If you want to gig with your electric guitar finding the right amplifier is pretty much as important as finding the right guitar. And yes, I said “right” not “best” because as we all know there is not one best anything, including an amplifier. I don’t know of a single piece of equipment or instrument that most people agree is the best in their opinion. That’s because most players have specific needs and those needs must be fulfilled, the same goes for amplifiers. So this time around let’s talk about best guitar amplifiers under $200. While the best amps under $100 are pretty cheap and fit beginners the best, these models are a bit better in quality and thus sound. Not all of them are perfect for intermediates, but then again I know people who have played guitar for 10-20 years and think that some of the best amps they have had were under $200-300. Without further ado, let’s get into specific models and then let’s talk about some general tips and info about amplifiers.
Top 5 Best Guitar Amps Under 200
The first model we’re going to check out is something you’ll enjoy more than you can imagine. Marshall MG30FX is an amazing example of what a cheap amplifier should look like. This bad boy has 30 watts of power and all of its strength is emitted via a single, custom 10” speaker. Even though it might not be suitable for huge venues, it’s a wonderful practice tool and a beast on small stages. Depending on the type of your pickups, you might notice some buzz. But that issue is easily solvable with simple fixes. After all, we’re talking about a combo under 200 and it couldn’t have been perfect. MG30FX has four channels: Clean, Crunch, OD1 and OD2. They open up countless possibilities, especially considering the fact that they have a store and recall function. If you think those are the only effects you’re going to get, you’re utterly wrong, my friend. This fella offers reverb, chorus, phaser, flanger, delay and octave digital effects that can be utilized however you like them. In brief, Marshall MG30FX exceeds our expectations quite a bit and provides us with an interesting experience.
- Excellent build quality
- Quite powerful for 30 watts
- Great for practice and smaller venues
- Might have some buzz depending on your pickups
- Doesn’t have an effects loop
Fender, oh Fender. This company is like one of those celebrities that are constantly being talked about, except that Fender is talked about because of its quality and celebrities for… well, who knows what for. Fender usually has some of the highest quality guitars at quite affordable prices too, so it was not a big surprise that they created an amp that is affordable without compromising the quality of the sound. The Champion 40 is a combo amp with 40 watts, Fender Special Design speakers, two channels and selectable amp voicing. You also get effects like reverb, tremolo, chorus, Vibratone and a lot more so that you can get the perfect sound and versatility for you with the best effects possible. If you are a fan of classic Fender tone then this baby is the way to go. This model comes just under $200 and will probably be one of the best decisions you can make as a beginner player.
- Amazing tone clarity
- Vintage design
- Easy to use
- Offers a lot of legendary sounds
- Can develop a slight noise
- Does not have a line out
You know what I love the most about brands, such as Line 6? They do their best to provide us with the chance to experience innovation without paying a lot of money. They don’t limit great things to expensive models, which is something we should always appreciate. Their Spider V 30 MkII is a solid state amplifier with an 8” speaker and tweeter. It’s equipped with Classic and Full Range speaker modes, which make it possible to tailor the amp’s response to your instrument. The latter can be utilized with acoustic guitars and has everything one would need to receive a full-bodied acoustic sound. Additionally, this bad boy has more than 200 amps, cabs and effects that give you a lot of versatility. With its modelling functionality, you can produce any sound your heart desires. Spider V 30 MkII has an in-built tuner, metronome and drum patterns, which can be useful for keeping your instrument in tune and practicing with various rhythm patterns. All in all, this fella is an amazing option if you need a diverse, yet simple practice amp for your electric and acoustic guitars.
- Comes with tuner, metronome and drum loops
- USB interface
- Compatible with free Spider V Remote app
Cheap does not have to be cheap in quality. Most of the models in this list are proving it but VOX Valvetronix VT20X amp is one of the models that shows that an equipment does not have to be basic and only have minimal functions to be under $200. This model is a modeling amp that uses the best tech to deliver on the range sounds that are almost unmatched in this price range. This 20-watt compact amp with an 8″ speaker and Valvetronix preamp has vacuum tube multi-stage amplification circuit that allows this model to have a unique tone. It also features 12 effects and 22 preset programs. If you thought that was not enough apparently so did VOX as they also added an inbuilt tuner, AUX jack, headphones out, and USB jack. Honestly, for the price and features I did expect something to be really amiss about this model but after a while, I just realized that this is just a gem hidden away among hundreds of affordable models ready to be discovered.
- Extremely well-built
- Versatile features and sounds
- Available presets sound amazing and let you play along with your favorite tracks
- There is a noticeable jump in volume when scrolling through presets
We have talked about one of Peavy’s models in our best cheap amplifiers for beginners. This time around we will talk about their Vypyr VIP model with 20 watts that comes at a bit higher price but still is considered to be very affordable. This amplifier is perfect for electric, acoustic, and bass guitars and is versatile enough for any genre. Apart from that, you get a range of effects of sounds but also guitars too. So if you want the tone and sound of an acoustic guitar this amp will allow you to do that. With these effects, you will play a range of styles but most importantly you will do it without the amp making it sound inauthentic. This model is 20 watts and great for practicing at home but if you are about to have your first gig in a small space, it will be great for that purpose too.
- A wide range of useful features
- Usable with acoustic
- Electric and bass guitars
- Lightweight and easy to use
- You need to purchase the pedal to reveal the full potential of the amp
First of all, looking through lists of amplifiers means that you have chosen and maybe even bought your electric guitar so congrats on that. OR maybe you have had a guitar for a while and need a budget-friendly model that will not break your bank. Fortunately, manufacturers pump out affordable amps right to left so there is not going to be a lack of options for you. In fact, you might have a hard time choosing one out of hundreds and hundreds of models. If you have not found an amp you like on this list we have a lot of other options for the best cheap beginner amplifiers under $100 and a lot more.
Yeah, an initial goal of amplifiers, when they were created in the early 20th century, was to make the sound of the device louder with the development of technologies and inventions, amps have become a lot more than just a way to increase the sound. There are so many effects that you can use available on your amp that you pretty much have full control of the sound your guitar is producing. With modeling amps, it’s pretty much whatever sound and effect you want to make. Apart from that amplifiers change the way you feel your guitar and the way you play so never underestimate the importance of a good quality amplifier.
While amplifiers vary in style, shape and sound they create the basic parts of an amplifier are a preamp, power amp, and speaker. Without getting too deep into the technicalities and boring the living hell out of you I will briefly describe which part is what. The preamp has a circuit that is the initial receiver of the “sound” and through different controls shapes the sound. Then the signal goes through power amp which magnifies the signal. Finally, the speaker receives the amplified sound and releases the signal and produces the sound that the audience hears. While all parts play different parts in producing the final mesmerizing and bombastic sound, there is no way for the sound to be any good unless all parts are up to par.
There are a lot of things you need to learn about amplifiers if you are new to the world of electronic music. The basic structure is the first step. Knowing how something works will be the best way to figure out whether the model you are looking at is actually good or just a gimmick. Even with the inexpensive models, you can find an amp that sounds perfect for you. It all depends on how well you know your needs and circumstances. For instance, if you just need an amp for practice you can get buy with low watt, compact model that does not boast the volume as much. If you plan on gigging in big rooms going for a 30-watt model is pretty much a direct way to failure. Apart from that, you need to keep in mind that the effects, especially with modeling amps are the major factor. Know what effects you need and what you can live without and then chose the model that has all the necessary effects. And please don’t make a mistake of getting a model that boasts all the possible effects in the world because most probably you won’t be using all of them.
Great guitar or not you won’t go too far unless you have a quality amplifier. And by quality amplifier I don’t mean find the most expensive and high-end model, save up for years and get it. What I mean is research (like you are probably doing now, because how else did you end up here), know your budget, your purpose (whether you need an amp for practice, gigging or recording), the size you need and most importantly the sound you want from your amp. You figure that thing out, browse for hours on end and then discover the holy grail (your holy grail) that just fits all your needs and checks all the right boxes. That’s when you know that hours of browsing did not go to waste. In any case, I hope the list of our best guitar amp under $200 was useful and if you want something more affordable we also have a list of some of the best cheap amplifiers for beginners under $100.