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Big Tones From Small Amps? Yes You Can!

Published on May 27, 2016

In this video Daniel and Mick are discussing the practicalities and benefits of using lower power guitar amps to get great tones at real-world volumes.
We’re also responding to a question we asked regularly: ‘Can you use some normal/smaller amps to get good sounds, instead of the really powerful/expensive/boutique stuff?’

Yes we can!

So we’re taking a Fender Blues Junior – probably the most widely used 15-watt valve amp in the world – and a 5-watt Marshall Class 5 as the basis for our tones, on the end of a bunch of common effect types.

The pedals we’re using today:

• Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe
UK & Europe:

• Lovepedal Vibronaut - no longer made

• Wampler Tumnus
UK & Europe:

• Fire Custom Shop Carpe Diem - no longer made

• Analog Man King Of Tone

• Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl
UK & Europe:

• Electro-Harmonix Memory Man 1100-TT
UK & Europe:

• MXR M300
UK & Europe:

All pedals are going into both amps (yes, wet/dry would sound fantastic too).

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
• What amps are we using today and why? 1:43
• Lovepedal Vibronaut brief intro and sounds: 3:23
• Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe discussion and sounds: 4:13
• Amps played on their own and together: 7.39
• Amps in and out of phase with one another: 8:21
• Can you use small amps live? 11:10
• Tumnus discussion and examples: 13:54
• Compressor into Tumnus: 15:15
• Overdrive pedal considerations for small amps: 18:00
• Modulation / Warped Vinyl discussion and examples: 22:05
• Reverbs and delays: 26:06
• Rock rhythms with distortion: 29:30
• Dan making awesome noises with the Gretsch: 34:20

Mick is playing a Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster. Dan is playing a Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard and Gretsch Players Edition 6118T Anniversary.

As mentioned above, amps are a Fender Blues Junior III and a Marshall Class 5 (original version, without the low-power mode).

As always, all pedal and amp switching and routing is handled by TheGigRig G2.
For more on TheGigRig see

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