Amplifiers are not easy to choose. They play such a big part in creating the final sound that if you choose a wrong one, you end up with crappy tone. BUT if you choose a right one… well, my friend, you are a lucky bastard. We have been “blessed” by manufacturers basically drowning us in different models of amplifiers. So you get a choice of pretty much anything. You don’t like the weight of the amp? There is another one pretty much the same one in the same price range. Don’t like the color? They got you on that one too. This might be a bit daunting sometimes since there are just too many options on the market with a lot of very similar models. Here we have compiled some of the best guitar amplifiers under $500.
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Top 5 Best Guitar Amps Under 500
|Line 6 Spider V 240||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Fender Champion 100||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|BUGERA V22-INFINIUM 22-Watt Vintage Combo||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Marshall MG50CFX MG Series||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Line 6 Spider Jam||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
There Is No One Best Amplifier
Although there are dozens of dozens of articles with lists of the best amplifiers in the world the truth is there is no one best amplifier. And yes, all brands claim their amp is the one and the only thing you will ever need. That their amps will change your performance and I don’t know… make a complete novice become a legend overnight (well… that’s an exaggeration but you get the gist). While there are some general guidelines to judge an amplifier and whether it is any good, there is no way for a stranger to tell you which model is going to be the best one for you and your needs.
For instance, if you are just going to practice at home and you are just starting off you definitely don’t need a $1000 amplifier. The only people who will hear you are you and well… the annoyed neighbours. On the other hand, if you plan on gigging or recording the best amplifier would be the one that is easy to use in those situations and have great effects and recording accessories.
Then comes the issue of the tube or solid-state amplifier and don’t even get me started on that. If someone tells you that a tube is better than a solid-state in all situations, you better run fast from that person because it could not be any farther from the truth. There are a lot of websites that will explain pros and cons of both but just in case you can check out our blog about “Tube Vs. Solid-State Amplifier”. It’s pretty short but gives a nice, comprehensive view of advantages and disadvantages of both types.
And while there are a lot of factors to keep in mind when buying your first or second or tenth amplifier (well, if it’s your tenth you are either an expert or have ruined tenth amplifier for no reason) some of the major ones are pretty obvious.
- Well, you have obviously figured out that you want an amplifier that is under $500 mark. That is already good. But trust me, there are a lot of people who get into their research, browse $1000 models while they can only afford $300 amplifiers at best. Don’t waste too much of your time on browsing if you need an amp right away.
- What tone do you want? Tone does not only depend on an amplifier. You have to have a proper guitar and setup. You need to know how to work your amplifier, but if you have not figured that out yet you just have to look at other pros playing it. While a lot of people assume that tube amplifiers are always better than solid state ones, that are not really very true. With the development of technology, a lot of solid–states have become pretty amazing at producing a warm tone that so many people love about tube amps.
- By the way, if some of these things seem a bit obvious it is because … well, they are. But I can remember myself as a beginner knowing close to nothing about amps or even guitars trying to figure out things that today seem like a second-nature. BUT let’s talk wattage. You have probably noticed that most (if not all) amplifiers have watt numbers in the title. That is because wattage determines power or the level of amplification. If you want an amp for gigging with a lot of other loud instruments you would not go for a 20-watt model.
Never underestimate the power of amplifiers. I mean, yeah… guitars matter but if you plan on gigging, or recording –especially with your electric guitar – then a good amplifier is a must. Ever since its creation in the early 1900s amplifiers have undergone massive changes. Hell, it’s not like the changes have stopped. Year-by-year brands have been coming up with new ways to improve tone, durability, versatility and a lot more (including raising prices but…). That is pretty much why solid-state amplifiers have become so popular. Many years ago people swore by tube amps and never wanted to use solid-state. Now? A lot of people go for solid-states or combos because they have improved tone and are a lot easier to maintain. In any case, I hope this list of the best guitar amplifiers under $500 was somewhat helpful, BUT if you still have not figured out your budget we have a range of articles about the best guitar amplifiers under $300, best cheap amplifiers for beginners and basically for any purpose. So have a look and GOOD LUCK!