Bedroom/Practice amp?

BradHK

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Sorry if this has been covered before but I was unable to find a good answer. I have a handful of vintage Guild electric guitars but no vintage Guild amps. I would love to add a 1950’s or 1960’s Guild amp but I am looking for recommendations from those who know these amps much better than me. My current amps are a 1960 Gibson GA-5T and a Carr Mercury amp and I like the tube breakup level of both for the volume level I use. I only plan on using the amp at home and want something that can get a little tube breakup and warmth without crazy volume. I play mostly blues and such. No heavy metal or anything needing high distortion. My preference is to use the amp with no pedals but I do have the typical pedals if needed.

From my research it looks like most of the Guild amps from this period have much more headroom that I would desire. However, I have no practical experience with any of them so there might be one (or more) that would work perfect. Any thoughts or recommendations? FYI - my technical knowledge of amps are limited so if there are ways to limit the volume of a particular Guild amp with an attenuator or something but still get the tube warmth, I am open for recommendations! Thanks
 

Longnose Gar

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To get full power tube tone at bedroom volume, I add an attenuator to my amp. I have both the Rock Crusher and Tone King attenuators and I think they work great. You have to choose the model that is a match in wattage and speaker ohms for your amp. Just an idea....
 

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I’ve had a couple of very nice attenuators and was never really happy with them at bedroom volumes, but that really depends on what bedroom volume means to you. They’re great for taming the ear-bleeding volume down to “annoy people in the house” volumes, but when you max the attenuation (as I’d expect in a bedroom) the magic is gone.

While I still keep an attenuator on hand for my mostly Guild tube amps, I find my AxeFX to be infinitely more enjoyable at low volumes - especially where crunch and distortion are concerned. I would think the same would be true of most good modeling rigs, and many modeling rigs are quite good these days.

If it’s gotta be a tube amp, then either an attenuator or an isolated mic’d speaker box (which seems excessive outside of recording).
 

Nuuska

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How about a nice preamp w headphones?

Like Marshall JMP-1
 
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Good point. I mean teenager playing their stereo in their bedroom volume.
Depends on what teenager and who's parents' roof they're living under. 🤘:p🤘 (Admittedly, I used to play guitar pretty loud along w/ records on my stereo pretty damn loud! Enough to where I'm sure some unsuspecting neighbors may have thought there were actual drums and bass being played in there!)

Today, I play through this little toy more than anything. I love it. Runs on either AC or batteries, and really acts like a real amp should. (Breaks up in the clean channel w/ gain down/vol up for some sweet tones. Or can go full 70's rock w/ some added gain. I barely ever put it in the dirty channel, unless I just want to add some sustain to a guitar at late night acoustic levels)

Blackstar Fly III

IMG_3267.JPG

Best $100 I've ever spent on any gear. Especially for traveling/vacations.
 

BradHK

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Doesn't your Carr already have a built in attenuator? :unsure: Their amps are well known for getting that big stage tone at bedroom levels by simply switching to a lower wattage output.
Yes, and it is great! The Gibson also works really well for my needs. However, I would love to have a period correct Guild amp to go with my 1950’s and 1960’s Guilds.
 

cupric

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From the responses so far it appears that Guild tube amps were of higher wattage? That makes sense given the time period they were produced. I think that a amp of 15 watts is pushing the "bedroom" level on the high side. I never cared for the Guild solid state stuff, except for possibly the acoustic amps. Even then it is pretty old technology compared to the new SS amps today.
Sorry I cannot answer your question.
 

Nuuska

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Yes, and it is great! The Gibson also works really well for my needs. However, I would love to have a period correct Guild amp to go with my 1950’s and 1960’s Guilds.

In that case - what about using a powersoak w old Guild tube amp ?
 

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To answer the original question, there are a few amps that are lower power.
66J 2x6v6 The most common.

Thunder 1 funky power tubes, but you shouldn't need to change them.

50-J 2x6aq5. Rare.

Earlier amps have a good chance to need an isolation transformer or other service.

You can also look at Univox amps. The UB45 is a low volume amp that you can crank up without killing the goldfish. Twocorgis had one that you could talk to him about. He doesn't use it much.
 

Rocky

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Yep, your best bet for an affordable period-correct small (single ended) amp would be something from Valco, Harmony or Danelectro. Be careful in choosing one. Many of them don't have a power transformer, and can be deadly. Most (but not all) of the ones with 'series string' tubes - ones with numbers starting with 50 or 35, don't have power transformers.

I doubt any of them would be better than your GA-5T.
 

BradHK

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To answer the original question, there are a few amps that are lower power.
66J 2x6v6 The most common.

Thunder 1 funky power tubes, but you shouldn't need to change them.

50-J 2x6aq5. Rare.

Earlier amps have a good chance to need an isolation transformer or other service.

You can also look at Univox amps. The UB45 is a low volume amp that you can crank up without killing the goldfish. Twocorgis had one that you could talk to him about. He doesn't use it much.
Thanks for some additional information regarding vintage Guild amp tubes and current availability. I knew that some of the older Guild tube amps used “non-traditional” tubes but I am not familiar enough to know what is available today either new or NOS.

I also appreciate the comments from everybody on some non-Guild low watt tube amps from this era. However, I am not, at this time, looking for anything other than a Guild amp as my 1960 GA-5T has been professionally serviced and sounds fabulous. I definitely don’t “need” another amp with the two I have but I would just love to have a Guild amp to use with my Guild guitars.

Thanks!
 

Bill Ashton

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My personal experience, having owned a 66-J since early 1968 (mine appears to be '63 based on EIA codes)...

This amp is NOT a Fender tweed Deluxe. If one sounds like that, something is wrong with it! Think Fender Princeton, non-reverb; any distortion you hear is coming from your ears...or maybe the speaker? This is a loud and clean amp which belies its pair of 6V6 tubes
that should only make about 14 watts RMS. This is a great amp, but not what one would expect from an early 60's tube amp...Steve and I have discussed that maybe the "J" ('cause there was a "66" earlier) meant "Jazz" and so was made to be clean for those guitarists?

I think I would recommend the later "Thunder I" or "Thunder I Reverb" which though physically bigger and perhaps a competitor to the Princeton Reverb, it really wasn't, probably 8-10 watts RMS from its pair of miniature power tubes (6BM8's? Help me here Steve!)
 

Rocky

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My personal experience, having owned a 66-J since early 1968 (mine appears to be '63 based on EIA codes)...

This amp is NOT a Fender tweed Deluxe. If one sounds like that, something is wrong with it!
drift...new thread
 
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