7 Best Guitar Amps for Blues

Best Cheap
 

Boss Katana

Best Mid Price
 

Fender Blues Junior

The best guitar amp for blues is a hard thing to find.  Everyone has a different opinion, and some people care way too much about thinking their opinion is right.  In the end of the day the best guitar amp for blues is whatever guitar amp works best for you.  That's why we will be going over some of the most popular guitar amps for blues today, and telling you all about them, so you can get a better understanding of these amps, and what you want from them.

The amps we will go over here are going to vary in price from $200 to about $1,700, so everyone can find an amp that would work for them.  We want this to be able to help the beginner as well as the professional.  

Most of the amps on this list come from Fender or the Fender build style.  That style of amp is just what seems to always be the best for blues music.

Blues requires a special type of amp because it is such a delicate and raw style.  You need to be able to hear every little part of blues guitar playing.  It's raw and stripped back.  There isn't any hiding in blues guitar playing.  

Here are the best guitar amps for blues.

Fender Twin Reverb

Best guitar amp for blues

I mention the Fender Twin Reverb in almost every amp article I write. Like our Best Clean Amp for Pedals article 😉  Because it is just the amp to have.  It seems like almost every high level player I run into plays through one of these amps.  They are kinda the industry standard within the blues, jazz, soul, and funk realm.  These amps are truly great and have stood the test of time for years and years.  Their sound is so pure and iconically Fender.  

The Twin Reverb comes with inputs labelled "Classic" and "Vibrato".  The classic input is exactly what you would expect.  Straight up guitar, but the vibrato setting adds tremolo to your sound.  It is kinda strange that the input labelled "Vibrato" adds tremolo, not vibrato, but thats just how it is...

This amp is a 2 by 12 meaning it comes with two 12 inch speakers.  The speakers are Jensen C-12k speakers.  The amp is 85 watts, so there is a ton of headroom.  This means that the amp won't breakup by itself for a long time.  It will stay clean until you really really crank it.  People that like to use pedals like this because then they are getting the true flavor of the pedal rather than the pedal and the breakup of the amp.  

This amp features four 6L6 Groove Tube output tubes, four 12AX7 preamp tubes, and two 12AT7 preamp tubes.  All of this comes in a lovely 72 pound package... Yeah, it's really heavy. 

Overall this is really a tip top tier amp, and because of that you are paying a premium.  However, if you get this amp, you have the one amp to rule them all.  The classic Fender Twin Reverb.  You simply cannot find a better amp in this style.  It is the pinnacle of clean Fender style amps.  

Peavey Classic 30

Best Guitar amp for blues

The Peavey Classic 30 is a great amp for that dirty blues sound.  It is a super power amp that sounds great once it begins to break up a little bit.  Perfect for things like Stevie Ray Vaughan or even Hendrix types of sounds.  

The Peavey Classic 30 comes with two channels.  One for more clean playing while the other is more so for that dirty sound.  Since the amp is only 30 watts it doesn't take much for this amp to begin producing breakup tones.  Instead of having a master volume on the second channel, this amp has dials for pushing the pre and post amp.  The pre amp dial is kinda "how much gain do you want?" and the the post amp dial is "how loud do you want it?".

Other specs of this amp include that it comes with a Celestian Midnight 60 12 by 1 speaker.  It has three 12AX7 pre amp tubes, and four EL84 power tubes.  It comes with basic EQ settings: bass, mids, and treble dials as well as spring reverb.  The whole amp weighs about 46 pounds and comes with a channel select footswitch.  

One super common comment about this amp is that it is extremely loud.  For some people this might be exactly what you are looking for.  A mid range priced amp that can fill a room.  It does that, and then some.  

Overall this is a great amp for the price.  Ideal for the dirty side of blues playing.

Fender Hot Rod DeVille

Best guitar amp for blues

The Fender Hot Rod DeVille is another 2 by 12 Fender amp.  This time though the speakers are Celestian Type A speakers.  These amps are absolutely killer.  I may be a little biased towards it because I regularly use a Fender DeVille for gigging.  This amp is crazy loud.  Louder than you ever will really need.  That's why the man, the myth, the legend, Marty Schwartz calls it the best pro amp for the price.  It sounds great, it can get loud, and it is reasonably priced.

This amp comes with two 6L6 Groove Tube output tubes and three 12AX7 pre amp tubes.  The whole amp comes in at a weight of about 50 pounds.  Which is a little heavy, but far lighter than something like a Twin Reverb or Deluxe Reverb.  

If you are thinking about getting something like a Fender Twin Reverb, or a Deluxe Reverb, but don't have the cash, this amp could be your saving grace.  They run about $700 cheaper than those amps, but are just as effective.  

These amps come with three channels.  The first channel has that classic Fender clean tone.  Channel 2 is a higher gain channel that offers pretty tasty edge of breakup tones.  Finally channel 3 is the highest gain channel, and this is really for stuff like harder rock into the metal territory.  The different channel selects make this amp incredibly versatile.  

I think the tone of these amps is perfect for blues.  Especially with the built in gain setting, you can access blues tones from all across the gain spectrum.  You can get those super clean delicate blues along with the scrappy dirty blues tones super easily.  

Overall these are great amps that can be used at the professional level.  They are far more affordable than the top of the line Fender amps.  They also weight a little less which is pretty nice.  So if you are looking for a great Fender amp, but you're not willing to pay the top dollar, and you would like something a little more portable, the Fender Hot Rod DeVille could be the amp for you.

Boss Katana

Best Amp for Blues

The Boss Katana is by far the most affordable amp on this list.  It is the king of tone for lower priced solid state amplifiers.  It is known for having insane tone for its price.  In terms of pure sound they compare well to amps that are two or three times as expensive as they are.  If you are looking for a low priced amp that can pump out some killer tone, this is the amp for you.  

The amp comes with a few basic settings.  It comes with 5 different amp sounds.  They are: Acoustic, Clean, Crunch, Lead, and Brown.  These are in order of increasing gain.  The acoustic setting is a nice little touch because often times acoustic guitars just don't sound good through an electric guitar amp, but building an amp that can do both at a beginner's price point is great.  

If you were wondering what the "Brown" setting is, it is a sound that is supposed to emulate a really pushed Marshall amp.  The best way to think of it is early 80's Van Halen sounds.  

For blues music you should be sticking mostly to the clean and crunch settings.  Here you are going to find crazy good tone in this small little package.  I feel that blues is one of the genres where the slightest variation in tone can make the biggest difference.  Blues is such a delicate genre.  The playing requires such precision.  

The other controls of this amp include a basic bass middle treble EQ, a booster, digital delay, and digital reverb.  Another cool feature is the ability to adjust the wattage.  Bringing the wattage down will allow for the amp to break up without being pushed too hard, and vise versa.  This allows for you to be able to play dirty at a low volume, and clean at a super high volume.  This makes this amp ideal for someone that has to keep the noise down sometimes when practicing. 

Overall for the price this amp cannot be beat.  It is the best amp I could think of for a beginner or intermediate player.  It has everything you need in a nice low priced and lightweight package.

Roland JC Jazz Chorus

Best guitar amp for blues

The Roland JC Jazz Chorus is another amp that has stood the test of time.  These amps have been around for a long time, but have remained relatively unchanged over all of years.  They have remained unchanged because there has been no need to change them.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

This is a solid state 2 by 10 amplifier that offers stereo and mono outputs.  This amp comes with the basic bass, middle, treble EQ as well as a bright switch for a little extra treble.  The Roland JC comes with a distortion knob that blends the distortion right in with signal.  Typically an amp would have multiple channels.  One for clean playing, and one for higher gain playing.  This is not the case with the Roland JC.  It just has one channel and blends the gain right into it.  

This amp comes with a few built in effects including digital reverb, vibrato, and chorus.  This amp weighs about 35 pounds, and comes in at a reasonable mid range price.  

Overall its a great amp that would work well in almost any genre, but certainly for blues.  It's high quality, it's loud, and it's affordable.  What else could you ask for?

Fender Blues Junior

best guitar amp for blues

The Fender Blues Junior is a classic amp that has been around for ever.  It is one of Fender's most affordable tube amps.  I think this is the best amp for intermediates.  Especially if they are into blues.  

This amp comes in around the same price as the Roland JC, but the Blues Junior has tubes.  To me, tube amps sound better than solid state amps 99 out of a 100 times.  Not everyone feels that way, but I think that most guitar players do.  

The Blues Junior comes with one 12 inch Celestian type- A speaker.  It comes with authentic spring reverb, a classic bass middle treble Eq, and a button simply labelled "FAT".  The FAT button just boosts the mids, and gives you a chunkier sound.  It thickens up the sound a little bit for setting where you don't have as many instruments supporting you. 

This amp is only 15 watts.  A lot of people think that means it isn't loud, or it doesn't have any power.  What it really means is that is the threshold at which the amp begins to break up.  This means you do not have to push the Blues Junior a lot before it starts to give you those dirty break up tones.  This amp is plenty loud.

Overall this is a great blues amp for an intermediate, or even a pro player that is looking for something a little smaller that still pumps out great tone.  

FAQ:

Best guitar amp for blues

What guitar is best for blues?

My number one pick would have to be the Fender Stratocaster.  So many greats have used it for their music.  In the blues rock realm you have players like Eric Clapton and John Mayer using stratocasters.  In the deep south blues style you have players like Stevie Ray Vaughan and all the Stevie copy cats using stratocasters.

There aren't many genres a Stratocaster isn't great in.  You can't go wrong with a strat.

Are Orange Amps good for blues?

Overall I think Orange Amps are great amps, but they are not very good for blues.  They work super well in genres like harder rock and metal, but not so much blues.  Blues is a much more delicate genre, and that requires a very different tone than hard rock and metal.

For blues I would stick with amps similar to the ones we mentioned here in this list.  Fender style amps.  Amps that are made to be clean or with a little bit of dirt on them.  Amps like Marshalls and Oranges are made to be played with the gain cranked, and unfortunately that is just not what you need for the blues.  

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