No longer the preserve of the well heeled, a valve guitar amp can be surprisingly affordable these days…
When you’re aiming to get the best guitar tone possible, one piece of equipment always seems to figure- a valve guitar amp.
Producing tone with legendary rich tone, and astonishing dynamic performance, there really is no substitute for real valves.
Once upon a time, owning a valve amp required a serious financial commitment. These days, however, the huge increase in demand for tube amps at the more affordable end of the spectrum has meant that you can you get your hands on some glowing tubes for a surprisingly low price.
Here are four great examples…
Fender is no stranger to hybrid digital-tube technologies, but one of its most recent amps provided this at an unprecedented low price.
The Champ X2 combines valve guitar amp technology (it’s equipped with a 12AX7 pre-amp valve, and two 6V6 power amp valve) with its incredibly popular FUSE modelling tech.
Essentially, channel 1 is a clean valve channel (with all of Fender’s classic sparkle and warmth), and channel 2 offers all of the modelling technology. So, it can emulate countless amps, edit sounds via a host computer, and even record to a DAW via USB.
The Blackstar HT-1RH Head with HT112 1×12” cab set is a great addition to the Blackstar family of amplifiers. It’s the same great HT-1RH 1 Watt head that took the mini amp world by storm, but this time updated with a gorgeous retro Bronco Tan covering. Best of all it comes with its very own matching 1×12″ speaker cabinet so you can make that awesome all valve noise straight out of the box. It comes with the patented Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) circuitry so you get the same control over your sound which allows you to switch from beefy, bold American sounds to more British, clearer sounds in an instant. There’s two amp channels (overdrive and clean), as well as a host of effects including digital reverb, and an MP3/ Line Input too.
This is a highly limited product, with only 750 available worldwide, so be quick if you want to own a piece of amplifier history!
Fender have introduced their new Bassbreaker series of amps for 2016 and the results are simply stunning. Fortunately these all valve amplifiers come in a range of options, so whether you’re a touring musician, home recording specialist or just want something easy to lug from practice and home again, you have a wide range of different sized combos and cab/head sets to choose from.
Here we have the very impressive Fender Bassbreaker 007 combo. Yes it’s small in size, but don’t think for a second that this thing won’t blow your windows out if you crank it. Packed with 12AX7 and EL84 tubes for a dynamic range of tone, a 10 inch celestion speaker and 7 watts of pure power, it’s capable of handling smaller sized venues, practice rooms or studio work with ease. Go from gorgeous crystal clear tones to humbucker style drive and use the treble boost switch with caution; this thing bites. Check out the full range here.
If you’ve ever hankered after real valve amp tone, there’s never been a better time to get it…