Remember the days when a guitarist used a 100 watt amplifier full-stack or half-stack for performing or a “compact” 50 watt 2x12” combo. I do. Back in the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s I used a 100 watt Marshall full-stack and a Fender Twin Reverb with a Dual Showman 2-15” extension cabinet. I drove a van just so I could get my gear to practices and gigs.
There are still venues and musical styles that require these volume monsters, but manufacturers are now providing guitarists with truly compact tube amps that have terrific tone and provide all the volume needed for practices and stage monitoring. Put a classic Shure SM57 mic or a Sennheiser E609 or E906 on the amp and get all the performance volume that’s needed. Plus, the prices for these little tone monsters have made great amps affordable.
Class A tube amps with 5 watts of power are made by Marshall, Vox and Epiphone. And using digital technology there are terrific sounding 15 watt and 30 watt tube hybrid amps, like the Vox Valvetronix and Valve Reactor series, that replicate the sound and responsiveness of true tube amps.
Avalon Music has a great selection of these compact amps and here’s some video links to learn more.