Looking for cheap tube amp

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by stephenc498, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. stephenc498

    stephenc498 TDPRI Member

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    im looking for a cheap tube amp to use for bedroom play and small outings. I love the clean fender sound. I’ve got my eyes on the monoprice stage right amps, like the price of the 5W one but the 15W has reverb built in (important unless I grab a pedal). I’m also looking at the Bugera V5. Any input? Thanks
     
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  2. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    Except for the odd used bargain you might stumble onto, I can't imagine better tube bang for the buck than those Monoprice amps, especially if you can wait for the big 15%-20% discount deals they run every few weeks. You may want to swap out the speaker and tubes at some point, but they're just fine as is.
     
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  3. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Just so many choices out there that you should be able to find something that qualifies.
     
  4. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    A used VHT Special 6 will give you nice fender type cleans, but again no reverb, but a larger bedroom with fewer soft furnishings might sort that for you.
     
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  5. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Getting a bigger bedroom makes for more choices ... About 1500 square feet is optimal ...
     
  6. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    he thinks 15watt tube amp is bedroom volume... how cute. used to have the dsl 15w/7w... I suspect it would have gotten up over a drummer no problem. That said... sounded great at low vol. lotta reviews on the monoprice stuff... I would imagine it'd be fine. I love their cables!
     
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  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I have the 5W Monoprice. It's decent but not quite as good as my '64 Champ. It is loud enough when cranked to get my wife to complain she can't hear the scintillating dialogue on Real Housewives.
     
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  8. geobookman

    geobookman TDPRI Member

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    I had that Bugera for years and found it reliable. It has a dark sound, so it doesn’t sound quite like a fender. The reverb is nice on it. It is great for a bedroom and loud enough to play out if you only play guitar but is not quite loud enough to play with drums and other electric instruments.
     
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  9. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    You need a Fender Champ. They are proven contenders and You do it once and You're done.
    You could easily play an arena with a Champ an SM57 and a Fly Rig in this day and age.
    Do not compromise, if You're going to The Kentucky Derby You go to win.

    Consider this...a Champ was used on Layla And Other Love Songs in the studio.

    You get a Fender Champ and any half decent Reverb/Delay unit and You're set for life.
     
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  10. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    I think the Monoprices amps are a better deal. But getting parts for repairs may be an issue in the future, should their be a need. OTOH, they're cheap enough to give away if they ever break down. They won't do the BF/SF clean, if that's what your looking for. But clean at low levels they will be.

    If you want the classic Fender BF/SF clean at low levels, then a BF/SF Champ is it, no question. That said, they are no longer very cheap. And may require servicing due to age. I was fortunate to be gifted a SF Champ by a buddy. It's in good shape, and could probably get me $300-400. Not worth it to me to sell it at this point, though. I love it, it gives me my Fender fix, and I'm learning to do my own amp work. But I otherwise would not have bought one. There are better newer options if you want bang-for-buck.
     
  11. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf Tele-Meister

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    The monoprice 15w has a 1 watt switch that gets it down to bedroom volume if bedroom volume is about TV volume.
     
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  12. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    They're based on (or perhaps same as) Laney amps, so it may not be as hard to fix as you think. Then again (and as much as I hate this attitude), if the MP amp costs about the same as a repair shop's bench fee, maybe you just get another...
     
  13. smsuryan

    smsuryan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    rondomusic.com has some now, i haven't played them but they'd probably be useful.
     
  14. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Holic

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    I watched Uncle somebody do a thirty minute comparison between that mono price 5 watt and a vintage Fender Champ. The Champ kicked it's azz, but, the mono price was surprising, not to mention the Celestion speaker was brand new and not broken in. You could even replace the speaker and upgrade the tubes and that would be a nice little amp.
     
  15. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Just remember that any “bedroom” tube amp will need a separate master and volume/gain, and you won’t be getting the best out of it. But even attenuated to 1/4 Watt, my AC4TV got too loud as it didn’t have two stage volume. OD pedals are another solution but at low volumes you’re still not cranking the power tubes.

    I use a Blues Jr as I don’t have room for a ton of amps. If you want a lot of gain though, don’t dismiss hybrids. The Orange Micro Terror is cheap, great and a full tube amp doesn’t sound much different at very low volumes. If your full tube amp makes much of a noise at all. A lot can go from off to a bit loud. Ironically, I looked at the AC30 custom head for my bedroom as it goes down to 1/3 watt AND has volume/master. Sounds great quiet but it’s not cheap.

    But your bedroom volume might be louder than my bedroom volume!
     
  16. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    Which clean Fender sound do you like? Can you give us an example of maybe a guitarist you like the sound of?

    For example, Fender Pro Jr's are cheap, small but still good for small outings, but they're not the "clean Fender sound" of a Princeton (which by comparison is not as cheap I suppose...)
     
  17. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Does Wifey understand you are ultimately doing her a favor?
     
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  18. NJ Deadhead

    NJ Deadhead Tele-Meister

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    I like small, low-wattage tube amps. But, what's all this bedroom amp talk? I'm curious how many of us sit around in our bedrooms and play electric guitar. I keep a Greta in the living room, an AC4TV in the home office, and a 5w vibrochamp in the work office...none in my bedroom. What about y'all?
     
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  19. JazzboxBlues

    JazzboxBlues Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m a firm believer in this. It’s what I like best for home use.
    Having a Tweed and Blackface style would be perfect. Only one the Tweed’s the way.
     
  20. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Another vote for Monoprice 15watt. Under $200 and has a 1w input/switch. Worth twice the price. Not a whole lot more, but definitely worth twice the price.
     
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