Underrated Low Wattage Tube Amps

dspelman

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I guess it was around that time (15 years ago) when Blackheart and Epiphone tube amps were very popular. A lot of people modified them.

I have a Laney VC15 which is a great 15w tube amp too.
I picked up two of the little Epiphones when they first came out ("$99 for a real tube amp -- are you kidding me?"). One remained stock to this day, the other got the full-bore Mercury Magnetics mod, complete with a socket for a 6V6 tube, so that you could use the EL84 or 6V6 separately or in tandem. There were a lot of other mods available for these little suckers, and I have a few bags of them sitting around that I never installed.

By the time you got done installing the MM mod, the little bugger was fast approaching a $500 bill and that just stunned me. But it's a pretty compelling little amp and dead reliable to this day.

Most of my amps are 50W or above, but I have a pair of Atomic Reactors that are 18W (two EL84 tubes) power amps, housed in an oversize cabinet with a single 12" speaker and a space for one of the desktop modelers (Pod bean, M-Audio black box, etc.). Chinese manufacture and the tolex is poorly applied, but overall pretty solid. At some point, I'll probably pull the tolex and Duratex the cabinets. Thanks to the design, I can actually take a stereo send from the modeler and put one amp on either side of the stage for a wider distribution of sound (and stereo FX, if appropriate).
 

guitfiddle

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OR15 and 410.jpg


This is the best 15 watt amp to come out in the last ten years. Even with the master volume down to 2, it still sounds like it's gonna come unglued! What a beast.
 
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Classicplayer

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View attachment 587551

This is the best 15 watt amp to come out in the last ten years. Even with the master volume down to 2, it still sounds like it's gong to come unglued! What a beast.
I remember your Sabbath tribute band at that Colorado bar/club when you played this amp with your SG! Sounded great that evening. Hope you still have that amp….

Classicplayer
 

Blues_Verne

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A Bugera G5 is my low wattage tube amp head. It has 5W, 1W, and .1W settings, plus a footswitchable clean/gain settings. The clean channel sounds too thin to me, but the gain channel can be dialed in for a sweet clean tone. For practice I prefer the 1W setting. It has a non-spring reverb that sounds surprisingly good, and takes pedals very well.
Yep. great little amp ...which came in its too darn ugly case. Here is my conversion...
Bugera-G5-infinium_Verne1.jpg
Bugera-G5-infinium_Verne1a.jpg
 

rich85

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For classic rock the Fender Pro Junior IV with the speaker swapped to a Celestion is amazing. Great pedal platform or just turn it up and use any overdrive or boost you want.
 

Riffraff12571

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I have a bunch of low wattage amps too. This is my Nat Daniel's collection a Danelectro DM10 and a pair of Silvertone 1482's.

rgYAUhD.jpg

A Bugera G5 is my low wattage tube amp head. It has 5W, 1W, and .1W settings, plus a footswitchable clean/gain settings. The clean channel sounds too thin to me, but the gain channel can be dialed in for a sweet clean tone. For practice I prefer the 1W setting. It has a non-spring reverb that sounds surprisingly good, and takes pedals very well.
I have a T5 that sounds similar. I made this video of it a little over a week ago with a generic '80s style backer and a few OD pedals. Phat switch off, vol 10, gain 10, treble 10, bass 5.
It rips in this.


One of my favorite small amps is my Tweaker 15. I was in a conversation with speyfly the other day about rolling tubes in these. The T5 above is the most sensitive amp I've ever owned to tube changes and an absolute blast for doing that but before I had that the T15 was fun for this, especially when trying different power tubes. Anyway, I thought how I haven't used it in quite some time and broke it out and recorded this metalish tune. So much fun.

Guitar: MIM Ash Telecaster w/Kent Armstrong Chaos Tele humbucker in the bridge position.
Amp: T15 head, RCA gray plate 6V6GT's, V1 vintage Mullard I61, V2 GE, V3 Sylvania long plate
OD Pedal - Rhythm: EHX Soul Fool
OD Pedal - Leads: Boss BD-2
Plug-in EFX: Valhalla Supermassive, for chorus in the rhythm parts & delay in the leads
Speakers: Two-Notes Torpedo Wall of Sound - Michael Nielsen's Big Hairy Cab IR's


I have this cool '51 Stromberg Carlson 10w vintage lunch box too

s1B4VkK.jpg
 
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cybermgk

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2 that I had, when I was on my pre-modeller/digital, small tube amp quest were the

Peavey Valvking 20/5/1 Watt Mini Head. Very nice for classic rock on the dirt channel, excellent pedal platform, particularly for amp in a box pedals on the clean.

ValveKIIMicro-large.jpg


Peavey 6505 Mini Nails that iconic 6505 tone. Insane amount of low end for a low watt amp.

6505PlusMiniH-large.jpg
 

SWeAT hOg

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2 that I had, when I was on my pre-modeller/digital, small tube amp quest were the

Peavey Valvking 20/5/1 Watt Mini Head. Very nice for classic rock on the dirt channel, excellent pedal platform, particularly for amp in a box pedals on the clean.

View attachment 594091

Peavey 6505 Mini Nails that iconic 6505 tone. Insane amount of low end for a low watt amp.

View attachment 594093
Hey brother! I hope you're well.

How would you rate the quality on these? I sometimes see the Classic 20 MH, but wonder about Peavey quality since they moved operations overseas.
 

JPummil

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I just received my ENGL Ironball 20, so not a lot of time on it (yet), but I'm quite impressed thus far! The one tone I haven't found yet is a warm overdriven tone...for "clean" and "gain" it definitely has it going on! Similar to the aforementioned Peavey, it is a 20/5/1 Watt Mini Head with 4ea ECC83's in preamp and two EL84's in the power section. A sit has "4 channels"...it was gong to require two of the Z4 footswitches, but I found a mfgr in Canada who had a cool all-in-one enclosure for it...
Just waiting on my Avatar 2x12 cabinet with a V30 and a Greenback to arrive to really see what it can do!
ENGL-E606-LTD.jpeg
ENGL-Quad-Footswitch.jpeg
 

efstop

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Hey brother! I hope you're well.

How would you rate the quality on these? I sometimes see the Classic 20 MH, but wonder about Peavey quality since they moved operations overseas.

I have a Classic 20 MH that I bought a few years ago and fired up a few times. It's Chinese, but is certainly seems to be well made, like my other Chinese or Vietnamese amps. It's sitting in storage, in a Milwaukee (I think) tool bag I bought because it doesn't have a cover.
 

SWeAT hOg

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I have a Classic 20 MH that I bought a few years ago and fired up a few times. It's Chinese, but is certainly seems to be well made, like my other Chinese or Vietnamese amps. It's sitting in storage, in a Milwaukee (I think) tool bag I bought because it doesn't have a cover.
I have good Asian made amps, too. Or, at least I believe them to be. I’d just like to curb my MIC purchases, though it’s quite futile. Not as easy as swapping Smirnoff for Absolut.

I’d pick up a used one, though. I read a review that the Classic MH has a pretty gorgeous clean tone with remarkable headroom. The Tweed covering is pretty dope looking.
 

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