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#1
Good question. Here is a quick list of full tube amps under $500 for you to check out. I have thrown in my opinion on some, on others I just put what the reviews said. Don't take it as a buying guide or a final list, but more as a list of what is out there and possible options. I realize that some of my statements may not be right, so don't take this as entirely fact. This is to compare and contrast the different things each amp comes with. I put in my opinion when I felt strongly about one amp or another or had a lot of experience with one(such as the two on this list I have owned)
What you do with your setup is your bag, however, this may be helpful to get you started.

SECTION #1 COMBO AMPS
Combo amps are good because you don't have to pay the extra cost of buying a cab to go with it. It is also easier because everything is in once piece as opposed to cab+head.

5W COMBO AMPS

Crate V5- $99.99 I own a crate palomino, which is similar, they sound good, vintage voiced but still have a lot of gain when you need it. They have a shielding problem, I will pick up radio stations at high volumes when the guitar itself it quiet but for a couple bucks if it bothers you that bad(which I doubt it will) it you can have an amp tech reshield it for you.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Crate-V-Series-V5-5W-1x10-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=487050
Gretsch G5222 5W 1x6- $195.00 The speaker is a little too small for the amp, so the overdrive is gonna be a little shrill, however for cleans it has a nice sound. One review compared it to layla. Gretsch makes good products, even their low end guitars play very nice, which leads me to believe this is a good purchase.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gretsch-Electromatic-G5222-5W-1x6-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=481874
Peavey ValveKing Royal 8 5W- $199.99 It's a valve king with an 8inch speaker, so unlike the gretsch, the distortion won't sound as shrill. The only bad thing is it doesn't have as many EQ knobs as the standard valve king. It's also class A, so it won't have that heavy distortion the regular valveking puts out, however, with the right overdrive/distortion pedal you should be able to get a semi decent distortion out of it. Probably not your best option on the list, but if you're looking for a modern blues or good clean tones, this would work good. but not the greatest amp on the 5w market
Epiphone Valve Jr combo- $199.99 Amp is a little dated. With an on/off and one knob for volume, it doesn't give you any of the control over your tone as the others did. It started the "affordable tube" revolution but it has since been passed. I'd stay away from it.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-Valve-Junior-Combo-Amp?sku=480260
Fender Champion 600 5W- $199.99 This is gonna behave a lot like the gretsch or the peavey, good cleans but the 6'' speaker won't be able to handle much distortion.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Champion-600-5-Watt-1x6-Combo-Amp?sku=485054
Blackheart BH5 112 Little Giant- $349.99 As you can see by the price, it's one of the better 5w amps on the market. It has a big speaker so it doesn't overload the speaker with a shrill OD also allows you to switch from 5w to 3w if you want to record/play at an even lower volume but still want that power tube tone. Full EQ tonal range(only one with bass, mid and treble EQ knobs) Made by crate and designed by Pyotr Belov.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Blackheart-BH5112-5W-1x12-Little-Giant-Tube-Combo-Amp?sku=481675


15W COMBO AMPS

Blackheart BH15 handsome devil- 449.99 Amp is switchable between 15w and 7w in case you want to play a little quieter. Vintage "american" voiced with a high drive.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Blackheart-BH15112-Handsome-Devil-Series-15W-1x12-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp-?sku=483097
Fender Pro Junior- 379.99 basically a blues jr. It is good for cleans and slight distortion but the EQ and lack of reverb makes it a little dated since those can be found on amps of the same price. Also has a smaller 10'' speaker of unknown origins.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Pro-Junior-Combo-Amp?sku=480511
Fender Hot Rod Series Blues Junior- $479.99 Basically an update of the old blues Jr(old blues jr is what the pro junior is now) They added the full EQ, gain and master controls as well as reverb, but made sure you paid for that upgrade as well. Has 12'' fender special deisgn 50w max speaker. Will be a great for a blues or country guitarist. Don't expect much distortion, even with an OD pedal. It will take a distortion pedal to get this baby humming. But if you play a lot of smooth blues this is probably your best bet.
Peavey Windsor Studio 20w- 399.99 I put this in with the 15w because there aren't many other 20w low end amps. It would make it easier. Full EQ, class A power. It is the only one with a built in attenuator. Has a standby switch and a british vintage voice with lots of overdrive. An effects loops and a high and low input jack. For the money, it is hands down best amp and has the most features. I highly reccomend
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Peavey-Windsor-Studio-All-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=481660
Laney LC15- 499.00 I have never tried one of these or seen them in person. Paul Gilbert(guitarist from RacerX, an old hair metal band) swears by Laney I hear. They evidently do moderate cleans and a good distortion.

30W AND HIGHER

B-52 1-12 60w- 359.99 Lots of drive and comes with 2 channels. Only problem is that it's 60w so you will rarely be at a place where you can crank it. Plus, with only 1 speaker your sound will be thin.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/B52-60Watt-1x12-Tube-Combo?sku=480046
Peavey Valveking 1x12 50w-419.99 It does both cleans and drive equally well, two channels and switchable from class A to class A/B. 6L6 power tubes, and built in reverb. Full EQ for both channels. Owned by many and loved by all. Great amp. It was used by Bo Diddley when he played, it is a classic amp that had been around a while but has been replaced by the blackheart. Still a great amp and a steal for the price.


SECTION #2 AMP HEADS

The heads are $500, if you need a cab it will cost extra, but if you already have one, it won't bother you. There also aren't as many heads under 500, so I won't bother splitting them into watt catagories.

Epiphone Valve jr head-149.99 Again, this is outdated, not only that but a head that used to be $99 a year or two ago is now 150. I'd pass on this one.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-Valve-Junior-Tube-Amplifier-Head?sku=482069
Blackheart BH5 little giant 5w -$199.99 Features the same features as the little giant combo.
Blackheart BH15H handsome devil 15w-349.99 Again, same as it's combo brother
Peavey Windsor 100w head-399.99 I have personally owned this amp. If you have ever wanted a marshall JCM800 but cant afford it, this is the amp for you. Unlike it's combo brother however, it doesn't have the build in attenuator, so you can rarely crank it past 1 while practicing and 4-5 while with a drum kit. I also urge you not to get the cab it comes with. It is aweful, I had a 4x12 with celestion V30's in it and it played like butter. But it was too loud to be useful to me. You may like it though. Again, voiced similar to a marshall JCM800, even is limited to the knobs of the JCM, as well as the low and high gain input.

SECTION #3 AMP CABS
My first reccomendation is you go to www.avatarspeakers.com and cruise through their selection. You can have them build any of the more "expensive" speakers using the same wood and speakers used on them. Say you want an orange cab, I believe it is birtch plywood and V30's. Most of them are also under $500

Though, I assume you can find a cab on your own. Just buy the matching cab or something with a nice speaker in it. More speakers you won't be as loud but you will have more bottom end. With less speakers you will be louder but the sound also shriller/thin. So, it's give/take.

30w or less use 1 speaker
30-60w use 2 speakers
anything more use 4 speakers

The better speaker companies are celestion and eminence.

USED AMPS FLOODED ON THE MARKET FOR A GOOD DEAL

Peavey XXX 40w~$400It has come to my attention that these amps when bought used will run you about $400. 3 channels, good clean, crunch and metal channel. Each channel has an independent EQ also controls for the resonance and tightness of the sound. Can run EL34 or 6L6 tubes. New it cost $900 and there seem to be a lot on the used market at the moment but you can't get them new. Collectors are going to start buying them up and they will become rarer and more expensive. Get them while they are cheap.
Crate V16 Palomino-~$275 I own this amp, great amp, you vintage voiced with a celestion V30 speaker and natural spring reverb. It has a dirty country clean at high volumes and a punk rock distortion when cranked all the way. Good reliable amp. I love it. New I think I paid $350 for it.
Other size prices crate V series amps
Crate V18 112 = $ 150
Crate V18 212 = $ 199
Crate V50 212 = $ 250


If you own an amp personally and feel you would have a better review on it, PM it to me or write it in the thread. Please include everything that it does as well as how it sounds and any weaknesses it has. any "ZOMG ITZ DA B3ST AMP EVR!!" will be ignored.
Last edited by rawk1277 at Dec 27, 2008,
#2
you didn't put some great amps on there like traynors, peavey xxx (40w combo) and other great amps
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Last edited by WTF!!is a TAB at Dec 27, 2008,
#3
paul gilbert uses VC50s which are nothing like an LC15. the LC's cleans are lacking but the distortion is good
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#4
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
paul gilbert uses VC50s which are nothing like an LC15. the LC's cleans are lacking but the distortion is good


I have no idea on those, can you write a quick review?
#5
should include price ranges for amps that frequently are found under $500 used
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Way to show everybody up jackass.

Guitar: _______________ Amp:
_ Ibanez SZ320 _________Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

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#6
Quote by WTF!!is a TAB
awesome thread dude
this deserves a sticky
although you didn't put some great amps on there like traynors, peavey xxx (40w combo) ,and other great amps


The peavey XXX is a 120w amp head that costs $1200...
#8
Quote by Exo M7
should include price ranges for amps that frequently are found under $500 used


That is so hard to predict, I've seen two people pay $300 difference for the same amp used. This is all new prices. I can't begin to predict what people are going to pay on ebay or at the pawn shop.
#10
Quote by rawk1277
I have no idea on those, can you write a quick review?


i could but theres already a Laney thread which anyone with half a brain could find
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#11
BTW you forgot to put the Orange Tiny Terror on your list
and the peavey xxx has been discontinued to make room for the JSX (joe satriani's hot rodded XXX) and a new Peavey ???? (forgot the name) will be shown at the 2009 NAMM (its just like the xxx but only the name is changed) so you wont find the xxx in any of the online music stores (musicians friend etc.)
PSN USERNAME: MetuulGuitarist7
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Last edited by WTF!!is a TAB at Dec 27, 2008,
#12
Quote by WTF!!is a TAB
BTW you forgot to put the Orange Tiny Terror on your list


Is the tiny terror under $500?
#13
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
i could but theres already a Laney thread which anyone with half a brain could find


Did you not get hugged as a child?
#14
Quote by rawk1277
Did you not get hugged as a child?


0_o

you have to be registered for a little more than 5 days before you can run the place you know
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#15
well that makes sense.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Way to show everybody up jackass.

Guitar: _______________ Amp:
_ Ibanez SZ320 _________Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

V-Picks!
#16
Awesome dude!
Quote by slickerthnsleek
YOU WIN THE INTERNET.
Quote by dxpaintball8000
long live bucketmark.
#18
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
0_o

you have to be registered for a little more than 5 days before you can run the place you know


Were you under the impression that your join date makes you a moderator or something? That because you're an 05 you're somehow better aside from the fact that you are an elitist prick what does the 2005 tell me?
#19
Quote by rawk1277
Were you under the impression that your join date makes you a moderator or something? That because you're an 05 you're somehow better aside from the fact that you are an elitist prick what does the 2005 tell me?


slow down there

what i mean is that you cant just waltz in here, copy someone elses thread and go "can has sticky plz?" and be snotty to anyone else who doesnt agree with you
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#20
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
slow down there

what i mean is that you cant just waltz in here, copy someone elses thread and go "can has sticky plz?" and be snotty to anyone else who doesnt agree with you


I didn't copy someone else's thread. Even if there is a thread like mine it isn't as recent as mine. Products are constantly coming out and a thread made back in 2k5 or 2k6 won't feature all the amps that are currently out.
#21
Perhaps already mentioned, but

Crate V18 112 = $ 150
Crate V18 212 = $ 199
Crate V50 212 = $ 250

Get em while you can find em!
Epiphone SG
Crate V-18 212
Xaviere XV-500
Boss PS-5 SUPER Shifter
Digitech Bad Monkey

SWINE FLU FREE SINCE 1974
#22
Quote by MoroneSaxatilis
Perhaps already mentioned, but

Crate V18 112 = $ 150
Crate V18 212 = $ 199
Crate V50 212 = $ 250


Get em while you can find em!


TS you forgot these amps
PSN USERNAME: MetuulGuitarist7
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feel free to add me
#23
Quote by rawk1277
I didn't copy someone else's thread. Even if there is a thread like mine it isn't as recent as mine. Products are constantly coming out and a thread made back in 2k5 or 2k6 won't feature all the amps that are currently out.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1030978

yea you're right, a lot has changed since YESTERDAY
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#24
Quote by WTF!!is a TAB
TS you forgot these amps


They didn't sell them new, I just added a used section. I'll put them there.
#25
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1030978

yea you're right, a lot has changed since YESTERDAY


That has nothing to do with this thread
This is about recommendation for tube amps for beginners looking to buy a 2nd amp as an upgrade from their first SS amp. That is a "what not to buy" thread. I made another one like that because his was incomplete, but this thread and that thread are completely different.
#26
Quote by rawk1277
That has nothing to do with this thread
This is about recommendation for tube amps for beginners looking to buy a 2nd amp as an upgrade from their first SS amp. That is a "what not to buy" thread. I made another one like that because his was incomplete, but this thread and that thread are completely different.


i was on about your other thread

neither of them hold a candle to the 13 post info thread at the top of the forum anyway
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#27
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
i was on about your other thread

neither of them hold a candle to the 13 post info thread at the top of the forum anyway


It is really in depth, I posted a quick 1 post summary. Think of it as an index.
#28
Though, if that 13 post info thread works so well, why are people still constantly posting "which head should I get?" or "which amp is good for me?"

Evidently, if a system doesn't work, it needs to be redone.
Plus, I don't see any prices next to the amps...
#29
Don't double post man. Edit your posts if you want to add something.

Just saying. Carry on.
#30
Quote by rawk1277
Though, if that 13 post info thread works so well, why are people still constantly posting "which head should I get?" or "which amp is good for me?"

Evidently, if a system doesn't work, it needs to be redone.
Plus, I don't see any prices next to the amps...


the system was "redone" about 2 months ago

people are continually posting threads because they dont read the stickies (ring any bells here?) and/or are idiots
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#31
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
people are continually posting threads because they dont read the stickies (ring any bells here?) and/or are idiots


Fixed a little bit
#32
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
the system was "redone" about 2 months ago

people are continually posting threads because they dont read the stickies (ring any bells here?) and/or are idiots


Look at it this way. If they did read the stickies and never posted this would be a pretty dead place. Not to mention these threads are just the TS's opinions anyway. Some can be agreed with whiles others certainly won't
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#33
I agree with what ZeGuitarist and stevo_epi_SG_wo has said in this thread, and the last one, and the last one, and the last one etc...
Sweet.
#34
Quote by ZeGuitarist
Fixed a little bit


They aren't idiots as much as they are ignorant. I tried looking through the stickies and it's a scavenger hunt to find any information. It's all there, just not in any type of order.
#35
QUERY

You're new. You're posting new threads that you want to be stickied, despite other threads such as the speaker thread which contain considerably more information than this one and posted by more experienced members, and are more useful, not being stickied.

So basically what i'm saying, is:

1) Why?
2) Please stop
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#36
Quote by scott58
Look at it this way. If they did read the stickies and never posted this would be a pretty dead place. Not to mention these threads are just the TS's opinions anyway. Some can be agreed with whiles others certainly won't


I just posted the amps, what they did, true, a couple had my opinions, but for the most part I just put what features they had.
I mean, using a simile of what you're saying, it's like me saying this is a forum and you saying that's just your opinion.
#37
Quote by MrCarrot
QUERY

You're new. You're posting new threads that you want to be stickied, despite other threads such as the speaker thread which contain considerably more information than this one and posted by more experienced members, and are more useful, not being stickied.

So basically what i'm saying, is:

1) Why?
2) Please stop


You didn't get the memo? I thought I sent them out...

Damn, I'm going to fire frank next time I see him.

Basically it said I don't give a damn what you have to say.
#38
You made this thread with "authority" but really, what gives your "reviews" authority.

You say that people should pass on the Valve Jr because it is "outdated?" Tube amps don't get outdated, they have been the same technology for years. It has one knob for a reason, not because technology couldn't allow them to do anymore. The Valve Jr is a better amp than the Crate V5. The Valve Jr is made to be modded, you can have one badass amp voiced to your liking for around $200 total. The moddability of this amp is what made it successful and you failed to mention that at all.

You fail to mention about the Peavey Windsor Studio how hyped up it was at the release, and since then its popularity has flopped. Mainly because you need to spend $100-$200 on a new speaker and a few other mods to get it to not sound brittle and shrill
The Classic 30 is a better choice and you don't mention it at all.
#39
Quote by rawk1277
You didn't get the memo? I thought I sent them out...

Damn, I'm going to fire frank next time I see him.

Basically it said I don't give a damn what you have to say.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#40
Quote by MrCarrot

PSN USERNAME: MetuulGuitarist7
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