Fender amp head

Fender amp head DEFAULT

Fender Bassbreaker 15 Tube Guitar Amp Head

Product Description

bassbraker 15H-1

FENDER BASSBREAKER 15 TUBE HEAD

 

Fender’s Bassbreaker series puts classic tones at your fingertips, with a few twists to offer up a wider palette. The Bassbreaker 15 guitar amplifier head gets its 15 watts of Class AB from an EL84 power section, and three distinct voicings offer up clean to high-gain tones, giving you a ton of sonic territory to explore. And the Bassbreaker 15 is a stellar choice for studio work. You can push it to saturation at ear-friendly volumes or use the XLR line-out with switchable speaker emulation and power amp mute to capture true tube tones straight out of the amp. The Bassbreaker 15 is a classic Fender with a British twist.

Wattage that wants to be cranked

Fifteen watts is often the perfect amount of power. At small live gigs, you can crank it up and not overpower the rest of the band. In the studio, it’s low powered enough to get the power section really cooking, giving you amazing breakup and feel. Whenever your power tubes are working that hard, it adds a level of touch sensitivity to your amp’s performance .

TUBE CIRCUITRY

TUBE CIRCUITRY

There’s nothing quite like the pure, powerful sound of a Fender tube amplifier. The tonal richness and touch-sensitive dynamics of real tubes have given Fender amps an unmistakable voice for more than 60 years—defining the sound of musical recordings and performances you’ve heard your whole life.

“STRUCTURE” SWITCH

“STRUCTURE” SWITCH

This amp is equipped with a “Structure” switch that offers three distinct settings for tight, “boutique”-like clean and overdriven tones.

EFFECTS LOOP

EFFECTS LOOP

Use the effects loop to place outboard effects precisely in the signal chain via ¼” preamp output and power amp input jacks.

 

FEATURES

  • Power: 15W (tube)
  • Tubes: three 12AX7 (preamp); two EL84 (power amp)
  • Single channel
  • Single input
  • Controls: 3-band EQ, gain, gain structure, bright, reverb
  • Built-in reverb
  • Speaker-emulated XLR output and ground lift
  • Power-amp mute
  • Dimensions: 19.5 in. x 9.75 in. x 8.8 in.
  • Weight: 25.5 lbs.

 

Additional Information

Weight25.5 lbs
Dimensions19.5 × 8.8 × 9.75 in
Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.
Sours: https://stylesmusic.com/product/fender-bassbreaker-15-tube-guitar-amp-head/

Valve Heads

Valve amp heads give you the option of pairing with any guitar cabinet of your choosing. This makes these amp heads very versatile and allow you to choose the right cabinet for the job.

Valve heads come in many different forms, from 1W studio amps to 100W beasts! The higher the wattage, the higher the headroom, meaning the tone stays clean for longer when you crank the volume. Lower wattage valve amps will go into natural saturated overdrive as you turn them up and this is why valve amp heads are among the most highly sought-after amps in the industry. Popular valve head manufacturers include Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Friedman, Orange and EVH, among others. 

In short, they’re versatile, powerful and sound simply exquisite with pedals! Read our guide on electric guitar amps for more information!

Check out our selection of Valve Heads below and take advantage of our interest-free finance packages and free next day delivery in the UK on orders over £99!

More Less

Sours: https://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-dept/electric-guitar-amps/valve-amps/valve-heads
  1. Caa mck suppressor
  2. Asvab practice questions
  3. Minecraft pig skins
  4. Elmos world cameras
  5. Easton ct animal shelter

The 20 best guitar amps 2021: Our pick of the best combos, heads and pedalboard amps for all budgets and abilities

Buying an amp online

Worried about buying an amp online without playing it first? You needn’t be. Online music instrument retailers like Thomann, Sweetwater and Sam Ash offer hassle-free returns as standard, so you can purchase an amp, play it in the comfort and privacy of your home and, if it’s not for you, send it back with ease. Check the specific returns policy for your chosen retailer before you purchase, but most offer between 30-45 days to return an item, as long as it’s in original condition.

Buying yourself one of the best guitar amps is pretty much the toughest gear decision any guitarist will make. Granted, it’s also probably the most fun, but a toughie, nonetheless. Finding your next electric guitar is not easy either, but there’s just something about a guitar that lets you know it’s the one. An amplifier? With so much to consider it’s a much harder choice to make.

Finding the right amp for your needs is crucial. Bad guitars can sound incredible through great amps, but a duff amp will make a great guitar sound totally average. An amplifier’s tones and response can also really make the difference to your playing, and certain amps will definitely respond differently to certain playing styles. Our advice? If you find an amp that you get along with, don’t let that thing out of your sight!

In this guide we’ve chosen 20 of what we think are the best guitar amps you can buy right now, listed in price order to help you choose the right amplifier for your budget. You’ll find something for all styles here, for all occasions and in a variety of formats, ranging from high-powered amp heads, to combos and super-portable pedalboard options.

We’ve also compiled some useful buying advice where we look at some of the considerations you should make when choosing your next amp. Hit the ‘buying advice’ button above to head straight there, or keep scrolling to get to the products.

Best guitar amps: Our top picks

We’ve actually got two top picks for best amp right now. The Fender ’68 Princeton Reverb offers some of the sweetest Fender tones you’ll hear. Tune in for pristine, shimmering cleans that break up nicely, with onboard spring reverb and tremolo to sweeten your tone further. It’s ideal for small gigs, recording and manageable enough for the home – especially if your dirt comes via a pedal.

The Victory VC35 The Copper is a single-channel, 35-watt lunchbox head serving up a sumptuous smorgasbord of rock and blues tones – the VC35 has got the sort of performance that invokes the “B” word. With an EL84 power section and a NOS EF184 pentode the flavour is very much British, with that winsome musical chime that calls to mind vintage Vox amps. Lovely stuff.

Best guitar amps: Under $/£500

1. Positive Grid Spark 40

The ultimate smart guitar amplifier

Specifications

Price: $299

Type: Modelling desktop amp

Output: 40W

Valves: N/A

Number of channels: 30 Amp Models

Speaker: 2x4” custom designed

Weight: 5.2kg

Key Features: BIAS Tone Engine and app integration for jamming, 40 effects, headphones out, Bluetooth, USB, four programmable presets, tuner, Auto Chord, Smart Jam

Reasons to buy

+Packed with features+Comprehensive range of tones+Smart Jam and Auto Chord features are invaluable for practice and learning

Reasons to avoid

-Waiting times on orders can vary

Where to start with the Spark 40? Well, it just stops short of cooking your dinner, but it has most other essential functions covered – and a few more besides. Its core centres around Positive Grid’s BIAS Tone Engine modelling tech, which allows it to put together a formidable collection of amp models and cover all bases tone-wise.

Altogether are 30 amp models to choose from, and 40 effects, so it’s punching big numbers already in the context of desktop amp functionality, but with the accompanying app, the Spark offers a transformative experience. It may well change how you think about guitar amplification.

The Spark’s Smart Jam feature allows you to play some chords or a riff and the amp will generate a backing track for you to play to. Who needs friends? Auto Chord allows you to stream music from your mobile device to the Spark and it will transpose the chords so you can play along. As a learning and practice tool, it doesn’t get much better. 

There are outputs for recording and silent practice. Sure, it’s 100 percent digital, but it feels analogue, and crucially it sounds great at low volumes. When you crank the Spark, its dual 4” speaker setup fills the room with a sound that has no right to be so three-dimensional.

Early adopters of the Spark have experienced some shipping delays, but things appear to be improving rapidly. Check here for the latest updates on shipping times.

Read the full Positive Grid Spark 40 review

2. Yamaha THR30 II Wireless

A fully wireless desktop amp that you can take anywhere

Specifications

Price: $499/£399/€479

Type: Battery-powered desktop combo

Output: 30W (2x 15W stereo, 15W battery)

Valves: N/A

Number of channels: 15 Amp Model Combinations, Acoustic Mic Models, Bass Amps, Flat Voicings

Speaker: 2x 3.5

Weight: 4.3kg

Key Features: 15V DC power supply / internal rechargeable battery, headphones output, USB, 2x 1/4” line out, spring and hall reverbs, effects (chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, echo, compressor, noise gate), THR Remote App, bundled Cubase AI, full wireless capability

Reasons to buy

+Take it anywhere!+Ideal for practice and home recording+Easy to operate

Reasons to avoid

-The plastic backing is lightweight but not very “guitar amp”

Yamaha’s THR series remains groundbreaking. It looked to dress the guitar amplifier in home audio stylings, pack it with digital functionality that – crucially – was rooted in the feel and response of valve amplifiers, and make it portable.

Well, amps don’t get much more portable than the THR30 II Wireless. It can be operated via the 15V DC power supply, or, alternatively, charge it up and take it out with you to enjoy 15 watts of stereo solid-state power in the park, by the beach, on top of a skyscraper a la U2. Whatever you like.

It is bundled with Cubase AI, has a very respectable complement of onboard effects, and with headphones and USB outputs it is a sound option for home recording and late-night practice sessions. It also looks so good you could leave it in the living room without getting a ticking off.

Read the full Yamaha THR30 II review

3. Blackstar Silverline Deluxe head

A boutique take on digital modelling amp tech

Specifications

Price: $529/£418/€499

Type: Digital modelling head

Output: 100W at 4ohms

Valves: N/A

Number of channels: 6 fully-programmable voices, 12 onboard memory slots

Speaker: N/A

Weight: 9.6kg

Key Features: Patented TVP output stage emulation, patented ISF EQ shift, built-in tuner, USB for direct recording remote control and firmware updates via Insider software app. Emulated headphones/recording out and mp3/line in (can be switched to effects loop send/return using Insider software), MIDI in, Matching 2x12” cab

Reasons to buy

+Great set of features+Lightweight and classy build+Excellent options across the range+Well laid-out front panel

Reasons to avoid

-Alternatives offer more effects options

When Blackstar launched its Silverline series, it was as though digital modelling amplifiers had grown up, bought their first suit and got a real job. The “B” word was invoked, and with good reason, because the grey-silver on grey designs, the feature-set, the seriousness, make everyone stop for a minute and consider their options.

With the Silverline, there are many. If you like the idea of the Silverline but aren’t looking for a head, the range also includes the 20W Standard 1x10”, the 50W Special 1x12”, the 100W Deluxe 1x12”, and the 2x100W Stereo Deluxe 2x12” combos.

The setup and look on each is similar, with Blackstar's SHARC processing tech under the hood to keep the tones legit. There are effects, programmable settings, and TVP tech allowing you to select the power-tube emulation you prefer. They look and sound like real valve amps, but have all the mod cons that tomorrow’s player needs today. Credible, convincing, state-of-the-art.

Read the full Blackstar Silverline Deluxe review

Best guitar amps: $/£501 - $/£1,000

4. Boss Katana Artist MkII 1x12”

A fully-featured digital modelling combo amp

Specifications

Price: $479/£555/€649

Type: Modelling combo

Output: 100W switchable to 50W or 0.5W

Valves: N/A

Number of channels: 5 amp types w/two modes each

Speaker: 1x 12" Custom Waza Speaker

Weight: 23.6kg

Key Features: 3x digital reverbs 5x Simultaneous Effects (Delay,Tremolo, Flanger, Pitch Shift, Phaser, Wah), mic’d cab emulation, over 60 effects downloadable via Boss Tone Studio, Series/Parallel Effects Loop, MIDI in, USB, headphones output

Reasons to buy

+Superb suite of contemporary features+Goes from super-clean to high-gain+Onboard effects are excellent

Reasons to avoid

-A little more expensive than its MkII Katana kin

The Katana series has been a front-to-back triumph for Boss, packing a handful of amp models into small formats, loading them up with onboard effects and a heap of contemporary features and making them available at an accessible price.

This Artist MkII combo is the flagship model, and while we’d happily endorse any of the Katana MkII amps, the additional MIDI functionality and an upgraded Waza Craft speaker is a big selling point.

For a digital amplifier, the front panel is reassuringly familiar. Think of it as a five-channel amplifier, with five amp modes, but with two modes on each model it expands your tone options dramatically. This will do bell-like cleans, searing high-gain chug, and all in between, and with Boss’s Tube Logic architecture, it all feels and sounds convincing. The onboard effects are top-grade and you can get more online via the Tone Studio library. There’s a rabbit hole to fall into, but chasing usable tones is a breeze.

Read the full Boss Katana Artist MkII 1x12” review

5. Fender Blues Junior IV

The best low-price combo for all-valve blues tones

Specifications

Price: $599/£469/€659

Type: Valve combo

Output: 15W

Valves: 3x 12AX7 preamp valves, 2x EL84 power amp valves

Number of channels: 1

Speaker: 12" Celestion A-Type

Weight: 14.3kg

Key Features: Op-amp-driven spring reverb, Fat switch

Reasons to buy

+Ace clean tones and hot sizzling drive+Fat switch thickens up single-coils nicely

Reasons to avoid

-Lacks clean headroom when playing with a drummer

There is a reason why the Blues Junior tops the best-seller charts for valve-amp combos. Its USP is putting classic Fender tones into a super-affordable package that’s portable, fuss-free and is tooled for our present moment where we want great tube tones at low volumes and pedalboard compatibility.

But even before you bring your ‘board into play, the tight low-end and sparkling high-end of the Blues Junior will put a spell on you. The FAT switch is an act of modest genius, doing exactly what you’d imagine it would, widening the frequencies and adding a beer gut to your single-coil tone.

The FAT switch is really the only thing you’ll find on the control panel that requires explanation, otherwise the Blues Junior is just a straight-up, fuss-free combo, and, dare we say it, a modern classic. Drive it hard and you’ll enter blues-rock nirvana.

Read the full Fender Blues Junior IV review

6. Blackstar HT-20R MkII

A flawless, feature-stacked combo at an accessible price

Specifications

Price: $679/£595/€729

Type: Valve combo

Output: 20W (switchable to 2W)

Valves: 2x ECC83 preamp valves, 2x EL84 power amp valves

Number of channels: 2

Speaker: 1x 12”

Weight: 16.2kg

Key Features: 2-button footswitch, reverb, XLR DI out, USB out

Reasons to buy

+Impossible to fault at this price+Footswitchable overdrive voicings+Digital reverb is excellent+A fine tone range, from clean to high-gain

Reasons to avoid

-None at the price

Offering plenty of change from a grand, Blackstar’s HR-20R MkII is a mid-priced valve combo that does a very good impression of an amp retailing at two or three times the price. It is a two-channel amp with footswitchable overdrive voicings, and an uncanny ability to play the field tonally.

The clean channel is a simple affair with a solitary tone control and a volume, with modes for scooped US tone – think Fender et al – and a quintessentially British mode with tight mids and treble chime. 

You could get lost in the cleans, adding a splash of reworked digital reverb that now sounds studio-quality. But don’t forget you’ve got an overdrive channel with Classic and High Gain voicings that will take you from classic ‘70s rock crunch through to contemporary metal. And all this from one package. It’s loud enough for the stage but you can power down to 2 watts for bedroom shredding. It’s a remarkable feat of amp building.

Read the full Blackstar HT-20R MkII review

7. BluGuitar Amp1 Mercury Edition

A truly game-changing pedalboard amp

Specifications

Price: $799/£669/€633

Type: Pedalboard amp

Output: 100W switchable to 5W

Valves: Sub-miniature Russian twin triode

Number of channels: 4

Speaker: N/A

Weight: 1.2kg

Key Features: Nanotube tech, digital reverb, effects loop, MIDI in, footswitch input (Remote1 footswitch sold separately), speaker-emulated line-out

Reasons to buy

+Portable, powerful and versatile+Four-channel setup offers heaps of options+Next-level digital spring reverb

Reasons to avoid

-Remote1 MIDI footswitch is pricey

Like the best innovations in guitar technology, the Thomas Blug’s Amp1 keeps all the clever stuff hidden from sight, allowing players to concentrate on what is frankly difficult enough – playing the guitar.

But the Amp1 really is clever. It’s the size of a multi-delay unit, you can throw it in a bag and take it wherever, and yet offers you four channels, 100W of Class D power, with some analogue mojo fairy dust by way of a sub-miniature Russian twin triode.

Simply select which channel you want – Clean, Vintage, Classic, Modern – and dial in your tone via the 3-band EQ and volume, master and gain controls. It’s just like a real amp, and that’s the point – it is. This is the shape of amps to come. 

Partner it with the Remote1 footswitch you can access all four channels, boost and reverb via MIDI, plus add an ancillary master volume and adjustable power soak. You can save your settings down and use them as you might in a pedalboard. This is a futuristic amp for those squeamish about apps, software and digital sterility.

Read the full BluGuitar Amp1 Mercury Edition review

8. Victory V4 The Duchess Pedal Amp

Super-sweet low-gain boutique tones with heaps of power

Specifications

Price: $799/£699/€839

Type: Pedalboard amp with Class D power stage and valve-driven preamp

Output: 180W at 4ohms

Valves: 1 x EC900, 3 x CV4014 preamp

Number of channels: 1

Speaker: N/A

Weight: 1.6kg

Key Features: Digital reverb, tremolo, series effects loop, balanced line out, DC power outlet

Reasons to buy

+Super-portable+Abundant headroom and sparkling cleans+Very musical reverb and tremolo

Reasons to avoid

-Fan is always-on, making recording tricky

The Duchess Pedal Amp assumes a similar form to Victory’s V4 series of pedal preamps, but it’s a fully functioning amplifier with a whopping Class D power stage that delivers 180 watts at 4 ohms, and a truly lush valve-driven preamp that makes damn sure you don’t mistake this as just some kind of practical option for the gigging musician. 

Sure, it is practical, but it is the tones that will have the hair on the back of your neck standing to attention. Specifically, clean tones, and with a boutique low-gain tone profile like that, it should come as no surprise that the Duchess just loves overdrive pedals. 

The enclosure is super-tough, powder-coated steel, with its complement of chickenhead knobs protected by a raised steel kick bar. A single footswitch turns the tremolo on and off. For itinerant players, this could be the ultimate amp.

Read the full Victory V4 The Duchess review

9. Fender ’68 Princeton Reverb

The best all-valve combo you can buy

Specifications

Price: $899/£969/€1,179

Type: Valve combo

Output: 12W

Valves: 3 x 12AX7, 1 x 12AT7

Number of channels: 1

Speaker: 10" Celestion

Weight: 15.7kg

Key Features: Dual inputs, tremolo, valve-driven reverb

Reasons to buy

+Loud enough for small gigs+Sparkling cleans, hot sizzling drive+Heavenly spring reverb and lush tremolo+Takes pedals well

Reasons to avoid

-Look elsewhere for high-gain

The Fender Princeton Reverb has long been considered the Goldilocks option for those looking for an all-valve combo with manageable volume, but one that’s loud enough for small shows.

There is a reasonable amount of headroom on offer, with its bell-like cleans mother’s milk to blues and country players, and as you crank up the volume you’ll find a gritty breakup that’s warm, musical and addictive.

This ’68 reissue comes with the silver-panel and aluminium grille cloth trim. Under the hood it has been tweaked by Fender so it will take pedals better, with negative feedback reduced to enhance its response and bring on overdrive that little bit quicker. Under the hood you’ll find hand-wired valve sockets and custom-made Schumacher transformers. The tube-driven reverb and tremolo is divine.

Read our full Fender '68 Custom Princeton Reverb review

10. Vox AC15C2

A classic British combo in 2x12 format

Specifications

Price: $899/£658/€799

Type: 2x12 tube combo

Output: 15W

Tubes: 2x EL84, 3x 12AX7

Number of channels: 2 (not footswitchable)

Speaker: 2x Celestion G12M Greenback 12"

Weight: 30.2kg

Reasons to buy

+Usable volume+Classic tones+Responds well to pedals

Reasons to avoid

-May not be enough headroom for totally clean players

The new-ish AC15 'Twin' retains the all-important dual-EL84, cathode-biased output section of its forebear, but otherwise it's very different. A quick scan across the top panel reveals two inputs for independent access to either normal or top boost channels. 

One benefit of the bigger, 2x12 enclosure is that it provides ample room for a full-length reverb tank, housed in the bottom. There's also an in-built tremolo effect, with controls for depth and speed. 

But the whole point of this amp is the pair of 25-watt Celestion G12M Greenback speakers. They are the speaker of rock in so many cases and while purists might hope for Celestion Blues, they would add a fair amount to the price; and the increased power handling of two Greenbacks on the end of just 15 watts is quite a tantalising prospect. 

It's fair to say that even with the master volume set-up, the magic doesn't really start happening until the amp's lungs are at least half way open, but happily, that's not far from perfect for many of today's pub and bar gigs – it may even be too much for some.

Read the full Vox AC15C2 review

11. Fender Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb

Analogue tone for the digital age

Specifications

Price: $899/£859/€955

Type: Digital

Output: 100W (emulates 22 valve watts)

Valves: N/A

Number of channels: 2

Speaker: 1x12” Jensen N-12K Neo

Weight: 10.4kg

Reasons to buy

+Half the weight of a regular Deluxe+Crazy processing power +Firmware updates allow you to essentially mod your amp 

Reasons to avoid

-It’s not a valve amp 

The Tonemaster series has been the centre of an interesting turn of events for Fender. Reissuing their iconic Deluxe and Twin Reverbs was only ever going to be a welcomed move, but (and some of you may need to sit down for this) taking out the valves has definitely split opinion. But hey, dry your eyes champ - because this Deluxe sounds just as good as any valve-ified version. 

Relying on it’s massive digital processing power to emulate the tone of an all-valve Deluxe, it absolutely holds its own. The sparkle and clarity we’ve come to expect from Fender amps is all there, thanks in part to the 12” Jensen N-12K speaker amd the resonant same-as-the-original pine cabinet. 

As the Tonemaster is designed to replicate valve-esque breakup response, Fender has also included an in-built attenuator for those times when you need to bring it down a notch. The rear panel also contains a balanced line out with cab simulations, making this Deluxe great for silent recording or smaller gigs where mic’ing amps isn’t possible. Oh, and it’s half the weight of it’s all-valve predecessor. Fender has nailed it here, if we do say so ourselves.

Best guitar amps: $/£1,001 - $/£1,500

12. Roland JC-120

The king of clean

Specifications

Price: $1,099/£1,229/€1,400

Type: Solid State

Output: 120W

Valves: N/A

Number of channels: 2

Speaker: 2x Classic silver-cone

Weight: 28kg

Reasons to buy

+The clean tone to end all clean tones+A true stereo chorus to die for+An iconic amp 

Reasons to avoid

-Onboard distortion nothing to write home about 

Since its release in 1975, the JC-120 has been on countless era-defining records. Andy Summers, Johnny Marr and Robert Smith have all been religious users of the Jazz Chorus line, in turn making it one of the most iconic solid state options of the last 45 years. 

The JC-120 is named so due to the lush onboard stereo chorus effect that has made it so desirable. This is down to the fact that the JC-120 essentially has 2 60w amps inside of it - one for each speaker - allowing for ‘true’ stereo rather than an approximation. In ‘true’ stereo, the JC-120’s immersive chorus provides an almost other-worldly playing experience. 

It’s an ideal pedal platform, too. With transparency and preservation of tone being key features of the JC-120, you’ll have no problems crafting your tone with additional pedals or other hardware. If you like to use overdrive or distortion, a pedal is almost a necessity with this amp - but you’re not buying an amp with ‘Jazz’ in the name for its gurn-inducing gain, are you?

13. EVH 5150III 50W EL34

The best valve head for hard rock and metal

Specifications

Price: $1,299/£999/€1,990

Type: Valve head

Output: 50W at 4ohms

Valves: 8x JJ ECC83 preamp valves, 4x JJ EL34 power amp valves

Number of channels: 3

Speaker: N/A (matching 2x12 cab £479)

Weight: 15.9kg

Key Features: Series effects loop, headphones out, preamp out, MIDI input, external bias adjustment, Resonance control for cab matching

Reasons to buy

+A compact powerhouse with gain to burn+Exceptional harmonic and dynamic detail+MIDI switchable channels and effects loop

Reasons to avoid

-A lot of volume for domestic use

Sometimes you have to split the atom with a saturated level of gain that would violate health and safety in pretty much all other contexts, and that’s an occasion where you’d hope to find the EVH 5150III on the backline.

This amp bears Edward Van Halen’s initials on the front, so take it as read that you can access that harmonically volatile weekend rock tone, but dime the lead channel and you’ll have all the gain you need for contemporary metal too. 

And yet, there’s subtlety and complexity to be found here – even at the extremes. The 5150III’s gain is rich in harmonics. It is dynamic, and with the EL34 power tubes it takes on the tonal character of a hyper-trophied Marshall Plexi. This is guitar tone as spectacle, a roman candle of overdrive with a very usable clean channel.

Read the full EVH 5150III 50W EL34 review

14. Orange Rocker 32

A killer combo for pedal users – especially stereo fans

Specifications

Price: $1,099/£811/€1,045

Type: Stereo tube combo

Output: 30W, switchable down to 15W

Number of channels: 2

Tubes: 4x EL84, 4x ECC83, 2x ECC81

Speaker: 2x Orange Voice Of The World Gold Label 10"

Weight: 23.3kg

Reasons to buy

+True stereo capability+Great for pedal users+Deceptively versatile

Reasons to avoid

-Could do with side handles for portability

The Rocker 32’s secret weapon is its stereo capabilities courtesy of two output stages and a mono out/stereo in valve-buffered effects loop – and it’s this that opens the door to some tantalising effects possibilities. It also features a half-power option incorporated into the front panel standby switch. 

The enamel control panel follows Orange’s classic 1970s ‘graphics only’ format, using pictograms to describe the control functions. The Dirty channel includes gain, bass, mid, treble and master volume controls, while the clean Natural channel has a single volume control. The Natural channel may only have a single volume control, but it’s perfectly dialled in to flatter practically any guitar and it sounds wonderful, with a glassy treble giving way to an addictive chime at higher volume levels. 

The Dirty channel’s gain control has a very wide range, allowing fine control of moderately driven sounds, with plenty of Dark Terror-approved filth at the top of its travel, making it ideal for everything from classic Brit rock and blues to modern metal.

Read the full Orange Rocker 32 review

15. Victory VC35 The Copper

One of the best guitar amps for British valve tone

Specifications

Price: $1,399/£1,129/€1,189

Type: Lunchbox valve head

Output: 35W switchable to 17W

Valves: 2x 12AX7, 1x EF184, 4x EL84

Number of channels: 1

Speaker: N/A

Weight: 8.5kg

Key Features: Footswitchable

Reasons to buy

+Versatile tones, with a sweet spot for AC-esque chime+Footswitchable effects loop+Super-tough build

Reasons to avoid

-You have the extra cash for the Deluxe

You could go through the Victory lineup and find any number of contenders for a list such as this, but there is a timeless British quality to the Copper’s voicings that takes the cake.

The Copper deploys a NOS EF184 small-format pentode in the preamp that’s not dissimilar to the EF86 in early Vox amplifiers, and that harmonically rich treble and sumptuous dynamic response is there in spades.

But the Copper is more than just a throwback to Vox. If the ‘60s pop-jangle is its bread and butter, dialling up the gain finds something very musical that’s ideal for classic rock. Set clean and sweetened by the reverb, it has a quasi-American boutique vibe, and a response that feels just right for blues. 

The Copper takes pedals well, it’s portable, and when you compare it to the overheated US market for deluxe amplification, it offers excellent value. The pricier Deluxe version has valve-driven spring reverb and tremolo.

Read the full Victory VC35 The Copper review

Best guitar amps: $/£1,500+

16. Marshall 2525C Silver Jubilee Combo

Slash’s Appetite tones in a compact combo

Specifications

Price: $1,599/£625/€866

Type: Valve combo

Output: 20W switchable to 5W

Valves: 3x ECC83, 2 x EL34

Number of channels: 2

Speaker: 12" Celestion G12M Greenback

Weight: 19kg

Key Features: DI Output, Effects Loop, Footswitch

Reasons to buy

+Classic 1987 Marshall mojo+Ideal for Slash tones+Underrated cleans+Switchable power

Reasons to avoid

-No reverb

For many years, the Marshall Silver Jubilee was the amp that got away. Produced in limited numbers in 1987 to celebrate 50 years of Marshall, the Silver Jubilee is effectively a JCM800 that has been factory-modded to run a little hotter, and it was something of a minor tragedy that it never entered the always-in-production category its performance deserved. 

This is the Appetite For Destruction tone, the Slash amplifier, and it’s one of the most rocking amplifiers Marshall has ever assembled. The 2555X head offers it in its original 100w/50w format but the 2525C feels a little more manageable for today’s player. It’s still brutally loud in its full 20W mode, but switchable to 5W, it puts that iconic crunch within reach of the world’s domesticated rock animals.

The gain structure on the Jubilee is something to behold but the Frusciante-esque cleans are not to be sniffed at either. It sounds good with pedals and will definitely stand up to most drummers. At 750-odd bucks, it represents excellent value. It’s a serious rock and metal metal amp.

Read the full Marshall 2525C Silver Jubilee Combo review

17. Mesa/Boogie Mark Five: 25

A feature-loaded low-wattage head with built-in speaker emulation

Specifications

Price: $1,599/£1,699/€1,899

Type: Tube head

Output: 25W, switchable down to 10W

Number of channels: 2 channels with 6 modes

Tubes: 2x EL84, 6x 12AX7

Weight: 7.5kg

Reasons to buy

+One of the best small amps on the market+12 possible sounds+Built-in CabClone speaker emulation

Reasons to avoid

-It's not cheap!

Based on Mesa's flagship Mark V, the Mark Five: 25 head is small, perfectly formed and typical of Mesa's superlative design and attention to detail. Two independent channels, each with three very different voice presets, combine with Mesa's iconic five-band graphic EQ for a choice of 12 sounds. You can footswitch between the channels, with the graphic on or off for quasi four-channel operation and preset 25 or 10 watts per channel. 

One of the best features lives on the back panel: a CabClone speaker-emulated direct output, with a speaker defeat for silent recording or practice, using the built-in headphone socket. Despite the Mark Five: 25's long feature list, it's very easy to use and its tones are sensational. 

The rhythm channel covers the shimmering clean tones of the modern Boogie and the fatter 'blackface'-inspired midrange of the fabled Mark I, while the Mark V crunch voice is so deep and three-dimensional you could record an entire album with it. The lead channel is equally inspiring, with a perfect rendition of the Mark IIC's overdrive tone (arguably the most coveted Boogie sound), along with more modern distortion effects that sound unbelievably good when tweaked with the graphic.

Read the full Mesa/Boogie Mark Five: 25 review

18. Supro 169RT Black Magick Reverb

A vintage-vibe combo with hex appeal

Specifications

Price: $1,599/£1,175/€1,699

Type: Valve combo

Output: 25W at 4ohms

Valves: 8x 12AX7EH preamp valves, 4x 6973 power amp valves

Number of channels: 2

Speaker: 12" Supro BD12

Weight: 17.9kg

Key Features: Valve-driven tremolo, valve-driven 6-spring reverb, master volume, linked channels

Reasons to buy

+It’s a very cool, portable build+Incredible classic rock and blues tones+Lush reverb and tremolo+Very giggable volume

Reasons to avoid

-It’s kind of pricey

Lenny Kravitz was involved in the design of the 169RT Black Magick Reverb, and at his behest there is treble, there is reverb, and there is master volume. But, still, and Lenny would forgive us, the guitarist we think of when we think of the Black Magick is Jimmy Page, with the original Black Magick a replica of his old Supro Coronado.

Those Led Zeppelin tones wouldn’t just fall out of the box; you had to be generous with the volume, but with a master volume control and treble and bass replacing a master tone control, the 169RT Black Magick Reverb offers you a safer passage to those houses of the holy. Linking the channels opens up a new frontier in gain for this amp.

The tremolo has been improved, offering up to twice the rate of the original amps, while the valve-driven six-spring reverb allows for some subtle depth and space or a weekend’s surfing depending on how you set it.

Read the full Supro 169RT Black Magick Reverb review

Sours: https://www.musicradar.com/news/the-best-guitar-amps-for-beginners-and-experts

Moderator

 
James Lugo's Avatar

Fender amp, head only. For recording.


What's a good Fender amp in a head only version? Something nice and versatile, good cleans but breaks up nice when driven.

A good blackface Bassman can be just the ticket. I've also had success just using Fender combos as heads by disconnecting the internal speaker and plugging it into an external cab.

Lives for gear

 
rockstar_josh's Avatar

In a newer model, there's the SuperSonic. Pretty versatile, has a higher-gain overdrive channel similar to the ProSonic. Super clean first channel.

My solid state 40watt Fender Amp, makes some serious noise. The h'phones out is just horrible.
I don't know if there is such a thing as a clean guitar Amp recording out but My Fender Bass head has a line out setting and it is clean as.

Egnator ?


If you are auditioning amps, try out an egnator. Bruce Egnator designs in the preamplifier3 stages, fender , vox and marshall with overdrive switches: just suggesting you audition one: maybe one of the voices would appeal to you ?

Kcat

Gear Head

Hey James,

Honestly, I reckon the best of Fender are their combo's - and that is the sound, the whole package.

My fav's are old blackface / early silverface deluxe reverbs and vibrolux's. Both sound royal played clean, and break up in a great Stones-y way when cranked.

Just a thought. Good luck!

Lives for gear

 
TornadoTed's Avatar
 


My Studio

🎧 15 years

I love my Headstong Lil' King Princeton clone.

Lives for gear

 
swafford's Avatar

Quote:

Originally Posted by James Lugo➡️

What's a good Fender amp in a head only version? Something nice and versatile, good cleans but breaks up nice when driven.

drip SF Bandmaster Reverb modified with a larger OT - like a Virbroverby Vibrolux in head form. Awesome. Dave Allen's the man for the mod.

Or take a look at Dave's amps - he does head forms of just about every Fender and the Encore is a great Vibrolux style head.

Allen Amplification - Encore Amp

Gear Head

 
Duesenbert's Avatar

Good ol' brown-face Bassman!

Gear Nut

 
raincityrecorder's Avatar

Best fender head I've used was a Tonemaster. Great leads and heavy tones, great cleans.

Lives for gear

 
Mertmo's Avatar

I had a SF Bassman head for a while, but exchanged it for a SF Bandmaster head that was in way nicer shape.

If you want full blown ROCK tone that does nothing but punch you in the face, a SF Bassman will knock your socks off.
While I loved the tone, it wasn't versatile enough for me. And it was way too loud for use in a rehearsal studio/small stage.

The Bandmaster I have now is way more balanced. Actually capable of clean.
Much "creamier". And I can still push it into face melting territory.

The Bandmaster with OT mod sounds like a winning idea, I've been wanting to do that to mine as well...

Anybody mention a Showman yet? I don't know much about them, but my buddy had one, it was cool.

500 series nutjob

 
pan60's Avatar

Bassman, Tremolux, Vibroverb all get my vote.
Or just have a tech cut down any amp you can find for you.
They are easy to fix so about anyone you find can be brought back to life.

Musicman 210 combo they sound awesome and loud for a small amp.

Lives for gear

 
john caldwell's Avatar
 


My Studio

🎧 15 years

Can't imagine working without a 6V6 Fender chassis in the lineup; Deluxe or Princeton make as much sense as any.

John Caldwell

Lives for gear

 
cinealta's Avatar

Fender's core competency is the combo. Twin Reverb, Deluxe reverb etc. Bassman was the prototype for early Marshall, Mesa Boogie etc. Check out a Super Sonic 100 head if combo totally impossible.

Gear Guru

 
FFTT's Avatar

If you want top quality in a new true Black Face Circuit, but studio quiet,
I'd talk to Mike Moody @ Magic Amps about getting a Vibro-Deluxe 22 watt
head. It has the pre section of a VR but lower power than a vintage VR.

Lives for gear

 
jtienhaara's Avatar
Dual Showman Reverb!

Gear Nut

 
John1982's Avatar

+1 on the Tonemaster. I used to have one for a few years. I was never disappointed with the sound. Great tone from clean to heavy overdrive.

Lives for gear

 
rob S's Avatar
 


My Studio

🎧 10 years

I like a silverface Bassman AB165 head.
I take the useless bass channel and convert that to tweed bassman style.
Add a mid control, make neg feedback switchable and tone section bypassable.
Makes it a pretty flexible amp.
When you have no neg feedback and tone bypassed its almost like a champ on
HGH.....


Last edited by rob S; 17th October 2012 at 06:57 AM.. Reason: its an AB165

It depends... Fender amps are famous for being targeted at a specific need and so you aren't going to find ONE head that does everything well. As pointed out you can have anything put into a head box, so that isn't a deal breaker... If I had to summarize:

1. Small tweed (6V6s)-warm, smooth OD, no clean tone to speak of
2. Big Tweed (6L6s)-complex cleans, nice ripping crunch, the 50w amps are darn loud
3. Blond/Brown-cleans are a bit less complex (less mids), vibrato is absolutely killer, no reverb available but otherwise the do-all amps for me.
4. BF/SF small: 6V6s, studio friendly, scooped mid clean tones, folks have recorded a million hits on these
5. BF/SF bit: 6L6s-this is where it starts to get confusing. The Bassman is pretty simple, tough cleans and nice crunch. Bandmaster/Vibrolux have classic BF preamp with optical trem and reverb, but smaller OTs so they don't hit as hard and break up a bit sooner. Tremolux has bias changing tremelo and no reverb but maybe a bit more authentic blues distortion. Pro/Super/Twin/Showman all are big sounding amps with hard attack, scooped mids, classic Fender Pre...
6. The new, multichannel stuff from the Mesa like Rivera amps of the 80s (Superchamp and Princeton Reverb II) thru the later Vibroking for clean and Supersonic for distortion.

For me, I own one of most of the flavors of vintage Fenders and use a pedal if I need more overdrive.

Moderator

 
James Lugo's Avatar

Ok so lets forget I said head only. What are you guy's thoughts on these amps. I want good classic cleans and good break up when pushed, I don't want harsh. I'm not a Fender amp connoisseur but I have stood in front of Fender amps that ripped my head off and I didn't like.

'74 Twin Reverb
'79 Pro Reverb
'76 Pro Reverb - Black Face conversion. (removed Master volumn, have parts that were replaced
'70 Bandmaster Reverb

Lives for gear

 
jtienhaara's Avatar

James you didn't like the 74 Twin Reverb? (Do you know if it had decent tubes in it?)

If not then the Dual Showman Reverb is probably out, because it's the head-only version of the Twin Reverb. Designed to drive a 2x15, though I love the sound through a 4x12. It can do *very* clean and only does a mild Fendery distortion when pushed hard. I have to use pedals to get anything raunchier out of it. Though I discovered recently that input #1 is actually higher gain, so you can feed input # 1 for more breakup or input # 2 for more clean headroom. (This slightly higher gain on input #1 is true for all the old Fender amps; they're not different impedance inputs.) It also has a really nice reverb and tremolo to boot, accessible from separate # 1 and # 2 inputs. The early models were 100 watt; in the late 70s they started making 135 watt models, I've never played through any of those, but sounds like the extra wattage wouldn't be your thing anyway. At 100 watts the Dual Showman Reverb was waaaaaay quieter than the 60 watt Mesa Boogie Mark IIB I used to have. IMHO definitely not "rip your head off" volume or tone.

Good luck in your quest, post some recordings once you find your holy Fender grail!

Lives for gear

 
madgansound's Avatar
Think smaller James - forget the twin. Your ears will bleed before your get that crunchy glass breakup you're searching for. The Pro's are great but still very loud. I would be hunting for what other have been suggesting. A Deluxe / Princeton Reverb. 6v6's kill in the studio without the crazy volume and part of the 'Fender' tone is the small 'boxy' pine cabinets. Pumping the power amp section through a 4x12 wields completely different results. Personally I sold all the Fender combo's in my studio and went with some clones. Headstrong, Fargen, etc... there's a slew out there better performing and sounding than Fender's mid to late 60's offerings. Personally, RedPlate is putting out the best amps from that vein right now IMO. A Blackverb would be the only amp you use for tracking anything other than metal. Sorry to deviate from your original post

Gear Guru

 
FFTT's Avatar

The Vibrolux Reverb is the most versatile clubbing amp out there and that's
why the prices are generally higher.

It has enough headroom and it breaks up at very comfortable volumes.
You can try alternate speakers to stay tighter and cleaner or run vintage CTS
for a softer low efficiency tone.

I'd try for a 64-71

If you're thinking Mike Campbell tones, a DR or Princeton will get you there.

I agree with FFTT, find a Vibrolux Reverb, early 70s (even in Nashville you can find em for less than $1000).

Lives for gear

Lives for gear

 
Ephi82's Avatar

I have a BF Pro Reverb. Nos pre amp tubes, Weber 25watt speakers, set up for early distortion, ( one is Britt flavorered the other classic Jensen). I only run one speaker in the studio, i have pulled V1 and put that tube in the PI socket. All lend themselves to a lower volume sweet overdrive. Beautiful clean 1-3 on the volume, just starts to break up at 4, i can get it to sound pretty massive at 6 and tweaking up the bass. 57 up close, a condensor back a bit.

Lives for gear

 
Joe Porto's Avatar

You can get a head cabinet for the most common fender amps. I have a Deluxe Reverb that I put in a MoJo Tone head cab.

Quote:

Originally Posted by madgansound➡️

Think smaller James - forget the twin. Your ears will bleed before your get that crunchy glass breakup you're searching for. The Pro's are great but still very loud. I would be hunting for what other have been suggesting. A Deluxe / Princeton Reverb. 6v6's kill in the studio without the crazy volume and part of the 'Fender' tone is the small 'boxy' pine cabinets. Pumping the power amp section through a 4x12 wields completely different results. Personally I sold all the Fender combo's in my studio and went with some clones. Headstrong, Fargen, etc... there's a slew out there better performing and sounding than Fender's mid to late 60's offerings. Personally, RedPlate is putting out the best amps from that vein right now IMO. A Blackverb would be the only amp you use for tracking anything other than metal. Sorry to deviate from your original post

I was going to say exactly this. The bigger, higher powered Fenders you mentioned are known for their clean tone and you'll have a bitch of a time trying to overdrive them without a pedal. The standard for what you're talking about is the Princeton, maybe a deluxe.

Gear Addict

The newer Fender Supersonic 22 is now available in a head version...definitely worth a look. I also agree with those who mentioned the Tonemaster.

Sours: https://gearspace.com/board/

Amp head fender

Fender Guitar & Bass Amps

The Fender Amp range is quite simply, legendary. Their amps are well known for providing a wide range of tones and spawned the 'Blackface' and 'Tweed' sounds. Their reverb sounds have created whole genres on their own and these amps are widely used to this day. Fender amps have always been hard to beat and many, many companies have based their entire existence on copying some Fender amp designs.

Popular Modern Models

Fender haven't just rested on their laurels in recent years. Their Hot Rod amp has been seen on stages all over the world for many years but they've continued to push boundaries with the release of their Bassbreaker amps which go for the higher gain market - something Fender haven't always been known for.

Digital & Valve amps

Fender have had success with their digital range called the Mustang range because of their accurate recreations of famous guitar tones. Their valve amps are loved the world over from the small but punchy Princeton amps to the bigger Twin Reverb, Hot Rod and Bassman models.

More Less

Sours: https://www.andertons.co.uk/brands/fender/fender-guitar-amps
EPIC lunchbox amp comparison! (20 small low-wattage guitar amps)

The best guitar amps to buy in 2021: 15 best tube amplifiers

Although technology has progressed quite a bit since the golden age of rock ’n’ roll, for many guitarists, vintage-style tube amplifiers still represent the high-water mark for guitar tone. And even the most popular digital amplifiers expend the majority of their processing power attempting to recreate the chest-thumping tones of old.

Tube amps often don’t come cheap. But the list that follows includes amps that span a wide variety of prices to help you find the ultimate valve companion for your budget – whether you want something pedalboard-friendly, easily overdriven, loud enough to drown out an obnoxious drummer or versatile enough for a small session.

Tube vs solid-state: what should you choose?

This is a question that’s been debated since the dawn of the transistor, but digital modelling technology has made major dents in the tube amp market in recent years. There’s also no denying that volume limits at live venues have become much stricter, and smaller, lighter amplifiers are becoming increasingly popular.

But convenience and practicality aside, there’s still something hugely inspiring and emotive about old-school tube amps. Their dynamic response, feel, articulation and harmonic complexity are still difficult for even high-end modellers to emulate.

Buying a tube amp: what should you look for?

If you’re stepping into the world of tube amplification for the first time, deciding on a power rating is a good starting point. Too high, and you won’t be able to properly turn your amp up to its sweet spot. Too low, and you’ll struggle to find any clean headroom – although some would argue that being able to overdrive low-powered tube amps at sensible volumes is a big part of their appeal. Identifying whether your amp will accompany you on stage or remain in your bedroom is another factor to consider when looking at wattage.

If you are able to mic up your amp through a PA, we’ve found that 15-30 watts is the ‘Goldilocks zone’ for most gigging players. It’s not so loud that sound engineers will hate you, but you won’t have difficulties being heard above the drummer. That said, speaker efficiency plays a significant part, so be mindful of that too.

Without a power attenuator or master volume control, a 15-watt valve amp will likely be too loud for home use – even a five-watt tube amp can be enough to make the neighbours bang on the walls. If you do have concerns about noise levels, you might want to check out a digital alternative for home practice instead.

Other points to take note of are clean headroom and tonal characteristics. Is your amp going to be a pedal-platform or do you want to bathe in glorious power-tube overdrive? Are you looking for Vox chime or Marshall grind? Black-panel sparkle or tweed raunch? Modern high-gain or stoner sludge? What about onboard reverb? There are a lot of choices out there.

The best tube amplifiers to buy in 2021 at a glance:

  • Matchless Laurel Canyon 112r
  • Fender 68 Custom Pro Reverb
  • Fender 68 Custom Vibro Champ
  • Tone King Gremlin Head
  • Carr Super Bee
  • Supro 1696RT Black Magick
  • Bartel Roseland
  • Black Volt Amplification Crazy Horse
  • Two-Rock Studio Signature head
  • Rift Amplification Aynsley Lister Signature
  • Supro 1812 Blues King 12
  • Orange TremLord
  • Blackstar JJN-20R combo
  • Lazy J J10LC
  • Marshall Studio Vintage SV20H

Matchless Laurel Canyon 112r

Matchless Laurel Canyon 112R

+ Exemplary construction
+ Low noise floor and incredibly clear drive tones
– Expensive

The Laurel Canyon is a departure from Matchless’ usual fare of EL84- and EL34-loaded amplifiers. This 6V6-fitted combo is aimed at the rock and roll sounds coming out of LA in the ‘60s and ‘70s: think the drive sounds of the Rolling Stones and Neil Young. What’s not a departure is the high-quality cabinet construction and point-to-point internal wiring.

The result of the 6V6 experiment is a harmonically-rich, smoothly compressed drive sound when gunned, but on cleaner settings there’s still plenty of headroom for a 20-watt amplifier.

The amp also features a highly-interactive EQ section, with wide changes in sound across their respective frequency bands. There’s also a master volume control for full-blast tone at less-than full-blast volumes, and a 5AR4 tube handling rectification for some vintage sag.

Price: £2,995 / $2,780 Type: Single-channel, tube rectified open-back combo with effects loop and reverb, built in the USA. A non-reverb combo and head model are also available. Channels: 1 Speakers: 1x 12” custom-voiced UK-made Celestion Heritage G12H30 Tubes: 3 x 12AX7, 2 x 6V6, 1x 5AR4

Check out the full review here.

Fender 68 Custom Pro Reverb

Fender 68 Custom Pro Reverb

+ Relatively affordable, compact and lightweight
+ Gorgeous clean tones and raspy drive tones
– No master volume might dissuade some

The first of two Fender ‘68 reissues on this list, the ‘68 Custom Pro Reverb offers some absolutely sensational old-school Fender amp tones. With a tube-driven spring reverb tank and bias tremolo, you can easily dive into surf territory, but modern ambient washes certainly aren’t off-limits thanks to the long spring length.

While clean tones may be what you think of when it comes to retro Fender combos, cranking the volume knob still introduces quite a bit of hair to things. But because of the 40-watt power rating, lower volume settings aren’t exactly quiet, and at this end of things there’s lots of clean headroom if you want to let fuzzes and drives really speak for themselves, or use delay and reverb pedals without too much compression occurring.

Price: $1,299 / £1,349 Type: Single-channel 40-watt tube combo with tube-driven tremolo and reverb. Channels: 1 Speakers: 1×12” Celestion Neo Creamback Tubes: 3 x 12AX7, 2 x 12AT7, 2 x 6L6

Fender 68 Custom Vibro Champ

Fender 68 Custom Vibro Champ

+ Compact, perfect for home and small gigs
+ Much more affordable than the genuine vintage article
– Won’t get loud enough for some

This could well prove to be one of the best home tube amplifiers money can buy, thanks to its diminutive size and power rating of just five watts. That said, it will also deliver a maxed-out tube amp tone for those small gigs where you don’t need to be overly loud. While there’s no dedicated overdrive section, the low-headroom of the small wattage means that it’s easy to push the amp beyond its limits, and introducing drive pedals into the mix will allow you to get a more characterful distortion sound.

The five watts drive a 10-inch speaker, and a simple set of controls: knobs for volume, treble and bass, as well as the amount of reverb and the speed and intensity of the onboard tube-driven tremolo.

Price: $749.99 / £799 Type: Low-wattage single-channel tube combo Channels: 1 Speakers: 1×10” Celestion Ten 30 Tubes: 2 x 12AX7, 1 x 6V6

Tone King Gremlin Head

Tone King Gremlin Head

+ Stylish and compact design
+ Two channels for a range of vintage tones
– Limited controls and low wattage might deter some

This tiny little head comes in a range of colourways, but more importantly gives you five watts of power aimed at replicating the tone of an old black-panel Fender amp cranked to full, while refraining from being too loud for home use. It offers two channels: Rhythm for more “bell-like highs” and higher headroom, and Lead for a tweed-style overdrive.

Providing these tones are two 12AX7 preamp tubes and a single 5881 power amp tube. The amp’s face bears a stripped-back layout: just two inputs (one for the Lead and one for the Rhythm) and two controls: tone and volume. The two inputs could be paired with an ABY pedal for footswitchable channel switching, or you could keep it old-school with on-the-fly cable switching.

Tone King has notably included a built-in Ironman II attenuator in the Gremlin, allowing you to distort the amp’s power section while staying at a reasonable volume. This uses a “reactive load” to keep the amp’s feel consistent, no matter the output level.

Price: $1095 / £773 Type: Low-wattage tube-head with retro sounds and aesthetics Channels: 2 Speakers: N/A Tubes: 2 x 12AX7, 1 x 5881

Carr Super Bee

Carr Super Bee

+ Versatile selection of tones
+ Power attenuator lets you play at home volumes
– Expensive, and no on-board tremolo

The centrepiece of this amp is a three-position switch that chooses between different “alternate realities” of Fender Black Panel amp tones, described by Carr amps as “extra scooped beauty,” “Fullerton strut” and “heated 70s CBeeS” respectively. While the amp can run at a full 10 watts for a reasonable amount of volume, a built-in attenuator lets you take things down to 2 watts for some quieter practice.

Also present is an EZ81 tube rectifier. The full workings of rectifiers are too complex to go into full detail here, but in short, they convert alternating current from the wall into direct current in order to run the amplifier’s valves. With their slightly slower response in comparison to solid state rectifiers, tube rectifiers have more of a classic “sagging” sound when the amplifier is hit hard, as they take a little longer to catch up to large spikes in voltage.

Price: £2,399 / $2,490 Type: Vintage-styled tube amp available as either a 10” or 12” combo Channels: 3 Speakers: 1×12” Carr Valiant or 1×10” Eminence Copperhead Tubes: 1 x EZ81, 2 x 6BM8, 2 x 12AX7, 1 x 12AT7

Supro 1696RT Black Magick Reverb Combo

Supro 1696T Black Magick

+ Magnificent classic-rock tones
+ Warm cleans
+ Atmospheric onboard reverb and tremolo
– Not the most versatile

Based on the fabled Supro that Jimmy Page used in the 70s, this 25-watt, 1×12 combo has a distinctive tone we’d describe as ‘old-school heavy rock in a box’. Overdrive is smooth, yet thrillingly ferocious; it hangs on to single notes with Rottweiler-like tenacity and the defining tonal characteristic is a fat and forward midrange. At first, it may seem slightly lacking in treble and headroom, but if you’re looking for a clear and clean pedal platform, this isn’t it – and it isn’t designed to be.

Price: $1,499/£1,529 Type: Tube combo Channels: 2 Power Rating: 25W Speakers: 1x Supro BD12 12″ ceramic Tubes: 4x 12AX7, 1x 12AT7, 2x 6973

Check out our full review here.

Bartel Amplifiers Roseland

Bartel Amplifiers Roseland

+ Clear, sophisticated tones
+ Extremely versatile
+ Great build quality
– Not cheap

This 45-watter is the Bugatti Veyron of guitar amps. The finish, build quality and tone are at the very top end of the boutique league, and it’s easily one of the most versatile and best-sounding amps we’ve ever reviewed.

There are only three preamp controls – but if you’re thinking there’ll be few surprises with just volume, treble and bass to play with, you couldn’t be more wrong. Beginning with all EQs at noon, you’ll be met with a big, room-filling sound, with soft trebles and impressive low-end girth. And it only gets more magical from there on out.

Price: $4,795/£4,699 Type: Tube combo Channels: 1 Power Rating: 45W Speakers: 1x Celestion G12 Alnico Cream Speaker Tubes: 3x 12AX7, 2x 12AU7, 2x 12AT7, 2x 6L6, 1x 5AR4

Check out our full review here.

Black Volt Amplification Crazy Horse

Black Volt Amplfication Crazy Horse

+ Fantastic looks
+ Dark sparkly overdrive
+ Huge sound for a 1×10
– Niche appeal

We love this killer-looking boutique amp’s complex clean tones and its smooth and refined breakup. It offers a resolutely rootsy and old-school tone that makes you feel so connected with the amp that you may feel compelled to palm the plectrum and start digging in with fingers and thumbs. Granted, this 1×10 combo may not be as versatile as a tweed Fender – but it gets loud. Any preconceptions you might have regarding what a 1×10 combo is capable of should be left at the door.

Price: $2,300/£2,799 Type: Tube combo Channels: 1 Power Rating: 25W Speakers: 1x 10” Eminence Ragin Cajun Tubes: 1x ECC83, 1x ECC803S, 2x 6V6

Check out our full review here.

Two-Rock Studio Signature Head

Two-Rock Studio Signature Head

+ Big-bottle punch
+ A great pedal platform
+ Ridiculously high headroom
– No low-volume drive tones

If crystalline 6L6 tone and pedal-friendliness are qualities you seek then the Studio Signature Head from Two-Rock is a must-try. Big bottles and big iron supply plenty of clean headroom, and although smooth and refined overdrives are well within reach if you really crank its gain and master controls, this is an amplifier for those who worship at the altar of the Klon Centaur and Tube Screamer and won’t compromise on Strat tone.

Price: $2,699/£2,599 Type: Tube head Channels: 1 Power Rating: 35W Speakers: N/A Tubes: 4x 12AX7, 1x 12AT7, 2x 6L6

Check out our full review here.

Rift Amplification Aynsley Lister Signature

Rift Amplification Aynsley Lister Signature

The Aynsley Lister signature amp in combo configuration

+ Classy looks
+ Tonally versatile
+ Dynamic and responsive
– Boutique comes at a price

Rift Amps’ Chris Fantana and blues maestro Aynsley Lister have created an amplifier that covers an awful lot of ground, from characterful cleans with a Californian accent to late-60s British blues. This 35-watt, 1×12 combo even does the business for rootsy Americana too. The brief might well have been to deliver Aynsley’s sound in a box, but there’s plenty of scope here to find your own voice.

Price: £2,799 Type: Tube combo Channels: 1 Power Rating: 35W Speakers: 1x 12” 75W, 8-ohm Eminence The Governor speaker Tubes: 2x EL34, 1x 7025, 2x ECC83/12AX7, 1x 12AY7

Check out our full review here.

Supro 1812R Blues King 12

Supro 1812 Blues King 12

+ Boutique tones on a budget
+ Great looks and build
+ Raunchy tones at home volumes
– At this price, nothing

Very few amplifiers score a perfect 10/10 with us, but this one sure did, leaving us wondering if the Blues Junior had finally met its match in the affordable 1×12 stakes. Other than adding a tremolo circuit, it’s hard to imagine how Supro could have crammed more into such a compact cabinet.

At both stage- and home-friendly volume levels, the Blues King offers a rich palette of Americana tones from vintage cleans to frayed overdrive and explosive fuzz. When you factor its price into the equation, it’s a no-brainer purchase.

Price: $900/£599 Type: Tube combo Channels: 1 Power Rating: 15W Speakers: 1x 12” Custom Supro BK12 8-ohm driver Tubes: 1x 12AX7, 1x 6L6

Check out our full review here.

Orange TremLord

Orange Tremlord 30

+ Characterful cleans
+ Inspiring reverb and tremolo
+ Switchable power options
– Don’t expect much dirt

Although this 30-watt combo has plenty in common aesthetically with Orange’s other modern offerings, plug in and it’s quickly apparent that this is no Dual Dark or Thunderverb. The retro-sounding TremLord is all about characterful cleans, inspiring reverb and pulsating tremolo, along with providing a punchy platform for modern pedal-lovers. Overall, the vibe here is decidedly more vintage than we’ve become accustomed to from Orange in recent years – we like it a lot.

Price: $1,299/£999 Type: Tube combo Channels: 1 Power Rating: Headroom (30/15W) or Bedroom (2/1W) Speakers: 1x 12” 200W, 16-ohm Lavoce speaker Tubes: 2x 12AT7, 3x 12AX7, 4x EL84

Check out our full review here.

Blackstar JJN-20R MKII Combo

Blackstar JJN 20R Combo

+ Great drive tones
+ Modern connectivity
+ Low power mode for home use
– Primarily voiced for rock

Channelling Jared James Nichols’ no-nonsense blues-rock sensibilities, this two-channel tube combo offers a range of sounds from rich and natural cleans to tight and aggressive drive tones. The 20-watt combo also sports Blackstar’s proprietary ISF control for fine-tuning the EQ, plus USB connectivity, speaker-emulated outputs and more.

Price: $729/£699 Type: Tube combo Channels: 2 Power Rating: 20W/2W Speakers: 1x Celestion G12T-75 speaker Tubes: 2x EL84

Check out our full review here.

Lazy J J10LC

Lazy J J10LC

+ World-class clean and dirty sounds
+ Touch-sensitive dynamics
+ Superb power scaling
– Pro sounds at a pro price

One tube amp to rule them all? In a boutique market saturated with tweed clones, Jesse Hoff stands out because of his own twists to the classic recipe. Case in point: the J10LC. This 10-watt, 1×12 combo is one of the best sounding tube amplifiers on the planet, with harmonically rich clean and breakup tones, stunning dynamics and spellbinding onboard effects. It’s not cheap but this is an amp for life – it records wonderfully and, despite its comparatively low power rating, is a great gigging amp too.

Price: From £1,599 Type: Tube combo Channels: 2 Power Rating: 10W Speakers: 1×12” Celestion Blue Tubes: 1x 12AY7, 2x 6V6, 1x 5Y3

Check out our full review here.

Marshall Studio Vintage SV20H

Marshall Studio Vintage SV20H

+ Authentic Plexi tones
+ Great for recording
+ Responds well to guitar controls
– High input is rather bright

Marshall’s SV20H channels the spirit of a vintage Plexi, while sporting a compact new form factor and a considerably more manageable power rating. The crystalline clean and thick drive tones you find in abundance here will be manna from heaven for vintage Marshall fans, while the five-watt mode means you don’t have to be standing on a festival stage to get the full Plexi experience.

Price: $1299/£875 Type: Tube head Channels: 2 Power Rating: 20W/5W Speakers: N/A Tubes: 3x ECC83, 2x EL34

Check out our full review here.

Check out our picks of the best solid-state amps here.

Sours: https://guitar.com/guides/buyers-guide/best-tube-amplifiers-electric/

You will also be interested:

Approaching a sufficient distance, he shouted out the generic slogan: - "Upon the enemy" - "On the enemy" - and whirled the sword at a sufficient. Amplitude. He plunged into a ball of fire, deeply scratching the leg of the godless succubus. - Trashy, crippled, lousy, - the wounded devil voiced. I will destroy, crush, incinerate you.



955 956 957 958 959