If you had asked me when I bought my first guitar if I would ever pay anything over $300 for a guitar equipment, I would laugh in your face and continue on playing that rusty, cat screeching thing I called guitar that I bought from an eighty-year-old dude for $50 (the guitar was probably just as old and wrinkly as the man). Well, I like admitting my ignorance as much as the next person but I got to say “MAN WAS I WRONG!”. Well, at the time I probably was not because as a 15-year-old beginner I don’t think to buy an amplifier at a $1000 mark would be the smartest move. So, listen out my friends, if you have been into guitars for years and finally want to save up money and cash out on an amazing amplifier, I am in full support of that. I won’t get too deep into why quality amplifiers matter at this point. That I will definitely do in the main section of this article, so browse around and look through what we deemed to be some of the best guitar amplifiers under $1000. Hopefully, you will find your best love (a.k.a. amplifier) in this list.
Top 7 Best Guitar Amps Under 1000
Let’s start with Fender, a company that produces guitars, amps and pretty much everything and somehow manages to always stay on top of its game. So the fact that their 68 Custom Princeton Reverb Amplifier is in our top amps under $100 is definitely not a glitch in the system. After all, Fender has been in the amp business for decades and this model is a sort of an homage to the 60’s “Silverface” models. But don’t think of this amp as an equipment that only aims at recreating the old tone. With years of development in tech, Fender has produced some great innovations and they are put to use in this “old style” model as well. This amp features 30-watt Celestion Speakers for punchy sound. The pedal allows for more flexibility while the Custom channel has a 50s Tweed “Bassman” tone circuit. This is great if you want more low mids. I’ll just say, if you have been a fan of Fender sound, this baby is the way to go to hear it amplified.
- Shimmery clean tones
- Great-sounding overdrive
- Each and every frequency has a full body
- Perfect combination of past, present and future
- Too much bass for some
- Reverb is different from the original (if that’s what you are looking for)
Just under $700 this model can be called affordable option in the high-prices, top quality amps. Delta Blues 115 has tone and looks of a classic amplifier. What you will be getting with this amp is 2-channel tube combo, one 15″ Celestion Fullback G15V-100 speaker, Footswitchable channels, and tremolo all packaged up in chrome-plated chassis and tweed covering. I mean, honestly, the looks are what I came for but the quality of the sound is why I stayed. The model itself has 30 watts and produces pretty rich, thick sound with a lot of nuanced undertones. I’ve been a long time fan of Peavey amplifiers, but I have usually gone for the more affordable ones (you can check out our best amplifiers under $500) but this model won me over even though it costs a bit more than the usual ones I have tried out. It’s perfect for blues, country and rock music and will serve you well for years and years without giving you any trouble.
- Works amazing with blues, rock, country or jazz
- Warm and sweet tone
- Perfectly balanced distortion
- Not for those who are looking for extreme distortion
- Reverb leaves a lot to be desired
This modeling amplifier is great because of many, MANY reasons but one of the main ones is that you can use it for any purpose. Whether you want to practice at home, recording, a gig in small or big venues, the THR100HD has got you covered for all occasions. Apart from that, this model emulates the valve tone close to perfection. You also get to choose the sound you have. The five main ones are the following: Solid, Clean, Crunch, Lead, and Modern. So you can see that lack of flexibility and versatility is not going to be an issue. That on top of mind-blowing 100-watt power is guaranteed to produce the brilliant tone for large venues and small, apartment rooms, alike. The look of this amp is pretty vintage and the same can go for the tone. Of course, with a modeling amp, you get to tweak the tone through software. When it comes to pricier amps you have to be selective, after all, you are paying quite a bit. This Yamaha model, at least to me, is worth the money and a lot more.
- Class A and Class AB switching
- Effects loop
- Tube simulation sounds almost as good as the actual valves
- Cleans might not be loud enough for some
And we are back to Fender. Their Blues Deluxe is a 40-watt combo amp with three 12AX7 tubes and two 6L6 tubes. It also features vintage and drives selectable channels and 2-button footswitch for drive select and reverb. If you want an amp that can do amplification and produce sweet tone like no other, this Fender model is the way to go. While the sound is a priority – great looks never hurt, especially with this model. This Blues Deluxe has cloth tweed covering, vintage-style chicken head knobs and classic-looking chrome control panel. The style of this amp is reminiscent of the old, vintage amps. All in all, if you have been a fan of the old Fender amps or just want a versatile, consistent model I would definitely recommend this one.
- On-board reverb
- Great-sounding drive channel
- Usable effects loop
- Produces bright highs and authentic lows
- Not very portable
- Not the most versatile amp
Peavey’s combo amplifier is a quality equipment if I have ever seen one. This baby might not be as powerful as Yamaha’s 100-watt model but it offers other things. First of all, this model is equipped with five 12AX7 preamp tubes and 2 – 6L6GC power amp tubes. It also has Microphone Simulated Direct Interface (MSDI) combined with 3-spring Accutronix reverb. What this does is create miked guitar’s sound. You also get separate Resonance and Presence controls for channels (and I won’t get into too many details because this model has a lot to offer). There are amps that are great for venues and ones that are better fitted for home practice. While I would say that this particular one is better for home practice, it probably would have a pretty decent performance on the stage as well. Tubes are usually harder to maintain but this amp is an epitome of durability and consistency.
- Can simulate microphone response
- Very durable and long-lasting
- EQ, presence and resonance give you a lot of control over your tone
- Reverb is not as deep as with effects pedals
If you want something resembling Peavey 6505+ but still want it to have a character of its own, then Bugera 6262 INFINIUM will be a wonderful option. It’s a tube amp head with six 12AX7 preamp and four 6L6 power amp valves. If you’re wondering whether it’s powerful or not, let me tell you that it is driven with 120 watts. I’m sure that says a lot but if not just know that we’re dealing with a real beast here. This bad boy has two channels that deliver clean or high gain sounds. Both of them have individual EQ controls to make sure you have the ability to craft every detail in your sound. 6262 has INFINIUM technology a.k.a. Tube Life Multiplier. It’s supposed to extend the lifespan of your tubes, but more importantly – it enables you to change a single tube without having to alter the whole set. And since good tubes aren’t that cheap, this technology seems to make a lot of sense. In case you want more control over your options, this puppy comes with a footswitch that allows you to select between Channels and trigger/turn of Reverb. 6262 INFINIUM is packed with useful features – it has everything you’d wish for in a tube head.
- Powerful clean channel
- Extremely loud
- Excellent build quality
- Noticeable volume drop while switching between the channels
The Quilter Steelaire is a 200 watt guitar amp with a 15″ speaker. It is the result of collaboration between Pat Quilter and Eminence and is the statement of quality, powerful sound and fancy design. Also known as “Orange Creamsicle”, it produces thick tones with creamy body and outstanding cleans you have always dreamt of. Steelaire Combo is extremely portable and will be quite easy to carry for those who are always on and off the stage. It comes with built-in Limiter that cancels out distortion at high gain settings, but it can be dirtied up if needed. You can even add some tremolo/vibrato to your sound. Steelaire Combo does really let your sound come through and stand out during live performances. Even though this one is a bit on the pricier side, the quality it offers is worth every penny.
- Jaw-dropping cleans
- Available limiter eliminates the distortion at higher volumes
- Two channels for two different instruments
- The footswitch is not included in the package
It does not matter how good you are at playing your guitar or what style you play, a quality amplifier is a must. While we have discussed in our other articles some of the best cheap amplifiers for beginners and best amps under $300 the truth, the more you pay the better quality you get. That’s just a fact that I feel kind of ridiculous even saying. BUT my point is that if you have saved up enough to buy an amp that’s over $500-600 mark, then you are already in a pretty good place. As a skilled player, you want the best for your sound. I mean guitar is only half the job, an amplifier (and many other types of equipment and tweaks you make) complete the job.
It’s not a surprise that we feature amplifiers from brands like Peavey, Fender, Roland, Yamaha, and Bugera because they know what they are doing. That shows even more when a manufacturer has a “luxury” to make higher quality models instead of trying to cram in everything necessary for an amp under $100. That being said, in my opinion, the more you pay the higher your expectations should be, so don’t assume that all amps that cost a lot will be great. Well… they might be good but they might not be the right fit for you. For instance, if you are gigging, a 30-watt, an expensive amp would not be the smartest move.
Think About Your Sound More Than About The Price
Another factor to think about is your style. While beginners might not be that specific about what style they play and what sound they like the best, intermediate players and pros know exactly what they want. Look for the effects on the amp, the tone it produces, hell… listen to it and then determine whether it’s any good for your “sound”. While a lot of people do their research and listen to reviewers play on Youtube, there is a big chance that the sound in life is different.
A lot of the amps on this list are combos. That’s usually what I go for as well because they combine the best of the two worlds (tubes and solid-state amps). Tube amps are great but they are harder to maintain not to mention that they are a lot more pricey. The solid-states are less expensive but their tone is not as great, at least usually. So if you find the right combo, it will deliver on the best of the two types.
First of all, congratulations. You have been sweating over your guitar for hours on end for probably years and years to achieve great skills. I am assuming that because $1000 amplifiers are a big luxury and, personally, I would go for them if I was sure that I have honed all my skills to the level where I can warrant myself to get a glorious, mind-bending amplifier that will take my performance from one to a hundred. While we have provided in this best guitar amplifiers under $1000 list what we thought were some of the greatest amps we know of and are actually worth the money there are probably many, MANY other models out there we have missed out. With amps that go over $500-600 mark, I (and you should too) have pretty high expectations. The model has to check off all the points. It has to be pretty perfect on a stage, in the recording studio, and of course at home. It should give me versatility and control over tone and volume so that it pretty much becomes my second nature. AND it wouldn’t hurt if it looked nice. Amplifiers listed above are all of that and much more. In any case, if you have been browsing this list just for the fun of it or you plan on buying one of them at some point but cannot afford it at this point, feel free to check out our articles about the best amplifiers under $300, best amps under $500, and a lot more.