Categories
Music

Best small (<15W) tube guitar amplifiers

What can I say.. I love technology. I do my due diligence when researching audio gadgets, guitar pickups, amplifiers, headphones, speakers, portable computers and portable displays.
This is the list for those lovely Fender tweed type tones or Marshall bluesbreaker-like tones… the small, boutique style handwired tube amps that pack a punch.

Edit: I did make a top 20 list for both headphones and bluetooth speakers here:
Top 20 bluetooth speakers
Top 20 over ear headphones
best Overdrive pedals

Best small (<15W class A) handwired tube guitar amplifiers

Vox AC-4HW

Vox AC4HW
Vox AC4HW

Price: $799
-4W
-2x 12AX7, 1x EL84
-12″ Celestion Greenback speaker
-Weight: 30lbs
-top boost
-hot/cool mode

Fender Eric Clapton Vibro-champ

Fender EC Vibro Champ
Fender EC Vibro Champ

Price: $999
-5W
-2x 12AX7, 1x 6V6GT, 1x 5Y3GT
-8″ Weber speaker
-Weight: 16lbs
-Tremolo
-Attenuator

Swart Atomic Jr (this is the amp I own)

Swart Atomic Jr
Swart Atomic Jr

Price: $1200
-5W
-1x 12AX7, 1x 12DW7, 1x 6V6GT, 1x GZ34
-8″ Weber speaker
-Weight: 14lbs
-Hot/cool mode
-Spring Reverb

Rivera Venus 3

Rivera Venus3
Rivera Venus3

Price: $1600
-15W
-2x 12AX7, 2x6V6GT
-12″ Celestion Heritage speaker
-Spring reverb, presence

Bogner New Yorker

Bogner New Yorker
Bogner New Yorker

Price: $1600
-12W
-2x 12AX7, 2x 6V6
-12″ Celestion speaker
-4 way rotary switch

Tone King Falcon

Tone King Falcon
Tone King Falcon

Price: $1700
-12W
-3x 12AX7, 2x 6V6GT
-10″ Eminence Speaker
-Weight: 30lbs
-Attentuator

Dr Z Maz 8

Dr Z Maz 8
Dr Z Maz 8

Price: $1749
-8W
-4x 12AX7, 1x 12AT7, 1x EL84, 1x GZ34
-12″ speaker
-Weight: 37 lbs

Matchless Baby

Matchless Baby
Matchless Baby

Price: $1799
-6W
-1x 12AX7, 1x EL84, 1x 5AR4
-12″ speaker

Divided by 13 CJ11

Divided by 13 CJ11
Divided by 13 CJ11

Price: $1950
-11W
-2x 12AX7, 2x 6v6GT, 1x 5AR4/GZ34
-12″ Speaker
-Weight: 46lbs

65Amps Lil’ Elvis

65Amps Lil' Elvis
65Amps Lil’ Elvis

Price: $2495
-12W
-3x 12AX7, 2x EL84, 1x EZ81
-12″ Celestion Greenback speaker
-Weight: 29lbs
-Tremolo speed/intensity
-Attentuator

Marshall 1974X

Marshall 1974X
Marshall 1974X

Price: $2499
-18W
-3x ECC83, 2x EL84, 1x EZ81
-12″ Celestion speaker
-Tremolo

So.. the options range from the relatively inexpensive $799 4W Vox Handwired AC4HW to the $2500 18W Marshall Handwired 1974X. I personally own the Swart, so I can say for certain that the Amp possesses phenomenal reverb for its size, breaks up rather easily, but has lots of good clean tones as well. And its probably the lightest out of the bunch, at only 14lbs.

Categories
Magic

Magic the gathering: Top 15 most efficient 3 mana creatures ever

I love 3 drops – because the 3 mana spot is the most coveted and competitive in a deck – and the games most efficient creatures come at the 2 and 3 mana spot. Many times I had to exclude a good creature because there was simply a better one in its place. These are creatures you can put into pretty much any deck, and they will work for you. Most of these creatures are white, or green, or both, consistent with that color being well known for efficient creatures. So without further ado, here’s the 15 best 3 mana creatures in my opinion (I’m going to exclude legendary creatures since these are creatures you want to include more than 1 of in your deck, sorry Vendilion Clique and Geist of Saint Traft):

1. Eternal Witness
I would put this chick in every green deck I have. She’s that good. Whenever she comes out, I get a card back, ANY card. So amazing, and hard to pick anyone over her. The only problem is the double green in her cost.

2. Kitchen Finks
This is another card I would just put in every deck I have. It is all around goodness. A 3/2 creature for 3 mana, that gains a total of 4 life and its easy to cast, and comes back to live again after it dies once. So efficient and so good.

3. Vampire Nighthawk
Here’s a good definition of efficient. A 2/3 for three mana, decent. Then add on three abilities: flying, lifelink and deathtouch, and you have a winner.

4. Phyrexian Crusader
A 2/2 for 3 mana, is boring, but this guy has four abilities on top of that. First strike, Infect, and protection from red and white. Now that’s good stuff.

5. Mirran Crusader
Like Phyrexian Crusader, its a 2/2 for 3 mana, but it only has 3 abilities. However, those three being double strike, protection from green and black, are quite good abilities, and enough for me to put it in the top 5.

6. Knight of the Reliquary
It’s also a 2/2 for 3 mana, but has the unique ability of growing whenever you have a land in your graveyard. With all those fetch lands out there, and mill decks, as well as this knights ability to fix mana at will, it becomes one of the best creatures in green/white. It has the rare ability to match Tarmogoyf and Scavenging Ooze in growth at a similar low mana investment, which is amazing.

7. Ohran Viper
This is one of the most elegant creatures ever designed. You attack with it – if they don’t block it, you draw a card. Else, if they do block it – their creature dies. It’s a win win situation for you. And it’s a 1/3, so it has reasonable toughness.

8. Troll Ascetic
Troll Ascetic can single handedly win games if your opponent has nothing to deal with it. It’s an untargetable regenerating beast, that will stay on the field until your opponent finds some way of dealing with it. But it is one of the hardest creatures to deal with in the game.

9. Fiendslayer Paladin
First Strike, Lifelink, can’t be targeted by red or black spells. That’s essentially 4 abilities on one creature, the definition of efficient.

10. Shadowmage Infiltrator
The card designed by Jon Finkel, one of the greatest MTG players of all time. It’s simple and elegant. 3 toughness is decent, he draws a card whenever he deals damage, and he has fear to help facilitate drawing a card. Like Ohran viper, simple and elegant.

11. Boros Reckoner
The strength of this card is that its so versatile. Its a 3/3 that can shoot back for however much damage it is dealt, often giving substantial card advantage when it dies. In addition, it can get first strike if you don’t want it to die.

12. Hypnotic Specter
This is the original and still the best specter. 3 mana, has flying, and makes the opponent discard a card randomly when it deals damage. This makes it one of the best black three drops ever.

13. Silverblade Paladin
This creature gives two creatures double strike when it hits play. That essentially ups your firepower by double by being in play. Thus, paired with the aforementioned Shadowmage or Ohran Viper, or Nighthawk, makes you gain double the benefit.

14. Loxodon Smiter
First of all, this is three mana for a 4/4. That’s right, a freaking 4/4. Not long ago, we were talking about how Blastoderms and Loxodon Hierarchs were efficient for their cost. Well this is one better. On top of that, it’s uncounterable and undiscardable, great against blue and black mages.

15. Woolly Thoctar
It’s a 5/4 for 3 mana. nuff said.

Honorable mentions:

Mystic Crusader (if you have threshold)
Boggart Ram-gang
Stillmoon Cavalier
Rhox War Monk
Paladin en-vec
Sprouting Thrinax
Cold-Eyed Selkie
Augury Adept
Doomed Necromancer
Royal Assassin
Blade Splicer
Boon Satyr
Trygon Predator (sideboard)
Witchstalker (sideboard)
Great Sable Stag (sideboard)
Fulminator Mage (sideboard)

Legends:
Mirri, Cat Warrior
Glissa, the Traitor
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Geist of Saint Traft
Vendilion Clique
Doran, the Siege Tower
Jenara, Asura of War
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Varolz, the Scar-Striped