Best Tube Amp Under 1000 for Big Sound and Savings 2017

Our Top Pick

The general consensus with true ‘music connoisseurs’ is that amplifiers that are made using vacuum tubes help produce a better quality sound when paired with the right speakers. The only problem is people tend to think that this technology is much more expensive than solid state amplifier technology is. Well, we want to put that myth to rest by taking a look at the best tube amp under 1000 dollars and a few more that are very similar to it. If you truly like high-quality sound when you listen to music, then that is not an unreasonable budget for this important stereo component.

If you want to know our topic pick for the under 1000 category, then it’s definitely the GemTune GP-01 Hi-End Tube Amp, which combines serious sound quality with a price tag that is very reasonable.

Editor’s Pick – Top Pick

Product #Model
1YAQIN Vacuum Tube Integrated Push-Pull Amplifier (Silver)
2YAQIN Hi-Fi Integrated Push-Pull Tube Amplifier
3YAQIN Push-pull Integrated Tube Amplifier
4GemTune GP-01 Hi-end Vacuum Tube Amplifier (Best Value)
5GemTune GS-02 Class A Integrated KT88 Vacuum Tube Amplifier

Here is what we feel are the 5 best tube amp models that can normally be purchased for less than $1000:

YAQIN Vacuum Tube Integrated Push-Pull Amplifier (Silver)

PROS:

  • Distortion reduction and low noise features
  • Rich acoustic sound
  • Excellent looking

CONS:

  • Can blow fuses regularly so keep some on hand
  • Higher priced but acceptable
  • Has a slight odor when first opened

YAQIN MC-13S EL34 (6CA7) 4 Vacuum Tube Integrated Push-Pull Amplifier (Silver)

Quite simply stated, all the electronics that combine to produce this unit are top of the line products.

Yaqin has an outstanding reputation for making some of the best stereo tube amps you will find in the audio marketplace. This model tube amp nicely backs up that statement. It is a tube amp that looks sharp, helps generate crystal clear sound and does it all for under $1000. That is a combination that we feel is hard to beat and that is why it’s our number one rated tube amp.

The audio that comes out of this device is so smooth and distortion free you will be amazed. It is a pure music lovers dream. Quite simply stated, all the electronics that combine to produce this unit are top of the line products.

This is also a very good looking amplifier and when you are using it under low light conditions it gives off kind of a Christmas tree effect. It’s also one of the few amps we have seen that comes with a cover to protect the sensitive vacuum tubes.


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YAQIN Hi-Fi Integrated Push-Pull Tube Amplifier

PROS:

  • Distortion reduction and low noise features
  • Built using outstanding electrical components
  • SRPP preamp circuit

CONS:

  • Slight misalignment of the transformers (Affects only the aesthetics)
  • Higher priced but acceptable
  • Efficient but slow customer service

YAQIN MC-10T EL34B*4 Hi-Fi Integrated Push-Pull Tube Amplifier

This is another Yaqin product that not only produces high quality sound but looks good while doing it.

We mentioned that Yaqin was well-known for producing quality tube amps at an affordable price and now we are believers too. After all, they now occupy the top two spots on our review list. This model would be good enough to be number one on most lists if it was not for the amazing YAQIN MC-13S model that holds the top spot on our list.

Why do we like this tube amp so much?

Well the sound that this tube amp produces is almost 100% distortion free even though this amp has a nice 40 watts per channel power output. It has a built in SRPP preamp circuit that helps make some of this incredible sound possible. It is a very well designed product to say the least.

This is another Yaqin product that not only produces high quality sound but looks good while doing it. It will even put on its own little light show as it is working. We feel anyone who purchases this model tube amp will be very satisfied to say the least.


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YAQIN Push-pull Integrated Tube Amplifier

PROS:

  • Distortion reduction and low noise features
  • Design promotes excellent vacuum tube durability
  • SRPP preamp circuit and long end phase inverter

CONS:

  • Not as aesthetic as other Yaqin models
  • Slightly overpriced for what you get
  • Device operating and setup instructions could be better

YAQIN MC-50L KT88*4 Push-pull Integrated tube amplifier

This excellent push-pull tube amp will nicely compliment any home stereo system.

By now it may start getting old for you seeing another Yaqin product on our list but it speaks volumes for the quality of their tube amplifiers. We always knew Yaqin had a reputation for making good products but we never imagined we would become such big fans of them like we are now. This excellent push-pull tube amp will nicely compliment any home stereo system.

What makes this tube amp sound so good is all of the quality components that Yaqin uses to assemble it. Things such as the SRPP preamp circuit and long end phase inverter tend to help reduce distortion while at the same time widen the frequency response of the unit.

We don’t think this model tube at looks as good as some of the other Yaqin model tube amps we reviewed but if it is crystal clear sound quality you are after, then this robust working tube amp will get the job done nicely for you.


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Editor’s Choice – GemTune GP-01 Hi-end Vacuum Tube Amplifier (Best Value)

PROS:

  • Distortion reduction and low noise features
  • Nice design and controls
  • Arrives packed very well

CONS:

  • 110 volt input power only
  • Slightly overpriced for what you get
  • Setup instructions could be clearer

GemTune GP-01 Hi-end Vaccum Tube Amplifier with 300B*2+6N8P*2+5Z3P*1

This is a good looking unit that does not take up a lot of space like some amplifiers do.

Ok you were probably getting tired of hearing the Yaqin name come up time and time again on our tube amp review list so it’s nice to see another brand make an appearance on our list.

Get ready to get a little tired of hearing the brand name GemTune too because they will occupy the last two spots on our review list.

They are many quality electrical components built into this device which allow it to produce rich, warm sounds which are virtually distortion free. If you are into pipe music, acoustical music or jazz beats; then you will fall in love with this amp once you hear them played on it.

This is a good looking unit that does not take up a lot of space like some amplifiers do. You may be able to find a similar working tube amp at a little lower price but we don’t see anyone being dissatisfied in any way if they purchase this model tube amp.


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GemTune GS-02 Class A Integrated KT88 Vacuum Tube Amplifier

PROS:

  • Excellent price point considering its quality features
  • A very aesthetically pleasing unit
  • Arrives packed very well

CONS:

  • Tubes need to be upgraded
  • Meters could work more precise
  • Setup instructions need to be downloaded


GemTune GS-02 Class A Integrated KT88 vacummTube Amplifier with KT882, 6N8P2, 5Z3P1

We all agreed there was simply a lot to like about this tube amp especially if you take into consideration its affordable price point.

Here is another quality tube amp from GemTube that most of you will really like. It helps produce outstanding sound from such instruments as bells, acoustics and especially pipe style instruments. We all agreed there was simply a lot to like about this tube amp especially if you take into consideration its affordable price point.

The music that this amp puts out is really beautiful to say the least. This is a single ended class A type amplifier that will nicely compliment most any sound system. It will be a great addition to your stereo system if you are someone that still likes to spin a little vinyl from time to time.

This is by far one of the better looking tube amps on our review list with its classic styling. The tubes in this amp also will create an interesting little light show as they are working.

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TUBE AMP BUYING GUIDE

You don’t just want to run out and buy any old tube amp and hope it works nicely for you. You need to take your time when shopping and take a good look at the important features that make a tube amp compliment your stereo system.

Here are some characteristics to focus on as you begin your search for the perfect tube amp for your needs:

  • Price

For most of us price is a big factor in any type of buying decision that we make. The tube amps on this top review list are all between $500 – $1000. That is not chump change so you need to make a sound buying decision and get a tube amp that will make you very happy for a long time to come.

For amps under 500 check this review

We find that with the more expensive tube amps there is a pretty direct correlation between price and quality. Keep that in mind when shopping. That does not mean you can’t find a good deal on a tube amp if you take the time to look around. They are out there and you will find one if you are not in a rush to buy your new tube amp.

  • Distortion reduction and Low noise features

You can take all the other characteristics on this list and throw them out the window if you purchase a tube amp that does not have a low distortion rate (a little is actually good for the quality of sound with a tube amp) and has very little noise as it operates. So you are going to need to pay very close attention to these two big factors when shopping for your new tube amp.

The distortion a unit has is easy to spot because most manufacturers will list this right on their tube amp packaging along with some other pertinent information. The noise level of a tube amp is sometimes listed too but if not you may have to rely on reviews or looking at other technical specs to get this information.

  • Watts per Channel

Watts per channel is just another way of saying how much power you tube amp has. The more power the more you can crank up the volume without it being distorted. Higher priced tube amps usually have much more watts per channel than lower priced ones have. Keep in mind when shopping that loud music often does not have the crystal clear quality that softer music has. So do not overemphasize this number.

  • Blue tooth compatibility

Most music in these modern times is stored on digital media and then streamed to a playback device such as a tube amp. That is why it is not a bad idea to have a tube amp that is also Bluetooth compatible. This is like having a remote control to operate your system with. This is another characteristic you don’t want to overemphasize because many tube amp users have them because they like to hook them up to a turntable to play vinyl records.

  • Construction/looks

Tube amps tend to be very fragile stereo components just by the nature of their design. When you are looking at them make the enclosure the vacuum tubes are placed in holds them tightly in place and the overall materials used in the construction of the tube amp are not flimsy. Avoid tube amps that have very thin metal shells and use cheap plastics in the construction of them too.

There is nothing that says your tube amp can’t compliment the surroundings it is placed in either. Find one that does not look too boxy and has a more classic style to it. One that lets the natural light from the vacuum tubes spread around the room will set a nice mood too.

  • Warranty

A good warranty will give you a little peace of mind when you are purchasing a higher priced item like a tube amp, so make sure you find out what the warranty is on any one you are thinking about buying. Warranties will also give you a little insight as to how well put together a company thinks their tube amp product is because no company will warrant a poorly built product for a long time.

The Right Amp Can Change Your Entire Experience

There is no denying that there is a big difference between generic sound and sound that is much more pure in form and quality. That is exactly why most people will add a tube amp to their home stereo system. Tube amp users tend to be ‘music connoisseurs’ so to speak. You might liken the sound difference that you get from a tube amp as opposed to that from a solid state amp to the difference between a fine wine and wine that comes in a box.

You can never go wrong by purchasing the best tube amp under 1000 dollars on our list or any other model tube amps we reviewed here. If you don’t prefer any of those tube amps, then follow the suggestions in the handy buying guide and you should be able to find a tube amp model that nicely meets your needs.

Summary
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Best Tube Amp Under 1000
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