The 9 Best Small Tube Guitar Amps 2019
The regular guitarists and musicians’ set up these days does not include a massive Fender amp or an all-inclusive Marshall anymore. Audio equipment has undergone great technological advancements. The demand for more power from an amp has decreased considerably. You don’t require a bulky amp to enliven a venue with musical high notes anymore. Even though huge, bulky amps are losing their demand, guitar players want those big tube amp tones. As dynamic tube amps have become less practical, amp creators have been focusing on smaller, more feasible alternatives for guitarists. These low wattage amps offer the same tone as their larger siblings, but at a more sensible volume. There is a vast range of alternative choices available today as small wattage amps are increasing in popularity. Sourcing the best small tube guitar amp might be a difficult task. If you’re unsure about which low-wattage amp will be best-suited for you, check out the list below for the best small tube guitar amp.
This amp is one of the most well-received low power mid-range amps available. It is a high-quality amp which is surprising for the price it sells, making it a value for money buy. The Fender Blues Junior III isn’t just a variation from the usual Blues Junior; it also features a high-quality Jensen speaker. The speaker has not been upgraded from the contemporary voiced Eminence speaker seen in the customary Blues Junior, but it offers a great similarity to classic high-quality tones and sounds. This amp also has a boost switch which enhances frequencies when in use. That makes the amp more adaptable as mid-range frequencies are beneficial for leads and solo tracks. This amp also has an original spring reverb. The spring reverb is known for its wet and glossy tone.
This amp has a Celestion Alnico speaker which has a customary typical Vox chime. The Alnico Blue speaker has clarity and sharpness which is unique. At 15 watts of power, this amp has spacious headroom for clear tones at a mid-range volume and you can reach high-intensity tones at loud, decent volume levels. Other features of this low-wattage amp are two channels – one is clean and the other a boost channel, reverb, and tremolo. Compared to other amps the volume controls are restricted, but it’s still a versatile amp. It plays many sounds and tunes incredibly well.
It will be difficult finding a small tube amp which is so versatile in any price range, irrespective of your budget. It can play a variety of tones including American and British with one switch flip and change the tone with the modern/vintage switch. You can also alter the response with the help of the other switches. It sounds excellent, and no one type of tune or voicing can compare to another option of this amp. The main aspect which you need to keep in mind when observing this amp is what you require. If you’re looking at amp which will play a range of distinctive genres, you will make the right choice with the Egnater Tweaker 15W.
This amp is designed for medium to high-range powerful tones. It’s the perfect amp for present-day blues musicians, rock guitarists and metal bands. The controls on this amp are restricted and present gain, shape and volume control. The Dark Terror might not be so versatile and has fewer control options, but it packs a punch! The raw tone from this amp sounds really good. It also features a mid-powered switch. This is awesome if you’re looking at changeable tones at volumes that can be controlled.
This amp is a customized version of a high-quality Fender Champ. It has a Weber speaker which is designed exclusively for this amp to attain the same reproduction of classic high-quality Champs. It also has a rectifier which aids in giving that reduced range of sound you get with several vintage amplifiers. The tweed tone this amp generates is both reasonable and genuine. Vintage Amps like this one are high-priced, especially tweed amps and are susceptible to technical concerns. The Fender ’57 Custom Champ gives you a high-quality classic tone which is wonderful.
This is one of the hand-wired amps out there. Hand-wired amps present connections wired with one another in a chain instead of being attached to a circuit board. Back in the day, amplifiers were hand-wired which give it a harmonious sound. The Vox AC4HW1 has a regular 12” speaker. You will get a tone similar to one that is found in a bigger amp as well as richer, deeper and fuller tone. This amplifier also has a boost switch and two inputs. The fusion of all these features together gives you a full range of clean and changeable tones.
This one is a high-quality vintage low-wattage tube amp. It has switchable features which let you switch from the response and tonality of a 15-watt amp to a 7-watt amp. While it won’t alter the peak volume, it changes the headroom. When switched on to 7 watts of power you will get an organic wave change at a lower volume compared to the 15-watt model. With minimalist features, it does not have several channels or a boost. You don’t require either of those with the gear which is available and the tone you’re searching for. While a boost is helpful on a guitar amp, you can get results which are alike with a distortion pedal and a boost pedal. This is a top-quality Class A amplifier that’s affordable. It flaunts 15 watts of classic British tunes along with an effects loop. It’s a great piece of equipment for studio recordings and backstage rehearsals. This is an all-tube amp with 15 watts of power and presents four gain stages which provide a vast tone range. It has a high-powered EQ which lets you set the tone you require. Other high-priced amps pale in comparison to the Orange OR15H with its lush and clean sounds. It has a signature Orange look and can be immediately spotted. Entirely noticeable, everyone will be so curious about this one! Built with the similar specifications as the larger Orange amps, it’s mobile which make it ideal for your next gig or band rehearsal.
This is a great combination of a modeling amp and a regular tube amp. Nothing can be compared to a modeling amp if you take into consideration factors like versatility. The Super Champ is not different and features 16 models with a multitude of effects. You can get a variety of different tones and sounds from this amp and if you get a proper switchfoot, and can switch between them. This amp can be played in your home and still get a fabulous sound. Also, you can use it for recordings. It depends on what your requirement is. If you want to play a lot of genres on the guitar, you will love this amp because it will play almost anything. If you are looking for a particular genre, buy an amp designed for the same purpose.
This is an established brand of amplifiers and was used by many British guitarists and bands. This amp is available in two versions – one has a Celestion G12M Greenback and the other features a Celestion Alnico Blue. The Greenback speaker which is found on this amplifier has a more vigorous bass response compared to the Alnico Blue speaker. If you require a vintage tone, this is the definitive amplifier for you. This is a customized version and offers you chime notes and grind which has made the brand a popular name. This 15-watt amp was one of the first to point out British tunes and continues to be flaunted in studios and stages worldwide. Volume is entirely manageable on this amp in live ambiances. It has a 25-watt Greenback speaker which pumps out high frequencies of sound. If you want top-grade quality along with unique features, get this one. Vox Amplification has been used by leading guitarists and musicians. The unique sparkle and chime it gives out makes it among the most recorded amps in history. It’s reliable and the best names in music will vouch for it as they depend on the design today. This EL84-driven low-wattage amp and its preamp give this equipment its exemplary sound. The 15-watt power is perfect for the onstage gig or studio and sounds rich and full without overshadowing the other instruments.
Factors to Note When Purchasing a Low-Wattage Small Tube Guitar Amp
If you’re unsure about where to search for a small tube, low-wattage amp or you want to be updated on some additional information, go through the sections below:
The Amp’s voicing
When you listen to people chatting about an amplifier’s voicing, they are talking about what tone an amp uses. An American tone means that the amplifier most often than not sounds similar to a Fender and a British voicing means that the amp is modeled on a Vox or Marshall. You get voicing based on the tubes you use, for example, the 6L6 tube type sounds more like a Fender and the EL84 is similar to a Vox.
Combo Amps and Amp Heads
Amps are generally available in two design types – combos and heads. Amp heads are the main feature of the amp but do not make a sound on their own. A combo amp has a speaker in addition to the heads. The awesome aspect about amplifier heads is that you get a lot of workabilities when it comes to tone. If you want to change your tone, you can use distinct cabinets and speakers. A disadvantage is that buying a head, and a cabinet is more expensive than purchasing a combo amp. Combo amps are amazing because you are familiar with the sound you will get, and they are more inexpensive. You can replace the speakers to get a variant tone.
Volume and Wattage of the Amplifier
It’s important that you know of something when finding low-wattage small tube amps. An increased wattage does not mean increased volume on the amp. The volume goes up to a marked increased level for every 1000% wattage increase. With similar built and speaker size, a 100-watt amp will be two times as loud as a 10-watt amp at high volume. As the wattage level increases, you will get increased volume too before the amp starts to change or alter its sound level. For a home ambiance, you will do well with an amp with less than 10-watts along with the main volume control. In this manner, you have some headroom and you can still have distortion minus the shattering volume.
Open and Closed Back Cabinets
Cabinets are generally located where the speaker is at and are available in two formats-open and closed. An open cabinet has a richer tone as the sound is distributed in a wider space. A closed cabinet sounds more directed because all the sound is administered forward.
Size of the Speaker
As the size of the speaker increases, so do the frequencies – mainly low–mid and low. Amps which have larger speakers sound richer and fuller, and those with smaller speakers have a robust high-end and high-mid presentation. Smaller speakers have a more direct tone which is why they are so well-known amongst recording artists. A 12” speaker is the most regular size and is a good balance between the two. Such a speaker is large enough to produce a clear, rich tone but not so big that focus is lost.