Generally speaking, some of the best guitar amplifiers for around $/£100 or less are listed below. This is subject to personal opinion of course but I've been pretty thorough in my research I believe and this list tends to be the general consensus.
Fortunately there's quite a lot of decent, cheaper guitar amplifiers available today so if you're just starting out, or have very little money, you should still be able to get yourself an OK amp as these cheaper guitar amplifiers make ideal first-time practice amps for beginners and/or those of you who are on a tight budget. In fact, some of these amps are actually very good for the money indeed and not far behind the next level up even with many of them boasting a few built-in features and solid build quality for the price tag.
There are cheaper models available of most of the names discussed below if you want to pay even less, but I want to keep the cheapest of these reviews at around £/$100 so we can at least get something pretty decent. Many of the following makes such as Marshall for example do manufacture some of the best guitar amplifiers available and you will see these in later reviews in their specific price range.
All the amplifiers that you'll see here, unless otherwise stated, are solid state combo amps, meaning they use solid state (analogue) circuitry - meaning not valve/tube or digital - and consist of an amplifier and a speaker both together in the same unit.
Some of these amplifiers have one channel and others have two channels. Two channels is better really if you want to fine tune say a clean sound and also a distorted sound. Then you just flick a switch from clean to distorted without having to change settings each time.
For more information on the various types of guitar amplifiers that are manufactured please take a look at guitar amplifier reviews.
Note: Sometimes some of these amplifiers aren't available on one of the Amazon websites. In which case I either link to similar products listed on the Amazon website in question or I don't link at all to that Amazon site for that particular amplifier.
Sawtooth aren't known for making the best guitar amplifiers I know, but to be honest if you're on a tight budget and just want to hear some sound, then you really couldn't do much better than this very cheap little practice amp that's only around $40?! Unfortunately, this cheap amp isn't available on the Amazon UK site.
The price suggests that this is a very basic amplifier but this amp boasts a lot of features for the price tag and for this money you can't go wrong. It only gives you 10 watts of power with one 6.5” speaker so you won't be able to have it very loud before you experience a loss of quality especially with this type of low budget amp. However, it amazingly has two channels, a 3-band equalizer with treble, middle and bass as well as gain and drive too. On top of all that it has a headphone and a stereo input too?! Wow! Are you serious?
This guitar amplifier is one of the cheapest around and my advice is to definitely consider buying it if you're a complete beginner or you're on a shoe string budget and can't afford to buy one of the higher priced models further down. It would also make a great little amp for a child to practice with as it's very small and light.
This amplifier only weighs 6.1 Ibs and its dimensions are only 10.5 x 5 x 11 inches so it's very small and light and won't take up too much space. This amplifier gets my vote for sure.
Cheap 'n cheerful! Yes I know this isn't one of the best guitar amplifiers around on face value but there's a lot here for the money and there's a lot of happy customers who have bought this with some very positive reviews. If you're lacking funds you'll get a half decent sound from your guitar for not a lot of cash with this cheap little amp, so it can't be a bad choice in my opinion. I know when I first started I don't think I had much better.Back To Top
Well we all know Fender I'm sure. They've been going since 1946 and have played a part in some of the most famous and influential guitarist of all time. Muddy Waters played a Fender telecaster, Jimmy Hendrix played a Fender Stratocaster as did Eric Clapton and many more.
While most of us know the famous Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, not everyone is totally familiar with the various models available in Fender's amplifier range. Fender make great amps and this cheap little practice amp is one of the best guitar amplifiers you can buy for this amount of money.
Fender's Frontman series offer some of the best guitar amplifiers around for delivering great tone, versatile features and a quality traditional look at a very good price.
This amplifier is really a practice amp only which is pretty loud by all accounts for its size but only useful when practicing alone or with friends and no drums etc. and at moderately volume levels. It's solidly built and has a very nice 'clean' sound which can be distorted and made a bit 'dirty' by the built-in overdrive via a button and a gain dial. I remember this little button and gain dial myself on a little Fender practice amp which I had for years and used constantly. Needless to say that amp never went wrong.
Although the Fender Frontman 10G only has one channel and no built in effects, in some ways this can be a positive. It's perfect if you just want a small and simple little amplifier to practice on that's still decent quality and doesn't cost too much either.
This great little amp also has 1/8" auxiliary input jack for a CD/media player and a 1/8" headphone output jack for practicing in silence. It also has a closed back to give a better bass response which can be an issue with smaller units and speakers such as this.
Weight = 8.5 Ibs
Dimensions = 5.8 x 10.2 x 11 inches
The Fender Frontman 10G is a perfect amplifier if you're just starting out on the guitar and don't want to spend too much cash but you still want something that is of good quality. It's an ideal little amplifier for kids too as it's small and light so it's easy to move around. And, as a parent you won't be risking too much money with this amp if your child suddenly decides they don't want to play anymore. You know what they're like!
All in all the Fender Frontman 10G is certainly one of the best guitar amplifiers around that you could wish for in this price range.
Orange manufacture some of the best guitar amplifiers available to provide guitarists with a responsive, quality tone. The Orange Crush 12 is a single channel solid state combo amp which features a 3 band equalizer and an overdrive control providing beautifully crisp, warm clean tones as well as crunchy vintage Orange grind said to be similar to the far more expensive valve amps by Orange.
Although this amp, like many in this price range, is small and has a small 6" speaker, it's capable of some loud quality sound as well as having the ability of producing some nice warm clean tones at lower volumes.
The Orange 12 also has a new CabSim (cabinet simulator) loaded headphone output which gives great sounding quality tones when practicing silently alone.
The Orange Crush 12 is the smallest (not counting the micro crush 3 watt amp) of the Orange Crush models of which I believe there are around seven combos in all at the time of writing. The Orange Crush 12 is also available in black.
Weight = 11.5 Ibs
Dimensions = 7.1 x 11.8 x 10.6 inches
Orange certainly do make some of the best guitar amplifiers in the world today and can't be ignored for sound, quality and looks with their vibrant out-casing making them stand out from the crowd even from quite some distance away!
I would say that after my research there's a lot of very happy customers who bought this amp which tells me the Orange Crush 12 is definitely one of the best guitar amplifiers around in this price bracket and definitely worth buying.
All-in-all a solid built, good quality and simple but great little practice amp that's ideal for beginners, both adult and young alike. This amplifier gets a big thumbs up from me.
Although this particular model is now discontinued it can still be purchased second hand and refurbished etc. This is a really great little practice amp and definitely one of the best guitar amplifiers around in this price range. The reviews all over the internet are very positive. It's been likened to a wolf in sheep's clothing and said to sound amazing both at low volumes and when cranked up. Its small and compact size puts professional tones into a lightweight box that can be stored away under your bed or elsewhere. This amplifier is said to deliver incredible classic built-in tones from yesteryear.
The Spider IV 15 guitar amplifier from Line 6, the pioneers of amp-modelling (process of digitally emulating sounds), delivers excellent rock star tones that include digital emulation (modelling), dialled-in tones, pre-sets, and a lot more.
The six Smart FX knobs for effects are located on the front panel making it easy to make any adjustments instantly. Add whatever colour and texture to your tone that you want by using the six Smart FX knobs for Chorus/Flange, Phaser, Tremolo, Sweep Echo, Tape Echo, and Reverb.
Classic Model Collections
Get to play with the old classic tones by plugging into perfectly refined collections of classic American and British guitar amplifier tones. This amazing little amplifier is said to give you a great variety of tones. Some of the descriptions include; shimmering clean tones, classic crunch which was inspired by a 100-watt 1967-69 Marshall all tube Plexi (plexi-glass face plate) head amplifier as used by Pete Townsend. Also the 'punchy high-gain' inspired by a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier can also be tapped into and many more too.
The Spider IV 15 also boasts 'Insane', which is said to be one of their most popular amplifier digital emulations or 'models' was dialled into the amplifier specifically for shredding and is said to be is "lean, mean and loaded with distortion!".
This amp offers access to 4 different amplifier tones that all guitarists would love to have in one unit and pro's require in their collections with the 6 inspiring effects adding exceptional colours and textures. This incredible little amplifier delivers many of the most celebrated guitar tones in music history and by all accounts seems a pretty amazing guitar amplifier.
You can even pre-program your own tones in and save them only to recall them at the touch of a button. This amplifier even has a built in tuner although some report it isn't that good.
You can also plug in your MP3 player or cd player and be in the music which takes playing along to another level.
Weight = 17 Ibs
Dimensions = 8.5 x 15 x 16 inches
Cons: Apparently, the booklet that comes with the amplifier is supposedly no help at all? Either way there'll be plenty of information on YouTube or elsewhere on the internet so that wouldn't put me off in the slightest. I give the Spider IV 15 guitar amplifier from Line 6 a big thumbs up.
For me, after writing this review, I think this surely has to be one of the best guitar amplifiers on the market today in this particular price range. I am actually thinking of purchasing one myself, seriously. It has lots of quality effects for the price.
Note: There is now a newer model of this amplifier. You'll see the link to the newer model below the information text on the Amazon sites. Sorry, I just haven't had the time to update the later model of this amplifier but it is on my long list of things to do. Please make sure you check out the specs etc. before you buy the newer version. It does look very good to me at first glance though and worthy of a place in the line up of best guitar amplifiers around $/£100.Back To Top
Marshall really do make some of the best guitar amplifiers around. We've all seen them on stage with some really massive bands and big names which says it all really I think.
The MG15CF is another one of the best guitar amplifiers around in this lower price range. This compact 15 watt combo amp may be small but has a big sound for its size. It's a two channel amplifier, one for clean and one for distortion with a built in three-band equaliser for both channels offering great tonal control. It also has an MP3 socket for jamming along to your favourite tracks while practicing as well as an emulated headphone socket for great quality silent practice. Don't wake the neighbours!
The MG15CF is one of the best guitar amplifiers for looks too. It has a quality dark grey/black carbon Kevlar outer casing that looks both tough and classy.
For me, the Marshall name speaks for itself. I don't think they would put anything out with their name attached to it that was not of a decent build quality and a great sound even at this price. Bottom line, the MG15CF is a simple but great little 15 Watt combo amplifier and gets a definite thumbs up.
Weight = 16.3 Ibs
Dimensions = 15 x 8.1 x 14.9 inchesBack To Top
Fender are renowned for producing some of the best guitar amplifiers for that clean sound that many guitarists prefer. Fender amplifiers have always been known for not really producing a good distorted sound. I know this is true because I've always had fender amplifiers myself because I prefer a clean sound.
The thing is, nowadays you can easily buy an effects pedal for distortion to add on. Having said that, todays Fenders are different and at this level the distortion is ok. Although there are better amps around for distortion if that's specifically what you're after.
Fender do produce great sounding, well-made solid amplifiers and you really couldn't do much better than the Champion 20 in this price range. I've owned Fender guitar amps and they really are very well made and make for some of the best guitar amplifiers around.
The Champion 20 has built in effects like digital reverbs, chorus, vibratone and delay. In addition to that you can choose a variety of amp models with a turn of a knob. Choose from clean to distorted tones from the 17 various amp models that will allow you to play almost any genre of music.
It has an open back cabinet which I've always liked in my Fender amplifiers for storing stuff like cables or other small items like a tuner for example. And, like many of the other amps in this price range, you can plug your MP3 player in so you can play along to your favourite tracks as if you were part of the band.
As far as I am aware Fender also give you their 5 Year Transferable Warranty with this amp.
Like I say, my personal opinion is that Fender manufactures some of the best guitar amplifiers available and this little amp truly is great value for money. It's solid, well made, small, reliable, has a good selection of tones and effects and not too much money either. This is a very good amplifier for this price range.
Weight = 14.9 Ibs
Dimensions = 16 x 12 x 16 inchesBack To Top
Now I know we're just going over the $/£100 price range here but this fantastic little amp is definitely one of the best guitar amplifiers around for this money so it has to be here. Fender's Mustang series of amplifiers are full of versatility and power with incredible tone.
The Mustang I V2 boasts a variety of 17 amplifier voices ranging from classic Fender valve/tube amps to more modern models to accommodate almost any style of music.
On top of that there's 24 pre-set on board special effects such as; reverb, delay/echo, tremolo, phaser and many more all of which can actually be altered via USB connectivity to your computer and using the included Fender FUSE software. Alternatively, you can just leave them as they are and tweak them as you go just like you would normally do using the knobs or dials.
Also included is a studio quality recording software for Mac and PC. So, not only can this amp be tuned and adjusted for various sound ‘colours’ but it's also possible to use it with a computer to record tracks from a performance. And, in addition to this, if you want to start getting into digital recording yourself then the Fender Mustang will allow you to do exactly that and then send the file to a friend. This amp offers an interface for you to create, compose, record and connect if you feel you want to go down that route.
You can also play along to your favourite tracks by plugging your MP3 player into the Auxiliary input so you're part of the band. You can also play quietly with the 1/8th headphone output jack that also mutes the speaker output. An on-board chromatic tuner is also integrated within this amplifier.
There's also an optional, additional Fender 1-Button Footswitch (not included with the amp) to unlock more possibilities.
And let's not forget, all Fender amps are backed by Fender’s 5 Year Transferable Warranty! Wow what an amp!
The Mustang I V2 delivers an awful lot for such a compact and portable design. This amplifier is possibly for those of you with a bit of a tech mind who might want to play around with the pre-set effects and recording software etc. You don't have to touch any of those aspects of this great amplifier if you don't want to though. As a great sounding practice amp with lots of different sounds, the Mustang I V2 is definitely one of the best guitar amplifiers around for just over the $/£100 range. The reviews on the internet have been pretty outstanding so this amp definitely gets the nod from me.
Weight = 17 Ibs
Dimensions = 7.6 x 15.5 x 14.5 inchesBack To Top
The Peavey Rage 258 just has to be on the list of the best guitar amplifiers in this price range. It's a solid built amplifier for not a lot of money, although just over the £/$100 mark at the time of writing.
Peavey have been going since 1965 when it was a one man shop founded by Hartley Peavey. Today, they're one of the largest makers and suppliers of musical equipment in the world and with very good reason. They do make exceptionally good, reliable guitar amps, among other musical equipment of course.
The Peavey Rage 258 has two switchable channels for clean and lead, a modern/vintage voicing switch and a 3-band Equalizer. It also has an input for a cd or tape player. Another great feature of the 258 is the preamp. The preamp alters gain to meet the need for any amount of drive from crystal clear to thick, smooth sustain. The power amp is said to react just like a tube output section on an all tube/valve amplifier by responding to the preamp with natural compression which increases as the amp is cranked up. The Peavey Corporation call this "TransTube".
So basically, the Peavey Rage 258 offers all the reliability and low maintenance of a solid state combo with the wide ranging dynamics, natural tones and grit of a valve/tube amp?! Wow!
This amp has great tone and plenty of power along with the well-known Peavey reliability.
The Peavey Rage 258 25 watt is well worth the little extra in my opinion and definitely one of the best guitar amplifiers around in this price range.
Weight = 21 Ibs
Dimensions = 17.9 x 10 x 15.6 inchesBack To Top
It's difficult to say exactly what the best guitar amplifiers are as there are so many with so many different features. Choosing the right amplifier for YOU is the main thing really. This is influenced largely by your budget and the style of music you're going to play.
If you've got money to burn then spend as much as you want on a really good amplifier because it'll save you buying again in the future. You'll probably be better off buying from one of the other more expensive amp review lists rather than the list above if you do have cash to be free with. You can always sell the amp again later if you give up playing. Yes you'll lose money but if you've got money to burn then you don't really need to worry about that do you.
If on the other hand you don't have money to burn then be wiser in your choice and buy something from the list above or similar.
If you want to play clean (no distortion) for blues and jazz lead or folk etc. then you'll probably want a good solid state amp. Solid state amps are generally better for playing clean guitar than valve/tube amps are because solid-state amplifiers have electronic components like diodes and transistors to amplify the signal. These produce a much cleaner signal as opposed to a valve amplifier which uses vacuum tubes. This is because vacuum tubes are a more physical component and therefore contain small flaws and variations. This makes the signal less 'clean'.
Having said that, there is some good valve/tube amplifiers that also play good clean tones. Such amplifiers include higher end Fenders, Peaveys and Marshalls. These will be discussed in more detail on the relevant pages.
As I have already mentioned, one of the best guitar amplifiers known for their 'clean' tone is Fender. This is especially so of solid state versions such as the Frontman amps on this page. In fact, all of the amps above will be decent enough for playing 'clean' but especially the Fender 20, the Marshall MG 15 and the Peavey Rage 258. Obviously the higher end models of these makes will excel.
If you're looking for distortion then the Orange, the Marshall and the Peavey amplifiers on this page will probably be the best bet.
If you're a first time buyer make sure you do enough research so you understand the different features of a guitar amplifier. Familiarise yourself with this wonderful piece of equipment that's going to make your guitar come to life. Whatever amp you decide upon, whether you make the right choice or not, it'll be a learning curve and you'll gain bags of experience from it.
Just remember, some of the best guitar amplifiers are not always the most expensive or with the most gimmicks. The best guitar amplifiers are those amps that give you exactly what you need for the price you can afford to pay, and that are reliable and solid so will last a long time. Good luck hunting!Back To Top