11 Best Amps for Clean Tones (2021 List)

Runner Up
 

Vox AC30

Best Cheap
 

Boss Katana

Guitar players that are looking for the best amp for clean tones need to know several things before they purchase. First, amps come in either tube or solid state models. Tube amps have a warmer tone and more natural sound while solid states are more reliable and have less maintenance costs. Second, guitarists should find out how many watts an amp has because if you are looking for a great clean amp, you will want an amp with a higher wattage. Finally, when choosing between two different amplifier brands it is important to note that different companies specialize is different things.  If you are looking for the best amp for clean tones, I would suggest staying away from brands like Marshall or Blackstar because they are known for making amps that give you an authentic overdrive sound.  With all that beings said, let's help you find the best amp for clean tones.

Best Sounding clean Amps List

Fender Twin Reverb

Pros:

  • King of tone
  • Massive volume range
  • Iconic sound

Cons:

  • Extremely heavy
Key Features

85 Watts:  The Twin Reverb comes with 85 Watts of power.  Many people think that this correlates directly to volume.  However, this is not the case.  The wattage rating really means how much you can push the amp before it begins to overdrive.  With 85 Watts of headroom, this amp can stay clean until it is ear piercingly loud.  

Two 12 Inch Jensen Speakers:  Few speaker brands are as reputable as Jensen.  Two 12 inch Jensen speakers will give you the purest tone you can find.

Legendary Tone:   The Twin Reverb is the gold standard of clean amps for good reason.  The tone they produce is second to none.  That is why you have heard them on countless records by artists like Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Eric Johnson.

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

The Fender Twin Reverb is the king of clean tones.  It is kinda the industry standard for players in genres like jazz, funk, and R&B.  

The main reason this amp is so known for being played in clean genres is because this amp is one of the best clean headroom amps.  Headroom basically means how far the amp can be pushed without clipping.  The more headroom, the more an amp can be pushed without breaking up, and the Fender twin reverb has a ton of headroom.  

These amps are so memorable that I can still remember the very first time I played through one.  I had private guitar lessons in college.  My guitar teacher had one of these, and I remember being blown away by how great my simple Mexican made Stratocaster sounded through this amp.  It was an experience that stuck with me for my whole life oddly enough.

That is why this amp is so legendary,  the sound is so great that it makes you remember it for years and years.  That's why it has been used by so many greats over the years, that's why its the best Fender clean amp, and that's why its the best guitar amp for clean tone.

Vox AC30

Pros:

  • Iconic vintage sound
  • Great pedal platform
  • Looks pretty

Cons:

  • Not as much headroom as a Fender style amp
Key Features:

Two VX10 Speakers: Two custom designed 10 inch speakers deliver a powerful punch and vintage sound that is perfect for any style of music. This Vox amp also features two channels with classic VOX Top Boost tone controls: Normal and Top Boost. The Normal channel delivers a warm, clean sound while the Top Boost channel adds more gain for rock ‘n roll crunch.

Great for Pedals: The Vox AC30 can be used with pedals or without thanks to its built-in effects loop which allows you to hook up your favorite stomp boxes and let them rip through this legendary amplifier!

30 Watts: 30 Watts is the perfect amount for someone that wants to play anywhere from clean to edge of breakup.  The amp can be pushed easily to breakup, but can also be kept clean for a long time.  

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

The Vox AC30 has been the direct competitor of the first amp on this list, the Fender Twin Reverb, for most of its life.  This is because they both do clean tones so well.  

Although they both have great clean tones.  The Vox amp offers a bit of a different flavor of clean than the Fender.  Vox amps are known for having a "vintage" sound.  This is because many classic bands from the 60's and 70's like The Beatles, The Animals, and The Who, were all famous for using Vox amps.  

The reason all the classic bands used Vox amps were simply because these bands were all British, and Vox is a British amp manufacturer.  

The words that are often used to describe the Vox sound are "Chime-like" and "Jangly".  Most people agree that this means the amp has a little more high end than most other amps similar to it.  

So if you are looking for a top of the line amp that can produce vintage sounding clean tones,  the Vox AC30 is the amp for you.  

Roland JC-120

Pros:

  • Low maintenance 
  • Great sound
  • Versatile 

Cons:

  • Some don't care for solid state amplifiers
Key Features:

Two 12 Inch Speakers: This Roland guitar amp is equipped with two custom-designed 12 inch speakers, which deliver a clear and powerful sound.

Built in Effects: The JC-120 also features built in chorus and vibrato effects, which add depth to your guitar tone. These classic effects are very versatile, allowing you to create everything from subtle background textures to dramatic swells that will make your guitar stand out.

Classic sound:
With its warm clean tone and famous stereo chorus effect, the Roland Jazz Chorus 120 has been a favorite among players for decades. If you’re looking for a pro level solid state amp, this is it!

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

This amp is perfect for anyone is the jazz, blues, or soul realm.  It pumps out absolutely classic sounding clean tones, without the use of tubes.

The lack of tubes makes this amp unique at this price point.  Most amps at this price point are tube amps.  Some players prefer solid state amps though because they take a lot less to maintain.  For instance, I just paid $140 to have my Fender DeVille repaired.  Five weeks later, and something else is going wrong with it, and I will need to take it in again.  This is something you will never run into with a solid state amp.  They are far more reliable than a tube amp.

So if you are looking for an amp that pumps out great clean tones, and is easy to maintain, this is the perfect amp for you.  

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Pros:

  • Super versatile
  • Great pedal platform
  • High reputation

Cons:

  • Breaks up a little too soon
Key Features:

One 12 Inch Speaker: The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV has a single 12-inch Celestion speaker, which is the perfect size for delivering big, full sound.

Fender Reverb: The spring reverb has been overhauled for smoother operation and enhanced performance, providing everything from subtle ambience to cavernous depth.

Versatility: With its updated preamp circuitry, this amp can deliver everything from pristine clean tones to hard rock tones. It also features a footswitchable boost channel so you can drive your solos even harder when you need to cut through the mix.

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

This is the best amp for clean tones because it not only does clean tones extremely well, but also it does everything from edge of breakup to overdriven very well.  

With 40 watts of headroom this amp can really be pushed quite a lot before it begins to break up, but once it does, the sound is glorious.  You are getting the best of both worlds, an amazing clean amp, and an amazing dirty amp.  

There is a reason the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe is the best selling amp of all time.  Because it simply performs great in any setting.  Also it comes in super well priced.  A lot cheaper than most pro level amps.

This amp is also one of the best clean amps for pedals.  The headroom of the Hod Rod Deluxe really allows the true nature of the pedal to shine through.

Vox AC15

Pros:

  • Great Vox sound
  • Smaller package

Cons:

  • May not be large enough for some situations
Key Features:

One 12 Inch Speaker: The original VOX AC15 was one of the first amplifiers to feature a single 12" speaker. It's now been over 50 years since it was first introduced, but this design choice remains at the heart of every AC15C1.

Built in Reverb: The custom-designed tremolo circuit features an independent control for speed and depth, allowing you to create everything from subtle shimmer to dramatic surf rock effects.

Pleasing to the Eye: This may be a silly thing to put as a key feature, but everyone that doesn't play guitar thinks the Vox amps are by far the prettiest amps, so if you are trying to convince your significant other that you need another amp, maybe the amp being pretty will help your cause.  

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

The Vox AC15 is the little brother of the aforementioned AC30.  They are very similar in sound and performance, but simply differ in size and volume.  

Pretty much everything said about the AC30 can be said about the AC15.

They have a great vintage feel to them, and have been in competition with Fender for decades to create the ultimate clean playing amp.   This is the perfect option for someone that loves the Vox sound, but isn't quite ready to fork out the money for an AC30.  This amp comes in around half the price of the AC30, but you still get all the great Vox tone and feel.

If you're looking for the best sounding clean guitar amp, but don't want to break the bank.  This is a great choice for you.

Bugera V55 Infinium

Pros:

  • Amazing British cleans
  • Hand Built
  • Relatively low price

Cons:

  • Not very versatile
Key Features:

One 12 Inch Speaker: The British voiced Turbsosound speaker is ideal for pure clean tones.  This makes it perfect for genres like jazz, funk, and soul.  Giving you punchy mids and crisp highs. 

Two Input Amplifier: This amp comes with two inputs labeled "Normal" and "Bright".  The bright input adds a little extra to your high ends to allow the guitar to cut through mixes easier.  

Great Breakup Tones:  The Bugera V55 has to be pushed a little bit to break up, but once it does, the sound is glorius.  This amp is great for anything from the cleanest of cleans to dirty blues.  

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

The Bugera V55 is the best amp for you if you are looking for a killer jazz amp.  The amp is pretty much everything you would want for a jazz amp.  

It does jazz very very well, but not a ton else.  Obviously it does genres similar to jazz very well, but it could never hold up with any sort of rock or metal tunes.  

This amp is simply if you want a killer jazz amp for a good price.

Boss Katana

Pros:

  • Super affordable
  • Extreme versatility
  • Great tone

Cons:

  • Too small for most gigs
Key Features:

One 12 Inch Speaker: The Katana 50 MkII boasts a single custom 12 inch speaker that delivers massive sound with an extremely low frequency response for punchy lows, tight mids, and crisp highs.

Five Amp Presets: The BOSS Katana 50 MkII comes equipped with five amp presets that can be used as starting points for creating your own custom sounds. These presets are designed to emulate classic amps such as vintage British combos and American high gain.

Built in Effects: In addition to its amp models and speaker emulation circuitry, the BOSS Katana 50 MkII features five different effects including: chorus, flanger, reverb, delay, and tremolo.   Making it one of the best guitar amps with effects.

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

The Boss Katana is the ideal amp for someone that wants killer tone, but doesn't want to break the bank.  The Boss Katana has been blindly compared to amps 3 to 4 times its price, and super experienced guitar players can't even tell the difference.  

The best thing about this amp is its price tag.  For the price it comes at, I don't think there is an amp with better tone.  

Of course this is supposed to be about why the Boss Katana is the best small amp for clean tones, but also the Boss Katana kills dirty and super overdriven sounds as well.  This amp is an absolute Swiss army knife of an amp.  It can do it all for a low price tag.  

All of this makes the Boss Katana the best clean tone amp for under $500.

Fender Champion

Pros:

  • Super Cheap
  • Simple
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Not big enough for most gigs
Key Features:

Built in Effects: The Champion 40 features built in overdrive, delay, reverb, and chorus effects to help you find your own signature sound. It also has an emulated headphone output that can be used with headphones or as a direct out to a mixing board or recording interface.

One 12 Inch Speaker: The Champion 40's single 12 inch speaker is custom designed to deliver a powerful punch with clear articulation and an abundance of headroom.

Simple Design: Straightforward controls make it easy to dial in just the right sounds for rock, blues, metal, country, jazz and more. Its small footprint makes it perfect for any room or space.

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

This amp is particularly great for beginngers.  Whenever I have a friend that just picked up guitar, or has in the past.  It seems like the Fender Champion is always the amp they have, and for good reason.  These amps are so common with beginners because they are great.  They do everything a beginner could want.

They sound good, they have built in effects to help you find a sound you like, and they are cheap.  Everything a beginner could ask for.  

It does cleans really well because it has a ton of headroom.  40 watts of headroom on this little amp means you are not very likely to overdrive it while playing in your bedroom at all.

Fender Mustang

Pros:

  • Can emulate tonnes of tones
  • Super affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Very tiny
Key Features:

One 8 Inch Speaker: The Mustang LT25 is a 25-watt amp with one 8 inch speaker.  The speaker is specially designed to fit a multitude of genres because this amp is supposed to be able to do it all.

Built in Effects: This amp comes with 30 presets covering a wide range of music, a “greatest hits” of electric guitar tones.  Everything from beautiful cleans to modern metal tones.

Simple User Interface: The Mustang LT25 has a simple user interface that makes it easy to dial up great guitar tones quickly.  The simplicity of the interface allows anyone to quickly dial in their favorite tone and start cooking.

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

This amp is perfect for someone that wants a great sounding clean amp, but also wants to experiment with other sounds that could help find what best fits them.  

This amp has every single effect imaginable built into it.  All of them are able to be easily programmed right on the amp, or through the Fender Tone Studio smart phone app.  

This amp is also one of the cheapest amps on this list.  It comes in at a fraction of the price of all the other amps on this list.  So it is worth a try.  

Fender DeVille

Pros:

  • Huge sound
  • Pro level amp
  • Classic tone

Cons:

  • Super heavy
  • Clips a little too soon
Key Features:

Two 12 Inch Speakers: The Hot Rod Deville 212 IV is loaded with two custom-voiced, Celestion Type-A speakers that deliver a lot of punch for their size. They'll handle everything from the warmest clean tones to the grittiest overdrive you can throw at them.

Fender Reverb: This amp features Fender's classic spring reverb for authentic surf and rockabilly sounds. It also has an effects loop so you can use your favorite pedals or rack processors in conjunction with your amplifier.

Iconic Tone: The Hot Rod DeVille 212 IV is the perfect choice for gigging guitarists who want the classic tone and performance of a Fender tube amp without breaking the bank.

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

The Fender DeVille is an amazing amp to get that Iconic Fender sound without having to fork over the money for a Twin Reverb.  With 60 Watts of headroom, you can push this amp a ton before it begins to break up.

Once this amp breaks up, it is absolutely killer.  Obviously this is an article about the best amp for clean tones, but almost everyone needs to play a little overdriven from time to time, and this amp is amazing in both categories.

In terms of a pro level amp, this one is on the cheaper side, but it still gives you all the tone you could ever want.  

Nux Mighty Lite BT

Pros:

  • Super Portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Not a traditional amp
Key Features:

Practice Amp: This amp is the perfect size to fit on any bookshelf, desk or table. It's small enough to take with you anywhere and it's battery powered so there are no cords!

Smartphone Application: Don't have time to mess around with knobs? Use the app to adjust delay, reverb, distortion and more from your smartphone! The app also allows you to control the drum machine feature.

Drum Machine: am along with this built in drum machine! Adjust tempo, change beats per minute, change sound of drums and cymbals. You can even use it as a metronome if you need one. Great for practicing your time.  

Why is this the Best Amp for Clean Tones?

This is simple.  It is just flat out the best practice amp on the market.  It can do everything you need in a practice amp.  Also it comes at a super affordable price.  This is for sure the best guitar practice amp.  

It can also be used as a bluetooth speaker, so it has a bit of dual functionality.  Almost everyone uses a bluetooth speaker, so why not get something that can be a practice amp and a speaker?

What amp has the best clean tone?

  1. Fender Twin Reverb (Best Fender Amp for Clean Tone)
  2. Vox AC30
  3. Roland JC-120
  4. Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
  5. Vox AC15
  6. Bugera V55
  7. Boss Katana
  8. Fender Champion
  9. Fender Mustang
  10. Fender DeVille
  11. Nux Mighty Lite BT

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