7 Best Clean Amps for Pedals (2021 List)

Best Value
 

Fender Blues Junior

Best Low Price
 

Bugera V5

The best clean amp for pedals is something that really comes down to a matter of opinion.  With so many different players wanting to achieve so many different sounds, it is incredibly difficult to say for certain that one amp is the best.  

With that being said, there certainly is a consensus amongst most guitar players that the best clean amp for pedals is likely an amp in the style of a Fender or a Vox.  

Fender and Vox amps are known for being the perfect blank slate to create a sound on top of.  The sounds they can produce range greatly, and can be an integral part of almost any sound.  

I personally have always gravitated towards amps that are built in the Fender or Vox style.  I think this comes from my heavy Soul, R&B, and Funk influences.  

If you too find a lot of your influences in those genres this list is perfect for you.  Also many players that are into country music use these style amps as well, so we hope to help you out too if you are into that style as well. 

Best Clean Tone Amps List

Fender Twin Reverb 
BEst clean amp for pedals

We are starting off with the king of clean amps.  The Fender Twin Reverb is THE Fender amp.  It seems like for the really high level players I have encountered over the years these amps have been the standard for them to have.  They are certainly the best pedal platform amp.

Even if you don't want to use pedals.  This amp has a killer natural overdrive.  It has one of the best overdrives for a clean amp.

These are a reissues version of the classic model manufactured from 1963 to 1982.  In their day they didn't really catch on, but after many years they became beloved by those who still hung on to them.  

Luckily for us, in the 2000's Fender starting making reissue models with the same circuity, but some improved hardware, and just general modernizations of the amp.  

This amp is for the professional musician that spends lots of their time gigging, and making a living playing, or just someone that wants to have an absolute top of the line rig.  

This amp is also mentioned in our Best Jazz Guitar Amp for You list.

Fender Twin Reverb best clean amp for pedals

The first time that I played one of these guitars was at my private guitar lesson instructor's house when I was in music school.  I fell in love with the sound that came out of it, and I knew then that someday I would need to own one myself.  At the time I owned a Fender Mustang modeling amp, which don't get me wrong, is a great amp.  However, it simply doesn't compare to an amp like this.  I think within a week or so I went out and upgraded to a Fender DeVille that gave me a little more of that awesome Fender tube tone.  Just because I wanted to get a little closer to the sound I got out of the Twin Reverb.  

Regardless, If you get this amp there is almost no way to be disappointed.  They are the holy grail of clean amps, and provide the perfect canvas to use pedals on top of.  Whether you're chasing a jazz sound, funk sound, blues sound, or whatever else.  This amp will get it done for you.

Vox AC15C1
BEst clean amp for pedals

The Vox AC15C1 is a great upper middle price range amp for clean sounds and pedals.  The real specialty of Vox is that vintage sound.  They were the sound of the British invasion.  Bands like The Beatles, The Yardbirds, and The Animals were all known to use these amps.  

What really sets Vox style amps, and Fender style amps apart is that omission of negative feedback within Vox amps.  The omission of negative feedback in Vox amps makes them much more midrangey than a traditional Fender amp.  

These midranges make the amp more bell or chime like.  They cut through a mix very well, but can sometimes be too much for some people.  Personally I enjoy the mid scoop that Fender style amps offer, but that is just a preference thing.  

But again because these amps were the sound of the British invasion there is something about them that just sound classic.  They also have a lot of head room before they break up, so that the genuine nature of the pedal can shine through without the amp first being overdriven itself.  Even more so on the AC30, but that is a bit more pricey.

If you are looking for a vintage sound to use your pedals on top of this could very well be the best clean amp for your pedals.  

Fender Blues Junior
Best clean amp for pedals

The Fender Blues Junior is another iconic Fender amp.  It has been used by many as a great recording amp, and has been used live by the likes of Noel Gallagher of Oasis, and The Edge of U2.  Because of that you can assure this is a professional level amp.

The best part about the Blues Junior is its price.  As we just stated, it is surely a professional level amplifier, but it comes in around the middle of the price range of amps.  These are the perfect amp for most intermediate players that are in to genres like soul, rock, or the blues.  

This amp, just like most Fenders, has a lot of headroom.  This means they need to really be driven before they begin to create a breakup tone.  This is what makes them great receptors for pedals.  They let the pedal do the work.  Rather than distorting the sound the pedal is attempting to achieve by breaking up.  

This amp is only 15 Watts, but don't let that deceive you.  It absolutely can pump out a ton of sound.  Also it is kinda nice to have such a wonderful sounding tube amp in a smaller package.  The Blues Junior weighs about 30 pounds.  Compare this to a larger Fender tube amp like a 55 pound Hot Rod DeVille 410, and the Blues Junior seems like a feather.  It is nice to have one of the best small clean amps, but still be able to deliver a ton of tone.

Roland JC Jazz Chorus 
Best clean amps for pedals

This is the first non tube amplifier on this list.  I personally think that tube amps almost always sound better, but this amp is an exception.  The sound that comes out of this amp is magnificent for the price.  There is a reason these amps have been around for decades and decades.  They have proven over and over again that they are one of the best values on the market.  

This amp comes with a few different effect built in.  These include digital reverb, vibrato, and a chorus effect.  This amp also comes with a "distortion knob" that blends break up tone directly into the clean channel.  This amp cannot get super overdriven just by itself, but if you are reading a list of the best clean amps for pedals, I would imagine you aren't looking for that anyway.  

As I mentioned before, this amp comes in at a great price.  Roughly $150 less than the Fender Blues Junior.  Which is already pretty affordable.  This makes great tone accessible to almost anyone.  

This amp is also great if you want to throw pedals on top of it.  The Roland JC series are some of the best solid state amps for pedals on the market.

This amp is ideal for anyone looking to get a great jazz or blues tone.  Here is a video review of the amp, so you can learn more about it.  

VHT AV-SP1-6
Best clean amp for pedals

This is probably the most unique amp on this list.  It is a super affordable little tube amp.  They are hand wired in China, and come in as one of the cheapest amps on this list.  

The VHT AV-SP1-6 has some special features not seen on a lot of amps.  These include a wattage dial.  This makes it so that you can have a true break up tone at a low volume.  As someone with neighbors, I find these extremely useful.  On a traditional amp it is difficult sometimes to get the right sound at a low volume, but this amp certainly does the trick.  

Some other unique things this amp include is a pull push switch on the volume knob.  They call it normal and boost.  This acts kinda like a channel select.  The boost setting obviously just give the amp a little bit of extra kick.  

This is another amp that is super portable because of its size and weight.  It is the smallest amp on this list and comes in at around 25 pounds.  This along with the tubes makes it the best practice amp for pedals on the market.

The wattage dial can be used to give the amp extra headroom to allow the pedals to breathe more, and do their thing.  We mentioned it before, but headroom is how far the amp can be pushed before breaking up, and if the wattage is all the way up, it will take a lot to overdrive this amp.  

The VHT AV-SP1-6 is the second lowest priced amp on this list, so if you are looking for a low priced clean tube amp.  This certainly could be the best clean amp for pedals for you.

Bugera V5
BEst clean amp for pedals

The Bugera V5 is a little amp that can best be used for practice.  It is ideal for someone that lives in an apartment because the amp comes with a switch that can change the amp from 5 watts to 1 watt, or even 0.1 watt.  This allows the amp to get awesome breakup tones at super low volumes.  

Or if you wanted a little more headroom to let your pedals breathe you can use the 5 watt setting, and allow the pedals the proper room to function.  

This amp comes with a few controls right on the face of the amp.  These include volume, tone, reverb, and gain.  The reverb on this small amp is pretty good for the price you are paying.  

As I mentioned before this amp is likely best used for just practice, and not gigging.  It is a little too small for gigs.  With that being said, it is still a great tool to have in your arsenal.  A great sounding practice amp that you can take anywhere is a super awesome tool.  Sometimes I find it hard to practice with normal practice amps because the sound is so garbage, but not with this one.  This one gives you all the classic tone of a tube amp that you desire.  All of it within a super small package.  

FAQ:
Best clean amp for pedals

Can pedals break my amp?

To put it simply.  No they cannot.  This myth arrises from the idea of overdriving your amp too much.  This just cannot happen with pedals.

Do Vox amps take pedals well?

Vox amps are known for taking pedals particularly well.  This is due to the high amount of head room built into their amps.  Their amps are designed to stay clean for a long time.  Not until they are really pushed do they begin to break up.  

Vox is known for creating amps that replicate that classic vintage sound.  This is because the amps that many classic bands were using were Vox amps.  

Vox amps were called the amps of the British Invasion.  Bands like The Beatles, The Animal, and The Yardbird were all famous for using Vox amplifiers.  

What amp has the best clean tone?

The amp with the best clean tone is obviously an opinionated matter.  Many people agree though that the Fender Twin Reverb is the king of clean tones.  It is kinda the standard for many high level players.

It seems whenever I see someone that is really killing it during a blues, funk, jazz, or soul gig.  They are almost always using a Fender Twin Reverb.  They are just the industry standard.

Fender mustang. Best clean amp for pedals

Are tube amps really better?

Not always, but the general consensus is that tube amps normally sound better.  Now if they are worth the price markup is a whole other question.  The thing is that almost no one but guitar players can tell the difference between a tube amp and a solid state amp.  

Personally I love the sound of tube amps, and rarely play without one.  The sound of a solid state amp just always seems to be lacking to me.  Other people are completely fine with a solid state amp, and that's completely okay as well.  Whatever floats your boat.  Ya know?

Conclusion
BEst clean amp for pedals

There are a ton of different amps to choose from that all have different characteristics and price points.  Figure out what it is that you want out of an amp, and then go from there.  

I always have known I love the Fender amp sound, so most of the amps I have accumulated over my life have been Fender amps, or Fender style amps.  

Figure out what works for you, and go from there.

We hope we were able to help you.  Let us know what you think in the comments below.  





Best Clean Amp for Pedals - Colin J
Best Clean Amp for Pedals - Dwane's Music

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