Home » Guitar Product & Service Reviews » Amplifier Reviews » Top 7 Low Watt Tube Amps [for the Money in 2020]

Top 7 Low Watt Tube Amps [for the Money in 2020]

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.

The Low Watt Tube Amps

We certainly hope you benefit from the information we provide in this article! Just so you know, we may receive compensation if you use the links on this page. If you do, thank you so much!

The Best Small Tube Amps for the Money!

Great Small Practice Tube Amps at a Glance:

Product

Best Feature

Rating

Relative Price

#1 Overall Best Value!

BUGERA V5 5-Watt Class Amplifier Combo

BUGERA V5 5-Watt Class Amplifier Combo with Infinium Tube Life Multiplier Black, (V5INFINIUM)4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6 / 5

$$$

 

#2 Best Budget Pick!

Monoprice 5-Watt 1×8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier

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 Guitars4.4 out of 5 stars

4.4 / 5

$$

 

#3 Best Classic Head

BUGERA T5 Head

BUGERA T5 5-Watt Cage-Style Amplifier Head with Infinium Tube Life Multiplier and Reverb Multi Colored, (T5INFINIUM)4.2 out of 5 stars

4.2 / 5

$$$

 

#4 Best Modern Tones

Blackstar HT1R Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb4.1 out of 5 stars

4.1 / 5

$$$

 

#5 Best Lunchbox Head

Orange Micro Terror

Orange Micro Terror 20W Amplifier Head4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 / 5

$$

 

#6 Best EL84 Combo

Vox AC4C1

Vox Bass Amplifier Head, Black (AC4C1-12)4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 / 5

$$$$

 

#7 Best Full Featured Combo

Fender Super Champ

Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp4.1 out of 5 stars

4.1 / 5

$$$$

 

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

Guitar Niche -bar stars

Our Top 7 Low Watt Amp Reviewed

1. Best Low Watt Tube Amp: Bugera V5 Infinium Combo

20px spacer

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

20px spacer

Bugera V5 Infinium Combo

20px spacer

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.

20px spacer

20px spacer

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.

This Bugera unit 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.

20px spacer

Bugera V5 Key Features

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

20px spacer

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

20px spacer

What Do Bugera V5 Owners Think?

20px spacer

V5 Combo Pros and Cons

20px spacer

BUGERA V5 5-Watt Infinium Amplifier Review

20px spacer

What We Like

      • Vintage style is aesthetically pleasing
      • Has a headphone jack
      • Includes an attenuator
      • Affordable
      • Has a built-in digital reverb
      • Very durable construction

20px spacer

What We Don’t Like

      • Distortion is not suited for those who love metal
      • More meant for blues because of the dark sound
      • Can’t be used with batteries

20px spacer

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

20px spacer

What are Bugera V5 Owners Saying? >>

20px spacer

Guitar Niche -bar stars

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

20px spacer

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

20px spacer

Monoprice 611705 5Watt 1 x 8 Guitar Combo Tube Amp

20px spacer

The Monoprice 611705 5Watt 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.

20px spacer

20px spacer

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.

20px spacer

Monoprice 5-Watt Tube Amp 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

20px spacer

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

20px spacer

Read What Monoprice Customers are Saying >>

20px spacer

Monoprice Tube Amplifier Pros and Cons

20px spacer

Monoprice 5-Watt 1×8 Combo Tube Amp Review

20px spacer

What We Like

      • 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

20px spacer

What We Don’t Like

      • Can’t be used with headphones
      • Not the best amp for distorted power chords
      • LED light easily gets broken

20px spacer

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

20px spacer

What Do Monoprice Amp Owners Think? >>

20px spacer

Guitar Niche -bar stars

3. Best Classic Amp Head: Bugera T5 5 Watt Cage Style Head

20px spacer

BUGERA T5 5-Watt Cage-Style Amplifier Head with Infinium Tube Life Multiplier and Reverb Multi Colored, (T5INFINIUM)

20px spacer

Bugers T5 Cage Style Head

20px spacer

Bugera’s T5 is a 5 watt amplifier head that packs plenty of punch within its small cage. Perfect for bedroom players or small live shows when paired with a quality cabinet, the T5 features a mix of modern and vintage features.

Like many other amps in this roundup, the size makes it incredibly portable for players on the go. Considered one of the best 5 watt tube amps on the market, the Bugera T5’s tones can be easily shaped using the gain, equalizer, reverb, and “phat” controls. However, remember any amp head will require the purchase of a cabinet alongside itself.

20px spacer

20px spacer

With all these tones alongside a master volume, it’s easy to go from clean to modern, high gain sounds and all the vintage crunch in between.

Despite the built in diversity, Bugera is best known for its modern, high gain sounds. This makes the T5 amp head a great option for a more modern guitarist looking for a low wattage tube amp.

The INFINIUM Tube Life Multiplier system allows the tubes to not only last longer but compensate for the sound of aging tubes and light up an LED above each tube that needs to be replaced when the time comes.

20px spacer

Bugera T5 Low Watt Head Key Features:

  • 1x 12AX7 tube and 1x EL84 tube
  • Headphone accessibility
  • Built in reverb and 2 band EQ
  • 5-Watt amp with 3 attenuation options
  • “Phat” switch acts as signal boost
  • INFINIUM Tube Life Multiplier System

20px spacer

BUGERA T5 5-Watt Cage-Style Amplifier Head with Infinium Tube Life Multiplier and Reverb Multi Colored, (T5INFINIUM)

20px spacer

Read the Latest Bugers T5 Reviews! >>

20px spacer

20px spacer

Bugera T5 Pros and Cons

20px spacer

Bugera T5 Amp Head Review

20px spacer

What We Like

      • Small, portable size
      • Can be used with headphones
      • Built in reverb and boostWide range of gain sounds
      • INFINIUM system is helpful with maintenance

20px spacer

What We Don’t Like

      • No FX loop
      • Only has a 2 band EQ
      • Needs to be paired with a cabinet

20px spacer

BUGERA T5 5-Watt Cage-Style Amplifier Head with Infinium Tube Life Multiplier and Reverb Multi Colored, (T5INFINIUM)

20px spacer

Are Bugera T5 Head Users Happy? >>

20px spacer

Guitar Niche -bar stars

4. Best Amp for Modern Tones: Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

20px spacer

Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

20px spacer

Blackstar HT1R Guitar Combo

20px spacer

The Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo 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.

20px spacer

20px spacer

An overdrive button is also present for a more warm and dirty sound. This Blackstar amp 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.

20px spacer

Blackstar HT1R 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

20px spacer

Blackstar HT1R amp

20px spacer

Check the Latest Blackstar HT1R Deals >>

20px spacer

HT1R Combo Amp Pros and Cons

20px spacer

Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amp Review

20px spacer

What We Like

      • It is possible to play a backing track with this amp while practicing
      • Small size amp
      • Can be used with headphones
      • Has simple controls

20px spacer

What We Don’t Like

      • No effects loop
      • EQ control is not extensive

20px spacer

Blackstar HT1R Series Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

20px spacer

Check Today’s Blackstar HT1R Price! >>

20px spacer

Guitar Niche -bar stars

5. Best Lunchbox Amp Head: Orange Micro Terror 20W Amp Head

20px spacer

Orange Micro Terror 20W Amplifier Head

20px spacer

Orange Micro Terror Head

20px spacer

The Orange Micro Terror is one of the most popular “lunchbox” best low watt tube amp heads of all time. Packing a powerful 20 watts of sound into its small and light body, the micro terror has far more live gig applications than most amps on this list.

With only three controllable parameters, including volume, tone, and gain, the Micro Terror is pretty easy to use but limited in tone shaping.

Despite these limitations, the Orange Micro Terror, considered one of the best mini valve amps, does a great job reproducing the beloved Orange distortion tone popular in modern hard rock and heavy metal.

20px spacer

20px spacer

Remember that you’ll have to own or purchase a cabinet to pair with this amp head. Orange does sell some packages that pair the Micro Terror 20W with a great cabinet, giving you everything you need.

The Micro Terror does have headphone and aux input jacks on the front panel, enabling you to play against a backing track or into headphones if volume is an issue.

Considering this is 20 watts and a bit louder than many other amps here, you’re going to need that headphone jack at some point.

For more in-depth info, check out our full Orange Micro Terror review!

20px spacer

Orange Micro Terror Key Features:

  • 1x 12AX7 tube preamp and solid state power amp
  • Headphone and auxiliary cord accessibility
  • Gain and Tone controls
  • 20 watt amplifier head

20px spacer

Orange Micro Terror 20W Amplifier Head

20px spacer

Check Orange Micro Terror Availability >>

20px spacer

Micro Terror Head Pros and Cons

20px spacer

Orange Micro Terror Amp Head Review

20px spacer

What We Like

      • 20 watts gives it a large stage presence
      • Awesome gain sounds
      • Can be used with headphones
      • Can play over backing tracks

20px spacer

What We Don’t Like

      • Not an “all tube” option, hybrid amp head
      • Requires purchase of a cabinet
      • No FX loop
      • Limited EQ controls

20px spacer

Orange Micro Terror 20W Amplifier Head

20px spacer

What Do Orange Micro Terror Owners Think? >>

20px spacer

Guitar Niche -bar stars

6. Best EL84 Combo: Vox AC4C1-12 1×12 Combo Amp

20px spacer

Vox Bass Amplifier Head, Black (AC4C1-12)

20px spacer

Vox AC4C1 Combo

20px spacer

Vox’s AC line of amplifiers has been the driving force behind some of the most legendary guitar tones of all time. The AC4C1 is no different, just in a smaller, more portable package.

The Vox AC4C1 is an all tube, mini combo amplifier that features Vox’s popular “top boost” channel. The extra chime and top end clarity is what has made the AC series is one of the best small tube amp combos for players such as Brian May and Jimmy Page.

20px spacer

20px spacer

Bass and treble controls give you tone shaping possibilities alongside a gain and master volume knob, letting you go from sparkle to sizzle with ease. While it doesn’t possess the full EQ found on other amps, it faithfully reproduces the classic tones may players are searching for.

Unlike it’s big brother AC15C1 and AC30C1 models, the AC4C1 doesn’t contain the classic Vox reverb and tremolo controls.

The Vox AC4C1 provides 4 watts of power and output, making it an ideal amp for bedroom or apartment players who don’t want to have to sacrifice tone for volume’s sake.

20px spacer

Vox AC4C1 Combo Key Features:

  • Classic Vox Top Boost channel
  • 2x 12AX7 preamp tubes and 1x EL84 power tube
  • 4 watts of output
  • 2 band EQ
  • All tube combo amp

20px spacer

Vox Bass Amplifier Head, Black (AC4C1-12)

20px spacer

What Do Vox AC4C1 Combo Owners Think? >>

20px spacer

AC4C1 Pros and Cons

20px spacer

Vox AC4C1 Amp Review

20px spacer

What We Like

      • All tube combo amp
      • Perfect for low volume players
      • Classic Top Boost Channel
      • Reproduces famous tones

20px spacer

What We Don’t Like

      • No headphone or auxiliary jack
      • Expensive for a small amp
      • No FX loop or built in effects

20px spacer

Vox Bass Amplifier Head, Black (AC4C1-12)

20px spacer

Read the Latest Vox AC4C1 Amp Reviews! >>

20px spacer

Guitar Niche -bar stars

7. Best Full Featured Combo: Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt Combo Amp

20px spacer

Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp

20px spacer

Fender Super Champ Combo

20px spacer

Fender’s Super Champ combo amp is a nice mix of modern modelling amps with classic tube tone. Coming from a trusted brand like Fender, the Super Champ captures that classic “American” tube amp feel at a far cheaper price than many of Fender’s other offerings.

The Super Champ’s 15 watt combo output also provides plenty of versatility, it’s quiet enough to be played inside a bedroom but also loud enough to hit small stages or jam sessions.

20px spacer

20px spacer

Alongside the tube pre- and power amps is a voicing knob letting you choose from over 16 popular amplifier styles. Even better, the Super Champ comes with 15 built in effects, including a tap tempo control for delay sounds.

Other controls included to shape the Super Champ’s tone include treble and bass, as well as two distinct channels. Channel one serves as more of that classic Fender clean sound, while channel two features a gain, voice, and volume control.

20px spacer

Fender Super Champ Combo Key Features:

  • 15 built in effects with dedicated effects control knob
  • 16 built in amplifier voicings
  • Two channels for clean and dirty sounds
  • 15 watt combo amplifier
  • 2x 6V6 tubes and 1x 12AX7 tube

20px spacer

Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp

20px spacer

Check Fender Super Champ Availability! >>

20px spacer

Super Champ Pros and Cons

20px spacer

Fender Super Champ Combo Review

20px spacer

What We Like

      • Huge variety of built in effects + sounds
      • All tube power and preamp
      • 15 watts of versatile sound
      • USB output for external recording

20px spacer

What We Don’t Like

      • No FX loop
      • No headphone or auxiliary input
      • May need to purchase footswitch

20px spacer

Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp

20px spacer

What are Fender Super Champ Owners Saying? >>

20px spacer

Guitar Niche -bar stars

What to look for in a low watt tube amp

When searching for low-watt tube amps, such as the best small amps for home use or for a small stage, 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.

Shop Reverb.com

Find Great Tube Amp Deals at Reverb.com >>

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.

Guitar Niche -bar stars

Compare Featured Small Low Watt Tube Amps:

Final Verdict: Which is the Best Low Watt Tube Amp for You?

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 definitely be the Bugera V5 Infinium Combo. It’s versatile, sports greta modern upgrades, and 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.

EDITOR”S PICK!

Bugera V5 Infinium Combo

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

What are Bugera V5 Infinium Customers Saying? >>

  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Value Factor
4.5

Summary

Overall Score:

Guitar Niche -bar stars

4 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.

  2. Mike
    | Reply

    I like solid state amps just fine, and there are so many options and features – especially with modeling amps. But there is just something extra special about a tube amp.

    I especially like a simple, straightforward tube amp that takes pedals well. I found it lets me focus more on my playing and less on the fancy features. Low watt tube amps are about the only way I could really use a tube amp in my current home situation though..

    I really like your list and you have a great site.

    Here’s a list of my own, and I think there’s some overlap for good reason ;-)
    https://middle8reviews.com/low-watt-tube-amps-reviews/

    • Steve B.
      | Reply

      Well said Mr Mike, and thank you! :)

Leave a Reply to Steve B. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *