Little-Bitty Practice Amps

Little-Bitty Practice Amps

I recently got this strange urge to start collecting small guitar practice amps, thinking how cool it would be to stack up a whole wall of them and find some way to hook them all together at once. Just for chuckles…

So I started with a little Peavey Rage 158 that I swapped a chorus pedal for thru Craigslist. This little fella is 15W, has two channels (clean and ‘dirty’), 3-band EQ, pre & post gains on the dirty channel, CD input, and headphone output. Quite solidly built little guy. It houses an 8” Peavey ‘Blue Marvel’ speaker, which suprisingly has a great low-end as well as the high-end you’d expect from an 8”. Overall, it’s a really nice-sounding little practice amp. The one thing I’m not too crazy about is the proprietary Peavey ‘Trans Tube’ emulation. It just seems to suck all the highs right out of the tone, especially at the higher gain settings. Real tubes do tend to have that compressive effect once they reach saturation, but the tube emulation in this amp does seem to go a tad overboard with that. On the clean channel, though, this thing really surprised me with its overall tone. Good bottom, as I said, and nice twinkly highs. Very full, pretty tone. The 3-band EQ is very effective in bringing out the tone you want from the amp.

Then I got to thinking about plugging my multi-effect unit into the CD input (which is basically a line-level input right into the power/output stage of the amp), and tried it. Wow! Nice! I have to find me another one of these little amps now, so I can split the stereo output from the stereo multifex unit into them and get nice, spacey stereo choruses, reverbs, and delays. Talk about aural therapy!

My next quest will be for a 10 or 15-watt Marshall practice amp, just so I can say I have a Marshall amp (hee-hee). But who knows what might pop up on Craigslist before then? I'd like to collect another of these little Peaveys for the abovementioned reason, then a Marshall, A Crate, A Vox Pathfinder, and a Fender or Squier model, and/or multiples thereof, until I get about a dozen or so. Oh, and the collection would never be complete without an Orange 'Crush' 15! Actually, wouldn't it be kinda quirky yet cool-ish to have a stage rig composed of about 6 of the Marshall or Orange 15-watt-ers all stacked up together and daisy-chained?

So if you have any interest, follow this blog for more reports on the merits, or lack thereof, of Little-Bitty Practice Amps as I collect them.