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Old 02-28-2010, 04:32 PM   #1
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Finding the "right" amp...endless journey!

I've been looking for an affordable amp (<250$) for quite a while now and have stumbled over a few which have caught my eye, I'd like to hear some reviews and opinions from whoever has tried or owned one of these (private use only, no gigs or anything, so anything below 15W will do for me).

First off, I'd love to just have a simple tube amp w/out any combo stuff and presets (like the Vox VT30/50, as good as they supposedly are).

Choices:

VOX AC-4 TV8 --> Love this one actually, affordable and looks like just what I'm looking for. Anyone who's tried one?

Fender Vibro Champ XD --> Bit more pricey, but you pay what you get for I guess.

Fender Champion 600 --> Read some harsh critics about this one, anyone who's tested any?

Vox Pathfinder --> Tested this one: Great value, but the overdrive sounded ridiculous when I tried?! Also no tube, but again: Price is just too good.
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Also, anyone who's tested the VOX AD series vs. the VT series? I remember the AD series being much more expensive than the VT series now, surely they've saved some costs at the wrong ends?


Any help and new recommendations appreciated, thanks!
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:19 PM   #2
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Well I tried the AC4 and it was great! The only downside is it's difficult to get a "clean" sound out of it. It was still a bit overdriven with the guitar volume turned down. Now when I want a clean sound I look for no overdrive at all. So it really depends on if you care or not on that part. I mean other than that it's a great little amp that, with some effects, I would be playing all day! As for the other ones you mentioned I haven't tried a single one of them. Maybe someone here has. I thought I'd just drop my 2 cents in here.

Best of luck with the amp though! I know it's difficult finding just the right amp for yourself.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:24 PM   #3
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Oh one thing I forgot to mention about the AC4, with a strat it's totally great at doing the early U2 thing. If someone just handed me a Deluxe MM I could have played Electric Co. and it would have sounded just like it. It also does a very sweet bluesy tone that is just wicked.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:41 PM   #4
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Cheers for the info, I need to check out the AC4 at my local store and see how "bad" the clean sound really is.

I'm obviously also open for other suggestions/brands e.g. HK, Orange, Line6...but doubt they have what I'm looking for.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:10 PM   #5
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Orange is good. Never tried Orange though but they have this certain characteristic about them.

Line 6, I don't like their amps. Their effects, yes. Their amps, no.

Fender is really good. Their notorious for having a great clean, reverb sound.

As for the AC4 the clean issue isn't too bad, I think I'm really picky when it comes to that but I think the best thing is try them out if at all possible. If you can't try them out, I'll be going to a Guitar Store soon and can test out the different models you want for you. I'd be glad to check out a few amps anyway. Just let me know. As for when I'll be going I'm still unsure. Any specific thing about the amp you want to know I can test.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:02 AM   #6
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A very generous offer, thanks alot! I think my guitar store has the Fender models, but misses the VOX Amps (AC4TV8 & Pathfinder), so I'll definitely give the Fender ones a try myself. I'm not in a rush, will wait and see what comes around. I've been checking eBay and such for weeks now to have that "a-ha" moment, but that's an impossible thing with low budget amps I guess because you'll always have the ups and downs.

I should just sell my kidney and buy a vintage AC30
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:58 AM   #7
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Remembered another affordable one: Fender Frontman. Reviews, anyone?
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:28 AM   #8
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Of the choices

VOX AC-4 TV8 --> Love this one actually, affordable and looks like just what I'm looking for. Anyone who's tried one?

Fender Vibro Champ XD --> Bit more pricey, but you pay what you get for I guess.

Fender Champion 600 --> Read some harsh critics about this one, anyone who's tested any?

Vox Pathfinder --> Tested this one: Great value, but the overdrive sounded ridiculous when I tried?! Also no tube, but again: Price is just too good.

The two Vox amps are the better choices to my ears.

As for the Pathfinder, the OD sound is okay but you can get a Boss SD-1 or Ibanez Tubescreamer to handle basic OD and you are set.

The Vox AC4 is great. Go to youtube and find some clips and demos on the amp.

Here's a clip by Mick of The Unforgettable Fire. This alone can sell the amp.
YouTube - mick3b1g's Channel

and this
YouTube - mick3b1g's Channel
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:11 PM   #9
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Speaking of the Pathfinder 15, I was wondering if anyone has tried/owned one? I could sell one of my pedals and buy the Pathfinder. I have such a sucky amp right now it's not even funny. My main concern is on the sound. In terms of use, I'd be using it for recording. I think I need to head off to GC and try it out for myself and let my ears to the decision making. But right now I'd like the opinion of anyone else who has used one of these.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:04 AM   #10
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Thank you both for your help. Decided to go with the Vox AC4...and what a cracker that one is! Wouldn't believe what 4 Watts can do to you.

Now only thing left is replacing my s*** cables, they are a massive thorn in the eye. I'm sure most make their own guitar cables (while we're on the topic: Does Edge or which brand does he use?), but for "home entertainment" any decent cable does it for me. Any recommendations? Vovox is obviously top (and very expensive), but I've read mixed reviews about almost any cable brand: Monster, Cordial...you name it!
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theedgeu2 View Post
Speaking of the Pathfinder 15, I was wondering if anyone has tried/owned one? I could sell one of my pedals and buy the Pathfinder. I have such a sucky amp right now it's not even funny. My main concern is on the sound. In terms of use, I'd be using it for recording. I think I need to head off to GC and try it out for myself and let my ears to the decision making. But right now I'd like the opinion of anyone else who has used one of these.
I own a Pathfinder. Best $99 I ever spent. Great amp for practicing/recording at home. I've used it live in smaller settings and as a second amp (mic'd up) to run stereo.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirrorballman View Post
Thank you both for your help. Decided to go with the Vox AC4...and what a cracker that one is! Wouldn't believe what 4 Watts can do to you.

Now only thing left is replacing my s*** cables, they are a massive thorn in the eye. I'm sure most make their own guitar cables (while we're on the topic: Does Edge or which brand does he use?), but for "home entertainment" any decent cable does it for me. Any recommendations? Vovox is obviously top (and very expensive), but I've read mixed reviews about almost any cable brand: Monster, Cordial...you name it!
Mogami are great but not cheap.

George L's are another good option, as you can cut them to size and don't need to solder.
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