Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

5 watt tube amps?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by tomas83, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. tomas83

    tomas83 Tele-Holic

    99% chance of bedroom playing only. 5 watts at the most, preferably a older used amp with no frills, no need for reverb or effects loop, or headphones or simulated output. I really like two speaker setup so either a head or amp with a external speaker output (2x10 is the goal). Versatility required. Your opinions?

    Few ideas:

    1. Fender Champ 600 (through a cab)

    2. Monoprice Pro series 5 watt

    3. Ampeg GVT 5 (amp or head)

    4. Epiphone Valve Jr.?

    5. Blackstar HT5?

    6. Carvin Vintage 16?

    7. Randall RVC 5?

    Max budget $200.

  2. marshman

    marshman Friend of Leo's

    Feb 1, 2007
    SE PA
    5 watts through a modern guitar speaker be seriously loud, let alone a tight, modern 2x10 cab. I rock my Epi Valve Jr through it's stock 8" speaker and low-gain tele pickups and create serious noise, don't want to think what it would be capable of through a "good" cab.

    All that said, I LOVE my Fender Excelsior. Still kinda loud, but no pretense.

    Going by your list, however, I'd be inclined to try out one of the Ampegs.

  3. tomas83

    tomas83 Tele-Holic

    Thanks. My guitar will be a P90's equipped. I think I liked Excelsior too. There's a lot of mods videos on YouTube about the Valve Jr. I played it only once and it was ok from what I can recall. However I think it was a modded one (don't know what the mod was though).

  4. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    I really like my Excelsior as well, and I bet it would sound pretty good through a 2x10 cab as well.

    Epiphone valve Junior is a no go. They're just cheap amps with one trick pony style tone.

    The little Ampeg heads were excellent in my memory.

  5. tomas83

    tomas83 Tele-Holic

    Thanks. So far we got 2 votes for Ampeg. Too bad I didn't play it yet.

  6. tomas83

    tomas83 Tele-Holic

    Another idea...

    Black heart Killer Ant or its bigger 5w brother?

  7. olefudd

    olefudd Tele-Meister

    Sep 27, 2009
    out yonder!
    A little over your budget, but the VHT Special 6 should be on your list!

  8. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

    Dec 3, 2014
    Toowoomba, Australia
    I'm happy with my first series Epi VJ, but it has a had a lot of mods, and I think it would still benefit from a better speaker. I have never felt the urge to trade it on anything else, but I would guess that there are better options available now.

    EDIT. I use it as clean plus pedals, it is way to loud if I try to overdrive the amp. It has a 12dB L-pad, but that turns the tone to mud.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015

  9. tomas83

    tomas83 Tele-Holic

    I played it's bigger brother version and I didn't like it.

  10. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Meister

    Jan 11, 2013
    Tampa Bay
    I've owned a couple of 5 watt amps and found they way too loud for home use. Something about the piercing upper mids and the fact they need to be cranked to open up. They make my ears ring.

    I have a 66 Ampeg Gemini that is 22 watts yet totally awesome for home use. It's warm and full sounding and never harsh or loud. Not fatiguing at all and my ears don't ring. Just beautiful at low volumes.

    I also have a 72 Deluxe Reverb which was also very good for home use when it had a reconed Utah that was very inefficient.

    I guess what I'm saying is that the minuscule 5 watts can be misleading, and you may be able to find something that has many more watts to be the better home amp. Old Ampeg Gemini's Jet's and other models can be had for a few hundred dollars if you shop around.

  11. bigtuna61

    bigtuna61 TDPRI Member

    Oct 28, 2015 u.s.a.
    Just picked up this couple days ago . Very clean

    Attached Files:

  12. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

    Any amp with a master volume.
    I play my 100watt Marshall 6100 all day long at nice low volumes.
    5 watts without a MV can be too loud for home use.

  13. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

    Jul 25, 2015
    This is interesting.
    I have wondered if the new "small amp craze" should even exist as long as there is a master volume knob?

    My own experience I have a small cheapy Quantum 8" speaker amp that crunches at low volume and Ive always suspected it crunches so easily because of the small speaker magnet. Dunno. I was theorizinghow much easier a lighter woofer would vibrate being light weight vs being heavy.

  14. DonMI6

    DonMI6 Tele-Holic

    Jan 5, 2012
    Maitland, Australia
    Do any of them switch down to like half power? My EC Vibro Champ (just using it as an example) is a bit too loud to play at home at full power, but switches down to about 1 watt & becomes just about perfect for what I use it for.

  15. FenderBender10

    FenderBender10 Tele-Holic

    Sep 18, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    The Laney Cub amps have power scaling down to 1 watt. There's also the Hughes & Kettner tubemeister 5.
    I owned a bigger Ampeg GVT, the 50212 and I absolutely loved it. Still mad I had to sell it. I myself have been thinking about the GVT 5 or 15 watt because the bigger one I owned was such a great amp.

  16. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    +1 This. A master volume amp with preamp gain can be a lot of fun.

    I have two sinple circuit 5 watt amps and had to add power controls to each to get good gain sounds at less than offensive home volumes. One watt or less is where you can get cranked power tubes and not cause problems if you have neighbours nearby.

    Power scaling Laney Cub or a 1watt option worth looking for.

    Also, it's a hybrid, but the first gain stage is a tube in the Orange Micro Terror. It's more than 5 w but you can crank the gain right up and dial down the master volume and its got agreat range of clean to really dirty tones ar low volume. Not a low wattage, one trick pony. I have played one through a 4x12 and it sounded really great. Through a 2x10 it would be less boxy than an 8"

    Also saves you buying an OD pedal.

    Just a thought


  17. nomadh

    nomadh Tele-Holic

    May 2, 2008
    san diego
    Valve jr is sort of 1 trick. I use it with my fender floor. Btw the floor does a decent job as a good 5w. The champ 600 is interesting. Its a smooth QUIET tube amp and with a tone stack bypass can also be a little fire breather.
    Remember a 5 watt is still 1/2 as loud as a 50watt.
    I suggest an old Kalamazoo model 1 or 2. A little harsh with humbuckers but brilliant with a strat.

  18. teleman55

    teleman55 Tele-Holic

    Jul 9, 2007
    fox lake, il
    Ancient old silvertone if you can find one.
    Bugera V5
    Epiphone Valve Special. It's 5W like the Jr but totally different. 10 inch speaker, eq, plus cheap early '00 style digital effects as a bonus. You can even do a little tiny low down sleazy blues gig with this amp even though it's 5W
    Check Laney and VHT too.

  19. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    I think the Monoprice 5w is a Laney Cub, from what is being said on the webnetz. Line out too, so the cab of your choice is all thats left with that scenario

    I'll agree though... 5w will/can be LOUD.

  20. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 8, 2009
    Horsham, UK
    Most of my playing is done at home in a small bedroom, now I do have a 5F1 Champ clone (an Ampmaker Wf-55 to be exact), which is a great little amp, but it rarely gets used. Instead I use one of my two larger amps (a Princetonish clone or an EL84 driven Phat Ass 16) either with the MV turned down, or with the volume down on the guitar. I don't tend to use massive gain or distortion, but if I need dirt I use pedals.
    The advantage or these amps over the small power amps is that they have enough power to play out should the need arise.

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