Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

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Nshel
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Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by Nshel » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:32 am

Looking for a low watt tube amp to play Blues & Blues/Rock at small venues and in the house (so that I don't hear it from the family). Was leaning towards a VOX AC4C1-12.

Prefer to stay around 5 Watt (unless it has a switch from 15 watt to 5 Watt feature). Also looking to pay as little as possible, but might go up to around $350 so used is a strong option.

What do you guys think about all of these...any recommendations? I want to take cash advance online 24/7 for one of this

1) Vox AC4C1-12 Classic 4W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp

2) Blackstar HT-5R 5-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amp reverb

3) Fender Blues Junior III 15-Watt 12-Inch Guitar Combo Amp

4) Laney Amps CUB All TUBE Series CUB 12R 15-Watt 1x12 Guitar Combo Amplifier

5) (New) Monoprice 611815 15Watt, 1 x 12 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier with Celestion Speaker & Spring Reverb
Last edited by Nshel on Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jdr1014
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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by jdr1014 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:12 am

I would probably not choose a Vox (I'm more of a "Fender guy"). But if I did, it would be the AC-10 not the AC4-12. The AC10 is a lot more versatile - can be quite loud but with master volume, it doesn't have to be. AC4 is very small sounding with deficient bass response IMO. I was attracted to the AC4-12 but glad I bought my AC-10.

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Larsongs
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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by Larsongs » Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:47 am

I have several big Amps but my favorite Amps right now are my Fender 65 Princeton Reverb & my Vox AC-10.. The PRRI is great right out of the box. It has a great Fender Sound! It's a really great little Amp.

The AC10 needed some better Tubes & a better Speaker for my Ears.. I settled with some Tung Sols, not a big deal there are only 4 Tubes. And a Weber spkr. If I recall its the DT-10. Sounds like an Alnico Blue.. It is a very easy Amp to work on.. The Mods were simple & took about 20-30 minutes.. With the Mods it was still less expensive than the Fender 65 PRRI..

The Vox has a slight having a separate Master Volume & Boost.. You can dial in Clean or Dirty at really low volumes.. Perfect for Home. Or crank it for Gigs.. It gets loud!

Both are perfect for your criteria.

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by BarnyardCoral » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:06 am

Ibanez TSA15. 1x12, 6v6, 15/5w, onboard TS circuit, +6db boost, multiple speaker output options. I had one, great little amp, quiet for 15w, not much low end w/stock speaker but can be improved. Only reason I got rid of mine was a sweet deal on a Supro.
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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:34 am

I had a VHT Special 6 head for a while. Never swapped the stock tubes. It was nice, but a little brittle sounding when pushed. I picked up an At Mars Specialist to replace it (modded Filmosound) and I love it. Swart makes excellent low watt amps too. They aren’t cheap, but they are not nearly as much as some boutique options.

You might be able to find a used 5F2A Princeton clone for around that budget.

I like the Fender Pro Jr. I’m not familiar with all the AC4 iterations, but I’ve liked the ones I’ve tried.

The real test of any low watt amp is to crank it up. Many get tubby sounding or shrill once they start breaking up, or with combos there’s too much rattle or speaker fart to be usable at the upper end of the dial.

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by Maggieo » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:42 am

Five watts? Get a Vibro Champ!
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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by peterherman » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:29 pm

For what it's worth, re: Voxes, I like the AC10C1 a LOT more than I liked the AC4 I used to have. I didn't find the power reduction on the 4 to be particularly useful, while the master volume on the 10 is quite decent.

The onboard reverb is nothing spectacular, though.

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by seenoevil II » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:10 pm

I've been rocking a bass breaker 007 for about 4ish years now. 7 watts, single channel, bassman tone stack with EL84s. It's been my everything amp including gigging. I almost always mic it up, and it usually does well with drums. My only complaint being that it loses headroom at that volume.

I was drawn to its bassiness. It's closed back and just puts out really strong lows for its size.

Tough construction. Cool extras, like a line level out. I'm not sure how common this is, but the extension cab out mutes the internal speaker. Its 8 ohms can drive fairly big cabs pretty well.

Would recommend. I found it more flexible than a Vox AC4 or AC10. That said, I may upgrade to a 15 watt duder soon. Just for more cleans at show volume. I generally gig at lower volume.

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by SAVEStheDAY » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:20 pm

I have the Black star HT-5H. It's a solid little amp, and does a surprisingly good job at both 6L6 and EL34 sounds with the "Infinite shape" knob, but there's really not much going on between those two extremes. It should probably just be a two shape switch. Lots of gain on tap, if that's your thing.

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by HNB » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:28 pm

The little orange amps are great!
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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by seenoevil II » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:56 pm

Of the options you've listed, the one I'm most familiar with and the one I'd recommend is the Blues Jr. It's fender sure, but it's tubed like a vox, plus it's got reverb.

It's just the best all-rounder out there for the money. Built like a tank. It's the Boss DS-1 of amps and that's a good thing.

IM incredibly HO

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by øøøøøøø » Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:15 pm

My favorite is still the Magnasync Moviola URS into a 1x10 or 1x12 4 ohm cabinet.

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by mbene085 » Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:58 pm

SAVEStheDAY wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:20 pm
I have the Black star HT-5H. It's a solid little amp, and does a surprisingly good job at both 6L6 and EL34 sounds with the "Infinite shape" knob, but there's really not much going on between those two extremes. It should probably just be a two shape switch. Lots of gain on tap, if that's your thing.
I had one of those for a couple of years. Fun little amp, and decent sounding, but possibly the most opaque drive tone I've ever used. No matter what guitar you run into it, it just sounds like the Blackstar. It's not a good amp for someone who has multiple guitars and enjoys their distinct qualities.

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:36 pm

Silvertone 1482

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Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

Post by Larsongs » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:16 am

I prefer the traditional Fender Sound of my 65 PRRI...

But, if you like a little more Grit, these Blues Jr. FSR's are very cool..

https://youtu.be/0YwiA6QekkE

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