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The Best Low Watt Tube Amps for the Money in 2019

Looking for the best low watt tube amp for your guitar? Follow our expert buying guide to find great tones at low volumes without wasting your money.

Best Low Watt Tube Amp

Great Small Practice Tube Amps at a Glance:

Product

Best Feature

Rating

Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

OUR TOP PICK!!

1. Blackstar HT1R Guitar Combo Amplifier with Rever

Modern tones with excellent voicing 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5) View Now On Amazon!
Monoprice 611705 5-Watt 1x8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier - Tan/Beige with Celestion Super 8 Inch Speaker, 12AX7 Preamp, Versatile and Durable For All Electric Guitars

BEST BUDGET PICK!

2. Monoprice 5-Watt 1×8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier

Classic tube tone and well built for the price 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5) View Now On Amazon!
BUGERA V5 5-Watt Class Amplifier Combo with Infinium Tube Life Multiplier Black (V5INFINIUM)

BEST VINTAGE PICK!

3. BUGERA V5 5-Watt Class Amplifier Comb

Pure vintage tone and flexibility 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) View Now On Amazon!

The Best Small Tube Amps for the Money in 2019

There are lots of amplifiers available, and each can be used for different reasons. For those who intend to find an amp that they can use for practice, a low-watt tube amp is a great choice. These produce good tones in low volumes.

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Our Top 3 Low Watt Amp Reviews

1. Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

The Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb is capable of producing a great tone at low volume levels. It is meant as a practicing amp that you can also use for recording.

It comes in a very small size that you can easily take with you when you need to practice someplace else. It allows players to take control over the gain, volume, ISF and reverb.

An overdrive button is also present for a more warm and dirty sound. It’s versatile, and can go from a clean sound to dirtier, which is well suited for classic rock music.

This is the best low-watt tube amp for those who are looking for an amp that is capable of producing great quality tone at a low volume.

It’s versatile and can go from a low volume to a louder one when you choose to connect it with an external speaker. It is small, compact and has a simple logo design on the front.

Key Features

  • 1-watt amp
  • Tube components include a ECC83 (12Ax7) and a ECC82 (12AU7) power tube
  • Provides control over volume, gain, and tone
  • It has an overdrive switch
  • It also has a headphone output and an 8-ohm speaker output
  • There is a MP3 line input
  • Has a reverb control

Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

Read the Latest Blackstar HT1R Reviews >>

Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amp

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Pros
  • It is possible to play a backing track with this amp while practicing
  • Small size amp
  • Can be used with headphones
  • Has simple controls
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Cons
  • No effects loop
  • EQ control is not extensive

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2. Monoprice 611705 5-Watt, 1 x 8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier with Celestion Speaker

The Monoprice 611705 5Watt, 1 x 8 Guitar Combo Tube Amp is a well-built amp that allows players to have control over volume and tone.

Although it may seem that there is not much control, these two are enough, especially for beginners. You can always alter the sound through the different controls found on your electric guitar.

This amp has a small and compact size and it produces rich, harmonic and clean tones. It is not loud enough for stage performances but it is surely large enough for practice.

It’s the best low-watt tube amp for those who are looking for an affordable and small amp that has Celestion speakers, or those who want to play the blues.

Key Features

  • It has a ECC83/12AX7 preamp as well as a 6v6GT power tube
  • Made from synthetic leather exterior with cloth grill for the speaker
  • Capable of handling frequencies that are within 80Hz to 10kHz
  • Has controls for volume and tone
  • Has a Celestion speaker

Monoprice 611705 5-Watt 1x8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier - Tan/Beige with Celestion Super 8 Inch Speaker, 12AX7 Preamp, Versatile and Durable For All Electric Guitars

Read Waht Monoprice Customers are Saying

Monoprice 5-Watt 1x8 Guitar Combo Tube Amp

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Pros
  • Can be used with pedals
  • Small size is easy to carry and travel with
  • Produces a clean and nice sound that works well with blues
  • Simple controls for volume and tone
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Cons
  • Can’t be used with headphones
  • Not the best amp for distorted power chords
  • LED light easily gets broken

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3. Bugera V5 Infinium

update … The Bugera V5 5-Watt Infinium comes from Behringer’s line of more affordable, high-quality amplifiers. The knobs or controllers are all found on the front side of the amp and it features a very nice color that complements the 8” speaker.

The controls are for gain, tone, volume, and reverb. It has an attenuator too, but the 5 watts itself is enough to produce a sound loud enough, but which won’t disturb your neighbors.

The headphone jack found at the back of the amp enables you to practice all you want, even in the middle of the night. You won’t be disturbing people who live with you or near your house – that’s a good thing.

It has a 12AX7 preamp tube and EL84 power tube with an 8” speaker to produce a clean and warm tone. It is small and portable, which makes it easy to transport or store. It is the best low-watt tube amp for those who intend to use a headset with it or those who are looking for an amp with an attenuator.

Key Features

  • 5-watt tube amplifier
  • Preamp design is from the 60’s and it includes a 12AX7 valve
  • Has an 8” speaker
  • Has a vintage equalizer
  • Has a 2-way power attenuator

BUGERA V5 5-Watt Class Amplifier Combo with Infinium Tube Life Multiplier Black (V5INFINIUM)

What Do Bugera V5 Owners Think?

BUGERA V5 5-Watt Infinium Amplifier

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Pros
  • Vintage style is aesthetically pleasing
  • Has a headphone jack
  • Includes an attenuator
  • Affordable
  • Has a built-in digital reverb
  • Very durable construction
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Cons
  • Distortion is not suited for those who love metal
  • More meant for blues because of the dark sound
  • Can’t be used with batteries

Compare Small Low Watt Tube Amps:

What to look for in a low watt tube amp

When searching for a low-watt tube amp, there are a few things that should be considered.

Price

One of the first things that is considered when buying any amp would be the price. Low-watt tube amps are much more affordable than the high-powered models, but it is still best to set a budget.

Pricing can also vary quite a bit in low-watt tube amps due to different features offered.

Style

Another thing that you should consider is your own style in music. You should also consider what style you want to play. Some tube amps are more suitable for rock styles, and some are others best for the blues.

Many brands aim to be good at multiple styles, and a few do it quite successfully.

Best Low Watt Tube Amp

Effects

Adding digital effects to your guitar’s sound is something that can be done to improve it, or just to have fun with a broader sound palette while playing.

Some amps may have digital effects, but others, which are usually more affordable, may not. It’s up to you to decide whether you really want the extra effects built in, which usually come at a premium, or if you’re satisfied with the effects you may already have in external floor pedals.

Try before you buy

Although technology has made it extremely convenient for us to shop online, it’s still better if you first try the amp you want to buy before purchasing it.

If you have a local music store, you can try a few amps that they have, or even try the amps that your friends have so that you can be sure about your purchase.

If it’s not really possible to try the amp, then next best thing you can do is read about the experiences and reviews of other owners.

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Final Verdict

Low-watt tube amps are great because they’re typically more affordable, easy to transport, and don’t use too much energy. Plus they have a low enough volume to let you practice inside your room without disturbing other people in the house or neighborhood.

Out of the three mentioned here, our winner would be the Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb. It is versatile because it can produce good tone at low volumes or at louder volumes when connected to another speaker.

It also easily covers various music styles from those that need a brilliant clean sound to more aggressive styles that need tones with more controlled distortion.

  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Value Factor
4.5

Summary

Overall Score:

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2 Responses

  1. Brett
    | Reply

    At lower volumes,Tubes are not essential to get pleasing tones . After owning a Carr with the low wattage feature set and a steep price tag,I’m just as happy with a solid state Vox DA-5 for apartment use. My live rig is where my money is,not my apartment set up.

    • Steve B.
      | Reply

      Thanks Brett, great observations. It’s also important to note that technology has come a long way in producing ear-pleasing solid state tones as well.
      S.

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