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. If you need some help picking the best low watt tube amp, this post is for you!
In A Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks
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 Marshall DSL5C 1×10 5-watt tube amp is the best 5-watt tube amp for stylish musicians who still want a beam from the past.
The Marshall DSL5C has one of the most recognizable and retro looks of any amp on the market. The Marshall logo and gold control panel give you the feel of being a classic rocker regardless of its respectable size. The handle on top makes carrying of the amp a breeze.
The Marshall DSL5C packs quite a punch and can give some stylish tones when it’s down at 1 amp, and then can be cranked up to 5 amps when you’re needing to jam with your fellow musicians.
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 Archer TUBULARBK Tubular 5-Watt Guitar Combo Amplifier 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 Archer TUBULARBK has few controls, but who cares? It’s a bargain!
Best 5-Watt Tube Amp For Beginners
Novice you may be, but you can buy one of the best 5w tube amps that you can reliably use for your everyday practice. The Monoprice 611705 is a decent 5-watt tube amp for beginners or amateurs alike.
The Monoprice 611705 has amazing external and internal features. Covering this little box is cream-colored synthetic leather that makes the amp classic and solid. With the rubber handle mounted on top projecting a post-retro look, you can transport this amp wherever you are.
The Monoprice 611705 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 Monoprice 611705 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 Monoprice 611705 are superb and satisfying.
Best 5-Watt Tube Amp For Professionals
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.
The Blackstar 5-watt tube amp 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.
Tube amps are truly a demand for guitarists and bands. Finding the best low watt tube amp for you can take a little time to get right. 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.