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

Best $5-600 tube amp?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by HdCornerCarver, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. HdCornerCarver

    HdCornerCarver TDPRI Member

    Mar 18, 2017
    Lake George, NY
    Looking to pick up a tube amp for around $5-600 in the near future. Leaning towards a tweed Blues Junior right now, if they're still available when I have the loot to spare.

    Any other options I should consider? I'm still learning the ropes. Usually only play at the house, but would like something capable of handling small gigs in the future. Play mostly blues, classic rock, some twangy country tunes, with a few funk tunes here and there.

    Thanks for any advice in advance!
  2. tce63

    tce63 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Jan 18, 2013
    I got a brand new Fender Blues Junior Lacquered Tweed for about a month ago.
    Love it.

    It plays significantly higher than you think
    Berndizzle440 and Piggy Stu like this.
  3. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    I have a older prototype of this 14-watt, 6V6-driven combo: Runs quiet, nice clarity, takes pedals well even at low volumes. The sound sample in my signature was recorded using this amp; not an ideal demo but you'll get a flavor. Hand-made in the USA. If your travels take you to the Delaware, OH area, where the Tube Amp Factory is located, Dave Harris the inventor/owner is a joy to visit with.
    chemobrain likes this.
  4. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

    Apr 30, 2013
    The best $500.00 I spent on an amp was my 1967 B/F Bassman, my 1966 Ampeg Gemini II or my Mesa TA-15. I enjoy each one for there different tones.
    Thanks John
    Rowdyman and elmoscafeo like this.
  5. Torz Johnson

    Torz Johnson Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jun 9, 2003
    How about a below-$450 tube amp? Vox AC-10, IMHO it sounds a lot better than the Blues Jr. I used to have.

    teleman1, RyCo1983, jannodude and 6 others like this.
  6. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Meister

    Dec 10, 2016
    Tip of the Mitt
    Used pro junior and you save money.
    teleman1, brbadg, Chanan and 4 others like this.
  7. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2016
    That's a good sweet spot for amps, used or new. If it we're me with that budget, I'd be looking at a blues Jr, ac15, Peavey classic 30, or maybe something more modern like the bb15. Though, that's for if I was playing your preferred music. Outside of sheer versatility, id buy another orange rocker 30. Dirt cheap for a made in UK el34 amp that can cover almost any anything (but hates pedals and no fx loop). I mostly find them for 700, but sellers might give a bit.
    Les Paul lover likes this.
  8. UnbrokenChainz

    UnbrokenChainz TDPRI Member

    Jan 25, 2017
    San Diego
    SOOO many good options in that range if you’re buying new, and even more if you’d consider buying used.

    For my money, I’d buy a used BJr, pocket the extra ~$200 and put it towards pedals or mods down the road.
    Zaxxon likes this.
  9. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    all these were under $350...good trading on CL over a period of time and diligent Cl timing by being ready to go

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  10. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Holic

    Jan 17, 2014
    Bucks Co. PA
    Kind of like asking what flavor of ice cream you prefer.
    In that price range depending on the sound you want there are a few choices.
    The Peavey C30 would be my choice but a tweed Blues Jr or maybe even a Blues Deluxe for a few more bucks.
    kuvash likes this.
  11. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    whichever one you want is the perfect choice
    chemobrain and fatcat like this.
  12. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Holic

    Jun 11, 2016
    With vintage Ampeg prices still below what they should be, that's my vote.
    paparoof likes this.
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    Why tuub?

    So many great SS options these days. DV Mark, Katana, Jazz Chorus. On and on.
    dotpc likes this.
  14. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Used Deluxe Reverb Reissue.
    Tonetele likes this.
  15. elmoscafeo

    elmoscafeo Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 29, 2012
    Chicago Suburbs
    Used black face Bassman.
    brbadg and chemobrain like this.
  16. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    For me, this is the dream amp if I had to power a large room with no miking.

    Just don't need that now.
  17. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Setting a budget isn't a bad idea, but going by forum suggestions will primarily get you "my favorite amp" suggestions - not necessarily anything that fits what you need. And you have listed a WIDE assortment of tones!

    I suggest getting out and trying as many amps as you possibly can and not buying anything you haven't personally heard.

    Part of that is that "power" is a poor guideline when it comes to volume and headroom. Example - some 15-watt amps, like well-set up AC15's, can be as loud as a 40-50 watt Fender. And while you don't want to be "underpowered" it can be worse to have far "too much" amp - where one can't be turned up enough to drive the speakers to full frequency response.

    Be patient and keep trying amps. You should eliminate more than will end up on your list. If that doesn't happen you might want to wait longer and include amps out of your budget until you can "hear" the differences.
    screamin eagle, sonicsmitty and Dan R like this.
  18. Kingslayer

    Kingslayer TDPRI Member

    Feb 9, 2018
    Could try Bugera V22. They are a lively amp, better than they get credit for. You could buy a couple of new pedals and break even with the fender.
    fatcat likes this.
  19. Brokenpick

    Brokenpick Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2008
    I'm gonna say that a Blues Jr. is something to consider strongly.

    Lotsa noses turnt up at 'em lately... And many differences from one to another -like most tube amps.
    They're available new and used.
    They can sound very nice at in-the-house/"bedroom" levels.
    They're relatively compact, not too heavy, -portable.
    Your reverb is there. Not "the best" -but it's there.
    Sorry... no tremolo. But the FAT switch really can be useful
    for just getting some different sounds and levels of low-volume dirt.
    It really is capable in many a small gig situation. Really.

    The notion of trying everything out is swell.
    Like folks telling you about great deals they got (10 years ago?) on Craigslist. Or in a pawnshop or yard sale.
    But. Your reality may be that you DON'T live in Austin or Nashville or NYC, or D.C. or LA ... and your snotty local music store may have only a couple amps to try, and.... you may feel awkward trying them out with an audience of clerks and shoppers and pro musicians.
    Waiting for that vintage Fender/Peavey/VOX at an amazing price to come up in an ad... may be a long and frustrating game. And if you don't have access to a trusted amp tech, and you're not one yourself... getting used stuff -even good deals- can be tricky.
    Just sayin'.
    dswo, matrix, Alaman and 3 others like this.
  20. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    The new re-voiced BJ Version IV is a definite contender for the best tube tone at $600. But, also look at the new Origin series and revamped DSL series from Marshall as well.
    twr102 likes this.
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