like full-sized amps, not small amps. Both are loud enough to play in a church while remaining completely clean, but also controllable enough to give a good sound at home. Any smaller than that and you'll be compromising on the depth of sound, even at low volume, although there are some very nice small amps.

    Don't rule out something a bit further off the beaten track either, there are some good amps which cover both types of sound quite well while not being either a Vox or a Fender, and contrary to popular belief the valve type is not the important factor. Something like an Egnater Tweaker will do both, although you have to use very different settings.

    The Mesa Blue Angel might work, although despite having both 4-EL84 and 2-6V6 power sections it doesn’t sound especially like a Vox or a Fender - and it weighs a ton, unless you can find the head version and get a lightweight cabinet.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Only two things are infinite - the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

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  • KultscharKultschar Frets: 39
    edited April 3
    Can relate to the OP.    Fractal and Cortex owner here, had a big rack setup many years ago with pedals, TC2290, Eventide  etc Vox and Hiwatt.   Wasn't practical for my usage at all - too heavy setup and far too loud.    Kept most of my pedals and purchased a Carr yesterday with an attenuator and hope this gives me a nice smile.    Will keep one modeller about regardless and see how things progress and treat them as seperate worlds.   Maybe it will be short-lived but I look forward to finding out!
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  • Alex335Alex335 Frets: 121
    Budget permitting I’d highly recommend a Dividend by 13 JRT 9/15 
    it has both 6v6 and EL 84 output tubes so you can essentially switch between Vox and Fender. It’s not a direct copy of either amp circuit but after owning one I can tell you it will definitely do a very convincing impression of black panel, tweed abd AC type. Really impressive little amp!
    only sold mine as it didn’t have reverb or an fx loop to add verb.. 
    only real downside is the combo is HEAVY! And quite hard to find in the uk 

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  • LittlejonnyLittlejonny Frets: 134
    Clean amp and pedals and you never have to worry if you sound good enough. People with modellers just keep chasing the next most realistic thing and spend time and money on upgrading every few years. 

    It’s not that difficult to stick a mic on an amp. Also, if you think you need presets…most of the greatest guitarists ever didn’t need presets. 

    Don’t get me started on ‘worship music’ jeez…

    I do use a Zoom G5 a lot (into either a Hot Rod Deluxe or Pro Reverb) but I’m just using the EQ, tremolo, reverb, delay and boost as if they’re individual pedals. I tend to get dirt from outboard pedals. 
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