There’s a near-religious debate that goes on regarding “tubes vs solid state”. I’m not going to contribute to the debate except to say that they sound different and it’s ultimately a matter of subjective tastes.

I have a variety of tube amps and they all sound different. Not better, not worse, just different. Here’s what I have and a brief overview of the differences between them:


  • Decware - Probably the best choice for a starter amp system, Decware has both kits and assembled units, all at a reasonable price. Easy to set up and good sounding, a good way to get your feet wet with tubes.

See them here!

  • Bottlehead - The most popular tube kits in the market. If you can get the kits to work, they sound good. Large installed base, lot of hobbyist users that like to share their ideas for tweaking the amps. Good choice for an experimenter.

See them here!

  • Transcendent Sound - These are the bad boys. Technically much more sophisticated than the Decware or Bottleheads, these products use Bruce Rozenblitt’s patented OTL technology. Remarkably straightforward to build, sound fantastic, and look pretty darn cool

See them here!

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