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  1. #121
    Les Paul Forum Member fender69's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Don't know if anyone has mentioned them but how about a Crate. V15 or Crate Palomino V16. Same amp except cosmetics. EL84, 1-12. I personally think they have more character than a Blues Jr. They are not being made anymore but you can find them on Reverb for around $300. Another option is to get a Blues Jr. & replace the transformer with a Mercury Magnetics and do a fee more mods to make it sound more along the lines of a blackface. Others probably know more than I about that path but from what I understand they can be killer.

  2. #122

    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by fender69 View Post
    Don't know if anyone has mentioned them but how about a Crate. V15 or Crate Palomino V16. Same amp except cosmetics. EL84, 1-12. I personally think they have more character than a Blues Jr. They are not being made anymore but you can find them on Reverb for around $300. Another option is to get a Blues Jr. & replace the transformer with a Mercury Magnetics and do a fee more mods to make it sound more along the lines of a blackface. Others probably know more than I about that path but from what I understand they can be killer.
    Nice, but looking for something that I can really turn down for playing at home. Appreciate the suggestion though...

  3. #123
    Les Paul Forum Member Roman4405's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by mzblues1 View Post
    Thanks for the information on your experiences. The Peavey seems O.K., but doesn't have the features needed for playing at home and the Classic 30 is a 46 lb amp, which I already have with my Deluxe Reverb that I am trying to get away from and the 60 lb JCM 800 4010 that I also have. Getting too old to lug those around just to get together for a quick jam. I know some might think that is a crazy reason to judge an amp by, but that is actually one of the reasons that I was leaning towards the Monoprice & Laney (at 25.5 lbs) or the Blackstar (at 27 lbs) to keep the weight down. At first I was avoiding amps any heavier than that, but there are actually some amps of fewer than 37.5 lbs that I don't think I shouldn't consider (which is 8 lbs - 23 lbs less than my current amps).The one that I am now seriously considering is the VHT Special 6 Ultra hand wired amp, with a totally variable attenuator built in, a lot of sound sculpturing flexibility and is self biasing (with an included adapter) so that you can switch the Power Tube to anything that you would like to try (6V6, 6L6, EL34, EL84, 6550 or KT88!).Would you (or anyone else on this thread) happen to have any experience with the VHT Special 6 Ultra?


    BTW: It's on sale for $359 till the end of April with free shipping and no tax!
    Sorry, I missed the part about the weight.

    I donít have any experience with VHTís, other then listening to a bunch of demos before I decided on the Blackstar.

    One amp I played but never owned was the Orange Tiny Terror, that thing sounded killer to me, though a bit out of your price range. Not a lot of features on it either, but thatís one of the things I liked most about it.

    The Egnater Tweaker is another great sounding versatile amp that had made it into my short list at one point.

  4. #124

    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman4405 View Post
    Sorry, I missed the part about the weight. I donít have any experience with VHTís, other then listening to a bunch of demos before I decided on the Blackstar.One amp I played but never owned was the Orange Tiny Terror, that thing sounded killer to me, though a bit out of your price range. Not a lot of features on it either, but thatís one of the things I liked most about it. The Egnater Tweaker is another great sounding versatile amp that had made it into my short list at one point.
    We seem to be interested in most of the same amps, however I had to count out the Egnater Tweeter, BlackStar HT-5R and the Orange Tiny Terror because they don't have the function to lower the volume for home use. I did like the BlackStar HT-5R (which I'm guessing you did too since that's the one you ended up buying).The Orange Rocker 15 which can go down to 0.5 watts could work, but unfortunately only comes with a 10" Speaker (I would prefer to stay with the 12" size).So that has left me with the only the VHT Special 6 Ultra, Lany Cub-12R/MonoPrice 15 Watt Combo as good sounding amps at a reasonable price.My biggest problem with those 3 amps is that I haven't been able to actually play any of those amps. So I am just going by the videos, reviews and opinions on this Forum, which makes me a little hesitant to finalize which amp would be best for me.

  5. #125
    Les Paul Forum Member
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  6. #126

    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    FYI: Just got replies to some of my questions that I think I should share from AXL USA/The Music Link regarding the VHT Special 6 Ultra Combo Amp: "Yes, the output tube is cathode biased, which is often referred to a “self-biased,” no adjustment is needed when trying different tubes—it’s plug and play. (The preamp tubes are also cathode biased.)" "Yes, you can try other output tubes ['such as: 6L6, EL34, EL84, KT66, KT77, KT88, 6550, 5881'], the EL-84 will require an adapter, our 6V6 to EL-84 works great. All of the other tubes you mentioned are plug and play." "The 6V6 to EL-84 ['Adapter'] is not included, all of the other tubes you mentioned are plug and play." ['The Variable Wattage Control range is'] "1/2 watt to 6 watts." ['Using the 4, 8 or 16 ohm control on the back of the Amp'] "You can replace the internal speaker with a speaker with a different impedance; set the impedance selector to the new speaker’s impedance and your ready to go. (The internal speaker jack is connected in parallel with the external speaker jacks.)" ['The 12” VHT ChromeBack 60-watt 16 ohm Speaker in this Amp'] "We make our own speakers in our factory. (These speakers are available separately.)"
    Last edited by mzblues1; 04-27-18 at 09:29 PM.

  7. #127
    Les Paul Forum Member Xpensive Wino's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?


    Over budget and local pickup only. If OP lives in Asheville, NC and has an extra $100...

  8. #128

    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xpensive Wino View Post
    Over budget and local pickup only. If OP lives in Asheville, NC and has an extra $100...
    No problem.

    Made my decision and just purchased a new VHT Hand-Made Special 6 Ultra Combo for $339.00 (Shipped / No Tax).

    Along with a Genalex - Gold Lion KT88 Power Vacuum Tube $59.98 and a Tung-Sol EL34B New Production Power Vacuum Tube $22.48 (just to play with this amps Power Tube sound options).

    May also look at a 5751, 12AT7 or 12AU7 if I find an issue with the PreAmp's sound.

    Thanks for everyone's help. I'll let you know how it works out once I get it (it's on back Order till mid May).

  9. #129
    Les Paul Forum Member Cliff Gress's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Great! Who was the vendor? I'm seeing these at 399.

  10. #130

    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Gress View Post
    Great! Who was the vendor? I'm seeing these at 399.
    Musician's Friend Coupon Code (15% oFF): ROADIE

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/save-with-mf?source=3WWRWXGT&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIr87ViP_d2gIV0VmGCh12hgyLEAAYASAC EgKBnPD_BwE&kwid=sitelinks-adid^108529692500@ADL1bdfeae2b515042248bb3562492d8 219d-kwid^13302329401x7142620580x143913860-device^c-slid^2250325044x7142620580x143913860

    Also, No Tax for NJ. Probably same for you unless you live in the same State as where they are located.

    Don't know when it ends.

    Go for it...

    Or if you don't have the money for this and like the Laney Cub 12R look at this (same amp with a few changes to Reverb, Speaker, Cabinet): https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=611815
    But wait as they also have sales often so you can pick this one up for nothing.
    I almost think that I was crazy not to just get this, but I really like the idea of being able to swap the tubes freely.
    Last edited by mzblues1; 04-28-18 at 05:39 PM.

  11. #131
    Les Paul Forum Member Cliff Gress's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Thanks man.

  12. #132
    Les Paul Forum Member Pat Boyack's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    When you have specific requirements and a low budget the options dwindle. Tube amps cost more so you may need to get over it and go solid state. Used is your best bet and the best option would be a used Blues Jr. Anything under 15 watts for a live gig just isn't going to cut it unless you are playing a restaurant and a 10 inch speaker is useless. In the bedroom they are good but on stage pretty useless because they sound small and thin.

    I've been using a 18/20 watt amp now for 4 years from small restaurant gigs (it also had a 5 watt setting) to major stages mic'ed and feed through monitors. The sound men love them and hey, you want to be friends with the sound guy.

    If none of the options work for you save the $$$ and up your budget.

    Also, I would think about the Boss Katana. I'm not a solid state guy but those sound great for the money, have a lot of features and both models have options for lower wattage settings.

    Good luck.

  13. #133
    Les Paul Forum Member jam81's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    I thought you'd be intrigued by this one!

    I think its going to be great. Very hard to find. I think with a preorder its gonna be a few months

    Agree they stole the Two notes thing! and Two notes does have the Studio-- which has a built in attenuator as well tho right?

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...BoCMEoQAvD_BwE

    I think the ROOM dial is going to also be really cool-- check this one!



    no chink in the armor. I looked at the manual and it has its OWN wifi network that you will see on your ipad wireless networks so you can connect directly OR if you have a strong wifi network at home you can use an external one to communicate

    let me know when you have ordered yours!

    I just got mine yesterday and I gotta say this thing is amazing!

    I didn't have much time to play with it but here are my impressions with the hour or so I spent with it last night. I live in an apartment so I can't turn my amp too loud, I use a DSL40C with a creamback which I already think sounds good at low volumes but once I used the attenuation feature of the ox I was blown away at how much better the amp can sound (normally I play with the master volume around 2 under the 20W option at home but with the OX I turned it to 40W and volume at 8, I attenuate the volume to the same level I normally play but the tone difference is day and night.

    I also loved the cab simulations, this can only be heard via headphones or connecting it to an audio interface, I tested only the 6 stock configurations using headphones and connecting it to my studio monitors and I liked what I heard.

    The only issue I had was connecting to my Ipad via WiFi which I am hoping to figure it out soon so I can play around with the cabs and mics configurations.

  14. #134
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    I have 6 amps 15 watts & under the best one ? They are all so different in sound could this be why I own so many ? Best gear Really so subjective buy what sounds best to your EAR !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  15. #135

    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Look for a Champ clone on ebay and reverb. Lots of great tone coming out of one 6v6 & they get plenty loud.

  16. #136

    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Vox is making suprisingly good amps these days.

  17. #137
    Les Paul Forum Member mistersnappy's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    You'll never get the answer you want. You'll have to find it yourself. The $ limit and tube as well as tube type futher limit your choices. I own over 50 amps from 2 to 100 watts and my thoughts are these.

    Used is great. From vintage champs and 60's Gibson and Epiphones to the National/Vaco amps there are killer 5-20 watt amps that could do what you want, [you decide],. Basic features, great tone and vibe but getting harder to find at that price point and will need servicing. You can find them with a little effort. Of mine, the 1962 Gibson Discoverer T I found under $300, with EL84's and 12-15 watts would do.

    There are a gazzilion newer and newer used low wattage tube amps. That budget limits choice but there are lots used. The "Lunchbox" heads are great options and offer master volume/gain and other features over vintage types. Of the many combo's the Fender Blues Jr stands out IME, and I used them on a wide variety of gigs, including club/festival tours. Used clean ones at your price are common.

    Don't discredit Solid State amps. Unless you simply just want a tube amp, I can tell you that there are many good high quality ones available that you couldn't tell were not tube. You will need to employ SS FX to get the Marshall 800 tone anyway and no little EL84 amp will give up EL34 tone.

    A bonus with well designed SS amps is you can use higher power amps as they keep dynamic full tone when turned way down to happy wife levels, as you need not push output tubes to "get the tone". You can gig at volume and they are virtually maintenance free.

    Just an old mans thoughts.
    Trust that old man's thoughts! My .02.

    Anyway, I picked up an early '50s Alamo Model 2 recently at a pawn shop for less than $300. Here's JD Simo with a Model 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLoB4vJUz0
    "That's what I love, man, to hear that backbeat popping, that damn bass plonkin' down. Jesus God!"-Duane Allman

  18. #138
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    I just got a 5 watt amp w a built in attenuator (I know. that sounds funny) that looks and sounds (from the web) to be really awesome... should be here thursday.

    not really , again in the "price range" but this one looks like it could be in the running for most awesome low watt amp

    and its Turquoise

    and looks like an old TV set

    anyone want to hazard a guess?

  19. #139
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Lay it out Peter !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  20. #140
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    Lay it out Peter !
    oh thats not as fun

    lets all wait. maybe I'll do an unboxing video!

  21. #141
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Tone king Gremlin ?
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  22. #142
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Tone King Falcon?


  23. #143
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    Tone king Gremlin ?
    Winner winner chicken dinner

    Ren got the colors right

  24. #144
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Best Low Watt Tube Amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    Winner winner chicken dinner

    Ren got the colors right
    Great choice Peter you will be very happy !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

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