If you need a tube amp but you fear you may not have the money to purchase a high quality one, you should know that not all cheap ones are bad. You can find good value for money, provided that you know where to search for it. It is definitely possible to get those smooth valve tones you are after, without having to pay and arm and a leg for your tube amp.
First of all, you have to decide upon the must-have features, as well as on those that aren’t deal breakers to you. If you usually practice at home, you may want a tube amp that features a headphone, so that you can practice without awakening in your neighbors the desire to kill you. You should also be clear about the power you want your tube amp to deliver. There are 15 Watt tube amps, as well as 5 Watt ones. You need to know the difference between them, so that you can decide upon the best choice for you specific situation. If you want your device to have built in reverb and tone controls, you need to compare only models that come with these features. Some of these modern tube amps have a mini USB port. You can connect them to your computer to record your music. This is a nice feature, so you may want to add it on your must-have list of requirements.
Once you find a few models that suit your requirements, you should try to make a list of all shops where you can find them. By comparing the prices, you can save a lot of money, as you can always pick the least expensive shop to place your order.
If your budget is around $500, you won’t have problems in finding what you need. However, if you want to keep your expenditure below $200, you may need to spend a longer time comparing options and features to find something to suit your requirements. In case you need more information on such affordable equipment, you should join a few online communities or discussion forums on this topic. Those people are usually knowledgeable about lots of things. It’s enough to ask them for an opinion, and they are going to be happy to provide you advice and support in making the good choice. Some of them may even want to sell their old equipment, so you could end up by purchasing decent quality stuff at extremely low prices.
Your research should provide you at least a few good options. However, if you can’t find what you need, you may have to consider searching eBay for used amps. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, as soon as you know how to pick a trustworthy seller and how to check the quality of the stuff you’re going to buy. The other wise thing to do is to wait until you can save enough money to afford the amp tube of your dreams.