12 Best Guitar Amps Under $500 2022

If your just getting started and need a guitar amp, you may not want to spend a ton of money. Good news is, there are lots that offer great sound, robust control and even effects built in. And they won’t break the bank!

Maybe your not a beginner and need a practice model at home? We have found the best guitar amps under $500 that will give you a great experience. No matter the reason.

The quality of some of this technology will amaze you!

Top 12 Best Guitar Amps Under 500 Dollars

Best Guitar Amps

They easily rival some of the more expensive amplifiers on the market. Our list features models that do many things and fit many genres of music. Now its up to you to choose the one that will fit you best.

Whether you are a beginner or not, having great sound is paramount to being truly inspired to play, write or learn.

We have put together a comprehensive list of guitar amplifiers we feel will give you the best sound and performance in this price range.

So let’s have a look at what we believe are the top 10 best guitar amps under 500 on the market today!

Table of Contents

Best Guitar Amps Under 500 – Top Picks

Fender Champion 100

Fender Champion 100
  • Fender Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 100 Watts

The Fender Champion 100 is a 2 channel solid state combo amplifier loaded with options and voicing.

This is a very popular solid state model loaded with many voicing options and functions.This is a 2 channel unit with some great tones and effects built in to this 2 speaker combo design.

With an output of 100 watts, it is easily stage worthy and a great choice for many different types of music.An aux input and headphone output give this amplifier some major versatility.

PROS

  • Build and Design
  • Great Clean Sound
  • Good Distortion Sounds
  • Built In Effects plus effects loop
  • Included Foot Switch

CONS

  • Some patches are louder than others

Positive Grid Spark

Positive Grid Spark
  • Positive Grid Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 40 Watts

The Positive grid Spark is a Digital amplifier that allows you to save your favorite presets and jam them at 40 watts. The Spark is a good sounding and powerful little unit with many amplifier and effect presets built in.

With some customization options not found in many other models, you get some great functionality.The Bluetooth connectivity and included app allows you to construct your own signal chain. And at 40 watts you will have all the power you will need!

Overview

The positive grid spark is a digital guitar amplifier that comes with many built in presets and effects. This little unit can be connected to an included app and configured to your taste and needs. Its quite powerfu land intuitive!

Build Quality

The spark is built to be rigid and looks quite nice. This is one you can leave in the living room and not worry about how it looks. It is very light and can be transported with ease.

Although most players will leave it on a desktop.The unit comes with 2 built in 4″ speakers. These speakers are quite nice and sound quite full in bass and mid range frequency.

Controls

The spark is controlled like most amplifiers with a range of knobs and buttons that allow you to adjust your sound. Simply turning the potentiometers allows you to select sounds and toggle the functions. But on top of all that is an app that allows you to configure your signal chain and much more.

With this powerful option, your presets are tailored to exactly what you need and or want. And because of the Bluetooth connectivity, tweaking these settings is rather easy from most devices.

Sounds

For the price of this amplifier, you are getting some awesome classic and modern amp sounds. And not only that, but the range of effects is quite good allowing you to craft some great guitar sounds from any genre or era.

The 4″ speakers do a great job for their size and provide a well rounded sound of the most important instrument frequencies. The spark can also act as a stereo system when you are not playing guitar thanks to the external audio source connectivity.

Jam Along

This amplifier has a jam along feature! This allows you to play music from another source while then displaying the chords for you to follow along. This will help inspire you to play and learn more songs quickly which is never a bad thing!

Verdict

The Positive Grid Spark made our list with flying colors because of the great sounds, functionality and low price. With the range of new digital amplifiers, the Spark offers more bang for your buck.The versatility in use and sound is quite exceptional and is a favorite for many players.

We suggest you take a look at this model as it has much to offer players of all styles, new and pro!

PROS

  • Solid Construction
  • Good Sounding Presets
  • Fully Programmable
  • Built In Effects And More
  • 40 Watt Output
  • Bluetooth Capable

CONS

  • The App may be hard to set up at first

Boss Katana 100 MK2

Boss Katana MK2
  • Boss Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 100 Watts

Five Distinct amp voicings from clean to high gain and acoustic mode, the Katana can handle whatever you throw at it.The Katana MK2 is 100 watts of digital perfection in a well built combo or head design.

The tone and built in effects are some of the best sounds in a digital platform.The amplifier also supports acoustic electric guitars and provides custom effects via the tone studio editor.

There are many options and output volume settings that give the Katana real bang for the buck!

PROS

  • Good Build Quality and Hardware
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Acoustic Mode Option
  • Customizable Effects
  • Many Options Onboard

CONS

  • Foot switch is not included

Fender Acoustasonic 90

Fender Acoustasonic 90
  • Fender Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 90 Watts

 The Acoustasonic provides solid tone and vocal performance with some awesome effects. This model provides great acoustic and vocal amplification in a light compact design.

The feedback elimination control keeps things stable at higher volumes and built in effects sweeten the deal.The vocal mic input is a XLR or 1/4″ input and turns it into a PA! A seriously great acoustic amp at an excellent price!

PROS

  • Build Materials and Hardware
  • Microphone Input For Vocals
  • Built in Effects and Feedback Control
  • Light Weight At 18 Lbs
  • Fantastic Frequency Response

CONS

  • Some have complained that the amp was quiet for 90 watts

Peavey Vypyr VIP 2

  • Peavey Warranty: 2 Years
  • Output Power: 40 Watts

The VIP 2 is a modeling amplifier that models both tone and effects. The USB interface allows for recording and is a great unit to fill many needs from live to the studio!

The VIP 2 will provide many instrument models as well as amps and effects.Turn your instrument into a 12 string or baritone on the fly while playing through one of 36 presets!

25 onboard effects lets you add final touches to your sound. 40 Watts of power provides the ability to play live yet is perfect for recording and practice. There are some serious options on it that will meet all your needs and more.

PROS

  • Build quality and hardware
  • Sounds are good
  • Instrument Simulation
  • Guitar, Bass and Acoustic Capable
  • Great Effects And Features

CONS

  • Some have complained that it is not user friendly

Line 6 Spider V30 MK2

Line 6 Spider V30
  • Line 6 Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 30 Watts

The Line 6 Spider V 30 MK2 provides over 200 killer presets designed with help from high profile artists. This alone will ensure you find killer sounds in an amplifier with incredible versatility!

The Line 6 Spider MK2 is 30 watts of power and presets designed with assistance from high profile artists.

Throw in many effects, a drum loop, metronome and tuner and you have one killer modeling amp that is sure to provide some crazy value.

The controls are intuitive making this amp very easy to use which includes integration with the spider app for iOS and Android.Another home run by Line 6 for a great price!

PROS

  • Build quality and hardware
  • 200 Pro-Crafted Presets
  • Onboard Tuner, Metronome and Drum Loops
  • Headphone output, aux input jacks
  • Mac/PC, iOS, and Android connectivity

CONS

  • Complaints that the speaker sounds bad at high volumes

Vox VT40X

Best Guitar Amps
  • Vox Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 40 Watts

The VT40X is a hybrid modeling combo designed with Vox’s own VE Technology for the most realistic tone.

This is a tube and DSP hybrid modeling amplifier designed to obtain the most realistic tone! Not only that, but add 13 amazing effects and the ability to customize using the Vox Tone Lounge software and you have one killer rig.

The unit comes with 11 realistic amp models and 33 preset programs run by an amazingly fast DSP to give you incredible bang for your buck!

PROS

  • Build quality and hardware
  • Tube and DSP Hybrid
  • Awesome Sound
  • Really Good Effects
  • 40 Watt Output Power

CONS

  • Speaker Quality Could Be Better

Vox Adio Air GT

Vox Adio Air GT
  • Vox Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 50 Watts

The Vox Adio Air GT is a great sounding portable modeling combo designed to work with batteries. Bluetooth capable.

Small, portable and powerful! the Vox Adio Air GT is a well rounded modeling amplifier designed to provide great sound in a practice sized design.The beautiful part is that its a combo that runs on batteries and can essentially go anywhere!

50 watts of power, well designed effects and Bluetooth control make this one powerful little unit that every player should own, especially with the small price tag!

PROS

  • Build and hardware
  • Sounds Great
  • Super Portable
  • Lush Effects
  • Bluetooth Control

CONS

  • Seems lower than 50 watts

Marshall Code 50

Best Guitar Amps
  • Marshall Warranty: 2 Years
  • Output Power: 50 Watts

The Marshall Code 50 is a modeling guitar combo designed to recreate classic Marshall pre and power amps and speaker cab combinations.

Mix and Match 14 preamps, 4 power and 8 speaker cab emulations to craft the perfect Marshall tone! Now add 24 killer effects and you have one powerful platform!

The Marshall amplifier modeling is a great way to build your own dream Marshall Stack.The model can be controlled via Bluetooth using their own mobile app which allows you to change your sound from anywhere! This is one seriously wicked piece of gear for under $500!

PROS

  • Build quality and hardware
  • Classic Marshall Tone
  • USB and Bluetooth Control Capable
  • Headphone Jack
  • 50 Watt Output Power

CONS

  • App has connectivity issues occasionally

Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $500 – Value Picks

There are a few amplifiers that didn’t quite make the top pick list, but are great units to consider as they are even more affordable. And for the price, you really can’t go wrong! So if your budget doesn’t quite meet the top picks, take a look at these offerings.

Value Amplifier Pick #1 – Flamma FA05

Flamma

The Flamma FA05 is a 5 watt digital amplifier made in China. This is quite impressive and features Bluetooth connectivity and a good sound and functionality for the price. It is actually a great little unit to consider, especially for practice.

Hardware

For a small box like this weighting in a 2.5 pounds, it is built very well. While the idea is to primarily keep it at home to practice, the amp is robust enough to take with you. If you travel, this is great to take along as it is battery powered as well as use of an adapter.

The built in 3″ speaker is a pretty decent sound for the price and is full enough to get some good tone for practice and audio playback.

Controls

The controls are pretty standard allowing you to select from the presets and effects. Tone controls and jacks allow you to connect and adjust sound to taste and allow a wide range of adjustment.

The amp is also Bluetooth controllable which is also a really great feature to help sculpt your sounds.

Sounds

When i took it out of the box I have to say I was skeptical of what this little amp would sound like. But for the price point i was quite impressed. Now, you won’t get a roaring tube sound from it, but that isn’t the idea here.

Thanks to the presets and built in effects, this little guy is a great buy for anyone looking to be inspired to practice. And as a result, the amp has made our value pick list.

Value Amplifier Pick #2 – Fender Frontman 10G

fender-frontman-10g

Leave it to Fender to provide all players an offering to meet their needs. This price point really opens up players to some great units and the Frontman 10G is one of them. This 10 watt amplifier is loud enough for practice and features great tone.

Hardware

This little unit weighs 8.5 pounds, features a 6″ speaker and has the classic Fender look. It is well built, very rugged and has a small foot print making it easy to take with you if traveling.

Controls

The amplifier features a clean channel and a drive channel, both of which can be adjusted with the front mounted controls. There is a simple EQ as well as gain and volume control to adjust your sound to taste and the guitar being used.

Other features supported are an aux input for jam along and headphone out for silent practicing. Both of which work great and are necessary features. Thanks to Fender for including them at this price!

Sounds

The Frontman 10G is a great sounding amplifier at this price point. Even when turned up nearly to maximum volume, it still holds its own. Normally practice models like this sound bad when turned up loud. But the Frontman keeps it together.  Overall for the price, you are getting a great unit with some good sound.

Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $500 – Bundle Picks

There are some great bundle packs that we simply could not keep from our  amplifier selections. These are perfect for people who are getting started are just need a bundle that works. Sometimes when getting started, its tough to know how to build a rig, especially with electric guitars. These great amp bundles get you started and fast.

Bundle Amplifier Pick #1 – Fender Frontman 10G

Because we have already looked at the Fender Frontman 10G, it was a no brain-er to include this bundle pick. If you are considering picking up the 10G then you may want to consider the bundle. You get a new instrument cable plus an assortment of picks for a few dollars more. Its a great value!

Bundle Amplifier Pick #2 – Orange Crush Mini Combo

Orange makes some of the best amplifiers in the game. This little Orange Crush Mini combo is one of those units. Orange has been releasing a series of mini/micro models that have been changing the game. And with the bundles, this is a great way for a beginner to get started. If your a intermediate or pro player, this is also an easy way to grab what you need in a very popular mini rig.

Best Guitar Amp Under 500 F.A.Q.

There are many questions that come along with a new purchase. We have collected a number of them that we felt would help you find the best model for your needs.

Why These Guitar Amplifier Manufacturers?

Our trips to the NAMM show give us the upper hand when it comes to finding new gear! But this makes the choice a difficult one for players as there is just so many new items each year.

Many of the manufacturers producing guitar amplifiers have been at it for a long time and are masters of their craft.

So we went ahead and spent some time with the ones made by reputable designers.This narrows the list down to some great units.

These are also amplifiers that are available in more stores and with online retailers. This will make it easy for you to find one in stock.

We also want to make sure we are recommending companies that provide great service and assistance should anything go wrong.

So after spending a lot of time looking through a lot of these models we were able to write this article with confidence. The search for the best guitar amp can be a long one.

This article was written to answer as many questions as possible with these amplifiers. We hope it helps narrow it down!

We have also included amplifiers that do many different things, from acoustic to high gain. There is something for everyone here!

Why Did We Selected These Amps?

There are many guitar amps available for under 500. Many of them do the same thing to a degree. We selected 10 because these are the ones that made the biggest impact.

They stood out and had just a bit more to offer than some of the other ones we tried. It also makes it easy to choose from a smaller list.

We also wanted to get to know them so we could give our best thorough review of each one. Getting opinions and feedback from others who had spent time with these models was also helpful.

All this helped us find the amps that had the best sound and options for this price point.

Tone, build quality and size among many other things were considered. We also looked into things like how quickly service issues were addressed and how the companies dealt with customers.

All of our best guitar amps under 500 dollars are from manufacturers who have some incredible experience in the manufacturing world. They also have a very large worldwide dealer network.

This was important as we wanted to make sure you could get these amplifiers no matter where you lived. A large dealer network also means good service should anything go wrong with them.

What Should You Look for When Selecting A Guitar Amp?

If you are a beginner looking for your first guitar amp, the first thing to consider is the amount of volume you need. If you live in an apartment then you want to be careful not to get something you cannot use because of neighbors.

Many people get excited and grab the one with the most power and options only to find out they can’t crank it up without a noise complaint.

Last thing you need is to get evicted because of it! So make sure the unit has the ability to use headphones or has a lower power output in this case.

Next you want to make sure you are getting the right amplifier for the type of music you play. If you need an acoustic model the last thing you need is a high gain unit.

You want to make sure that it will fit the type of music you play and have the options you need for a great experience.

This can be a crucial part of your selection and most beginners get this wrong. This usually means they will need to replace it soon after. Whether it has built in effects is also another important consideration that should not be overlooked.

Lastly, you will want to make sure the amplifier is the right size and weight. If you are going to be traveling or gigging with it, the size and weight will be very important.

Some of the combos that include a speaker in the cabinet will be a bit larger and heavier. They might be hard for some people to move around.

There are also models that use tubes which will require transformers that can increase the weight as well. We cover most of this in our reviews but it’s important to be aware of this before pulling the trigger.

What’s The Best Guitar Amp For Metal?

This question comes up a lot, and so we thought we would just get right to it! Most of these are digital which makes sense for the price. In the past, digital distortion has not been the greatest, lets be honest.

Some of the digital units that tried to do a good high gain tone fell short. And so this question gets asked a great deal because of this very reason.

But technology is getting closer and we finally have some good high gain tones from many digital models!

From all of the ones on our list, we were the most impressed with the Boss Katana MK2.

This amp gets mighty close to a good high gain tube sound. With all the added options to the MK2 version, this would probably be the one to go to for a metal sound.

Not only does it sound really good and will saturate well, it also feels really good too. There is a particular sag in its voicing that would almost make you feel like you were playing a tube amp. And because it can do so much more than just metal, its more bang for your buck!

What Is the Best Guitar Amp For Home Use?

Our list of the best guitar amps under 500 are not just units that are made for home use. Many of them can do more than that, so this is a great question. If you don’t need one with lots of power, the right rig is crucial.

The nice thing about these digital models is that they are designed with DSP technology. This allows the manufacturer to add many more features to them and help with lower volume modes. It also allows for more connectivity options. And because they are light and small, they are all virtually great for home use.

But if you are looking for small and light, these are the ones that are probably the best for home use:

  • Vox Adio Air
  • Fender Acoustasonic
  • Boss Katana MK2
  • Marshall Code 50

How Many Watts Do You Need In A Guitar Amp?

If you are just getting started, this is probably one of the biggest questions you might have. How much power is too much or too little? The range of output power is huge and how is digital different than tube power? Oh so many questions!

Well lets see if we can shed some light on this for you. The first thing to keep in mind is that, this rating is the most power the unit can put out. It doesn’t mean it will always be blaring loud! Each of the models on the list have a volume control, so rest assured you can control the volume!

When selecting an amplifier, you want to make sure it will provide for your needs. If you do not gig or jam in a band, then you probably don’t need 100 watts of power. You may consider 50 or less.

If you live in an apartment, and are worried about your neighbors, 100 watts of power can still work! You see, most of these amps have headphone jacks and silent options.

But we have created a chart to help you gauge output power:

  • 1 to 30 watts: considered low power.
  • 30 to 60 watts: considered middle of the road
  • 60 and higher: considered high power output.

Final Thoughts

 The overall sound and build quality in the end is most important when selecting the best guitar amp under 500 dollars! Choosing just one of these units is quite difficult as they pretty much offer a lot of the same options and functions.

The choice will come down to what you are looking for in an amplifier in this price range as there are many different kinds made for different applications.

Buying a new guitar amp is a very exciting experience, especially if it’s your first one! So make sure you are getting the one that best fits you and your style.

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