Hello everyone, This is my first post here. I've been playing for about a year and am looking to upgrade some of my gear so would very much appreciate your help.

I picked up a PRS SE245 and a Fender Mustang 1 from Guitar Center to get me going. Whilst I really like the PRS, I really can't bear the Mustang. I find it ridiculously fiddly and I struggle to get the tone I want with it, so I'm in the market for a new practice amp. Can you help? I am going out of my mind, having looked at bazillion reviews and still not made up my mind.

The requirements are as follows:

- I only play at home and live in an apartment, so can only play quietly. So good tone at very low volume is a must. I would probably prefer a small tube amp, but for this reason I'm wondering if SS would be a better bet?

- Again due to the above, a headphone socket would be a distinct advantage

- I'm primarily interested in getting bluesy tones. I aspire to play like B B King and am concentrating on playing the blues primarily. But from time to time I'll want to rock out too - but if this means putting a pedal in front of it to get distortion, then thats fine too

- My experience with modelling amps so far has NOT been good. I would much rather twist knobs than plug it into a computer or try and remember what the orange light on position 16 means. I'm more of an analog guy..

- I am very shallow :-) It needs to be pretty. I love the Fender look, but can't stand the Line 6 or Roland looks for example. Basically I like retro I guess

- Spring reverb would be great

- Mids control would be great

- Budget is around 300 USD. I could go more if it was perfect. I'd rather spend a lot less :-)

So - I'm quite fussy as you can tell, so would really appreciate any help and advice you could give - many thanks in advance.
exactly how quietly do you have to play? i'm guessing pretty quietly if you're in an apartment

personally i find tube ok for home use, but i don't share any walls with neighbours. it's kind of a personal judgement call as to exactly how quietly you have to play before it sort of defeats the purpose of tubes, unfortunately...
Thanks for the reply. Yes, pretty quietly I'm afraid. Put it this way, my Mustang 1 never gets above about 2 , maybe 3...
buy a Fender champion 600. put a wah in front of your amp use like a notch filter .
Mercury magnetics makes a great mod for that amp as well to give it some more balls. Great little amp to record with too.
Play through a Super Champ XD/X2 and see if it works for you. This is my goto practice amp and I can even play smallish gigs with it. Looks good, real Fender tube tone on chl 1, useful voices on chl 2, and a handful of useful effects that you can dial in by turning the knobs. As long as you don't need massive shred gain this is a sweetie. I'm an old blues hound and this thing still gives me giggles, even at very low volumes.

Go used.

Look for a Fender Blues Jr. for a good price, then do the Billm TwinStack mod (easy to do) and swap the speaker for an Eminence Swamp Thang.
An Ampeg GVT15-112 could also be a nice option.
I have a Vox 4 watt all tube amp with retro-stylng that I like. Model AC4C1. Not much to fiddle with, in terms of knobs / bells and whistles, more of a plug & play. It can get loud if you crank it -- too loud for apartment -- but should be okay at lower volumes. I bought it so I could get real tube tone at lower volume.

For solid state, I like the Yamaha THR-10 or others in that series, good bang for the buck. But I have not used mine for blues; however, I expect it can be dialed in for that.

can be controversial suggestion in some places, but worth looking at the Blackstar HT:1R if you want a really simple (almost) tube amp with a reverb chip. 2 channels and a master volume, should work fine for low volume practicing
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I think I have come to the realization that a headphone socket is essential (I was thrashing around last night playing some Nirvana and Blur's Song 2!!) so unfortunately, while I would love a Super Champ or Blues Junior, they don't have headphone out.

In the end, the Fender Champion 40 seemed to have the right combination of "manual controls", great looks, headphone, 2 channels - and great price. So I pulled the trigger! Hopefully it arrives today, so we'll see if it was the right decision.

Thanks for your guidance - appreciated.
I also like the blues junior, but i never really liked eminence speakers. new costs double your budget.

with that budget and those requirements i doubt you can find anything new.
look for a peavey classic 30. they are tweed, look pretty. new they are out of budget, but if you were willing to go used and find one, i think it would be a good fit. BJ's are great
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