Best Electric Guitar Amplifiers Around £/$300

Generally speaking, when buying an electric guitar amplifier, it's all about how much money you've got to spend that determines how good an amplifier you can get. But as we've already seen from the previous, cheaper guitar amplifiers, you can actually get quite a decent practice amp for not too much cash.

Now, the thing is, this category is offering even more for your money. $/£300 is a fair amount of money to many of us but it isn't really a tremendous amount for a good electric guitar amplifier and $/£300+ will certainly get you a good amp if the previous lower price ranges fail to meet your requirements.

I will also be adding slightly more expensive amplifiers than $/£300 in this category and will be pushing towards 400+. There are so many different price ranges around with so many different makes and models that there will always be some broad variation in prices between similar spec amps. This makes it difficult to keep similar spec models in one price range so to speak.

Also, just a quick reminder that as time goes by many of these models will eventually become discontinued with a newer version available. I will try to keep on top of this as best I can but have to admit at times it is difficult to do so with so much going on. Newer versions of any electric guitar amps would normally be made clear and viewable on the Amazon website, which is where all guitar amplifier reviews on this website link to.

As with most of the guitar amplifier reviews on this site, these are listed in no particular order, although I try to list in ascending order of price and/or wattage.

Please remember prices may vary from time to time.

And watch out for the demo videos on as many of these amps that I could find.

VOX VT40X 40-watt Modelling Amplifier

When we talk about famous electric guitar amplifiers it seems almost impossible to mention anything before VOX. If we had to say what group was, or is probably one of, if not THE most famous and successful of all time, who would you say? For me it would be the Beatles without any consideration. They used the VOX AC 30 in the early sixties and continued to use VOX throughout their career.

After The Beatles, Paul McCartney continued to use VOX amplifiers throughout his entire career with Wings and afterwards too, and still does to this day if he ever plays live. 

Another musical legend and excellent guitarist, Brian May of the legendary rock band 'Queen', has been playing through VOX amps since the late 1960's. I think most of us know (or should do) Brian's excellent tone and phenomenal style of play that delivers a truly iconic sound.

In fact, there are countless famous artists past and present that have used or still do use VOX electric guitar amps - see the list further down. The most commonly used VOX amp by the big names is the VOX AC series as mentioned above and will be discussed in more detail on the relevant page for the higher end amp models.

Ok, so the VT 40 here is not quite as good as the AC 30 all valve amplifier as played by the greats, granted, but then it is roughly a quarter of the price at around $/£250+ compared to its famous Father being a hefty $/£1000+!

Ok, back down to Earth, the VT40X is a fantastic amplifier for the price tag and offers a nice little slice of classic memorabilia with truly wonderful tones. The idea behind the creation of Valvetronix electric guitar amplifiers was to create a digital modelling amp that would accurately mimic both the sound as well as the responsive characteristics of some of the world's most famous and celebrated electric guitar amps. Sounds such as the clean tones of a vintage Fender Reverb amp, or the punchy crunch of a Mesa Boogie, and even the classic tones of their own famous and legendary all valve amp, the VOX AC 30, as already mentioned.

Virtual Element Technology (VET)

With VET, the VT 40 has the ability to mimic those classic electric guitar amp models. As far as I can gather, Virtual Element Technology is the term given for the analysis of the components and circuits of specific amplifier models such as those previously mentioned (Fender Reverb, Mesa Boogie, VOX AC 30). As a result, VTX amplifiers, like the VOX VT40X, are said to produce the most accurate and realistic modelled amplifier sounds ever created until now. 

As with many modelling amps, the VOX VTX series of amps combine the best of both worlds by featuring sophisticated modelling technology along with a multi-stage vacuum tube pre-amp circuit. This combination helps to reproduce the unique tones and response akin to the classic all tube amps of past times and present, with the VOX VT 40 X able to recreate the analogue circuits of the most renowned all tube amplifiers seen below.

Amplifier Models

These are the 11 electric guitar amp models that the VOX VT 40 X simulates. DELUXE CL、TWEED 4x10、VOX AC30、BOUTIQUE OD、VOX AC30TB、BRIT 800、BRIT OR MKII、DOUBLE REC、BOUTIQUE CL、BRIT 1959、BOUTIQUE METAL.

I think you'll agree these look pretty cool, and by all accounts they sound great!

Effects

VTX amplifiers also offer 13 classic effects based on some of the most iconic effects pedals of all time. These are said to sound incredible when combined with any of the 11 realistic amplifier models listed above.

Pedal 1 type: 4 (COMP, CHORUS, OVERDRIVE, DISTORTION)
Pedal 2 type: 4 (FLANGER, PHASER, TREMOLO, DELAY)
Reverb type: 4 (ROOM, SPRING, HALL, PLATE)
Noise Reduction: 1

As with all the VTX amplifier models, the VOX VT 40 features a tightly sealed cabinet and exclusive bass-reflex for delivering superb resonance.

The VT40X also has a USB port for connecting to personal computers, Macs, or even iOS and Android platforms. You can download the VOX Tone software from the VOX website, App Store or Google Play which I think its free but I'm not certain. Either way, it'll give you the option to further edit the amplifier models, the effects and also the pre-sets if you choose to do so.

Like most decent electric guitar amps nowadays, a built-in tuner and headphone jack are also part of the package.

Optional Foot switch Controller

At extra cost, the VOX VFS5 foot switch controller is available for all VOX VT electric guitar amp models and a couple of other models too. It allows you to easily turn the reverb and effects on and off, switch between pre-sets and even adjust speed and tap settings. It's ideal (probably almost necessary) if you're on-stage. The whole unit is made from a tough heavy-duty metal construction, with four channel heavy-duty foot switches and one bank switch. Take a look here for US, and here for UK.

This is a great addition that I myself will definitely purchase if I buy this amplifier, which I may well do in the new year.

Spec Shortlist

  • 40 Watts
  • 1 x 10” VOX speaker
  • 12AX7 multi-stage pre-amp circuit
  • 11 realistic amp models; 13 authentic effects; 33 pre-set programs

Dimensions = 18.19 x 15.91 x 13.66 inches

Weight = 20.94 lbs

 VOX AC 30 Users

These are just some famous names that use VOX amps but the AC 30 specifically.

  • Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and Jet Harris of The Shadows. Apparently, the VOX AC-30 was originally developed during the early 1960s specifically for them and before Beatlemania.
  • John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison of The Beatles
  • Keith Richards and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones
  • Pete Townshend of The Who
  • Brian May of Queen
  • Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin
  • Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple
  • Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo
  • Paul Weller of The Jam
  • Robert Smith of The Cure
  • The Edge and Bono of U2
  • Kurt Cobain of Nirvana
  • Noel Gallagher of Oasis
  • Tom Petty and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • Peter Buck of R.E.M.
  • John Scofield, jazz/fusion guitarist
  • Joe Strummer of The Clash
  • Joe Satriani
  • Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol
  • James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers
  • Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon
  • Andrew White of Kaiser Chiefs
  • Josh Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens of the Stone Age
  • Chris Shiflett of Foo Fighters
  • Jeff Beck
  • Marc Bolan
  • Bernard Butler of Suede
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics
  • Conclusion

    The reviews for the VOX VT40X are outstanding it seems. Take a look for yourself here. This really does seem a pretty incredible sounding and versatile electric guitar amp for the money and a big contender in this price range, and possibly even the next price range up! It's also another addition to my personal shortlist for when I buy a new amp for myself sometime in the new year (2017).

    Bottom line, a great amplifier for practicing, recording and even small gigs!

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    Line 6 Spider V 60-watt Wireless Ready Modelling Electric Guitar Amplifier

    Line 6 has really spearheaded the market with their line of modelling electric guitar amplifiers. The bigger brother of the popular Spider V 30-watt modelling amp, the Spider V 60 has a fair bit more oomph (60-watts) and all the looks and effects of its smaller sibling too. The Line 6 V series, from the 30-watt model and above, are said to be great sounding amplifiers with their specialized full-range speaker system. This amplifier and all the models above are also wireless ready, discussed further down.

    With 78 amplifier models, 23 cabinet models and 101 effects the possibilities seem limitless. In addition to that, this great sounding amplifier is also said to be one of the easiest Spider amps to use with its simple colour-coded dial controls. 

    As with the smaller 30-watt model, this 60-watt version features a full-range speaker system with a custom-designed guitar speaker and high-frequency tweeter for depth and clarity for both electric and acoustic guitars as well as music too. Yes that's right, if you also play acoustic guitar, you have the added option to save on the cost of a separate acoustic guitar amplifier as you can also play your acoustic guitar through the Spider V 60 as well! And, like all the models above the Spider V 30, you can even play your favourite music for a greater experience while practicing.

    Built-in Drummer Loops, Metronome and Tuner

    Like the Spider V 30, the Spider V 60 electric guitar amp also features a built in tuner, metronome and drummer loops all recorded by professional artists. Having the drummer loops is a great feature. This'll give you the feel of playing with real musicians for timing practice which is essential for any budding musician whether you're playing rhythm or lead.

    The built in metronome is also useful for timing practice, but the drummer loops offer a real sense of playing as part of a band which is a great starting point if you want to play live but have had no experience. In fact, it's a great feature even if you're experienced just to keep you in the groove and for the added fun factor.

    The built in tuner is getting more common in amplifiers nowadays but still a great little feature that will be useful to keep your guitar in tune.

    Weight = 20.5 lbs

    Dimensions = 9.1 x 17.4 x 16.9 inches

    Wireless Ready For Line 6 Relay G10T

    The Spider V 60 and above also features an internal wireless receiver for the added neat little option of going wireless. So, if you fancy going cordless on stage (at an extra cost) then this amp or any of the other models above this model such as the V 120 and V 240 are definitely for you.

    All you have to do is plug the G10T transmitter into your guitar input socket where you would normally plug your lead in and that's it, just play away! The transmitter needs to be recharged which is done by plugging it into the input of the amplifier? Amazing!

    You can also get an additional receiver/base unit that you can connect to the amplifier to receive the signal too. This base unit also acts as a second charger for the transmitter as back up in case you need to play using leads in the amp input jack.   

    It's a little pricey especially compared to a lead but it all depends upon how much you've got to spend and what you what. The reviews, albeit few, are very good. This bit of kit is apparently very high quality too.

    Note: I've noticed that it says on the Amazon website that it "works with nearly all guitar types". Just make sure your guitar is compatible with it before you buy. As far as I'm aware this slight issue only relates to the access to certain guitar's input sockets. It is said to easily fit in all standard Les Paul, Stratocaster and Telecaster style guitars.

    For more information see the Line 6 G10T support page.

    See the links below to the G10T transmitter and also the complete system at Amazon.

    G10T Transmitter US Amazon

    Line 6 Relay G10 Digital Wireless Guitar System - US Amazon

    Line 6 Relay G10 Digital Wireless Guitar System - UK Amazon

    Conclusion

    If you like the look of the Line 6 V 30 but want more power, then the V 60 electric guitar amp is a great choice. There are lots of good reviews about this amp. It has a lot of amp models and tones, effects and the great added option to go wireless if you want less cables while practicing with your band or while on stage, albeit at considerable extra cost.

    It also allows you to play your acoustic through it too with its great sounding full ranged speaker system. And let's not forget the excellent drummer loops too.

    Overall, the Line 6 Spider V 60 is a great sounding electric guitar amplifier with lots of great stuff in a quality build. And, although I've seen reviews saying the V series sounds too thin and digital compared to the previous versions (spider III and IV series), as far as I can see there are far more positive reviews than negative ones which is why it's on this list.

    More coming soon...

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