Monoprice amp

This discounted Monoprice might be the cheapest tube electric guitar amplifier around

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If you’re an electric guitarist, you’ll know tube amplifiers – versus solid-state and digital ones – are the holy grail of guitar amplification. Tube amps, though, can be prohibitively expensive, with many models going for many thousands of dollars. Except this Monoprice amp, which clocks in at only $148.10 on Amazon, down from $168.

The Monoprice 611705 is a five-watt all-tube combo amplifier, meaning all you need to start rocking out is a guitar and a lead. It’s equipped with the industry-standard 12AX7 tube in the preamp section and a 6V6GT tube in the power section, the latter of which drives a Celestion Super 8 GBA-15 speaker. Celestion is another household name among guitarists – esteemed brands like Marshall, Fender and Blackstar use this brand of speakers, too.

monoprice-combo-guitar-amp@2000x1270

Despite its small size, the Monoprice amp, like many tube models, packs a wallop. So much so that the amp lets you swap between five watts (full power) and one watt of output – useful for both keeping volume levels sane and for pushing the amp into natural distortion. Controls-wise, Monoprice keeps things simple with two chickenhead knobs, one for volume and the other for tone. The latter lets you adjust the ‘sharpness’ or ‘definition’ of your guitar sound.

And you can’t slag off the Monoprice’s design, either. Its cream-coloured textured exterior – it’s made of synthetic leather – is all about vintage vibe, as is the amp jewel that lights up when the unit is switched on.

Additionally, while tube amps are notoriously heavy, this mighty little unit clocks in at just 500 grams, with dimensions of 30.8×30.9x21cm. That might just be our favourite feature.

BUY NOW: $148.10

Sours: https://www.nme.com/nme-recommends/deals/monoprice-tube-guitar-amplifier-deal-discount-promo-2875034

Vintage is definitely “in” these days, especially when it comes to guitar amps.  Plugins and emulators allow a musician to really recreate any kind of tone they want.  However, one of the things that is most appealing about vintage-style gear is that it is easy to recreate these older tones without using a computer or some software – dialing in your own tone can allow you to really appreciate the different aural elements because you’re creating them out of the physical elements rather than editing a file or digital signal.

For the tone-minded, the Monoprice Stage Right 611815 15-watt combo tube amp is a powerful firecracker of a guitar amp.  One look at it and you can see it’s designed to evoke jangly bright guitar sounds as if they’re coming from a Rickenbacker in your mind.  This combo amp houses a 1×12 Celestion speaker and is powered by 5 vacuum tubes including 2 EL84 tubes. 

In this Monoprice Stage Right amp review,let’s take a closer look at what you can get, all for under 300 dollars.

Sale
Monoprice 15-Watt Guitar Combo Tube Amp (611815)
  • Superior guitar tone and flexibility using this 15-Watt, 1x12 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier with Celestion Speaker & Spring Reverb from Monoprice!
  • Features a 15-watt tube power amplifier and a Celestion brand speaker. Amplifier Load Range: 8 ~ 16 ohms
  • Uses three ECC83/12AX7 preamplification tubes and two EL84 power tubes for the amplifier section, plus a Celestion Red Truvox 1215 speaker.
  • Handles frequencies between 80Hz and 10kHz, with hum and noise -75dB below the rated power and 0.5% total harmonic distortion.
  • The cabinet is ported in the rear and features a leather handle, cloth speaker grill, and a cream-colored, textured, synthetic leather exterior with chrome corner guards

EL84 Tubes: Straight From The 60s

It’s easy to try to overthink that British Invasion tone – to use emulators, mods, and other technologies to get close to that sound that you enjoy listening to so much.  One of the real secrets to achieving that tone is much simpler – ensure you have some EL84 tubes on hand to boost your guitar’s sound.

The Monoprice Stage Right amp uses a 5 tube setup – 2 EL84 tubes punching home the tone with 3 12ax7/ECC83 tubes powering the reverb and preamp sections.

The reason the EL84 is so special is that it offers a full output from a small signal relatively speaking, and is therefore easily overdriven.  When this happens, it produces that distinctive trebly chiming sound that you can hear in your memories.  

Many British Invasion bands preferred amplifiers using EL84 tubes manufactured by the Mullard brand, which were well regarded as the best EL84 tubes on the market.  Amongst many reasons, the British sound resonated with American audiences because of how distinctive these tubes were compared to the 6L6 tubes used in American guitar amplifiers, and which were popular on the airwaves at the time.

Control, Control, Control

Once you’re confident that the tubes will carry your tone, you want to be able to dial in that tone.  In simple terms, spring reverb is the process of adding reverb to your signal by passing the tone through a spring via transducers on either end – the sound vibrations create waves as they travel along the spring.  They’re then added to the source signal at the other end of the spring, but some of the energy remains resonating in the spring. When amplified, this creates the echo-y reverb sound that’s so pleasing on the ears. The 611815 Stage Right amp offers this reverb feature and it can be turned on and off with a foot pedal.

This Monoprice guitar amp has a significantly improved and cosmetically updated spring reverb (the piece under the metal plate you see when you look at the backside) from its previous models.  If you’re one of those who thought the reverb was weak last time you tried a Monoprice tube amp, it’s worth taking another look.

Check The Price Now at Amazon.com

Specifications

  • 15 watts
  • Dimensions: 16.8 x 9.2 x 17.1 inches
  • frequencies between 80Hz and 10kHz
  • -75dB noise and hum below the rated power
  • 0.5% total harmonic distortion
  • Item weight: 31.6 pounds shipping weight: 33.4 pounds
  • 1×12 Celestion Red Truvox 1215 speaker

Pros

There are a great many things to appreciate about this amp other than the tube tone.  You’re also able to insert effects between the preamp and power amp sections with an FX send and receive.  These ports are also able to be used as line in or line out rather than for effects, if needed.

If you have a late night practice or otherwise can’t pump up the volume as much as you’d like, this tube amplifier allows you to switch between full power and 1-watt limited amplification.

Putting aside all the power and tone, the Monoprice 611815 Stage Right amp is just great to look at.  The textured synthetic leather exterior is just the right classic shade of cream. It has a leather handle for portability and chrome corner guards for durability.

Cons

The spring reverb has an on/off switch on the unit itself, but it would be great if it came with a foot switch instead of needing you to provide your own.

If you receive a faulty unit, it doesn’t sound like the seller offers returns.  Many reviewers mention either receiving a refund without having to return the unit, or otherwise being basically told to throw it in the trash if it didn’t work, rather than return it.  

Some reviewers indicate that reseating the sockets is a relatively easy way to fix it, if you’re so inclined and have that level of technical skill.  This would also explain why some reviewers report the amplifier cutting it out all of a sudden without any kind of buildup.

What Customer Reviews Say

The Monoprice 15-watt 1×12 Stage Right amp amp currently has around 250 reviews and is one of “Amazon’s Choices”.  Of the reviews, over 75% are 5-star and around 6% are 1-star, which is a great ratio.

Many reviewers indicate this amp is great value for the money and that the similar amps are way more expensive.  There’s a gamut of enjoyment reported as well – some reviewers are able to dial in great tone right out of the box and are amazed at how easy it is, while others have a great time dialing in tone with swapping out the tubes and tube rolling – a matched pair of JJ EL84s and a JJ 12at7 in the v1 position and 2 JJ ECC83s in v2 and v3 seems to be a great lineup for that classic rock and blues sound.  Check out our guide to the best 12ax7 tube for clean tone.

One feature that gets a lot of raves is the limited amplification setting – dropping the output down to 1-watt.  While some reviewers were initially skeptical, having the output at that level can really allow you to dial in the gain without worrying about blasting the neighborhood. 

Sale
Monoprice 15-Watt Guitar Combo Tube Amp (611815)
  • Superior guitar tone and flexibility using this 15-Watt, 1x12 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier with Celestion Speaker & Spring Reverb from Monoprice!
  • Features a 15-watt tube power amplifier and a Celestion brand speaker. Amplifier Load Range: 8 ~ 16 ohms
  • Uses three ECC83/12AX7 preamplification tubes and two EL84 power tubes for the amplifier section, plus a Celestion Red Truvox 1215 speaker.
  • Handles frequencies between 80Hz and 10kHz, with hum and noise -75dB below the rated power and 0.5% total harmonic distortion.
  • The cabinet is ported in the rear and features a leather handle, cloth speaker grill, and a cream-colored, textured, synthetic leather exterior with chrome corner guards

Conclusion

Allegedly, the Monoprice 611815 Stage Right amp is a clone of the Laney CUB-12R, which contains a similar tube lineup and speaker combo.  Several reviewers compare it to a Fender Blues Jr or a Vox AC15. What do these 3 amps have in common compared to the Monoprice Stage Right?  The price! They’re all on a higher price level than the Monoprice, which makes it quite affordable for the amount of power under its hood.

If you’re looking for a small combo amp that has that classic tube sound, allows you lots of flexibility on tone, is portable, and has that attractive vintage sheen, the Monoprice Stage Right 15 watt tube amp is probably the one that will give you the best bang for your buck.

Check The Price Now at Amazon.com

Categories General, Tube Amp ReviewsSours: https://toptubeamplifier.com/monoprice-611815-15-watt-1-x-12-combo-amplifier-reviewed/
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Outside of their competitively priced audio/video cables and adapters, excellent headphones and myriad electronics, I had no idea that Monoprice, the massive online discount retailer, sold musical equipment. 

Under the brand name Stage Right by Monoprice, their website has everything from pedals to pedalboards and, you guessed it, amplifiers. 

Monoprice is a popular online enclave for tech-savvy consumers, so it goes without saying I wondered if their Stage Right by Monoprice 30-Watt Tube Guitar Amp Head and 1x12 Cab would live up to the quality of some of their other well-received products. And at less than $600 for this complete bundle, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed at its surprisingly outstanding sound and above-average construction.        

The Stage Right by Monoprice 30-Watt Tube Guitar Amp Head looks overtly nondescript with all-black tolex, save for the triangular-perforated metal faceplate bearing the “SR/Stage Right” branding.

It’s very much a straightforward, selectable two-channel amp design with Hi and Low inputs, single Volume and Bright switch on the clean channel, Gain and Overdrive Volume on the overdrive channel, Channel Select switch, Bass, Middle and Treble EQ controls, Reverb and Tone controls and Power and Standby switches.

The head is rated at 30 watts of power and features a quartet of EL-84 power tubes and three 12AX7 preamp tubes, with a built-in tube-driven reverb powered by one of the preamp tubes and an effects loop on the rear. The cabinet is equipped with a single 12-inch Celestion Vintage 30 speaker. The package includes a two-button footswitch to select channel and reverb, and a 1/4-inch TRS speaker cable.

Before any brand snobs totally dismiss this as some generic overseas amp, let me inform you that the Stage Right head (despite its banal name) is an unbelievably fantastic amp. It’s a finely tuned amplifier that really cuts, and I found great tone and touch-sensitivity at every volume level (and it can get loud!).

Channel one has full-sounding cleans with plenty of chime and can work fittingly as a pedal platform. Switching to channel two presents plenty of warmth and a bit of high-end zing that can be tamed and smoothed via the tone control.

Even with the overdrive knob dimed, it''s not a saturated or flabby crunch, but rather a tight, musical drive that begs for an external overdrive pedal to fully compliment the overall tone when you push it. It seems almost every amp value (like EQ and reverb) is calibrated in moderation for ease in sculpting a powerful sound.

For example, the built-in reverb is somewhat weak, but it doesn’t get in the way of your tone, so surf guitarists will need to add their own reverb here, but again, what stands out is the overly stellar, no-frills tone the amp possesses.

The 1x12 cab with the Celestion V30 sounds great, but I plugged the SR head into other cabs with even more dramatic and better results. But as a compact rig that just slays? I’m heading over to Stage Right.

Specs

  • STREET PRICE: $599.99 
  • TYPE: Tube amp head and matching cabinet
  • CHANNELS: 2
  • POWER: 30-watts
  • TUBES: 3x 12AX7 in preamp,4x EL84 power tubes.
  • CONTROLS: Clean Gain with Bright Switch, Overdrive Level, Bass, Middle, Treble, Reverb, Tone
  • SPEAKER: 1x12 Celestion V30
  • CONTACT:Stage Right by Monoprice
Sours: https://www.guitarworld.com/reviews/stage-right-by-monoprice-30w-tube-guitar-amp-head-and-1x12-cab-review

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