I've been doing a lot of research tonight on amps. I was at Sam Ash today looking at multi effects systems. When I came home to do more research, I found many people recommending a good amp over multi effects.

I have a 10 watt Kustom amp that is roughly 4 years old. It's a reliable amp, but it has no effects, and I don't think I'm getting the most out of my custom Fender Tele. So, I've decided to get a new amp.

Here's my question: Sam Ash has a deal tomorrow - spend over $400 get get $100 off. So, I'm thinking about buying a $400 amp. Here's my concern - I won't be using this for many gigs, if any. If I do, it would be for open mic type performances. So, I don't want to pay a hefty price for an amp that's louder than I need. I'd rather pay for top quality tone and built in effects.

With that said, are there $400+ tube amps that are of better tonal quality than the lesser priced? Or, are the $400+ tube amps mainly about volume and less about sound quality?
Last edited by glooper23 at Dec 24, 2008,
there are many MANY small tube amps that are more than 400 bucks.

typically, if an amp has built in effects, the tone isn't great.. For example: Marshall MG's, Line 6 Spiders, stuff like that

you do NOT want a modelling amp..

i would reccommend an Orange Tiny Terror, but sam ash doesn't carry them.

look for small tube amps, like under 15 watts and see what you like.

with the 100 bucks you save, you can buy an effect pedal if you want. I would reccomend a cheap multi-effect pedal to see what effects you use, and then later buy those effects in stompbox form
My Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Epiphone AJ
Ibanez Strat Copy

Orange Tiny Terror Head
Old beaten up Peavey cab
Marshall MG30DFX
Built-in effects in an amp usually aren't spectacular. For open mic type performances maybe you'd be interested in a Fender Blues Junior, but if you're really looking for the effects deal check out a Vox Valvetronix VT50 or a Peavey Vypyr Tube 60 (if they ever come out...)

$400 and over is a very big price range, btw. Most $400+ tube amps kick the **** out of anything below that, with a couple of exceptions. For example I'd much rather have a Soldano SLO-100 than my Valveking but I'd prefer it to a Marshall DSL.
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So ultimately, the sound of highest integrity will be found in an amp with no effects, supported by individual pedals?

Basically, I get what I pay for? I was afraid of that, lol. Thanks for the very helpful advice. There is always the option of spending less on the actual amp and buying a few pedals. I was looking at the $500 Line 6 Live x3 multi effects. It sounded great, but it's probably useless on my 10 watt kustom.

I'm the kind of guy who relies heavily on reverb, delay, and gain rather than crazy effects like chorus, phaser, and compression. So, I suppose buying a good reverb pedal would be wiser than getting digital effects.
A Line 6 Live x3 will probably blow you 10 watt amp into tiny tiny peices...

No I'm just kidding. But if you want a Multi-Pedal and you're just gonna try and adjust the tone with that... Your choice. Personally I would go buy an orange tiny terror if i had $500 laying around, but hey your money.
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