If you’re in the market for a low-cost guitar amp with reasonable amounts of real tube-mojo you might want to check out Vintage Guitar Magazine’s review of the Epiphone Valve Special and Valve Junior.
Granted, these are decidedly cheap amplifiers, but as has been suggested in numerous reviews around the web, both of these Class-A tube amps offer a fair amount of bang for the buck.
Hehe, and you’ve gotta’ love Bob Dragich’s sense of humor––
Through the years, a number of amplifier manufacturers have tried their hands at producing budget tube amps. The problem with the vast majority of these items was that they were not primarily tube amps, they were primarily low-budget amps. Their main audio function was to give the listener the distinct feeling that a knitting needle was slowly being shoved through their eardrum.
The Epi Valve Junior, with its single 8“ speaker and five watts of power, is currently fetching about $150 out-the-door, while the Valve Special (10” speaker, onboard digital effects, etc,) can be had for about $240.