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The Best Guitar Amps

Boris Bulychev/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated January 2023

For electric guitarists, getting the right sound is crucial. These highly-rated guitar amps will help your sound reach its full potential.

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  Top Choice Most Versatile Best Headphone Amp Premium Choice Also Great
Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
40 Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier
AP2BS amPlug2 Bass Headphone Amplifier
Positive Grid
Spark Guitar Amplifier
Electric Guitar Amplifier Combo DEA-1
Our SummaryThis vintage-looking 10G amp has a 6-inch speaker and a solid-state, closed-back design that delivers a punchy bass.A fun beginner's amplifier with an array of EQ controls and audio processing techniques to get creative.A compact headphone bass amp with three gain modes and nine rhythm patterns for a genuine analog sound.A practice amp that triumphs all others of its kind with Bluetooth connectivity, a smart app, and immersive bass sound.A quality, budget-friendly guitar amplifier for beginners to discover their sound.
Pros✓ Classic Fender tone
✓ 6-inch speaker
✓ Vintage look
✓ Intuitive knobs
✓ Solid-state, closed-back design
✓ Output jack
✓ Aux input
✓ Integrated EQ knob controls
✓ Overdrive
✓ 8-inch speaker
✓ Upgraded version
✓ Three modes
✓ Nine rhythmic patterns
✓ Pocket-size
✓ 180 degrees rotation
✓ Customizable presets, ✓ Intuitive app
✓ Great sound
✓ Fun to use
✓ Bluetooth
✓ Virtual rhythm section
✓ Clean and booster channels
✓ Three-band equalizers
✓ 1/4-inch instrument input
✓ 1/8-inch aux input
Cons✗ Single-channel amplifier✗ 40-watt speaker not ideal for the stage
✗ Warm, not powerful sound
✗ Requires AAA batteries
✗ Headphone-only amp
✗ Takes some getting used to
✗ Pricey
✗ Requires some tech knowledge
✗ No reverb
✗ Limited tonal range
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The Best Guitar Amps

An amplifier for a guitar with guitar leaning against it on a black background.
Boris Bulychev/Shutterstock.com

Amplifiers or amps are electronic devices that reinforce the electrical signals sent from a guitar’s electromagnetic pickups so that the resulting sound comes out loud and clear. Amps can significantly change a guitar’s sound and give guitar players plenty of options and settings that will allow them to tweak the end product to their liking. However, a great amp can be a large investment, so making an educated purchase is vital.

Buying Guide for Guitar Amps

vintage style amp and guitar in the background.

Why buy a guitar amp?

Technically, you don’t need an amp to play the electric guitar. However, playing on a great guitar amp will give you access to the distinctive electric tones you associate with your favorite rock bands. It will also give you the ability to enhance your practice sessions by adding raw power to your chords and allow you to learn how to modify your sound by utilizing your amp’s setting dials. Simply put, a great amp can enhance the sound of your guitar and make it loud enough for others to hear it in all its glory.

What should you look for in a guitar amp?

  • Amp Type: Guitar amps have come a long way since a trusty tube amp was your only option. Many serious guitarists still prefer tube amps for their tried-and-true dependability and warm tones. Still, these are becoming increasingly expensive due to the need for more vacuum tube manufacturers. Solid-state amps are a durable and less costly option than a tube model of a similar wattage. Finally, digital amps utilize solid-state technology and can produce a wide range of sounds since they use digital effects to modify the sound output of your guitar. This type of amp is also an inexpensive option that is great for beginners.
  • Power: If you’re a beginner, you won’t need an amp that the entire neighborhood can hear. Lower-wattage amps come with the advantage of being much more affordable and portable than high-wattage versions. However, if you plan on jamming with a band or playing shows in small venues, it would be wise to find something around the 50-watt range that includes a decent speaker. For an ideal large venue sound, a 100-watt amp with a large speaker will be in order, but be prepared to pay for that extra power.
  • Effects: Understanding basic amp effects can help you find the right amp for your style. Functional, responsive EQ controls are your most important consideration, as these will help you quickly modify the amp’s tone and optimize the amp for playing in a specific environment. A responsive gain knob is equally important (especially for punk and metal guitarists), as this will control the amount of distortion present. Finally, reverb and more complex digital effects only sometimes come standard with your amp purchase but can transform and specialize your sound without additional effect pedals.

Does the size of an amp’s speaker matter?

Although speaker size matters less than wattage when shopping for an amp, it is an integral factor that will help determine your amp’s volume and sound. The size of an amp’s speaker will also subtly change its tone, making it imperative that size be considered along with wattage. Smaller speakers produce a tighter sound, while larger ones produce beefier low and mid-tones.

Our Picks for the Best Guitar Amps

Top Choice

Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

This vintage-looking 10G amp has a 6-inch speaker and a solid-state, closed-back design that delivers punchy bass.

Pros: The Frontman 10G provides that classic Fender tone in a small package with a 6-inch speaker. It features the vintage Fender Blackface with a silver grille cloth, the Fender logo, and skirted amp knobs. Its intuitive knobs offer a stress-free experience for beginners. The solid-state, closed-back design ensures reliably powerful bass and overall articulated sound, which can be enjoyed via headphones thanks to the output jack. Finally, move the clean/overdrive switch to add overdriven distortion.

Cons: It’s a single-channel amplifier, so you can’t switch to different distortion levels.

Bottom Line: This Fender model makes a great choice for beginner electrical guitarists. It offers the classic Fender look, easy-to-use controls, and a convenient compact size to transport between home and jam sessions.


Most Versatile

LyxPro 40 Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier

A fun beginner's amplifier with an array of EQ controls and audio processing techniques to get creative.

Pros: Check out the LyxPro if you want to be able to play on stage, record in the studio, practice at home, or do a show outside. With the aux input, you can hook up your phone, headphones, mixing consoles, larger speakers, and more. Customize your sound using these integrated EQ knob controls: Gain, Bass, Treble, Volume, and Grind. The amp’s 8-inch speaker delivers robust low and mid-tones.

Cons: The lower, 40-watt speaker is not ideal for projecting a big sound. Experienced players may notice that the amp creates a warm, not powerful sound.

Bottom Line: The LyxPro has appeal in terms of its numerous EQ and audio effects and its durable construction. It has secured hard rubber corner edges, built-in cord storage, and a sturdy carrying handle.


Best Headphone Amp

VOX AP2BS amPlug2 Bass Headphone Amplifier

A compact headphone bass amp with three gain modes and nine rhythm patterns for a genuine analog sound.

Pros: The amPlug2 by VOX offers the shortest path to enjoying analog amplifier sound with your headphones. With this upgrade, the analog circuit is better and has three modes. The bass model features three gain modes—high, mid, and low—and nine rhythmic patterns. Mess around with Pops, Rock, Shuffle, Jazz, Funk, Skip, Samba, Special, and Click. It’s super compact for easy transport. Other convenient features include its foldable, 180-degree rotation and auto-shutoff function.

Cons: It runs on AAA batteries, which will need regular replacement. And as a headphone-only amp, it’s incredibly limited as a guitar amp. Make sure this is the setup you want before purchasing it.

Bottom Line: The VOX amPlug2 comes in multiple styles. Check out each model because you may realize you need more than one. If you want a headphone amp, this is the option for you.


Premium Choice

Positive Grid Spark Guitar Amplifier

A practice amp that triumphs all others of its kind with Bluetooth connectivity, a smart app, and immersive bass sound.

Pros: The unique features of this electric, bass, and acoustic guitar practice amplifier are too numerous to detail, but we’ll try to give you an overview. It comes with Positive Grid’s Spark App® for iOS and Android and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream your music in high-definition audio or external sources patched into its aux input and USB I/Os. The app includes an Auto Chord Recognition feature, which displays chords on your device in real-time for any song. There’s a virtual rhythm section for you to practice playing in different genres.

Cons: It’s on the pricy side, though its high-quality features justify its cost. The Positive Grid Spark’s smart features and recording software may overwhelm those who aren’t tech-savvy.

Bottom Line: This desktop amplifier flaunts a vintage brown-and-tan grille cloth and comes in black and pearl textured vinyl. There’s also a faux leather handle, which you’ll need to carry the 11.5-pound electronic device. Check out the Positive Grid Spark to get the full scoop on its many effects and controls.


Also Great

Donner Electric Guitar Amplifier Combo DEA-1

A quality, budget-friendly guitar amplifier for beginners to discover their sound.

Pros: This two-channel (clean and booster), 10-watt guitar amplifier combo aims to meet the needs of the beginner guitarist. No frills—just an easy-to-use, robust device. The DEA-1 has a 6.5-inch speaker and three-band equalizers—treble, middle, and bass—for molding your sound’s high and low frequencies. There’s also a gain control to max how hard you’re driving the amp. The top panel has an instrument input and an aux input to plug in an MP3 player to practice with some of your favorite tracks or headphones for focused practice. 

Cons: The company recently upgraded its logo, and there’s a chance you’ll receive a model with the old logo, what with the difference between production batches. Some users report that the overdrive does not achieve an explosive sound.

Bottom Line: While the DEA-1 disappoints some in terms of sound range, most beginner users have only positive things to say. It has just enough controls to experiment with sounds and get the hang of all that a basic amplifier has to offer. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, solid-state amps have taken the functionality and affordability of quality amps to the next level in recent years, which is great news for those who are just beginning their journey with an electric guitar. While finding the perfect amp for you will take some research, if you focus on what’s important, you should be able to find an amp that will give you many years of joy, all for a price that won’t break the bank.

Zachary McCarthy Zachary McCarthy
Zachary McCarthy is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and experience in blogging, copywriting, and WordPress design and development. In his free time, he can be found frying up Tangsuyuk or watching Korean films and MMA events. Read Full Bio »
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