You don’t need the most power possible in a guitar amp for it to sound good! Sometimes something small and easier to move around more than gets the job done. The higher price tags and huge sizes of giant amp racks and the like certainly seem appealing, but you really only need those for playing particularly large venues or in specific professional recording sessions. If you’d like to save yourself a lot of money and much needed room in either your bedroom, hobby room, or home studio, you should check out some of the many awesome low watt tube amps that are available. Consider the following:
1 – Fender’s Super Champ X2 Combo Amp (15 Watts)
The price tag may cross the $300 range, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what you’re expected to pay for larger amps equipped with tubes. That goes double for amps from big name brands. Fender is a classic not only in the guitar world, but the amp world as well. The tones of their amps have helped define the sounds of many guitarists throughout the entire history of modern music.
The Super Champ X2 combo amp is a great example of what they can do. It gives you 15 watts of tube driven power, and also includes modeling components to help you dial in specific tones you may be looking for. There are a lot of features built into this, making it a true all in one style amp that will help you save a lot of space on other gear when you’re just starting out with a home recording studio or practicing with a band.
2 – Monoprice 611705 Combo Tube Amp (5 Watts)
Monoprice isn’t a name you hear about a lot, and the name of this amp is far from exciting, but they have it where it counts. The amp itself, while only 5 watts, sounds wonderful. It also has a very interesting retro aesthetic that truly feels one of a kind, especially with your typical amps all resembling pure black squares and rectangles these days. The company partnered with Celestion to provide the amp’s speaker, which goes a long way towards adding some legitimacy to the model. The cherry on top is the price however; the 611705 amp will only set you back about 125 bucks, give or take. That’s a serious steal.
3 – California Tone Research Set 5 (5 Watts)
Again with only 5 watts, California Tone Research‘s Set 5 single end tube amp is a solid option for anyone out there whose tastes sit a bit outside of the heavier rock and metal genres. This little amp will give you exceptional clarity for jazzy and bluesy tones. Anyone with alternative and indie leanings will also be well served. Pair it with a nice reverb and delay pedal and you’ll be all set. At only 140 dollars, you should have plenty left over in your budget to do so.