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Top 10 Best Guitar Amps Under 500 Dollars 2020

Best Guitar Amps

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 of guitar amplifiers 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 amp 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 these guitar amplifiers will amaze you!

They easily rival some of the more expensive amplifiers on the market. Our list features amps 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.

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 amplifiers made by reputable designers.This narrows the list down to some great amps.

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 amps 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 down your next amp!

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

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

 

Best Guitar Amps Under 500 Overview

Fender Champion 100

Killer Rig Rating
4.5/5
  • 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.

Fender Mustang GT100 2.0

Killer Rig Rating
4.4/5
  • Fender Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 100 Watts

The Fender Mustang GT100 is a modeling amplifier that offers realistic sound and feel! Loaded with options and control.

Boss Katana 100 MK2

Killer Rig Rating
4.7/5
  • 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.

Fender Acoustasonic 90

Killer Rig Rating
4.4/5
  • Fender Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 90 Watts

 The Acoustasonic provides solid tone and vocal performance with some great effects. Need a versatile acoustic amp? You just found it!

Peavey Vypyr VIP 2

Killer Rig Rating
4.2/5
  • Peavey Warranty: 2 Years
  • Output Power: 40 Watts

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

Yamaha THR10

Killer Rig Rating
4.5/5
  • Yamaha Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 10 Watts

The Yamaha THR10 modeling amplifier is one seriously good amp! It is extremely portable and low power which means it can also be powered by a battery!

Line 6 Spider V30 MK2

Killer Rig Rating
4/5
  • 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!

Vox VT40X

Killer Rig Rating
4.7/5
  • Vox Warranty: 1 Year
  • Output Power: 40 Watts

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

Vox Adio Air GT

Killer Rig Rating
4.7/5
  • 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.

Marshall Code 50

Killer Rig Rating
4.3/5
  • Marshall Warranty: 2 Years
  • Output Power: 50 Watts

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

Have questions? Click here for our best guitar amps under 500 F.A.Q.

Quick Reviews Of Our Best Guitar Amps Under 500

Fender Champion 100

Fender Champion 100

The Fender Champion 100 is a very popular solid state amplifier loaded with many voicing options and functions.

This amplifier 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

  • Good Build/Materials
  • Good sound for price point
  • Great Clean Channel
  • Built In Effects
  • 100 Watt Output
  • Included Foot Switch

CONS

  • Distortion sound leaves some users disappointed
Fender Mustang GT100

Fender Mustang GT100 2.0

The Fender Mustang GT100 offers some of the classic guitar amps and cabinets modeled to be realistic and incredibly detailed.

The built in effects and the range of control via Wifi and Bluetooth give you full control over the available tone!

Fender's Tone App for iOS and Android lets you set up your tone and also stream music for added versatility especially for beginners!

PROS

  • Good Build Materials and Hardware
  • Great Modeling Sounds Of Classic Amps
  • Wifi And Bluetooth Capabilities
  • Loaded With Options
  • Many Output Power versions Available

CONS

  • Early versions of the GT give the 2.0 version a bad reputation.
Boss Katana MK2

Boss Katana MK2 100

The Boss 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

The Fender Acoustasonic 90 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 the amp 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

The Peavey Vypyr VIP 2 is a great modeling amplifier that 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 amp presets!

25 onboard effects lets you add final touches to your sound.

40 Watts of power gives the amp the ability to play live yet is perfect for recording and practice. There is some serious options on this amp 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
Best Guitar Amps

Yamaha THR10

The Yahama THR10 is a tube amp modeler that is designed to give you every style of music!

The VCM technology gives you an incredibly realistic sound. The onboard effects are very good and will add those finishing touches to your sound.

This amp can be run on batteries making it extremely portable along with its small foot print and light weight.

This is a perfect practice and recording amplifier for anyone looking for something small that packs a realistic punch!

PROS

  • Build quality and hardware
  • Great Sounds
  • Runs On Batteries - Portable
  • Built In Effects
  • Includes Cubase Recording Software

CONS

  • No Footswitch Option
Line 6 Spider V30

line 6 Spider V 30 MK2

The Line 6 Spider MK2 is 30 watts of power and over 200 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
Best Guitar Amps

Vox VT40X

The Vox VT40X is a tube and DSP hybrid modeling amplifier designed using Vox's own VE technology 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 amp.

The amp 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

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
  • Great Effects
  • Bluetooth Control

CONS

  • Seems lower than 50 watts
Best Guitar Amps

Marshall Code 50

Mix and Match 14 preamps, 4 power amps and 8 speaker cab emulations to craft the perfect Marshall tone!

Now add 24 killer effects and you have one powerful amplifier platform! The Marshall amplifier modeling is a great way to build your own dream Marshall Stack.

The Amp can be controlled via Bluetooth using their own mobile app which allows you to change your sound from anywhere! This is one seriously great amp 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

Why 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 amps 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 amps we tried. It also makes it easy to choose an amp from a smaller list.

We also wanted to get to know them so we could give our best thorough review of each guitar amp. Getting opinions and feedback from others who had spent time with these amps 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 amp 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 the amp.

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 amp 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 amplifier 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 amplifier the last thing you need is a high gain amp.

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 the amp 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 your amplifier, 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 amplifiers 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.

Best Guitar Amp Under 500 F.A.Q.

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 amps are digital which makes sense for the price. In the past, digital amp distortion has not been the greatest, lets be honest.

Some of the digital amps 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 amps!

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

This amp gets mighty close to a good high gain tube amp sound. With all the added options to the MK2 version, this would probably be the amp 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 amps 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 an amp with lots of power, the right amp is crucial.

The nice thing about these digital amps is that they are designed with DSP technology. This allows the manufacturer to add many more features to the amps to help with lower volume. 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 amps that are probably the best for home use:

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 amp can put out. It doesn’t mean the amp will always be blaring loud! Each of the amps 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 amps 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 of amps 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 right amp that best fits you and your style.

 

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