"best" tube amp for under $200


PDA

View Full Version : "best" tube amp for under $200


AlisterD
02-17-2010, 03:06 AM
okay, 200$ budget, maybe expandable, but not by much. I think I want to go tube, because my past 4-5 SS amps haven't pleased me. I play Buddy Guy blues, Foo Fighters/MuteMath Rock, and a lot of relaxed clean picking with delay. (generalizations)

Here's what I've got on my plate:
Valve Jr combo= 130$ used/ 160$ new (leaves room for mods, eq pedal, etc)
Bugera V5= 150$ new (leaves some room for pedals)
Fender Champion 600= 150$ new
VOX AC4= 170$ new
Fender VibroChamp (technically a hybrid) 200$ new


I don't want to consider the vypyr, personally, I don't like it. the Vox VT15 isn't bad, but not huge on the idea of another SS.

If you need any more info, let me know. I can't get out and play them yet, so I'm relying on you all for preliminary info. And the online demos are just horrid, so I want you!!!

denied
02-17-2010, 03:07 AM
Out of those, VOX AC4

Imapinkboi
02-17-2010, 03:09 AM
Valve Jr I played without any pedals or mods, it actually gets a little crispy sounding in a good way at higher volumes :)

Haven't played any other ones though.

DylanHendrix
02-17-2010, 03:16 AM
I would definatly go for the AC4TV or the Vibro Champ. From what I've heard the AC4TV sounds really good. I would consider the Vibro Champ simply because it does have some good amp models and reverb. My final vote goes for the AC4 though.
__________________________________________________ ______
Guitars
Fender Classic Player's 50's Stratocaster
Washburn WI66 Pro mod w/Gibson 57 Classic and 57 Classic+ pup's

Amps
Fender '65 Princeton Reverb Reissue
Fender Champion 600

Effects
MXR Fuzz
MXR Carbon Copy Delay

gregs1020
02-17-2010, 03:28 AM
i think the only amp that will do what you want without any pedals would be the vibro, but it's not that loud really before the speaker starts to break up. that's not always a bad thing.

with a pedal for grit, i'd go champ 600 for a buddy guy esque clean, and get your dirt from the volume knob, or a pedal.

i've played all but the V5, and the rest of the field is nice. but for a buddy like tone, i'd go champ on this one.

when you plug that champ 600 into a 12" speaker, it really breathes vintage tones.

ECistheBest
02-17-2010, 03:30 AM
i think champ 600 needs a cab hooked up. srsly... i cranked that thing at guitar center and all i heard was fart.

DylanHendrix
02-17-2010, 03:33 AM
I would have suggested the champion 600 but I have had bad experiences with it. First the speaker canno't handle the overdriven tones it can produce. My amp starts to rattle around F# on the low E string. If you go the Champ route I would suggest you purchase one of the many mod kits availabe for like $50, just make sure it comes with a good quality speaker like a Weber 6". Or like Gregs said you could just plug it into an extension cabinet. But I would still go for either the Vibro or AC4
__________________________________________________ ______
Guitars
Fender Classic Player's 50's Stratocaster
Washburn WI66 Pro mod w/Gibson 57 Classic and 57 Classic+ pup's

Amps
Fender '65 Princeton Reverb Reissue
Fender Champion 600

Effects
MXR Fuzz
MXR Carbon Copy Delay

gregs1020
02-17-2010, 03:34 AM
i think champ 600 needs a cab hooked up. srsly... i cranked that thing at guitar center and all i heard was fart.
it's downfall is the 6' speaker. it does fine at half or less volume. yea, through the 12 it was a whole different amp.

edit: if we are looking for quiet, it's a good idea. i also like the vox ac4tv a lot, i just think the clean on the fender was better for buddy. the ac4 has a decent amount of clean on the 4 watt setting. (the 10 inch combo is the only one i played, not the 8 inch).

Vinson
02-17-2010, 05:15 AM
Bugera v5

fly135
02-17-2010, 10:27 AM
Vibro Champ XD would be my pick. I have a Super Champ XD. The Vjr combo isn't worth getting unless you add a 12" cab.

Cachao
02-17-2010, 11:23 AM
Vibro Champ or Valve junior

AlisterD
02-17-2010, 05:40 PM
Alright, I'm gonna go check some out, I'm really excited to play the AC4 now, and the Valve JR seems interesting.

In case this makes a difference, This will be apartment-level playing and a decent amount of recording. I'll jam a little bit with other musicians, but we all know how to stay quiet since we're in college, so more wattage isn't a huge deal.

Also, I doubt I'd have money left over to buy an extension cab for any of these, so compare as stock.

ConfederateAxe
02-17-2010, 06:30 PM
If you wanna go really cheap check out the Kustom 12. It uses a tube preamp, and sounds decent for a lil amp when cranked.

http://www.amazon.com/Kustom-Combo-Practice-Guitar-Amplifer/dp/B0002D094M

tronester
02-17-2010, 07:07 PM
I like my Peavey Valveking Royal 8 a lot. It is less than 200 dollars. It does well for rock and (I assume) blues, but not so much for metal. It has a nice vintage sound IMO.

rdsmith3
02-18-2010, 10:30 AM
I have been looking in the same price range. I am strongly leaning towards the Vibro Champ XD. I have not read any bad reviews on it, and most people seem to love the sound. It is reliable. It is a class A amplifier.

I also like the idea of 5 watts for home us, because that is plenty loud enough.

mmjohn
02-18-2010, 10:32 AM
I had alot of fun modding a VJ......... :peace:

KBaird
02-18-2010, 10:46 AM
Fender Champion 600= good but really clean and really quiet.
VOX AC4= nice, better with the 10" speaker, even better with a 12" speaker.