There is something mysterious about tube amplifiers that makes an audiophile’s pulse to race. These amplifiers are treasured due to their ability to deliver a warm and natural sound as well as a deep and rich tone which isn’t comparable to that of solid-state amplifiers.
Because of this, most of that, these models are considered pricier than competitor models. However, that doesn’t mean that you should give up on getting one of these amplifiers since there are high-performing models out there that come at reasonable prices.
To help you narrow your choices on a tube amp availed at a pocket-friendly price, below we have reviewed the best tube amps under $500. Stay put and get to find out the appropriate model to meet our desires.
1. Monoprice 611705 5-Watt 1×8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier – Tan/Beige with Celestion Super 8 Inch Speaker
Get a high-quality guitar tone with the Monoprice 611705. The amp features a 5watt tube with a Celestion Super 8″ speaker enabling it to deliver a crisp sound. Further, it includes a low input and high input feature. The high input is easy to override while the low input attenuates the signal by approximately 50%. The Monoprice 611705 uses a 6V6GT power tube for the amplifier section and an ECC83/12AX7 preamplification tube. You can expect it to handle frequencies that range from 80Hz and 10 kHz with a 75dB noise level and a 0.5% total harmonic distortion.
- Leather handle enhances portability
- Chrome corner guards and synthetic leather exterior enables the amp to match to modern decor styles.
- Celestion Super 8″ Speaker delivers well-balanced mids and highs.
- Simple and minimalist controls maintain a clean circuit pure tone.
2. Nobsound® Hi-Fi Tube Amplifier, 110V Input Voltage, Tubes: EL34*2 + 6N8P*2 +5Z3P*1, Hi-end Tube Integrated Amplifier
Are you looking for a perfect tube amp under $500 for use with the home stereo or audio systems? If so, you will not make a wrong choice once you opt to buy the Nobsound® Hi-Fi Tube Amplifier. The amp features an EL34 vacuum tube enabling it to deliver outstanding highs and mids. Plus, it combines two 6N9P tubes that bring deep lows to ensure a well-balanced tone.
The amp features a class A single-ended design so that it can reduce distortion. It features an integrated design where the performance and engineering of preamplifiers and amplifiers are combined into one space-saving unit to reduce the overall footprint of the home stereo.
- Stainless steel chassis and solid wood panel guarantee durability.
- Two EL34 vacuum tubes and 6N9P tubes ensure a well-balanced tone.
3. PM15H – Guitar Tube Amplifier Head – 15W, 2 Channel, Effects Loop
Third, on the list is the PM15H – Guitar Tube Amplifier. Featuring everything that is required for practicing, this is a perfect choice when you want to eliminate the hassle and costs as you look forward to playing your next gig. The amp includes 12AX7 preamp and 6V6 power tubes so that it can provide pure tube tone.
Further, it features two separate channels enabling you to switch between overdriven and clean tones. The effects loop and footswitch input are other additions designed to enhance an optimal switching between the channels.
- A lead switch provides additional gain to enhance solos.
- Three bands shared EQ comprise of Bass, Middle, and Treble.
- Two channels include the overdrive and clean channel.
- Separate volume controls enhance easy volume control in both channels.
4. SMSL T2 2X6J9 Super Low Ground Noise Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier, Integrated Tube Amplifier
Want to benefit from an optimum listening experience? Well, give a try to the SMSL T2 Amplifier. The amp utilizes two NJM5532D and two 6J9 J-grade tubes which serve as the core parts of the circuits. NJM5532D forms a current that amplifies the electric circuit enabling it to drive the mini headphone amplifier. On the other hand, 6J9 J-grade tubes amplify the voltage which results in a rise of the input signal. Because of this, you can expect to get a combination of powerful drive current and high-quality sound which results in an optimum listening experience.
Another advantage of this amplifier is that it adopts a single chip microcomputer and Relay. These two work together to control the sound when the device is turned off or on for the first time. The result is that the device gets a chance to warm up before the sound transmission process thereby protecting the device and speakers from producing an annoying sound. SMSL T2 Amplifier is made using scratch-resistant CNC aluminum to enhance strength.
- High-grade microprocessor controls the relay while being switched on and off to ensure low ground noise.
- The high-temperature section of the tube is placed strategically and out of reach in the amplifier to enhance safety.
5. Douk Audio Mini 6J1 Valve & Vacuum Tube Pre-Amplifier Stereo HiFi Buffer Preamp
As one of the best tube amps under $500, the Douk Audio Mini 6J1 is a cost-effective tube amp designed to provide the highest level of service. The amplifier features Classic 6J1 tubes with optimized circuit enabling it to deliver an outstanding music experience. More to that, the amp adopts the DC12V 1A universal power supply which makes it suitable for use in different countries and regions.
- The electron tube includes a classic tube 6J1 designed to optimize the route.
- Aluminum alloy shell with turmeric PCB and gold-plated interfaces enhance strength and a stylish look.
- Electron’s tube replaceable design makes it easy to upgrade.
6. APPJ Mini2013 2018 6J1+6P1 Vacuum Tube Amplifier
Next, we have the APPJ Mini2013. The amplifier includes a 6J1X2 voltage amplification tube and a 6P1X2 power amplification tube. Its power consumption rate is 36watts whereas it delivers a 3W+3W@4/8 output power. The amp measures 12.4cmX13.2cmX16.6cm while it weighs 1.7kg.
- 30-40 kHz frequency response rate.
- Available in black and silver.
- Small footprint design.
7. Uniharpa Professional Audio-Frequency Vacuum Tube Amplifier X9 110V-240V
Benefit from high sound quality and a listening experience that provides you with A level of warmth once you adopt the Uniharpa Vacuum Tube Amplifier. The amplifier adopts euphonic colorations to enhance a smooth, sweet and spectacular sound. Further, it features a one-piece aluminum panel with metal wire drawing. This ensures a perfect edge-sealing enabling it to improve thermal heat dissipation by 30%. On the platen base, there is an aluminum alloy insulation and non-magnetizer materials to protect against the spread of magnetism from the platen base in the aim of reducing noise and distortion. The tubes include protective covers equipped with high-quality aluminum alloy to enhance durability and decreased signal interference.
- High-frequency 6N3J tube voltage amplifier eliminates distortion.
- WY3P voltage regulator tube ensures a multilevel filter to guarantee great performances.
- Several input abilities include Bluetooth, Aux, and CD.
8. Nobsound FU-7 Tube Amplifier HiFi Class a Single-Ended Integrated Amp DIY KIT
Designed for DIYers, the Nobsound FU-7 Tube Amplifier comes in the form of a DIY kit where you are required to solder it by yourself. The kit comprises of all the tube amplifier supplies including a power cord and bottom panel. Also, there is a manual, but this is in the form of a diagram which makes it suitable for professional use.
- Output impedance is rated at 4ohm 8ohm.
- The dual voltage design makes the amplifier suitable for use in different states.
9. Nobsound Tube Amplifier NS-13D with 2 Vacuum Tube of EL34, Hi-Fi, 100% Handmade
Are you an audiophile looking for the best tube amp under $500? If so, the Nobsound Tube Amplifier is meant for you. Combining a self-biasing design and analog inputs, the amp lets you enjoy all kinds of music especially vocal music and chords. Adding to that, the amp adopts a Stereo Hi-Fi integrated amplifier. This is designed to deliver exquisite and refined music to enhance enjoyable listening experience.
- Class A single-ended design for reduced distortion.
- Output tags designed for both 4ohm and 8ohm speaker impedance.
10. Stereo Hybrid Tube Amplifier – ACIN Class AB 25W Bluetooth Integrated Power Amplifier with Headphone Out, USB
If you are on the market for a small and multifunctional Tube amp, the Stereo Hybrid Tube Amplifier is here for you. The unit features a compact design at only 13 x 12.8 x 8.7 inches and 10.05pounds. It supports wireless Bluetooth connections and wired RCA cables so that it can deliver unsurpassed versatility. The 25watt hybrid tube amp can deliver a louder sound than competitor products. It delivers a warm and rich sound enabling it to breathe new life into your digital music.
- Built-in headphone output makes it perfect users who prefer discrete listening.
- Polished piano black case and a brushed aluminum face enable it to match to modern decor styles.
A low budget doesn’t mean that you can’t get a high-performing tube amplifier. The reviewed models are the best tube amplifiers you will ever get on the market due to their ability to produce warmer, smoother, and clearer sounds. So, avoid settling for low-quality models since these products are a sure bet to delivering rich, high-quality sound.