ive found a few small tube amps under £200, and im hoping to get one for my birthday soon. The amps are:
Epiphone Valve Junior
Fender Champion 600
Peavey Royal 8
Gretsch Electromatic G5222

I play a wide range of styles from clean blues to metal, but i don't think any of these amps will be able to achieve a decent metal tone (apart from the Peavey maybe), so i'll mainly be playing blues and classic rock, and also using a few pedals.
The obvious choice for me seems to be the Vox, as it should be able to get a nice overdrive, it has the biggest speaker (ive seen a few complaints about the Epiphone's small speaker deteriorating the tone a little bit), and i can turn the Vox down to 1/4 Watt so i should still be able to get a nice British rock tone without annoying my flatmates. However, the Vox is the most expensive so i just wanted your opinion, thanks
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Definitely narrow it down to the Vox or Fender.

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Maybe save up for the Blackstar HT-5, it can do clean to blues to old school Metallica.
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Maybe save up for the Blackstar HT-5, it can do clean to blues to old school Metallica.

good point, i do like that amp.
So its between the Vox and the Blackstar, but i still wouldn't be able to get a decent metal tone without cracking the Blackstar.

EDIT: just seen the HT-5 has a seperate master volume and gain dial on the overdrive channel so i would be able to get high gain without high volume wouldn't i?
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Last edited by Sammy2K7 at Jun 9, 2010,
I own a valve jr. and it's a decent little amp. Not a lot of variety in it though, it does a very nice clean with a little bit of a jazzy flavor. With the right pedals in front of it it becomes really versatile. Small speaker on it isn't an issue if you are worrying about annoying anyone. Best thing about this is turning the amp all the way up and your guitar vol down to get some nice breakup without getting complaints. Complaints might have been from people getting older versions of it, they have made some really good and needed revisions over the years.

It will not do the brootalz though. So if you really want to get that look elsewhere.
The Vjr is a nice amp if you get a separate 12" cab and use pedals. Stay away from the combo (unless you still intend to buy a cab). You should be able to get metal tones with the right pedal. The HT-5 is not in your price range. I have both an HT-5 and Vjr. Both heads and running though the same cab the Vjr clean channel w/ pedals is just as good as the HT-5 clean channel for a lot less money.
the peavey won't do metal either. far as i'm aware the gretsch is identical to the fender (by that i mean the exact same circuit), so it'll boil down to which one's looks you prefer (or more likely, which you can get cheaper ). I haven't tried the vox, the variable wattage looks cool and might put it to the top of the list, though I hear it sucks tone.

also consider the vht special 6. thomann is sold out now, but i got mine for like £115 or so. So it's well within range of the others. It doesn't have a ton of headroom (none of the 5 watters really do, apart from maybe the fender), and has a fair bit of background noise, but it has quite a few more features than the similarly-priced cheapo low wattage tube amps (like the valve junior). Again, you're not getting br00tz (or even hard rock) without a pedal or two. Only ones that really will do heavier stuff tend to be pretty dear (cornford) or the blackstar ht5 (i haven't tried it, it might be worth a look if you can stretch).

If you're willing to rely on preamp gain, though, you maybe should also consider higher wattage amps which have a decent master volume. not that there are that many of those under £200 either. But if you can stretch to the ~£300 or so for the blackstar, things like the laney vc15/30, peavey valveking, bugera (haven't tried), jet city (haven't tried either, hear good things) would be within reach too.

EDIT: the other thing is, if you don't already have some pedals, adding the price of the pedals onto your amp budget might get you an amp which will do what you want out of the box.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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