I'm looking for a second amp for some open mic nights I'm planning with a singer friend of mine. I've never liked playing acoustics, so I'm going to be taking an electric and a valve amp to run through the pa.

I need an amp that is small and light so therefore very portable, reliable since I'm going to be using it at a couple of open mic nights per week and something that picks up on dynamics of playing and responds nicely to that. I'd also like an amp that I could replace the valves on myself when they go because there are very few repair shops in my area that will take amps and I don't have the money to keep having someone else do it for me.

Why my current amps don't do it for me. I have a dual terror which is a head so I'd need to take a seperate speaker which means more arm space and I'll have to walk to most of the open mic places or catch a bus there. I also gig with a band and would like to save the tube life for the band since I drive it really hard when gigging.

I also have a roland micro cube which I've always used for practicing. It's big enough for the gigs because we'd probably be able to mic it, but I don't like the cleaner tones of it enough for using at an open mic, it also doesn't pick up on dynamics of playing and I plan on selling it to replace with whatever valve amp I get.

The current options I have in mind are valve junior, laney cub 8, blackheart combo, blackstar 1 watt, fender champ and vox ac4tv.

I'm quite happy with these options but would like to know if theres anything else to look into, and also if anyone knows which of these would be easy to do my own work on. I have experience with guitar rewiring, but have been told that it's best to avoid working on amps for fear of . . . death.

So, opinions?
I like the Vox. You'll have to work your guitar volume and pick attack a lot to get good cleans, but for dynamic crunch, it's pretty awesome. Word of advice: stay far, far away from the new Fender Champ. The speaker is the worst I've ever heard in a guitar amp, including SS Silvertones and Gorillas and such. The Gretsch G5222 Electromatic is a better version of the same amp.
Money beats soul every time.

Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
The fender champ - either the 600 or the XD - would be my first suggestion. The Vox is also a good choice, especially the one with the larger speaker. Any of those three sound like exactly what you're looking for. I would not suggest the Epi or the Blackstar due to issues with the cleans. Haven't tried the Laney.
Get a Zoom G3 and run it straight into the PA. It will be way better than trying to run a Valve amp. Although Roc's suggestion of the XD, which has a line out, is probably the next best option.