The Fender Stratocaster is a guitar used by musicians for decades. It can be heard on some iconic records. But their sound must be paired with the right amp to get the desired tone.
Not all amplifiers are created equal, some are better with a Stratocaster than others. Each player will also have a different expectation of what they want to hear. This makes it even more difficult to find the right amp for a Stratocaster.
So what are the best amps for Fender Stratocaster guitars? In this article, we are going to look at a few of our favorites and how they can complement different music styles.
Best Amps For Any Stratocaster
We chose these amplifiers because they are lower wattage. They also have great sounds with any Stratocaster guitar. The use of the 6V6 and EL84 power tubes gives you some different tones to choose from. They are all very pedal friendly and offer some great functions to compliment your tone.
To test these amps, I used two different Stratocaster style guitars that I have in our studio:
- Fender Deluxe Stratocaster
- Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s
Fender Blues Junior IV
The Fender Blues Junior IV is a great amp for a Stratocaster. It has a 15-watt tube power section that gives you plenty of volume and headroom. The EL84 power tubes give you a bright but round sound and a bit of grit when pushed.
This is an American-voiced amplifier. It’s built into a combo platform and provides a 12″ Celestion A-type speaker. I feel this is a great speaker choice for the tone of this amplifier and the supplied power tubes.
There is a spring reverb built-in along with a fat switch and a 3-band equalizer. This gives you the right amount of tone tweaking to get some great variation. And with a Stratocaster the use of the fat switch is perfect for tweaking.
And at 31 pounds, this combo is light, and portable, making it very easy to move around or gig with.
When it comes to sound, this amplifier is clean, bright and has a great feel. Normally, with older blues junior amps, using the fat switch would make them sound bad. But the Blues Junior IV is different. In the sense that the fat switch is useable and sounds great, filling out your lower mids and bass.
The reverb is also a lot more useable on this amp and has a great range. It’s smoother and really fills up more space in the tone. There was less harshness to the EQ settings as well. With older versions, I found that there were overtones that were less pleasing. Especially when turning up the controls.
My favorite blues junior IV settings with a Stratocaster:
- Volume: 8
- Treble: 5-6
- Bass: 8
- Mids: 5
- Reverb: 6
These settings were full, bright and crisp with the Fender Stratocaster. Especially when using the middle and neck pickups.
- Clean, bluesy tone
- Great reverb sounds
- Better EQ range
- Fat Switch is useable but not ideal for all sounds
The Vox AC30 is a 30-watt tube combo that has been used by some of the most legendary British bands. It has two channels, and each one can provide a great tone for a Stratocaster. The top boost channel gives you more gain and overdrive. All while still keeping that classic Vox chime.
This combo also provides tremolo and reverb effects. And with 2 Celestion G12M greenback speakers, you get that classic British sound. The magic of this amplifier is the 12AX7 and EL84 tubes pushed to break up.
This amplifier works great with a Stratocaster. This is because being a bright electric guitar, it fills out the mids and is quite pleasing. It’s no wonder the Vox AC30 has been a favorite with the Stratocaster for so many years!
I really like the rock tone that I get with an AC30 and a Stratocaster, some of my favorite settings are:
- Volume: 5
- Treble: 6
- Bass: 5
- Reverb: 3
- Gain: 8
- British Vox breakup tone
- Interactive EQ
- Nice sounding reverb
- Doesn’t have a mids knob
The Revv D20 is a 20-watt tube head that uses 6V6 power tubes. It features built-in Two Notes speaker emulation technology. This little one-channel amplifier head has a well-rounded and articulate tone. One that is very dynamic.
It has a 3-band EQ and gain knob that can be pulled out for light break up, but is a clean pedal platform style amp. The rich tone through any speaker is quite brilliant. And weighing only 9 pounds makes it easy to move around.
This amp also has speaker emulation. But also a built-in speaker load, allowing it to be run without a real cabinet. Simply select your speaker emulation and run it through the XLR to the mixer or PA. Or jam quietly through headphones. This is a great little amp!
I find that the Revv D20 has a Fender kind of sound. Yet It’s unique and has its own vibe going on. The EQ is very large and has great range. The amp is quite loud for 20 watts! It did stay clean and provide great headroom when turned up loud.
Pulling out the gain knob provides a boost and breaks up nicely to overdrive the tone. It’s quite nice with a Stratocaster and single-coil pickups, as they don’t push too much output.
My favorite D20 settings with a Stratocaster are:
- Volume: 6
- Treble: 6
- Bass: 8
- Mids: 6
- Gain: 8 (IN)
- Great clean and overdrive tones
- Provides good headroom when turned up
- Built in load and impulse response
- Wattage switch pops when used, which is apparently normal according to Revv
The Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb
The Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb is a classic amplifier. It’s a 22-watt tube combo that is powered by 2 6V6 power tubes. Depending on the model, you can either get a 12″ Jensen C-12K or a P12Q. Which is exclusive to Sweetwater in the red wine tolex offering.
This amp is very versatile and can give you anything from a clean tone to a light overdrive when pushed. This is a Fender vibe throughout with two distinct sides or channels. One side offers the normal tone and a basic EQ. While the vibrato side provides a spring reverb and tremolo effect.
The Fender Deluxe Reverb is an amplifier that is well known and loved my most guitar players. It has been used on many albums and for some people is the perfect pairing with a Stratocaster guitar.
This combo weighs 42 pounds. It isn’t too difficult to move around, and with this much dynamic tone, it’s well worth the effort!
Like the blues junior, the deluxe reverb is also a bright amplifier. I did find, however, that it was a more full sounding amplifier, primarily because of the 6V6 tubes. They are a better balanced tube type and one that I prefer.
This is a real plug and play amplifier, when the volume is set high, you can really get some great dynamics. Adjusting your guitar’s volume control can take you from great cleans to a light overdrive. Now, I was playing more on the vibrato side in order to use the reverb and tremolo. But the normal channel is also available if you want a dry-clean tone.
My favorite deluxe reverb settings with a Stratocaster:
- Volume: 6-7
- Treble: 6
- Bass: 5
- Reverb: 3
- Speed: 4
- Intensity: 9
- Very dynamic, full sounding amplifier
- Beautiful reverb and tremolo sounds
- Nice and light
- Not as much headroom to remain clean and stay loud
Mesa Boogie California Tweed 4:40
The Mesa Boogie California Tweed is a 40-watt all-tube combo. It provides a great clean tone and can be pushed into some nice overdrive and more. This is a one-channel amplifier, but it does have a foot-switchable reverb function.
This amp has a 12″ Jensen Blackbird Alnico speaker that offers a nice tone paired with the 6V6 power tubes. The one thing I like about this amplifier with a Stratocaster is the jangly clean tones. Plus, the overdrive that can go from jazz to rock.
It’s a very good sounding amplifier that pairs with either a Squier or Fender Strat quite well. The reverb sounds very good as it’s also tube driven. Overall, this amp sort of reminds me of a deluxe reverb with more headroom and volume.
- Clean and overdrive sounds
- Lots of headroom
- All tube
- The amp is quite heavy overall
Boss Katana 50
The Boss Katana 50 is a digital modeling amplifier that gives you access to a wide range of tones. It’s a 50-watt solid-state combo that has 2 channels and 5 different amp voicings. This means you can get anything from a clean tone to a good distortion, even with a Stratocaster.
This amplifier sounds great for a digital modeler, and the one thing that impresses me the most is the price. There is a ton of effects and amp sounds that are actually good for a device like this. And so it’s a great choice for a person who is looking for a cheaper amplifier for their Stratocaster.
Quite naturally, then, it has made the list of best amps for the Stratocaster, whether Fender or Squier.
My Thoughts and Verdict
We have looked at 6 great amplifiers. All of them can fill many roles and provide a ton of different sounds, there are 2 that are my top picks. These are the Revv D20 and the Vox AC30.
The reason I like these amps so much is that the Revv D20 just has a great American-style sound. It works really well with a Stratocaster. It has a bright but full sound that can get me some great tones with the flick of my pickup switch. I also really like the speaker emulation built into it.
The AC30 is that really cool British vibe. It just sounds great and has an amazing feel with a Fender Stratocaster. There is a reason why this amp is so popular, and that still holds true today. And so for me, these amps are my first picks!
6 of the best amplifiers for Fender Stratocasters as far as we are concerned! These are all great amps that can give you a wide range of tones and work with this guitar very well. Yes, there are more, and some that might be a better fit for you.
But these are tried and true and are favorites to us and most players in the guitar community. Are you are new to the guitar and seeking an amp for your Squier or Fender Stratocaster? You won’t be disappointed with any of these choices.