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The Best Cheap Tube Amp

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Buyer's Guide

Three Myths About Buying a Cheap Tube Amplifier For Your Guitar

If you are in the market for a new tube amplifier, it is important that you educate yourself about the various types, brands, and models currently on the market. This is very important as there is no one type of amp that will fit everyone. So, here is a brief guide to help you out when it comes time to make that all important buying decision. Keep in mind that this is only a brief overview and there is really a lot to think about when it comes to buying amplifiers.

Myth: All solid-state amps are equal. This simply is not the case. In fact, there are two myths to bust when it comes to shopping around for cheap solid-state amps... Firstly, wattage by itself isn't an accurate indicator of sound quality. If you are used to basing your audio output level on absolute solid-state wattage (which usually is in the 150-watt range for most small-to-medium sized venues) you will be pleasantly surprised at the difference as far as sound quality is concerned.

Most solid-state amps have several different tube amps mixed into them to provide a variety of different tone combinations. However, not all tubes go into all of these amps. Some are better known for their tonal qualities, some for their pure power, and some for their smoothness and extended tone. The thing is that when people say "tube amps" they really mean "amplifiers with tubes".

The next myth to bust is that solid-state amps do not build up distortion. In actuality, all solid-state amps do build up distortion; the distortion is mostly caused by mismatched power supplies. Amps with mismatched power supplies can create uneven voltage across the triode. Mismatched power supplies can also cause high levels of distortion which can actually effect the tone of your guitar.

The final myth to bust is that solid-state amps are too expensive. This is a tough one! First off, you don't need an expensive solid-state amp if you have a cheap guitar or a trusty old amp that already sounds good. There is no reason to spend more than you have to on an amplifier that will just break and give you low quality sound. On the other hand, if you have an expensive guitar, an audiophile quality amp is definitely worth the extra cash.

The last myth to bust is that solid-state amps do not come in very many different sizes. They do not! In actuality, they come in all kinds of sizes, and are designed specifically for the style of sound you want from your guitar. You can use them in any style of guitar, and mix and match the amps to suit your playing style. As a result, you get a really versatile amp that will go great with any guitar.

So, there you have it. The top 3 cheap tube amplifier myths are wrong. You don't need a top of the line amp if you already have a reliable solid-state guitar. You can get a cheap tube amplifier if you choose the right one for your musical goals. You can get an audiophile quality sound for just a few bucks. That's quite the Bargain!

The bottom line? It doesn't matter where you get your guitar parts. If you are buying online, save the receipt and file it in the box. If you buy from a local shop, ask the owner for help so that you can be sure that you are getting the right components. And, above all else, have fun with your guitar playing. You'll soon realize that getting a cheap tube amplifier is just as rewarding as building one!


Are small tube amps worth it?

Tube amplifiers do not require as much upkeep as they are known for. Tube amplifiers are simple to maintain and produce excellent sound.

How much does a tube amp cost?

Tube amplifiers are typically more expensive than solid-state amplifiers. The cost of their type and wattage will also have an immediate impact on their price. You can get high-quality, low-wattage amps for $250. On the other hand, the best-quality amplifiers will cost $250.

Why are tube amps so expensive?

Tube amplifiers can be costly due to the use of pre and power tubes as the primary amplifier source. Each tube can cost around $50, and there can be up to four tubes in a single unit. These amplifiers are more expensive than solid-state counterparts, have larger components, and necessitate more complex circuitry.

Why do tube amps sound better loud?

The output transformer in valve/tube amplifiers causes a high output impedance. This is referred to as distortion because the speaker is not receiving the exact signal that the amplifier is sending to it. Because of this, a tube amp can sound louder than an older transistor amp.

Do you need to let a tube amp warm up?

Before you start playing your guitar, your tube amp should be warmed up for at least 20-30 minutes. Warm-up instructions are typically provided with tube amplifiers.

Can you gig with a 5 watt tube amp?

If you don't need a professional sound, a 5w tube amp will suffice for playing with a drummer. Not for live performances. However, a 1/4W amplifier can be used for gigging as long as it is mic'd and fed through the PA.

Are tube amps bad?

Shake your tube amplifiers to see if they're broken. As you shake the components inside, you'll hear them rattling. The sound of the rattling must be different from other tubes to indicate that you have a bad tube amp.

Why are tube guitar amps better?

Tube overdrive has a smoother and more responsive sound than solid-state overdrive. You can influence it by connecting high-gain pedals to your amplifier and guitar. This allows players to have more control over the sound. The player can control a tube amp regardless of how hard they pick.

What is the difference between a tube amp and solid state?

A solid-state amplifier differs from a tube amplifier in that it amplifies the signal using vacuum tubes (also known as valves).... Solid-state amplifiers are ideal for players who require maximum headroom, or a signal that is loud, clear, and undistorted.

Why are old amps so expensive?

Vintage audio equipment can be expensive due to its scarcity (many pieces of vintage gear have been discontinued), as well as the inherent quality and design that ensures its longevity. Vintage equipment should be of the highest quality if it is to last for many decades.

Can I play a tube amp at low volume?

A tube amp is not a good choice, even if you intend to use the amp mostly clean and not turn it up more than halfway. A solid state is preferable. Tube amplifiers sound fantastic at low volumes.

What is the best way to tone a tube amp?

My approach to tube amplifiers is straightforward. To control the volume of the amp, I first turned it all the way up. The volume is then adjusted using the volume controls on my guitar pickups. If your amp has a mastervolume knob, you can get the same sound at lower volumes.

Can cold damage a tube amp?

Tube amplifiers can be kept at relatively low temperatures without causing any problems. Temperatures above -40 degrees Fahrenheit can damage some electrical circuit components. Temperature fluctuations, on the other hand, are the main issue with tube amplifiers stored in cold temperatures.

How do you maintain a tube amp?

Tube Amp Maintenance Suggestions Allow your amplifier to warm up before using it. You can also make use of... Replace the output tubes, preferably the entire set, with new ones. Allow at least 15 minutes for the amp to cool before moving it. There will be more...

Is it bad to leave a tube amp on for a long time?

The bottom line is that, unless you use your tube amp frequently during the day, it should be turned off when you're finished. When you're finished with your tube amp, make sure to turn it off. Tubes deteriorate with age, reducing their useful life. Tubes can generate a lot of heat.

How often should a tube amp be serviced?

It should be read as "regularly, as part of normal service about every 15 years." It makes no difference whether or not the amplifier has been used. However, stored amps must be replaced more frequently.