9 Best Beginner Guitar Amp (2021 List)

Finding the best beginner guitar amp is a struggle.  Mostly because beginners have no idea what to look for.  It is much easier to know what you want after you have explored your sound a little bit.  That is why today we are discussing the best beginner amps.

Buying The Best Guitar Amp for a Beginner

I remember buying my first guitar.  I bought it simply because it looked cool.  I had no idea that it played terribly, and was going to make my next 4 years of learning far more difficult than it needed to be.  I learned from that experience.  Don't buy music equipment simply because it looks cool.  Buy it because it produces the sound you like, and it feels authentic to you.  

Because many beginners do not have much of an idea what they are looking for, we are going to break many beginner amps down in a way that will make it easy to digest for the beginner.  We will tell you exactly what kinds of sounds you can get out of these amps, and maybe what kind of sounds these amps are not built for.  

Since these amps are for beginners, every amp on this list will be under $499.  The vast majority will be under $300, so that they are more accessible for the beginner's price range.

Many of these same amps appear on the Best Guitar Amp Under 300 list.  Click Here to Read!

#1 Pick: Fender Champion

This is THE starter guitar amp.  If I am ever at a buddy's house and they just picked up the electric guitar, or they had tried at some point, this is the amp they have.  For a good reason too.  This amp is exactly what a beginner asks for.  Priced super low, sounds good, has built in effects, and is compact.  The effects that come on this amp include reverb, flanger, delay, vibrato, and tremolo.  There are a few different types of each effect also, so it isn't just one type of reverb or one type of delay, so that is nice.  

This amp would be able to perform in super small quieter venues, like a coffee shop.  I have used amps that are just as loud as this one in coffee shops before, and they've worked just fine.  

This would be great for players that are hoping to play more on the clean end of the spectrum, or with a little bit of overdrive, but not heavy distortion.  That means that genres like funk, blues, jazz, and most pop music would sound great through this amp.

This amp is really just a fastball right down the middle.  There is not much fancy about it, but it absolutely gets the job done.  It is a great bedroom guitar amp, and it is a great small gigging amp.  With everything factored in I believe this to be one of the best beginner guitar amps.

Orange Crush 20 - Best Beginner Guitar amp for Rock and Metal

The Orange Crush 20RT is an amazing amp for higher gain playing.  Genres this amp would shine in would be mostly in the rock and metal realm.  The biggest criticism of this amp is that its clean channel leaves something to be desired.  However, the dirty channel makes up for that and then some.  

This amp is equipped with a simple switch with one end labeled "Clean" and the other "Dirty".  Not exactly difficult to understand.  This amp was built to be on the dirty setting.  You can absolutely get by on the clean setting, but there are much better options in this price range for clean playing.

This amp is great for bedroom practice and not much else.  It is loud enough for a venue like a coffee shop, but I haven't been to many coffee shops that have live metal performances.  If that's your hustle though, who am I to knock it?  

For the price, this amp is killer.  The biggest downside is that it can't get loud enough to play somewhere like a bar, but no amp on this list gets loud enough for that. 

One more detail is that the RT in the name stands for reverb and tuner because the amp comes with digital reverb and a built in tuner.

This is a great amp for beginners.  Particularly those that want to play heavier music.

Fender Acoustasonic - Best Beginner Guitar amp for Acoustic guitars 

The Fender Acoustasonic 40 is an acoustic guitar amp.  Something that is really cool about this amp is that vocals and guitar can come out of the amp at the same time.  This makes it perfect for things like a solo coffee shop performance, and just practicing at home.  I have used this amp many times for small performances.  I play through it, the singer sings through it, and it works perfectly fine.  

Something that is really difficult to figure out with this amp at first is how to eliminate feedback.  Feedback is a big issue with acoustic electric guitars.  Feedback happens when the amplified signal gets back into the original sound source, and then gets amplified again.  I have found the two best ways to eliminate or lessen feedback is to simply face the amp away from the guitar, or block the sound hole.  Sound hole blockers can be bought online for a few bucks, or you can simply tape a CD over the sound hole.  Both with work just fine.  

Since acoustic music is so often what is played in coffee shops and other small venues, this amp is perfect for those types of gigs. 

All of this is why the Fender Acoustasonic 40 is the best beginner guitar amp for acoustic guitars.

Fender Mustang - Best Beginner Guitar Amp for Versatility

The Fender Mustang is a great affordable versatile amp.  It comes stock with over 100 presets.  Not only that, but you can create your own, or download other's using an app.  It is pretty cool to want to have a specific tone.  To then look it up, and have it downloaded on your amp in seconds.  Tone presets are released by both Fender and community members.  

Because of the ability to download tones and create your own.  This amp is extremely versatile.  It really can do whatever you ask of it.  I have used this amp for gigs that I need to switch to completely different tones very quickly.  One tune I would need a jazz sound, and the next a rock tone.  It is as easy as turning the dial on the amp.  

As much as I love this amp for its versatility, it does have a few downsides as well.  I think that although modeling amps are a great tool, they just don't sound as good as a real tube amp with the analog pedals, but that's just my opinion.  Many people love the sounds from a modeling amp, and honestly no one besides guitar players will be able to hear the difference.  It all sounds pretty much the same to non guitar players.  Another small downside of this amp is that It cannot pump out too much volume, but that is true of most beginner amps.

The last thing I would like to mention about this amp is that many modeling amps cannot achieve both a good clean tone, and a good sounding dirty tone, but this amp can certainly do both.  The cleans are good enough to get you by, and so are the dirty sounds.

For players looking for a super versatile amp this could be the best beginner guitar amp.

Line 6 Spyder V

This is another modeling amp.  That makes it very similar to the Fender Mustang.  Although it is a modeling amp, so that means it offers clean tones as well as dirty tones, this amp is mainly used for dirtier and heavier playing.  If you are looking for an amp that can give you a wide array of rock and metal tones, this is likely the amp for you.  It comes preloaded with tonnes of tones from Boston tunes, to Black Sabbath tunes, to Doobie brothers tunes.  Most tones with a little bit of hair on them can be replicated with this amp.  

The amp does come with some clean presets as well, but if I was looking for a beginner amp to play clean, this would certainly not be the choice I make.  The clean tones on this amp can certainly get you by, but they are not what makes this amp a great amp.  

There is also an additional pedal board you can purchase to connect with this amp to make it a lot easier to control.  I think the pedal board for this amp is a great addition.  It is a high quality piece of equipment that will last you a long time.  Also it makes live performance a ton easier.  Presets can be banked within the pedal board, and stored in order.  Because of that the setlist can be programmed into the board, and all you have to do between songs is push one button, and the next song's tone will be ready for you.

These amps come in very low priced.  This makes them one of the best cheap guitar amps on the market today.  

Fishman Loudbox Mini

The Fishman Loudbox is a very popular acoustic guitar amp and mini PA.  This means that similarly to the Fender Acoustasonic, the Fishman Loudbox Mini can be used for vocals and guitar simultaneously.  One notable thing about the Loudbox Mini is that, despite being about the same size as the Fender Acoustasonic, it pumps out a significant amount more volume.  

The controls on the front are pretty basic.  Both channels have EQ's and volume controls.  The guitar channel also comes with some built in chorus effects.  One more feature on the guitar channel is the phase button.  Which should help eliminate some of that feedback that is so difficult to get rid of with acoustic guitars.  

One more thing about the Loudbox Mini is that is also functions as a high quality bluetooth speaker.  Its not the useful for performing, but it is nice because most people use bluetooth speakers regularly to listen to music.

For some specific people I can see how this amp would be the best beginner guitar amp for acoustic guitars rather than the acoustasonic.  I suppose it just comes down to what you are all looking for.  

Boss Katana 

This is an amp that has been hyped up a lot over the past few years, and for good reason too.  This amp is the king of tone for beginner amps.  There are tons of side by side comparisons to amps that cost thousands of dollars more than this one, and highly skilled guitarists cannot tell the difference.  

This amp does a pretty good job when it is played cleanly, but where it really shines is once there is a little overdrive on the signal.  It is extremely difficult to tell the difference between an amp like this and something like a Marshall DSL 40.  To put it simply, I don't think there is an amp with tone this good until you pay three to four times as much.  This amp is truly incredible.  

This amp also comes with a few effects preloaded on it.  These include flanger, chorus, reverb, and boosts.  Also through the Boss Tone Studio, you can edit the effects you are using, to get more effects, or just get the right type of effect.

If tone quality is paramount to you.  This amp may be perfect.  Of all the solid state amps on this list, this one has the best tone for sure.  

Fender Pro Junior - Best Beginner Guitar Amp with Tubes

The Fender Pro Junior is the only tube amp on this list.  The reason is because tube amps are typically a good amount more expensive than solid state amps.  Obviously more expensive amps are not always good for beginners.  If you have the capital though, there is nothing wrong with starting yourself off with a good amp.  All of the best guitar amps ever are tube amps.  Most agree there is simply something better about them.

This amp is simply a small Fender tube amp.  Fender tube amps have a very particular tone to them that is super recognizable.  I personally love the Fender tube sound, and that's why I typically play through a Fender Hot Rod Deville.  There is something that is almost indescribable about the sound a tube amp makes.  They just sound so much better to my ears.  Solid state amps often times sound muddy and dampened to my ears, and that is why I prefer tube amps.

With all that being said.  This amp is kinda strange in how simple it is.  It comes with three controls on top of the amp.  An on and off switch, a volume control, and a tone control.  That's it!  I find this to be a great beginner tube amp because it is easy to understand.  Most experienced guitar players have no idea what to do with all the knobs that are on top of most amps.  

This amp is also significantly louder than all the other amps on this list.  It is super loud in a small package.  

For a tone snob, like myself, this amp is the best beginner guitar amp.

What is a good amp for home use?

Yamaha THR - Best Beginner Guitar Amp for Home use

This is a super cool and unique amp.  It is the most portable amp on this list, and it can also be used as a bluetooth speaker.  Similar to other amps on this list it comes with a few built in effects.  These include flanger, delay, reverb, chorus, phaser, and tremolo.  Along with all of those effects it also has 5 different channels with increasing levels of gain.  This amp produces great clean tones, and great high gain tones.  

With all that being said, this amp is not much more than a practice amp.  It cannot quite put out the volume needed for most performances, but that is okay because that is clearly its intent.  A practice amp should be small and super easy to carry around.  This amp is only about six pounds and its dimensions are about 14" by 7" by 6".  This is great because if I don't need the volume, I would much rather carry around this amp than my 55lbs Hot Rod DeVille.  Overall it is a super cool and useful practice amp.

Conclusion

The best beginner guitar amp is different depending on what you want.  Figure out what it is you want, and then try to get the right amp for you.  We hope we helped you out a little bit in your search.  Goodluck!



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