Practice amp - which to choose?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by foreright, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    374
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Reading(ish), UK
    So I have approx £150 to spend on a small practice amp as I’m bored with having to fire up the pc and software etc. Just to play through my interface.

    What are my options in this price range? I’ve been looking at the Blackstar Fly or the Roland Micro Cube GX or just going with a micro head like the Orange Micro Dark or one of the Joyo bantamps (zombie probably) and running through headphones or a small cab.

    I do have small children and most of my playing time is when they are asleep so would likely be playing through headphones for a percentage of the time anyway...

    Any opinions?
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

    Messages:
    38,150
    Likes Received:
    29,870
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    How much are POD HDs in your area? Over here that's enough to pick up an HD500, and I can just about guarantee that it'll sound better than a small practice amp.
     
  3. Runander

    Runander SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
  4. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

    Messages:
    27,260
    Likes Received:
    9,074
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    Fender mustang ii or boss katana?
     
  5. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    374
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Reading(ish), UK
    interesting - hadn’t really considered that... I actually do have a pod x3 live but I haven’t switched it on for a while as I tend to spend more time fiddling than actually playing haha. Is the HD much better?
     
  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

    Messages:
    38,150
    Likes Received:
    29,870
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    Eh, for messing around it'll be just fine.
     
  7. Zender

    Zender Tinkering, please hold.

    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    If you just want to hear yourself.... My practice setup for (very) low volume is a JBL charge speaker, plugged into a PodX3.

    Cheap as chips, multipurpose, and takes up very little space. And, you can just plug in a headset which is great for midnight practice.
     
    foreright likes this.
  8. BepsiMan

    BepsiMan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2020
    If you want to get fancy, buy an IR loader (run that to your DI and monitor via headphones on the loader directly) and put a preamp pedal in front :)
     
  9. ATRguitar91

    ATRguitar91 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    425
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I have a Peavey Vypyr that has always impressed for being dirt cheap.

    That said, my favorite for a small budget setup is a preamp pedal into a pedal power amp and cab. You could use the Pod as the preamp for now and you would only need something like the EHX Magnum 44 and whatever cab you can get locally. If you deal hunt this should be doable for around $150.

    I play through a similar setup most of the time, and you get the added benefit of being able to run the preamp into your interface and play with IR's through headphones. It's also imminently flexible as you can swap out the individual pieces as your needs change. It's always nice to have a separate cab and power amp handy.
     
    USMarine75 likes this.
  10. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,401
    Likes Received:
    3,897
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    I just use my existing modeler + headphones. Try to make use of the pod X3 you already have lying around. It’s “just practice” anyways.
     
  11. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    374
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Reading(ish), UK
    Yeah I think this is likely the route I’ll end up going down - thanks all!
     
  12. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    1,155
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Used Peavey Bandit or Randall RG
     
  13. EmaDaCuz

    EmaDaCuz Brutal yet soulful

    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    Have a look at Gumtree or Facebook Groups/Marketplace. Buy second hand, you will be impressed by how many good amps you can find for little money. Keep an eye open for Blackstar HT1 combo and Katana 50 MK 1, they go for £100-150 and they are better than those mini heads.

    Guitarguitar has some crazy deals on ex-demo stuff, if you want to buy "new".
     
    foreright likes this.
  14. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    14,806
    Likes Received:
    8,381
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    I’ll second this. I have an old POD 2.0 that I use and literally just leave it on patch 4D for practice. It sounds great, and I can play thought headphones any time without bothering anyone. What I love most about playing through headphones is that you don’t get the unamplified string sound ringing out when an actual amp volume is set low. That drives me nuts. I either want to turn my amp up so I’m hearing the guitar only through the cab, and not the plink sound of the strings, or I want to play through headphones and not even bother with an amp.
     
    foreright likes this.
  15. gabito

    gabito SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    115
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Argentina
    I use a POD HD for practice and recording.

    I also have a Boss Katana Mini. Sounds pretty good, but it may be a little expensive for what it is.
     
  16. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

    Messages:
    4,605
    Likes Received:
    3,174
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Spain
    A buddy of mine just got one of those little Yamaha THRs and he's super happy with it. New models even have built in wireless.
     
  17. Musiscience

    Musiscience Hail the Ibbyborn!

    Messages:
    1,593
    Likes Received:
    1,586
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    Not sure if somebody brought it up, but the Yamaha THR10X is really nice for practice. You can usually find them used on the cheap side. Can go somwhat loud or whisper quiet. Sounds better than the Cubr IMO.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

    Messages:
    4,605
    Likes Received:
    3,174
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Spain
    Dude, it's literally one post above yours :lol:
     
    Musiscience likes this.
  19. ATRguitar91

    ATRguitar91 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    425
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Enjoy! I try to sell everyone I can on a sweet modular setup. MFX/Preamp -> Power Amp -> cab is the ultimate in flexibility to me.

    Tired of your core tone? Swap the preamp for something different, I've got 4 in my chain at any moment and run them in stereo at times. Want some tube goodness? Get a tube power amp. Need more volume or thump? Upgrade the cab.

    If you've got an interface, the preamps sound great running into IRs; I prefer doing that over the sims I've tried. If you're using a modeler anyways you're setup for headphone jamming out of the box and can easily run into that your power amp and cab when you're able to crank.
     
  20. Musiscience

    Musiscience Hail the Ibbyborn!

    Messages:
    1,593
    Likes Received:
    1,586
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    LOL really didn't read the answers. Cool little amps though.
     

Share This Page