Anyone try these cheap Tube/Valve Amps?

Anyone give these a go?

Obviously not expecting them to sound like an Elysia Karkater, but if the distortion on a cheap mixer can sound good, surely these can? Could you get a reasonably well implemented one then just chuck some expensive tubes in?

Nobsound, what a brand name. Does Karl Pilkington make them?

Not the same one, but I did have quite a similar headphone amp that took a valve. Those little valve amps get really hot, so you’d need to figure out a safe place to station it.

Mine had a bit of a hiss to it but I liked it just fine. Mainly used it to warm up the sound coming from a cheap record deck for home audio, rather than production duties. It definitely added a bit of glassy magic and a nice round thump but it wasn’t built to last, sadly. Also it wasn’t worth repairing when it stopped turning on (I opened it up, switched the valve etc. and it wasn’t the fuse or anything fixable at my level, which is admittedly quite a low level - figured it was the heat it ran at). Now have a FiiO E12, which rarely use but I do like, but it’s not as exciting as an unpredictable, burning-hot cheap valve amp.

My experience, anyhow.

I have the Ocean too. I bought it because I found that my Yamaha AG-06 couldn’t drive my headphones very loud without a lot of noise.

It does get hot! I attached a heat sink to the bottom and have a USB fan aimed at it.

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I don’t think it’s true tube, starved plate won’t give you the sound you desire…i have an Electro harmonix lbp2 as a tube pre - it’s on all day, every day, and has been fine for a decade…



Cheers, for all the answers.

Yeah, I don’ expect some kind of amazing sound, just something. I did see one of those old ART Tube pres from years ago in a pawn shop for £40, not sure that will be much better.

I’ve recently tired pedals and I’m not blown away. The Rat sounds good an analog, the MD2 sounds alright on DN. Maybe I need an input converter of some type. Maybe I just need a decent Overdrive instead… I love the driven sound I can get with my relatively dodgy sound craft mixer though…

I might be better off just getting the Art Opto comp overall, that has some ok tubes in, though I know it doesn’t compress in the tube.

All starved plate afaik.


I have a Dave Hall (RIP) VT2 twin valve overdrive pedal from my doom bass guitar days (mine is in trve cvlt black metal monochrome though), and probably should hook it up to something electronic at some point. It sounds lovely and toasty through a 2x12 cab.