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  1. #1

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    I'm looking for an amp to replace my SF Princeton Reverb (w/ 12" speaker). I'd like something with more power and headroom, maybe 30-40 watts in a small light package, definitely with tubes. I've been thinking maybe going boutique but would need something used.

    I'm doing a lot of looking but thought some input from fellow jazzers would help.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    Henriksen JazzAmp 112. Woops, you said tubes...
    Build bridges, not walls.

  4. #3

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    I don't think I've ever played a 30-40w tube amp I'd classify as light.

    The rivera Pubster and Clubster are probably as light as you're gonna get...pretty compact too...very cool amps.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  5. #4
    I've got a Vox AC30 with a 1x12 that's an beast, very difficult to carry especially for jazz gigs. And the PR is great but I need more cleans.

    I've though about those Rivera's but I'm a bit hesitant to get something with a gain channel as it's not something i'd really use.

  6. #5

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    In a current Fender amp, the Hot Rod Deluxe is a 1x12 combo, 40W, 2 x 6L6, 45lbs, but it can be bright and harsh. Not exactly a jazz amp.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  7. #6

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    Fair enough.

    Any reason you think you need tubes? My Henriksen's a tube amp eater
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  8. #7
    I have a JazzKat when I need it, but I also want versatility on my regular gigging amp - so I can bring my Tele, semi-hollow, or hollow and get good sound out of each guitar. To me, that's a tube amp.

  9. #8

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    I agree with Mr. B. You won't find anything small and light in a 40 watt tube amp. I was going to recommend the Riveras, but Mr. B beat me to it. The Riveras and the Mesa LoneStars are available as heads. That may solve your size and weight problem, but I doubt there are many on the used market.

  10. #9

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by taxman View Post
    I agree with Mr. B. You won't find anything small and light in a 40 watt tube amp
    Sure you will. The gries is small and light and at 35watts, very close to the OP's specs. Put a SS rectifier in it and you'd be at 40watts. 32lbs with a tonker lite in it. Blows away *ANY* SS amp for tone IMO.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by supermaxx View Post
    I have a JazzKat when I need it, but I also want versatility on my regular gigging amp - so I can bring my Tele, semi-hollow, or hollow and get good sound out of each guitar. To me, that's a tube amp.
    Will this amp just be used clean? Maybe if you could give details: price, weight limits, etc...
    Build bridges, not walls.

  13. #12
    So I'll be using it mostly for clean. If I need some gain I'll throw a pedal in front. Weight and size means I can carry it in one hand and a guitar in the other if needed, maybe around 40lbs. Cost, I'd like to be able to cover it give or take by selling my Princeton, I'm also selling a guitar (pre-lawsuit Ibanez es175 style if anyone's interested) that can be used to cover the cost too.

    That Gries looks really nice, if I found a used one I'd be on it fast but maybe a little much for me to buy new. I've seen some other amps like that, small company, boutique, simple, but haven't been able to seal the deal.

  14. #13

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    Egnater tweaker head and cab.15w but pretty loud and some great tones,clean and dirty.Pretty light.There's also a combo which is heavier.

  15. #14

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    forgot to add,it has no reverb but the Holy Grail Nano works great for some nice reverb.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Sure you will. The gries is small and light and at 35watts, very close to the OP's specs. Put a SS rectifier in it and you'd be at 40watts. 32lbs with a tonker lite in it. Blows away *ANY* SS amp for tone IMO.
    Jack,
    I spoke to Dave Gries a week or so ago about the Gries 35. He said it was around 40 lbs with the Tonkerlite, and 50 lbs with the regular Tonker. Did you happen to weigh your amp? If I could get 35 watts of Blackface tone weighing only 32 lbs, I'd be all over it.

  17. #16

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    I know of no such tube amp that is light AND durable that has a lot of clean head room. Has the forum embraced Neo speakers yet? That would help in the weight department for sure. Hard to get around quality transformers.
    Seems like there are a lot of "old schooler's" here. I guess it comes down to personal preference as to how much lifting and loading you deem worth the return.

  18. #17

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  19. #18

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    Have you tried putting a lower gain preamp tube in the Princeton? How about a more efficient speaker? Theoretically, a Princeton with a speaker rated at 100db efficiency should be as loud as my super reverb with 95db efficiency.

  20. #19

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    I have a SF PR with a celestion century neo ( not the current century vintage) @102db and it is considerably louder than a stock 40w fender. weighs 28lb. The stock SF princeton circuit only gives 12w but can be tweaked to give 18-20 - lots of info on the internet. The SF amps have handwired circuits which are relatively easy to modify.
    It's difficult to beat the SF princeton tone, size & weight so I'd consider if a little modification could give you what you are looking for before selling.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bebop Tom View Post
    Jack,
    I spoke to Dave Gries a week or so ago about the Gries 35. He said it was around 40 lbs with the Tonkerlite, and 50 lbs with the regular Tonker. Did you happen to weigh your amp? If I could get 35 watts of Blackface tone weighing only 32 lbs, I'd be all over it.
    mine is 46 with the regular tonker, so that would be 36 with the tonker-lite

  22. #21

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    Thank you. Do you prefer the non-lite Tonker?

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1997 View Post
    I have a SF PR with a celestion century neo ( not the current century vintage) @102db and it is considerably louder than a stock 40w fender. weighs 28lb. The stock SF princeton circuit only gives 12w but can be tweaked to give 18-20 - lots of info on the internet. The SF amps have handwired circuits which are relatively easy to modify.
    It's difficult to beat the SF princeton tone, size & weight so I'd consider if a little modification could give you what you are looking for before selling.
    Hey Franz,
    I just had my amp put back to spec as it had been modded before so I'm probably going to keep it that way for now. I've looked into getting another speaker, the Weber 12F150 came recommended.

    You get enough headroom out of your PR to play with a drummer?

  24. #23

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    How about a Deluxe Reverb? It's lower wattage than you're looking for, but still might be loud enough. I have one and it easily competes with higher wattage combos. I replaced the preamp tubes with 5751s, they're lower gain and gave me a lot more headroom. Not too heavy to shlep around either.

  25. #24

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    Rivera Jazz Suprema 15" speaker? Only 40 lbs, probably the world's best jazz amp...

    Osvi

  26. #25

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    Hey Franz,
    I just had my amp put back to spec as it had been modded before so I'm probably going to keep it that way for now. I've looked into getting another speaker, the Weber 12F150 came recommended.

    You get enough headroom out of your PR to play with a drummer?

    My PR does about 20w, not the stock 12 w - anyway this is a difficult question! I'd say that it just about works in a quartet with one horn at moderate volumes, and is fine without a drummer. Most of us know that when playing with drummers, sometimes even ( say) a stock vibrolux or pro isn't enough, because you need to increase available wattage/spl a LOT to increase clean volume/ headroom a relatively small amount. Since humping a twin hasn't been an option for me since 1990, I go with the modded PR for small set-ups, and go with an Evans SS amp for louder stuff.
    There is one amp which I remember as being light, compact and quite loud, and that's the 80s music man RD 12 50- they are actually smaller than the PR. They had a SS preamp and tube output, and weighed about the same. You might find one second-hand quite cheaply, and the preamp ICs are still widely available. These amps had nearly 600v on the tubes, and so when US/ W European tubes became difficult to get in the 90s, many of them were dumped, but they still pop up occasionally. If they had been all-tube, they would have been collectible by now.....

  27. #26
    yes I prefer the regular tonker for most things but the lite does sound good for jazz guitar. It's a little bright for smooth fusion tones though.

  28. #27
    Egnater Rebel 30. Scaleable from 1 to 30 watts. Two channels. Ability to mix between 6L6 and EL84 tubes. And the 1-12" combo is 31 pounds. Plenty of headroom and a lead channel that will eliminate any need for a dirt pedal.
    "If it can't be fixed with duct tape or a martini, it's not worth fixing."

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Funkwire View Post
    Egnater Rebel 30. Scaleable from 1 to 30 watts. Two channels. Ability to mix between 6L6 and EL84 tubes. And the 1-12" combo is 31 pounds. Plenty of headroom and a lead channel that will eliminate any need for a dirt pedal.
    Hmm, interesting suggestion. I actually played an Egnater a few weeks ago and it had a great clean sound. I was looking for something with only 1 channel but that amp has a lot us nice features. I'll definitely have to give one a test drive.

    Have you used one for jazz?

  30. #29

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    Just as a heads up there's a cat on the acoustic guitar forum selling a pubster for $500.

    If I needed an amp i'd be on that like my dog on beneful savory lamb and rice.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by supermaxx View Post
    Hmm, interesting suggestion. I actually played an Egnater a few weeks ago and it had a great clean sound. I was looking for something with only 1 channel but that amp has a lot us nice features. I'll definitely have to give one a test drive.

    Have you used one for jazz?
    Just in practice sessions. I use it mainly in my classic rock band.

    The Rebel 20 has the same features (minus reverb) but only one channel. I specifically wanted a 2-channel amp because I prefer the sound of tube distortion to a pedal...at least the pedals I've tried.
    "If it can't be fixed with duct tape or a martini, it's not worth fixing."

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funkwire View Post
    And the 1-12" combo is 31 pounds.
    The Rebel 30 combo 1-12 seems a very interesting, though expensive, option;
    However, it is not particulary light : 50 lbs, not 31.

    Welcome to Egnater Amplification

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    In a current Fender amp, the Hot Rod Deluxe is a 1x12 combo, 40W, 2 x 6L6, 45lbs, but it can be bright and harsh. Not exactly a jazz amp.
    I have one. Decent enough sound. But I made the mistake of confusing lighter than a Marshall 2x12 with light enough. Next time I have some amp money I'm going solid state.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdr View Post
    I have one. Decent enough sound. But I made the mistake of confusing lighter than a Marshall 2x12 with light enough. Next time I have some amp money I'm going solid state.
    Here are some benchmarks, all are 12" combos.

    Evans: JE200, 30lbs
    Henriksen: JazzAmp 112, 32lbs
    JazzKat: PhatKat, 28lbs
    Polytone: MiniBrute II, 28lbs
    ZT: Club, 22lbs
    Build bridges, not walls.

  35. #34

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    Cube 80: 35 lbs

  36. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by mambosun View Post
    The Rebel 30 combo 1-12 seems a very interesting, though expensive, option;
    However, it is not particulary light : 50 lbs, not 31.

    Welcome to Egnater Amplification
    Hmm...I must have put the weight of the head, not the combo.

    But...I do not believe my Rebel 30 weighs 50 pounds. I have not weighed it, but it is definitely lighter than my Hot Rod Deluxe 1x12 combo, which is listed at 45 pounds.

    Expensive...yes, I agree. But worth every penny. I also bought it through Musicians Friend with 12 months/no interest financing.
    "If it can't be fixed with duct tape or a martini, it's not worth fixing."

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by supermaxx View Post
    I'm looking for an amp to replace my SF Princeton Reverb (w/ 12" speaker). I'd like something with more power and headroom, maybe 30-40 watts in a small light package, definitely with tubes. I've been thinking maybe going boutique but would need something used.

    I'm doing a lot of looking but thought some input from fellow jazzers would help.

    Thanks!
    Sounds like a strong case for the Headstrong Lil' King S to me.
    Princeton Reverb built for 6L6s. Top notch.

  38. #37

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    Looking into this one myself: Studio Pro 22 & 35 Watt

    only played through the 35 watt head, but it had plenty of headroom.

  39. #38

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    Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight. Decent price if you find one. Extremely light and very loud - although the 250w is a myth. Works with almost any cabinet on earth with 2 ohms minimum load. Nice FX Reverbs. And most important of all - great tone: it has the acoustic clean solid state sound but with a little tube vibe to my ears. The first amp I really really love.

  40. #39

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    I've spent a lot of time exploring this subject, as I have quite a few amps that fall into this category (and a few notes on each):

    Cube 30 XL -- light, awesome, no way is it loud enough for a non-jazz gig w/ a drummer

    Lunchbox -- really light, one or two decent tones straight through that work well with a band (nice mid rangey cleans), not loud enough for larger venues/non jazz in most cases.

    Acoustic Image Coda+ -- I have this as a combo with the downfiring 10". This amp is the be-all end-all of everything jazz guitar could ever want to be IMO. It has so much versatility, sounds incredible. I've actually played outdoor gigs with it using one channel for acoustic guitar and another for mic. Just plain wonderful... but the downfiring setup is kind of lousy for a lot of band situations.

    I spoke with the AI guys and the Redstone Audio guys and so my next trial will be the Redstone 12" cab (only 22 lbs) with the AI detachable head from the Coda+ (the Coda+ head weighs practically nothing).

    Per Redstone Audio:

    "The RS-12 would be louder for reason that it has a 12" speaker as compared to the Coda's 10", the SPL for the 12" is 97 whereas the Coda speaker is in the upper 80's (lower SPL necessary for lower frequency response). SPL is measure of efficiency in turning electrical current into sound energy. And of course, direct sound projection is more efficient than indirect especially for mid range and higher frequencies. Now if you really want to be heard, use the RS-12 as an extension speaker with your Coda.

    No issues with playing bass through RS-12 or using effects with any Redstone speakers. "

    The cab is supposed to show up Monday so I am stoked about this. I figure it'll be really solid with either my AI or even my lunchbox.

    I figure I can carry my guitar in one hand, the 22 lb cab in the other and a backpack with the head, cables and few other doodads.

    More to follow...!!!

    Oh... ps, I have a 90's era Fender Blues Deluxe. It is an incredible amp for rock/blues gigs. I'm not a fan of it for jazz (esp with so many better options). At 40 lbs though, it's a big step heavier than these options so I tend to skip it most of the time.

  41. #40

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    Hm, that's interesting data there Silentwiz - I'd be interested in the AI stuff simply because I also play the standup bass, and I'm looking for a good amplification rig. Sounds like the cab + AI head does double-duty (clean guitar + acoustic bass) with ease.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentwiz View Post
    Cube 30 XL -- light, awesome, no way is it loud enough for a non-jazz gig w/ a drummer
    .
    The Cube 30 is not loud enough for a jazz gig with a drummer in my experience - also in my experience jazz drummers play loud. Not as loud as rock drummers but still loud - unless you want them to act like an Aebersold. And "awesome" is definitively a word I wouldn't use for any current production Cube.

    About AI that whole 400w thing is something I don't understand... Relation between watts and volume has been widely explained in this forum and using that kind of power in an amp doesn't bring you that much volume and seriously limits you in choosing speakers...

    I have spoke with Stan at Redstone and he is incredibly nice. His cabinets seem great and a lot of people are choosing them over Raezers Edge - but the Eminence speaker he uses is the reason I don't buy one without trying it first (hard here in Portugal). I would rather want an amp in the 100w / 120w range (like the Henriksen or the jazzmaster ultralight at 4 ohms or 8 ohms) because you have a much broader range of speakers available.

  43. #42

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    I have been using a phil jones super cub now for a few months.. Got sick of carying my Ulbrick Tube amp about. so far really impressed with great sounds and real light weight. Dual Channel Guitar Amp (250 watts) ? Super CUB AG-300 from Phil Jones | Phil Jones Pure Sound

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984 View Post
    Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight. Decent price if you find one. Extremely light and very loud - although the 250w is a myth. Works with almost any cabinet on earth with 2 ohms minimum load. Nice FX Reverbs. And most important of all - great tone: it has the acoustic clean solid state sound but with a little tube vibe to my ears. The first amp I really really love.
    This is a very under rated amp. I use mine for all kinds of material and a friend borrows it to plug his Fishman-equipped Martin into. It's the one amp I won't part with. The head + cabinet weigh 25.6 lb and it sings.

    If you restrict yourself to tube amps you're likely to end up with something unsatisfactory. Tubes have such an unassailable mythology surrounding them that you can lose sight of the fact that some excellent solid state devices are being made these days (and, conversely, some pitiful tube amps). At the moment I own four tube amps and the JM. The tube amps are good, but the Jazzmaster is better: lighter, smaller, more powerful, and it sounds better. It is able to emulate the nonlinear response of tubes while taking advantage of the benefits of solid state.

    Fender never properly marketed these. I went to the local Fender dealer to order one and he had never heard of it. They show up on eBay from time to time for $600-$800, so they are not as pricey as new ($1300, if I remember correctly).
    "Digo: 'paciencia, y barajar.'" -- Don Quijote de la Mancha, Part II, Chapter 23

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpdeluxe View Post
    ...Fender never properly marketed these. I went to the local Fender dealer to order one and he had never heard of it...
    I'm extremely happy with my Henriksen JazzAmp 112. But before I bought it, I really wanted to try a Jazzmaster Ultralight. I couldn't find a single one in the greater Boston area, and there are lots of music stores around here. I don't understand how Fender dropped the ball on this one.
    "Thanks, but you should have heard what I was trying to play!" - T. Monk
    http://network.online.berklee.edu/profile/1200078

  46. #45

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    They did several mistakes with that amp imo.

    1) Apparently some were noisy - something that could have been avoideid using OPA2134 instead of TL072.

    2) Using 250w at 2 ohms. A lot of people just thought they had to always use the amp with 2 ohms cabinets which are rare... And the amp is not that powerful - I once asked Fender and they said 200w and Jensen told me the speaker in there is a regular 100w neo so... but it's plenty loud. It's still loud with an EV at 8 ohms, you don't need to use it at 2 ohms to be loud.

    3) Calling it Jazzmaster. They should have just called it the Ultralight and sell it as a good amp for everyone because its indeed a very nice amp for rock - the guy from Kiss Kiss or Nori Bucci use it. The OD side is really usable.

    4) The price - it was around 1300€ head and cabinet... thats expensive. I bought mine used at 750€ and I tell you I would have paid the retail price know that I have it and know how great it is... It sounds better than my Henriksen, is more versatile and has good reverb. And it has half the weight (the head doesn't even count - goes in the bag with the cables and the fx). HALF...

    Since they marketed it badly - sales were very poor and they didn't even shipped it to a lof ot places. They were indeed rare to find and because Fender is a large company I bet they just stop making any product that doesn't reach a certain sales value.

    If they had made it just The Ultralight at 4 ohms and explicity said it could be used also at 8 ohms - at a price of 800€ and with good marketing I think they would have sold millions of that thing. A lot of people in foruns did A / B with vintage Fenders and found little difference... Actually all reviews are excellent - I bought mine without trying it first. Everyone here loves it and never heard of it before!
    Last edited by jorgemg1984; 11-13-2011 at 10:48 AM.

  47. #46

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    I used to have a Jazzmaster Ultralight and really enjoyed it and miss it. Should have kept it. I bought it new online with the matching cabinet. It was a tad pricey for solid state. I agree with some minor tweaks and better marketing, it could have been a very successful amp for Fender.

    Though I am high on these amps, I did have a couple minor issues with mine... First, the footswitch didn't work and for some reason the Fender authorized shop couldn't replace just the footswitch...I had to give them the head too. Then Fender sent the shop a brand new one for me. The footswitch worked fine on the new one, but the amp was a noisy...especially when you stopped playing (white noise, staticy type of thing). The first head was not noisy like this one. So, I brought that back to the shop and they replaced that one too. The 3rd one was totally fine and I really liked the amp. I used it for both jazz and rock actually.
    Last edited by hallpass; 01-03-2012 at 10:24 PM.

  48. #47

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    VVT Lindy Fralin amp, or LF II, designed for clean, 35 tube watts, warm sound, 38lbs, (or less with the 12".)At least look at the website.
    I love mine.

  49. #48

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    I've been using a Fishman Artist, and its 120 watts, 25 lbs, and sounds great with my electrics

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funkwire View Post
    Egnater Rebel 30. Scaleable from 1 to 30 watts. Two channels. Ability to mix between 6L6 and EL84 tubes. And the 1-12" combo is 31 pounds. Plenty of headroom and a lead channel that will eliminate any need for a dirt pedal.
    I know I'm coming in late to the party, but for the benefit of others who run across this thread like I did: I don't think the Rebel 30 is what the OP was looking for.

    I played two Egnater Rebel 30s (in the head/cab format) and was very disappointed with them. The so-called clean channel was way too compressed for my taste, and the power scaling - Egnater's implementation of London Power scaling - is useless. If you read Egnater's literature carefully, they spend a lot of time lowering expectations. They point out quite rightly that the power scaling affects the breakup point and does not affect the volume much at all. The problem for me was that the power scaling had no significant affect on the breakup point either. OTOH, the EL84 versus 6V6 (not 6L6) does make quite a difference in the tone. Also, this amp weighs in at 43 pounds (not 31).

    I don't mean to flame Funkwire, and the Egnater folks are pretty good in general, but if you're looking for lightweight and more clean headroom, this design is not for you. OTOH, if run-of-the-mill cleans are okay -- or what I would call run-of-the-mill lol -- and you want versatility, the Rebel 30 offers a lot for the money.
    Find your passion and be hardcore about it.
    (Hey, if you like the avatar, check out the art work of John Howe)

  51. #50

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    i don't know if anyone has brought it up already but when i think of small powerful amps my mind goes right to the deluxe reverb. i don't know how heavy it is but i know a lot of guys who got rid of their twins for the deluxes for the sake of transportation alone