Electric guitar leaning on a guitar amp
Music Gear Reviews

7 Best guitar amps & why we like them

Updated: March 2024

This review contains affiliate links to relevant products at no cost to readers.

You’re looking to compare the best guitar amps to amplify your sound.

Here are our best picks for electric guitar amplifiers and why we like them.

Our best guitar amp picks

  1. FRIEDMAN BE-100 – Best high-end guitar amp
  2. YAMAHA THR10 – Best guitar amp for home practice
  3. FENDER HOT ROD DELUXE – Best amp for gigging
  4. BOSS KATANA 50 Mk11 – Best choice guitar amps combo
  5. FENDER ’65 DELUXE REVERB – Best tube amp
  6. LINE 6 SPIDER V 60 MKII – Best choice modeling amp
  7. ORANGE ROCKERVERB 100 MkIII – Best amp head

Skip to our reviews. ↓

Electric guitar leaning on a guitar amp

3 things to look out for in a guitar amplifier:

Amp type:

The amp type will affect your electric guitar sound. Your choice will be dictated by what you like to hear.

Tube amps have a warm, organic and dynamic sound. At the heart of a tube amp are vacuum tubes that produce natural compression and harmonics. Resulting in a rich, vintage tone beloved by so many guitarists like Brian May.

Solid-state amps use semiconductors like transistors and diodes, to amplify the guitar signal. They are reliable, durable, and produce a clean sound.

Modelling amps are modern. They digitally emulate the sound characteristics of the other amplifier types, including tube and solid-state. As well as other speaker cabinets and effects.


How many watts a guitar amp has a profound impact on its volume.

Amps with low wattage (30W or less) are good for practising at home or recording. You can get a great tube sound without making too much noise. Medium-wattage amps (30-60W) are loud enough for gigs but still work okay at home. High-wattage (60W+) amps are for big shows – they can be super loud and even used for festivals outside. They’re made with bigger parts to handle all the power, so they sound awesome when they’re cranked up.

Picking the right wattage for your amp is key. Whether you’re practising at home or performing live around the city, learn how many watts you’re likely to need to get the best value.

Controls complexity:

Amps with simple controls are great if you’re just starting and need something easy.

They usually have the basic knobs like volume, tone and gain. These knobs let you adjust how loud your amp is, how bright or warm your sound is, and how much distortion you have.

On advanced amps, you’ll find a lot more controls. They will have knobs for adjusting presence and resonance. If you’re a pro or really into tweaking your sound, there are amps with tons of knobs, switches, and digital features for shaping every part of your tone. Some even have built-in effects like reverb, delay, and modulation.

1. Best high-end guitar amp:

Friedman BE-100

Price when reviewed:
From $3999

FRIEDMAN BE-100 2 guitar amp

We like:

Exceptional premium tube tone
High-gain clarity
Responsive EQ options for fine tuning
Classic rugged look

We do not like:

Heavy to take around
Premium tube amps need warm up time


  • Hand-wired construction
  • Two EL34 and two 6L6 power tubes
  • Presence, Master, and Gain controls Specifications:
  • Power Output: 100 watts
  • Tubes: 2 x EL34, 2 x 6L6
  • Channels: 3

Where to buy?
Check price on Amazon

2. Best guitar amp for home practice:

Yamaha THR10

Price when reviewed:
From $330

Yamaha THR10 guitar amp

We like:

Can simulate warm tube sound incredibly well
Highly convenient to carry around
Headphone output for practicing to yourself
USB output to laptops for recording

We do not like:

Some may need more than its simple interface

Yamaha THR10 guitar amp top


  • Built-in effects (reverb, chorus, delay)
  • USB connectivity
  • AUX input
  • Headphone output Specifications:
  • Power Output: 10 watts
  • Number of Channels: 1
  • Speaker Size: 2 x 3 inches
  • Weight: Approximately 6.2 lbs

Where to buy?
Check price on Amazon

3. Best amp for gigging:

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Price when reviewed:
From $999

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe guitar amp

Famous Fender players:

Jack White, Emily Massey

We like:

Reliable and robust, built to last
Iconic 12-inch Celestion Fender tone
40 watts is a great output for small to medium venues
2 channels for quick amp tone changes

We do not like:

Doesn’t have FX, players will need their own multi FX pedal

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe guitar amp top


  • Two channels (clean and drive)
  • Spring reverb
  • Celestion speaker Specifications:
  • Power Output: 40 watts
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 12 inches
  • Number of Channels: 2
  • Tube Type: 6L6
  • Weight: Approximately 45 lbs

Where to buy?
Check price on Amazon

4. Best guitar amps combo:

Boss Katana 50 MkII

Price when reviewed:
From $270

Boss Katana-50 MkII guitar amp
Boss Katana-50 MkII guitar amp top

We like:

Massive range of amp models
Cranked tube amp tones at low volume levels
Great built-in effects, no need for extra pedals
USB integration with recording software

We do not like:

Lacks warmth and depth of analog tube amps
Limited headroom may compress at high volume


  • Five amp characters
  • Built-in effects (delay, modulation)
  • Power Scaling Specifications:
  • Power Output: 50 watts
  • Number of Channels: 1
  • Speaker Size: 12 inches
  • Weight: Approximately 25 lbs

Where to buy?
Check price on Amazon

5. Best tube amp:

Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb

Price when reviewed:
From $1580

Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb guitar amp

We like:

Iconic Fender clean and warm overdrive sound
Lush and atmospheric vibrato and reverb settings
Looks the part – so vintage

We do not like:

Needs regular maintenance and tube replacement


  • Tube-driven spring reverb and vibrato
  • Two inputs (Normal and Vibrato) Specifications:
  • Power Output: 22 watts
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 12 inches
  • Tube Type: 6V6, 12AX7, 12AT7, 5AR4
  • Weight: Approximately 42 lbs

Where to buy?
Check price on Amazon

6. Best modeling amp:

Line 6 Spider V 60 MKII

Price when reviewed:
From $450

Line 6 Spider V 60 MKII guitar amplifier

We like:

Massive range of diverse amp models
Extensive built-in effects like reverbs, delays
Simple intuitive interface
Connect to recording laptop through USB

We do not like:

Limited ability to tweak model presets


  • Over 200 amp models and effects
  • Built-in tuner
  • Wireless-ready Specifications:
  • Power Output: 60 watts
  • Number of Channels: 1
  • Speaker Size: 10 inches
  • Weight: Approximately 19 lbs

Where to buy?
Check price on Amazon

7. Best amp head:

Orange Rockerverb 100 MkIII

Price when reviewed:
From $2349

Orange Rockerverb 100 MkIII guitar amplifier

Famous Orange players:

Matthew Bellamy, Billy Corgan, Jim Root

We like:

Beautifully rich and dynamic tone
High-quality materials and build
Footswitch capability for effects switching

We do not like:

VERY heavy
Unique control icons might get some getting used to


  • Buffered effects loop
  • Two channels (Clean and Dirty)
  • Footswitch compatibility Specifications:
  • Power Output: 100 watts
  • Speaker Size: Depends on cabinet configuration
  • Tube Type: EL34, 12AT7
  • Weight: Approximately 51 lbs

Where to buy?
Check price on Amazon

Best small practice amp:

Fender Mustang LT25

Fender Mustang LT25 cheapest guitar amp

We like:

Easy to learn controls
Impressive power!
Suits many different playing styles

Price last checked: From $189

What is a good amplifier?

A good amp should match your playing style and needs. Tube amps offer rich, warm tones but may require more maintenance and be heavier. Solid-state amps are reliable and lighter but might lack the warmth of tubes. Modeling amps mimic tones and effects, but some argue they can sound artificial. High-end amps boast premium components for better sound quality and durability. But cheaper amps can still deliver decent tones for practice or small gigs. Choose an amp that fits your sound preference, budget, and portability needs.

Do you need to have an amp with built-in effects?

Built-in effects add convenience, but they won’t deliver a better sound than pedals. Some can sacrifice this for convenience but any touring guitarist will have their own pedalboard. Plus, if your amp effect breaks, it’s hard to replace. But hey, they’re handy for gigs where space is tight. As you’ve read above, some guitar amps now have tuners, which will be sufficient for most beginner guitarists. But if you value supreme accuracy, you’ll need to invest. We’ve compiled our choices of the best guitar tuners here.

Separate effects pedals give you more control and often sound better. You can mix and match to get your perfect sound. There are advanced pedals called multi effect pedals which combine loads of effects together. Pedals also tend to be more durable and easier to replace if something goes wrong. So, if you value flexibility and top-notch sound, separate pedals might be the way to go. But if you’re only needing simplicity, built-in effects would be perfectly fine.

Some guitar amps now have

What types of electric guitar amps are there?

First up, there’s the tube amp, prized for its warm, organic sound. Pros love its natural distortion, but they can be heavy and pricey. The science behind tube amps lies in their circuitry and the way vacuum tubes amplify the signal. Tube distortion is produced enhancing the depth of your electric guitar amp’s sound. Tube amps tend to have a more sensitive touch response, making them ideal for dynamic solos. Some of the best distortion pedals can also replicate this effect so you can enjoy it on other amplifiers.

Next, we’ve got solid-state amps, known for their reliability and affordability. They’re lighter and less maintenance, but some say they lack the warmth of tube amps. Then, there are modeling amps, versatile beasts that mimic the sounds of various amps and effects. They’re great for experimenting but can sometimes sound artificial. While they may lack the warmth of tube amps, solid-state amps excel in producing precise, distortion-free tones, making them suitable for a wide range of musical genres and playing styles.

Hybrid amps blend tube and solid-state tech for a unique sound. They offer a compromise between tone and convenience, making them a popular choice for many players. So, when choosing your amp, consider your budget, sound preference, and portability needs.

Modeling amps have versatility and convenience, allowing guitarists to access a wide range of tones and effects in a single unit. They make use of digital signal processing (DSP), where algorithms simulate sonic nuances. of different amplifiers and effects. Modeling amps are popular choices for recording, practice, and live performance.

How many watts should an amp be for home practice?

Several factors come into play which should be considered here. On one hand, you want something compact and portable, making it easy to carry around. You also want good sound quality, even at low volumes. A popular choice is the Yamaha THR10. It offers authentic tube amp simulation, delivering warm tones perfect for practice sessions. It is compact and ideal for home use. Other players might find its limited power output lacking for gig venues or band rehearsals. While the THR10 is feature-packed, its premium price tag may not fit everyone’s budget. Our choice for budget practice amp is the Fender Mustang LT25

How does a guitar amp work?

When you strum your guitar, it sends a tiny electrical signal from the pickups to the amp. This signal travels through the amp’s circuits, where it’s boosted in voltage. The amp then sends this amplified signal to the speakers, which converts it into sound waves you hear. One advantage of this setup is its simplicity; it’s easy to understand and troubleshoot. However, some argue that this simplicity can limit tonal options compared to more complex setups.

How to mic a guitar amp:

Position the microphone close to the speaker cone for a focused sound. Adjust its angle for varying tones; angling it slightly off-center can alter the sound. Some opt for off-axis miking to reduce harsh frequencies. Use a high-quality microphone to capture your amp’s nuances accurately. However, be cautious of volume levels to avoid clipping or distortion. Consider a pop filter to minimize plosive sounds and wind noise. While mic choice and placement matter, trust your ears; what sounds best to you is key. Experimentation is key to finding the perfect setup for your sound.

How to connect an electric guitar to an amp?

Begin by plugging one end of your guitar cable into the output jack of your guitar. Then, insert the other end into the input jack of the amp. Make sure both connections are secure to avoid any signal loss or interference. Some argue for using higher-quality cables to maintain signal integrity and reduce noise. However, others believe that the difference in sound quality between cables is minimal, especially for shorter lengths. Experimentation may help you determine the best cable for your setup. Once connected, adjust the volume and tone controls on your electric guitar and amp to achieve your desired sound. Remember to start with low volumes to prevent damage to your equipment or hearing.

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