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Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

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  • Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

    Good day,

    For someone who is new to tube combo amps/heads + stacks, what is a good "general purpose" tube amp would you recommend to purchase, preferably for less than $1000?

    I have always used digital amps and pedals due to budget constraints, but now that I've settled into a career, I want to start expanding into tube-based stuff.

    I was thinking something like a Vox AC30, Marshall DSL series, or a Fender Hot Rod series.

    What are some of your suggestions?


  • #2
    Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

    Blackstar HT-40 combo.


    • #3
      Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

      Without knowing the genre of music, I'd recommend the AC30 with a couple of pedals. One of my favorite production amps is the Peavey Delta Blues 115...check it out.
      Not a fan of the Fender HRDlx, but if you're looking for the Fender sound, the BDRI is a better choice IMO (a pedal or two for crunch or higher gain), and for a few more $$$, the Supersonic 22 is very versatile.

      Good luck in your search.


      • #4
        Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

        Ac 15 is another great alternative on the vox side.

        But if you prefer a wider range of tones from a single amp, check out Peavy classics that also use el84s.

        it's amazing how versatile these amps are and how inexpensive they can be. I picked up a 50w 410 combo for $450!

        it really sounds nothing like it's vox brother. The clean channel is relatively open and clean, not quite as clean as a black face and a bit warmer. .. not voxish.

        The crunched channel will not get you into metal space but it will cover all other genres extremely well.

        I actually stopped using compressors when I got this amp because it does a wonderful job compressing as it is. But it also does well with effects in the effects loop... but quite often I use it just as it is cause it is so flexible.

        Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
        What's so Funny about Peace Love and Understanding?


        • #5
          Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

          The Fender Bassbreaker series is a great sounding tube line at fantastic pricing. It really depends on what style of music you are playing but at a grand, you can pretty much get whatever your heart desires.

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          • #6
            Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

            The Hot Rods with pedals will take you many places. The Marshall DSL series is a good choice if you'd like to stay more in that range of sounds, not that you're limited to a screaming Marshall sound.

            I've used the Hot Rods, and I've heard enough of a friend's band in the last place I lived to think positively of the DSL 40 combo. I also have used the PV Classic 30 and 50, which I like, especially the 50. Maybe it's the 2x12 of the 50 I like better than the 1x12 of the 30? Not sure.


            • #7
              Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions



              • #8
                Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

                Originally posted by justFred View Post
                Isn't that $199 Stage Right amp on Amazon a 5E3 circuit
                Or is that a Laney Cub copy

                Or is it six of one.......
                Just here surfing Guitar Pron
                RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
                SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
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                Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
                Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
                Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
                GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)


                • #9
                  Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

                  Tweed Deluxe circuit....


                  • #10
                    Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

                    If your coming from a digital amp you will probably find a low gain amp rather limited, unless it delivers the basic core sound that you like. You can get a wider range of tone by playing a single channel amp real loud and using your guitar volume and picking dynamics, but that might not be practical. If you don't want to go down the pedals rabbit hole, then a multi channel amp with an overdrive distortion built into the amp and a good clean is what I would recommend. And I'm partial to Marshalls. Although the DSL is not one of my favorite Marshalls the DSL40C works for a lot of people.


                    • #11
                      Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

                      The style would be mostly blues and classic rock.

                      I'm actually coming from a Line 6 POD HD500X and a Spyder III 100 watt (lol).
                      For the effects processor, I am used to just dialing the amp I want, but I am starting to crave a more real sound.

                      For simplicity's sake, I would very much like a dedicated clean and dirty channel with a footswitch to go between the two.

                      I will still use the POD for some of the effects, but I want most of the drive and power to come from the real amp.

                      Thank you for all your help.
                      Last edited by GreatOz; 05-01-2019, 09:47 PM.


                      • #12
                        Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

                        Originally posted by GreatOz View Post
                        I'm actually coming from a Line 6 POD HD500X and a Spyder III 100 watt (lol).
                        What is your fav HD500X model?

                        Maybe, getting a real one of that model would be the long-term solution.
                        Diabolus in Musica
                        SIDrip Alliance
                        Book of Shadows


                        • #13
                          Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

                          If you are going to look at the Marshall DSL’s I’d suggest looking at the DSL CR as opposed to the earlier DSL C model. The earlier model has a flubby low end which can be difficult to deal with. Especially on higher gain/low end settings.
                          From what I understand, the CR model has addressed and fixed these issues.


                          • #14
                            Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

                            Blues and classic rock?

                            Get a Vox AC15.
                            Epiphone LP Standard PlusTop Pro
                            Ibanez SZ320 / A8 DD103 bridge.
                            Ibanez RG270 / Screamin' Demon bridge.

                            Egnater Tweaker 15 Head / Laney Cub 8 / 2x12 - Celestion V30+K100
                            Line 6 M13 and plenty of stompboxes I rarely use!


                            • #15
                              Re: Beginner Tube Amp Suggestions

                              Are you gigging or hobbying? Home or shuttling amps back and forth to various places?

                              Does weight matter? Does longevity and standing up to abuse, if it means you pay 3x-5x more for it?

                              Combo or head? 5-20w or 60-120w?

                              Cheap/home/more fragile --- dirt cheap used Bugera
                              Pro and built like brick sh!thouse --- Peavey USA or Mesa Boogie

                              Honorable mention, expensive: PRS (USA and SE both)
                              "New stuff always sucks" -Me