Low Wattage Tube Combos - $400 or less

jrw32

Member
Messages
727
I'm back to being strictly a bedroom player after years of playing out and no longer have a need for my 50w tube combo.

Beyond the usual big name brands that I can easily find at GC/online retailers, are there any options I should consider for a decent/small tube combo for bedroom/recording use under $400 (new or used)? Doesn't need to be super flexible but a good clean sound is key, and being able to take pedals well. Not looking for anything high gain.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

dnauhei

Member
Messages
2,289
Here the suggestions you are going to get:
Vox AC15C1 (meh . . . especially at lower volumes)
Superchamp XD (tone sucks--really don't get this one)
Peavey Classic 30 -- (it's a Peavey, . . . never had this one but I had the Peavey Delta Blues which is very similar and is also meh)
Hot Rod Deluxe (too loud, nice cleans but ultimately very sterile)
Blues Junior (Purty good, players have a love hate relationship)
Egnator Tweaker 15 (Killer. Buy this one, not because it is versatile but because it has killer tone--blows the other budget amps out of the water)

Or . . . save up your budget and buy a late silverface princeton reverb--yes!!!
 

thebowl

Member
Messages
683
Another vote for the Cub 10. I stuck an Eminence Legend in mine, and it sounds spectacular.
 

david henman

Member
Messages
3,313
...i've been playing thru traynor amps for the past couple of decades

they are stupidly inexpensive, especially used

for tone, value, quality and reliability, they are very hard to beat

i can afford more expensive amps, but why fix what ain't broke
 

redeyedjim

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,350
Can't go wrong with a Champ, but in addition to the above, I'd also suggest looking at the Ampeg GVT15-112 -- 2x6V6, 15w/7.5w modes, 12" Celestion, etc. Lots of features, including real spring reverb and an FX loop. Sort of a Stones-like BF tone when cranked, through it cleans up pretty well if you only want clean. MF blew these out about a year ago, but I think you can find them used for $350-$400 (GC currently lists a used one for $400...)
 

signine

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
331
Vox AC4 series is good, according to a lot of people. I'm not one of them, but it's clearly a taste thing.

I bought a used Gretsch G5222, aka: Fender Champion 600, and I've been very happy with it after *only* swapping the stock speaker and tubes. With the stock tone stack it sounds quite a bit like a Blackface Champ with the knobs at noon. Crystal clear and quiet-ish up to 10:00, clear, loud, slightly compressed from 10:00-12:00, and dirt to varying degrees above 12:00 without much increase in volume.

You can find them for less than $200, easily under $150 used. With tubes and speaker you could get up to $250ish if you go crazy. That still leaves $150 for an attenuator if you want whisper quiet.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,157
Bugera G5. Sells new for $249, you can probably get it for less if you ask, and you'll have enough left over for a half decent 1x12 cab.

Blackstar HT5R combo. Lists for $499 but you can get it for right around $400 from MF/M123.


The Bugera is essentially a clone of the Blackstar but with variable wattage settings, so for home use it might suit your needs better.

I know you said beyond the usual big names that you can find at GC but for the price, it's hard to beat these. BTW, you can't find the Bugera at GC.
 

benjammin_

Member
Messages
267
you might laugh, but i picked up a Vox Pathfinder for very cheap used, and i find it absolutely great for bedroom volumes. the overdrive channel kind of sucks but the cleans are nice at any volume--that said, i've been thinking of designing an amp especially for bedroom-stuck players (me, recently), so i can't like it THAT much
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
If you seriously do not see you ever gigging again, I would agree with the SF Champ/Vibro Champs,...IF there was a possibility, even a outside chance that you just might want to gig out again, I would strongly suggest a Blues Jr. III,...

...the Blues Jr. III is not as 'Boxy' as the earlier 2 versions, and when Mic'd will get you thru a small (medium sized) gig until you can step back up to a bigger amp. As of late, I've been using my Ltd. Ed. 'Green Sparkle' PRRI (thought I had a trade, it fell thru, and NOW I don't want to trade it...LOL, I was keeping it in unused condition, will still take great care of it, but she will be played thru more and more), and have been enjoying it to no end.

I have a couple of 4x10" amp.'s, and have found that for bedroom, OR gigging my Ltd. Ed. PRRI is just the way to go as far as size and weight go. I have several amp.'s, a Humboldt Blues Jr. III, a DRRI (just had it retubed, and one has failed), the PRRI, a '01 BF Concert Reverb RI, and lastly a Peavey Classic 100 Head, with a matching 4x10" Cab., and if I had to go down to a $400. (little over) amp. due to budget,...

...it would be a Blues Jr. III, and later upgrade the speaker to a C-Rex (my Humboldt comes with a 50 watt C-Rex),...Or I would try to 'UP' my budget a couple hundred $$$ and get a well taken care of PRRI (especially if your using Single Coil pup guitars). I know this is a long answer, but when trying to find that one amp. to get you from a bedroom/living room sound/tone, all the way to a small gigging amp. it's a bit of a tough find, these above are just my suggestions I'm sure there are more than a few other opinions. Tom
 

jrw32

Member
Messages
727
you might laugh, but i picked up a Vox Pathfinder for very cheap used, and i find it absolutely great for bedroom volumes. the overdrive channel kind of sucks but the cleans are nice at any volume--that said, i've been thinking of designing an amp especially for bedroom-stuck players (me, recently), so i can't like it THAT much
Agreed. I have had a Pathfinder for years as a backup/bedroom amp. I like it enough to keep it & plan to run it in stereo at times with whatever amp I decide to pair it with. Preferably something a little cleaner/less Voxy.
 

jrw32

Member
Messages
727
If you seriously do not see you ever gigging again, I would agree with the SF Champ/Vibro Champs,...IF there was a possibility, even a outside chance that you just might want to gig out again, I would strongly suggest a Blues Jr. III,...

...the Blues Jr. III is not as 'Boxy' as the earlier 2 versions, and when Mic'd will get you thru a small (medium sized) gig until you can step back up to a bigger amp. As of late, I've been using my Ltd. Ed. 'Green Sparkle' PRRI (thought I had a trade, it fell thru, and NOW I don't want to trade it...LOL, I was keeping it in unused condition, will still take great care of it, but she will be played thru more and more), and have been enjoying it to no end.

I have a couple of 4x10" amp.'s, and have found that for bedroom, OR gigging my Ltd. Ed. PRRI is just the way to go as far as size and weight go. I have several amp.'s, a Humboldt Blues Jr. III, a DRRI (just had it retubed, and one has failed), the PRRI, a '01 BF Concert Reverb RI, and lastly a Peavey Classic 100 Head, with a matching 4x10" Cab., and if I had to go down to a $400. (little over) amp. due to budget,...

...it would be a Blues Jr. III, and later upgrade the speaker to a C-Rex (my Humboldt comes with a 50 watt C-Rex),...Or I would try to 'UP' my budget a couple hundred $$$ and get a well taken care of PRRI (especially if your using Single Coil pup guitars). I know this is a long answer, but when trying to find that one amp. to get you from a bedroom/living room sound/tone, all the way to a small gigging amp. it's a bit of a tough find, these above are just my suggestions I'm sure there are more than a few other opinions. Tom
Thanks. Something that is giggable is a slight consideration but not very imporant right now as I don't see myself playing out anytime soon. Good to know the Blues Jr. holds up well for small gigs though.

Thanks for all the other suggestions. Going to check some of these out.
 






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