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  1. #1

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    Hello,

    I'm looking for a little amp for rehearsal with a big band.
    It should be small as I want to go to the rehearsal by bike.
    I use a custom made hollow telecaster with humbuckers.
    For concerts I have my deluxe reverb clone from FAD.

    Some advice would be fine!
    Thanks.

    Stefaan

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  3. #2

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    Hey Stefaan,

    The requirement of transport by bike limits your options somewhat ;-)

    I rehearse with the West Coast Big Band in Den Haag (Netherlands). They ask me for their soul-show, which is pretty loud! For that (and also for the gigs btw) I use a 22 watt Award Session Bluesbaby 22 transistor amp with their RetroTone circuit that emulates the behaviour of a tube amp. I made a lightweight pine cab with a neodynium speaker and I can and do transport that by bike!

    Now my amp is a DIY custom product, so I'm not saying you should do the same (but you can order them from Award Session in Blues Jr-sized cab with a Celestion Neo), but I do find this amp very comparable in behaviour to a Fender Deluxe Reverb in terms of sound and volume, but in a smaller package and weighing in less than half. Disclainer: the bigger and heavier cabinet of the Deluxe Reverb delivers more 'oomph', especially in the bottom end.
    You can check the BluesBaby 22 here: Award-Session website, BluesBaby 22, BluesBaby 45, Guitar Amp, Session. They also have a 45 watt version btw.

    Now 22 watt may not seem like a lot, but it does the job pretty well! The trick is to put the amp close to you, tilted back and the 'beam' of the speaker directed at yourself. When sitting I tilt back the amp on the floor, when standing up I use a chair, otherwise it has to be too far away for the 'beam' to point at my ears and I find that when the amp is too far away, I miss volume and 'oomph'.

    With that in mind, a lot of small amps become available for your purpose, like:
    - DV Mark Jazz 12
    - DV Mark Little Jazz
    - Fender Champ 30 and 40
    - Boss Katana
    - Roland Blues Cube
    - Quilter

    That being said, I am used to playing tube-amps, and most of the transistor and modeling amps don't give me the desired behaviour: they sound good on their own, but when used in a band they seem weak and underpowered. The Award Session BluesBaby comes very close though and does work for me, because it emulates the interaction between the output trafo and a speaker that is specific for tube amps and results in perceived higher volume and power (the famous tube-watts versus transistor watts discussion). For this reason I think the BluesBaby's 22 watts sound much louder than those of a comparable 'ordinairy' tranistor practise combo of the same wattage.

    My Award Session with it's pine cab weighs around 8 kgs and I can transport it on the front carrying rack of my bike ('omafiets' ;-) without any problems. The BluesBaby 22 when ordered from Award Session in their standard cab with a Neo speaker weighs 10.2 kgs.

    The new Fender ToneMaster Deluxe Reverb is also interesting at 11.3 kgs but I thinks it's too big to transport by bike.


    Sorry for the long elaboration, but this subject has become somewhat of a hobbyhorse of mine :-D
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  4. #3

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    I've used my Roland Street amp (first edition) for rehearsals and it works just fine as a monitor - just don't expect to be heard above the din of a roaring bigband . But if you're fine when you and the other guys in the rhythm section can hear you then it's a - relatively - cheap and eminently portable solution to your problem. The amp fits on the back rack of my bike, secured with 2 rubber straps. Get the bag for it, a big plus ....

  5. #4

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    Zt Lunchbox is perfect for that as it easily fits a backpack. They have an upcoming model with reverb hopefully this month.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Zt Lunchbox is perfect for that as it easily fits a backpack. They have an upcoming model with reverb hopefully this month.
    That is a good alternative - I went for the Street amp because it also sounds very nice with my acoustic guitar when I'm playing my solo gigs : I have some reverb for the guitar signal and my backing tracks go into the line input, in stereo. It sits on the floor beside my chair and I can hear myself and the tracks clearly and it's never too loud for the guests.
    The Lunchbox is still smaller and lighter and probably has more punch too so as a bicycle-friendly amp for electric guitar it's a really cool solution !

  7. #6

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    What is your price limit? There are a bunch of small,light-weight amps, but they can be expensive for quality.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Zt Lunchbox is perfect for that as it easily fits a backpack. They have an upcoming model with reverb hopefully this month.
    yeah I’m waiting for these new ZT’s to ship as well ,they could be a good solution for the small , light, loud amp thing ....without being too expensive

  9. #8

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    Thank you all for the interesting and elaborate suggestions.
    I prefer light. So the lunchbox or little jazz are good choices for me.
    Hope to find one of those second hand.
    And let's hope the drummer isn't to loud .

    greetings,

    Stefaan

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitaarklas View Post
    Thank you all for the interesting and elaborate suggestions.
    I prefer light. So the lunchbox or little jazz are good choices for me.
    Hope to find one of those second hand.
    And let's hope the drummer isn't to loud .

    greetings,

    Stefaan
    If you look for reviews of the Lunchbox on here, you'll find that some like it and some hate it. I'm among the latter. If you try it, I strongly recommend getting a return privilege.

    I have used my Little Jazz with a 19 piece band. Nobody complained, but in more recent gigs with that band I brought a bigger amp. That said, I think the LJ might be enough amp.

  11. #10

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    The smallest amp I've used for BB rehearsals in the JazzKat Acoustikat. It can be heard over a big band, and it's under 20lbs. Good luck with the bike part, though...

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitaarklas View Post
    Thank you all for the interesting and elaborate suggestions.
    I prefer light. So the lunchbox or little jazz are good choices for me.
    Hope to find one of those second hand.
    And let's hope the drummer isn't to loud .

    greetings,

    Stefaan
    stefaan, pm me, I have a brand new little jazz for 250 euro's if you want it.
    I'm in antwerp.