What is the Best Stereo Tube Amp under 1000 in 2019? – Reviews

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 stereo 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 YAQIN Vacuum Tube Integrated Push-Pull Amplifier, which combines serious sound quality with a price tag that is very reasonable.

Editor’s Picks

Product DescriptionUsers Score
Editor choice
YAQIN MC-13S EL34 (6CA7) 4 Vacuum Tube Integrated Push/Pull Amp

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

Yaqin is a popular Chinese tube amp manufacturer. They have an outstanding reputation for making some of the best ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
Editor choice
2 YAQIN Hi-Fi Integrated Push/Pull Stereo Tube Amplifier (MC-10T)

YAQIN Hi-Fi Integrated Push/Pull Stereo Tube Amplifier (MC-10T)

Occupying the second spot on our review list, yup, YANQUIN amplifier. They known for producing quality amps at a fair ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
Editor choice
3 Dared MP-5BT HI-FI Audiophiles Integrated Amplifier & Preamplifier

Dared MP-5BT HI-FI Audiophiles Integrated Amplifier & Preamplifier

Based in Hong Kong, Dared has been a popular manufacturer of high-quality valve tube amps for over 20 years. They are ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
Editor choice
4 Nobsound 6P1 6.8W x 2 Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier

Nobsound 6P1 6.8W x 2 Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier

Is high-quality analogue sound your thing? Then look no further than the Nobsound 6P1 6.8W amplifier. With deep and ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)
Editor choice
5 DARKVOICE 336SE OTL HEADPHONE AMP

DARKVOICE 336SE OTL HEADPHONE AMP

DarkVoice 336SE amps pack plenty of high-quality sound in to a compact package. These amps comes standard with 6N8P ...

User Rating: 4 (1 votes)

Tube or valve amps were the popular, well, the only choice to power stereo and guitar amplifiers in the 1950’s and 60’s, but then they faded a bit into obscurity as new guitar amplifier technology hit the scene. But in the last 20 years or so stereo tubes have made a tenacious comeback. Even alongside such technological advancements as digital and hybrid amps, the demand for these vintage gems is high.

The general consensus of true music connoisseurs is that tube amplifiers produce the best sound when paired with the right speakers, and we are inclined to agree. But unfortunately, a common misconception is that this world-class, stellar sound is significantly more expensive than solid-state amplifier technology, but that’s not always the case. As with any kind of amp, there are many different options, at many price points. So no need to worry about having to take out a second mortgage on your home to enjoy the outstanding, pure, warm tone of a valve amplifier.

There are heaps of stereo amplifiers around to choose from. High-end to low-end and everything in between, there is definitely something to fit everyone’s budget. We’ve assembled a list of the best stereo tube amplifiers on the market today based on overall sales and user reviews. We’ll tell you what features we like about them, what we feel could use a little improvement and reveal our overall top pick for best stereo tube amp under 1000 for 2019 in our review.

But first, we’d like to share this helpful list of a few things to consider when purchasing your shiny, new tube amplifier.

TUBE AMP BUYING GUIDE

You don’t want to make an ill-informed decision, run out and buy the first or cheapest valve you run across, and then hope that it works our for you. There are a few important components to consider when searching for the best vacuum tube to compliment your stereo system.

Price: For many of us price is a major driving force in persuading or deterring us from making a purchase of any kind. The tube amps on our list are all between $290 to just over $700, which we are aware is no small chuck of change. But, if you consider that price within the realm of vacuum tubes, where the prices can easily range from $1,500 to over $5,000, suddenly 290 to 700 bucks doesn’t seem so bad ay?

It’s not always the case, but with regards to tube amps in particular, we’ve found a direct correlation between price and quality, so keep that in mind when browsing. That of course doesn’t mean that won’t be able to find a good deal on on a great amp, you may just have to take a bit more time, investigate further, and scout for deals.

Distortion Reduction and Low Noise Features: It doesn’t matter how reasonably priced or aesthetically pleasing the tubes are. None of it matters if the amp is noisy or doesn’t have proper distortion reduction. You don’t want to hear the amp humming or buzzing, through your speakers. You’ll also want to make sure the tubes have a distortion reduction feature. Both are vital components to look for when looking the best tube amplifier.

The amount of distortion a tube amp has is easy to spot because most manufacturers list this information right on the packaging along with other specs about the amp. The noise level of a tube amp isn’t often included on the packaging, so you may need to take to Google and read some user reviews.

Watts Per Channel: Watts per channel is the amount of power your tube amp has. The higher the watts, the louder you can crank up the volume without distorting the sound. Higher priced tube amps generally have more watts per channel than lower priced ones. More watts equal louder music, but that isn’t always the best thing for overall tone. Often times louder music doesn’t have the same crystal clear sound quality that softer music has. Bigger isn’t always necessarily better, so keep in mind when narrowing down your list tube amplifiers.

Bluetooth Compatibility: Purchasing a tube amp with Bluetooth connectivity will allow for wireless music streaming from your phone or mp3. It’s basically like having a remote control to operate your system. Many users also like to connect their tube amp to a turntable to play vinyl records for a more old school sound.

Construction: Vacuum tubes tend to be fragile stereo components just by the nature of their design. They are basically sealed glass bottles with all of the air removed, and resemble light bulbs. Avoid tube amps that are flimsy and have very thin metal shells. Also beware that some companies may use cheap plastics in the construction of them as well.

There are some tube amps that have a very cool, vintage look, so it’s no surprise that many people like to proudly display them in their homes. But remember, these tubes are delicate, so maybe you should consider purchasing a clear protective cover to protect your tube amp if one is not already included. One that lets the natural glow from the vacuum tubes spread warmth around the room.

Warranty: Having a great warranty will give you peace of mind when you are purchasing a higher priced item like a tube amplifier, so be sure to fully review the warranty information before making any purchase. The type of quality insurance offered can also give you a bit of insight about the company’s confidence in the quality of their product. Companies generally don’t offer great warranties on poorly made products that they know will have to be replaced or repaired frequently.

Best Stereo Tube Amps under 1000- 2019

We want to put the myth of the break the bank, extravagantly priced, vacuum tube amplifier to rest. Take a look at our selections for the best stereo tube amplifiers under 1000, we’re sure you’ll see something that tickles your fancy.

Editor’s Pick – Top Pick

1.YAQIN MC-13S EL34 (6CA7) 4 Vacuum Tube Integrated Push/Pull Amp Editor’s Choice

Yaqin is a popular Chinese tube amp manufacturer. They have an outstanding reputation for making some of the best stereo tube amps you can find in the audio marketplace, and the YAQIN MC-13S EL34 is a prime example of one of the quality products that has earned them that notoriety. This tube amp is an impressive addition to any sound system.

The MC-13S EL34 tube integrated amp has a sleek and modern appearance, and includes covers to protect your delicate tubes from the elements like, dust and kids getting handsy with your shiny, new toy.

This vacuum tube amp generates smooth, crystal clear, distortion-free sound, and has a calming glow that can been seen in low light. It’s an audiophile’s dream. This amplifier is our pick for best amp under 1000 because it’s a top-of-the line unit, available at a much less than top-of-the line price. The sounds this amp projects are incredible, the tones stay clean and warm no matter how far you push it. This is perfect amplifier for the budget audiophile.

Specifications:
  • Output power: 40 watts + 40 watts at 8 ohms
  • Distortion: ≤0.9% measured at 28 watts
  • Signal to noise ratio: ≥85 decibels (A-weighted)
  • Two speaker output impedance posts rated at 8 ohms or 4 ohms
  • Four switchable line inputs
  • Power consumption: ≤220W
  • Input Sensitivity: ≤0.26 volts
  • Four CA7T, two 12AX7B, and two 12AU7 vacuum tubes
  • 47cm L x,31.5cm W X 17.5cm H
  • One power cable
  • Hex screwdriver
  • Instruction manual
  • 48lbs
PROS:
  • Class A push/pull power amplifier helps to reduce distortion
  • Low noise level feature, so there is no humming or buzzing
  • Delivers clear distortion-free sound even when cranked up to capacity
  • The top and bottom of the amp are made with stainless steel materials
  • Aluminum-made panels and bezels
  • Aesthetically appealing, this amp looks great as a centerpiece or on a bookshelf
  • An analog VU meter monitors the average of the two channel output levels
  • Many of the materials used in the amp are produced by well-known Japanese, American, and European companies, ensuring a higher quality product.

CONS:
  • During our review, we found that there is no phono stage. If connecting a turntable with no built-in phono, then you will need to purchase a phono stage to connect it to the amp

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

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.


2.YAQIN Hi-Fi Integrated Push/Pull Stereo Tube Amplifier (MC-10T)

Occupying the second spot on our review list, yup, YANQUIN amplifier. They known for producing quality amps at a fair price, and the MC-10T yet is another example of why they are one of the leaders in the world of stereo tube amps. The MC-10T amp not only produces high quality sound, but looks good while doing it.

Besides featuring push-pull operation, this product features the use of four EL34B tubes, resulting in a brighter warmer sound than your standard EL34 tube. You can also expect a wider response range from this product. This is thanks to its use of the SRPP preamp circuit, which helps boosts signals so that the tubes can further amplify them. Another great amp from YANQIN at a fair price.

Features:
  • Output Power: 40Watts +40 Watts at 8 ohms
  • Sound distortion is at ≤0.9% (28 Watts)
  • Signal-to-noise-ratio is at ≥85 decibels
  • Signal-to-noise-ratio input sensitivity is at ≤0.26 Volts
  • Frequency response is from 10 Hertz to 76 Kilohertz at ±2 decibels
  • Load impedance is from 4 ohms to 8 ohms
  • Power consumption is at a maximum of 220 Watts
  • Four EL34B, two 12AX7, and two 12AU7 vacuum tubes
  • Driver stage has a push-pull design
  • One power cable
  • Hex screwdriver
  • Instruction manual
  • 47.5 pounds
PROS:
  • Class A push/pull power amplifier helps to reduce distortion
  • Low noise level features, so there is no humming or buzzing
  • Delivers clear distortion-free sound even when cranked up to capacity
  • Features EL34B tubes which result in a brighter, warmer sound than your standard EL34 tube
  • The top and bottom of this tube amp are made with stainless steel materials
  • Aluminum-made panels and bezels
  • Many of the materials used in the amp are produced by well-known Japanese, American, and European companies, ensuring a higher quality product

CONS:
  • During our review, we found that these amps do not have auto bias, so whenever a tube is change. You’ll need to do this manually, and if done incorrectly, if can have a negative impact on the overall sound.

YAQIN Hi-Fi Integrated Push/Pull Stereo Tube Amplifier (MC-10T)

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.


3.Dared MP-5BT HI-FI Audiophiles Integrated Amplifier & Preamplifier

Based in Hong Kong, Dared has been a popular manufacturer of high-quality valve tube amps for over 20 years. They are known to offer a range of quality hi-fi tubes at various price points to accommodate the budget of every consumer.

The popular Dared MP-5BT HI-FI amps combines old-school engineering with modern features. This amp has an analog USB to connect directly to your computer and Bluetooth to connect wirelessly to your phone or other devices. The straight-forward control panel features an on-off switch, volume button, standard headphone jack, and an input switch. This allows you to swap between USB, Bluetooth and analogue options The rear of the unit houses the analogue input and a pre-amp output, both on RCA jacks, the Bluetooth antenna, USB input and speaker terminals.

The glass vacuum tubes on the Dared MP-5BT amps are flanked with two wood-sided plates covered with a lacquered black piano finish, adding a touch of luxury. The rose gold base and exposed tubes offer a look of classic simplicity, which looks great in any home or office.

Features:
  • Max. Power Output: 2x25W
  • Frequency: 20-25kHZ
  • S/N Ratio: 86dB
  • Distortion: 0.1%
  • Input Impedance: 100kohms
  • Output Impedance: 4 ohms, 8 ohms
  • Max. Power Consumption: 110Watts
  • Input: 2.4GHz Wireless Audio Input,USB DAC, LINE
  • Output: Speaker, Headphone, Stereo Preamp
  • Voltage: AC100-120V/50-60Hz
  • AC220-240V/50-60Hz .Tubes: 6N1, 6N2, 6E2
  • Dimensions: 260x160x155mm (LxWxH)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Power cable
  • USB cable
  • Instruction manual
  • 8.4 pounds
PROS:
  • These amps have a low noise level feature, so there is no humming or buzzing
  • Delivers clear distortion-free sound
  • Bluetooth compatibility to connect you phone or other devices
  • Straight-forward control layout. There’s an on/off switch, input switch, volume button and headphone jack
  • The rear of the unit features preamps, and an analogue input, both on gold RCA jacks, the Bluetooth antenna, a USB input to connect a computer, two pairs of speaker terminals.
  • Sturdy construction with beautiful rose gold accents

CONS:
  • None that we found during our review. The Dared MP-5BT HI-FI amps are compact and perfect for home or office.

Dared MP-5BT HI-FI Audiophiles Integrated Amplifier & Preamplifier

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

 


4.Nobsound 6P1 6.8W x 2 Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier

Is high-quality analogue sound your thing? Then look no further than the Nobsound 6P1 6.8W amplifier. With deep and powerful bass, and sweet and intoxicating vocals all encompassed by a classic design, this amplifier is fit for display atop your desk or bookshelf. With VU meters and vacuum tubes on full display, it’s easy to see that Douk Audio has put as much thought into the external design of their amps as they did the internal components.

Inside of the chassis of the Nobsound 6P1 6.8 power amplifier, Douk Audio has adopted a transformer parallel output in order to reduce the internal resistance in there amps by half, thus doubling the power. Anti-magnetic transformer covers have been used to shield from interference with the current and achieve the lowest static noise levels possible.

You’ll be delighted that there is no fuzzing, cutting out, or lowered tonal qualities, even when at its highest peak. The tones stay nice and smooth at all volume levels, which makes this unit one of the best versatile and fully functional units, when compared to other small units. The Nobsound 6P1 6.8 power amplifier is among the most affordable options for stereo tube amps.

Features:
  • Output power: 6.8W x 2
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Input impedance: 100 ohms
  • Output impedance: 8 ohms ,4 ohms
  • SNR: 90db
  • Input Sensitivity: 500mv-2000mv
  • Harmonic distortion: 1% (1KHz)
  • Tube: 5Z4P x 1 6H8C x 2 6P1 * 4
  • Operating voltage: 110V
  • Instruction manual
  • Power cable
  • 15.5 pounds
PROS:
  • There amps have an elegant and eye-catching design
  • Delivers clear, distortion-free sound
  • Convenient toggle on the front panel allows you to switch between speaker and headphones
  • Don’t let its size fool you, this amp has the capability to power 60 watt speakers with ease
  • Uses total hand welding can decrease sound losses and ensure better sound quality
  • Sound quality is more natural and warmer due to the multiple-paint shield, which lowers background interference

CONS:
  • Some reviewers complained of hearing a slight humming in their headphones in between songs.

Nobsound 6P1 6.8W x 2 Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier

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

 


5.DARKVOICE 336SE OTL HEADPHONE AMP

DarkVoice 336SE amps pack plenty of high-quality sound in to a compact package. These amps comes standard with 6N8P and 6N5P tubes, and gives you everything you need to enjoy the sweet highs and bass-laden lows you crave. Once you plug in to this amp, you’re never going to want to listen to music any other way.

This small and mighty unit features superior stock tubes, and there is no tube rolling or swapping out needed whatsoever with these amps. The DarkVoice 336SE has a way of bringing the upper mids forward while adding a bit of color to the tone, giving more life to you music. Just plug it in and pair it with your favorite 6.3mm compatible headphones.

One feature we absolutely love is the complete and utter silence you hear in between songs on when your music is on pause. Some tube amplifiers for headphones are known to have a slight hissing or buzzing. Yet another great tube amp priced well below 1000, to round out our top 5 list.

Features:
  • Tube Used : 6N8P, 6N5P
  • Frequency: +/-1dB 10Hz~20kHz
  • Distortion: <=2% Output impedance: 32 to 600 ohm
  • Power handling capacity: 1W
  • Output terminal: 6.3mm Stereo Jack
  • Input terminal: RCA Jack
  • Power supply: 110V, 220~240V version
  • 11.4’L x 6.3’W x 5.3′ D
  • Power cable
  • 12 pounds
PROS:
  • These Output Transformer-Less (OTL) headphone amps cut out a key part of conventional amplifier design to eliminate a major cause of audible distortion, delivering more clear, crisp sound
  • Includes high-quality 6N8P and 6N5P stock tubes that don’t ever need to be rolled or changed
  • DarkVoice amps are capable of powering headphones with up to 600 Ohms of magnetic resistance, They also function as great tube-based preamps for your speaker system.
  • When in between songs or paused, there is no humming or buzzing, just blissful silence
  • As solid as a rock, every visible surface on the DarkVoice 336SE is either glass or anodized black metal. This tube amp is built as solid as it sounds.

CONS:
  •  None that we found during our review. We fully recommend this tube to anyone in need of a headphone amplifier.

DARKVOICE 336SE OTL HEADPHONE AMP

This small and mighty unit features superior stock tubes, and there is no tube rolling or swapping out needed whatsoever with these amps.

The Right Amp Can Change Your Entire Audio Experience

If you’re building out a home studio or Hi-Fi system, one of the best ways to add some variety, depth and visual appeal to your setup is introduce a tube amp in to the mix. But the search for the perfect stereo tube amp can be overwhelming. The complex names and numbers, pricing from 50 bucks to 5,000 and beyond. It can be difficult to know where to begin.

A true audiophile understands how important the kind of vacuum tube you choose is to the overall sound quality. No audio system would be complete without one of these gorgeous, warm, glowing pieces of art. There is no denying that there is a difference between the sound of a solid-state, versus the warm, robust tones of a tube amplifier. That is exactly why many music connoisseurs prefer tubes amps to compliment their home stereo system.

Any of the tube amps under 1000 we reviewed have incredible durability and great sound distortion reduction. They also produce dynamic sound at high volume, and are soft, but powerful at low volume. They are also, made with quality materials inside and out.

No matter which you choose from our review, we are confident that you will love it. If nothing on our amps for under 1000 list catches your eye, share our list with your audiophile buddies and see what they think about our picks. Also, be sure to follow the suggestions in our handy buying guide and you should be able to find the perfect tube amp that best suits your needs.


Summary
Review Date
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Best Tube Amp Under 1000
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