How do these amps sound at bedroom volume?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by angl2k, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    322
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Being a metal bedroom guitarist I currently use an Engl Thunder for my bedroom jamming. It sounds pretty decent but I'm looking for a more versatile amp (the Thunder has shared eq+gain). I'm boosting the Thunder with an Empress EQ pedal.

    So reading through the reviews and drooling at amp specs I want to hear some opinions about these amps at bedroom volume:
    • Engl Powerball 2
    • Engl Savage
    • PRS Archon
    • EVH 5150
    • Mesa Boogie Mini Rectifier 25
    • Peavy 6505 Plus

    Currently on my shortlist are the Archon and Powerball since I heared these sound pretty good at lower volumes. Any opinions are welcome!
     
  2. Krazy Kalle

    Krazy Kalle SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Location:
    Gie├čen - Hessen - Germany
    Wouldn't a mini variant of one them be better for only bedroom volume?

    Like the Peavy 6505 MH or the Engl E606 Ironball Head?
    I heard they're still loud enough for more than just [email protected] jamming,
    just in case you change your mind.
     
  3. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    322
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I like the idea of mini amps but most of them have shared EQ which I've grown to hate :/

    Mesa Mini rectifier seems fine in terms of versatility but I heared Mesa's are hard to dial in and sound much better when cranked.
     
  4. Sean Richardson

    Sean Richardson Onedge Custom

    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    30
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne AU
    Honestly, if you can stretch it, AXFX or Kemper and decent monitors (or even headphones).

    I own a MkIV, a Soldano HR25, have had (in the quest for bedroom tones):

    Mini Recto, Dark Terror, Jim Root Terror, Mk V 25, Engl Ironball, EVH5153...

    The "best" is the Soldano, but it's a tube amp and still needs volume.

    The AXFX I use DAILY and my 7 year old daughter can sleep in the next room... If you want metal at low volume... Its digital
     
  5. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    322
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    The Axe FX is ridiculously expensive here in Europe (2700 euro vs 2250 usd..) so that's not an option. Same goes for the higher end Mesa's they're also very expensive in Europe.

    The Kemper is an option, but I feel like I don't need that many options and tweakability and amp sims. If I'm going digital I just need one amp sim that works very well no bells and whistles.
     
  6. Sean Richardson

    Sean Richardson Onedge Custom

    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    30
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne AU
    Trust me... The AXEFX In Australia is stupid expensive (I have also tried the Kemper but preferred the Ax), there is also the Amplifire.

    What you need to consider (and maybe take the $$$$ I have blown over the years), is that for bedroom metal tones, digital (high end digital) has no equal.

    There is another option and that is the torpedo live WITH a tube amp (been there too), it's great but you essentially lack fx.

    By the time you go amp + fx + torpedo + monitors... Well your at AXFX rates
     
  7. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,704
    Likes Received:
    15,714
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I would say the Engls would sound the best at bedroom volumes.

    Another option would be the amp + a loadbox + your computer with impulses.
     
  8. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    322
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Hmm been thinking about going (semi) digital.

    Lets say I put an amp through the Torpedo Live then I'll have to run the signal to a studio monitor or stage monitor?

    The Torpedo does have a headphone out for late night playing which is tempting..
     
  9. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29,704
    Likes Received:
    15,714
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Pretty much how it works, yeah. You can also run it into your computer to record with, as well.
     
  10. LeftOurEyes

    LeftOurEyes SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    232
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    The torpedo sounds right for you. Just throwing this out there too if you don't want to go digital. Get an attenuator instead of a speaker simulator. Here is an example of one. (Two Notes also makes one, just cost a little more)

    Rivera RockCrusher Power Attenuator/Load Box for Amps | Sweetwater.com

    You could keep the amp you got, or get any of the ones you mentioned if you also just want to get another amp that doesn't have shared eq. This way you could still use your cab and not have to use your monitors like they were mentioning about the torpedo if that was an issue for you. If not the torpedo is a good product.
     
  11. chopeth85

    chopeth85 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    106
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    I have had an evh 5150III 50W and for bedroom volume is really great because the most of the distortion comes from the preamp section.

    By far, the most incredible amp for bedroom use is my engl savage SE. It's so incredibly amazing at whispering volumes that it's unveliable. You can play, without boosting the amp, even arch enemy.
     
  12. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

    Messages:
    10,052
    Likes Received:
    1,867
    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    7th Ethereal Plane of interstellar hell, Innit Bru
    If you hate shared EQ, you can knock the 5150 straight off the list... unless you're referring to the 5150 III. But the original is very much a one trick pony with shred eq. An awesome granny at a thousand places killing grind uber machine one trick pony that is.

    I'd say that it is well worth it to get a torpedo live or studio, and plug your amp through that for home use and recording. I'm using mine with with a host of amps. I get to really crank the amp, get awesome sounds that feel like an amp, and feel like you're playing the amp at retard volumes, but at a volume that is sane at home.
     
  13. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

    Messages:
    8,886
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The EVH 5153 is pretty versatile and kicks ass at lower volumes. That's what I use mine for most of the time and it does the job really well.

    I think it's more important to have a smooth volume/master taper than it is to have less watts or smaller power tubes to get a good bedroom sound. I tend to prefer bigger tubes regardless of the volume needed since every el-84 based amp I've tried just didn't have a comparable amount of thump/depth or headroom. 6v6's aren't bad, but they're usually pretty woolly at higher volumes and your options are limited as far as 6v6 amps that do high gain.
     
  14. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    1,679
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Location:
    Finland
    I would look for a used Axe-Fx II (non XL version). Sounds exactly the same as the newer XL version but should cost roughly 2000 euros. Warranty is transferable afaik.

    If you want an amp, see if you can find a used Diezel Einstein. I had the combo version before I hopped on the Axe-Fx train and it was pretty killer sounding and quite versatile. Only two channels but the first one can be used for either clean, rock or metal tones via a mode switch. Second channel is just piles of gain (too much to be honest), great for metal leads or rhythms. The channel format limits it a bit (should you want clean and metal rhythm and lead you probably have to play around with your guitar volume knob for the distorted tones) but it should be in your price range and does sound good even at bedroom volumes.

    Another option is its successor the D-Moll. Costs around 1800 euros new.

    In any case, Diezel amps are pretty damn awesome for metal.
     
  15. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

    Messages:
    27,749
    Likes Received:
    9,921
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    Are you also planning on using this amp live as well?

    I don't know what computer you have, but I use an interface (scarlett 2i4) into Garageband and I get pretty good results with headphones. GB has a lot of tweakability for its amp sims, and cover all the main bases. The effects are a little limited, but when I can bring home my board it's fine.

    Given that Reaper is a free recording program and there are some good free high-gain VST's you can use, you can use your computer for home practice and the real deal for rehearsals and gigging.

    Just an idea!
     
  16. bnzboy

    bnzboy Asian Dying

    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    191
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Location:
    London, ON
    I can tell you about Mesa Boogie Mini Rectifier 25; very sudden volume jump and I wasn't able to dial in good tone in low volumes
     
  17. jeremyb

    jeremyb SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    78
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Location:
    Chch, NZ
    If you wanna stay with tubes, get a Mesa MkV or MkV 25, both go down to 10W and sound great in that setting :)
     
  18. Sean Richardson

    Sean Richardson Onedge Custom

    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    30
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne AU
    I have and use a Rockcrusher and it helps. It is also great when you want to use the line out feature and run the amp into something like an AXFX. When you use it at -20dbA it's still quite loud though. If you go to the studio setting its gets much quieter but the speakers don't move enough and it tends to make the amp sound very fizzy. The sound of a decent tube amp is still loud when in reference to "bedroom volume"...you also need to consider that to get that cranked metal amp sound, your speakers (in the speaker cab) need to resonate the cab and that only happens at volume. Works ok on smaller amps, but again, your going to spend money for an ok, or compromise solution to what you really need...

    Trust me... Go digital. Buy second hand if you need to... Save your money in the long run buy doing this and thank me later!
     
  19. Thanatopsis

    Thanatopsis SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    87
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Massachusetts & Czech Republic
    You could always go rackmount. That way you can get a smaller power amp and always have the option to get a bigger one in the future. Switching from a head to rack setup is one of the best things I've done for my rig. Unless some random ridiculously good deal on something comes my way that catches my eye, I don't think I'll ever get another head.
     
  20. jc986

    jc986 Tone Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,861
    Likes Received:
    286
    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    I've owned several of the amps on your list as well as many others and the best tube amps I've played for bedroom volumes are the PRS Archon, EVH 5153, and ENGL (pretty much any ENGL) in that order. I've never played a "mini" head that I liked for metal. They tend to lose something IMO when going down to EL84's. I would not recommend the Peavey 6505+ as the taper on the Peavey's volume jumps to very loud very quickly with hardly any middle ground.

    It will also depend highly on your definition of "bedroom" volume.
     

Share This Page