Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

schmee

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OF the lower priced cheap tube amps I think the VHT 6 is a good one.
A vintage SF Champ can also be picked up for $400 or more.

For more power/$ it's hard to beat a Fender Blues Jr. although some do have defects, but many new amps do now days.

Next up for more $ would be a Reissue Princeton Reverb or RI Deluxe Reverb.
 

Tim S

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I’m happy to recommend a tube amp that addresses @LuckyPenny ’s needs. But without knowing what he hopes get out of a tube amp over a SS amp, I don’t have enough to go on.

Another approach to take is to look at the amp brand and models of your favorite guitarists whose tone you’d like to approximate. If we knew that, we’re more likely recommend something you’d like the first time. It might take some pedal help, but we can get you in the ballpark.

FWIW, I know the Monoprice amp get a lot of love here by people I respect. Are they right for what you want? I don’t know. As for the Pro Jr, I wish I bought one of those over my first Fender amp (Blues Junior). But small amps can sound boxy. Some folks love it, others can’t abide it. It all depends on what you’re after.
 

Chiogtr4x

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Hard to beat this...and with a 6V6 and tone control vs. the typical EL84 found in 5 Watt s/e tube amps (like the Epiphone VJ and similar)

I got my MP 5-watter out of curiosity,
to really hear what a
cranked ( specifically 6V6, albeit just one & one 12AX7) tube amp really sounds like?

Even though I own ( and gigged many years) with my Blues Jr. ( EL-84's),
and the same with my ( gone, boo!!) '68 Deluxe Reverb ( 6V6's) - I never cranked them ( near) all the way up, and used OD pedals for breakup.

I think I did ( still do) get really good clean or dirty sounds with both amps,

but just wanted to really hear ( and even see if I'd like) the sound of a 6V6 turned all the way up- and gotta say, sounds detailed crisp clean/sounds good & raw dirty. Good cleanup from guitar Volume knob.

* with stock Celestion 8" there is not a ton of bass, but the low notes are taut- not flubby or farty.
And Plenty of volume all the way up.

Maybe too loud for ( cranked) home use, but I got mine for gigs/jams- and quiet vol. at home.
 

wrathfuldeity

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Nobody talked me into anything. From my very first post, I told everyone that I wanted a tube amp. I've been messing with the Spark for long enough to know that I want simple. I'm 38 years old and I live in the country so I'm not worried about volume or annoying the neighbors. I know what I want and what I don't want. Feel free to keep recommending modeling amps, but at this point it will only be good for laughs.

That AC4 and AC10 will make the list too, along with the Pro Jr. I will also look into the VHT6 that the other member has suggested. Thanks everyone!
Get any darn simple circuit tube amp with 1 knob, 2 or 3 knobs...but no more than that. Pair with a 12", 2x10" or 4x12 spkr cabs to avoid the small boxiness thang. I prefer a head with cabs. And play til yer cows come home. And if you want pedals...to do the tradition old school blues thing...analog reverb, tremolo and delay. These will take you far down the blues and country path.
 

Cyberi4n

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Egnater Tweaker 15 head, with matching cab. Three voicing options, great pedal platform, and loud enough to keep up with a drummer (though probably NOT a hard hitter). Bugera Power Soak attenuator would also be a worthwhile addition and cheap as chips too
 

bottlenecker

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Nobody talked me into anything. From my very first post, I told everyone that I wanted a tube amp. I've been messing with the Spark for long enough to know that I want simple. I'm 38 years old and I live in the country so I'm not worried about volume or annoying the neighbors. I know what I want and what I don't want. Feel free to keep recommending modeling amps, but at this point it will only be good for laughs.

That AC4 and AC10 will make the list too, along with the Pro Jr. I will also look into the VHT6 that the other member has suggested. Thanks everyone!

I think it's a sport on this forum to see how flagrantly they can disregard any request or information from the original post, and only answer the questions they wish you'd asked.

The AC4, the 5w monoprice, the VHT6, and just about any amp under 10 watts with one power tube (either two or three tubes total), are based on a fender champ, or are some kind of cousin to a champ. Anything in that realm is going to be at least a little good, or a lot.
But you live in the country? Just get a pro jr and crank it.
Ok. So what attributes persuaded you that you are best served by a tube amp? There has to be something to make you this adamant. Knowing your reasons can help us give you a more meaningful response.

What kind of volume are you looking to get out if it? Just for home use? Or do plan to eventually use it with a drummer?

Do you have any size or weight limits in mind? Are you okay with a 60 lbs or 80 lbs amp? (Will you be climbing stairs with it?)

If you know you need a tube amp, do you what you need for speakers? Alnico or Ceramic? British or American voiced? Speaker size? Number of speakers?

Are you looking for a combo or are you open to a separate cabinet & amp head? (There are a LOT of micro heads out there)

Without knowing these things, everyone will just reply with their favorite tube amp under $600 (whether it meets your needs or not)

Edit: I missed this basic question — Are you looking for something new with a warranty or are you okay with used?

Other questions: Do you need an effects loop? (you mentioned using pedals). Do you need a line-out? Do you require tube rectification?

Ack. Dude. Sometimes people just like stuff. Why do you think you "need" a guitar? It's a shame you have no use for a clarinet.
 

Tim S

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Ack. Dude. Sometimes people just like stuff. Why do you think you "need" a guitar? It's a shame you have no use for a clarinet.
Would saying “Buy the first tube amp you find in your price range” be a recommendation that better serves the OP?

No “sport” intended here. I (and a couple others here) expressed an opinion that the OP would be better served with a different choice. It’s what I hope others with more experience would do for me if I asked for help making a decision and they thought there was an alternative that would save me frustration. I’m guilty of practicing tbe golden rule. Sorry.

We can all name tube amps we like under $600. If that’s what the OP wants, it’s what this thread is providing.

I contend if we had more information, we could offer better recommendations. Just knowing if used amps are fine expands the field of eligible amps.

BTW: Since you asked, I “need” a guitar to de-stress from my job and being the primary caregiver to two terminal family members (thankfully consecutive and not concurrent). I considered clarinet, but ended up picking trumpet in elementary school because there’s a lot less valves on them. :)
 

Tim S

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LuckyPenny

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Thanks to everyone that provided SPECIFIC suggestions. I'll begin my research on the following models: Pro Jr, Blues Jr (most likely used), AC4, AC10, and VHT6.

I think I've gotten all the valuable info I'm going to get out of this post now. It seems to be devolving into pointless arguing and chest-puffing. I've gotten a lot of great information and I genuinely appreciate it all.
 

sax4blues

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Not a recommendation but my story of 20 years. The first amp I bought because people said it was popular. And you know what? It was fine, I played guitar and didn’t know any difference. Since then I’ve been through 11 more amps. And you know what? They are all just amps and I’m still the player I’m meant to be. And if I went back to that first amp, I’d be fine.
 

MuddyWolf

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If you are a beginner you dont need a tube amp. Just get some kind of used peavey bandit from a pawn shop for $100 and play for a year or 2. Don't get caught up in the hype.
I'm a hard core tube guy and have had many 100w and 50w Marshalls and I use tube amps every day ....but....I also sometimes just use a little Orange RT20 (solid state) because that's all I need for one band I play in where a loud tube amp is overkill. Unless you can turn the amp up halfway, a tube amp kinda sucks. And any tube amp turned up halfway will get you kicked out of the house. Even a 5watt.
 

northernguitar

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If you are a beginner you dont need a tube amp. Just get some kind of used peavey bandit from a pawn shop for $100 and play for a year or 2. Don't get caught up in the hype.
I'm a hard core tube guy and have had many 100w and 50w Marshalls and I use tube amps every day ....but....I also sometimes just use a little Orange RT20 (solid state) because that's all I need for one band I play in where a loud tube amp is overkill. Unless you can turn the amp up halfway, a tube amp kinda sucks. And any tube amp turned up halfway will get you kicked out of the house. Even a 5watt.
This ain’t about what a man needs, it’s about what he wants and can have.
 

notmyusualuserid

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If you are a beginner you dont need a tube amp. Just get some kind of used peavey bandit from a pawn shop for $100 and play for a year or 2. Don't get caught up in the hype.
I'm a hard core tube guy and have had many 100w and 50w Marshalls and I use tube amps every day ....but....I also sometimes just use a little Orange RT20 (solid state) because that's all I need for one band I play in where a loud tube amp is overkill. Unless you can turn the amp up halfway, a tube amp kinda sucks. And any tube amp turned up halfway will get you kicked out of the house. Even a 5watt.

Again?

I don't need a Audi Q7. I still bought one, it shares a garage with a Jaguar XFS. I didn't need one of those either.

Do you see where we're going with this?
 

PCollen

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I got my MP 5-watter out of curiosity,
to really hear what a
cranked ( specifically 6V6, albeit just one & one 12AX7) tube amp really sounds like?

Even though I own ( and gigged many years) with my Blues Jr. ( EL-84's),
and the same with my ( gone, boo!!) '68 Deluxe Reverb ( 6V6's) - I never cranked them ( near) all the way up, and used OD pedals for breakup.

I think I did ( still do) get really good clean or dirty sounds with both amps,

but just wanted to really hear ( and even see if I'd like) the sound of a 6V6 turned all the way up- and gotta say, sounds detailed crisp clean/sounds good & raw dirty. Good cleanup from guitar Volume knob.

* with stock Celestion 8" there is not a ton of bass, but the low notes are taut- not flubby or farty.
And Plenty of volume all the way up.

Maybe too loud for ( cranked) home use, but I got mine for gigs/jams- and quiet vol. at home.
..and cheaper than most effect pedals.
 

Chiogtr4x

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..and cheaper than most effect pedals.

Well, not the ones I buy now, Ha! ( I'm really cheap anymore, $35-$50 for me!)
but i know what you mean!

It's a heck of an amp!
More than just a "pretty good, for the money..." one.
More like: " Wow!!!"
 

Cyberi4n

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“If you are a beginner you dont need a tube amp. Just get some kind of used peavey bandit from a pawn shop for $100 and play for a year or 2. Don't get caught up in the hype”

What? What a load of BS? So at what point DO you need a tube amp? When you can barre? Or when you’ve mastered the pentatonic minor? When you can run through all your modes?

Au contraire - if the tone of a tube amp inspires you to pick up the guitar, then you’re always ready for one…. In my humble opinion
 
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stormsedge

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The only thing wrong with the Monoprice/Stage Right amps is the goofy, lame brand name!

I fixed mine! 😂🤣😂🤣

image.jpg
 

stormsedge

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I offered View attachment 987913 another young man a good deal on one of these didn't hear back.
I just purchased an Excelsior. What a fun and nice sounding amp! @LuckyPenny —these rock.

Other possibilities I have experience with that you might consider (without mentioning Monoprice again 😂🤣):

-VHT Ultra 6 (some extra bells and whistles above the Special)
-Supro BK10 or DK10
-Blackstars (I have an HT40…my first tube amp…the smaller wattage amps get great reviews)

Go to your local purveyor of guitar amps on a weekday with your guitar and try a few. Happy Hunting!
 




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