If you’re looking for the best tube amp under 1000 USD, you’re in the right part of the Internet! As an advanced guitar player, I know how tough it is to pick and choose new musical gear. Things are hard when you’re a beginner and you don’t know anything about guitars and amps. But moreover, things get even harder when you already have some relevant experience. You know what to expect and you want to find the best and most affordable gear at the same time. Hence, I created Best Guitars Now to help with making that choice.
In today’s article we’re going to have a deep look at the top tube amps available on the market. We will highlight the best models and find out why are they so good. In addition, we will be looking at the gear manufactured by the most reputable brands in the music world. Let’s start with a list of 10 amazing tube amps for under 1000 USD. In the second part, we’ll review all of them and in the third part, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about tube amps. Ready? Let’s rock n’ roll!
Best Tube Amp Under 1000 USD – Top 10 Amplifiers
|Blackstar HT20R||See on Amazon|
|Fender Blues Jr||See on Amazon|
|VOX AC15C1||See on Amazon|
|Egnater Rebel Tube Amp||See on Amazon|
|Sawtooth Tube Series||See on Amazon|
|Bootlegger Tube Amp||See on Amazon|
|Orange Rocker 15W||See on Amazon|
|VOX AC4HW1||See on Amazon|
|Peavey Classic 30||See on Amazon|
|PRS Sonzera||See on Amazon|
This Blackstar amp will be an ideal choice for both beginner and more advanced players. The amplifier is heavily inspired by the classic look of EL84 model. In addition, it features really clear, bright and punchy cleans and searing overdrive. Undoubtedly, this tube amp can sound amazing at home, at rehearsals and even in studio. It has everything you need, whether you’re into blues, indie or hard rock. Feel free to check out the detailed description under the link above. Nevertheless, the solid construction and 20W power definitely offers a really powerful, unique and vibrant tone. Great job, Blackstar!
Fender Blues Junior
If you’re a little bit more skilled guitar player, you’re most likely aware that Fender produces and manufactures absolutely amazing instruments. Certainly, they’re one of the most iconic and legendary brands known in the guitar world. Apart from guitar, they also create AMAZING amps. Whether you’re looking for a tube or digital combo – they got you covered. The Blues Junior amp features a really classic, warm and vintage tone. Combined with a Stratocaster guitar, this tweed gear does absolute wonders. In addition, it has a “FAT” option, which is foot switchable. This solution adds a really subtle overdrive and a little big thicker tone, which is great for rhythm guitarists. Moreover, the amplifier has a built-in spring reverb which opens a lot of doors if you’re looking for unique and indie tone. In my opinion, it may be the best tube amp under 1000 USD. For sure!
VOX is another legendary manufacturer of guitar amplifiers. In fact, their amplifiers were used by the most successful rock bands in the history of music, such as Queen, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles. The AC15C1 model is one of the best sounding tube amps that I’ve seen. Although in comparison with other amplifiers on my list it has a little bit more power (10W), it can still get REALLY loud. In fact, it will be more than enough for playing at home or small gigs. If you’re looking for a classic, vintage sound in a modern amp, this model will be ideal for you. What I also like about the C1 version is that it offers a classic VOX tremolo and a footswitchable spring reverb. Great choice for both beginner and intermediate guitarists. In fact, check out the sound sample below. Sounds great, right?
Egnater Rebel Tube Amp
Although Egnater may not be as popular as Fender, VOX or Blackstar, this tube amp offers a really great crunchy tone at a reasonable pricing. What’s more, thanks to the power of 30W, it can get REALLY loud. Trust me, you can even play a really solid live gig with this thing. The amp features two channels: one for clean and the other one for overdrive tones. On top of that, it features a really classic look. Great price, classic vintage sound and affordable pricing – who needs anything else? Well done, Egnater!
Sawtooth Tube Series
Another really great tube amp with a unique look. Most importantly, this vintage-styled amp has 40-Watt power. Thanks to the spring reverb and a 2-way footswitch, the amp will be perfect for intermediate musicians who are playing live concerts. If you’re looking for a really classic and retro looking amp with modern components, you should definitely consider checking out this tube amp. Tweed grill, retro piping and chicken head knobs definitely improve the overall look of this gear. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the most interesting amplifiers on my list. In addition, it offers a really cool, warm and a little bit crunchy vintage sound. Perfect for lovers of classic rock n’ roll and indie/alternative genres!
Bootlegger Tube Amp
Again, this is a great sounding and great looking affordable tube amp. Bootlegger may not be the most famous manufacturer of sound gear, but they are definitely worth having a look. In fact, they’re a boutique manufacturer of amps with vintage values. If you’re looking for something special and made with a real attention to detail, Bootlegger is the right way to go. In terms of sound, this tube amp features a really retro, natural tube crunch. Absolutely amazing choice for all different kinds of genres. Whether you’re into indie rock, classic rock or blues, you’re totally going to love it.
Orange is one of the most popular manufacturers of guitar amplifiers in the world. This portable 15W tube amp is capable of really great things. In fact, it’s one of the best high quality amps on the market right now. Due to its size, it’s mainly recommended for playing at home. Nevertheless, you will be able to rehearse and play small gigs with it too, because it can get very loud. It may not be the cheapest option, but it’s definitely an amazing, if not the best, tube amp under 1000 USD. I highly recommend it to any guitarist who wants to achieve a special tone. With that Orange Rocker, even the simplest riffs sound spectacular. Great job!
Check out the picture above – this amp looks special, right? As I mentioned before, VOX is an absolutely iconic brand with a solid global reputation. Undoubtedly, their guitar amplifiers offer amazing quality. Although this tiny tube amp has only 4W power, it offers a crystal clear sound quality. And it’s not quiet at all! On top of that, it’s part of the Hand-Wired Series. In addition, the amplifier comes with a foot switch and amp cover. Great choice for both amateur and advanced guitar players who are looking for exceptional tone. I also reviewed headphone amps manufactured by VOX – feel free to check out my recommendations.
Peavey Classic 30
Peavey is a manufacturer of reputable, well-known, great sounding and affordable amps. This model offers really clean and bright tone, perfect for a wide variety of genres. What I also like about this tube amplifier is the classic tweed look. Certainly, it’s extremely eye-catching. The Classic 30 is a part of Peavey’s Classic Series made specifically for lover of vintage sound and aesthetic. In addition, in comparison with other models on my list, it’s actually really cheap. Absolutely exceptional tube amp in a really decent price. I highly recommend checkin it out! Actually, here’s a sound sample below. Sounds stunning, right?
PRS Guitars, founded by Paul Reed Smith, is a reputable and high-quality manufacturer of guitars and guitar amps. Altohough their gear is not cheap, they offer a stunning quality. In fact, there are a lot of famous guitarists who use their musical equipment, for example John Mayer. This 20-Watt combo will be perfect for both beginner and intermediate guitarists who are looking for a special tone. The clean channel features the sound reminiscent of the most popular 1960s and 1970s tones. On the other hand, the lead channel can be used for heavy distortion. As a result, these two channels sound like two completely different amplifiers. If you’re interested in having something very versatile and made with an extreme attention to detail, you should definitely check out this tube amp by PRS. Amazing stuff!
Tube Amps – FAQ
What is a tube amp?
In fact, tube amps feature vacuum tubes that amplify the signal. In addition, they’re often known as valve amps in the United Kingdom. They offer a really unique and classic sound. As a matter of fact, the classic tube amp sound can be heard on thousands of the most iconic and legendary recording. Undoubtedly, it’s plays a vital role in the history of popular music.
Are tubes dangerous?
Tubes used in guitar amps are safe as long as you follow the amp’s instruction manual provided by the manufacturer. It is true that the tubes can get really hot. Remember to unplug the amplifier from power supply before you start replacing them!
How to change the tube in an amp?
Most importantly, you should not change the tubes in your amp if you don’t feel like you’re experienced enough to do that. Nevertheless, the replacement of tubes is really easy. Watch out for the pins on new tubes, because they can break very easily. Additionally, you can ask more experienced guitar players to help you. If you don’t know anyone who can do it or if you don’t feel comfortable enough to replace them on your own, find a local technician who can help you.
What are the best manufacturers of guitar tube amps?
As I mentioned in the article, the most important reputable brands include VOX, Fender, Blackstar, Peavey and many more. Nevertheless, you don’t necessarily have to buy amps from well-known manufacturers. What’s more, there are boutique brands that offer amazing musical gear too. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of different models of guitar tube amps. You will definitely find something suitable for you and your style of music. Nevertheless, if you decide to choose the most reputable models, you can be sure that you will find the best tube amp under 1000 USD.
How to know if my tube amp is broken?
Unfortunately, just like everything else, guitar tube amps can get damaged too. The most common issues are:
- flat sound
- constant fuzz
- cracking sound
- loss of volume
- no high frequencies
- dead amp channel
- fading volume
Think of tubes as of lightbulbs. Some of them las longer, but in the end, you will have to replace them. If you observe any of the issues stated above, think about replacing the tube.
Best Tube Amp Under 1000 USD – Conclusion
As you can see, there are a lot of amazing tube amps within this price range. On top of that, all of the amps reviewed in this article feature a really special tone. It’s difficult to pick just one and call it the best, but for me all of them deserve the ‘Best Tube Amp Under 1000 USD’ award. Whether you’re an amateur or a more skilled player, you will definitely be satisfied if you choose one of these amplifiers. I hope that my article helped you with making the right choice. Good luck with your musical journey and remember to practice as much as you can!
From my experience, I know that tube amps sound great with the Stratocasters. If you’re interested in finding out about these guitars, check out my review of Fender American Professional II Stratocaster. This guitar does get really expensive, so Squier Strat may be a more affordable choice. Nevertheless, I’m sure that both of these guitars would sound amazing plugged into a tube amp.
Dave, the author of this blog, is an intermediate musician with more than 13 years of experience within the music industry. The focus of this blog is to educate beginner musicians, promote the best ways to learn guitar playing and highlight the most affordable musical equipment on the market. Feel free to share that article with your network to spread the word about our blog. It will help us grow!