Whether you play your guitar for personal entertainment or living, you sure would want to make a beautiful and satisfying sound out of it. Out of a desire to brag about the beat, some would shred the guitar really hard forgetting it could harm the instrument.
Professional guitarists know exactly what to use to make the sound of the guitar loud and striking—they use electronic amplifiers. Amplifiers, as the name already suggests, amplify or increase the amplitude, power, or voltage of a signal, thus increasing the intensity of sound.
There are several kinds of amplifiers available: the transistor amp, magnetic amp, and the vacuum-tube amp which is popularly used and is also recognized as a tube amp. Tube amps come in weak to medium-signal and low to high-wattage.
High wattage means more heat, more energy, and higher bills. In contrast to that, having a low-watt tube amp would mean less heat, less power, and less increase in electricity bills. This is the reason why most guitarists, especially those who play a lot, prefer using low-watt tube amps.
Analogous to modern thinking about the poor sound quality of low-watt tube amps, these kinds of tube amps are actually sound-blasting yet good. Though they could cost more than a hundred bucks, their price is pretty much reasonable compared to other amps with higher wattage.
You can purchase a 2-watt or a 4-watt tube amp but the 5-watt tube amps are the most common and most used low-watt amplifiers today. This post will help you pick the best 5-watt tube amp for your needs.
Novice you may be, but you can buy a 5-watt tube amp that you can reliably use for your everyday practice. TheLaney Cub 8 is a decent 5-watt tube amp for beginners or amateurs alike.
The Laney Cub 8 has amazing external and internal features. Covering this little box is black leather that makes the amp classic and solid. The brown panel on top projects a post-retro look. With the rubber handle mounted on top, you can transport this amp wherever you are.
The Laney Cub 8 uses a 6V6GT as power or output tube and an EEC83 as a preamp tube that gives a robust quality sound that could be optimized by the use of low input. With the right volume intensity, the amp can make a soothing sound perfect for jazz and blues.
Using the high input will let you wander through saturated sound and rhythm. Though this amp is a single-ended class, it is not impossible to create a balanced tone. Not to mention, amplifiers of this kind are very sensitive to guitar levels although single coils can solve this issue.
The 8-inch speaker of the Laney Cub 8 with Celestion Driver provides a focused sound that makes the amp perfect for studio sessions. Controls are easy to configure. You can control the levels of volume and tone with the devoted dials.
The only drawback this amp has is the short power cord. Other than that, the sound quality and affordability of Laney Cub 8 are superb and satisfying.
Professional guitarists want a tube amp that can compete. To find one that could do so is a rather challenging task as the number of tube amps come abundantly in the market. One of the competing models of a 5-watt tube amp for professionals is the Blackstar HT5R.
With the dimensions of 17.5” by 14” by 9”, the Blackstar HT5R is perfect for musicians that travel a lot because it is easy to transport. The petite size of this tube amp also makes it ideal for space-restricted playrooms.
It has easy-to-maneuver controls for volume and tone. It has two channels that can be switched by foot: overdrive channel and clean channel.
The overdrive channels include Gain, Bass, Midrange, Master, Treble, and ISF. Also, this amp brags global reverb for better mixdown. The Blackstar HT5Ruses 12AX7 and EL84, features that are paramount for studios or places that require low level.
Best 5-Watt Retro Tube Amp for Stylish Rockers
While almost all tube amps look retro and archaic, not all with such physical features can give great vibrato. The Vintage 47 Oahu Suitcase tube amp is the best 5-watt tube amp for stylish musicians who still want a beam from the past.
The Vintage 47 Oahu Suitcase, as the name obviously suggests, is a suitcase-shaped tube amp with a vintage look. On the side is a rounded speaker covered with basket-weave grills. The handle on top makes carrying of the amp a breeze.
It uses Tung-sol 6SLCGT as a preamp, 6V6 for output and 5Y3 as a rectifier. This tube amp only weighs 17.3 lbs.—portable, indeed. It provides vibey tones excellent for the jams. It is also a great tool for recording.
Best 5-Watt Tube Amp for the Money
If you are really concerned with the budget, you can go for an alternative to 5-watt tube amps that do not cost much as other models and brands.
The Kustom Defender H5 is the best tube amp for budget purchasers. It uses 12AX7 as preamp tube and EL84 for output. There is a volume knob that can be easily controlled and a power switch for easy access.
It is simple but the sound quality is good and “vibey”. This tube amp can be a perfect gift for guitar enthusiasts who want to have their first tube amp. However, the Kustom Defender H5 has no controls, but who cares? It’s a bargain!
Tube amps are truly a demand for guitarists and bands. You can buy tube amps that best suit your music needs. You can buy the 5-watt tube amps listed above or other amps with lower or higher wattage.
Tube amps with low wattage and smaller dimension are more affordable while modern and high-watt tube amps, regardless of size, are pricey. If you are on a tight budget, you can choose to buy second-hand tube amps that can be purchased in reputable online selling sites or garage sales in your village or neighborhood.