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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Im really wanting to purchase a tube amp, ive looked at the marshall class 5 15w( i think) and i like it alot but my question is are there any out there that are around that price range, maybe cheaper that are good? I dont need anything huge right now im playing through a fender mustang II and a marshall mg10 im happy with the fender i just want that tube sound that punch idk. Any thoughts? thanks in advance!
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Jet City 20
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Used Peavey Classic 30 combo.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

used peavey classic 30 is a great choice. I would go used period. Your tubes and speaker will already be broken in which is, for me, a huge plus. I love the ol' blues junior too. Ideally you could get a used deluxe reverb reissue for about $700 and it will have room for your growth as a musician. From bedroom to clubs, that thing is a proven workhorse tone machine!
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Egnater Tweaker is one to consider, too. Try them all and see what works best for what you play.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

I also second that. Egnators are awesome and their cabs are good too. If you want a head and cab low wattage tube I would seriously look at egnator
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Re cheap/good; the Jet City seems to ring the bell for many currently, and probably doesn't need to be cranked to get nice sounds like the very worthy PV C30. And a new JC can be had for $250 if you're lucky. Probably can't touch that bang4buck unless you're buying from a favorite uncle.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Classic 30 is awesome. Great amp. I got my Silvertone 1982 for a pretty good price and that thing rocks as well.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

An HT series Blackstar is another good option.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 09:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

wow thanks for the quick reply guys, i have been looking into the peavy tubes, i noticed jonsey uses one in his demo videos for his wiring upgrades and it sounds pretty sick. I will deff check into the other amps, i havent even heard of a few of them so thanks alot, im very glad i joined this forum everyone here is very very helpful and thats very rare in a forum, usually everyone is snobby! thanks again guys!
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Unread 02-28-2012, 09:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Jet City 20 is a great amp loves pedals.

Kustom 36 coupe is one killer combo amp

Ibanez TSA15H low buck 6V6 amp with built in TS808 circuit.

Peavey Deuce if you love southern rock this one nails it.Loud as hell and sounds great.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 10:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

I'm enjoying the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18
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Unread 02-28-2012, 10:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

1...2.....3.... JET CITY! 350 dollars for a brand new 20 watt head 1x12 half stack. You read that right 350 dollars! Read these reviews then buy it!!!

Jet City Amplification JCA20H and JCA12S Half-Stack: Shop Guitars & Other Musical Instruments | Musician's Friend

...And a demo vid

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Unread 02-28-2012, 10:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Unread 02-29-2012, 05:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

One of these badboys. Loves pedals as well.

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Unread 03-02-2012, 12:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

OH BOY, another chance to shout CRATE Vintage Club 30!
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Unread 03-02-2012, 01:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Well, what do you consider cheap? Check on ebay and see if here are any Genz Benz El Diablo 60 heads new from music stores, for a reasonable price, so that a bid of $499 wouldn't be stupid or already outbid. I got one like that 1 1/2 years ago. Best amp I've owned in 52 years. With it set on 30W (instead of its max 60W), it sounds damn good in my music room, which is nothing but an unused bedroom. But set on 60W with two 1X12 cabs with good speakers, it wiil blow the walls out of a mid sized venue, not miked. This is a discontinued amp model, I think. Street price used to be $1150. Too bad it is discontinued, as it is great for jazz, pop, country, classic rock -- and with its footswitch controlled overdrive, it can get some good metal with gain on the OD channel set on #3! A bit more money than you were thinking perhaps, but you will never need another amp -- even if you make the cover of "Guitar Player" mag.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 02:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Peavey Windsor Studio is a awesome amp
I got one and itīs a one channel amp with high and low gain inputs, built in attenuator so you can turn it up without playing to loud
Does anything from clean to Black Sabbath and for heavier stuff you need a pedal to help it
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Unread 03-02-2012, 03:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Here's a paste from another forum I posted per the same topic;
Another opportunity to sing the virtues of my mid-late '90s era CRATE - Vintage Club 30 2x12 w/black tolex
These do everything quite well, 'cept mega-metal, and your favorite noise pedal takes care of that.

From an amp tech's POV;
This is the loudest and most tone-friendly amp I've ever had in a small combo unit, and I've had nearly 30 amps in the last year. My goal was to get an amp that I could play in small venues and that had a versatile tone selection and overdrive so it could be played by itself without any footpedal or efx units if need be. I read the user reviews on Harmony Central and was very intrigued as most of the reviewers raved about the Vintage 30 series. I have to state right here that this is the loudest and most versatile tone-wise of any amp I've had. And it absolutely slays any other amp that I put it against, both in volume, clean tone, and outrageous gain. In fact, I'm hard pressed to come up with any other amp that does a better job, with the exception of an old blackface Fender Super Reverb or my old Vox AC50 and AC100 amp heads.
The Crate Vintage 30 has 2 channels, clean and overdrive, and separate reverb controls for each channel (nice touch). It runs on 3 12ax7 preamp tubes and 4 EL84 tubes in Class-A mode, much like the fabled Vox AC30 combo amps. It can actually sound exactly like the AC30 by using the gain channel, setting the preamp gain to 10 and using the master on about 3. Sparkling crystals highs and a very wide overall tone. Turning up the preamp gain supercharges my '73 stock strat into overdrive heaven. The clean channel sparkles with width, breadth, and shimmer. There is also a lot of mid-range and bass available on the amp. This amp really outdoes a lot of other amps with the tone variations available on the top panel. A lot of other amps I compared it to all came out a distant 2nd in comparison, and gain-wise the Crate absolutely blew them out of the room. Don't be misled, while Crate has a pretty bad reputation, the Vintage series amps are top-notch as a fraction of the cost of other amps. Just be ready to change out the stock Sovtek tubes - I use Electro Harmonix 12ax7s in the 1st 2 preamp stages, a JJ Tesla 12ax7 in the 3rd stage phase inverter, and Groove Tube EL84 for the power tubes (4). This made a huge difference in the sound of the amp, and because its Class-A, no rebiasing is required. Just swap tubes in/out to obtain the gain and tone you want. No preamp out, no external speaker out, super heavy to carry, no internal fan to keep things cool. Amps are prone to potential problems with the switch on the top panel that changes from clean to overdrive but mine was repaired prior to getting it and I use a footpedal to change the channels. Built like a mac-truck, this is one heavy amp, heavy speaker, heavy contruction, unlike most amps, the chassis is bolted to the back panel, so you have to remove about 15 screws to get the chassis out to change tubes. A blazing 30 watt monster tone unit that will have your other fellow guitarists drooling with envy and incredulous that you are playing a Crate amp!

The only thing I disagree on is the weight factor, and I have the larger 2x12. I can't imagine whipping a Fender Twin like I have mine, in ways that you wouldn't believe. I shake my head thinking of the Tarzan-like things I've done humping it around, so it ain't THAT heavy. I'm open to the above and other mods I've noted, but would hate to lose what it has already. And to think I got it in mint cond. for free...
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Unread 03-02-2012, 03:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Pro Jr. - it was the best $175 amp I had.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 03:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this little baby. I had one and loved it. It's very portable, sounds nice through a 4X12, extremely pedal-friendly, AND IT CAN BE HAD FOR AROUND $120 OR SO...and that's brand spanking new. You can get one used for as low as $75. Now, they ARE a "one trick pony", but pedals can compensate for that. They're also extremely moddable.




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Unread 03-02-2012, 06:42 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Peavey Classic 30.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 10:00 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

+1 on the Epiphone Valve Junior. They sound good stock but absolutely amazing with a few easy mods. I'm loving mine.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

the peavy classic 30 is truly awsome
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Unread 03-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

check out a fender blues junior 3. I almost bought the marshall 5, but they had a blues jr beside it in the store. for the same $ you get an awsome spring reverb, gain control, and a 12" speaker. and it sounds awsome (15 watts) its a great bang for the buck!!
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Unread 03-04-2012, 07:07 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Vox ac4 tv
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Unread 03-05-2012, 08:36 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

I'll probably get savaged here, but I love my Bugera V22. It is the best sounding tube amp I've owned. Cleans are awesome - full and deep and rich and clear as a bell. Turn the master volume down and crank up the preamp and it just starts to breakup nicely. Teles, LPs, Strats, P-90s, Filtertrons, everything sound good on it.

Now, I will not sit here and say it's the most dependable (I've read the horror stories and my first one died after a month), but man does it sound good when you get a good one.

Okay.. not a ringing endorsement. YMMV, blah, blah, blah.

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Unread 03-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

I don't own this amp but I played one at the store and was impressed. A Fender Super Champ XD
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Unread 03-05-2012, 11:13 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Whats a Good Cheap Tube Amp

Fender Super Champs are Sick!!! You can get Nick at Ceriatone to hand build you one with A+ components for like $500. His work is impeccable and his Champ would last you a lifetime and be pro quality
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