I'm looking for a decent Stage/Live amp. Currently I play double-humbucking pickup electric guitars. We mic a "Cube 30" combination amp. I don't use a lot of effects so the stock chorus and distortion are adequate. We have a fairly small church building. I'm open for suggestions. What  combination amp or regular amp are you using ?

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I wouldn't see not having a negative feedback loop as a lack, so much as a feature. I'd guess that negative feedback may make an amp much more 'responsive' to pick attack in terms of going from clean to dirty because it narrows the threshold between the 2. Thus in my experience the amp very gradually dirties up, and is still pretty clean with single coils, even when you're hoofing it around half volume.
Yea, but a lot of amps with negative feedback do that very well. My Allen amps being a good example. Very pick- attack friendly.

Sorry - I meant that the Vox amp becomes dirty very gradually, while the amp with negative feedback will tend to have a narrower threshold between clean and dirty.  It's just a different style of amp. I know some guys like to have the ability to control clean or dirty according to pick attack and some want an amp that will give a consistent sound however hard they attack the strings, with just an increase in volume.


I did experiment with -ve feedback in a small single ended amp I built a while back. TBH it wasn't impressive, although it did tame output quite a lot until I reduced the feedback a lot over the suggested value for that circuit. It might be interesting to build the feedback loop with a pot & baseline resistor, although it might just be a waste since I'd probably just find a favourite level and leave it there. It did try that with preamp valve bias in the first amp I built, but ended up with a 'best tone' setting and eventually replacing that with a fixed resistor at that value.


"The later amps had overdrive that had much more "hair", more of a fuzzy overdrive on the high end. The earlier amps with a heavy NFB had almost a liquid overdrive sound without much fuzz on top."

So if negative feedback has an affect on the quality of the overdrive sound, I was expecting it to be less fuzzy and more even order harmonic and creamy. It must also have a lot to do with the overall design of the amp.

"Contrast with Clapton's LP/JTM45 tone on the Beano album, which although very compressed and overdriven (yes, I know: jury still out on what pedal he boosted with), is almost jazzlike in comparison."

Yea, but that JTM45 was running KT66s at 30 watts with the tone knob turned way down. Isn't this where "woman tone" came from?

"Also, in the most recent generally accessible schematics I can find for the AC15 and AC30, both the cc versions and the handwired reissues don't have anything I can see that resembles a negative feedback loop."

OK, that settles that then. But for me to be interested, I have to have the EF86, so it's clones for me.
I've tried direct boxes and pods that just sound like garbage period. Also, a kid at my church brought his Line 6 Spider and I thought, "Ok, you're going to give this a fair shot." I really have it a fair shot, I promise. It was abysmal. It was a pod in a cabinet essentially.
He said it was 120 watts, it was a 2x12 with Celestions. And it was pretty loud, but not as loud as my 6G3 @ 20 watts. Where it really felt short, aside from overall tone, is bass and low midrange. It just had no guts. But the overall tone of this thing was just horrible. People are fond of saying, "the tone isn't in your amp, it's in your fingers." That's total bunk. If Eric Johnson played through this amp, it would sound like Eric Johnson playing through a garbage amp.

The Spider is at the food grade end of Line 6 stuff, but TBH all the older stuff incuding the Vetters and Flextones suffer the same basic fault - too much high frequency hash and not enough punch in the mids, though the more expensive amps are less intolerable.


I owned and used a Laney Protube 30 for a while. It was supposed to be Laney's answer to a Boogey, but TBH it was tonally compromised outside the high gain overdrive settings (and wasn't great with those). I did speaker and valve swaps, made up open backs for the cab all to no avail, which was a shame because it sounded like a great rock amp in my livingroom. The one good thing is that I bought it for £50 and sold it for about £90. Wish I'd kept it and built something else with that iron and chassis, because the transformers were HUGE and the chassis vast.

I like Laneys in general - I had a VC30 that was pretty nice. But it never had that ability to cut through the mix like Fenders do. And the clean just didn't have enough girth. But it did have that lovely cathode-biased tone when pushed.

With a small amp like that the speaker (and especially efficiency) makes a HUGE difference. I used to use a little single ended amp that I ran with a 6550 for about 20 watts. Volume was never an issue with various 10" celestions until I popped a Jensen P10R in there. Efficiency was around 93dB/watt, and although it sounded interesting, it really couldn't cut it, even with just 40 or 50 people singing. Conversely I used another home grown 5W SE amp (1 X EL84) that was fine for volume with a G12H (100dB/watt) in a largish semi-sealed enclosure.



The one thing the small amps really lack is bass, mostly because of the small output transformers. It all depends on the sound you want, but if it needs a bit of a kick in the bass then a much bigger than typical OT is called for.
All well said. The power rating is very much over stated and meaningless. Also consider that a 100 watt amp is only twice as loud as a 10 watt amp. And consider that a 125 watt Line 6 Spider sounds like slug bait no matter what, and can't keep up with a 22 watt Fender Brownface Deluxe...argh!

It does seem that they are louder. I think there is a lot of marketing speak when it comes to amp power and how that actually sounds. Most solid state amps don't deliver anywhere near their rated rms power to the speaker. Also, I think tube amps amplify the frequencies that sound louder to our ears and tend to track playing dynamics better. The science of it out to be out there somewhere. I just know that my 22 watts with two 6V6's is way louder than 100 solid state watts.


Keep it simple, but start w/a good foundation: Fender/Vox/Marshall all tube amp (essentially, a very rich clean tone). Add an overdrive pedal (or two), a pedal tuner, and a delay. If you want more options, add mod effects, wahs, tap tempo delays, etc.


Rocky Jones



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