TOP-14 Best Small Amps Models in 2018. Choose Between Tube Amps From Fender, Vox, Orange, And More

A couple of decades ago, no proper guitar setup could get away without a big, bulky, and expensive amplifier. Musicians even took pride in owning those heavy pieces of equipment – they were some kind of a “bad-boy badge.” However, these days, thanks to the technological progress, the small amps that never used to be taken into consideration are now more than capable of handling the needs of the regular folks. Come on, you won’t bring a 100-watt-strong amplifier to a bar/restaurant/birthday party, right? It just won’t fit the scenery; besides, what’s the point of carrying something that heavy around when the best small tube amps will do just as great?

The biggest companies in the business felt the demand among the beginners and pros and decided to dedicate years of hard work (and tons of money, of course) to create the modern-day line up of portable, affordable, and less powerful amplifiers that offer quite an attractive alternative for the touring players and the practicing musicians. A 15-watt tube amp is very well capable of filling the room with the finest sounds. Besides, if you bring a 100-watter to a small venue, you simply won’t be able to crank it up, which means those magical tones will never come to the surface. On a much smaller amplifier, in turn, you are more than welcome to turn up, like the kids say these days.


TOP-3 The finest low-watt tube amp heads

 # Model Street price Rating Power Number of Channels Our top Check
1 Orange or15h $699.00 ☆☆☆☆☆ 15w 1 1 – Editor`s Choice
2 Orange da15h dark terror $649.00 ☆☆☆☆ 15/7w 1 2
3 Vox night train nt15h-g2 $449.00 ☆☆☆☆ 15w 2 3 –Editor`s Choice

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TOP-3 The finest low-watt combo tube amps

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Model Street price Rating Power Number of Channels Our top Check
1 Fender ’57 Custom Champ 1×8″ $999.00 ☆☆☆☆☆ 5w 1 1-Editor`s Choice
2 Vox AC4HW1 1×12″ $800.00 ☆☆☆☆ 4w 1 2
3 Vox AC15C1 1×12” $680.00 ☆☆☆☆ 15w 2 3 – Editor`s Choice

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What You Need To Know Before Buying A Small Tube Amplifier

Again: unless you crank the amp up to 11, the tubes won’t be able to deliver that one-in-a-million tone that you were searching for. And since most of us live with our friends/partners/family members and/or rent tiny apartments, pushing everything to the limit is not really an option. Well, with a small guitar amp, you’ll be hitting that “G spot” every single day. As we just learned, small amps are perfect for jamming at home, practicing, and doing gigs. At the same time, you’ll need to be careful with your choice and make sure the amp you take home won’t be buzzy and/or sound thin. This is probably the most important thing to take into consideration.

The beginners usually go for whatever is cheap and looks fancy, but, essentially, it’s the tone that truly matters.

In this article, we’ll review the best small tube amps that will make every single penny you pay for them worth it. That’s right: we went through countless amps on the market and chose the ones that offer the best balance between quality and price. Most big-time players out there will tell you that it’s vital for your first amp to sound good. It will get your creative juices flowing, that’s for sure. What about the digital modeling amps that are becoming more and more popular? Aren’t they a better choice for the “bedroom musicians?” No, they’re not. And here’s why.

The Magic Of The Tube – What’s So Special About It?

True, digital and solid-state amps are pretty impressive today and can provide quite a decent tone – even at super-low levels. Plus, they are versatile and come packed with lots of controls that allow you to fine-tune the sound. Still, no matter how good these are, there’s no competition for the tube amps when it comes to the tone. Even the smallest tube amp will sound better, and that’s a fact. With a low watt tube amp, you’ll get portability, versatility, affordability, and that sweet tone, even though a decent digital amp will still be more versatile. If you’re a fan of onboard effects, tube amps will disappoint you: the best thing you’ll ever get is a reverb.

Plus, the pre-set factory tone and character will always be there, no matter how much you tweak the sound. It’s important to know these things before you rush to the closest store, because, chances are, the amp you pick will be with you for many years, if not decades. On the other hand, that single tone will beat whatever the digital world has to offer. Plus, it’s a known fact that tube amps work with effects pedals better and will give you more room for maneuvering. As mentioned above, low-watt tube amps are usually not that loud (they have less headroom if you want the technical term) and that lovely overdriven sound is much easier to achieve.

Is A Low-Watt Tube Amp Loud Enough?

Please don’t let all that fancy talk on the Internet fool you: even a 1-watt tube amp will be enough to fill up a bedroom or a small venue (same goes for the 5-watt tube amp models).

Remember: these amplifiers come with two knobs.

The Gain knob allows you to push it to the limit and get the amp crankin’. The Master knob, in turn, is for turning the output signal up or down without affecting the circuitry (and the overdriven sound). So, how did we come up with the list below? Well, it took a lot of hard work and we had to read through the most popular forums, including Gearslutz and such to figure out exactly what the guitarists are looking for and which models they praise.

Furthermore, we watched countless videos on YouTube and tested most of the amps on the list ourselves. And while we all want to get the best possible sound, the beginners can’t really afford something elite and expensive. Don’t be said, though, because we’ve picked the finest tube amps that come with affordable price-tags and still sound amazing. Small low-watt amps are the stars of the show today, but there are still some “hidden dangers”, especially when you don’t know what it is that you’re looking for. So, stick around and let us join forces in trying to find the best bang for the buck. I’m sure there is at least one amp that will steal your heart.

The Art Of Picking Just The Right Small Tube Guitar Amplifier

Now, even though there’s no need to stack up huge Fender/Marshall amps in your living room anymore, there is still some “nerdy” stuff that we’ll need to talk about before going through the list of the best tube guitar amplifiers. A small amplifier doesn’t mean it is weak or won’t be able to rock an average-sized venue. Wattage, volume, voicing, the size of the speaker – all those factors count, and if you want to impress your friends with a jaw-droppingly good sound, you’ll have to take it all into consideration. Are you ready to learn more about the world of small amps and become a pro at this? Ok, let’s roll!

Making Sense Of Wattage And Volume

Here’s the most important thing you gotta remember when dealing with small amps: a linear boost in wattage doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the same amount of boost in volume. In plain and simple English, if you pick a 110-watt amp over a 100-watt one, the first amplifier isn’t going to be exactly ten percent louder – that’s not how this works. Generally, musicians compare 100-watt beasts to 10-watt “babies”, and it that comparison, the bigger amp will be approximately twice as loud (with everything else being similar, of course). With more wattage, you get more “clean” volume before the gear reaches its breaking point and starts to distort.

So, what should you be looking at for a home setup?

This might come as a surprise to use, but a small tube amp with less than 10-15 watts under the belly is the best choice. The master control will allow you to keep the volume at a suitable level and still enjoy the benefits of overdrive. Or, if you’re not an admirer of that legendary tube tone, keep Gain at a moderate level and tune up the master volume. As you can see, there are enough options for a comfortable practice in a tiny room both for the fans of dirty and clean tones. Personally, tube-based distortion is like music to our ears. But that might not be the case for you.

Amp Heads And Combo Amps – What’s The Difference?

You probably already know that there are two setups, or, rather, configurations, when it comes to guitar amps: heads and combos. Heads are significantly cheaper and lighter, simply because they can’t make a sound unless you plug them into a nice pair of speakers. Combos, in turn, come packed with a solid speaker and will be pretty much the only piece of gear you’ll need for practicing and/or doing a gig. Again, you have to choose between the two depending on your current situation and the plans you have for your music. The best thing about heads is that the tone is not pre-set and you’ve got a lot of options with it.

Depending on the cabinets and speakers, the tone will change a lot, giving you different “colors” to play with. Here’s the biggest downside: if you cash in for a head and a cabinet, you’ll end up spending more bucks than on a combo. Along with being more affordable, combo amps always have the same tone, which is important if there’s a big gig coming up and you want to be in total control of the sound. True, the speaker can also be changed – that’s not a problem – but the cabinet is there to stay. I can’t really say which configuration is better, because they both have been around for many decades and carry a significant value for musicians.

Open-/Close-Backed Cabinets

Cabinets are available in two configurations – open and closed. An open-backed cabinet will give you a warmer, fuller tone because the sound has more space to fill. A close-backed cabinet, in turn, is more direct and focused, as the sound is only moving forward. By the way, a cabinet is where you put the speaker. That is why I mentioned in the previous chapter that you are stuck with it and won’t be able to change like, say, the speaker. This might not matter much to a beginner, but if you’re an experienced musician, I bet you already know about these subtle differences and will make your choice wisely.

The Size Of The Speaker

The bigger the speaker, the more low-end it will be able to handle. That’s equally true for the studio monitors and the DJ speakers. The mid and high frequencies don’t need that big of a woofer, but for the bass to be nice and punchy, you’ll need to look for something large. Amplifiers with big speakers have a warm, round, full sound. At the same time, if you want a more accentuated, bright and crisp tone, go with smaller speakers. They will also surprise you with a more clear sound. Generally, a 12-inch speaker will be just right for you. It’s the golden middle and will provide enough low-end warmth and high-end brightness.

It’s still pretty big for that low-end bass rumble but not particularly huge to become muddy and lose its crystal-clear character (that’s usually what happens with the 15-inch speakers). Yep, the size of the speaker has a lot of impact on the sound of your guitar tube amp. If you are a bass player and need that “boom”, make sure the practice amp you choose isn’t a 10-incher. On the other hand, for an average electric guitar player, a 12-incher will serve for many years. This is becoming the main message of this article: go with whatever’s right for you at this exact moment and don’t let the commercials or your neighbor trick you into buying something you don’t really need.

Voicing: What Is It All About?

Ever heard musicians talk about the voicing of a certain amp? That basically means what tone the manufacturer had in mind while working on it. For example, an “American/US voicing” means the amplifier in question will sound like a true Fender. On the other hand, a “British/UK voicing” means that it’s going to have that trademark Marshall tone (hello, classic rock fans) or sound similar to the best Vox amps (remember The Beatles?) I know you probably don’t want to read about the slight differences between various tubes, let alone the technical side of things (like how does it all work), but let me tell you this:

The EL84 types of tubes sound like the Vox gear. The EL34s sound like the Marshall stuff. And finally, 6L6s are all about the legendary Fender tone. That’s basically it – no need to dig any deeper than that. Obviously, if you’re buying a Fender tube amp, you can rest assured that it will sound accordingly. Still, make a habit of reading about a certain piece of gear you wish to purchase on the Internet to know exactly what you’ll be getting at the store.

Our List Of The Best Low-Watt Amps On The Market

Ok, it’s time to get down to business. We learned everything we needed to be able to pick just the right low watt tube amp. Now we get our hands dirty and take a look at the finest offers available to us around the globe. First, we’ll check out the amp heads, as they are more affordable and will be a great start. Once we’re done with them, the combos will come forward. Alright, let’s get crackin’!

The Finest Low-Watt Tube Amp Heads

 

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Model Street price Rating Power Number of Channels
Our top Check
1 Orange or15h $699.00 ☆☆☆☆☆ 15w 1 1-Editor`s Choice
2 Orange da15h dark terror $649.00 ☆☆☆☆ 15/7w 1 2
3 Vox night train nt15h-g2 $449.00 ☆☆☆☆ 15w 2 3 – Editor`s Choice
4 Peavey 6505 mh $499.00 ☆☆☆☆ 20w 2 4
5 Egnater tweaker $563.00 ☆☆☆ 15w 1 5
6 Fender super-champ x2 hd $299.00 ☆☆☆☆ 15w 2 6
7 Orange micro terror 20-watt head $149.00 ☆☆☆☆ 20w 1 7

 

#1 – Orange OR15H

Orange is not a rookie in this business. They’ve been around for decades and managed to build quite a name for themselves. As for the OR15H 15W, it’s one of the finest small amps you’ll find on the market right now. The greatest feature of this thing is that it allows you to switch between 7 to 15 watts. And I’m not just talking about different watt numbers – I’m talking about changing between different headrooms and responses. True, this won’t affect peak volume that much, but the headroom will certainly feel the difference. Like we discussed earlier, when the 7-watt mode is on, the sweet distortion will kick in earlier (meaning at a lower volume level).

I have to say that if not for this intriguing capability, the amp is not really that impressive in terms of versatility. The set of features is limited; you won’t get multiple channels or a boost. At the same time, if your setup is right, you won’t even need any of that. Besides, distortion/boost pedals are pretty cheap these days and you can get one from your local store. So, if you’ve got 700 bucks to spare, I’d highly recommend checking this beast out. This is a small guitar amplifier, but it’s got enough “attitude” to satisfy even the grumpy old-timers. Is it worth the price-tag? It is if you know exactly what to do with the different wattage options. It weighs 17.77 lbs. (8 kilograms).

 
PROS CONS
+ A real Orange head that knows and respects where it comes from – None
+ Surprising but very sexy dimensions and design
+ Really reasonable price  
+ Following the OR50 reissues, pictographs are back  


#2 – Orange DA15H Dark Terror

This amp is almost an exact copy of the OR15H we just reviewed and will cost you 50 bucks less (the street price is $650). The DA15H is perfect for the fans of metal and blues, along with classic rock. The metal heads swear by it, and for a good reason.

The driving tones between the mids and the highs sound great on this amplifier, giving you the necessary hyped up feeling for those killer riffs. And, just like its sibling, this bad-boy doesn’t have many outboard controls. Gain, volume, and shape – that’s all you’ll get. The raw tone is what really counts, and it’s got plenty of it. This amp weighs 12.46 lbs. (5, 65 kilograms; not heavy at all) and features the same 7-/15-watt switch.


#3 – Vox Night Train NT15H-G2

Vox Night Train NT15H-G2

Next on our “Best Tube Amp” list is the NT15H-G2 amplifier. Just like Orange, this company needs no introductions. They have one of the greatest amps in their roster and keep supplying the market with new amazing gear. You’ve got a Master Volume, a 3-band EQ (it’s pretty great), Girth/Bright Gain knobs, and even a Reverb. See that Dark switch right next to the master volume control? It rolls off the high-end to get a warmer, fuller sound. As for the Thick switch (you can find it on the Bright channel), it cuts off the tone stack to give a nice gain boost. As we already established, 15 watts are more than enough for a practicing musician.

The street price is 499 dollars, and that’s quite a nice offer compared to the amps we reviewed earlier. If affordability is #1 on your list of pros and cons, then give this Vox beast a chance. You don’t need me to tell you about this company’s industry-leading standards of reliability, durability, and that “classy” sound. It weighs 16.09 lbs. (7.2 kilograms).


#4 – Peavey 6505 MH

Even though this is a pretty tiny amp (it’s not the smallest tube amp, but pretty close), 6505 MH has what it takes to battle the big brothers. Now, this is a 2-channel amplifier and they both have their respective Pre-Gain and Post-Gain knobs. There is only one 3-band EQ. The channels are called Rhythm and Lead, and the first channel comes with 2 switches: Crunch makes it break down and overdrive; Bright makes the sound cleaner and more precise. For fine-tuning the final tone, go to the Power Amp section and do your thing with the Presence and Resonance controls. Around back, you have even more options.

First, the amp allows the user to switch between 1, 5, and 20 watts (and it sounds like one of the best 1 watt tube amps; same goes for the 5- and 20-watt modes). Furthermore, you are free to choose between 8 and 16 ohms. Plus, Peavey put a USB output that can be plugged directly into a computer. For only 499 bucks, this is one hell of an offer.


#5 – Egnater Tweaker

Egnater Tweaker

This is one of those cheap tube amplifiers that bring the heat and can compete with the most expensive alternatives. I can say with absolute certainty that this is one of the most versatile amplifiers on God’s green Earth. You’ve got three “modes” to switch between, including AC (Vox), American (Fender) and British (Marshall). Furthermore, once you’ve chosen between the three, the vintage/modern control will allow you to fine-tune your perfect tone even more. Finally, there are two more switches at your disposal: tight/deep and normal/bright. I told you this is one of those one-man-band types of amplifiers!

And now we gotta talk about the sad part. Despite the fact that all this versatility is truly marvelous and gives you great control over the sound, none of those tones is going to sound like the original. Say, the Vox tube amplifiers come with a unique sound that the Tweaker 15W is simply not capable of reproducing fully. Same goes for the rest of the amp models. The bottom line is – if you’re looking for that “dream tone” (like, say, Fender), don’t even waste your time considering this amp. Yet, if flexibility is what you are after and the various tones will help you create better music, then this 400-dollar amp should be on your list of must-haves (and it weighs 19.6 lbs/8.8 kgs).


#6 – Fender Super-Champ X2 HD – The Affordable Option

The best-selling Super-Champ series is actually a modeling amp that’s hiding inside the body of a tube amp. Hands down, when it comes to versatility and flexibility, this is the best pick. The best thing about the X2 HD 15W is that you are free to dial in as many tones/effects as your heart desires. Pair it with a solid footswitch and fire away! However, even though this is a tube amplifier at heart, with modeling amps you always get a digital tone, which might be a turn-off for the fans of “analog” sounds. On the other hand, for most of us, it sounds just fine and the added versatility is only a huge plus. In all fairness, you’ll be able to feel the subtle difference only if you’re a big-time pro.

With this tube guitar amp, you get 15 watts of power and two speaker outs. It weighs 18, 5 lbs. (8, 3 kilograms), and that makes it a portable piece of gear. If it’s a particular tone that you’re looking for, this Fender baby might not be up your alley. But, if you want an amplifier that will back you up no matter the genre, the choice is obvious. With the right set of mind and a pair of capable hands, you’ll be able to make it sound like whatever you want (you’ve got 16 amp types and 15 effects to pick from). It’s not built to match the high demands of the grunge fans or the bluesmen. This is a workhorse, and for a price of 300 dollars, I say this is a great bang for your buck.


#7 – Orange Micro Terror 20-Watt Head – The Low-Budget Option

Orange Micro Terror 20-Watt Head

Admit it: this amp looks too adorable for you to think that it can fill out an entire room with awesome sounds. Nevertheless, this little fella is on par with the leaders of the industry. The finest thing about this amplifier is that it’s a hybrid head. That means you get a tube pre-amp along with a solid-state power amp. How does that sound? The famous overdriven tone is still there. Plus, the company’s trademark exquisite sound is like music to our ears. On the front panel, this Orange tube amp has limited controls. For tone, there is only one single knob, which means versatility isn’t really this amp’s strongest suit.

At the same time, it is the loudest and mightiest amplifier on the market of cheap-yet-proud equipment. For just $149.00, you’ll get the sweetest deal on the market. If you’re a fan of the famous Orange tones, rest assured that this little warrior has got you covered on all fronts. Note: the tone knob is very sensitive; be gentle with it. For metal, this isn’t the best pick. But for the modern-day “poppy” rock music and classic rock, this is it. In many regards, Micro Terror is the best small tube amp for the beginners. Even the pros will appreciate what it can do. Fact: this is a cheap tube amp, but not a bad one.


The Finest Low-Watt Combo Tube Amps

 

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Model Street price Rating Power Number of Channels Our top Check
1 Fender ’57 Custom Champ 1×8″ $999.00 ☆☆☆☆☆ 5w 1 1-Editor`s Choice
2 Vox AC4HW1 1×12″ $800.00 ☆☆☆☆ 4w 1 2
3 Vox AC15C1 1×12” $680.00 ☆☆☆☆ 15w 2 3 –Editor`s Choice
4 Fender Blues Junior III Lacquered Tweed 1×12″ $650.00 ☆☆☆☆ 15w 1 4
5 Vox AC4TV 1×10” $300.00 ☆☆☆ 4w 1 5
6 Bugera V5 Infinium 1×8” $200.00 ☆☆☆☆ 5w 2 6
7 Fender Mustang I V2 $120.00 ☆☆☆☆ 20w 1 7

 

#1 – Fender ’57 Custom Champ 1×8″

Fender '57 Custom Champ 1x8"

This amp is all about legacy. According to statistics, the good-old tweed Champs have been in large demand since they entered the market. ZZ Top, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, and other iconic bands used these amplifiers to create some of their best songs. As for the ’57 Custom Champ, it’s a lovely reproduction of a vintage piece of gear. It comes with a Weber speaker which was specifically designed to reproduce the retro sound. The built-in tube rectifier is also there to achieve that “bloomy” tone that we all came to love and cherish. If you’re one of the OGs, you’ll most definitely shed some nostalgic tears, because Fender did a great job with this one.

Now, even though the amp is not cheap and costs 1000 dollars, this is quite an affordable option considering what it has to offer. As you know, vintage amplifiers are not very affordable, especially the tweed models. Plus, they are fragile and you need to always be ready for all kinds of technical defects. Thankfully, with the ’57 Custom Champ, you get the sweet tone in a brand-new amp that’s tough and sturdy. If you can afford this beast, it might just turn out to be the best practice amp in your life and give you the right inspiration to create legendary rock ballads like the ones I just mentioned. It weighs 15 lbs. (6, 8 kilograms) and is good for 5 watts.

 
PROS CONS
+ Top-drawer tone; perfect amp for recording. – It’s a one-trick pony, but a great trick; shamelessly expensive.


#2 – Vox AC4HW1 1×12″

Vox AC4HW1 1x12"

This hand-wired amp is only good for 4 watts, but that doesn’t mean it’s weak or anything like that. This might sound like total BS to you, but the old gear heads believe that amps with hand-wired connections sound more old-school than the ones wired to one single circuit board. I can’t either confirm or deny that. This isn’t even the most intriguing part. The really cool fact is that AC4HW1 features less than 5 watts of power, but, unlike most amps on the market, it’s paired with a mighty 12-inch speaker. This means you’ll get the tone of a huge amp and still enjoy the warm, rich, attractive tone that a small-wattage amp provides.

Vox put a boost switch for additional control over the sound and 2 inputs – high/low gain. Even though this doesn’t seem like much, if you know what you’re doing, these controls will allow you to achieve a wide array of both distorted and clean tones. For those lovely British tones, AC4HW1 is perfect. It costs 800 dollars and weighs 29.74 lbs. (13, 5 kilograms).


#3 – Vox AC15C1 1×12” Vs. Vox AC15CX1 1×12″

Vox never disappoints – that’s what it’s famous for. As for these amplifiers, they look and feel a lot like each other. So, what does that X at the end mean? It means that with CX1, you get a CAB speaker (great news for the fans of the traditional Vox flavor). It’s more precise and makes those high-end frequencies shine through. The Greenback speaker that’s packed with C1 prevails when it comes to distorted sounds and handles the low-end and the midrange better. Both C1 and CX1 are good for 15 watts, which gives you enough headroom to enjoy the clean tones before hitting the breaking point. For overdrive, you’ll have to push it a bit hard (but still keep the volume down).

The weight of the amps is a bit disappointing: 48.5 lbs. (22 kilograms). Both amplifiers are good for pretty much every genre out there except for maybe old-school jazz and modern-day metal. Reverb and tremolo give the user more room to maneuver, and while there aren’t as many tone controls as in other amps, it doesn’t mean these Vox models aren’t versatile. For CX1, prepare to pay $800. C1 costs $650.


#4 – Fender Blues Junior III Lacquered Tweed 1×12″

This is another fine offer from Fender. Right now, Blues Junior is one of the most popular, loved and respected low-watt tube amps. For only 600 dollars, this amplifier offers a quality level that’s simply unmatched by its rivals. So, if you can’t afford the ’57 Custom Champ, this banger right here will be what the doc ordered. FBJ III Lacquered Tweed comes with a speaker that sounds just like the expensive vintage speakers from the legends. I’m not saying the Eminence that is packed with the standard FBJs is bad; it’s a matter of personal preference, and if retro tones are your thing, then this is what you need.

The amp weighs 31 lbs. (14 kilograms) and is 15-watts-strong. Along with the standard Master Volume knob and controls for low, mid, and high frequencies, the owners will also get a FAT switch that gives a nice boost to the middle. For solo guitar parts and lead lines, this gives a very smooth yet visible boost that makes them sound better. And let’s not forget about the spring reverb. For surf rock, this ‘verb sounds awesome. Same goes for the other genres of rock and pop. Fender doesn’t fool around when it comes to amps, that’s for sure.


#5 – Vox AC4TV 1×10”

Vox AC4TV 1x10”

Hey, if The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and a bunch of other big-time bands from the 60s loved these amps, that means they are pretty cool, right? According to numerous happy customer reviews, international ratings, and lists of the best small tube amps, AC4TV is the closest thing to perfection. The manufacturer did a terrific job of “reincarnating” an amp from 1961 called AC4. Essentially, it’s a 4-watt tube amplifier that can be switched to 1 and 0.25 watts). The 10-inch speaker is lovely; the pair of a preamp 12AX7 and a power EL84 tubes is also worth your highest praise. The AC4TV weighs 20 lbs. (9 kilograms). It doesn’t feature an onboard reverb.

The ability to switch between different watts is a God-sent. So when you find yourself in a situation where you need to be extremely quiet but still want that overdriven sound, go with 0.25 watts. The 16-ohm speaker output allows you to connect this amp to a bigger, stronger speaker that will fill out a larger venue (during a gig, for example). Note: this amp gets dirty very soon, which means if you’re after clean sounds, scratch this baby from your list. But if that’s not a problem, you’ll be getting what many pros out there are calling the best low watt tube amp on our planet.


#6 – Bugera V5 Infinium 1×8” – The Affordable Option

Bugera V5 Infinium 1x8

The price-tag on this amp is ridiculous. For just $200, It sounds great and works like a 1000-dollar piece of gear. The 8-inch speaker is fabulous; the ability to switch from 5 watts to 1 watt and even 0.1 watts will come in handy if you’re cramped up in one room with your roomies. And, it weighs only 22 lbs. (10 kilograms), meaning this is a portable amp. In case you didn’t know, Bugera belongs to Behringer, another big name in the industry. Initially, their task was to offer folks on a budget the best possible sound. The super-affordable price-tag and the marvelous vintage tone turn V5 Infinium into one of the best tube amps on the market, if not THE best one.

You can achieve everything from clean, to slightly “broken”, to an overdriven and saturated tone. Build quality is great. The built-in reverb is a nice addition. With the 0.1-watt mode on, you’ll get that rich tube drive at a super-low volume level, even though it won’t be as rich and full as in the regular 5-watt mode. The speaker is solid; it could be better, though, but for 200 bucks, it’s a banger.


#7 – Fender Mustang I V2 – The Low-Budget Option

Technically, this isn’t a tube amp – it’s a modeling amplifier (just like the Super-Champ), but I simply had to put it on our list. The Mustang series created a lot of buzz when it was first released. First of all, these amps sound amazing. Second, they are very user-friendly and intuitive. And finally, they look and feel just as dope as the best Fender gear. And with the introduction of the V2 series, the amplifiers are packing even more heat than ever before. With the Mustang I V2, you’ll get not one, but 17 amp models and they all have their unique, inspiring tones. The list of effects is also quite impressive. Furthermore, the USB cable allows you to connect it to your computer and take advantage of the FUSE software.

It gives access to even more amps and settings, turning this combo into a powerful tool for creating outstanding rock music. The Mustang I V2 is very versatile and can be both dirty and clean. According to many pros, this amp has the finest high-gain overdrive on the market. And while Orange’s Micro Terror is probably the leader of the small amps (the heads), V2 is the best combo amp. And here comes the most pleasant part: it will only cost you 119.99 dollars, which is by far the best deal on our list. What can I say – Fender definitely knows how to appeal to the sound junkies with just the right tones and price-tags.

Summing Up

Alright, that’s it for our list, ladies, and gentlemen. we introduced to you 14 amps – 7 heads and 7 combos. Hopefully, this article was helpful and you’ll end up buying one of these amplifiers and creating chart-topping music with it. Fender, Vox, and Orange are the leaders of the industry. But, as we learned today, other companies are also capable of manufacturing high-class equipment for the guitar players. Sure, there are more outstanding amps out there, and we’ll be happy to learn about them in the comments. However, the ones we discussed offer the best balance between quality and affordability.

Besides, according to numerous sources, these are the amplifiers that the modern-day musicians trust. The price range is wide: from 120 dollars to one grand. Ultimately, the thickness of your wallet will decide which one you pick; but, regardless of your choice, the amps will be worth every last penny. They say that an amp can tell a lot about its owner. Well, if you go with one of the 14 models that we personally hand-picked for you, rest assured that people will see you as a tech-savvy rocker who knows exactly what kind of gear he/she needs. So, crank those amps up to eleven, set just the right tone, grab your favorite guitar, and let the neighbors know they’ve got a noisy neighbor!

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3 Responses

  1. Vidal
    I really liked this article about guitars. I would like to share my impressions on this topic with you.I bought an electric guitar for my brother's birthday six months ago.He was under a lot of positive impressions. Immediately, I began to play.And you know-it's so great, beautiful and just words can not Express - it must be heard! Also for comparisons he played on conventional guitar-and of course with a new not compare,but music-that on a new,that and on old fantastic.Suggest anyone who is interested in buy a new guitar and play yourself and your family in the fun!))) After all, live music develops and relaxes you.
  2. Ketrin
    I believe, first of all, you need to determine the purpose of the equipment that you are going to use. If you are not a professional, but just an amateur who likes to play guitar at leisure, you do not need to pursue some "unattainable heights" of sound. The device must have enough power for the room in which you are going to play, and also have a small margin of power to ensure high-quality sound. As for professionals, this is a completely different conversation, they have special requirements for equipment. The amateur must choose what suits him for the price, quality and sound. I'm an amateur, and my choice is based on a simple rule - to choose not the brand and stuff, but the sound. And it does not matter, it's an analog sound, or a digit.
  3. Artem
    Hello, readers of this article! First of all, let me introduce myself. Hi, my name is, what? My name is, who? My name is, chka-chka Slim Shady Well, as you can guess, this is obviously a joke. My name is Artem, and I really like rock music. My favourite groups are Queen, Scorpions, Metallica, especially such songs as Still loving You, Show must go on, And nothing else matters. I usually prefer listening to this amaazing songs, but sometimes I even dare to peform them by myself, mostly at home and for my friends. That is one of the reasons that makes me think about buying a small amplifier, so I find this article useful.

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