First Tube Amp Under $600?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by meirmusic, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister

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    I have a Bugera V22 and it is too loud for just bedroom volumes. It CAN do it, but a smaller amp would sound better. 22 watts is gig levels.
     
  2. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    1. Marshall DSL40 vote here - monster amp for the price. I just picked one up in like new condition for $500. If your taste leans toward a Marshall sound, you can skip buying an overdrive pedal with this amp as it has two channels one with excellent cleans (with a slight crunch option) the other pure Marshall distortion either tolerable or over the top. Really a great amp with its FX loop and 20 or 40 watt operation mode. One of the most versatile amps available right now. Live and recording amp and I played it with a really loud band recently and yeah, it kept up fine. If you can't control a loud band, dominate it. ;). I've seen them as low as $450 on GC's web site. You will not find more capability at this price.

    2. Used DRRI 65 - getting harder to find these used& cheap now due to the popularity. But I got mine for $599 in top shape a few years back. If you want a really good blues and country amp that takes pedals well and saturates in a raw rock way, this is a great amp, 22 watts. Keeps up with all but the loudest band and is probably the number one recording amp in history. The cleans are beautiful and not as edgy as the DSL40. I use this for country and tele pickin. It's "the tone".

    3. Vox AC15C1 - This is a two trick pony, on the normal channel you can coax a Fenderish clean tone and with a third party footswitch you can jump to the Vox Bright channel and it breaks up in that Tom Petty jangly way. If you want some chime distortion, this amp brings it and it is a very loud 15 watts and keeps up with the DRRI 65 above. Takes pedals well on the normal channel. Nothing else sounds like these amps. I love the color for recording. Could be a bit limited tonally for live but if you want some options you can get there with pedals.

    These 3 in my opinion are the top tube amps in your price range. The only other option, if you are young and can deal with the weight, would be a Fender Twin used. They can be found in this price range, are monster amps sound and weight wise. They have no break up. If you get distortion out of this amp its either in bad condition or your ear cilia are breaking down from the volume. Pedals are a must for distortion and otherwise one of the best and loudest amps you can find in your price range. Might need some additional investment however if you find one in this price range.
     
  3. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I would definitely add a Fender Pro Jr. to your list. The Pro Junior sounds much bigger than it is, it's 15 watts are plenty loud enough for home use or small venues, and it does the big, fat clean with a bit of hair sound better than anything else in its class IMO. Great as a pedal platform. That said, I think you could make everything mentioned so far would work for you, although I fail to see why you would want more than 12 or 15 watts for home use.
     
  4. meirmusic

    meirmusic TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm leaning towards the Egnater 15, now the question is to get the head or the combo. I currently don't own a cab, and usually only have one amp at a time, but I'd like the flexibility to just have one great 1x12 cab and buy multiple different heads and switch between them. Anyone have a good recommendation?
     
  5. Jeff_K

    Jeff_K Friend of Leo's

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    Don't overlook the 15 watt Monoprice that has gotten much love elsewhere. WAY under your budget and well liked by tube people here.
     
  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The matching Egnater cab is a very good birch ply cab and the Celestion speaker Egnater selected is an excellent match for that head as well. Purchased together they should run you a little less than $600 for both.

    My two Ampeg GVT-112e's cabs are also birch ply with Celestion Vintage 30s which also work well with that head. They've been discontinued but if you keep looking around and follow Ebay and/or Reverb you may find one for $150 or less.

    I don't believe you'll regret buying the Tweaker. I've had two friends of mine also buy them after hearing mine.
     
  7. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

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  8. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    How can I be any clearer about my assertions?
     
  9. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And quite a heavy one IMO at that if it matters in the choice equations.

    My impetus for letting the AC15 go was for the weight I could have more tricks. But if the trick(s) of a one or two trick pony is just the trick, that can be a good thing.
     
  10. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    Home + Classic Rock and Blues = Champ. It used to be that you could have a 5F1 built for $500-$600 which would be my first choice, not sure whether or not that is still the case. I'm not really up to date on my prices. Silverface Champ or Vibro Champ would be my next choice, well within your budget and requirements with a couple hundo to spare.

    Out of the list you have, the Blues Jr would be my pick. I've always liked them. Although I have zero experience with the Bulgera, there is no end of threads and posts that claim they have reliability issues. So be aware of that.
     
  11. acrylicsuperman

    acrylicsuperman Tele-Afflicted

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    I have one option that I think a lot of people overlook, but I highly recommend looking into and that is the Blackstar HT Club 40.

    It has a bit of both worlds in it. You can get fender tones and Marshall tones out of it. Does the classic rock and blues thing perfectly. Too be honest, I have got mine to do pretty much whatever I have wanted out of it. Takes pedals well, but too be honest, I have practically quit using my over drives and distortions with it because I like the amps natural distortion. It is pushing your price range, usually around $599 new, but used, they can be found around $400.
     
  12. sliberty

    sliberty Tele-Afflicted

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    Lots of good choices mentioned. I'll just add the Vox AC10C1
     
  13. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    Go Blues Junior, I've been blown away these past 2 weeks at what a great little amp this is. I've got the tweed one. I'm now selling my hot rod deluxe, as I find the BJR is perfect for what I do - play at home, and torture my wife and kids!
     
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