under 500 bucks what's the best tube amp

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by menace, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    That means at least a loud "15 watts" with a 1x12, preferably "30 watts"

    The Blues Junior is one of the quietest "15 watt" amps I ever had, poor projection, barely any louder than my 5W Laney Lionheart L5T-112 - i.e. no way can it get louder than your drummer and you will struggle and fail if you want to get loud.

    OTOH a "30 watt" 2x12 can be too bloody loud but they do turn down.

    Hang on to that Peavey T-15.
     
  2. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    :oops::oops::oops: I've got one and I prefer not to.

    My Valvetronix AD30VT does everything these little one-knob 5W amps can do only better, and more, and can mix it up with a drummer at a jam. OP has a Valvetronix already.

    OP wants to go louder than his drummer with valves for cheap - and sound good.

    I'd pull out my modified Epi Blues Custom 30 "30 watt" 2x12 (Bassman/Bluesbreaker clone) all valve, lots of them, 2xJJ-6V6S/5881/6L6/EL34.
    They seem to be going around £300 second hand and the mods to make them sound really good are simple (I did the mods, long thread elsewhere).
     
  3. TerraldP

    TerraldP TDPRI Member

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    Hi all. I have the same question as menace. I am looking for a tube amp under $500 for studio, not for gigging. I have been looking at the Vox night Train, Fender Blues Jr and Fender Champ 2X. I was wondering about a few amps I have seen on Ebay that I have never heard: Blackheart Lil Giant or il Devil, Kustom Defender, Trayner. Have any of heard of these? Also I was looking at The Sundown ST-5 (any opinions on that one)? I have also never heard of a Glen Burton? I did see an Egnater just over $500, but it has no reverb. I don't need it, but a spring reverb would be nice. Also, I see alot of Burgera's, but I think they are made by Berringer. I am not knocking any brand but I have a Berringer and I am not crazy about it. Almost all the nobs have been broken off from gigging around, and I have to use needle nose plyers to make any changes. I have thrown enough names out, so I'll stop here. I am really curious about that Sundown amp though, if you have an opinion I'd love to hear it. T
     
  4. ShadowChancer

    ShadowChancer Tele-Holic

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    Laney Lc 15 R (if you can get one)

    Brit built , tranny half stack killer , deadly tone , decent reverb , super compact , harder to get now , worth tracking down , Brit rock was built in part on Laney amps , Sabbath etc , some kick from a small package . Cons , dreadfully hard to play quietly (see my other posts here in the forum) , but for playing loud , rehearsal / gigs its the dogs essential parts IMG_0065.jpg
     
  5. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Still being made. Current LC15-110 has 10-in speaker and reverb.
    The LC30-112 will do the louder than the drummer thing. The LC are their "rock" series. The LC15 doesn't do cleans all that well, the LC30 does better.

    I went shopping for the LC15R but came away with the Laney Lionheart L5T-112 5W SE, which does everything better. But not a gigging amp, excellent parlour/studio amp.

    Another studio favourite is the olde "17W" WEM Dominator. This is what the Marshall "18W" 1974 copied but the WEM does it better. If you can find one and I do not think they went trans-pond.
     
  6. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just picked up a Trace Elliot Velocette. Killer amp. Surprised it is not mentioned more or better known.
     
  7. telefellow

    telefellow TDPRI Member

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    You could probably find a hot rod deluxe for around 400. I love mine. Sounds like what you need.
     
  8. menace

    menace Tele-Meister

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    Well I did it got the pro jr from my pops for a steal 100 bucks he was broke hahahaha
     
  9. macheesmo3

    macheesmo3 Banned

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    Vox Night Train 50 is marked down to $399 by Sweetwater right now. That thing sounds pretty darn good.
     
  10. Telebubba

    Telebubba Tele-Meister

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    +1

    I picked up an early 70's SF Bassman 50 head for $450 with a fresh retube and couldn't be happier. I run it through a 2x12 with Silver Bells. Tele, Strat, Paul, it loves all three and takes pedals well. As much volume as I'll ever need, for low volume I use a Wampler Ecstasy for grit. I tried the 15 watt route, and always ran into the lack of clean headroom issue. Easier to dirty up a clean amp..........
     
  11. gtrguru

    gtrguru Friend of Leo's

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    BJIII
     
  12. drob

    drob Tele-Holic

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    It only has half power option. I ordered one. Reverb didn't work. Sent it back. Got another, reverb didn't work. It went back. Didn't ask for a third. Very Dissapointed. Great clean sound. Didn't get very dirty though.
     
  13. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    +2
     
  14. sashaspapa

    sashaspapa TDPRI Member

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    I like the Blackheart Handsome Devil 15W combo and you can get them around $300. Built in attenuator down to 7W.

    And as others have mentioned the Blues Jr and Excelsiors are nice little puppies as well.
     
  15. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Those Tweaker 15 are fun and make a ton of sounds. Most other amps have the one thing they do good, and that's all you get.
     
  16. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Tele-Afflicted

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    I totally agree.
     
  17. timbraun

    timbraun TDPRI Member

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    I recently picked up an Egnater Rebel-20 head. They're $550 new so used should hit your budget - like $300. Add whatever cab you want - start with a 1x12. I run mine through a Marshall 4x10 1965B cab most of the time. That's pretty loud, I've had the "please reduce your stage volume" request a few times.

    I like the mid-gain settings for a little grit and pedal it up and away you go. It's a modern amp with modern gain structure and features - loads of gain if you want it from the amp.

    Egnater, Peavey, Traynor, Blackheart, Laney - they all make something that will get you good sound value / dollar. Around here you can still find a Garnet in your price range.

    You won't find any $500 Fender Twins around here - but there are Devilles and other models.

    It's a totally reasonable budget for a used tube amp, you should be able to get something reasonable for sub-400, I think.
     
  18. tuddy24

    tuddy24 Former Member

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    No brainer, blues junior. If you're lucky enough to find a used one for 300 bucks grab it. I got one snatched when I wasn't lookin at a local GC this week. They're great as is and even better modded.
     
  19. BourbonSamurai

    BourbonSamurai Tele-Holic

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    I cooked one of these one time. Sorta on purpose. Best sound I ever heard in my life until it started smokin'.
     
  20. Sherlock Tones

    Sherlock Tones TDPRI Member

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    ^ This :idea:
     
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