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Thread: Home Amp for 5 String

  1. #1
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Home Amp for 5 String

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    I just bought this Dave Farmiloe 5 string. Don't have much electric experience, but should be fun and totally different from my Taran acoustic.

    I intend to use it primarily for playing jazz standards for my own entertainment in the house.

    Any recommendations for a low volume home amp? From my research I am leaning towards a Yamaha THR5. Would that be a good choice? I suppose I'm looking for quite a clean jazz guitar type sound.

    Incidentally, not being a guitar person I was a bit perplexed when I saw the Fender vintage style tuners (from Schaller), but they're a great design and nice to use.

    Regards
    Last edited by mandrian; Nov-13-2018 at 11:17am.

  2. #2
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    I use a Blackstar Fly for solo practice on my electric. Has a nice clean sound but also overdrive if you want it. Also has built in delay

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  4. #3
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    I love my Laney Cub 10. Even without the upgrades it is an awesome 10w box of tube tone. Lo gain and hi gain inputs, 3 knobs, and line out for a cab. Perfect simplicity and great tone.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Eastman 515, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
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    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    I have a little Vox but usually use headphones to maintain domestic tranquillity
    Play it like you mean it.

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  8. #5
    Registered User Martin Ohrt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    That's a sweet looking instrument!
    I like my Fender Bronco Tweed Amp for the Baritone Mando. They don't build it anymore, but it can be found used occasionally for quite reasonable prices, at least here in Germany. It offers quite a variety of tones, whichs makes it very versatile, in my opinion.
    I also have a Laney VC 15, but this is already quite loud, especially if you want to drive it into overdrive.
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  10. #6

    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Might try out an old low wattage tube amp that you can easily find on eBay or reverb.com for fairly cheap. I’ve got one and I love it, the only downside is that it doesn’t have reverb.

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  12. #7

    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    I have a Gibson Valve Junior 5w tube amp at low volume it gives a reasonably clean tone. They are fairly rare over here but not impossible to find. I was really impressed with it.

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  14. #8
    Registered User Freddyfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    The word home, or bedroom amp always throws me off. There are times I play my Eastwood mandocasterunplugged, and family will complain its too loud. That being said, I would always suggest taking the ax to the closest store and plug in. Most big chains have a number of low wattage amps available. Tube amps, even at low wattage, tend to put out a decent volume even on low. And the real low wattage ones, 2, 5 watts, tend to break up the moment the house is empty and you want to turn it up. So go and play what you can first, then shop on Craigslist for used. Amps donít hold value well. I have a 3000 fendeder amp that I cant sell for 1600.

    My personal preference for a clean, yet full sound, even at low levels, has always been the Roland Jazz series amps. You donít need a JC120 for what your doing, but they make smaller ones that are smaller speakers and size and weight. Makes a great end table as well. Or, go with an IRIG, and plug into your phone and a head phone. But I strong;lay suggest playing first. What anyone here might think is heavenly will be anotherís pain machine.
    Its not a backwards guitar.

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  16. #9
    fishing with my mando darrylicshon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Roland micro cube, which is also battery operated, just in case you want to go outside
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  18. #10
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Marshall make some nice small practice amps with a lot of features that I find useful.
    For example, the MP3 jack will take any 3.5mm plug. And the headphone jack will pass everything. So you can sit down late at night with an electric mando and a youtube video lesson without waking the house.

    Daniel

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  20. #11

    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    One really good, light, clean amp for mandolin use is the ZT Lunchbox combo, available from Alan Gregory's or Thomann since you are UK based. It's the size of Officer Dibble's lunchbox. I use one and a ZT extension on gigs, as well as at home. It can compete with 60 watt combos and sounds really good.

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  22. #12
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies. Sounds like no-one is using a Yamaha THR5 for their emando and everyone is pretty much using something different than each other. A friend had used the acoustic version with a Ovation MM68 and I was impressed with that for home use, that was why I had checked out the electric version.

    I must admit it's all a bit nerdy for me. I'd rather be playing than researching.

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards

  23. #13
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    I recall someone here is indeed enjoying the Yamaha THR, I think the 5 version. I’m sure you would enjoy it fine.
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  25. #14
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Quote Originally Posted by mandrian View Post

    I must admit it's all a bit nerdy for me. I'd rather be playing than researching.
    Nature of the beast! You're probably better off not catching Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Next thing after that is asking about pedals!



    Daniel

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  27. #15
    Butcherer of Songs Rob Zamites's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Iíve got a THR-5a (the acoustic one), and love it for my acoustic-electric ukulele. Itís got a clean electric setting and Iíll be using it with my Mandocaster. Itís a great little amp, and if needed, I can irritate my apartment building neighbors
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  29. #16
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Have you tried Polytone amps? They are solid state amps with a very clean tone and are great for jazz. Joe Pass and Sam Bush both use them. Here is a clip of my Polytone Mini Brute with my Ryder 5 String. It actually sound a little more full when you turn up the amp but for the video I kept it at around 3.


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  31. #17

    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    I've been really happy with my Fender Acoustasonic 150. 2x8 speakers, light as a feather, plenty of volume if you need it but sounds good turned low, good sound, can handle magnetic pickups and piezos equally well, plenty of assorted effects/amp models, no annoying hum. I have a big ol Roland Jazz Chorus 120, it's a great clean amp and I imagine the smaller versions would be as well.

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  33. #18
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Hi,

    Thanks for all the advice. Finished up going with the US made ZT Lunchbox Junior.

    It seems to meet my needs for a simple to use small amp with a good clean sound. I think it meets all my needs, but obviously does not give the effects that some might want. They are quite hard to find in the UK, but I got it for £155 from Musicroom on EBay which seemed a good price.

    Thanks again.

    Regards

  34. #19

    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Isn't that the Lunchbox which allows you to power your pedals when pedal acquisition syndrome kicks in. That's the one thing missing from the larger output version.

  35. #20
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Quote Originally Posted by darrylicshon View Post
    Roland micro cube, which is also battery operated, just in case you want to go outside
    Heartily agree! I use one for weekly acoustic guitar gig at a local library.

    Also has an array of amp models (basically, the amount of overdrive applied, even if at civilized volume) plus several effects (chorus, echo, tremolo, etc.) that should scratch the itch for further experimentation ... for a while.

    FWIW, at way-low volume the Roland even handles bass guitar far better than a Pignose (similar size but more basic) that has no tone control.
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  36. #21
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardF View Post
    Isn't that the Lunchbox which allows you to power your pedals when pedal acquisition syndrome kicks in. That's the one thing missing from the larger output version.
    Hi Richard,

    Yes, that's correct, so you do have that flexibility in future if you need it.

    Regards

  37. #22
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    Default Re: Home Amp for 5 String

    I have two 5 string electrics, a fender fm60e and a Bluestar mandoblaster. I have tried several home amps, one fender and three Roland amps, including the Roland micro cube, and a Yamaha thr5c. I chose th 5c because it has more clean models to choose from. The Yamaha has been the best of all I've used. The Bluestar has the best sound, in my opinion, as the fender has that typical twang that fender seems famous for. Most likely you would be happy with the Yamaha, but I'm sure there are many others I haven't worked with...so many amps, so little time. Good luck and enjoy your new 5 string.

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