5 Cheap Tube Amps to Make Your Wallet Smile

cheap tube amps

If you’re ever been to a concert, you’ve probably seen a guitar amp. A guitar amp will amplify the sound of your guitar, and basically “turn the volume up!” A guitar tube amp, however, is different from a standard guitar amp, which utilizes solid-state electronics. Vacuum tubes are used to amplify the signal if you are using a guitar tube amp, but these tubes are generally more expensive and need to be replaced sometimes. Although a solid-state amp will do the job with less expense, some guitarists prefer the tube amp because it produces a warmer, more solid, realistic sound.

Before you run to your local music shop, check out our list of the best cheap guitar tube amps.​

Cheap Tube Amps

Rating

Vox AC 4TV Superchamp

Bugera BC15 

Laney Cub 10 Guitar Amp Editor's Choice

Bugera V22 Infinium

Marshall DSL40C Guitar Amp Combo

1. Vox AC 4TV Superchamp

Vox AC4TV

The sleek, classic Vox AC 4TV Superchamp is a simply designed powerful amp that is worth your dollar. The Vox AC 4TC actually features the original “TV” front design from the 1958 AC15, but yet is also an up-to-date all-tube Class A AC4TV. The Vox’s 16OHM speaker output gives the ability to add an additional cabinet. This superior guitar amp includes a built-in power attenuator with various output levels (4 watt, 1 watt, and ¼ watt). It also features a 12ZX7 preamp tube, volume, tone and power controls, and a VX10 Celestion 10-inch speaker.

Measuring 20x23x17 inches and weighing 19.84 pounds, this hefty tube amp will not disappoint you with regard to sturdiness or sound quality! This amp is perfect for the guitarist looking for a small, affordable, retro-looking amp, that can offer sound that will knock your socks off! It is ideal for practicing at home at a quiet level, or you can turn up the volume to the max with 3 settings. 

Pros

  • All-tube amp
  • Features original TV front design from the 1958 AC15
  • Has a built-in power attenuator
  • Well-built, sturdy amp

Cons

  • Not ideal with distortion and overdrive pedals
  • Some customers report issues with voltage conversion

Need a simple tube pre-amp for an affordable price? Check out the Bugera BC15!

2. Bugera BC15

bulgera bc15

The Bugera BC15 is an excellent high-quality 8-inch guitar amplifier that won’t disappoint you! Between the authentic design and the classic sound that this tube pre-amp produces, you won’t be looking for another amp. It is a powerful 30-watt amp with a 12AXT tube.

This amp is known for creative sound shaping and its’ wide-range gain with various pickup types. Weighing 13.23 pounds the Bugera BC15 is a serious guitar amp with 2-band EQ, and a ¼ inch TRS jack. One drawback is that is not ideal for use with electronic bass.

This amp performs stunningly well, however, it may not be ideal for performances and live shows due to its small size. If you experience a “buzz” with this guitar amp, you can open the amp and check the wires to make sure they are not touching the metal housing. You cannot find a better amp that is also solidly built!

Pros

  • Versatile amp
  • Classic sound
  • Wide-range gain control
  • Vintage design
  • Highly affordable

Cons

  • Not ideal for large performances
  • Only a tube pre-amp

In competition with the BugeraBC15 is the Laney Cub 10!

3. Laney Cub 10 Guitar Combo Amplifier

laney cub 10

Brought to you by Laney Amps, the CUB All TUBE Series Guitar Amplifier is a powerful 10-watt guitar combo amplifier, with a 10-inch Celestion driver. This fancy combo guitar amp features 12 ECC83 Pre Amp Tubes and 2 x 6V6GT Output Tub, as well as high and low input. The Laney Cub 10 Combo Amplifier is easy to use, simply designed, and includes standard tone, volume, and gain controls.

This amp produces high-quality sounds from a small simple box with a vintage look and tone that everyone looks. The Laney Cub 10 can be connected to a larger cabinet to also produce a more impressive sound. Additionally, this combo amp is lightweight, weighing only 8.82 pounds, and is very portable, as it measures only 14.37x8.66x13.98 inches.

The Laney Cub is hailed for being a classic combo guitar amp that produces clean tones at an affordable price. It will fill your room or studio with a powerful, clear, warm-sounding music.

Pros

  • Small, efficient amp
  • Vintage look and tone
  • 8-16 OHM Connections
  • Ideal for practicing or small performances
  • Produces clean tones
  • Highly portable

Cons

  • No reverb
  • No effects loop
The Bugera V22 is a class, authentic all-tube amp that provides amazing power, quality, and sound!

4. Bugera V22 Infinium

The Bugera V22 Infinium is an excellent option for a guitar combo app that features 2 x EL84 tubes, 3 x 12AX7 tubes, a vintage look and feel, as well as Infinium Tube Life Multiplier technology. This guitar amp is a 22-watt amp that will more than impress you with its high-quality sounds, blues, and volume.

The Bugera V22 Infinium features an incredibly powerful British-engineered 12” turbo sound speaker, weighs a whopping 42.8 pounds, and measures 22.4x10.6x17.5 inches. This amp was designed to be very powerful and fill the room with sound. It has the ability to switch to half sound, however, even with half sound, this amp is still very powerful and loud, which may not be perfect for late-night home rehearsal sessions in quiet places! It should be noted that some customers have reported that the original tubes that come with the device are not the best quality and that the quality of the sound is increased if you replace the tubes.

Overall the Bugera V22 is a great authentic tube amp, that works fantastic with every type of music from jazz to heavy metal! Enjoy playing almost every genre of music with the V22!

Pros

  • Incredible power
  • Sturdy, large, genuine tube amp
  • Can switch to half power
  • Great for the money!
  • Features solid two-switch footswitch

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Original tubes installed aren't of the highest quality

Want all the bells and whistles a combo amp can offer? Then the Marshall DSL40C 40 Watt Guitar Combo Amplifier might be for you!

5. Marshall DSL40C 40 Watt Guitar Amp Combo

Last, but certainly not least on our list is the Marshall DSL Series DSL40C, 40-watt guitar combo amp! If you are looking for a highly professional guitar combo amp, and budget is not your biggest concern, then the DSL40C Marshall can be an excellent option.  

This fancy guitar combo amp features a Celestion speaker, a 2-way footswitch, level controls, as well as a shared 5-way EQ. The Marshall DSL40C is serious, sturdy amp that weighs just under 62 pounds, measures 29.33 x 25.39 x 15.35 in, and has remarkable sound quality. Perhaps the best guitar amp available on the 2017 market, this guitar amp features foot switchable classic/ultra-gain channels, foot switchable digital reverb, a series FX loop and rear panel pentode/triode switch. From the highly-acclaimed brand in guitars and guitar products, Marshall, the DSL40C is a winning amp that you won’t want to miss!

Pros

  • Features digital reverb
  • Two footswitch channels
  • Seemingly endless special features
  • 40-watt amp
  • Series FX loop

Cons

  • High budget
  • No line out
  • Heavy amp

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