Is there a good low ampage tube amp?


Country Gent
I bought a modelling amp which with some tinkering sounds fantastic. I wonder when I'm playing what it would sound like more naturally with a tube amp. A bit like vinyl Vs digital sometimes a perfect sound has less character.
Oops. Sorry. You said TUBE amp in your header.
I took you to mean you wanted something inexpensive to noodle around on.
I slink away into the shadows.


Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
I'm just starting out in guitars so I'm not going to blow a £1000 on an amp yet, looking at £250-£350 range.

Not suggesting you should and my post was not directed at suggesting an amp for you. You'd be best starting off with a good little solid state amp imo. Something like a used Roland Katana :)

But for future reference, I picked up a used Mesa TransAtlantic TA-15 in 2021 for US$600 = 440 UK pounds. You can get a used Mesa Lonestar Special, or Express 5:25 Plus for similar money.

A used Egnater Rebel 20 or 30 is in your price range now.
So is an Egnater Tweaker.
So are some Blackstars, and Revv D20, Bogner Atma, Peavey Classic 20 MH Mini for starters and..... there's many more.

And if you buy tube amps that also do great overdrive and distortion at bedroom volume you save a lot of $$ on pedals you won't need. All the one's mentioned above do.

Just stop looking at Fenders and Vox cos they don't do it :D
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I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
A better question would be "how loud is an amp before it to starts to break up?" I use a Princeton Reverb for in the house for cleans, but if I wanted it at the point of breakup it would be too loud for the room, and not having a master volume the only real comfortable way of getting it growly is with a pedal in front.

Realistically a 1w amp in a house is probably enough. Most guys I know that practice indoors use a software interface and play through their computers.

I wish I'd known this starting out. I'd have built fewer amps only to end up trying to tame them with unworkable attenuators and stuff. The 5w Champ on breakup is too loud, and sounds small and boxy otherwise.
Anyone looking at the 57 custom Champ should look hard at the TK Gremlin. Has a tone knob and attenuator, and more differentiated dual inputs. And only $200 more.


Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
Monkey Island
Thanks everyone for the input...much appreciated. I see the prices go from suspiciously cheap to eye wateringly expensive. Need to work out how much I want to spend and choose accordingly.

Anyone got the Blackstar HT1 or HT5?

I have a HT5. It's decent for the money, but doesn't blow me away.

Get something with a 10” speaker or bigger.

But if you want my opinion. At your budget I wouldn’t even bother with tubes.

T Bone

Country Gent
Apr 14, 2013
SE Edge of the Mount of Venus
Gonna chime in again one more time for that Supro Delt King 8. I really thing you found your answer a few pages ago. Really liking mine. It's only 1 watt, gets a nice tube crunch when cranked, has a Master Volume, a tone control, a boost circuit, and line out jack. It fits your budget from what you said. Was just playing my new (tonight) Dragon Telecaster through it, still liking it a lot!

Edit: I said it had an external speaker jack, it doesn't. It has a line out jack (forgot, only had the amp for a few weeks). Edited comment above.
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Country Gent
Jul 23, 2019
Tech21 has made some stomp boxes: Blonde, Liverpool, that do a pretty good job of modeling Fender and Vox amps. Cheaper clones by Joyo can give you that American Sound (Fender) or AC Tone (Vox). Sometimes I just use one of those as a DI box without an amp for practice right into a PA (small trio, just bass/guitar/vocals, no drums). I know you want to get away from pedals and sims, but when you have to keep the amp volume down, those pedals can dial in and shape your tone at whatever gain and lower volume you need.


Nov 26, 2021
Exeter, U.K
It doesn't help I keep changing my mind! I blame you tube for all the videos:). I'm a big fan of the Edge from u2 sound so now looking for tube amp with effects loop. Watched a few vids demonstrating the difference using a delay pedal in the effects loop versus one without, almost night and day difference.


Nov 26, 2021
Exeter, U.K
I have a HT5. It's decent for the money, but doesn't blow me away.

Get something with a 10” speaker or bigger.

But if you want my opinion. At your budget I wouldn’t even bother with tubes.
The Blackstar ones you mention have effects loop say maybe my first dip into a tube amp. Have you tried using the amp through a bigger speaker cab?


Jun 9, 2018
Maryland, US
I play 99% at home and my gearlust exceeds my budget so I always buy used gear. I should probably get into attenuators but I've never tried one. What I like instead is old tube amps with 15" speakers. They give me a very full sound, with plenty of bass, even at low volume. They are clean, so I use pedals for overdrive and distortion. My usual amp now is an old Ampeg Gemini II. Before that, I used a Peavey Delta Blues 115.


Country Gent
Dec 29, 2009
I think it depends on the tone your looking for… low wat amps do brown sound all day and sound great cranked but if your looking for clean twang chime, I don’t think you’ll find it in a low watt amp..


Dec 3, 2019
I'd go with the Supro Delta combos but pick your power tubes because there are three different types depending on the wattage.

A very nice speaker for cleans is the Eminence Cannabis Rex so if you have a head that does clean, that speaker is really worth trying out. I use it with a 1W tube head from Palmer for what you want to do but the Delta's do practically the same thing and more.