The minute you put your hands on your second guitar you realize that all guitars are different and what fits you at a moment in your life might seem totally weird two years later. Guitars come with various options and features and you may feel a bit lost in the beginning when having to settle with only one of them.
You thought choosing your guitar is difficult? Try to think twice as things get even more complicated when you have to choose a guitar amp. A what?, as a young guitarist may ask. A guitar amp is a familiar device to a more experienced guitar player, but a young player may hear for the very first time about it.
Gone are the days when you plugged your guitar in any device creating more noise and you are over the little amp from your first guitar.
You are in that phase when you can tell the difference between good tone and…the other tones and you would like to get better tones every single time. and, put it like this: sensing the difference between the tones is already a sign that you’re getting better at playing your guitar.
How to choose your guitar amp?
Most guitar amps come with at least two channels: one clean and one overdrive. The amps differ as the saturation and color of the overdrive differ and you should choose accordingly to the type of music you’re playing.
You definitely want a clean sound and soft overdrive if you like most country, blues or soft rock music and get an amp that gives high-gain overdrive if you’re into metal or extreme music.
It’s quite important to know what you need for the tube amp and even though many amps sit in the middle. You could use a high-gain guitar amp or a subtler, depending on your needs and music you’re playing.
Is it worth it?
Most of guitar players out there agree that tubes sound better. Even though they are less reliable and need constant maintenance, the tubes are a bit pricier and not that durable either.
The solid state amps win on the life span and give pretty clean sounds and, despite the continuous progress, the solid-state distortion is almost never as good as tube distortion.
So, before going shopping take a good look at your wallet and don’t hesitate to get a tube amp for your guitar if you can afford it. If you have the money and the time to give a proper maintenance to the tube amp, you should get it.
Some more questions and answers
You should give a thought if portability on your guitar amp is important or not, if you only want a head or would rather use a combo amp.
You may find useful for you a big amp stack that, even though gives great sound quality, it becomes too heavy to move around in town.
The combo includes the amp and the speaker in the same cabinet and it’s not difficult to carry around. A combo may get pretty loud and the configuration may vary.
Don’t forget to throw an eye on the features of your guitar amp also offers. The built-in reverb effect, the digital effects are some of the things that count at times.
If the budget is the main thing you care about when shopping, don’t think you can’t get good quality guitar amps for a good price either. You just need to pay more attention and some extra effort into finding the best solution for you.
TOP 5 Best Guitar Amp under $100
If you like the idea of having a mini pocket guitar amp that does a pretty job, considering its size and price, take a leap of faith (we really mean that) and get the Mini Pocket Guitar Amp Amplifier Joyo. Don’t expect too much from the small amp, but don’t act totally surprised by its abilities (truth be told, rather limited) as the little guitar amp may give you clean, warm sounds.
The device comes with a 3.5mm Mp3 input jack and a 3.5mm earphone input jack. It has a useful LED power indicator and its powered by 2 AAA batteries.
The 1/4inch plugin gives versatility to the guitar amp and you can use it for both electric guitar and acoustic instruments.
The device comes with simple, yet efficient, overdrive circuits and an audible output. It’s a great little device to use when practicing, especially in a small place.
The response time is great and the controls are marked.
The sound is nice and warm. The body is made of ABS plastic and the device easily fits your pocket. Literally.
Let’s pinpoint the main pros:
• The device is small, yet efficient
• The sound is nice and warm
• You may use it on all types of guitars
• It comes with MP3 input jack and earphone input jack
Let’s not get over our head and think the device has no less good parts…
• The body is made of plastic, which is not quite durable
• The controls are marked. True, but it’s black on black…?
• There is a pop sound when turning it on so be sure not to wear the earphones when turning it on
Of course this is not the best, nor the most performant guitar amp out there. But, for the money you pay, you get a reliable, pretty good guitar amp that fits your pocket.
If your 12-year old wants to stop practicing to play the guitar and you are in need for a good guitar amp, give it a go with the Rogue G10 10W 1×5 Guitar Combo Amp Black.
The guitar amp has a compact size and a switch for clean or over driven sound. The device has 2-band tone control and features a functional ¼” headphone out.
The amp gives you the chance to get various tones. The 2-band EQ is simple and lets you adjust the amp that goes the best with your music and style.When you use the headphone Jack, the internal speaker gets switched off automatically.
The guitar map comes with an easy to use wall outlet. The amp gives clean and clear sound and the distortion is quite beefy. The amp gives you plenty of volume and is very easy to use. It’s also very easy to carry around.
The enclosed back of the amp keeps the wire protected. The amp has a good build and is pretty reliable. Its compact shape makes it easy to store and to carry around.
The device is nice option for the starter guitarist, but may become a practice tool for the more experienced ones.
The most important pros are:
• The guitar amp is a nice option for the starter level
• It’s a 2-band tone control
• It comes with a ¼” headphone out
• It’s compact and easy to carry around
Along with the things we like, come some that could use some improvement:
• The overdrive could sound better
• There is some humming
The parts we like less aren’t deal breakers though and we think the guitar amp is a nice, reliable and well-priced option for any beginner.
Even though some consider it to be the better choice for the new entry level guitarist, the Fender Front man 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier may be just as well used the more experienced guitarist. The 10Watts guitar amp has one channel and features a 1-6” Fender Special Design Speaker.
The guitar amp presents many features that are both functional and efficient: the over-drive select switch, the gain controls, the volume, treble, bass. The gain controls the strength you use to drive the amp with your guitar, whereas volume tells you about how loud the amp gets. You may shape better the high and low frequencies using the treble and bass. The front-panel clean/overdrive switch helps you get thick overdriven distortion with just a push of a button.
The device also comes with ¼” instrument input, 2-band EQ, 1/8” auxiliary Input Jack for Jam-Along with a Media player or Cd.
You can also find very useful the 1/8” headphone Output Jack for Silent Practice.
In order to give heavier bass response, the guitar amp has closed-back design.
The device is a great tool to use for practice as it gives explosive tone and intuitive controls.
The guitar amp comes with a useful silver grille clots, skirted amp knobs. The Fender amplifier logo gives a nice appearance to the device.
The electric guitar amp is easy to use and lightweight. It’s small and compact and may be easily stored and carried around.
Here are the most important pros:
• The guitar amp is a great choice for the new-entry level guitarist
• The guitar amp is small, lightweight and easy to carry around
• The device comes with many useful features and inputs
• The guitar gets loud and is easy to use
Along with the pros, come the cons:
• The device is prone to feedback
• It has no mic plug
Despite the cons, the guitar amp is a great choice for any guitarist, no matter how new/old he is to this.
When you want better sound on your acoustic guitar, don’t hesitate to give a go with the Dean DA20 Acoustic Guitar Amp.
The 20Watts guitar amp is a one-channel device that features two 5” speakers and 4 band EQ: mass, mid, treble and presence.
The guitar amp has a good build and is rather small, which makes it great for carrying it around. The handle sure helps when carrying it around. It’s lightweight and compact, so you can easily find it a place for storage.
In terms of performance, we mention the clean sound and the great power the amp gives. It gets quite loud, when in need for it.
The attention to details is amazing and the device is a great choice for a coffee house or a small outdoor event. Its solid construction gives you a long lasting device.
We don’t forget to mention the looks of the device. The black color combines nicely with the golden metal in the corners that give it an elegant look, but increase its durability just as well.
Let’s sum it all up and list the pros:
• The device is lightweight and easy to carry around
• It’s a one-channel device that comes with two 5” speakers
• The sound is nice and clear
• It’s a great choice for a small outdoor event or a coffee house
As for the cons, the list isn’t long at all:
• The device doesn’t come with a reverb pedal
• You get some humming at times
The cons don’t count that much for us when we take a look at the whole device and we think the amp is a great option to try for your electric or acoustic guitar also.
Powerful, despite its small size, the Pyle-Pro PVAMP60 60-Watt Vamp-Series Amplifier is a device that you can get if you want more from your amp.
The device comes with 8’ speaker and is 3-band EQ: control treble, mid-range and bass.
It comes with high and low level inputs and a functional volume control. The amp is a 2-channel device: clean and overdrive.
The overdrive is a great choice for rock and the device ensures nice, crisp sound. The distortion is amazing and the sound is powerful. The gain control for the overdrive is reliable and you can also get some use for the ¼ inch Output Jack for hooking up external speakers.
We don’t forget about the built-in digital delay either.
When you want to try some silent practicing, you can give it a go with the ¼” headphone Jack.
If we talk about the numbers, we just tell about the frequency response ranging from 20Hz to 15kHz and the 60watts power of the device.
The device is highly portable, with good build and easy to use.
Here are the things we like the most:
• The device is small, yet powerful and portable
• The overdrive is great for rock
• The built-in digital delay works great
• The device comes with nice, practical features
We do need to mention the things we like less:
• The device has no foot switch
• There is some hum at times
The things we like are definitely many and there are just too few things that we don’t like. For the price, you get great performance and quality, indeed.
Best acoustic guitar amp under $100
Especially created for the acoustic instruments, the Behringer Ultracoustic At108 Ultra-Compact 15-Watt Instrument Amplifier is a great device to consider when in need for an amp for your acoustic guitar. The amp is highly versatile and it’s a 2-channel device that is 20Watt powerful. It comes with an 8’ dual-cone speaker for wide frequency response. You may find very useful the additional microphone input that also has a separate volume control. The VTC (Virtual Tube Circuitry) technology gives a tube-like sound.
When you want to play along to your favorite music, you may use also the CD input. And when you want to do some quiet practicing, you may use the separate headphone output.
The Musical 3-band EQ gives amazing sound shaping and all the components of the device ensure long lasting performance. The volume gets loud when you want and the device gives nice, clear tones for the acoustic guitar.
The device has a good build and takes the intense use. The metal enclosure gives maximum protection and is pretty durable. It has a compact shape and it’s quite small, which makes it portable.
The cabinet is made of wood that is vinyl coated also, giving a nice and long lasting appearance to the device.
The device offers sensitive adjustments and it has accurate tone-shaping abilities.
Let’s highlight the most important pros:
• The device is a 2-channel amp
• The amp comes with additional mic input with separate volume control
• The device lets you get precise tone-shaping
• The device looks nice and is durable
In order to be fair, we owe you the things that need to be improved:
• There is no gain
• The fake leather cover looks a bit cheap
The cons don’t minimize the quality of the device and we think the amp is a great device for any acoustic instrument, guitar included.
Best electric guitar amp under $100
There are many things we like about the Peavey Solo 12W Transtube Electric Guitar Amplifier and the fact we can use it on electric and acoustic guitar just as well is one of them.
The 12Watts is a pretty strong device that is highly portable and easy to use in so many situations. It comes with an 8” Blue Marvel speaker and two channels. You get both clean and lead channels.
The device is 3 band passive EQ and features a useful ¼” stereo CD input when you want to do some jamming on your favorite music. The direct out jack is god quality.
If you want to have a more private experience when playing your guitar, you can get some help from the headphone jack.
The low damping factor is used for lively tube power amp sound.
The device takes pedal pretty well and gives a clean sound. The distortion is good and the low mids may impress you.
The device is compact which helps a lot when storing it. It’s easy to travel with and has a reliable, long lasting build.
Our most important pros are:
• The device is great for the electric guitar
• The device is compact and portable
• You may use the CD input or the headphone jack
• The sound is clear and the unit takes pedal well
We play fair and square and mention the cons:
• The device has no reverb
• You don’t get much volume with the overdrive turned on
All in all, for the money you pay, you get a reliable tool that boots greatly the sound on your electric guitar.
Best guitar practice amp under $100
Highly versatile and reliable, the Behringer Ultratone KT108 is a nice amp that may be used on your electric guitar just as well.
The 20Watt device is powerful and features an 8” dual-cone speaker for the wide frequency response. The 3-band EQ gives amazing sound shaping.
When we said about the amp that is versatile, we were thinking at the two instrument inputs that have separate volume control for each channel. Each channel has volume dials for better customization.
The VTC (Virtual Tube Circuitry) ensures nice quality sound, almost like tube sound. The sound is warm, harmonic.
The device is great for practice or the more private sessions. The CD player input sure counts when we talk about more intimate practicing. You can also use the headphones, for more privacy.
The solid metal enclosure protects the electronic components. The high-grade wood cabinet is coated with some long lasting vinyl.
The device is lightweight and doesn’t get very loud. It has a good build and is very well made.
Let’s list our most favorite parts on the guitar amp:
• The device is versatile and features two channels
• The device is lightweight and portable
• The amp gives clean, nice sounds
• It’s a great choice for the private practice
Along with the parts we like, come the not-so-good ones:
• The clarity of the sound could be improved
• The frequency response is not entirely flat
Considering the price though, we do recommend the device as an option to try when in need for an amp on your practicing.