Best Small Tube Amp

What's the best small tube amp (1 x 12) that has a nice vintage crunch in the under $500 range or maybe a little more.

Also have you guys ever tried those Amp Modelers like the VOX ToneLab or the PODs?


True Rusty,but that amp could also require a lot more invested in replacement parts. Caps go bad,retubing,aged,cracked speaker cones and surrounds. Buying an old amp can be cool or a pain in the ass(wallet), it's a crapshoot.

For new tube amps, there are a few worth looking at. The Fender Blues Jr. is about $325 or so. Not bad. Crate makes a couple called the V58($260) and V1512(about$560)worth looking at too.

My Fender Hot Rod Deluxe is pretty cool, and can certainly be found in your price range, but repairs are a real bitch. Hard to get somebody to work on it at all because the main circuit board basically needs to be removed completely from its chassis to get to anything,and that's after unbolting the pots from the front panel. But I've only had one problem (channel switching failed) in all the time I've had mine. I really like it. It's no Carr amp, but then I didn't pay $2000 for an 18 watt amp.

I like the hotrod deluxe as well, very cool little amp - and loud as hell.

has anyone tried the newer fender hotrod deville?

Deville is a Deluxe with 60watts instead of 40 and a 4x10 or 1x15 speaker configuration rather than the 1x12. Nice if you need (or want) the extra headroom. I wanted the breakup at lower volume, so I got the Deluxe.

How about that brian may amp plumbed through your current rig?

mid to late 50's fender champ, harvard, princeton

ok so they might cost more than $500

I brought a 59 vibrolux in '86 for $500 - cant believe i sold it (to feed a habit i had back then)

sreiter, the amps you list will run $650-1500.00 and in all likelyhood will need work to run for any length of time. OK, we get it you like vintage gear. But you always post these things that are way out of the price range requested. How about some reality?

1.5 watts of power! I'd like to check one of these out sometime.


i guess the joke went over your head - LOL

"ok so they might cost more than $500"

LOL at the Torres amp. The first guy I worked for in guitar repair was Dan Torres. I guess he makes decent amps, but man, what an odd fish that guy is.

Sreiter, Oh, a joke. Guess I didn't get it. ;P

edited to sound less like a dick

I have heard fairly complementary stuff about them, but not outright raves.

When I worked for Dan Torres, I thought his amps mods were a bit harsh sounding. Just my opinion though, one mans harsh is another mans cut-through-the mix tone.