Buyer’s Guide: Tips on How to Choose the Best Tube Amp this Year

The type of guitar tube amp that you need to use will be heavily influenced by the kind of music you want to play. But what if you still can’t choose between tube amps available in the market this year? To have an idea, you should start here.

Best Tube Amp

There is a wide range of tube amps that you can find in the market today and each of the tubes is suitable for a specific genre of music. If you are currently having a hard time choosing the best tube amp, here are a few buying tips that will help you a lot.

Tip #1: Know the different types of tube amp

Tube amps come in different types. And if this is your first time purchasing a tube amp or a set of them, you should know the different types. Here are a few types that you may encounter when buying a tube amp.

  • EL84 tube – This tube is one of the popular types of a tube amp, especially for Class A amplifiers. The EL84 has compressed, spongy, creamy saturation, and upper mid-heavy sound that distorts readily whenever the volume is pushed. One of the popular speakers with high end L84 today with vintage style is the monoprice tube amp.
  • 6L6 tube – Famously known as ‘high headroom’ tube, where it can produce loud volume before distortion. The 6L6 is common on Class A amps but are also found on Class AB amps.
  • 6V6 tube – Similar to 6L6, the ‘American’ sounding tube is one of the popular tubes used by the lead guitarists when playing single high notes. The 6V6 distorts when at a lower volume. And the tube is ideal for classic rock, blues, and country music.
  • EL34 tube – A popular classic ‘British’ power tube that produces pleasant mids and smooth highs. The EL34 is often compared to the 6L6 tube; however, the former has a strong association with the most popular British amplifier companies such as Orange and Marshall.

Tip #2: Check the construction

When choosing a tube amp, make sure that the speaker cabinet is thick at least ½ inches to achieve strong sound and to make sure that the entire speaker can withstand its vibration. Also, it is better to choose an amp with a closed-back; this type can produce better bass sound from the speaker.

Lastly, look for an app that is designed with corner protectors because this will help keep the amp intact, especially when moving from one location to another.

Tip #3: Check the power rating and the speaker size

How will you use the amp? The power rating and the size of the speaker will depend on its application. For instance, most of the practice amps are designed with a power rate of 10 – 30 watts and have a size speaker of 8 or 10 inches. Secondly, if you are going to use the amp playing on small venues or for rehearsal purposes, you may use an amp with a power rating of 50 watts and a speaker size of 12 inches. Lastly, if you are looking for an amp that will produce great sound at a larger venue, you should use twin speakers of 12 inches with a 50-watt power amp.

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