7 Best 1 Watt Tube Amps

7 Best 1 Watt Tube Amps

There’s nothing more satisfying than a tube amp cranked to 11. But the problem is that there’re only so many places where it’s actually possible to do that, and they’re mostly inaccessible for beginners. So in this article, we will help you to choose the best 1 watt tube amp to use at home. 

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Top 7 Best 1 Watt Tube Amps

  1. Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40
  2. Peavey 6505 Mini Head
  3. Marshall DSL1CR 1×8″
  4. Bogner Atma 18
  5. Blackstar HT1R MKII 1×8″
  6. Orange TremLord 30 1×12″
  7. Peavey Invective MH 20

Best 1 Watt Tube Amps Reviews

Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40

Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40

Pros
  • 4-way power attenuator
  • Onboard modulation and reverb effects
  • Cabinet simulation
Cons
  • On the pricey side
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40 offers you a 4-way power attenuator with the option to choose from 40, 30, 5, and 1 watts, which means that you can be pretty efficient both on stage and at home, even late at night. You can store a total of 128 sound patches, all of which are instantly recallable.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40 as it is a great amp which you can go with anything from hard-hitting metal rhythm and lead tones to nice beefy cleans. Many users note that they chose this amp due to its versatility and the amazing combination of high-quality digital effects and tube tone. Also, this amp has an enormous amount of built-in features that open up a whole world of possibilities to you as well as endless hours of experimentation.

What we think

The best thing about Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40 is that it gives you every advantage that modern technology can offer you, on top of a very authentic tube sound. Also, it has speaker simulation with various mic emulations and the ability to dial in any imaginable tone starting from vintage jazz to full-blown metal.

Bottomline

Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40 is a great choice for someone who values versatility above everything else but still wants to get a full tube sound experience. Its price might be somewhat of a letdown, but if you take into consideration that this amplifier will give you the ability to dial in any sound you can possibly imagine and it also has a decent power output even for bigger venues, the price doesn’t seem that high anymore.

Peavey 6505 Mini Head

Peavey 6505 Mini Head

Pros
  • 3-way power attenuator
  • Mic Simulated Direct Interface
  • USB output
Cons
  • Does not offer you a super clean tone
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

If you’re already familiar with the 6505 series, this amp doesn’t need any introduction. It has the same tonal flexibility and crisp tone sound but with a lot less power output. You can easily choose between 25 and 1-watt power or simply use its signature Mic Simulated Direct Interface feature and connect your favorite headphones straight to the amp.

User impressions

Users like Peavey 6505 Mini Head for being packed with features and giving you the best sound possible. Users say that this compact head will easily provide you with a desirable tone due to its amazing versatility, you get from metal to blues in almost no time. Also, the rhythm channel has great crunch tones beloved by many, old-school rock-and-roll. Those who can’t imagine their life without gain, having chosen this beautiful baby, will forget about the necessity of having an additional gain pedal. The only minor downside is that if you’re looking for a super clean tone, you won’t find it in this amp.

What we think

What we found very refreshing about Peavey 6505 Mini Head is that it has a Tube Status Indicator, which lets you check the state of your tubes very quickly and conveniently. And this, of course, means that you wouldn’t end up on a gig with worn-out tubes, unless, of course, you forget about this wonderful feature.

Bottomline

Peavey 6505 Mini Head is a great choice for someone who is looking for a very reliable and convenient tube amplifier with a very modern sound. Considering how reasonable it’s priced, we were surprised to discover that it also has a separate USB output that lets you record straight to your DAW, bypassing the audio interface.

Marshall DSL1CR 1×8″

Marshall DSL1CR 1x8"

Pros
  • Combo amp
  • Two separate channels
  • Speaker emulation output
Cons
  • Not particularly clean
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Marshall DSL1CR 1×8″ is an extremely compact and convenient combo amplifier with 2 separate channels and adjustable power levels. It has a speaker emulation developed by Softube exclusively for this amp, EQ section and an 8” Celestion speaker. And which is very unexpected for the amp of this size and price range, it has a rear-panel effects loop.

User impressions

Users say that Marshall DSL1CR 1×8″ has a sweet clean tone and always gives you a clear sound. Users like that classic gain channel lets you, without any problems, put the pedals in front of the amp and you will still get a clean sound. Also, some say that while using this amp, they can play a wider range of music compared to other amps from different manufacturers. And some note that this amp is a go-to tool if you are looking for some bedroom recording, but at the same time need to be as quiet as possible.

What we think

You wouldn’t exactly shatter the stadiums with this amp, considering that its max output is only 1 watt and you have the ability to go even lower than that. But it offers you something far more valuable. It has the sound of a legendary JCM2000 in a device that effortlessly can fit into your backpack.

Bottomline

Marshall DSL1CR 1×8″ is a great choice for someone who is looking for a legendary Marshall sound that literally can follow everywhere you go. Don’t let the size of this amp fool you because it can sound surprisingly loud but also maintains its tonal structure even when the output is reduced. It’s also reasonably priced especially considering a part of what lineage this amp actually is.

Bogner Atma 18

Bogner Atma 18

Pros
  • 3 separate channels
  • Power attenuator
  • Effects loop
Cons
  • A bit pricey
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Bogner Atma 18 is a premium tube amplifier that offers you 3 separate channels of EL84 tube sound and EC81 rectifier tube. It also has a power attenuator which means that you can choose between 1, 5, and 15 watts of power at your pleasure.

User impressions

Users like Bogner Atma 18 for the tones that are available to you while you choose this amp over many others. Versatility and the possibility to get from the quietest point possible, being 1 watt, to the most desirable highest point are what you get when you’re using this amp. If you are a fan of 60’s to 80’s, this amp will come in handy as it gives you detailed voicings of those times. Users highly value the opportunity to get nice crunch, great solo tones and cleans.

What we think

What makes Bogner Atma 18 truly premium is is its heritage. The founder of Bogner amps used to make custom modifications and build amplifiers for such undisputed legends of the guitar world as Steve Vai and Alan Holdsworth. Bogner Atma gives you a feeling of something that was built especially for you, which is no surprise since those particular amplifiers are handmade from top-shelf components.

Bottomline

Bogner Atma 18 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a boutique amplifier with exquisite sound quality and a very beautiful design. By far, the best feature that it has is the ability to choose between 3 separate sound flavors typical for different eras of rock-n-roll guitar sound.

Blackstar HT1R MKII 1×8″

Blackstar HT1R MKII 1x8"

Pros
  • Infinite Shape Feature
  • USB output
Cons
  • The clean channel can be pushed in overdrive only at high volume
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Blackstar HT1R MKII 1×8″ is a little one-watt beast that gives you the most versatility that a tube amp can give you. Its signature infinite shape feature lets you easily and conveniently dial in every classical guitar amp tone that you can imagine. It also has a digital reverb and USB output to push the versatility of this amp even further.

User impressions

Users agree that Blackstar HT1R MKII 1×8″ gives you rich sound, plenty of warmth and crispiness, all valued characteristics packed into a small mighty box. The feature that users like the most about this amp is that this amp gives you a perfect opportunity to have a crunchy tube tone at extremely low volumes and at the same time, it can get very loud.

What we think

If for some reason, you find that Blackstar HT1R MKII 1×8″ isn’t something that you are likely to use in your day-to-day life, it can offer your even something greater. What it actually puts on the table is inspiration and experience since with just 2 switches and one knob, you can jump back and forth between British and American styles of amp, both vintage and modern.

Bottomline

Blackstar HT1R MKII 1×8″ is a great choice for someone who is looking for a very inspiring and conveniently versatile tube amp that can let you switch between 2 of the most signature and recognizable amp styles. It’s also very reasonably priced, which makes it even more valuable considering how much it actually offers you.

Orange TremLord 30 1×12″

Orange TremLord 30 1x12"

Pros
Cons
  • Some might find this amp a bit expensive
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Orange TremLord is a combo amplifier with a classic American tube sound, spring reverb, and a tremolo also powered by tubes. It has a power attenuator that lets you effortlessly drop down from 30 watts to just 1-watt of power.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with Orange TremLord 30 1×12″ as it gives you wonderful clean tones and the switch option gives you plenty of room to choose the desirable stages of being loud. Users note that this amp is totally gig-worthy and a total joy to record and tweak. Also, some users say acoustic guitars, when being recorded specifically through this amp, have an absolutely lovely new voice.

What we think

What’s great about Orange TremLord 30 1×12″ is that it was never meant to be a single-practice amp. It was designed to be used specifically on stage, but with a switch that lets you be far more civil at home, retaining the same feel as if it would be on its full power.

Bottomline

Orange TremLord 30 1×12″ is a great choice for someone who is looking for a legendary orange sound with the addition of a tremolo and a spring reverb. One might consider it to be a bit pricey, but since Orange’s reputation, sound quality, and build aren’t really up for debate, the price seems rather fair.

Peavey Invective MH 20

Peavey Invective MH 20

Pros
  • Power attenuator
  • 2 separate channels
  • USB output
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Peavey Invective MH 20 is a signature model of Mish Monsour from Periphery. This amp is a little sibling of a 120-watt model, which means that it retains that same amount of bite and aggressiveness but in a little more manageable package.

User impressions

Users like Peavey Invective MH 20 for sounding nice on every setting from 1 to 20 watts. It has a very dynamic, well-balanced high-gain tone and is packed with features. Also, this amp is lightweight, has great looks and has a solid build.

What we think

Periphery has a reputation of relying very heavily on digital emulations, but this amp actually gives you the best of both worlds. You have an analog tube sound on top of various digital conveniences, such as USB output and adaptive 2-band EQ.

Bottomline

Peavey Invective MH 20 is a great choice for someone who is looking for an amplifier with a lot of modern conveniences and a very modern and aggressive modern sound.

1 Watt Tube Amps Buying Guide

If you only just started your journey into the vivid world of electric guitar, there’s very little chance that you will come across a very big concert venue or a sufficient rehearsing studio. Most of us take our first steps in the confinement of our own bedrooms where you can’t possibly be loud enough.

Tube amplifiers have always been the top choices of most guitar players in the world, experienced or otherwise. Although modern technology is considerably more advanced and offers unprecedented versatility, tube amplifiers are still remarkably common and widely used. In addition to all the advantages and sheer feeling that a tube amp can give you, it has only one disadvantage. In order to get a full experience of the tube amplifier, you need to crank it up really high, which will inevitably mean that it will sound very loud. It’s completely fine when it’s done in a dedicated space, but not so much when you do it at home or even at a small venue.

But fortunately for us, there’re low-watt tube amplifiers that could be used in small and confined places without any drawbacks. But before we will dive into the list of the best one watt tube amplifiers, let’s figure out why we love them so much.

Why do we love tubes so much?

As far as we can tell, our affection for tube sound comes from 2 very different places. Firstly, they are heritage. We all are standing on the shoulders of music giants, and since tubes are a very vintage piece of technology, this is also what they used and sounded like. Our beloved heroes used tube amplifiers exclusively because there wasn’t anything else available at that time. And as much as we love to romanticize the past, this technology was always flawed, this is where the second reason for our long-lasting love affair with tube amplifiers comes from.

The sound amplified by vacuum tubes is characterized by a very distinguishable non-linear behavior and consistent harmonic distortion, which gives us a feeling of something very real and relatable since human ears don’t really enjoy cold and calculated, clean digital sound as much.

Important features

In order to choose the best 1 watt tube amp, we’ve decided to pick amps that can give you the most vacuum tube feel and excitement. But since versatility is also very important, our amps are packed with features. Budget is always a thing to consider, so we’ve also included amps that won’t drain your wallet, but if you’d prefer something more boutique and exquisite, we have those options too. And considering that the sky is the limit when it comes to versatility, all of our amps have a power attenuator which gives you an opportunity not only to practice at home but also to be very efficient while gigging at smaller venues.

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