Lunchbox Tube Amps Part II

Frag den DudeIn the first part of this series, I presented some budget tube combos. Here, I would like to give a small overview of several heads.
They are even more handy and you can connect every speaker you like.
Mini heads are pretty functional and flexible. Besides, they are (mostly) cost-effective and fit in almost every gig bag.

For theses amps do not have a speaker, you will only have to commit yourself to a certain speaker when you are looking for a special modification.
The speaker can be pretty decisive for the sound. While combos with their small 8” speakers mostly provide less bass, you can use a head combined with a 12” or even a 4x 12” speaker.
Thereby, you will get more volume and a punchy sound. Something, what these little dwarfs definitively benefit from.

Kustom Defender 5H Mod

For only about 110,00 Euros, you will get the probably cheapest head, the Kustom Defender 5H Mod.
“Mod” is related to the pot for the bass response. Besides this one, this head only offers a volume pot.
5 Watts through a 12ax7/ EL84 combination leaves no space for any compromises.
Speaker inputs are suitable for all common (4,8,16 ohms) speakers.
From a clean sound to a vintage crunch, you will get several sonic facets.

Harley Benton Mighty 5th

The Mighty 5th is even smaller. Nevertheless, it offers a more flexible tone control via knobs for bass and treble. Finally, a tone control that is not oriented to the rudimentary one of the Fender Champ.
The power of one 12ax7 and one EL84 tube can be converted from 5 to 1/0.1 Watts and can be controlled via a volume pot.
Unfortunately, you will only get inputs for speakers with 8 or 16 ohms.
The sound is pretty striking at the mids and if you set the volume pot to 2 o’clock, you will get a really dirty overdrive.
But, this tiny snotty brat costs only 130,00Euros.

Bugera T5 Infinium

Bugera T5 Infinium – also known as the lunchbox with full equipment.
The front with its pots for gain, treble, bass, reveb, volume and boost switch reminds of a full-featured amplifier.
But, this 5 Watts amp with a 12ax7 and an EL84 tube is really tiny.
The boost de-activates the tone control and, thereby lures a bit more gain out of the circuit.
Nevertheless, the maximum gain level can rather be allocated in the vintage area.
The boost can make the whole sound some kind of queasy with a lot of mids and a digital working reverb.
But, it one of the most flexible amps and it costs only 150,00Euros.

Fender Champion 600

Unfortunately, the production of the Fender Champion 600 has been discontinued.
With its 12ax7/ 6V6 combination, it is based on the classical Fender Blackface Champ circuit and can be modified quite easily towards a Tweed style.
It provides to inputs and one volume pot.
Unfortunately, the 5 Watts amp only has a 6” speaker connected to a 4 ohms input.
But the sound is really nice.