#1
Hi folks - I was hoping for some suggestions on a tube amp based on your experiences.
I see quite a few sub 200 5 watt tube amps out there and I'm looking to buy one. I currently don't have an amp at all.

guitars: les paul copy and fender strat
musicy: bluesy and jazzy stuff, mostly clean. overdriven sounds are nice but clean is more important.
wattage: must be 5 watts or some other low wattage
price: 250 or less.

So I basically want a nice creamy clean tone with either guitar. I'm leaning towards a vibrochamp xd although I realize it's not strictly a tube amp. My second choice would be a champion 600 even though it sounds like it will need upgrading. I also looked at blackhearts, the clean tone sounded good based on youtube but it looked more marshall-oriented (im a fender amp type person). I don't know much about the valve junior, valveking, or the other crate ones yet.

Anyone know anything about the gretsch electromatic?

I used to have a 70s-80s tube champ that I finally sold after 15 years. It was a good amp but something about just didn't inspire me much. WIth a good humbucker it got some pretty amazing overdrive though.
#4
ooh! how original! I think we can shut down the internet now, all questions have been answered!

I'm hoping to get replies from people that have tried at least one or two of the amps mentioned, and were looking for close to the same thing I am.
#5
I just say it because we get like 50 threads every day that already exists so. But isn`t 5 watt a bit too low? Then you can only perform for 5-10 people, or you have put the volume and gain up all the way, and then the sound quality reduces (Don`t know for shure if that`s one the most Tube amps) If have half-tube, a VoxAd-serie. You have about 5 clean sounds and some good OD`s/Dist and a lot of effects, wich you can adjust completely.
#6
I would seriously recomend the Valve Jr. It has a lovely clean tone, and is easy enough to mod if you want something a little bit different out of it.
Quote by Kensai


Awesome guy right here
#7
sorry for creating a somewhat duplicate thread.

I was mostly interested in the fender champion and vibro champ xd. But if the epiphone has a good clean sound that would be fine too. And I'm also reading the gretsch is like a slightly better version of the champion. But I couldn't find much on this site about the gretsch.
#8
I just played the valv jr and the champion at guitar center. For one it was difficult to hear over the garbage music they insist on playing all day at idiotic levels. I can't understand why they would want to do this - I would think people would actually want to hear the equipment they're buying. Second, all the guitars there with new pickups sound like crap anyway.

Having said that, the champion sounded like crap, like I was playing through an old stereo. maybe there was something wrong with that particular one. The valve jr. sounded pretty good, although it was the stack version so the much larger speaker probably had a lot to do with it.
#9
Quote by Joeval
I would seriously recomend the Valve Jr. It has a lovely clean tone, and is easy enough to mod if you want something a little bit different out of it.

This, maybe with an eq pedal too
#10
My VJ Combo (version 3) has the Eminence 8" speaker but the damn thing just COOKS. Sounds like a much larger speaker than it is. I also use 2 cabs with it I made out of old gutted combo amps (a 10" and a 12") but just on it's own it's a great sounding amp.
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
#11
The champ is complete ass IMO. Very thin and lifeless sounding.

However the VJ is quite tasty and thick plus you could mod it to have a more american tone with ease.
#12
Quote by tantamo
Hi folks -I used to have a 70s-80s tube champ that I finally sold after 15 years. It was a good amp but something about just didn't inspire me much. WIth a good humbucker it got some pretty amazing overdrive though.

Are you now regretting getting rid of it? What else did you try there? The small Peavey Royal or the Crate? Anything else?
#13
They didn't have much of a selection, that was all I tried.

I don't regret getting rid of the champ, but maybe I will once I buy one of the new fangled tube amps. Over the years I've stupidly gotten rid of so many amazing sounding items I don't bother to get upset anymore. Probably one of the coolest tones I ever got was an 80s japanese bullet through that champ and a vintage ad-9 analog delay (which I got by trading for a skateboard!). All three are now long gone.
#14
Quote by tantamo
Over the years I've stupidly gotten rid of so many amazing sounding items I don't bother to get upset anymore.

If I had a nickle. Yea, I would just say to try as much as you can and search craigslist. I see VJ's all the time for under $100, leaves a little room for pedals. I would as well try as many of the 5 watt amps as you can, opinions vary widely here on them. A blackheart combo may be a good one to try. I have not tried or heard reviews on the Crate V5.
#15
I ended up getting a valve junio for $90 on ebay. Of course I can't a/b them, but to my ears the vj sounds as good as my old 70s champ. The sound is pretty similar to thec hamp with the treble turned down to 3.

I haven't been able to crank it yet, but so far looks like a really great deal, especially probably after I run it through a large speaker and cranked.