There are many things to consider when you are determined to get the best sound on your instrument and you can’t blame your performance on your tube amp. Not every time, anyway.
We’re not going either to debate you should get a tube amp or a solid-state for your practice sessions as the solid-state amp may lose right from the beginning. We have to put it out there and simply live with the reality that the sound on any tube amp is simply better than in the case of a solid-state amp.
Sure, you need to check your wallet before you spend the extra buck for the tube amp, but it’s sure a hell of an investment, especially if your life depends on it. Right?
- 1 TOP 5 Best Small Tube Amp Reviews
- 2 Best small tube amp for the money
- 3 Best cheap/budget small tube amp
- 4 Best small tube amp combo
- 5 Best small tube amp head
- 6 Best small tube amp for blues
- 7 Best small Fender tube amp
- 8 Best small tube amp for clean sounds
- 9 Best small wattage tube amp
- 10 Best small Marshall Tube amp
- 11 Best small tube amp for jazz guitar
- 12 Best small all tube guitar amp
- 13 Best small tube amp for recording
- 14 Best small tube amp with reverb
- 15 Best small tube amp for Metal
To get or not to get a small tube amp
It’s pretty obvious we can’t really tell you which small tube amp is the best for you, but we sure can give you some hints on how to choose one that fits the best your likings, needs and…pocket altogether.
Sure, most of us playing guitar or any other instruments do want the same thing from a small tube amp (nobody complains about too good sound, right?). Nevertheless, maybe in some cases, you want a rocky sound or you care more for the tube effect pedals. On the other hand, you want in fact a combo that makes your guitar sound better than ever.
First thing to keep in mind when looking around for a small tube amp is …price. If you are not willing to pay a bit more, you can also settle for a digital hardware simulating tube amp that sounds a lot like a tube amp. This is not the best choice, obviously, but you may enjoy the similar sounding and responding as in the case of tube amps.
Always try to remember that a tube amp requires some patience and time from your part in order to give you the best sounding. When you get yourself a small tube amp, you need to be careful when handling it and you need to give it some time to take care of it. A digital amp is easier to operate, but the sounding is not the same- we all agree on that.
It all depends also, on how picky you are with your sounding, how much you expect and how perfectionist you get when playing your guitar. It’s not impossible for you to be very happy with a non-tube gear. However, when you are on a continuous hunt for the perfect sound, only a tube amp may give you the sound you are looking for.
Small size, big sounds
What’s great about any small tube amp is not only the amazing sound, but also the efficiency for practicing at home or for the small gigs. Don’t get fooled about the size of the small tube amps, as there’s nothing small related to their performance. By all means, they do the same and give great sound just as regular tube amps- except for the part where your neighbors don’t follow a complaint or your wife doesn’t get you out of the house.
A small tube amp may have a different tone character, indeed-let’s keep in mind the smaller diameter of speakers, the smaller cabinet…But you may use it for your own good as you practice to get the best tone, the cranked-to-the-max tube tones.
Get real and remember that small tube amps don’t relate to the small volume or power. You may use successfully a 5-watt tube amp for practice, recording or when doing some small gig. Moreover, if you’re successful enough and get a bigger gig, you simply need to take a microphone for the tube amp.
Most small tube amps come with switch so that you can change the power output. You can choose 15 W or 5W with a blink of an eye, depending on your current needs on output power.
In addition, even this may come as a surprise for you, small tube amps are created nowadays by “big” names in this business so you get to choose from various models and…prices.
TOP 5 Best Small Tube Amp Reviews
Just because your budget is tight, doesn’t mean you can’t get a reliable, efficient small tube amp. Let’s take, for instance, the Monoprice 611705 5Watt, 1 x 8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier that creates nice sounds, even though it’s small.
The tube amp features ECC83/12AX7 pre-amp tube and 6V6Gt power tube, which explains the nice tones. The Celestion Sper 8GBA-15 speaker adds up when it comes to the value of the tube amp.
If we go through some numbers, we see that the tube amp has a hum and noise of -76dB below the rated power and that the tube amp handles frequencies ranging from 80Hz to 10 kHz. The total harmonic distortion is around 0.5%.
The tube amp has both low and high input and it’s easy to overdrive the latter.
In terms of features, the tube amp presents itself pretty well also: it comes with tone knob (which gives you more options), a big speaker and extra speaker out jack. This little thing also takes pedals well and has a nice reverb.
The nice crunch of the tube makes it a nice choice for many types of music, especially jazz, classic rock or blues.
As the cabinet is placed in the rear, the bass is better.
When we talk about the looks, the tube amp presents cloth speaker grill, a textured synthetic leather exterior and chrome corner guards. All of these details create a nice appearance, let’s all admit that! Moreover, the leather handle lets you carry around the amp easier.
The short list of most important qualities is:
• The tube amp looks great and is highly portable
• It gives plenty of tones and possibilities to get the best sounds
• It takes pedals well and has a nice reverb
• It’s versatile and has a small foot print
Along with the good things, come the ones we like less:
• You may look elsewhere if you want something for hard music
• It has no EFX loop
These cons are not major things and considering the tones and the price of the tube, we’d say you get a pretty good deal when getting it.
Able to give the best sound no matter the type of music you are playing, the Bugera V5 Infinium is a great option to try for the intimate rehearsal sessions or the small gigs.
The Class A amp is a low wattage amplifier (5-watt to be more accurate) and is driven by one EL84 tube. It’s made using the Infinium Tube Life Multiplier technology and comes with an 8” Turbosound speaker. It also features an original preamp design from the ‘60s and the 12AX7 tube ensures nicest tones for your jazz or blues.
The amp lets you set the power you want when playing as it features a power attenuator. You may set it for the .1-watt power, 1-watt or the full 5-watt, depending on your needs.
When it comes to performances, you get to enjoy the strong reverb, the nice cleans and the great gain.
The tube amp is easy to use and the knob for the tone controls runs smooth. This way you also get a nice diversity of tones also.
The versatility of the tube amp is also given by the fact it takes pedals really well.
The tube amp has a long lasting build and a nice look. The materials are good quality and the tube amp has a small footprint. It’s very easy to display and to carry around just as well.
Here are the most important pros:
• The tube amp is easy to use
• It takes pedals very well
• The power attenuator and the tone knob controls give versatility to the tube amp
• It gives nice tones for jazz, blues and classic rock
We also need to mention our cons:
• The tube amp has no efx loop
• It’s not the best option for metal
The cons aren’t deal breakers and the tube amp is a great little tool to get, especially considering its price.
When you sit on the fence and don’t know if you are willing to pay the extra buck for the high quality tube amp, you may get a real deal with the Bugera G20 Infinium. The tube amp sure is a fair priced tube amp that gives nice performances for your guitar.
The hand-built 20-Watt tube amp is a Class A amplifier driven by two ECC83 and two EL34 tubes. It’s made thanks to the Infinium Tube Life Multiplier technology, which creates a durable tube amp. The tone is consistent and reliable and you don’t need to get the high priced matched tube sets either.
In terms of performances, you may enjoy the American and the British tones the tube amp gives. The amp has also several onboard options so that you can get exactly the sound you want. The Morph control is the one to use when going through the British or the American EQ curves. This control is variable so you may dial in the perfect combination for the style you’re playing.
The tube amp is also versatile and flexible and the effects loop features a level button so that you may use the pedals or the line-level effects.
The speaker-emulated output has two settings so you may also get some privacy when recording or when using the headphones.
The reverb is impressive and the footswitch out and indicators of the tube life are important details.
Let’s sum it all up and list the main pros:
• The tube amp gives various tones
• It has many control options so that you can get exactly the sound you want
• The tube amp has two-setting speaker-emulated output
• It’s lightweight and portable
We also have some minor issues to remind:
• It may be too hot for metal
• The reverb may be too strong for some situations
The cons aren’t deal breakers for us though and we feel confident on the tube amp’s value, when your budget isn’t the biggest out there.
There are no doubts for the Fender Blues Junior III 15-Watt 12-Inch Guitar Combo Amp is easy to store and to carry around as it’s lightweight and has a compact shape.
The 15-watts amp gives warm tones and the touch-sensitive tone overdrives are nice when cranked. We also need to say a word on the spring reverb also.
The amp is quite versatile and the foot switchable FAT boost is a nice functional detail. The amp comes with the Fender Special Design 12” speaker that gives you clean overdriven and distorted tones.
You may be surprised by the great variety of tones, nice sweet highs and original lows. The amp doesn’t need time to break in and takes pedals rather well.
The external speaker ability of the amp is important and the amp may get pretty loud. The amp has a customer friendly control layout so it’s very easy to use. The rattle-reducing shock absorbers for the EL84 tubes make the use nice and quiet all the time. The clever standby switch minimizes the power to the tubes when not in use. They remain warm and protected from over-heating.
The tones are bright, loud, yet very soft. The mid tones are fat and the 12AX7 preamp tube overdrive can’t be overlooked.
Here is the list of the most important pros:
• The 15-watts amp gives nice, warm tones and fat mids
• The amp doesn’t need time to break in
• It takes pedals very well
• The amp has external speaker ability
We also have a list of cons:
• The channels don’t have independent EQ for the channels
• The amp has no headphone jack
When in need for a small tube amp for your blues or for some intimate rehearsal sessions, the tube amp sure makes a good choice.
Even though it’s not the smallest tube amp out there, the Carvin BELAIR 2 x 12 50W All-Tube Combo Amp sure surprises with its many features and volume, despite its size.
The amp has an all tube design and it contains four 12AX7 tubes, four EL84 matched output tubes. It has plenty of controls and settings and the one Meg ohms passive tone controls ensures broad adjustment range.
The outputs are pretty various also: 50-watts – 4 ohms, 8 ohms and 16 ohms with Impedance switch.
The tube amp has two channels and features GT12 speakers. The first channel is for the warm, but also the shimmering and glassy tones, whereas the second channel give 12AX7 grid control from soft blues, to full sustain, thanks to the SOAK control.
You may enjoy the digital reverb, but also the independent setting for each channel when it comes to bass, mid and treble also.
The two ¼” speaker jacks and the cabinet voiced line out jack increase the versatility of the tube amp. The pre amp out/power amp in jacks ensure external effects loop.
The tube is truly versatile and gives nice tones on all kinds of music. It has a vintage appearance and it’s easy to carry around.
Here are the most important pros:
• The tube amp has two channels
• Each channel has independent controls for bass, mid and treble
• The tube amp is versatile and portable
• It has many power options and a great reverb
If we’d be picky, we’d mention the slight fuzz on the overdrive channel when the gain is over 5. But we’re not so we are pretty happy with the tube amp as it is at the moment.
Best small tube amp for the money
Giving a great look and a high portability, the VOX AC4C1BL Custom Series Top Boost Tube Combo Amplifier is a great investment of your money anytime you are on a hunt for a small, yet powerful tube amplifier.
The Class An amp is 4-watt powerful and gives the classic VOX Top Boost tone. It features EL84 power tube, 12 AX7 preamp tubes and comes with the custom-made VX10 Celestion 10” speaker.
In terms of effects, the amp is versatile and the Volume, bass, treble and Master volume controls ensure a great variety of tones.
The tube amp is a reliable tool for your practice session and gives nice clean and dirty sound. The crunch is impressive and the amp delivers beautiful vintage sounds.
The tube amp has a great build and comes with very sturdy handles, which increase the portability. The amp also looks nice and has nice details.
The rich blue vinyl combines very well with Tygon grille cloth, which give the classic appearance of the tube amp.
The most important things we like are:
• The tube amp has a good build and a classic, vintage appearance
• The vintage sound and the great crunches are impressive
• The tube amp controls create a wide variety of tones
• The tube amp is highly portable
On the other hand, we do not leave out of sight the parts we like less:
• The cleans could be better
• The speaker ability may be improved
All in all, for the price you pay, you get a reliable, versatile and portable tube amp that really delivers nice sounds and tones.
Best cheap/budget small tube amp
Just because your budget doesn’t go over the roof, it doesn’t mean you cannot get a good tube amp that delivers nice sounds.
The Bugera BC15 is a versatile, guitar amp with hand-selected 12AX7 tube. It’s 30-watt powerful and is a hybrid, as it features one tube pre amp and a solid-state power section.
It comes with an 8” vintage-tuned guitar speaker and features two channels. There is a good range on gain control so you get fat sounds with all pickup types.
You can get creative on your sounds thanks to the 2-band EQ plus mid-shift button.
The ¼” TRS jack helps you connect an external playback device (MP3 player/ tape deck/CD player). You may jam along some favorite tracks like this. The headphone jack gives you nice privacy when rehearsing also.
The amp gives warm sound, good fat clean tones and is a great option for some practice sessions or small gigs. It may get pretty loud and has plenty of settings.
The amp is very well made and its brown/black handle increases its portability.
Here are the most important qualities:
• The amp is a hybrid amplifier with one tube preamp and solid state power section
• The amp has several setting for a great variety of sounds
• The sound is warm and the fat clean tones are impressive
• The amp is versatile and easy to travel with
Along with the qualities, come some complaints:
• The tone adjustment could be better
• It vibrates a bit when the volume is big
The cons are minimal and we think the amp is a good option, considering its price.
Best small tube amp combo
As we stated in the beginning, the small size shouldn’t fool you when it comes to the performances of a tube amp. It’s the case of the Blackstar HT-5R 5-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Combo Amp with Reverb that is strong and loud, if you need it to be.
The all-tube, low wattage combo (only 5 watts) includes as complements: 12 BH7 power tube, one ECC83 (12 AX7) and a 12” Blackbird 50 speaker. The two channels (clean and overdrive) are functional and the volume and tone from the clean channel, along the gain and volume of the overdrive are important to mention.
The amp is a 3-band EQ amplifier and the digital Stereo Reverb gives soft and rich tones always.
There are many nice features on the amp: the series effects loop, the emulated speaker out useful when recording, the stereo MP3/line input and the headphone out.
When it comes to operating the amp, things are very easy and the foot switch lets you go from one channel to another at ease.
The amp presents the ISF (Infinite Shape Feature), which gives you great control over the Bass, Middle and Treble. The variety of sounds is amazing, from the UK to USA and all the other places in between. You may also design your personal sound as the amp lets you adjust the response of the tone control network.
The valve harmonics are rich and the compression is impressive. The push-pull design gives a nice crunch and the amp truly has great break-up abilities.
No matter how low the volume is, the amp still gives nice, warm tones. We don’t forget to mention the amp takes pedals very well and the nice reverb.
The vintage looks and the strong build may seal the deal for you.
The list of the most important pros is:
• The tones are nice and rich, even for low volume
• The tube amp is easy to use and you get to footswitch between the two channels
• The tube amp is a low wattage amp
• It has two channels and various effects and features
The list of cons is very short:
• The amp is a bit heavy than expected
• The durability may be an issue
The cons aren’t deal breakers though and we still think the tube amp is a nice, portable and easy to use amp with a nice variety of tones.
Best small tube amp head
Just because it’s small, that doesn’t mean it gives lower performances. It’s the case of the Blackstar HT-1RH 1-Watt Guitar Amplifier Head with Reverb that manages to deliver great sounds and tones, despite its rather small size and power.
The 1-watt all-tube amp head includes as tube complement: one ECC83 (12 AX70, one ECC82 (12AU7) power tube. It ensures nice and functional effects: volume, gain, overdrive switch and ISF tone control.
You may like the crunches and the break-ups produced by the dual-triode 12 AU7, wired in the push-pull circuit.
The tube amp is easy to operate and you can go from normal to overdrive with just a touch of a button.
There is a nice variation of tones you can get when using the tube amp head thanks to the ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) circuit. You can go from the UK tone to the USA one and all the places in between.
The emulated speaker gives you nice sounds all the time and the headphone output lets you have some intimate rehearsal sessions.
You may jam along your favorite tracks as the tube amp head features a useful MP3/Line input. The 8-ohm speaker output is efficient and the tube amp is dependable for the small sessions/gigs. All these features mean also great recording sessions also. It can get pretty loud, despite its size and power.
The tube is very well made and is small, for easy storage and display.
Let’s make a short list of pros:
• The tube amp head gives nice variation of tones
• It’s small and may get very loud
• It’s a nice option for practice or recordings
• It’s small and well made
Along with the good things, come the not so good ones:
• The headphone emulation may be improved
• Some may want more punch when recording
Despite the small issues, the tube amp head is a great option to try, especially for the private recording sessions or the intimate rehearsals.
Best small tube amp for blues
If you want small, but really small tube amp that also brings great things to the table, take a leap of faith with the Laney Amps CUB All TUBE Series CUB 10 10-Watt 1×10 Guitar Combo Amplifier.
The 10 watts combo comes with a 10” Celestion driver and includes several components: two ECC83 Pre Amp tube, two-6V6GT output tube. It comes with high and low input, which ensures more versatility to the tube amp combo.
The class A/B amp provides a nice midrange tones. The midrange is natural and responsive and runs clean. When you hit the strings harder, you may be surprised by the amp break-ups and you dial in more gain. The vintage tone is there and you may simply enjoy it.
As for the two 6V6GT’s, they ensure enough low-end punch, considering the size of the tube amp- a great asset when playing your blues.
The clean headroom, the full tone and the warmth of the clean tone- they are all worth to mention. The external speaker out jack is functional and efficient.
The tube amp has a good build and is powerful, despite its size. It’s rather quiet and has a really small footprint. It doesn’t get hot and takes pedals really well. In addition, it comes for a great price, just as well.
The most important qualities on our part are:
• The tube amp has a very good build and a small foot print
• The tones are warm and nice
• The low-end punch gives your blues an impressive sounding
• The tube amp is well made and the fitting is top-notch
We do have some minor issues to pinpoint:
• The tube amp has no headphone jack
• It also has no effect loop
Small, efficient and able to give your blues the nicest tones, the tube amp combo sure makes it as a very good, well-priced option.
Best small Fender tube amp
Easy to take around, as it’s lightweight and rather small, the Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1×10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp is one of the most popular small Fender tube amps out there.
The 15-watt tube amp features 6V6 tubes and one 12AX7 preamp tube, which give great volume and full sounding every time.
You get a very wide range of tones as the voicing knob features 16 different amp types and no less than 15 built-in effects. To go farther more, the tube amp has a TAP tempo control and effects adjust control that increase the possibilities of settings. You may also set the delay time/modulation rate according to your needs. As for the effects, we need to mention the reverb, the chorus and delay.
The optional footswitch lets you get from one channel to another. The USB output is very handy when you want to try some speaker-emulated digital recording. The Fender Special Design speaker is nice and ensures warm tones.
The tube amp really is from this era as it features computer connectivity. The Fender FUSE software helps you get more various tones. You may get familiar with more amp voicing and effects defaults, effect parameters deep editing or simply get online to find some more tricks from the Fender community.
Let’s not forget the amp gives no excessive noise or hissing and the high-end sparkle is a nice detail. It may get pretty loud, despite its size.
The amp has a sturdy build and is easy to travel with.
The list of most important pros:
• You get a great variety of tones
• The optional footswitch lets you get from one channel to another really easy
• The amp is lightweight and easy to carry around
• The effects are plenty and nice
As for the cons, here they are:
• The footswitch is only optional
• You need to be realistic as the tube amp can’t handle the big gigs
The cons are minor though, the tool is small, and a good example for the Fender tube amp quality.
Best small tube amp for clean sounds
If you want minimalist design, yet efficient and clean sounds, take a leap of faith with the APPJ PA0901A 6N4+6P14 Mini Tube Amplifier Black.
The amplifier comes with one pair of RCA inputs, gold-plated and very solid. It also features a passive volume control to minimize the output of the enhanced classical tube circuit of the 6N4. The twin triode feeds a single 6P14 per channel.
The switching power supply is placed on the rear and gives 3.5 watts output per channel.
The frequency response is placed between 30 to 40 kHz (+/-1dB) and the input sensitivity is 500mV. The SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) is -80dB/3.5W and the residual noise is lower than 1mVac.
Going farther with the numbers, we need to specify the 50k ohms as input impedance and the output impedance: 8/6/4 ohms.
The amp gives no hum, no noise and the sound are smooth every time. The output is small and the amp is easy to use. The frequency response is low.
You should use Lineout jack and not to connect regular headphone jack to amp.
Here are the most important pros:
• The amp is really small and has a minimalist design
• The sound is nice and clean, with no hum nor noise
• The tube amp is easy to use
• The tube amp features 3.5 watts output per channel
The cons aren’t many:
• It has a s single stereo input connector via RCA plugs
• You should check if the amp is loud enough with your speakers
Despite the minor issues, the amp is a great little tube amp that gives nice, clean sounds.
Best small wattage tube amp
Just because it’s only 5 watt, it doesn’t mean that the Randall RD5H Diavlo Series Amplifier can’t really deliver nice sounds.
The tube amp has a single channel tube, but it compensates with the nice effects it presents. The elements include 12AX7/6V6 head and you get to enjoy the gain, tone and Master Volume altogether. We also need to mention the tube amp gives EFX loop also. The clean sound is good and the tube amp gives plenty of distortion without a pedal. You can get real metal sound and some aggressive grind in high gain.
The three way Tone Stack Shift helps you get some nice midrange contour with Class A Discrete instrument level. The speaker emulate XLR direct output lets you have some privacy when silently playing, as it does the ground lift and the Dummy load.
The tube amp takes any cabinet and has a good build. It’s lightweight and easy to store/carry around. It’s very easy to use and gives nice, warm sounds most of the times.
Here are the most important pros on our part:
• The tube amp lets you control gain, tone and Master volume
• The tones are nice, warm
• You can get some nice metal sound with it
• It takes any cabinet and is highly portable
As for the cons, we do have some complaints to mention:
• The tube amp needs some time to break in
• It only has one channel
The cons aren’t major though and we try to see the better side: a small low wattage tube amp that really delivers.
Best small Marshall Tube amp
There are many models of Marshall Tube amps out there that give great performance, but the Marshall DSL-1C 50th Anniversary 1-Watt Guitar Combo Amplifier stands out as it gives nice volume, despite its size and power.
The tube amp is part of the Marshall 50th Anniversary celebration so this makes you feel special right from the beginning.
The tube amp has two switchable channels and it’s very easy to go from one to another thanks to the footswitch.
The Dual Super Lead tone is a nice feature on the tube amp as are the Classic Gain and the Ultra Gain. You obtain amazing sonic flexibility, not to mention Deep and Tone shift. The FX loop and the controls for Treble, Middle and Bass are also important. Despite its low wattage, the tube amp may get pretty loud.
The tube amp comes with a speaker emulation. The deep button ensures a nice boost on the bass, whereas the low power option (0.1W) increases the versatility of the tube.
The tube amp is very well made and it has a great build. The commemorative 50th Anniversary rear panel plaque is an important little detail for many. The tube amp is very easy to carry around and has a small footprint.
Let’s make a short list of pros:
• The tube amp gives great volume for its size and power
• You get plenty of tones and effects
• The tube amp comes with speaker emulation
• The amp has a good build and comes with nice details
We don’t forget to mention the cons:
• The tube amp has no reverb
• Some may find it a bit pricey
Despite the small issues, the tube amp is a representative model from Marshall.
Best small tube amp for jazz guitar
Wrap your mind around it and get yourself a vintage looking tube amp that gives the best tones on your jazz with the Epiphone “Electar” Century All-Tube Vintage Style 18 Watt Guitar Amplifier.
If the tube amp looks familiar to you, well you may have a good memory and may have seen it the original from 1930 era cabinet design. Therefore, this is why the tube amp has vintage grill cloth, but it features only tubes with a new design all over.
The amp comes with tube amplifier that pushes 18 watts through 12” Epiphone Electar speaker and is powered by two 6V6 and two 12AX7 tubes.
The tube amp comes with many controls that give any guitar amazing sounds and a Master Volume when you want to make yourself heard. You also may get higher gain thanks to the push/pull “Boost” mode and a Master Tone control.
There are even more controls that you can make and the Internal Bias Adjustment ensures finer adjustments to the output.
The tube amp has three inputs: bright, normal and dark. Even the tube controls are pretty basic; it doesn’t mean you can’t get a wide range of tones. Moreover, the extension speaker out jack is highly efficient.
It’s sure you enjoy the cool tube-fired tone onboard, as there are so many options for you to adjust and have various settings. Let’s not forget to mention the foot switchable gain boost so that you get to push the tone in an amazing overdrive.
The tube amp is made of plywood and has a nice look, but we already mentioned that.
The most important things for us would be:
• The tube amp has an amazing vintage appearance
• The tube amp has three inputs: bright, normal and dark
• The gain boost gives great tone in overdrive
• The tube amp is great for your jazz
As much as we like the tube amp, we also need to remind the parts we like less:
• The tube amp has not headphone jack
• When we talk about the looks, it’s a matter of taste and some may find the vintage look a bit too much for the modern era
The cons aren’t deal breakers for us and we think the tube amp may give great tones on your jazz, in a great vintage style.
Best small all tube guitar amp
Powerful, despite its size, the Laney Amps CUB All TUBE Series CUB-HEAD 15-Watt Guitar Amplifier Head gives nice sounds and a great range of tones.
The 15-watts all tube amp comes with bot 15 W input and 1 Watt input. This increases the power options and the versatility of the tube amp.
The list of complements includes three ECC83 pre amp tubes and two EL84 output tubes. The tube amp gives reverb, tone, volume, middle, treble, gain, and a nice bass. You also can get FX loop and the foot switch socket simply makes the things easier. The effect loop consists of send/line out socket and a return socket just as well. All of these controls are on the top mounted panel. It’s very easy to dial in a nice valve tone. The e
The tube amp comes with two speaker outputs, which is great. One gives you 15W RMS of valve tone and the other a bigger valve sound, while cutting the output to .75 of a Watt. As incredible as it may sound, you can actually get some nice break ups and a nice power amp compression.
The two speaker outputs are place on the rear panel and you get eight & 16-ohm options.
The tuba amp gives great reverb, cleans and dirt just as well.
It’s lightweight and highly portable and makes a great choice for the small gigs.
Here are the most important pros:
• The tube amp comes with 15W input and 1W input
• There are many controls: reverb, tone, treble, gain, bass, middle, volume
• The tube amp comes with FX loop and foot switch socket
• It’s lightweight and very easy to carry around
There are also some things we like less:
• It has no headphone jack
• The reverb is not generated by an actual spring
Overall, you get a reliable, lightweight and easy to carry around all tube guitar amp.
Best small tube amp for recording
Small enough to do some small gigs or to get nice recording experiences, the Marshall DSL5C 1×10″ 5-Watt 2-Channel Tube Combo Guitar Amp surprises with its plenty of volume and nice tones, despite its size.
The combo has a 5-watt power and you can switch it to 1 watt when you need less power. The tube amp combo comes with two channels and is rather easy to switch from one another thanks to the foot switch. Both channels share EQ and Bass. They also give Middle, treble tones and when you want higher tones, the shift and deep switches help you on that.
No recording session or private practice is successful if the tube amp doesn’t feature headphone jack or a good speaker like the Celestion Ten-30 speaker. The FX loop speaker out and the three ECC83, along the 12 BH7/ECC99 valve increase the quality of tones and final recordings just as well.
The tube amp combo is sure easy to operate and the built-in LED let you know about the channel status.
The various modes and the clean channel create an efficient and performant tube amp combo/
The tube amp combo has a good build that takes the heavy use. The combo has a good weight and is highly portable.
Here are the most important pros from our point of view:
• The tube amp comes with power options
• It gives two channels, easy to switch in between
• The tube amp creates a nice variety of tones
• The tube amp is easy to store and carry around
As for the things we are very fond of, here they are:
• The treble isn’t the best out there
• The reverb could also be improved
The things we like are definitely more than the ones we don’t like which is why we recommend the tube amp combo as a fair option to try on your recording sessions.
Best small tube amp with reverb
There are many good things that the Monoprice 611815 15Watt, 1 x 12 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier presents and the spring reverb or the Celestion Speaker are just few of them.
The tube amp ensures nice guitar tone and flexibility and features a 15-watt tube power amplifier. It includes as components three ECC83/12AX7 pre amp tubes and two EL84 power tubes for the amplifier section.
The tube amp handles frequencies ranging from 80Hz to 10 kHz with noise and hum -75dB lower than the rated power. The total harmonic distortion is 0.5%.
As it may produce an entire output from a rather small signal, the tube is easily overdriven so that you can get treble-heavy sound.
The tube amp comes with low and high input and a latter easy to overdrive. The spring reverb is great and you may enable it with the foot switch.
The tube amp also support FX send and receive so you may connect it to effects processor or use the send/receive connections.
You may also get the full power mode or the 1-watt mode when you want to practice/record at night.
The cleans are nice as are the crunch or the volume.
The bass is nice as the cabinet is placed and the rear. The leather handle gives portability, whereas the cloth speaker grill and the textured synthetic leather exterior with chrome corner guards create a nice appearance.
Let’s make a short list of pros:
• The tube amp gives nice and flexible tones
• You may set the power depending on your needs
• The tube amp comes with low and high input
• The tube amp is portable and looks nice
When it comes to the parts that wouldn’t hurt some improvement, the list is very short:
• The lights on the switch on/off button may have some problems at times
• It’s not the strongest tube amps out there
Despite the small issues, the tube amp still makes it as a reliable choice with nice reverb.
Best small tube amp for Metal
The Blackstar HT Metal 5H 5-Watt Tube Head is sure one of those tube amps that are more than some small appearance and bring to the table surprising details and performances.
Either you want it for some private rehearsal sessions or not-so-small gigs; the amp brings out the best of your metal every time.
The tube has two channels, the Clean and the overdrive. The clean channel has independent tone and volume knobs and the overdrive gives you volume and gain controls. It’s very easy to switch from one channel to another thanks to footswitch.
The tube amp has metal grille tubes: one 12BH7 and one ECC83.
The digital stereo reverb is reliable and efficient. The tube amp has shared controls for various effects: Reverb, Treble, Mids, Bass and ISP (Infinite Shape Feature). All of these controls create a very wide range of tones for your metal songs. You may also get some modern US high gain or enjoy the classic British metal when using the tube amp. The low notes are impressive as it is the gain on the tube amp.
The list of effects continues with the FX loop with +4dB/-10dBV level switch.
The tube amp is versatile and has a rugged build so it takes well the intense use. The amp is strong and easy to carry around.
The most important qualities are:
• The tube amp is easy to use
• It comes with two channels that are easy to switch in between
• The tube amp gives nice and plenty effects
• The gain and the low notes are impressive
We have some things we think could use some improvement:
• The lead tone could be softer
• The amp has an emulated output mono
We see the whole picture though and the tube amp gives great sounds on your metal and has minimal flaws.