From the small home studio desktop amp to the stadium stack, guitar amps come in many sizes and capabilities. What will work for you will depend very much on a number of factors. What type of music do you want to play? Will you be playing alone at home or with a band? Do you want to be able to turn it way up or keep the sound at a reasonable volume while still getting a good tone? It can be hard to wade through the different options.
We have put together a guide to help you figure out the right pick for your needs. We have chosen 10 guitar amps with top-of-the-line specs. Each choice will fit different needs. So whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, you'll be able to find something you love.
Fender has a reputation for making some of the most popular guitars in the world. They also make industry-leading amps. The Champion 100 series features two 12" speakers with 100 watts of power blasting through them. The amp has an aux plug in for whenever you want to jam along with your favorite band.
The 2 channel output allows you to switch between clean and overdrive channels. It's a fairly simple amp without a ton of extra features. What the amp lacks in add ons, it makes up for in being straight to the point. This amp sounds crisp, clear, and powerful. It comes with a number of switches and knobs. It's a great tool for jamming with a band or playing alone at home.
Why We Liked It - This amp sounds really great and comes with plenty of wattage. When playing on the clean channel you can rock along all types of music, including country, and lighter rock. The overdrive channel will give you the crunch you want for heavier rock music. It's not the best suited for heavy metal unless you have some extra effects pedals to accompany the amp. But in general, play anything you want. View these guitar Amps under $200 for cheaper options.
Tube, Solid-State, or digital - When you go over the entry-level price range, looking for the very best amp, it's a serious investment. At that level, you should know how you want to sound. Try playing each type of amp before deciding how to spend your hard-earned cash.
While number one on our list was an old school amp, the Mustang GT is fully loaded with WIFI, Bluetooth, automatic tone updates, and as many models as you can imagine. This amp is all about providing you with as many specific sounds as possible.
If you're interested in having lots of tonal diversity, this is the amp for you. Keep in mind that it's not a super-powerful amp and is best suited for around the house. It's perfect for any man cave or small jam space.
+ Wifi and Bluetooth
+ Good Solid state sound
+ Plethora of tones
+ Automatic updates on wifi
Why We Liked It - One of the main reasons we play guitar is to sound like our favorite musicians. This amp allows you to pick from so many different sounds; it's so easy to find the sound you want. You can be really versatile when playing along with your favorite songs, which is super cool.
Marshall is most known for its ability to cater to the hard rock and metal scene. That type of sound is not all they can deliver. This guitar amp is great for playing around the house in an acoustic setting. The Marshall comes with great effects and tones that will make your guitar sound amazing. It has two 8-inch woofers to offer a deep bass tone.
It has a poly-dome tweeter which gives this power amp its crystal clear trebles. You can plug a microphone into the amp if you want to lay some vocals down or play with some friends. With stereo RCA inputs, you can connect mp3 players and drums machines. The dimensions are 21.3 x 10.3 x 16.4 inches, and the amp weighs 35.6 pounds.
+ Standard Marshall quality
+ RCA inputs
+ Balanced sound
+ Good for small venues
Why We Liked It - Marshall always delivers on great guitar amps. Having this one around the house for practice or jamming is really convenient. It has as good a sound as you will get with any other amp. The overdrive is great and the clean channel is really crisp and reliable.
How mobile is it - Most guitarists who spend serious cash on the best amp are working musicians who gig regularly. If you are getting into that territory, don't forget you need to get the amp to the gig and home again each time. Don't buy an amp that you'll be sick of carrying after a few shows.
This is a very lightweight guitar amp but packs a powerful speaker. In such a compact set up, you still get 90 watts of power, two channel inputs, mp3 aux inputs, and a feedback elimination circuit for a great response. This retro-looking guitar amp is meant for the acoustic guitarist who wants a lightweight amp option. They can rock out at the house or easily take it out and about to jam with.
The mic input is XLR instead of 1/4", so you get a better connection with the microphone. It also comes packed with special effects settings to spice up your tone. Fender combos are perfect for gigs at small venues or for practice at home. The volume controls for the guitar input and the mic input are separate. You can decide whether to have louder or quieter vocals, which is a huge plus for most guitar players.
+ 2 input lines with separate volumes
+ Good effects tones
+ Vintage look
Why We Liked It - The Acoustasonic has fantastic sound. 90-watts packs as much volume as a 100-watt amp does so there are no worries about being drowned out during a jam session. It's amazing that they fit that much power into an amp this portable. For a solid small venue or home amp, the Acoustasonic is one of the best guitar amps you will find. Play those strings without worrying about the sound.
Fender may just be the world's best amp manufacturer, and it's not hard to see why. The Fender Mustang GT 40 will pack the same kind of effects that you are looking for in the 100-watt version, except you won't have the extra weight and power. Connected via WIFI and Bluetooth, all the model uploads you want will be available for you to play around with. This amp is better suited for playing at home as it packs a little less power.
However, the sound is still fantastic and impressive. The body only weighs 17 pounds and won't take up a ton of space in your living room, unlike others on the market. With Bluetooth streaming, you can play music through the amp directly from your devices to jam along with. No cord is needed to connect your music. The footswitch is not included, but we recommend picking one up to make switching between clean and lead tones seamless. It's one of the top guitar amp choices on our list.
+ Lots of tonal uploads
+ Bluetooth and WIFI
+ Colour display screen
+ Great home amp
Why We Liked It - To be able to have the amount of amp sounds uploaded straight to your home is fantastic. You can play along with any of your favorite music with the perfect tone. Some amps can be so bulky that they are a pain to pick up. But thanks to how lightweight this one is, it's perfect for the house or a small jam space.
This classically designed 15-watt tube amplifier brings impressive punch in a small package. Smaller tube amps are a little less prolific. Tube amps exude a raw and full tone. It almost seems a little more genuine and real. The sound comes out of a single 12-inch speaker, powered by two preamp tubes 12AX7 and EL84 power tubes. This combo features a celestion brand speaker with a spring reverb.
You can connect your own effects loop, and the amp comes with a built-in reverb setting. The small size makes it the right amp for anyone just starting out or someone who wants another practice amp for the studio. The panel is easy to use. The sound is quite impressive for a 15-watt capable amp and will give you that punch you desire.
+ Extremely compact
+ Good tone
+ Classic Design
+ Built-in reverb
+ Effects loop
Why We Liked It - If you're looking to jam with a band, this is not the amp you want. But if you just want to have some amplification around the house for practicing, this will do the trick. It has impressive sound for such a little amp. The tube technology is still king in the world of amplifiers - get those great tube tones. We love this small amp as it still packs a punch, making it one of the top guitar amplifier choices on our list.
Peavey is another hallowed name in the world of amplification. They have a reputation for delivering some high-end products at attainable prices. You can pick this amp up in 20, 40, or 100-watt variations and get a great performance with each one. This particular amp suggests it can harness the power of acoustic, electric, and bass guitars. Not many amps are able to accomplish that, which is why this is one of the best amps on the market. With uploadable models, you can choose from a wide variety of amp tones for your desired taste.
You can take this amp to a jam session or small venue and enjoy the plethora of options you have, or keep it at home for some great tones. It features a tap tempo. The 40-watt amp weighs 22 pounds which is quite reasonable. The sounds that you get with the model tones are fantastic - metalheads especially love those tones. Practise your backing tack and more!
+ Variable sizes
+ Array of modeling tones
+ Bass capabilities
+ Modern design
Why We Liked It - Having the versatility to play bass through a guitar amp if very rare. Having that ability to switch instruments is super convenient. The uploadable tones available are fantastic, and really provide that extra bit of freedom when playing different genres of music. It's the best guitar amplifer for metalheads! If you're looking for even more value products that won't break the bank, see more amps under 250 dollars here.
Yamaha is best known for bringing us our reliable acoustic guitars for a great price. They have done the same with the THR10 desktop amp. It's one of the best guitar amps to have around the house with its compact size and weight. The tones are really impressive, featuring dense bass and crisp highs. The 10-watts of power won't blow the doors off your studio.
With not a lot of volume, it's meant for practice at home. It will work best if you are looking for a simple plug-in and play amp. It comes with built-in effects, 3-band EQ, and a USB for editing and recording.
If you're looking for a 10-watt amp, and you don't need a ton of extra effects and power built-in, consider this. Fender amps are known for their quality and this one doesn't disappoint. The Fender Frontman 10G is one of the most simple and reliable small electric guitar amplifiers. The 2-channel amp gives you clean and overdrive tones, whether you're a rhythm or a solo player.
A 1/8" jack allows you to plug in your MP3 player or a set of headphones so you can listen privately or play along with your favorite music. This Fender guitar amp is perfect for any beginner guitar player who doesn't need all the bells and whistles. Not to mention, the design of the amp is great for anyone with style. It'll be a great addition to all your guitar gear.
Why We Liked It - This is a great amp for beginners. It doesn't go very loud and offers acceptable tones at the low volume. It has good sound and is really easy to carry around and keep out of the way when you're not using it.
This amp is the little brother to the Champion 100. It looks good and packs a punch! The 20-watts of capability makes it better suited for home use. It gives you control over the treble and bass and offers effects such as reverb, chorus, vibratone, and delay. It contains an auxiliary input to play along with your favorite tracks.
This model comes preloaded with 17 amp models to give you exactly the sound you need for your practice session. It weighs only 6.6 pounds and is really easy to move around the house. However, it may not have enough power to play along with your bandmates unless it's in a more acoustic setting. This is a really solid amp for practicing at the house.
Why We Liked It - For a starter amp, this one sounds great. It's really nice to have the versatility of 17 different amp models. It allows you to sound exactly the way you want to when you're playing with MP3's. It's still really light, so moving it around the house or to friends places is a breeze, making it one of the best products if you're always on the go.
Specialist or all-rounder - Just like guitars, more expensive amps sometimes excel in a very particular sound. Beyond choosing the type of amp, you should think about the music you need to play. It's especially important if you play in many different bands and need a versatile amp.
Guitar Amps Buyers Guide
What to Look for in a Guitar Amp
There are a lot of options when it comes to guitar amps. Depending on what you will be using the amp for, you will have some decisions to make based on many different factors. It all comes down to your preference and opinion. If you're going to be playing with a band live or in a practice room, you'll need more power than a beginner. But this is just one aspect you'll need to consider. With things like sound, versatility, capability, and size all playing a part, it can be tough to sift through the prospects.
We have put together a short buyer's guide to try to give you a better idea of what's important when picking out a guitar amp. We've included buying advice and what to look out for when it comes to the product specifications, as well as tips and tricks for all experience levels. Hopefully, by the end, you'll have a clear picture of what you need, whether you want to sound like the genius that is Brian May, Bruce Springsteen, or Taylor Swift.
Not all amps are created equal when it comes to sound quality. There are solid state amps and tube amps. Solid state amps send their power through outputs, whereas tube amps derive the power from voltage through vacuum tubes.
So what difference does this make when it comes to tube and solid state amps? Tube amps require a little more long-term upkeep but provide a genuine and realistic tone of instruments and voice. They tend to have a rich midrange.
Solid state amps will generally provide a more detailed tonal quality and more power for the dollars spent. They're also easier to maintain, with no glass vacuum tubes to keep clean. Either type can provide you with a really good sound.
If you're trying to turn your sound all the way up with massive overdrives, ensure that your amp is not designed for acoustic in-home use. If you only need an amp to help work on your chops, a smaller and less dynamic amp can do the trick. It all depends on what type of music you are playing. We've included a few practice amps in our product guide above for you to consider.
Check out the power section of the amp you intend to research. You could also consider a master volume feature, which allows you to turn up the pre-amp section. All of this will matter when considering power.
Consider combo amps or tube combo amps. These tools offer combinations of amplifiers and speakers.
Remember that smaller watt amps will give you good tone at lower volumes, but as you turn them up past the threshold, they tend to lose some integrity.
Power necessities are pretty simple from a buying standpoint. How loud do you want your amp to be? How much headroom do you want? If you're playing at home by yourself, then 10-20-watts is all you'll need. If you're playing along with a drummer or a loud band of any kind, at least 50-watts will be necessary. Usually, 100-watts is the safest bet because that brings you the power you need.
The majority of larger amps designed for band use come in 100 watts. It can also be helpful to have some foresight in terms of what you may use your amp for in the future. Even if you're only practicing now, you may get good quickly and want the capability to play along with a band sooner than you think.
How versatile do you need your amp to be? If you want all of your effects packed into one amp, then you may be best off going for a modeling amp, which allows you to upload many different tones. But if you already have your own mammoth of an effects pedal, you can be less concerned with getting a detailed guitar amp.
Some amps come with enough compression, tonal clarity, and power that when you plug effects pedals into them, they sound great on their standard tone. Do you want to have modes and effects like chorus, reverb, delay, and distortion on your amp without buying extra pedals? If you pick an amp with multiple channels that can harness the benefits of numerous effects, you could save yourself a little bit of money on effects pedals. Consider voicings, too. These effects will help you find a music style that is reminiscent of those cool British sounds, or something that will make you feel like one of the American greats.
Having everything right in place is really convenient for people playing at home or with a small jam group. A professional stage musician is likely happy to pick out their own effects specific to their needs. If you want super versatility, consider an amp simulator.
Will you play mostly at home, or do you need to take your amp around the world? Unfortunately, amps that you can take to gigs and practices with you need to be more powerful. In order to bring more power, the amp generally needs to be bigger and heavier.
If you only have a small space at home to play in or not a lot of storage space, you won't need a large and powerful amp. A smaller desktop or a 10-20-watt mini guitar amp will do the trick. 100-watt amps tend to be quite big and heavy. So it's best to figure out beforehand how much maneuverability you want.
When it comes to high-powered speakers, you need to make sure you're protected against manufacturer defects. Amps are built to last, and many feature a durable cabinet or case, but the smaller and more fragile components can be easier to break. You want to make sure that you're covered if your speaker is defective, or if the wires simply weren't soldered on properly.
Amps are difficult to fix if you don't have the necessary expertise. A good warranty will help you take care of any unexpected problems that you didn't see coming. Guitar amps can be expensive, so the last thing you want is to buy another one without a warranty. Most brands, such as Vox, Boss, Blackstar, Fender, Victory, and more will offer a warranty.
You're probably really excited to get playing your favorite music, as you should be - playing music is one of the greatest gifts to mankind! Hopefully, we've been able to outline the necessary information to help you make the right decision. Let's rock out!
The more simple an amp is, the less likely problems will arise. An amp that is just meant to plug into a guitar will have fewer things that can break or malfunction. Amps with Bluetooth and WIFI capabilities can be great for versatility and ease. However, there's always the chance that the extra components will stop working, which can cause unwanted annoyances.
Did you Know?
Before modern guitar amps were invented, guitarists who wanted to have their pickup wielding electric guitars had to play through "radio horns with limited acoustic frequency or output." The sound was terrible and unreliable until 1927, when a portable speaker that could be plugged in became popular with many musicians.
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