$vboptions[bbtitle]

Best Tube Amp for under $500 used???

Okieactor
December 16th, 2009, 04:28 PM
What's your favorite combo tube amp that can be bought for under $500 on an average day? (Not that crazy instance where you found some $1500 amp for $300 bucks at a garage sale, but average used price.)

Requirements are just that it should sound good, be reliable, and be something you can play at home and also gig with if needed.

What's your opinion and why?

FMA
December 16th, 2009, 04:37 PM
I will be the first, but not the last, to recommend a Peavey Classic 30.
Another contender, which I think can be found for under five bills used, is the Kustom Coupe 36. Very nice sounding amp.

SirJackdeFuzz
December 16th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Blues Jr's is also a rock solid sub $500.00 amp !

casadyrocks
December 16th, 2009, 05:02 PM
I agree about the Classic 30, and there are several Mesa models available used under $500

timmer114
December 16th, 2009, 05:11 PM
The Peavey Classic is a great amp. I like the USA Crate stuff also, the Palaminos and USA V-series were nice amps on the cheap.

Tim Armstrong
December 16th, 2009, 05:14 PM
I have a 70s Traynor YGM-3 that I bought from eBay about eight years ago for $210. I put a better speaker in it, so I now have around $300 in it. And it is GLORIOUS!

They can still be found for under $500.

Tim

TeleFunking
December 16th, 2009, 05:28 PM
If you need some effects and great clean, you should also consider a SCXD! I know it isn't all-tube but it is still an awesome little amp.

jbmando
December 16th, 2009, 05:39 PM
Well, not everyone's taste is the same, but I love my Crate V3112 which I picked up used for 200 bucks. 30 watts and just enough. Very loud amp which sounds fine at bedroom levels. Two channels (clean, drive) and reverb. 3 band EQ and a mid boost. Great amp.

Sterling Indigo
December 16th, 2009, 05:43 PM
BJ NOS Tweed version, great speaker, great amp-very moddable, gigable.

suave eddie
December 16th, 2009, 05:43 PM
You will hear conflicting opinions regarding these, but IMO, one of the best in this price range is the Mesa Boogie Subway Blues.

Jeru
December 16th, 2009, 05:45 PM
Another vote here for the peavey classic series. The C30 is a great amp; I had one for a long time, it gave up the goods reliably and never had any issues. Even better, find a Delta Blues -- Same all-tube 30 watts, choice of 2x10" or 1x15" reverb and tremolo. These can be had on craig's list ALL DAY for less than $500.

guitarbiker
December 16th, 2009, 05:46 PM
traynor YCV40 has two 6L6's or the traynor YCV50 has two EL34's both have Celestion speakers in them. I have both, sometimes use them both.

Dan German
December 16th, 2009, 06:30 PM
Lotta different answers to this question, and I don't think there'll be too many wrong ones, but I'll put my vote in for the Peavey Delta Blues. Or the Classic 30, but I like the tremolo and 2x10 configuration too much. As has been said, it's no problem at all to find these in excellent condition for well under you limit.

jmtaylor22
December 16th, 2009, 06:39 PM
I would say a Rivera Clubster used can easily be had in this price range.

Hoodster
December 16th, 2009, 08:44 PM
I've never seen a Rivera Clubster for under $500 used. You might be able to steal the Clubster 25 1 x 10 in that range on a rare day, but I haven't seen it. I paid $675 for mine and sold it earlier this year for roughly the same price.

Back to the topic at hand, my vote would be for the Classic 30 or Delta Blues.

JosephB
December 16th, 2009, 09:07 PM
im really diggin my traynor YCV40WR, too. looks great, more versatile than an HRD and is a tank.

really depends on what you want to sound like/how much loud you need to be.

Twangthang
December 16th, 2009, 09:07 PM
I have a 70s Traynor YGM-3 that I bought from eBay about eight years ago for $210. I put a better speaker in it, so I now have around $300 in it. And it is GLORIOUS!

They can still be found for under $500.

Tim

Just looked on ebay and found a YGM...
Why did you do that!!!:lol:
Glorious? Really?
It's on my watch list

EasilyAmused
December 16th, 2009, 09:11 PM
I'm a big fan of Traynor amps in that price range. The vintage ones can be really cool - as already mentioned, the YGM-3 is a killer amp.

I just picked up a YBA-4 for $450 - it's basically a marshall JTM-45 (or fender tweed bassman) with a 15" speaker. Hand wired, great transformers and rock solid build. FANTASTIC sounding amp for any price.

The new 40 watt Traynors are also pretty cool if you want more features. I like them A LOT more than a hot rod deluxe.

Mike Eskimo
December 16th, 2009, 10:05 PM
Peavey Bravo

All tube.

Does everything.

$200-$300 if you can find one.

jmtaylor22
December 17th, 2009, 09:14 AM
I've never seen a Rivera Clubster for under $500 used. You might be able to steal the Clubster 25 1 x 10 in that range on a rare day, but I haven't seen it. I paid $675 for mine and sold it earlier this year for roughly the same price.

Back to the topic at hand, my vote would be for the Classic 30 or Delta Blues.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Rivera-Clubster-25-All-tube-USA-Guitar-Amp_W0QQitemZ180443784186QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Def aultDomain_0?hash=item2a0349a3fa

I can paste in some more examples if you would like...

Here is one that went for $385

http://cgi.ebay.com/Rivera-Clubster-25-combo-amp_W0QQitemZ320457390573QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Def aultDomain_0?hash=item4a9cbfb9ed

Bryan
December 17th, 2009, 10:15 AM
I bought a used Hot Rod Deluxe in excellent condition last year for $400

SirJackdeFuzz
December 17th, 2009, 10:30 AM
I bought a used Hot Rod Deluxe in excellent condition last year for $400

Bloody Hell . . . 4bills for a Hot Rod :shock:

Great Deal you got there !

Hoodster
December 17th, 2009, 10:35 AM
http://cgi.ebay.com/Rivera-Clubster-25-All-tube-USA-Guitar-Amp_W0QQitemZ180443784186QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Def aultDomain_0?hash=item2a0349a3fa

I can paste in some more examples if you would like...

Here is one that went for $385

http://cgi.ebay.com/Rivera-Clubster-25-combo-amp_W0QQitemZ320457390573QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Def aultDomain_0?hash=item4a9cbfb9ed

That's insane, but I stand corrected. I hope the guy who bought mine isn't seeing this!

I wonder if something happened to this amp's reputation, cuz they still sell for $999 new, so less than 50% used is weird for any good amp.

brookdalebill
December 17th, 2009, 10:48 AM
Peavey Classic 30's, Blues Juniors leap to mind.
A lot of Crate Palominos too.
Wish I could find something with a good tremelo.

garyd5158
December 17th, 2009, 11:16 AM
Peavey Classic 30 or Classic 20.

Singin' Dave
December 17th, 2009, 11:23 AM
Great recommendations here, all of which will deliver the goods. I can only echo the list:

Rivera Clubster is a steal under $500
Peavey Classic 30/Delta Blues - rock solid
Mesa/Boogie Subway Rocket, Subway Blues, Rocket 44, Studio .22+ - all awesome amps in that range
Blues Jr. - can rip with a few small mods
Traynor YGM-3 - stunning amp for low dough

You guys covered all the ones I would recommend from a "played them and liked them" perspective...

Dan German
December 17th, 2009, 11:24 AM
I'll put my vote in for the Peavey Delta Blues. Or the Classic 30, but I like the tremolo and 2x10 configuration too much.

Peavey Classic 30's, Blues Juniors leap to mind.
A lot of Crate Palominos too.
Wish I could find something with a good tremelo.

I don't know if I'd call it a GREAT tremolo, but it's certainly a VERY GOOD tremolo.

CrowePhil
December 17th, 2009, 11:30 AM
A different flavor might be an AC15...

johnnylaw
December 17th, 2009, 01:28 PM
I've tried a few on the above list and liked 'em.

I'll plug the Gibson GA 15 and GA15 RV. Essentially Trace Elliot topology (12 AX7s, EL 84s, PCB). Touch sensitive tone monsters that are underrated and underpriced.

jmtaylor22
December 17th, 2009, 02:47 PM
That's insane, but I stand corrected. I hope the guy who bought mine isn't seeing this!

I wonder if something happened to these amp's reputation, cuz they still sell for $999 new, so less than 50% used is weird for any good amp.

Yeah I don't know, I just know that I bought and sold one for around that awhile ago!

I think it is just the general state of the economy probably.

You can get some really good deals right now on used gear.

longbow
December 17th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Vintage Club series by CRATE. Hand wired and made in St. Louis Missouri. I 've got a 50 and a 20 and don't let anyone tell ya different, these things are stellar amps and usually can be had for less than 500 bucks easily, even the 50 watter. The 20 blows my BC 30 out of the water too for tone. Ok thats it. thanks

studio1087
December 17th, 2009, 04:16 PM
You can find minty used Blues Juniors for $300.

Blues Juniors are great working man's amps.

The O.K.
December 17th, 2009, 07:10 PM
You can find minty used Blues Juniors for $300.

Blues Juniors are great working man's amps.

+1 bought mine for $280

cactusrob
December 18th, 2009, 12:35 AM
Fender Pro Jr if you like bare bones, great tone with plenty of volume to spare in a small package...A Blues Jr if you like a little more control over your tone via knobs and such...A Peavey Classic 30 is also a great little amp..
Some will probably cringe when I say this but the Crate V15 all tube is a very cool amp. (Not the V18 ~ it's a totally different animal) I would compare it to the Peavey Classic 30...it's sturdy, has a master volume, gain, tone controls...they're out of production now but some are still floating around online.

Any of the ones I've described would make a good amp for home and/or small to medium gigs.

Rob

DeVille212
December 18th, 2009, 03:08 AM
It's a little bit loud for the bedroom but... I use a DeVille with 212's. It's as good an amp as I have ever had the privilege to play through. They push the $500 cap for a used one but man what an amp! I have played out for almost 6 yrs. now and never seen a venue that I didn't have enough. For my room and small stuff I just run a volume pedal through the effects loop and go easy on the throttle. Awesome Fender tone! :grin:

Tonemonkey
December 18th, 2009, 07:09 AM
Originally Posted by Tim Armstrong
I have a 70s Traynor YGM-3 that I bought from eBay about eight years ago for $210. I put a better speaker in it, so I now have around $300 in it. And it is GLORIOUS!

They can still be found for under $500.

Tim


Just looked on ebay and found a YGM...
Why did you do that!!!:lol:
Glorious? Really?
It's on my watch list

+1

Mine ('73 YGM3) - cost 220 used.

Big juicy reverblicious cleans, wicked intense tremelo. I put in a CRex to tame the inclination for treble. 1-7 increases vol then 7 onwards just induces creamy dynamic OD.

The original Marsland speakers were a little muddy, so many YGM3's have a Bright Cap to brighten things up at bedroom volumes. The circuit diagram indicates that this is bypassed when the Amp is wide open.

:cool:

popthree
December 18th, 2009, 09:18 AM
how about.. a fender champ... silverface will keep the price down... and an SM57 for the gigs. i doubt there is a more reliable tube amp in existence. its light and easy to carry around. it will appreciate. i think they sound fine.

jmaul
December 18th, 2009, 09:27 AM
Vintage Club series by CRATE. Hand wired and made in St. Louis Missouri. I 've got a 50 and a 20 and don't let anyone tell ya different, these things are stellar amps and usually can be had for less than 500 bucks easily, even the 50 watter. The 20 blows my BC 30 out of the water too for tone. Ok thats it. thanks

very good amps but not handwired.

backalleyblues
December 18th, 2009, 12:12 PM
HRDX here, I know some people have issues with them, but they work fine for me. Just stuck a Celstion V30 in mine, and now the bass thump is more muted, and the balance is much better (drive channels are nicer too!) $400 every day on CL around here...

If one turns up, a Carvin Nomad or a Vintage 16 are two other contenders, both sound really nice, and are well made.

Franc Robert

Okieactor
December 18th, 2009, 12:45 PM
So after reading some replies and going to Guitar Center, I am now searching CL for a Classic 30, a Palomino, a Blues JR. or a Delta blues for sure. May be a week or 2 before I can find any of those still for sale. And keeping an eye out for Traynors, but they are not as common on CL, at least so far.

Questions about a couple amps that ARE availabe right now. Anybody like or dislike...

Kustom Defender (I didn't like the youtube demo, but it's hard to tell online.)
OR.....
Carvin Belaire
OR.....
Somebody mentioned the Crate Vintage Club 60??? There's one on CL for $265. Anybody else want to weigh in on that? Is that a must have? I can probably get a Blues Jr. for $250-300 if I wait and negotiate... What do you think?

-Vampyre-
December 18th, 2009, 12:47 PM
I got my AC50CP2 for 539 Brand new. Can be found for about 300-400 used. Highly under rated in my opinion. But then again I like the versatility of it.

RubyRae
December 18th, 2009, 12:50 PM
I have seen a ton of used (great condition) Hot Rod Deluxes' for 400-500 bucks...

Depending on my needs, I would more likely today go for an older vibro champ, there are plenty for right around 500$ in good condition.

DocG
December 18th, 2009, 12:59 PM
It's a little bit loud for the bedroom but... I use a DeVille with 212's. It's as good an amp as I have ever had the privilege to play through. They push the $500 cap for a used one but man what an amp! I have played out for almost 6 yrs. now and never seen a venue that I didn't have enough. For my room and small stuff I just run a volume pedal through the effects loop and go easy on the throttle. Awesome Fender tone! :grin:

+1 on that. I got mine, extensively pre-relic'ed, for $400. Great amp.

sonserve
December 18th, 2009, 01:48 PM
The Carvin Bel Aire is a very nice amp. Point to point wired, all tube, no solid state components. Very versatile. Check on line for the new price before you buy used. It uses either EL84'S or 34"s.

Jeru
December 18th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Somebody mentioned the Crate Vintage Club 60??? There's one on CL for $265. Anybody else want to weigh in on that? Is that a must have? ... What do you think?

A friend of mine had a vintage club 50 (?) 2x12.. It sounded horrible. All the time. No matter how we dialed it in, and no matter what guitar was plugged into it. Then it started making hideous noises. Then we dismantled it. Then we turned the carcass into an extension cab (after we ditched the crap speakers).

I know there are those who think these are great. I respect the opinion of each and every one of them, and (again, respectfully) disagree, as that hasn't been my experience.

YMMV, etc.

longbow
December 18th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Beats me but I own 2 and they far and away out perform any Fender I have owned, which actually has only been two. A DeVille and a Blues Jr. I got from MF. Sent both back. Matter of fact when I bought the VC50 amp at the HOG the sales person had it hidden behind a bunch of Peavey stuff so he could play it on his lunch hour. The clean channel is crystal clear and clean and again the best I have heard bar none.

I don't know you would have to try it out and see for yourself. I ain't that great a player but play for my own enjoyment but the salesperson had some chops and he plugged in the 50 and a Fender Hot Rod and we both liked the CRATE better and it was almost half the price which was a big thing. It had been in storage for well a very very long time. I just put a new tube set in it 2 wks ago and its like a new amp. So there ya go. thanks

FMA
December 18th, 2009, 05:27 PM
You mentioned the Kustom Defender. I've played both that and the Kustom Coupe 36. To me ears, the Coupe 36 sounded much, much better. Very nice, Fender-like cleans and a drive channel that has a wide range. The Coupe 36 also seemed to be built better than the Defender.
Of course, the Coupe 36 is more expensive, but you can find them under five bills used.
But again, under $500, I still think your best bet is a Classic 30.
Someone mentioned an AC-15 and if you can find one to check out, it'd be worth it. A very good amp. With the ceramic Wharfdale speaker, it sounds good. With an alnico speaker, it sings. I have one with a Red Fang in it and it's my primary gigging amp.

dijos
December 18th, 2009, 05:39 PM
If I had to pick, It'd be peavey. However, the ampeg reverborocket runds about 450 used, and is highly regarded. A buddy of mine is selling his, but the shipping would probably kill you.

Warm Gums
December 18th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Ampeg...
Either NJ or Magnavox production, have it serviced & you are set for the next 10 -15 years.

DeVille212
December 18th, 2009, 06:30 PM
I had a Carvin BelAir and sold it. It sounded good at bedroom levels but it didn't measure up when I took it out. At low levels, you can get a lot of usable tones out of it. When you crank it, the bottom falls out of the clean channel and it becomes brittle sounding. I have no problem with the tone of the amp but the eq, to me, seems disconnected. The bass doesn't blend well wih the rest of the eq. You can get some great classic rock stuff out of it. The Soak channel does better live than the clean channel but it still lacks something. It may be that I have only used 6L6 amps and it's the difference in el84's but it just wasn't for me.

Anthony

milkshape
December 18th, 2009, 06:50 PM
I'd go for this (http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/msg/1516031034.html)if I had $450 and the CL add can be believed

highwayman
December 20th, 2009, 09:54 AM
I agree ,US made Crate V30 with tone tubby 2x12 cab.Blows my Fenders out of the water.AC15 is nice as well.

mojotele65
December 20th, 2009, 11:40 AM
You should be able to get a Peavey Classic 50 410 for around $500.

stantheman
December 20th, 2009, 12:43 PM
Peavey!!!
C'mon either The "Classic" Series or either of "The Delta Series" as in Delta House! :cool:
If I had to go with "cartage" like some Touring People that's what I'd ask for.

A quick way to say The Old Boy Scout Oath - Peavey.
If there's ever another Geyser discovered and it's dependable it ought to be named "Peavey". :cool:

muchxs
December 21st, 2009, 03:13 PM
I can buy late '70s Fender Twins for around $500 each. Might as well show up w/ $500 and try...

That's a honkin' big manly-man's amp. Makes your little Peaveys quake w/ fear... :twisted:

FrankB
December 22nd, 2009, 10:26 PM
NEW OR used?
You could go either way. New, peavey Classic 30 is a good choice from what everyone has been saying. Though I'd go used, solely for tone and no other reason other than that.
Used - look for a Fender Music master bass amp.... amazing and inexpensive. or Get a silver face Fender Champ.
I have had a slew of amps over the years. Also I have used a slew of amps already set up on stage some good others not so good for me, so Id suggest the above amps and here is why.
After years and years of playing bars, clubs and a few large venues I've come to despise lugging around heavy equipment, I try to walk in or out with everything at once. Amp pedals and guitar all in one shot. shuffling stuff to and fro from car to bar or vise-versa pretty much is sucky especially if its cold, rainy, snowing or a bagillion degrees...
Tone wise I use my 1978 silver face champ rehoused in a 2X10 cabinet for every gig I do now. I always turn it up usually all of the way for volume and an amazing tone. I have used my MMB this way but it's been a while and my ears have fallen in love with what the champ does.
Either of those 2 amps will turn literally turn heads anywhere you plug them in.
Recently I played a gig with the reggae blues band I am in and dimed the champ the other guitar player in our band uses a bandmaster combo (also cool) the band we opened for had these huge line 6 stacks set up.. and mic'd in a small bar ( yes hilarious.. I know) and halfway through our first song, both of the headliners guitar players were glued in front of Bruce and I in some sort of tonal tractor beam... the one guitar player from thew other band asked me if he could try my amp for a song or 2. I had to decline being I was unsure of what his intentions were, or what he was going to run through it (ie large amounts of rack effects and other complex gizmos)..
there you have it, another solid perspective.

Jenix
December 23rd, 2009, 02:49 AM
Vox AC15

popthree
December 23rd, 2009, 03:41 AM
N
silver face champ rehoused in a 2X10 cabinet for every gig I do now
got any pics of the champ ? what speakers are you using ?

malkmus
January 3rd, 2010, 04:02 PM
I just acquired the Kustom Defender in a trade for a parts tele.....I didn't know anything about this amp beforehand. Let me just say it is a great sounding amp! I like it better with 6L6's. You do have to try a few different rated tubes to get the magic pair. It tends to run the tubes kinda hot. I AB'd it with my Princeton Reverb RI.....I might have to let the Princeton go! The Kustom gets that nice Fender clean sound with a little grit on it. The Master volume is actually very useful on this amp to dial in some nice "edge". My only complaint is that the reverb is not footswitcheable. I'm gonna try to wire one in though! Anybody have a link here on how to easily do such a thing? I should be able to ground out just the reverb at the control pot....?

T Prior
January 3rd, 2010, 05:20 PM
Used ---.my vote would always be for a Classic 30 but heck if you can spend the whole 5 bills I would get a Hot Rod Deville, Classic 50 or a Blues Deville, something along those lines in that category.

lets not get to cheap here ! Spend all the money !

had the price been under $350 then for sure I would go back to the Classic 30..



t

Singin' Dave
January 3rd, 2010, 08:04 PM
I just acquired the Kustom Defender in a trade for a parts tele.....I didn't know anything about this amp beforehand. Let me just say it is a great sounding amp! I like it better with 6L6's. You do have to try a few different rated tubes to get the magic pair. It tends to run the tubes kinda hot. I AB'd it with my Princeton Reverb RI.....I might have to let the Princeton go! The Kustom gets that nice Fender clean sound with a little grit on it. The Master volume is actually very useful on this amp to dial in some nice "edge". My only complaint is that the reverb is not footswitcheable. I'm gonna try to wire one in though! Anybody have a link here on how to easily do such a thing? I should be able to ground out just the reverb at the control pot....?

John - is that you? If so - welcome to the TDPRI!

I was all over your parts Tele but missed out to the amp trade. Glad to hear you're digging the swap and appreciate your calling me to tell me it was gone before I humped out to Arlington Heights. I hear some of those Kustoms are surprisingly good - the Coupes and Defenders are the ones I hear about most.

In the under $500 category though, I still contend that old Traynors are silly good. I own two, a YGM 3 and a YGM 4, and they are stunningly good and built for forever.

slap dat
January 3rd, 2010, 09:02 PM
Fender Blues Jr or Vox AC15.

I have both and like them equally well. The Blues Jr is awesome for blues (go figure) and blues based rock ... the AC15 for country and Brit rock. Both are small enough for bedroom and loud enough for gigging.

MondoGuitar
January 3rd, 2010, 09:04 PM
Carvin Bel-air is a decent amp in that range. Joe Walsh endorsed them for a minute.

getrguy1
January 3rd, 2010, 09:13 PM
The Peavey Classic is a great amp. I like the USA Crate stuff also, the Palaminos and USA V-series were nice amps on the cheap.

The Crate amp(s) you mentioned are great. The Palimino was available only thru GC & MF. 30 watts class A with a Crate labeled Vintage 30 speaker. Crate also had a black version of this amp, the difference being a Tone Tubby speaker. Both are a great value.

jimmynumber9
January 3rd, 2010, 10:18 PM
You can get a tiny terror at shops for aroudn 600 cash. A little over 500 and it's hard to find an orange dealer, but it's well worth it, in my opinion. Nice speaker and nice drive

malkmus
January 10th, 2010, 11:27 AM
Hiya Singing Dave. Yeah it's me! I joined a while ago, but don't get too much time for internettin' these days. lol Yeah I've heard those Traynors are great.....they seem to be a staple for a few Chicago musicians I've met.

mistermullens
January 10th, 2010, 12:00 PM
Requirements are just that it should sound good, be reliable, and be something you can play at home and also gig with if needed.

Blues Jr. Might not be the Holy Grail of amps, but its a good, solid, affordable amp. Great for home and gigs.

Mike Eskimo
January 10th, 2010, 09:38 PM
The Crate amp(s) you mentioned are great. The Palimino was available only thru GC & MF. 30 watts class A with a Crate labeled Vintage 30 speaker. Crate also had a black version of this amp, the difference being a Tone Tubby speaker. Both are a great value.


I've heard the asian-built Crates are fires waiting to happen.

Very hot to the touch and not enough airflow.

The 3 guys I know around here who have/had them (Palamino's) also complained about a lot of noise and crackling.

They are always on CL around here which is never a good sign.

JeffsJeep04
January 11th, 2010, 11:41 PM
I payed $500 for my original blues deluxe (made in USA), and I know I could have gotten it for less. I was just so thrilled with the way the amp sounded I gave the guy his asking price. I don't plan to sell it (it's probably too ugly for anyone else), so that doesn't bother me a bit. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat. I'd also keep my eyes out for a pro junior (hell, buy two for that budget), a blues junior, or a silver face. My buddy got a 70's bassman 10 for $300 last year and it's got great tone and is LOUD as hell.