Best Tube Amps 2024: highly recommended for audiophiles

a type of electronic amplifier that uses vacuum tubes to increase the amplitude or power of a signal.

Even though the first best tube amps were made in the 1930s, the best ones are still the best for players today. Since the first great guitar tone came out, many others have tried to take its place. Solid-state amps and, more lately, modeling amps all try to make that famous sound. But there’s something about a real tube amp that makes the hairs on your arm stand up.

Tube amps, which are also called valve amps, have a sound that is hard to copy because the analog design of the amplifier gives it such a rich tone. They warp in a way that is very musical and full of harmonics, giving the sound a warmth and depth that you have to hear to understand.

They also compress in a way that feels very natural, changing from the softest pluck to the hardest strum based on how hard you pick. This lets you show how expressive you are, with all the subtleties of your playing coming through. Below we have mentioned the best tube amps.

Best Tube Amps Comparison Table

Amplifier ModelPower OutputSpeaker ConfigurationWeight (lbs)Price (USD)
Harley Benton Mighty-15TH15W1×10″20.9$188
Laney Cub-Super1215W1×12″30.9$599
Fender ’64 Custom Princeton Reverb12W1×10″34$2,299
Blackstar HT-1R MKII Combo1W1×8″9.7$329
Mesa/Boogie California Tweed 6V6 4:4040W1×12″44$2,299

Harley Benton Mighty-15TH

Best Tube Amps
Amplifier ModelHarley Benton Mighty-15TH
Power Output15W
Speaker Size1×8″
Preamp Tubes3x 12AX7
Power Tubes2x EL84
ControlsGain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume
Weight7.6 kg (16.8 lbs)
Price€199.00

Who says that a high-quality tube amplifier can’t be priced so that it’s affordable for newbies, students, and those of us who are watching our budgets? This is, of course, what makes Harley Benton unique. We’ve seen it work on the company’s electric and acoustic guitars, so it’s very exciting to see it on an all-valve lunchbox head. Before talking about tone, we need to talk about the build. The electronics on the Mighty-15TH are placed on a double-sided PCB that is through-plated to make it last longer. When you turn on the Mighty-15TH, you’ll be surprised to find that it doesn’t make any noise.

This is a good sign, and this lunchbox head’s price makes it a possible partner for studio records. The tones don’t let anyone down. Under the hood, there are two Ruby Tubes EL84Cs in the power amp. When the tone starts to break up a bit, this gives the Mighty-15TH a tweed-like sound. Here is where the Mighty-15TH starts to really go. The cleans are beautiful and full of detail, but the crunch is a different story. Currently, it is one of the best tube amps that you can buy.

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Pros

  • Affordable price for a tube amp.
  • Compact size makes it easy to transport.
  • Includes a range of tone-shaping controls.

Cons

  • May not be loud enough for large gigs.
  • Build quality may not be as high as more expensive amps.

Laney Cub-Super12

Best Tube Amps
Amplifier ModelLaney Cub-Super12
Power Output15W
Speaker Size1×12″
Preamp Tubes3x 12AX7
Power Tubes2x EL84
ControlsGain, Treble, Middle, Bass, Volume
Weight14.8 kg (32.6 lbs)
Price£399.00

The Cub-Super12 is a great example of a good deal. Look at this cute little thing. It shouldn’t be less than $525/£500, but it is, and it would be a shame if people didn’t get it. This is a stylish portable tube combo amp with a dark grey vinyl finish. With two EL84s bending inside the power amp section, it has a nice roar when the volume is turned up.

It’s great for small gigs, but it’s also great for practicing at home in the afternoon. It has an onboard amplifier that lets you plug into the low power output for a very homey 1W setting. This is great for practicing, but it’s also great for recording when you don’t want too much sound coming through the mic.

The classic look hides a modern attitude, and it’s nice that the Cub-Super12 works well with pedals. There’s an effects loop on the back, and the digital reverb and onboard boost can be turned on and off with your foot. The boost is great, and it makes a good case for why all tube amps in this class should have a similar feature that can be turned on and off with a footswitch. Overall, it is one of the best tube amps that you can buy.

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Pros

  • Vintage-style tones reminiscent of classic British amps.
  • 12-inch speaker provides a full, rich sound.
  • Multiple inputs allow for use with a variety of instruments.

Cons

  • May be too heavy to easily transport.
  • May not have as much versatility as some other amps.

Fender ’64 Custom Princeton Reverb

Best Tube Amps
Amplifier ModelFender ’64 Custom Princeton Reverb
Power Output12W
Speaker Size1×10″
Preamp Tubes3x 12AX7
Power Tubes2x 6V6
ControlsVolume, Treble, Bass, Reverb, Speed, Intensity
Weight15.4 kg (34 lbs)
Price$2,399.99

The hand-wired ’64 Custom Princeton Reverb has all the dynamics and subtleties that Princetons were known for in the mid-1960s. It is very responsive and has full-bodied, chimey cleans and pure American drive when you push it. A 10″ Jensen Vintage Alnico P10R speaker gives it a warm, smooth midrange and clear, sparkling highs. Both the tube-driven spring reverb and the built-in tremolo can be turned on and off with your foot. This gives an already great amp even more options. Still, it is one of the best tube amps that you can buy.

Two 6V6 tubes in the power amp section help it put out 12W, which is loud enough for small gigs but not so loud that you can’t get great tones at home. There’s a good amount of clean space, but you’ll probably mic it up when you play live. When you turn up the level to about half, you’ll hear some really nice, musical breakup. If you keep going, you’ll also hear some really nice, natural compression. The ’64 Custom Princeton Reverb is one of the most useful tube amps out there, and it works great as a pedal platform.

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Pros

  • Classic Fender tone that’s great for clean and slightly overdriven sounds.
  • Includes a built-in reverb and tremolo effect.
  • High-quality construction and components.

Cons

  • Can be expensive compared to some other amps.
  • May not have enough gain for heavy distortion sounds.

Blackstar HT-1R MKII Combo

Best Tube Amps
Amplifier ModelBlackstar HT-1R MKII Combo
Power Output1W
Speaker Size1×8″
Preamp Tubes1x ECC83 (12AX7)
Power Tubes1x ECC82 (12AU7)
ControlsClean, Overdrive, ISF, Tone, Volume
Weight3.9 kg (8.6 lbs)
Price$299.99

The ‘HT’ line of small, all-tube amps from Blackstar put the company on the map as soon as they came out. Now that we’re on the MKII series of these amps, they’re even better. For now, it is one of the best tube amps that you can buy.

The HT-1R MKII adds a nice digital reverb, and the addition of “voice” switches on both channels lets you switch between UK and US tones in a stylish way. This makes the HT-1R more versatile, which is good news for us guitarists. With the HT-1R MKII being a small 1 watt, 1×8″ combo that costs just a bit more than $300, you might expect to have to give up some features. This could be the best home practice amp for people on a budget who want tubes. The amount of compromise here is very small, just like the amp itself.

The only thing we don’t like about this amp is that the 8″ speaker doesn’t always give us the low-end sound we want. To be honest, though, it’s a small, all-tube practice amp that costs about the same as a good overdrive pedal, so there’s really nothing to gripe about. It even has a USB port so you can record at home in silence, just like the head version.

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Pros

  • Compact size makes it easy to transport and store.
  • Includes a range of tone-shaping controls and built-in effects.
  • Affordable price for a tube amp.

Cons

  • May not be loud enough for larger gigs.
  • Limited headroom may make it difficult to get clean sounds at high volumes.

Mesa/Boogie California Tweed 6V6 4:40

Best Tube Amps
Amplifier ModelMesa/Boogie California Tweed 6V6 4:40
Power Output40W
Speaker Size1×12″
Preamp Tubes5x 12AX7
Power Tubes2x 6V6
ControlsClean, Drive, Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble
Weight18.1 kg (39.9 lbs)
Price$1,799.00

Mesa amps are known for being complicated monsters, which we love. There’s a lot of gain and a lot of buttons, switches, and knobs. But this beautiful amp is totally different. Randall Smith made it as a tribute to Leo Fender’s amp designs from the 1950s, which is why it’s called “Tweed.”

The story goes that when Randall began making Mesa/Boogie amps in the 1960s, Leo’s tweed circuits had a big impact on him. He liked how natural the tones sounded and how easily they went from clean to distorted and back again. This was partly because they used 6V6 tubes. Thus, it is one of the best tube amps that you can buy.

The California Tweed 6V6 4:40 amp is both beautiful and easy to use because of how simple it is. The control panel is simple, with just seven chicken-head buttons for gain, master, EQ, presence, and reverb. There is also a Multi-Watt selector that lets you change the output from 40 watts to just two. There is a normal input and a clean input, which is padded down so it doesn’t drive the preamp as much for maximum space.

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Pros

  • High-quality construction and components.
  • Versatile range of tones, from clean to heavily overdriven.
  • Includes a range of tone-shaping controls.

Cons

  • Expensive compared to some other amps.
  • May be too heavy to easily transport.

FAQs

What is a tube amp?

A tube amp, also called a valve amp, is an electronic amplifier that boosts an electrical signal by using vacuum tubes. Tube amps are popular among artists because of their warm, full sound. They are often used in guitar and bass amplifiers.

What are the advantages of tube amps?

Many artists like tube amps because they have a warm, natural sound. They also tend to have a wider range of dynamics and react better to subtle changes in the way you play than solid-state amps. Also, some artists like the way the tubes look when they are lit up.

What should I look for when buying a tube amp?

When getting a tube amp, think about how much power it can handle, how many channels it has, and what kind of tubes it uses. You should also think about how you plan to use the tube amp, since different types may be better for different kinds of music.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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