I'm very happy with my Fender Champ reissue (a 5-watt combo), nice classic tone at volume levels that avoid damage to my aging eardrums. I'm looking for an amp that can do the same thing but with a high-gain sound. The Orange Tiny Terror series, set at half power i.e. 7 watts, looks promising if I can match up a cabinet that does the job. Does anyone have other good ideas?
I've found both digital and valve solutions. My Carvin V3M mini tube head gets there, and sounds great at very low volume. It would be a good choice (check out u-tube). I've enhanced it though, with JJ tubes, and tone tweek it with a couple of rack items: an Aphex (like a BBE sonic stomp), and the active EQ inside my G-major 2, which also drives it a little harder. The orange tiny terror just wasn't dirty enough for me, and they are very loud (no master). The dark terror was better, but again no master. I also have a Bolt head, which does very well, and now can be picked up at a third of the price I paid for my new one (check e-bay). Digital amp wise, I've tried both the tube versions of the line 6 head and the Peavey Vypyr- not real impressed with either. The line 6 "bogner design" has over colored ALL the amp sounds, and it gets old pretty fast. The tube Vypyr just was way too trebally for me, with most of the amps unusable for my taiste. I went back to my GSP1101 rack proccesor through the clean channel on 1 of my extra all tube older heads, and it sounds better than line 6 and the vypyr. I'm trying the Blackstar ID:100 next. I hate muddy and poor note definition, but love high distortion and sustain. I want to hear every note in my riff, no matter how fast I play it. If you can't hear it, what's the point? Digital gets there alot easier than many real tube heads, but their dynamics sometimes seem a little artificial. Many hi gain all tube amps to me have too much sag and compression when you crank the gain, and just wash out my my fast scale leads and tapping stuff. You can get it back with a boost pedal in front, but I want an amp that can do it on it's own. I keep going digital (any sound, any volume). But like I said, with a few enhancements, the V3M for the money is hard to beat. I run it at 7 watts at home, but at 25 watts it can be used live on stage, and it's always best to mike it up to the PA anyway for that. Hope this helps, Good luck!
I just picked up the THR 10 and it was what I was looking for. Charvelboy mentioned exactly what I was going through with the muddy tones and lack of definition. I would spend more time trying to dial in a tone than playing and what's the point? I wanted something I could turn on and play, get good tone at low volume without anything but an amp and guitar. I looked at the microcube and would have got it if I hadn't ran across the thr. The thr is a little more than the cubes but I think the tone was worth the extra money. I've tried the line6 and the peavey etc too.