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4/29/2010

Best tube amps?

Some people say solid state amps can be just as good as tube amps. Quite a lot of people still say a tube sound is always unique and (still) unmatched by electronic clones. But very few people actually say solid states surpass tubes.

There must be a reason why tube amps are more expensive, arguably less reliable (as the tubes may shut down for good at any time, some people say), require maintenance AND STILL keep selling on the market. With all those disadvantages, the tone the valves produce really must be worth all the trouble. Right?

There is a great chance your favorite songs (especially if from the 80's music golden age) were recorded with tube amps. Famous guitarrists, both on their youth back in the 80's and still nowadays, keep prefering in general the sound of a certain tube amp of their taste. And they must know what sounds good and what sounds bad... they've been in the business for ages. They've tried hundreds of gears on their professional lives.

So wether you are an adept of solid states or confess tubes are just better, it's always handy to know which tube amps have the best reputation. This way, you can know what you can expect from a great amp, and which "best of the best" you can compare a certain amp with.



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(For an explanation of what this is all about, see This site explained.)

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TDPRI forum topic 1
Original Post Date: November 2006
Original Poster Question: best tube amp for a telecaster playing mostly classic rock but also genres around rock (thrash metal, emo, alternative)

- Fender (most mentioned: Twin Reverb, Deluxe Reverb): 10
- Marshall: 8
- Peavey (most mentioned: Classic 50): 7
- Vox: 3
- Mesa-Boogie: 2
- Crate: 1
- Fender: 1
- Laney: 1
- Marshall: 1
- Peavey Classic: 1


TDPRI forum topic 2
Original Post Date: April 2007
Original Poster Question: best tube amp around 15-20 watts, under $500, with good twangy sound and classic rock break up

- Fender (most mentioned: Blues Junior, Pro Junior): 6
- VOX: 5
- Carvin: 2
- Peavey: 2
- Orange Tiny Terror: 1


My Les Paul forum topic 1
Original Post Date: September 2007
Original Poster Question: best tube amp for classic 70' and 80' rock

- Marshall: 15
- Fender: 6
- VOX AC30: 5
- Orange: 3




 
My Les Paul forum topic 3
Original Post Date: July 2009
Original Poster Question: best first real tube amp under $1000 for jazz & rock with a Les Paul and a drummer

- Fender: 5
- Mesa Boogie: 2
- Peavey Classic: 2
- VOX AC30: 2




Original Post Date: January 2008
Original Poster Question: the best small, cheap tube amp for home/practice under $300

- Fender (most mentioned: Pro Junior, Super Champ XD): 22
- VOX: 6
- Epiphone Valve Junior: 5
- Carvin: 2
- Roland Microcube: 2


My Les Paul forum topic 2
Original Post Date: February 2009
Original Poster Question: tube amp for clean tones, under 20 watts, that barely breaks up at all

- Fender: 8
- Marshall: 1
- VOX: 1

GuitarForums topic
Original Post Date: July 2009
Original Poster Question: best tube amp for clean and distortion

- Fender: 5
- Ampeg: 3
- VOX AC30: 2
- Epiphone Valve Junior: 1
- Mesa-Boogie: 1


 Now the Tube Hall of Fame:


 1.    Fender: 63
Fender Super-Champ XD 120V Guitar Combo

2.    Marshall: 25
Marshall Class 5 All Valve Class A 5W 1X10 Guitar Amp

3.    VOX: 24
Vox Valvetronix VT30 Guitar Combo Amplifier - 1x10 inch, 30 watts


4.    Peavey: 12
VYPYR 60 Tube Guitar Combo Amp


Wow, this was a tremendous victory for Fender. Honestly I thought it was going to be a battle of the titans between Fender and Marshall. I wasn't expecting one of them to win by such a big margin. If we focused on metal forums, Marshall might have gotten nearer to the first place, though. All in all, Fender seems to be the most appreciated all-purpose amplifier.
TDPRI forum topic 3

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