3 Best 5 Watt Tube Amps [2023 Review]

The demand for low-watt tube amplifiers has skyrocketed in recent years. It’s easy to see why: most of us enjoy the magnificent tone of a tube amp while playing guitar, but a 100-watt tube amplifier’s output will be too much for many applications.

One of the low-watt tube amps known as small combinations or lunch box combos is a 5-watt tube amp. Young guitarists performing in their bedrooms with their aspirations and dreams tethered to their guitars are suddenly taking notice of these amps.

This amp is 50 times louder than tube amps with 50 watts. However, it is not loud enough to be used in a live performance with drummers and other musicians. The 5-watt tube amp isn’t nearly up to the task of being used in a performance setting.

We included three Best 5 Watt Tube Amps for you in this review. If you are interested in these models, keep reading our Best 5 Watt Tube Amps review for more information below.

Fender 57 Custom Champ Guitar Amplifier
  • A wide variety of playable tones inhabit this hand-wired performerfrom crisp, classic cleans to naturally...
  • Renown for its flexibility, ease-of-use and knockout tone this is the classic sound heard on thousands of...
  • Renown for its flexibility, ease of use and knockout tone this is the classic sound heard on thousands of...
Monoprice 5-Watt Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier (611705)
  • As the title indicates, this guitar amplifier features a 5-watt tube power amplifier and a Celestion brand speaker.
  • It uses a ECC83/12AX7 preamplification tube and a 6V6GT power tube for the amplifier section, plus a Celestion...
  • The amplifier handles frequencies between 80Hz and 10kHz, with hum and noise -75dB below the rated power and 0.5%...

Our Top Pick: Fender ’57 Custom Champ 5W 1×8 Tube Guitar Amp Lacquered Tweed

Features: The amp starts up with only a slight hum and hisses in the background. Valve-rectified circuits require a little while to stabilize all of the voltages, but after a few minutes, the hum is reduced to more than acceptable levels.

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It has a 12AY7 in the V1 position, which increases clean headroom but reduces total volume. This is the original valve standard, although many guitarists prefer the higher gain and more widely available 12AX7, which causes the amp to break up sooner, usually far before the halfway point on the volume control.

In basic circuits like this, the guitar has a very powerful impact on the amp’s behavior, and the individuality of particular instruments is more obvious. If you are looking for the Best 5 Watt Tube Amps, you should give this one a chance.

This translates to an excellent recording tone that requires little or no EQ to push through a mix. With a little reverb, you’ll be in Rocky Mountain Way territory in no time. One apparent critique, which we have heard on tonehead forums multiple times, is that the total worth of the parts in this amp is far less than the price.

It’s a realistic point of view to take into account if all you want is a compact amp that sounds excellent.

This amp, on the other hand, is a rock and roll legend with a wonderful unique speaker and matching tone, it’s part of a series of historic ’57 Fender reissues.

  • Good tone
  • Perfect for recording
  • Small

Runner Up: BUGERA V5 5-Watt Class Amplifier Combo with Infinium Tube Life Multiplier Black

Features: The term “vintage” is tossed about a lot these days. The majority of companies and their customers identify the term “vintage” with old-school aesthetics.

It’s always nice to have something that appears to have a long history, and the way this amp is made will give you that sensation. The only difference is that it also has that fresh-from-the-factory odor.

Bugera’s logo may also be found on this panel. This bad guy is designed like a tank in general. Because of their modest size, smaller, compact guitar amplifiers are far more difficult to goof up in this sense. You’re looking at a practice combination in terms of weight.

If you are looking for the Best 5 Watt Tube Amps, you should give this one a chance. One of the best things about small compact amps is that they can reproduce some of that fantastic tube tone, although on a smaller scale.

Not only does this little guy have ample volume for a practice unit, but you’ll probably end up utilizing the 0.1 Watt level the majority of the time.

When compared to a Fender Vibro Champ XD, this one appears to be less adaptable. However, we believe that the attenuation switch alone provides it an advantage. You probably won’t need an extra pedal if you want that classic rock tone. This tiny powerhouse simply sings.

Best for Budget: Monoprice 5-Watt Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier

Features: A surprisingly beefy bottom end is complemented by well-balanced mids and highs. We think it’s the most powerful eight-inch speaker we’ve ever heard. After around 20 hours of use, it’ll have warmed up to a smooth, buttery sound that still pushes through the mix.

It includes two inputs: a Low input that attenuates the signal by roughly half and makes overdrive simpler, and a high input that provides full power with additional headroom and loudness.

The cabinet has an open back and a cream-colored, textured, synthetic leather exterior with chrome corner guards, as well as a leather handle, cloth speaker grill, and a cream-colored, textured, synthetic leather exterior. If you are looking for the Best 5 Watt Tube Amps, you should give this one a chance.

A single 6V6GT tube is driven by an industry-standard 12AX7 preamp tube for a well-rounded tone and smooth, rich distortion. The circuit is kept clean and the tone is pure with simple and basic controls, making it ideal for pedals.

It’s probably the largest sounding eight-inch speaker we’ve ever heard, with well-balanced mids and highs complementing a surprisingly meaty bottom end. The traditional cream-colored, textured, synthetic leather exterior with chrome corner guards evokes the tone and appearance of the 1940s and 1950s.

While the tone is always debated, tubes offer a better sound due to their higher dynamic range and even-order harmonic distortion.

Separate volume and tone controls, a 1-watt/5-watt button, and an 8-inch Celestion speaker are all included in the amp.

  • Separate volume and tone controls
  • Largest sounding eight-inch speaker
  • Includes two inputs
  • Only one tone knob

Buyer’s Guide for Best 5 Watt Tube Amps

Check out the sections below if you’re not sure where to begin your search for a tiny tube amp or just want to brush up on your expertise before putting any money down.

Volume and Wattage

When it comes to small, low-wattage tube amps, the most essential thing to remember is that a linear increase in wattage does not equate to a commensurate rise in volume. In other words, a 110-watt tube amp will not be 10% louder than a 100-watt tube amp.

Volume doubles with every 1000 percent increase in power, on average. At peak level, a 100-watt amp will normally be twice as loud as a 10-watt amp (provided speaker size and construction are equivalents).

You get greater loudness before your amp starts to distort as the wattage increases. Similarly, doubling the wattage only adds around 3db to peak output, so a 100-watt amp is just 3db louder than a 50-watt amp.

Amp Heads vs. Combo Amps

Combos and heads are the two most common design options for amplifiers. Because amplifier heads are essentially the “guts” of your amplifier, they do not produce sound on their own. In addition to the “guts,” a combination amp has a speaker. Keep reading for Best 5 Watt Tube Amps.

Amplifier heads provide you with a great deal of control over your tone. You may change your tone substantially by using different speakers and cabinets. The disadvantage is that purchasing a head and cabinet individually is often more expensive than purchasing a combination amp.

Is the Loudness of 5-Watt Tube Amps Enough?

When it comes to choosing the best 5-watt tube amp for your concerts, one of the most crucial considerations is whether or not it is loud enough.

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A 5-watt tube amplifier is quite loud. Some items even generate enough sound to eliminate the need for additional support. Having said that, you’d adore the amp.

Even during rehearsal, the 5-watt combination with a normal 112 speaker will not provide adequate volume to perform alongside drummers. This is due to the fact that they were designed to be utilized at maximum volume levels in your house and for just bedroom practices.

So, for the time being, let’s just concentrate on the guitar practices you perform in your bedroom using low-watt tube amps, particularly 5-watt tube amps. Keep reading for the Best 5 Watt Tube Amps.

Amplifier Maintenance

A tube amplifier’s only professional maintenance is changing the electrolytic capacitor every 5 to 10 years. Even after 30 years, certain amplifiers will be considered “ancient but gold.”

There are some suggestions for maintaining and extending the life of your tube amplifiers. Keep reading for the Best 5 Watt Tube Amps.

Allow at least 2 minutes for your amplifier to warm up before using it. Make sure the tube kinds aren’t mixed together. If you change the tubes, you must also replace the entire set.

Always double-check that the base of the tube lines is aligned appropriately and that the base is securely attached to the amplifier. Allow 15 minutes for the amp to cool before transferring it.

Always utilize top-of-the-line signal and speaker lines and keep an eye on their state. Never store your amplifier in a wet environment.

Speaker Dimensions

As speaker size grows, so does an amp’s ability to reproduce bass and low-mid frequencies. Larger speakers produce a richer, warmer sound, while smaller speakers produce a stronger high-mid and high-end representation. Keep reading for the Best 5 Watt Tube Amps.

The tone of smaller speakers is likewise more concentrated and direct. The most popular size is a 12″ speaker, which is the most common of the two.

Will My Amp Have Enough Power?

This is a common question when discussing 5W tube amplifiers. Because the circuitry is different from other amplifier types, 5W for a valve may pack a punch. Don’t get me wrong: 5W won’t cut it in a stadium show, but it’ll be enough for recording, home recording, and band practices, as well as smaller shows.

There appears to be a bump from 5W to 15, so if you need a little more power, a nice 15-watt amp may be the answer. Keep reading for the Best 5 Watt Tube Amps.

What should you select between a tube and a solid-state device?

This is a controversy that has raged since the invention of the transistor, but in recent years, digital modeling technology has made significant inroads into the tube amplifier business.

There’s also no doubt that live venue volume limitations have tightened significantly, and smaller, lighter amplifiers are becoming more popular.

Keep reading for Best 5-Watt Tube Amps. But, convenience and practicality aside, old-school tube amps are still incredibly motivating and expressive. Even high-end modelers struggle to match their dynamic responsiveness, feel, articulation, and harmonic intricacy.

FAQs: Best 5 Watt Tube Amps

What is a 5-watt tube amp?

A 5-watt tube amp is a compact guitar amplifier that utilizes vacuum tubes to produce vintage tones suitable for practice and small performances.

Why choose a 5-watt tube amp?

A 5-watt tube amp offers warm, classic tones ideal for home playing, recording, and small gigs with its manageable volume.

Can a 5-watt amp handle live performances?

While limited for large venues, 5-watt amps can work for small live settings and are often mic’d for recording.

Any drawbacks to 5-watt tube amps?

They might lack headroom for clean tones and extensive tone-shaping options, but these traits can appeal to vintage enthusiasts.

Can I use pedals with a 5-watt amp?

Yes, pedals can be used effectively with 5-watt tube amps to shape and expand your tone.

How do prices vary for 5-watt tube amps?

Prices range widely based on brand and features, from around $200 for entry-level models to over $1000 for high-end options.

What’s the versatility of 5-watt amps?

5-watt tube amps offer a balance between vintage warmth and modern features, suitable for various genres and playing styles.

Conclusion: 3 Best 5 Watt Tube Amps [2023 Review]

Tone, power level, adaptability, pricing, and a slew of other factors must all be considered before purchasing an amplifier. A proper 5-watt tube amp should provide high-definition sound, allowing you to detect any errors. It also makes it easier to concentrate on the notes you’re playing.

The 5-watt tube amps discussed in this article are among the finest currently available. The list includes items in a variety of pricing ranges as well as skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. We hope you liked our Best 5 Watt Tube Amps review and it was helpful.

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