Let’s talk about tube amplifiers.
It has now been almost 10years since I sold my final ‘big’ amp. It was a Traynor YCV40, a 40 watt tube amp. Previously I’d owned a few other 40 watt plus amps, Marshalls, Fenders etc.
I found that they were never right for the gig I was playing. When you wanted to get the amp really working, it was way too loud on stage.
Then of course there was the lugging to and from the gigs. Big amps are heavy.
I found myself using my Fender Pro Junior more and more at gigs, getting the sound of the amp through the PA – whilst the Pro Junior is limited – check out this video – it was often the perfect amp for the gig. With a mic in front of the amp it could sound huge and plenty loud enough.
A regular thing I hear is, but I can’t hear a 15w amp over the drummer. I don’t know how loud these folks are playing, but it must be loud. I use a variety of smaller amps over the last few years, Fender pro junior, Fender Blues Junior, Ibanez TSA15H and the biggest is a Fender Deluxe Reverb. My fave is the Deluxe, but even then at 22 watts it can be just too loud on stage. My next amp is likely to be a Fender Princeton, it has tremelo, reverb and is rated at 15 watts.
Look, I understand why high wattage amps are still used – headroom. If you need your amp to be clean at really (like REALLY) high volumes, then that is the choice for you. However, I don’t know many small to medium size venues where that would be appropriate. On gear sale sites you are now seeing a lot of big amps for sale at really reasonable prices – that tells you that 100 watt is dead for 99% of guitar players.
Anyway – join the small amp revolution! Lighter, just as satisfying.
Here is a cool article from Reverb.com on 6 different small amps to check out.