best guitar amp

INTRODUCING: 18 Best Guitar Amps For The Money Today!

Are you looking for the best guitar amp for the money available on the market today? We just might have you covered right here before you spend the cash!

Let’s get something out of the way first:

Quick Links To Our Best Guitar Amplifier Recommendations

How We Define “Best”

The term “best amp” is subjective and can mean different things for different people. When we went to work to put together this list, we wanted to try to compile the right amp choices for a number of different reasons:

  • My Favorites – these are just my all time favorites and what I consider these days.
  • Value For The Money – these options give a bang for your buck.
  • Most Popular – these are popular best guitar amplifiers that tend to be ones that a lot of guitar players gravitate to.
  • Most Iconic – these have been around for years and have made a name for themselves.
  • Most Versatile – these can be used for a wide variety of applications, musical genres, guitars, etc.
  • Most Reliable – all around reliable that can take a beating but keep running.

You also have to think about the size and ask yourself the question – what size guitar amp do I need?

Do You Need An Amp For An Electric Guitar?

That’s why we have reviewed some amps to help you choose one that optimizes how your music flows electronically and conceptually. Our recommendations satisfy a variety of musical needs and include the following:

Contents

Looking For Something More Specific In A New Guitar Amp?

I also put together some more detailed new amp guides based on criteria like price range, types of amplifier, and specific uses.

Our Favorite Electric Guitar Amp Reviews

#1 Favorite Modern Combo Amp For Home Use – Positive Grid Spark

If you are looking for a no-nonsense amplifier that is in the budget range, look no further than the Positive Grid Spark amp! The Spark utilizes modeling guitar technology available on the market today. The Spark gives you a variety of amps, cabs and effects to choose from. The modeling simulator is some of the best I’ve heard at this price point, giving you the feel and sound of tube amps, vintage setup and more.

The Positive Grid Spark is Smart Jam-capable, which lets you jam along with your favorite songs. You can choose from a variety of genres, with more being added regularly. There are over 500 tracks available to choose from! Once you have chosen a track to play along to, the Spark will sync to the song and adjust it’s settings to match.

The Spark is also equipped with ToneCloud, which allows you to upload your own presets. You can even connect your ToneCloud account to other websites for extra sounds and functionality.

Pros:

  • Great value package, very versatile with lots of available effects, storage for presets, Smart Jam-capable through the app, ToneCloud functionality is just awesome.
  • Easily connect the app through bluetooth.
  • Works well with acoustic guitar too.

Cons:

  • There’s a bit of a learning curve for non-techy type people but it’s very intuiative so it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.

Why We Chose This Combo Guitar Amp – We chose the Positive Grid Spark because we needed a low cost option that wasn’t necessarily meant for gigs, but rather to bring to jam sessions with friends. We liked the fact that it was Jam-capable, so we didn’t have to worry about setting up our own best amplifiers.

Our Rating -
5/5

#2 Favorite (A Nice Mid Range Amp 50w Choice) – Peavey Classic 50

The Classic 50 is an incredibly versatile amp. It can be used with any kind of music and it is capable of producing everything from a clean sound to a very heavy distortion. You can use this for just about any application you have in mind. You can use it at home, at gigs or even on a stage. It is built from quality metal and wood and would last you for years with proper maintenance and care.

It features a 3-band EQ and a master volume control that can be used to get the sound exactly the way you want it. It has 2 channels that can be used for either a clean or a distorted tone, although you can switch between the channels while they are running. The controls are very intuitive and easy to use.

The Classic series of top amplifiers from Peavey are solid tube amps that are very versatile and sound amazing.

Pros:

  • Perfect as mid-level tube guitar combos.
  • Excellent for home recording and education.
  • Nice tone and versatile sound control panel options.
  • Well built chassis.

Cons:

  • Can be a little tricky to get a suitable tone at first but after experimenting with settings, you’ll be ready to go.

Why We Chose It – It is a very versatile amp with tone and output. It can be used in a wide variety of situations and also produces guitar’s sound when it is being used for recording. This would be perfect for any musician that plays different genres as it can get any tone that you want from blues to metal.

Our Rating -
5/5

#3 Favorite And Best Sounding – Fender Bassbreaker 15 Combo

My final favorite amp has to be the Fender Bassbreaker 15 because of its convenience to use and the sound it produces. I truly think this is for beginners because you can get used to it fairly quickly without a lot of noise, unlike others. It also has many features and you can get a wide variety of sounds out of it that will help you learn your favorite bands.

It’s powered by two EL84 power amplifier tubes and also has three 12AX7 guitar preamp tubes. Since it has two channels, you can switch between clean and overdrive for a wide variety of sounds. The clean sound is not exceptionally loud, but it does the job well enough and can be turned up to any desired volumes while still sounding great.

Pros:

  • Fender amps have great, versatile tone.
  • Can be used as a practice amp or to gig with.

Cons:

  • The clean channel isn’t that loud, but it still does the job well enough.

Why We Chose It – It’s perfect for beginners because it isn’t very complicated and is easy to use, but it has a great sound and is versatile enough for advanced musicians.

Our Rating -
5/5

Most Popular Amp Reviews

Fender Mustang LT25 (Popular 25w Guitar Amplifier)

The Fender Mustang LT series are some of the smaller and most popular for guitarists. This amplifier comes with an 8 inch speaker, with 25 watts and has only one channel. It has a clean sound that is very versatile in terms of how you play rock, blues or jazz.

But the different tones this can do is awesome. Using the simple 1.8″ display, you can access 30 preset tones. You can also access more presets by connecting to the Fender FUSE software.  It also has a USB connection where you can also access the Fender guitar amplifier FUSE software.

Pros:

  • Nice clean sound.
  • Affordable price.

Cons:

Why We Chose It – The Fender Mustang LT25 is a versatile option that works well in most situations. It is affordable and you can adjust the clean sound of this amp according to the music you are playing. The clean sound is really good and it can be used with pedals for more versatility. The feature of the LED display is also cool because it only takes up a small space on the top, but still allows you to access so many presets.

Full Review Of The Fender Mustang LT25 Here

Our Rating -
4.5/5

Boss Katana 50 MkII

It’s easy to overlook Boss’s Katana range. But at a time when boutique-quality pedals are all the rage and boutique-quality effects are often the most sought after, you also have a superb master volume-level amp, blending high gain with traditional valve rectification. And with a remarkably natural clean tone, it’s more than just “a great sound”.

This amp, which is an updated version of the original Katana amps, is versatile. It has a very wide gain range, so you can go from clean to high gain. It’s very versatile and emotive that sounds very articulate for pretty much all genres of music. You can tailor the sound you want with the five different voices available, ranging from British to Modern to Crunch to Hi-Gain. It also comes with an FX level control that allows you total control over how distorted your tone is going to be.

Pros:

  • Versatile. Can be used for pretty much any genre.
  • Easy to dial in your desired tone.
  • Great clean sound, but can get very distorted at high gain settings

Cons:

  • Bass isn’t as punchy as others with more speakers and wattage, so it feels like it is lacking something at some points, but this is resolved if you turn up your bass knob.

Why We Chose It – It is one of our favorites because it combines the feel of a traditional British-style clean with high gain tones. This means that you can get very saturated cleans, but you can also dial in high gain sounds, making it suitable for any genre of music. It’s easy to use, and it has a very versatile range of voices that allow you total control over your tone.

Our Rating -
4/5

Marshall DSL40CR (A Great 40w Guitar Amp)

Wide range of clean and overdrive sounds for any type of playing, this is the go-to amp for a wide range of people. The sound quality is outstanding and it can be used in a variety of ways to produce your favorite effects. The Marshall DSL40C is the classic Marshall 40 Watt with dual channels, tube tones, excellent power and professional sound.

If you need long lasting choice that will fit your budget, then the Marshall DSL40CR is the perfect choice for you. It comes with exceptional tone settings and an impressive sound quality that many people have come to love and trust over the years.

Pros:

  • Nice tone settings, can be used to play metal guitar or acoustic
  • Has an excellent power, can handle even the loudest of gigs/bands

Cons:

  • The reverb could be a bit better but still very passable.

Why We Chose It – It sounds beautiful, is durable and versatile enough to get the job done whether you are playing in an acoustic setting or being a metal-head. The tone controls on this amp are fantastic as well. You can get some amazing sounds for rock and metal with some decent EQ settings.

Take a look at our Marshall DSL40CR reviews as well.

Our Rating -
4/5

Most Iconic Amp Reviews

Vox AC30 High End Guitar Amp For Live Performances

The Vox AC30 is a classic manufactured by Vox. It is known as the Beatles’ amp, and was famous for the jangly tone that you could get out of it. In the case of this review, we are talking about the Vox AC30S1 version because it is based off the classic Top Boost single channel design.

I believe this model is one of the most suitable amplifiers for rock music, because it delivers quite a decent headroom without sounding overly compressed and the tone control offers a wide range of options. It has been known for its clean tone from the early models through to 1970s.

Pros:

  • Classic, clean tone especially suited for rock and roll
  • Nice range of tones including bright and all-round tonality

Cons:

  • Less versatility than other amps
  • Can be a little passive for metal and modern rock styles

Why We Chose It – A legendary choice among many guitarists with a distinctive clean tone that is very versatile for different styles. Perhaps not for metal, but I found it suited my classic rock style pretty well. You can hear some great AC30 tones from artists such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Black Keys, etc.

Our Rating -
4.5/5

Fender Deluxe Reverb (Awesome Rhythm Guitar Amp!)

In my opinion, the Fender Deluxe Reverb is excellent. It has two channels, normal and vibrato, which is a nice change from most amps. Also it has spring reverb and tremolo, which gives it a nice classic rock sound. I used to have one of these and it was my favorite ever. It has sound for all types of music like blues, country, rock, metal or anything else you might be into.

It is perfect for single coils because it can give you that classic rock sound. It has one volume and one tone knob, another change from most amps. It can last a lifetime so don’t waste your money on some crappy piece of plastic that will break in half after a couple of months.

Pros:

  • Classic rock sound.
  • 2 channels, normal and vibrato.
  • Can handle any style of music.
  • Built like a tank.
  • Sounds awesome with single coils!

Cons:

  • Heavy (44 lbs).

Why We Chose It – The Fender Deluxe Reverb can sound nice with all types of styles of music and with any guitar or bass you put in it. There are many different types of reverb, but this has a nice classic rock sound that is great for Blues, country, rock, metal and anything else you might be into.

Our Rating -
4.5/5

Marshall JTM45 Head Amp (Awesome Lead Guitar Amp!)

The Marshall JTM45 Plexi was created in 1967 and used until 1970. It not only can create distortion, but also has a clean channel that really lets the guitar shine through. The two channels on it are named ‘Normal’ and ‘Brilliant’. This Marshall is a real tone machine if used correctly; it has been rated as one of the greatest ever made by Rolling Stone magazine and others.

Some people may think that the Marshall JTM45 tube amp heads can only create a hard, high-gain sound. However, it is also suitable for blues music and other rock genres as well. The amp’s clean channel gives some of its best sounds if used correctly. It can be heard on many classic albums by blues rockers such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, AC/DC and Bob Seger.

Pros:

  • Great sound quality.
  • Has two channels that are very distinct.
  • Easy to use.

Cons:

  • A bit noisy for jamming in a small room

Why We Chose It – The Marshall JTM45 is a great amplifier for any guitarist at any level. There are two channels that have their own distinct tones. This amp is used by many guitarists around the world and has become one of the most popular choices for aspiring guitarists.  You will need a guitar cabinet to pair with this.

Our Rating -
4.5/5

Top Picks For The Money

Fender Blues Junior IV

The Fender Blues Junior IV is a portable guitar all-tube, 15 watt that has a classic Fender tone. It is a reissue of one of the most popular Fender ever produced, the ’57 Deluxe. It has a single 12″ Celestion speaker and comes equipped with two footswitchable channels: vintage and fat. Vintage channel provides silky smooth tones, while fat channel brings out the edgier sound for distortion and overdrive.

The Blues Junior IV comes equipped with a wide range of controls, including gain, boost, treble and presence. It also has a channel select footswitch to toggle between the two channels. The sound is crystal clear even when you turn up the volume to produce heavy overdrive sounds. It is an option for tone purists and blues lovers who want to create classic Fender sounds without compromising on volume levels.

Pros:

  • Classic Fender tone.
  • Footswitchable channels.
  • All guitar tube amplifier.
  • Perfect for beginners and experienced guitarists.
  • Clear, loud sound.

Cons:

  • Spring reverb does not have the same level of quality as Fender’s typical reverb.

Why We Chose It – Over the years, Fender has been one of the most trusted names in music. Whether it’s a classic American artist or a modern, British rock band, there is no doubt that Fender’s instruments have always been heard on stages all over the world. The Fender Blues Junior IV gives you some of this famous American brand’s qualities in one package.

Our Rating -
4.5/5

Orange Crush 20RT

The 20RT is Orange’s signature combo that offers all the same tone as their 15RT but with two channels instead of four. The 20RT has 4 channels: bright clean, crunch-boosted crunch, drive channel (cleanish overdrive) and lead channel (typical lead sound). The channels operate independantly from each other and can be used when needed. The 20RT is known for its versatility. The “RT” in the model name stands for “Reverb Technology”. The reverb is not a spring reverb, but more like an auto-reverb with 3 different modes (rock, wood and arena).

The 20RT can be a bit too complicated to understand, because it is so full of features. However, don’t let that scare you away. The 20RT is one of Orange’s most flexible and powerful guitar combo amp ever made. The design is top-notch as well and it feels very solid in your hands.

Pros:

  • Versatile tones, 4 channels with independant operation.
  • Solid build quality.
  • Extensive features.

Cons:

  • Not the easiest to get a hold of, due to its popularity.

Why We Chose It – The 20RT offers a wide range of tones and has much more features than a normal amp, but it’s still extremely easy to use. The boost and lead channel on the 20RT should be enough for any guitarist. Recommended for people who like different kinds of sounds and varied channels to use at their disposal.

Full review of the Orange Crush 20RT here.

Our Rating -
4/5

Line 6 Spider V 30 MkII (A Great 30w Guitar Amp For All Purpose!)

The Line 6 Spider V 30 MkII is a 30 watt amp with a lot of different effects which can be altered with the foot switch. It also has a headphone jack. It is very nice for a beginner because it does not cost a lot and the Spider V 30 MkII has different sound effects. (Ex. You can make the sound of a thunder storm to make your solo sound like one.).

It is also perfect for practice because you can play without your parents calling you to dinner or telling you to turn the volume down, it helps get kids off video games and out of their rooms and playing with real people.

It features modeling of 200 amps, cabs and effects, has ability to record, and is small and portable.

Pros:

  • Plays well on a clean channel
  • Very good effects like flanger, guitar chorus effects, etc.
  • Small and portable
  • Easy to use for beginners

Cons:

  • Distortion can become harsh at higher volume

Why We Chose It – I chose this because of the effects, it has a lot of them and they are very good, and because of its small size. It is small and not too heavy to move around with and is still powerful enough for the big gigs. It also does not take a lot starting up to make an awesome sound.

Our Rating -
4/5

Most Versatile Electric Guitar Amps

Orange Rockerverb 50

The Orange Rockerverb 50 is a 50 watt valve amp that is very popular among guitar players. Its sound is just plain nice, but it has a lot of features that help the quality get to that point. It has 2 channels (Normal and Drive), and when you turn the Drive knob up, it will have a small boost effect.

It takes its name from the fact that it offers a clean tone (normal channel) and a dirty tone (drive channel), and it has two channels with completely different sounds.

It is famous for being a tube guitar combo amp, and this is often the reason why it is used by musicians of all genres. It also has a quality sound, relatively versatile volume range, and it comes highly recommended by many guitarists.

Pros:

  • Sound.
  • Easy to use.
  • Quality.

Cons:

  • Some people have had problems with the speaker’s durability over time.

Why We Chose It – It has a good sound and it’s very easy to use, and it can be used in big venues or at small gigs.

Our Rating -
4.5/5

EVH 5150III

The EVH 5150III is a beast made to conjure up the best in heavy guitarists like Eddie Van Valen – which is based off his original Peavey 5150. It has two channels, clean and gain for all of your distortion needs. It also has a foot switch so you can switch over to lead channel without getting off of your seat. Along with the 2 channels it also has a built in compressor so it can keep up with your playing.

The 5150III is designed to help you express the way you want to with power and finesse. This amazing amp will also help you get better tone without having to worry about any complicated switches or settings. It is very easy to use, but at the same time can achieve and expert stage look needed for an extremely powerful sound.

Pros:

  • Sleek design, cool finish, and no frills.
  • Custom built for players personally by one of the greatest guitarists ever.
  • Extremely powerful without being to noisy.
  • 2 channels, clean and gain for all your distortion needs.
  • Built in compressor so you can get that perfect sound with ease.
  • Variable Wattage control for a custom level of distortion only you can handle.

Cons:

  • Heavy!

Why We Chose It – An amp that is just focused on the heavy metal amp tone you are looking for and not a crazy bass heavy amp that will take your head off. It will get a sweet tone out of most any guitar and stands the test of time while maintaining that same sound for years to come.

Our Rating -
4.5/5

PRS Mark Tremonti MT15 Amp Heads (Great For Professionals In The Studio!)

This is an amp for heavy metal music but way more. It has that clean sound that will satisfy the people who want to cover some blues songs. You can even use it as a heavy rock amp if you want. It is very suitable for distortion and overdrive. It may not be suitable for folk and country players, but if you are the kind of player that likes to play grunge or hard rock, this is the one for you.

The amp has two channels, clean and overdrive. This gives you a wide range of tones. The clean channel is one thing I like about it the most- it is bluesy, warm, bluesy and full of rich harmonics.

Pros:

  • It is versatile and can cover a plenty of music genres.
  • It is very nice for guitar studio use.
  • The clean channel works for for blues, jazz and country players.
  • The overdrive channel is nice and sounds heavy but you can also keep it clean if you want to.

Cons:

  • It is quite expensive. For many people that price will be a problem.

Why We Chose It – It is versatile and has a versatile range of tones. It can cover many genres and I believe that it will help you a lot in your music career.

Full review here.

Our Rating -
4.5/5

Most Reliable Guitar Amps

Marshall Origin 20W Guitar Amp

The Marshall Origin 20W is a valve amp that has a clean and an overdrive channel. It is a 20-watt amplifier with EL34 power amp tubes, 2 channels, 2 inputs, 4 knobs (volume, tone, reverb and drive), 2 footswitch jacks and a headphone jack. It was designed to look like an old Marshall amplifier.

These great guitar amps have a guitar effects loop that can be used with a stompbox to create distortion effects. There is a footswitch for channel switching and master volume. It has two guitar inputs with standby switch for the clean and overdrive channels. On the back there are buffered amp outputs, speaker jack, headphone jack, power input and ground lift switch.

Pros:

  • The overdrive channel is very powerful.
  • It has an exquisite tone.

Cons:

  • The clean channel tends to distort when turned up.

Why We Chose It – The Marshall Origin 20W is a sweet amp. With its overdrive channel, it has a smooth tone, almost like the Vox AC30. It also has separate clean and overdrive channels.

Our Rating -
4.5/5

Fender Champion 100 (Need A 100w Amp?)

The Fender Champion 100 is a good choice for any guitarist who is looking for a powerful amplifier that they can use anywhere to practice, jam with friends, or even gig with. The Champion 100 comes with an all solid state tone that is perfect for any pop, blues, or rock guitarist.

The sound produced by this amp is clear, loud and powerful. On both clean and distorted settings, the tone of the Champion 100 is very vibrant. Both channels of this amplifier are simply beautiful to play with; they produce different sounds yet complement each other very well too.

Pros:

  • Excellent construction and design.
  • Very big sound.

Cons:

  • Not for tube amp lovers.

Why We Chose It – We chose this amp because of its powerful sound. Though it is a solid state amp, it sounds like a tube amp. This is probably due to the high quality components that are used to make this amp.

Our Rating -
4/5

Fender ’65 Princeton Reverb

This amp was first produced in 1965. It is one of the most famous amplifier models ever made by Fender. It has a single 10″ speaker and can provide as much as 15 watts. This amplifier model can be used for many different purposes, ranging from home practice to live gigs. The sound it produces is clear and bright, which makes it a perfect choice for any pop or blues rock guitarist looking for a tube equipped small amplifier.

It also has equipped spring reverb, the coolest feature of all. They even include an amp cover and footswitch. If you are a guitarist, you should check this one out.

Pros:

  • the “classic Fender” sound
  • that reverb

Cons:

  • the price is higher than many other Fender models

Why We Chose It – It has been in production for a long time and is considered by many to be the nicest model ever made by Fender. It is really famous, this one alone should be enough to convince you.

Our Rating -
4/5

How To Choose The Right Guitar Amp

When you are looking to buy a new amp, there are many things to consider. With so many guitar amp models out there, it can be hard to narrow your selection down. One of the most important considerations is what size amplifier you are looking for. The size of the amp directly corresponds to its power and volume.

How much Power Do You Need (Wattage)?

If you’re looking for a larger venue where you are playing with a full band, or if you’re looking to practice in your home where there is less ambient noise, then go with a bigger amp–preferably one that has at least 50 watts per channel or more. A 100 watt amp is recommended for larger venues and a 50 watt amp is recommended for smaller venues or home use. The size of the amp directly corresponds to its power and volume.

What Are Your Budget Concerns?

Next, you should consider price. Luckily, these days they are pretty reasonably priced. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 all the way up to $2000 or more for a high-end amp (and higher if you are looking for tube amps). Since there are so many options available, it is important to look at your budget and set a limit on what you can afford.

What’s the Difference Between Solid State and Tube Amplifiers?

Tube amplifiers are known for their character and richness. They also typically have more wattage and volume capability than solid state amps. Solid-state combo amp picks provide more wattage and volume, but they are often less expensive than tube amps. If you are looking for a versatile amp that can do it all, then solid state is probably the way to go. However, if you want the warm tones of your favorite tube amplifiers, then stick with a tube amp.

What Amp Model Do You Want?

Speaking of versatility, one of the most important features of an amplifier is its tone. There are several different models to choose from when it comes to amplifiers. Each model has one or more specific tone characteristics. As a guitar player, it is critical that you choose the right amp model for you. With the multitude of options available, how do you decide which amp model to buy?

What Are The Guitar Amp Best Brands?

When you are shopping for a new guitar amp, you will also want to pay attention to the electric guitar amp brand you are choosing.  There are a lot of guitar amp companies out there but in this list, we only picked from the best manufacturers.

What Do You Want from Your Amp?

If you are a beginner, then you do not have to concern yourself with the type of good amp model. What you do need to be aware of is that different models will provide different sounds and effects depending on your settings or preferences. If you are an intermediate or advanced guitar player, then it is more important that you get the right amp model for your desired sound. There are a lot of different amp models out there–and each one has its own unique sound.

Some Concluding Thoughts on the Top Guitar Amps Options & Guides

Inexperienced musicians and students don’t need to worry about the complexities of choosing an amplifier guitar players want – tube amp or solid-state guitar amps. These reviews provide a functional and affordable cross-section of some of the top options available. Although we disagree with the premise that they are more important than your choice of guitar, we endorse the importance of choosing the right amp for your musical style. A poor choice can turn skill into a marginal performance, but the right amp models, power, tones and special effects can turn a routine performance into a magical event.

Hope This Guitar Amp & Tone Buyers Guide Helps You Decide!

About The Author - Dan Harper
About The Author - Dan Harper

My name is Dan and I have been playing guitar for about 35 years. Over the years, I have taught guitar, played in a number of bands and owned and played a ton of gear.
When not playing guitar, I like to travel with my family, grill good food and go to concerts!