Tube amps are known for their warm, rich sound and are often used by guitarists and bassists to achieve a classic, vintage tone.
While larger tube amps can produce a lot of power and are great for live shows, 5-watt tube amps are perfect for practice or recording.
So, if you want to have a famous tube sound in a small package, then you should get a 5-watt tube amp.
What’s The Best 5-Watt Tube Amp?
I have tested several 5-watt tube combo amps for sound and features and here are my favorite ones.
1. Fender ’57 Custom Champ
Fender ’57 Custom Champ is a highly regarded 5-watt tube combo that offers classic Fender tones in a compact, portable package. This amp is perfect for those who want a vintage sound but don’t need a lot of volumes. The ’57 Custom Champ features a single 6V6 tube in the power amp section and a 12AX7 tube in the preamp section, which gives it a warm, rich sound with plenty of character.
One of the standout features of the ’57 Custom Champ is a straightforward control layout. It has a single volume control, and two inputs (high and low), and features a single 8″ alnico speaker. Although it offers simple options, this is a great-sounding tube combo for recording. The only downside for me is the price which is a little bit too expensive for me.
2. Bugera V5 Infinium
Bugera V5 Infinium is one of the best 5-watt tube amps that offer a wide range of tonal options. It features a single 12AX7 preamp tube and a single EL84 power tube, which give it a warm, smooth sound with plenty of character. Has an 8″ Turbosound speaker and also offers 1-watt and 0.1-watt settings which makes it a great bedroom tube combo.
This single-channel 5-watt tube amp is very simple to use but tone-wise it’s rich. Great for every guitar tone from super clean to almost metal sound. V5 Infinium offers a gain and volume knob and a tone knob instead of a standard EQ. Additionally, it has a built-in reverb, headphone out, and tube life monitoring that notifies you when tubes need to change.
3. Magnatone Starlite
Magnatone Starlite is a compact-size guitar combo that offers a unique, hand-wired design and a wide range of tonal options. It’s a classic-looking tube amp and is perfect for classic rock and blues tones. ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons is famous for using Magnatone amps.
Also, this amp has a unique design where the controls and inputs are on the back of the amp. It’s a single-channel amp with an 8″ speaker, two inputs, a remote speaker output, and volume and tone knobs. But perhaps the best feature is the negative feedback switch where you can get smooth sound with mid-range emphasis or more noise-free sounds.
4. Supro Delta King 10
Supro Delta King 10 is a classic-looking 5-watt tube amp with a modern approach. This is a great recording and bedroom amp with awesome features and sound options. It features a bigger, 10″ speaker, 12AX7 and 6V6 amp tubes, and some of the great features in this category of guitar amps.
Delta King amp also has a built-in spring reverb, which is always a good option to have, 2-band EQ with treble and bass controls, and two switches for boost and drive. So, you can get warm blues and crunchy tones without effects. It’s an amazing small tube amp for rhythm and lead guitar and is perfect for recording. Although it’s a single-channel amplifier, it has a footswitch option that transforms it into a two-channel amp.
5. Tone King Gremlin
Tone King Gremlin is one of the best 5-watt tube amps with a beautiful design and some of the unique features you can find in this type of guitar amp. First of all, it has a 12″ Celestion 870 speaker and also has a built-in power attenuator which is not common in small tube amps. A great amp with superb looks and an American guitar tone.
Controls are very simple on the Gremlin combo – it has only volume and tone knobs but you have an option for two inputs. The rhythm and lead inputs offer different headroom and tone characteristics that can be used in different ways. This is a great small tube amplifier for recording blues or classic rock tones.
All 5-watt tube amps mentioned in this list offer a wide range of tonal options and versatility in a compact, portable package. All of them offer unique features and tonal characteristics and are great to use in your bedroom or to record guitar tracks in the studio.