When you go out to buy a 15-watt tube amp, an amp that is very common among small-time gig runners and professionals who wish to practice at home, you need to make sure that you’re getting the product from a reputable brand.
The importance of quality components is often understated, but since tube amps tend to have a shorter lifespan than solid state amps by default, it is extremely important that you get one with good quality components inside, because it may fail in the middle of a performance and leave you embarrassed afterward.
We have taken the guesswork out of the equation, and present to you a list of the most reputed and reliable 15-watt tube amplifiers on the market right now. All of them are recommended by top-class guitarists as well as enthusiast customers, so you might definitely find the best amp for your needs among these choices – see also our list of best 5-watt tube amps.
15-Watt Tube Amps We Recommend
|Image||15-Watt Tube Amp||Specs|
$249.99 at Amazon
|Driver: 12" Celestion® Seventy 80
Rated Power: 15 watts
Frequency Response: 80Hz ~ 10kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.5% (clean mode)
Hum and Noise: -75dB below rated power
Input Impedance: 1 megohm
Power Consumption: 50 watts maximum
Amplifier Load Range: 8 ~ 16 ohms
Preamplifier Section: 3x ECC83/12AX7 preamp tubes
Power Amplifier Section: 2x EL84 power tubes
Dimensions: 16.8" x 17.1" x 9.25" (427 x 435 x 235 mm)
Weight: 25.4 lbs. (11.5kg)
|$399.99 at Amazon||Voltage: 230V EUR
Wattage: 15 watts (Class AB)
Controls: Volume 1, Channel Select, Gain, Volume 2, Voice, Treble, Bass, F/X Adjust, F/X Select, Tap
Channels: Two - Selectable
Inputs: One - 1/4"
Speaker Jack: Two 1/4" Parallel (Internal and External)
Line Out: One - (1/4")
Speakers: One - 10" Fender® Special Design
Total Impedance: 8 ohms
Preamp Tubes: 1 x 12AX7
|$249.99 at Amazon||OUTPUT POWER: 15 Watts RMS, 5 Ohms
SPEAKER: 1 x 8″ Vox Original
INPUTS: 1 x Normal Input Jack, 1 x Aux Input Jack
OUTPUTS: 1 x Headphone Jack
CONTROLS: Power Level, Volume, Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Preamp Selector, Effect Level, Mod/Delay/Reverb Selectors, Preamp Bright, Preamp Fat, Poweramp Bias, Poweramp Reactor
TUBE: 1 x 12AX7
EFFECTS: Modulation, Delay, Reverb
DIMENSIONS (W X D X H): 450 x 234 x 377 mm | 17.72 x 9.21 x 14.84 inches
7.7 kg | 16.98 lbs
Monoprice 611815 15 Watt Guitar tube amplifier
What’s good: Great at handing low-medium range frequencies
Not so good:A reverb is not very good
The Monoprice 15 watt tube amp is great for first-time users, as well as serious players on a budget. It generates crisp highs, deep mids, and well-defined lows with the help of the three pre amplification tubes.
The porting is done at the rear, and the weight of the cabinet is handled by a well-designed leather strap. It can handle frequencies between 80 Hz and 10 kHz, and the harmonic distortion is virtually non-existent at just 0.5%.
Audio is provided by a Celestion speaker, and the entire unit can be easily put into overdrive to gain that unique, slightly distorted sound with an ever so slight humming noise.
Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1×10″ amplifier
What’s good: USB output, voicing knob with 15 different amp effects
Not so good: Some of the effects sound too generic and flat
Audio is delivered via a crisp sounding 10” Fender speaker, and the voicing knob lets you select from a wide variety of amp effects such as Tweed, Black Face, British Metal, etc., and the effects control lets you add effects to each of these amp effects.
A USB output ensures easy compatibility with a PC, so you can export your audio effects and songs directly over to equalizer software on a PC. There is an optional footswitch as well, included alongside the package.
Laney Amps Cube CUB-HEAD 15-Watt amplifier
What’s good: Comes with FX loop and triple pre-amp tubes
Not so good: No headphone jack
With its multitude of tonal controls that include- reverb. Bass, gain, middle, treble, etc., the Laney CUB-HEAD is a pretty handy 15-watt tube amplifier and gets its amazing sound quality from the three ECC83’s sitting underneath the hood.
The power amp section also contains two EL84’s, and all of these parts are hand-selected and assembled to ensure the best possible quality.
There are two input sections, and while one of them features 15 W RMS of valve tone, the other input section cuts output by .75 W. The 0.75 W may not seem like much but once you overdrive the amp, it allows you to get some very pleasing effects over at the output end.
Ibanez TSA15 1 X 12” 15 Watt Tube Combo Amplifier
What’s good: All tube circuitry, tube screamer circuit with bypass
Not so good: Needs warm up to avoid humming
With its warm tone and incredible screaming/ crying guitar effects, the Ibanez TSA 1 X 12” is a 15W tube combo amplifier that provides plenty of tonal control and built-in special effects at a rather low price.
It is built with a 100% internal circuit to maintain complete authenticity of sound quality, and a bypass enabled tube screamer tone circuit helps you engage features such as overdrive, and tone/ volume on the fly.
You may also choose to get a footswitch (not included), in order to toggle the tube streamer and get a 6 dB boost on the fly.
Vox Night Train NT15C1-G2
What’s good: Amazing sound and build quality
Not so good: Sound may slightly drop at higher end of frequency range
With a variable RMS of either 8 or 16 Ohms and a Celestion G12M Greenback speaker mounted in the case, the Vox Night Train manages to somehow cram a whole lot of full-size features into one of the most compact 15-watt guitar combo amplifier cases we have ever seen.
It is powered by 3X12AX7 preamp tubes and dual EL84 power tubes. The dial operated controls on this little beauty include- master volume, reverb, girth-control switch, etc.
There is even a brightness/ darkness switch to play around with the tonal depth of the sound, and you also have the regular bass, mid, and treble controls.
Fender ’65 Princeton Reverb
What’s good: 10” 40 W speaker, ceramic magnet
Not so good: No dust cover included
While it is definitely the most expensive 15 W amp on this list, the Fender ’65 Princeton Reverb is a timeless classic and represents what a perfect 15 W guitar tube amp would look like.
Firstly, this is an all-tube design, meaning that the sound produced by the amp sound extremely crisp, loud, and has a lot of thickness in it. You can vary the thickness and add more blur, or lighten the overall mood of an effect by using the girth control knob. The basic controls on this amp are- speed, reverb, bass, treble, intensity, volume.
Just by varying these parameters, you can make a world of difference in the type of output sound that is generated.
Orange DA15H Dark Terror AMP HEAD
What’s good: Great overdrive and distortion control
Not so good: No built in speaker
When you decide to buy a big amp, you are limited by its weight and large size. What if you could get the exact same distortion control, depth of tone, and power from a much smaller amp, at half the cost of a bigger amp?
Well, we’re talking about the Tiny Terror over here. It is much smaller than conventional full size 15 W amps at just 55.1” x 118” x 74.8”, and weighs a measly 13 pounds. However, the casing is fully made of thick gauge steel and is virtually bulletproof. The interiors consist of dual ECC83 valves, and 2XEL84 power valves to drive this little devil.
The speaker has been removed, so you need to plug it into an external speaker, but when you do so, you’ll be blown away by the sheer amount of audio that this amplifier can output. And it does so without even going into overdrive, so the distortion stays at zero.