6 Best Small Tube Amps 2017

A tube guitar amp is one of the most desired type of amps in the industry. Tube amps have a unique distortion to them when the volume gets cranked up, which creates a natural effect that no pedal can recreate. However, you can only achieve this tone when turning the volume up to a high setting. This makes it difficult to achieve a great tone when playing in smaller rooms.

Buying a small tube amp will allow you to get all of the greatness of a larger tube amp, but you won’t have to destroy your ear drums along the way. Finding the best small tube amp may become a difficult process due to the massive amount of features and models available on the market. Fortunately, we have done all of the research and present you with the top rated small tube amps currently available on the market.

Top 6 Small Tube Amps Overview Chart

PictureNameWattsPriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameWattsPriceRating (1-5)
1. Marshall DSL Series DSL40C 40 Watt Valve 2 Channel Combo40$$$4.9
2. Fender Hot Rod 0213205700 Blues Junior III 15-W LTD Tube Guitar Combo Amplifier15$$$4.7
3. Vox VT20PLUS 20-Watt 1x8 Guitar Combo Amplifier20$$4.7
4. VHT AV-SP1-6 Special 6 Combo Amplifier6$$4.7
5. Line 6 DT25 25W/10W 1x12 Combo Guitar Tube Amplifier25$$$$4.5
6. BUGERA BUGERA BC1530$4.4

How to Find a Good Small Tube Amp

Getting your hands on a good quality tube amp is like the holy grail for guitarists. Most guitarists dream of owning such a luxury, but due to their incredibly high cost, they become unattainable for the average guitar player. Fortunately, there are some great options available for people who want the benefits of a tube amp without spending a small fortune. Getting the best small tube amp will allow you to own a true tube amp without overspending. Here are some features to look out for:

  • Watts. The wattage power on a tube amp is very different from a solid state amp. A tube amp is much louder; you can reach the same volume with just half the watts that a solid state amp would have.

If you’re used to playing with an 80-watt solid state amp, a 30-watt or 40-watt tube amp will provide you with the same power.

  • Multiple Channels. Getting your hands on a tube amp with multiple channels can allow you to rely less on pedals and more on your amp’s natural tone. Many amps come with a clean channel and a gain or lead channel.
  • Size. The size of your amp is incredibly important to consider. Going with a massive 100-watt amp may seem cool at first, but you’ll hate hulling it around everywhere you go.

If a 10-watt or 20-watt amp offers enough power for your needs, it will certainly become the better choice.

Top 3 Best Small Tube Amp Reviews

1. Marshall DSL Series DSL40C

At the top of our list is the Marshall DSL Series DSL40C 40 Watt Valve 2 Channel Combo amp, which provides a true tube amp experience. This amp packs a ton of power with its 40 watts and the 12” Celestine speaker. The two-way footswitch lets you go from classic gain to ultra gain with the press of a button. Plus, each channel allows you to set two modes for even more flexibility.

A digital reverb along with a level control setting are available for each channel, allowing you to get the best tone for your unique playing style. Along with a 5-way equalizer, achieving the ultimate tone for your guitar is easy with this amp. If you’re looking for a real tube amp without having to opt for a large amp, you’ll love the Marshall DSL Series DSL40C 40 Watt Valve 2 Channel Combo.

2. Fender Hot Rod 0213205700

Another amazing option to choose from is the Fender Hot Rod Blues Junior III 15-W LTD Tube Guitar Combo Amplifier. This amp packs 15-watts of power, making it the perfect amp for home use or for jamming with the band. This amp features EL84 power tubes and pre-amp tubes so you can truly experience what tube amps were meant to sound like. With a FAT footswitch control, you can instantly get thicker and overdriven tones without the need for additional pedals.

The on-board spring reverb effect allows you to benefit from a large echo tone. With large and warm articulate tones provided by the P12N speaker, you will really see what all of the hype is about when it comes to tube amps. If you’re looking for an amazing small tube amp, you’ll love the Fender Hot Rod Blues Junior III 15-W LTD Tube Guitar Combo Amplifier.

3. Vox VT20PLUS

Last but not least is the Vox VT20PLUS 20-Watt 1×8 Guitar Combo Amplifier, which provides a true tube tone. This amp provides you with 20 watts of power and is equipped with an 8” speaker. The 12 AX7 vacuum tube is what allows this amp to provide you with a true tube tone that you will fall in love with.

Equipped with gain, volume, master volume and equalizer knobs, this amp allows you to achieve that special tone that you’re looking for. The built-in tuner lets you keep your guitar in tune at all times. If you’re looking for an affordable tube amp that lets you experience the benefits of a tube sound, you’ll love the Vox VT20PLUS 20-Watt 1×8 Guitar Combo Amplifier.

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