Author Topic: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..  (Read 432 times)

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Offline cosmic

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help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« on: January 11, 2021, 10:25:43 am »
Hi there
I'm been umming and arring over a practice amp. I have been looking at the PG spark, Yamaha thr5/10 and others similar to this and this kind of price range. Around £200 - £250

Basically I'm looking for a amp to play along with Justin, I'm just starting out as a beginner. I'd like something that can sound good at low volume, as a family man with young kids I'm probably going to be using headphones and a tablet a lot of time time.

nux mighty air might be an option too, as its small, portable etc.

What do you guys recommend? I saw that Justin recommends the Katana 50, a great price but probably way to loud for my use

Thank you

Online adi_mrok

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 10:42:50 am »
Hi cosmic I have a Katana 50 on which you can plug in your headphones and reduce the wattage of your amp - you have options 50, 25 and 0.5W so for your playing 0.5W would be appropriate. I live in block of flats and I never had any conplaints from neighbours :) if you are serious about the playing that is a good investment since it has built in effects which gives a lot of flexibility in the future. Even if you decide not to play or upgrade - those amps are holding their price well so you won't loose a lot of money on it if you want to get rid of it.

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Offline Majik

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 11:04:25 am »
Welcome to the forums cosmic!

From the amps you have mentioned, I have 3 of them: the PG Spark, the THR 10, and the Katana (although I have the Katana 100).

I've not used the Nux at all.

As adi_mrok says, the Katana can play at low volumes. If you are considering something you can take out to rehearsals or even gigging in the future, it's a great option. The thing to consider is that it is physically relatively large (compared with the other options) and you really need at least 2-3 ft of space in front of it as well. So consider where you would put it. The Katana has a bucket load of cool effects built in. It has an aux input but no Bluetooth.

The PG Spark is a decent little amp and is great value for money. Just don't believe all of the hype on the Internet. It's good, but not as "special" as some of the reviews make out. The advantage of the Spark is it is relatively small and has some decent amp models and effects, although it's not as flexible as the Katana in terms of effects. It also has Bluetooth which is great for streaming backing tracks, Youtube, etc.

The THR is a great little amp. It sounds good, is easy to use and look great in almost any environment (which might be a consideration). It's limited in terms of effects compared to the other options, but it has enough for most basic uses. It also has Bluetooth (in the mkII version), and makes a great Bluetooth speaker. There's options for an onboard rechargeable battery and a wireless guitar transmitter if you want, although these push the price up a fair bit.

In many respects the THR-II 10 and the PG Spark are very similar. The PG Spark is cheaper and is great value for money, but the THR is, IMO, better built and, generally, a better quality product.

Feel free to ask me any questions.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline cosmic

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 12:14:49 pm »
thanks guys,
I think the katana is just too big for what I require right now. I have little ones, and a small place and a naggy wife. Need something that has Wife appeal :)

I did order a spark and prompt cancelled the order, when I read through the spark forums. It on paper looks ideal, but it may even be too much faffing for me as a beginner. Relying on the app, QC issues and the fact it'll take 2 months to arrive minimum.

That leaves the Yamaha THR10ii or that little nux mighty air.
I do like the idea of the battery, being able to just pick up and sit in the garden (in the summer! brr UK).
If not a battery, which the THR wireless is out of my beginner budget, the THR5 maybe?
As you can tell, I have not yet made up my mind...

Online DarrellW

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 01:34:18 pm »
If you want to play out in the garden then the THR10 is an excellent choice, if money is an issue the THR5 with an outdoor use extension and waterproof plug on the Amp would work well - I do that with my Blackstar BEAM. No experience of the Nux but it looks ok, have you thought about a Blackstar Fly3 or maybe the stereo pack?
https://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-dept/electric-guitar-amps/solid-state-digital-amps/solid-state-digital-combos/blackstar-fly-3-plus-fly-103-pack-includes-power-supply
Or maybe even better the Blackstar Superfly!
https://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-dept/electric-guitar-amps/practice-amps/blackstar-super-fly-bluetooth-mini-amp
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Offline Majik

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 02:57:09 pm »
I did order a spark and prompt cancelled the order, when I read through the spark forums. It on paper looks ideal, but it may even be too much faffing for me as a beginner. Relying on the app, QC issues and the fact it'll take 2 months to arrive minimum.

Good analysis. As I said, it's not a bad amp, especially for the money. But it has its share of issues, and it's certainly not as revolutionary as the Internet hype suggests.

https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=47747.msg432181#msg432181

I've not used the BEAM that DarrellW suggests, but I have heard good things about them and it seems like another good option. I have got the Blackstar Fly, in Bass form, and for it's size it's a great little portable amp (I took mine camping), but I would suggest the BEAM might be be more appropriate for general home use.

The advantage the Yamaha THRs have is that they don't look like amps, and tend to be "wife friendly".

Cheers,

Keith

Online DarrellW

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 03:51:36 pm »
I don’t think that the BEAM is worth considering unless you want to be able to plug in Bass Electric and Acoustic plus play MP3’s; if you only want a basic amp then I would suggest the ID core10 mkII, either would need waterproof plugs to safety play outdoors. That was basically why I suggested the Superfly, it’s battery/rechargeable battery and got some nice features that make it suitable for busking -I quite fancy one myself!
Still here, still learning - no longer letting Fibromyalgia get in the way, it sucks but doesn’t have to mean your life stops!

Offline cosmic

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 03:54:10 pm »
Good analysis. As I said, it's not a bad amp, especially for the money. But it has its share of issues, and it's certainly not as revolutionary as the Internet hype suggests.

https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=47747.msg432181#msg432181

I've not used the BEAM that DarrellW suggests, but I have heard good things about them and it seems like another good option. I have got the Blackstar Fly, in Bass form, and for it's size it's a great little portable amp (I took mine camping), but I would suggest the BEAM might be be more appropriate for general home use.

The advantage the Yamaha THRs have is that they don't look like amps, and tend to be "wife friendly".

Cheers,

Keith

Thanks guys. I really almost continued with the PG Spark, even after requesting the cancellation thats how much I think it would be perfect. But the humming issue with power supplies, and well, the whole constant you tube advert thing kind of put me off. IDK, I still may get one later down the road when they become more readily available. Maybe even a v2.

I actually just picked up a Nux mighty air pre-owned for a really great price. I figure, to start out with, get me through the beginner course and just have fun with it will be pretty ideal actually. Also, in a few months I'll have more of an idea of what sounds I like and what direction to go. I still really love the look of the Yamaha THR range, but I cant justify spending £300+ on the battery version. I may find I don't need another battery amp now with the nux, so my next amp could well be the Katana 50.. who knows. Its a fun journey!

All the best guys and thanks for the recommendations. I appreciate it, what a cool community!

Offline Majik

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2021, 03:55:24 pm »
Ah, the Superfly looks interesting.

Congrats on the purchase. I would love to know how you get on with the Nux.

Cheers,

Keith

Online DarrellW

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2021, 03:58:59 pm »
I actually just picked up a Nux mighty air pre-owned for a really great price. I figure, to start out with, get me through the beginner course and just have fun with it will be pretty ideal actually.
All the best guys and thanks for the recommendations. I appreciate it, what a cool community!
Let us know what it’s like and how easy/difficult it is to use, it’s not one we see often, actually I’ve not heard of it before today but do buy from Thomann who stock it; it would be useful to us and other members for information.
Still here, still learning - no longer letting Fibromyalgia get in the way, it sucks but doesn’t have to mean your life stops!

Offline cosmic

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2021, 08:00:18 pm »
Thanks for the Boss Katana 50 rec by the way @adi_mrok
I will probably end up with one of those, after just watching a few videos on the tube, it looks to be incredible value for what you get...

Still stand by the little nux in principle, all about having fun right. and i think that little thing will do just that in spades! and be a pretty nifty little portable music speaker too.

I'll let you guys know how it is when it arrives, i cant play for toffee but i can listen to it at least ha ha.

Online adi_mrok

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2021, 08:31:01 pm »
I am sure that whatever you choose it's gonna be a good purchase, glad to shed some light :)

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Online Ex-Calif

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Re: help in choosing a practice amp, desktop, low volume..
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2021, 01:48:08 pm »
As a beginner I am happy with the Mustang 2 20W I just bought. It's got built in mixes, will take inputs from outside sources (like backing tracks) and will output to headset or 8 inch speaker.

In hindsight I would have done the Spark.

Someday I will outgrow the amp and will be a lot smarter in picking the next one but for me I know that's years away. No intention to do any gigs...

BTW - I turn the Mustang all the way up and turn it to a distortion and overdrive setting and everyone in my 3 bedroom house complains about the noise - So yeah - loud enough...

PS - I started with an iRig plugged into my tablet (iPad) and a headset - that was fine for the first part of the lessons and it was only $49 USD...
New old guy getting on the Blues path
Picked up the guitar again Dec 17, 2020
Fender Squire Bullet Strat & Fender Mustang 2
iRig - iPad - MPOW BT Receiver - Pyle Mixer

 

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