Best Tube Preamps Under 500 Dollars

When you start to grow your sound equipment collection, you may find you want to have different amp heads for different sounds. For some people, none of the modern amplifier technologies will ever beat the sound that a tube amp makes.

Even though tube amps require more maintenance and tend to cost more, tube amplifiers are usually louder, amplify more clearly, and distort more cleanly. You can also get away with a smaller watt than you would with a solid state or digital amplifier.

Although tube amps in general cost more, and the top of the line tube amps are extremely costly, there are still many quality tube amps you can own for under $500.


Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC100

 

Power: +48 V phantom power
Tube: 1 x 12AX7 vacuum tube
Dimensions: 5.3 x 5.3 x 2.5 inches
Weight: 2.2 pounds
User Guide: MIC100 Manual

Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC100 Best Features

  • output limiter
  • phase reverse switch and 20 dB Pad
  • 8-segment LED level meter
  • balanced 1/4″ TRS gold-plated XLR connectors for inputs and outputs

Behringer Vintage Tube Monster VT999

Power: 9V 300mA
Tube: 1 x 12AX7B vacuum tube
Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.8 x 2.4 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
User Guide: Tube Monster VT999 Manual

Behringer Vintage Tube Monster VT999 Features

  • dedicated gain
  • 3-band EQ
  • integrated and switchable snNoise gate with adjustable threshold
  • true hard-wire bypass for ultimate signal integrity

Laney Ironheart IRT-PULSE

Power: 100 V to 240 V 50-60 Hz
Tube: 2 x 12AX7 vacuum tubes
Dimensions: 3.1 x 3.7 x 4.2 inches
Weight: 1.1 pounds
User Guide: IRT-PULSE User Manual

Laney Ironheart IRT-PULSE Features

  • Headphone socket, guitar jack, USB interface for PC, MAC, iPad and Android
  • Bright, Dark, and EQ Preshape options
  • footswitch remote function compatible with IRT Footswitch

AMT SS-20

 

Tube: 1 x 12AX7 – 12.6B (6.3V)
Power: DC 290V
Dimensions: 4.6 x 2.2 x 4 inches
Weight: 1.8 pounds
User Guide: AMT SS-20 User Manual

AMT SS-20 Features

  • Essentially 3 channels: two high-grade channels and the second channel can be run in two different modes
  • Effects Loop Send and Return
  • Output jack for speaker as well as its own cabinet emulation

PreSonus BlueTube DP V2

Tube: 1 x 12AX7
Power: 48 V phantom power
Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.8 x 5.5 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
User Guide: PreSonus BlueTube DP V2 Owners

PreSonus BlueTube DP V2 Features

  • Dual Path: tube-saturation control and solid-state gain control
  • Illuminated analog VU input-level meter
  • Output jack for speaker as well as its own cabinet emulation

 


 

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