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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:18 am 
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After a 3 month wait, the Little lanilei 1/4 watt tube amp arrived (USD 369).

Following an extraordinary run of good luck, it seems that I have finally bought a bit of gear that does not exceed expectations.

The amp's 6 1/2 inch speaker is good for lead guitar but is just not convincing when playing chords. Replacing the tubes with better Phillpis JAN tubes improved the sound but did not eliminate the over-riding problem - the speaker is just too dinky !

This amp is useful as a low-volume practice amp put is needs a bigger speaker to be useful as a recording amp. For the moment, I will use it for leads but will be looking sround for a 10" cabinet, which hopefully makes it useable. If not, it is off to ebay for this lemon.

Thinking now about a Laney Cub head/cab - 15/1,5 watt head with separate 12" cab. No panic yet, however.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:14 am 
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bummer....almost 4 bills (usd) is to much for a practice amp for sure... seems most of these smaller bedroom amps lack clean headroom...they shoot for that overdriven tube sound at low volumes, and even then, its just doesn't cut it without mods or a complete overhaul...I bought a small Crate tube V8 and though it can get fairly loud, there's just no headroom at all...

I will say that for the money, the best little amp I ever bought was a used Vox Pathfinder 15R...records really well even though it's solid state, and only cost me $100...

sorry to hear of your loss :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:37 am 
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It's not a total write off, Bok. I still need a real amp & so will try it out with a Laney cabinet - if it is still no good, I will then get a laney head to match.

The lanilei handles clean and dirty leads rather nicely, but you are right. However, it is definately not 4 times better than a solid state amp that it 4 times cheaper. You live and learn.

I used to have a 10 watt Vox pathfinder solid state - good stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:49 pm 
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Another vote for the Vox Pathfinder 15R. :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:01 pm 
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Hi guys,

you know I am not a fan of transistor amps, but my friend Harry is using a Pathfinder 15 and all I can say, this baby rocks. He plays this amp with an old 2x12 box I borrowed him and its a loud tubelike warm sound with his Telecaster. He is using the drive channel with only a bit gain even for clean sounds using the volume poti off the Tele to get the sound from clean to dirt to chrunch. This amp in the hand of a good player (not me!) reacts like a very good tube amp shoud do. In the past Harry always played big tube amp stacks Laney Klipp, Dynacord, Marshall, H/H) and now he really loves his pathfinder.

@Robbie/Dirk: you heard him playing the Pathfinder. Loud and tubelike enough?

Andreas

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Sounds good to me, but in my case you're asking a relatively inexperienced amp listener.

Nevertheless, good sound!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:36 am 
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Doh !

The amp is now working fine, although it does need a bigger speaker.

When I first got the amp, it sounded like shit. So, I took the back off & noticed that one of the tubes was not seated properly. So, I fixed this & replaced the other tube with a Philips Jan cryo - expensive tube, must make it sound better, right ? Better, but still pretty crappy. Swapped the other stock tube, still crappy. This morning, I put both stock tubes back in and...voila I am in business. I had been playing with this thing for a week without having the stock tubes in it - what a moron. Even so, I would never have thought that cheap chinese tubes would sound better in the amp than a "name brand". But they do.

The amp sounds pretty good now & mics up pretty good with a condenser in front of it (I have 3 mics & of course the one I tried for the first time today sounds the best). I can now get better clean sounds than I can from the Tonelab, although the tonelab is still better for dirty sounds.

Still need a speaker cabinet. Thinking about a 10" closed back Jensen deal

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:20 am 
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Hi Oscar,

glad you got this baby work! =D>

If you are looking for a Jensen speaker, give the C10R a try. It is a not expensive one. I use this speaker in my Princeton and it really has a surprising tight bass, not so much midrange (what I prefer for a fenderish sound) and has good highs that are not one the crisp side after the speaker is broken in.
With my Princeton on volumen 6+ the speaker start getting some farty bass, but this will not be a problem with 1/4watt :lol:
Should work great with your little baby.

Andreas

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Thanks Andreas.

I was actually leaning toward an Alnico, based purely on the Jensen website.

What are pros & cons of a 10" over a 12" speaker for such a small amp ? Also, how long does it take to break in a speaker ? Does a 6 1/2" speaker also need breaking in ? Closed back vs open back cabinet ?

So many questions, so little knowledge in my head

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Oscar wrote:
Thanks Andreas.

I was actually leaning toward an Alnico, based purely on the Jensen website.

What are pros & cons of a 10" over a 12" speaker for such a small amp ? Also, how long does it take to break in a speaker ? Does a 6 1/2" speaker also need breaking in ? Closed back vs open back cabinet ?

So many questions, so little knowledge in my head



all speakers need some break in...I guess if you drive it hard for 10 hours or so it will loosen up a bit(sound like I know what I'm talkin' about :oops: I dont really) I bought a 1x12 larger Lopoline cab so my Fender bandmaster head could sit on top with vintage sparkle gold grill cloth(thought it was gonna be cloth but it turns out it wasn't) that seems to work out and looks nice...the cab/speaker itself is fantastic...and fairly lightweight for a cab(its a front loader)

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/amp-central-station/195108-closed-back-open-back-cab.html


What I got with different grill... http://www.lopoline.com/catalog/item/40 ... 782194.htm

I bought an cost efficient Signature Weber 12F B for only $65(ship/handling) included...went ceramic as it was a better match with the Fender amp...you can specify pre rola doping etc on the custom speakers...cool!

check out their site...Ted Weber passed away within the last two years, but they are still a small family run operation and produce some great speaks!! They also sell cabs... And of course Avatar is good too, but a little more expensive...what's yer budget for speaker and cab??

Here's two links:
http://www.lopoline.com/home.html
and
http://www.tedweber.com/

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Thanks, Bok I will check 'em out. Also thinking about a VHT Special 6 head & cab.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:31 pm 
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Hi,

not a bad idea with the Weber speaker, but I am afraid they are not so easy to get in Australia. In germany we had to pay 3x the american $$ because of transport costs and customs duties.

The alnicos will be more midrange sounding, lacks a little of bass but will be sweater in the highs in general, no icepicks. For me Jensen alnicos are the voice of tweed sonds, Jensen ceramics are the speakers for blackface/silverface sounds.

Hard to decide what to use ...
Oh, and for speaker breakin, the smaller the speaker the more the difference after breakin them.

Andreas

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:10 pm 
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I checked out the Weber. Although I could have got a custom cabinet/speaker arrangement, the shipping costs did not make it worthwhile. So, I ended up ordering a 10" Blackheart cabinet (about USD 150 vs 250 for a Weber loaded 10" cab) - this was designed with a <1 watt amp in mind & is much cheaper to ship. I can always put in a Weber later on (although I understand that the fit is not 100%).

Those f'ing shipping companies (fedex and it's evil mates) - they charge different people different rates, effectively choking small businesses wanting to export. I will let you know how it all pans out

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:58 pm 
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Are Blackhearts essentially a brand made for Guitar Center, or does the company(Crate?) make a special model just for the GC crowd? Seems they are marketed pretty heavily on the "floor" in our GC stores...

Good luck...what type of speaker is included?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Never been into a Guitar Center but Blackhearts are sold all over the place. GC has good prices, though & have just started shipping to the Middle East. No more rip-offs - they sell things here at 3 times the cost of US & even Europe (& boast that it id duty free !). The only problem is that anything electrical from the US is 110 volts, which is no good for me.

If I need a Blackheart head, I will have to get it from Europe/Australia &, as Andreas has pointed out, that can have a large ouch factor.

I got the Lanilei guy to send me a 220 V version, which he did at no extra cost.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:23 pm 
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I got my 10" Blackheart cabinet today & ran the Little Lanilei through it. NOW I have an amp that I can use ! The difference in volume & quality of the sound is incredibly different from the amp's 6 " speaker. After a bit of tweaking, I have a cleanish sound that smokes my Tonelab's fender sounds. I had forgotten what it was like to play through a real amp.

The best thing is that I can get a nice tone through at very low volumes by micing the cabinet in a closet & it cannot be heard in the next room. So, the wife & daughter are not needlessly tortured & I can play all night.

Would I buy another Lanilei ? Probably not, as it is not worth the money, in my opinion (nearly 500 smackas with the cab). Still, I am happy.

I still use the effects on the Tonelab & will probably keep using the vox amp sims (the only ones that I reckon are useable), which are great.

btw, the Blackheart cab is good & will hopefully get better once it is broken in - worth every cent

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:14 pm 
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Hi Oscar,

glad the LiLanilei and the Box is working for you.
Ok, a lot of money, but if it sounds good and you feel fine when playing it is worth the bucks.

Andreas

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:53 pm 
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8)

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