Best Electric Guitar Amp (2021 Reviews & Guide)
Last update on 2021-01-08 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- Our Top Choices for Electric Guitar Amp
- 1. Vox Pathfinder Combo Electric Guitar Amp
- 2. Fender Champion 40 Electric Guitar Amplifier
- 3. Fender Champion 100 Electric Guitar Amplifier
- 4. Blackstar Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier
- 5. Roland CUBE Street Battery-Powered Stereo Amplifier ST
- 6. VOX Hand-Wired Top Boost Guitar Combo Amplifier
- 7. Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier
- 8. EVH 5150 III 50W 6L6 Amplifier Head
- 9. VOX AC15C2 Guitar Combo Amplifier
- 10. Fender Mustang I V2 Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier
Our Top Choices for Electric Guitar Amp
The one thing we always say when it comes to any VOX combo amp is that it has a very distinctive sound quality. The Pathfinder 10 is no exception; it’s a low-price amp that delivers the same vintage style and warm British sound we know and love.
It’s a pretty straightforward 10w amp, but it does a lot with very few features. The top panel controls consist of gain, a 2-band EQ, volume, and a clean/overdrive selection button. It also has a single instrument input and a headphone/line out.
You can see that VOX hasn’t skimped on build quality despite this being a cheaper amp. The controls are VOX’s iconic chicken head knobs, and the grille has the classic diamond design cloth.
With very few features to speak of, the reason you buy this amp is for the VOX sound. It’s very powerful for a 10w amp, but even when pushed, it doesn’t lose its tonal quality. The handy selector button to switch between clean and overdrive makes it easy to go from crystal clear to chaos in an instant.
The clean sound is lovely, but where it shines most is with VOX’s warm distortion or crunchy bluestone. This model is one of the best electric guitar amplifiers s available because it’s everything that a VOX should be without a huge price tag.
Fender’s Champion 40 guitar combo is a 40w, 2-channel amp with versatility in abundance. It also has the classic Fender Blackface styling, which is always a sign of quality.
Channel one delivers the classic Fender clean tones based on the legendary Twin Reverb amplifier. Channel two features selectable amp voicing with Blackface, British, metal, and tweed.
Between the two channels, you can cover a massive range of tomes to suit any style of playing. Your tone can then be tweaked further with the built-in effects and 2-band EQ.
Effects include the usual suspects, reverb, delay, chorus, tremolo, and a few more. The tap tempo button can set delay time and tremolo speed, and a footswitch input is available for hands-free control.
Connectivity is basic, but it has everything that you need. There is an instrument input, footswitch input, along with an aux-in for external music players, and a headphone out. The Fender Champion 40 is excellent for practice, recording, or small gigs. It’s also a very good all-rounder for guitarists with a broad range.
The Fender Champion 100 is a step away from the entry-level amp, and towards a proper gig-ready amp.
It’s still a reasonably inexpensive guitar amp, even though it’s got power for days (100w) and dual 12″ Fender specially designed speakers. Fender’s entire Champion range is designed for the versatile guitarist.
The Champion 100 has two channels, much like the smaller Champion 40. Again, the first channel is Fender’s iconic Blackface clean, and the second channel offers selectable amp types. Both channels have dedicated effects, channel one has a 2-band EQ, and channel two has a 3-band EQ.
The effects are where the Champion 100 starts to separate itself from the smaller models. Initially, it does have the same effect types as the Champion 40, like tremolo, delay, reverb, and chorus. However, the Champion 100 also has an effects loop – preamp out and power amp input.
The dedicated effects loop makes it easy to use your outboard gear with your Fender amp. The footswitch is included this time, too, which is another nice touch. It’s a monster amp that will serve you well, whatever you need from it.
Blackstar is very well versed in building guitar amps for the entry-level market. The FLY 3 electric guitar amplifier is a fantastic example of Blackstar’s ability to pack quality features into an affordable bundle.
The FLY 3 is a mini amp, so it’s incredibly compact, with 3w of power and a 3″ speaker. The heart of this amp is Blackstar’s ISF technology – Infinite Shape Feature. The ISF technology is what allows thee FLY 3 to dial in such precise tones with just a single EQ knob.
A single EQ or tone control knob isn’t unique, but it’s about the way Blackstar amps blend the ranges to get the sound you are after.
One of the most exciting things about this amp, to us anyway, is the addition of a lovely tape delay. The tape delay emulation is one of the best we have heard on a mini guitar amp. Despite not having an abundance of controls or features, you can do a lot just with the ISF control, tape delay, and the right amount of gain.
It’s not an amp that will respond as naturally as a VOX tube amp (not many are), but as a first amp or busking amp, it does everything it should and then some.
The Roland CUBE Street offers the peace of mind that comes with being a Roland CUBE amp. That means it’s built like a tank, it’s reliable, and provides a crystal clear tone.
As you can guess from the name, the CUBE Street is aimed at buskers and performers. It’s more of a mobile PA system than justs an amp. Similar to an onstage monitor, the CUBE Street is tilted so that the speaker points directly to your ears, or your audience’s ears.
At its core, this model is a 5w amp that sports dual high-performance 6.5″ speakers. It’s powered by Roland’s COSM amp models, which are now considered amongst the best in the industry.
The reason Roland gets so much praise for their amp modeling isn’t that they offer huge versatility; it’s that they mimic every aspect of the amps with fantastic accuracy.
In terms of sounds available, you can go from crystal clear cleans to System Of A Down, easily. It comes with two channels, a guitar channel and a mic channel, which is what makes it a mobile PA system. This amp is virtually a mobile concert; you are ready to hit the ground running, just make sure you know enough songs.
Another thing that makes it ideal for busking is that it has an instrument input plus a mic/line input for simultaneous use. That means you get a practice amp and a portable PA system in one. The guitar channel has a 3-band EQ and dedicated effects sections, including flanger, phaser, and chorus. Meanwhile, the mic channel has a 2-band EQ with its own delay and reverb.
If it was slightly cheaper, the Roland CUBE Street might have found itself higher on our list, but it’s a busker’s dream, you’ll recoup the money in no time!
The Vox AC4HW1 is something quite special, a hand-wired, all-tube combo with that sought-after top boost sound.
This 4w amp might be small, but make no mistake, it’s vintage VOX at its best, pushing that classic Vox tone through a 12″ Celestion G12M speaker. You can dial in the purest clean tone to the crunchiest tube blues with just a few controls, gain, treble, bass, and a hot/cool switch.
The hot/cool switch allows you to bypass the tone circuit for a rich, pure gain boost. If you are already a VOX fan, then the all-tube design should be music to your ears. It comes equipped with 12AX7 preamp tubes and EL84 power tubes. The hand-wiring and turret board construction pushes it over the edge, delivering the vintage VOX top boost tone.
If you want a bluesy sound, nothing beats an expressive, responsive tube amp. The fact that you can get such tube quality in such a small package is remarkable. To cap it all off, if you thought Vox amps were good looking already, this one is something else. It looks ridiculously good and delivers a truly stunning sound.
The Orange CR60C is a solid-state amp with an all-analog signal path. The benefit of an all-analog signal path is that it provides a more natural response that suits more expressive players.
The CR60C has two channels, clean and dirty, which is characteristic of the Orange Crush range. Each channel has different characteristics that make up its unique sound. The clean channel has two gain stages, and when you start to crank it, you’ll hear that analog break up. The dirty channel has four gain stages and delivers that classic Orange overdrive.
With 60w of power coming through Orange’s custom 12″ Voice Of The World speaker, the CR60C is more than gig-ready. It’s also built for life on the road with a solid 18mm plywood construction. The first channel has bass and treble control, while channel two has a 3-band EQ. There is no reverb control per channel, butt thee master section has three digital delay types.
Last and certainly not least is the built-in effects loop. Orange knows that guitarists love pedals, and this buffered effects loop lets you patch all of your effects between the amp’s input and output without degrading the tone. Overall, there are no complaints with the CR60C; it’s exceptionally clear, articulate, and responsive. If you dig in, it will react with that warm analog break up that guitarists love so much.
Eddie Van Halen had a tone that guitarists struggled to emulate for decades. If any amp were ever going to help you find that unique tone, it would be one designed by EVH himself.
The EVH 5150 is an amp head, not a combo, so it doesn’t have a built-in speaker. However, it partners perfectly with the EVH’s 5150 1×12 cabinet, sold separately. This particular 50w model is a scaled-down version of the previous 100w monster. It has three channels, channel one and two share a 3-band EQ, while the third channel has a dedicated EQ section.
So, what brings that EVH sound? It starts with the tubes; there are seven JJ ECC83 preamp tubes and two JJ 6L6 power tubes. Driving the tubes hard brings incredible saturation and an unlikely combination of dirt and clarity. It also delivers a lush, thick, warm tone that will simultaneously cut through a mix like a knife.
The front panel has controls for gain, EQ, volume, presence, and on the back panel, you’ll find a master resonance. It comes with a 4-button footswitch for ultra-fast effects switching. There’s also a MIDI input so you can control your channels or effects loop with almost any MIDI controller. This amp is a serious bit of gear, not one we would recommend for the beginner, but if you’re ready for it, it’s incredible!
We keep saying things like VOX amplifiers played a considerable part in the evolution of rock music, and the AC15C2 is a direct link to that impressive history. It’s based on the legendary AC30 but comes in a more affordable and compact bundle.
The VOX AC15C2 offers incredibly easy controls that let you dial in your sound without too much messing around. The first choice you make in shaping your sound is choosing the clean channel or the top boost channel. Once you have done that, you can shape your tone via the built-in Top Boost EQ, tremolo, and reverb.
The C2 in the amps name means that this is a custom version, and it comes with two 12″ Celestion speakers instead of one. At just 15w, it has half the power of the iconic AC30 that it was based on, but it delivers the same legendary sound.
The AC15C2 is all about the remarkably articulate cleans and the incredibly natural overdrive. VOX tube amps gained a reputation for being amongst the most responsive ever made, and the AC15C2 only strengthens that reputation. This amp is an ideal practice amp, but it allows for cab extensions, meaning you could build a sweet gig set up, too.
If you want a tube amp that intuitively responds to every subtle nuance of your playing, this is it. The AC15C2 is one of the best electric guitar amps, no question.
The Fender Mustang V2 is in a rare position of being user-friendly enough to be considered an entry-level amp, but it’s also sophisticated enough for more advanced players.
It has been designed to be as broad as possible, without sacrificing its tonal quality. The versatility that is always associated with Mustang amps comes from the massive amount of amp models and digital effects. There are 18 amp models in total, and a massive 37 digital effects, including 24 artist presets.
What the Mustang V2 does best is provide that airy Fender clean tone that is now a thing of legend. However, if you want some crunch or even complete filth, you can find it all here. For anyone who is beyond using presets, you can shape your tone manually to a great extent.
It’s a 20w amp, so it probably lacks a little to be considered a gigging amp, but it would be perfect for small, intimate performances. As a practice amp, it’s absolutely amazing, because it has such a broad range that encourages experimentation. That’s what practice is all about, right?
On top of its tonal versatility, the Mustang V2 has USB connectivity that allows you to connect it directly to your favorite DAW. If you are a recording artist (at any level), this connectivity provides a quick and easy recording workflow. You will find very few complaints about the Fender Mustang V2.