Best Guitar Amp Under $200 for 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]
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We know you want your guitar sounds amplified and heard clearly both by you and your audience. Whether it is an onstage performance or just performing for yourself, guitar amps are a much-needed accessory by every guitarist, beginner or advanced.
If you are bound by a tight budget and are looking for the best guitar amp under $200, then we have done all the hard work to help you out. Explore our list of the 5 best guitar amps under 200 and a detailed buyers guide that will definitely aid you in finding the perfect amp.
|1.Blackstar 10W Digital Stereo Combo (IDCORE10V2)
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|2.Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
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|3.Fender Acoustasonic 40 Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
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|4.Yamaha THR5 10-Watt Desktop Guitar Combo Amp
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|5.Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier, (Crush20RT)
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Our Best Guitar Amp Under $200- Reviews and Comparisons
Blackstar really stretched the boundaries when it came to creating configurations used for practice and crafting inexpensive amps. This refers to both their tube versions and their state-of-the-art designs. The one we’re going to look at today best describes how far Blackstar is able to go to give you the ultimate toolset to work with at home or in a studio.
Blackstar ID: Core 10 V2 is by far one of the most powerful budget amps you can get your hands on, but still one of the higher quality amps. To say that the Blackstar ID control cluster: Core 10 V2 can be intimidating is an understatement.
- As you will hopefully find out from the available controls, this is a pretty flexible modeling amp. It provides 10 watts of power separated into two parts of 5 watts each.
- Even though what you can do with the controls on the amp itself is completely stunning, Blackstar still delivers this model with a hefty app suite. In other words, you can record songs, upload and import a number of patches to the amp, and play with the tone in whatever way you want.
- The connection between the amp and the device is formed using the USB 2.0 connector. Yes, there are various versions on the market that deliver comparable features, but you rarely see a kit like this one in this price range.
- Typically, when you’re trying to have a budget trial amp, you don’t want it to sound exceptional. Blackstar shattered this preconception in more than one way. Thanks to their stereo equipment, ID: Core 10 V2 delivers ample performance and efficiency to produce a sound well outside its price limit.
- Going through different voices and effects, you’ll find that some of them are stronger than others. However, if you incorporate the software side of the box, you get a highly versatile interface for rehearsal and filming.
- Modeling amps are still being built and have not yet achieved their maximum capacity. With that said, the Blackstar ID: Core 10 V2 represents just how far this technology has come.
What We Like About Blackstar 10W Digital Stereo Combo (IDCORE10V2)
This amp gives you six channels to deal with, plus different forms of overdrive and fuzz. On top of that, you’ve got reverb, delay, and a wide range of modulation effects to pick from. All of this is then formed by a gain knob, a volume knob, and a Blackstar ISF single-band EQ trademark.
The concept here is that you can overlay a tone with different presets, enabling you to dial a very complicated sound for your guitar. Getting familiar and relaxed with all these controls takes time, but it’s worth the effort.
The value you get for the money doesn’t really get any better than that. It’s one of the cheapest amps of this kind on the market.
What We Don’t Like About Blackstar 10W Digital Stereo Combo (IDCORE10V2)
Incorporated with a plethora of effects, this amp is difficult to use.
| Value for money
Flexible modeling amp
Powerful budget amp
|Complicated to use|
Small-sized rehearsal amps have been the mainstay of the music industry since they first emerged in the early 1900s. Back then, small valve amps had a single volume control, AC power, and oddly, no on/off button. In the present times, we’ve got hundreds and dozens of choices for both budgets.
If you’re a first time player who wants a bedroom amp or a professional player who needs anything to fly with, there are a lot of situations where a tiny guitar amp is a winner. In this review, we’re looking at one of the most popular small amps available, Fender Frontman 10G.
- Electrical guitar amplifiers come in all shapes and sizes. Starting from massive trunk-sized amps to small box-shaped amplifiers, the possibilities are immense. While big amps have their own benefits, a portable amp is simple to cart around. The Fender Frontman 10 G is a 5.8 x 10.2 x 11 inch 8.5-pound amp. It’s not any bigger than a shoebox, so you can carry it in your backpack comfortably. It saves you the hassle to worry about the weight of the amp when you drive it around.
- Fender Frontman never disappoints when it comes to holding the retro vibration intact. First of all, it gives you a classic Fender sound. The barbecue fabric covering the front of the amp also gives the Fender logo a retro appearance. Knobs and black paint both add to the nostalgic atmosphere and please the aesthetic senses of old souls. With the 10 G amplifier, you can only plug your guitar to the amplifier and play it anytime you want.
- Headphone Out jack at the front of the amp helps you to plug your headphones and play without upsetting others.
- Another specialty of this amp that we particularly like is the Aux In jack. All you need to do is turn in the aux to play your favourite music and practice for the big day.
- Before you start getting a daydream about being on the stage of a rock concert and playing with this amp in front of millions of spectators, let us break it to you that this may not happen. Chances are, the crowd won’t understand the vibe of rock music. Fender is more like a functional amplifier than one that offers stellar efficiency.
- With 10 watts of electricity, you can practice without disrupting your family or neighbors.
- For the price it comes at, it offers a remarkable show to someone who loves to train anytime at any moment.
- It will not give you a juicy distortion that is characteristic of rock music, but its overdrive will give you a good sound to play modern rock. It provides more than enough with its small price tag.
- The settings of this 10-watt amp are pretty simple. As a novice, you’re not going to have a lot of problems trying to learn how the Fender amp works.
- You’ll see the again the regulator at the front of the amplifier. Right next to it, there’s a turn to overdrive range. This is going to be a push-button. You will apply overdrive to the sound you are playing with this turn.
- Next up is a volume button that helps you to adjust the volume of the amp. There will be bass and treble knobs along with the audio knob right in front of the control switch. So there are just a few buttons on this amplifier that you can use when playing your guitar.
What We Like About Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
The Fender Frontman 10 G shell, as well as the little speaker, would have you believe that you can’t expect anything of it. However, we would love to remind you that you are mistaken to judge this beauty by the body with which it falls.
The fact is, because of its scale, it’s a lot louder. You can raise or reduce the tone by using the two-band treble and bass, which helps you to adjust the tone based on the instrument you use. If you play rock or metal, the overdrive button will give you the perfect distortion to make the music sound great.
The Fender Frontman 10 G is the best for its price. Although you’re not going to be able to compare the sound output with rock music, the features you get from this price-paying amp make it a sound choice for playing with your electric guitar.
What We Don’t Like About Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
Fender Frontman 10 G is a 10-watt solid-state guitar amp. 10 watts is enough to perform solo or with another artist. With just a small speaker and casing, the sound won’t be far away or it won’t be able to compete with the drums.
| Affordable and provides value for money
Good quality sound
Easy to use
| Only one input jack
The Acoustasonic 40 features two channels that can be used either for mic or guitar, all of which have almost the same controls.
- Working from left to right, you can see the master volume control, then the 3-band EQ (bass, center, treble), and the reverb control. The lineup is repeated on all channels. Beginning with power, the Acoustasonic 40 features two 6.5 “special concept speakers with high-frequency Whizzer cones providing 40 watts of power
- Although it’s not going to fuel bigger concerts, there’s more than enough oomph for coffee houses, temples, pubs, bars, and so on. Plus – if you like a little more juice – the back of the amp has a balanced line-out relation.
- It also adapts seamlessly to your input needs. The somewhat odd-looking inputs for both channels are mixed 1/4″/XLR inputs, allowing you to connect two instruments, two mics, or – as many performers would appreciate – either of them.
- There is also an auxiliary input for playing with external music instruments, and a headset output for quieter playing.
- The Fender Acoustasonic 40 is a perfect choice for those looking for a portable acoustic amp. This portable amp is great for playing in small venues and can be quickly picked up and ready for your next live gig. It’s an easy alternative that provides basic necessities for acoustic players to perform or train.
- The two channels can be used for vocals/mic or guitar and its 40-watt capacity, and unique concept speakers deliver a sound that is impressive enough for a small audience to play. It’s a very inexpensive choice for someone who wants a portable amp to take care of the must-haves.
The Fender Acoustasonic 40 features two channels, available for guitar or mic use. Both channels have their own separate controls, but one of them has the same controls as the other. There are amplitude sensors, three-band EQ for bass, middle and treble, and reverb controls. The controls are perfectly organized on one side, making things clean and simple.
What We Like About Fender Acoustasonic 40 Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
All in all, the Acoustasonic 40 does really well on the sub-$200 price tag. As we have mentioned, it is only ideal for smaller spaces, as the performance can not fill any more than a small hall. Tonally, it provides a very pure and organic sound that is appropriate for many acoustic styles. Simple EQ controls make simple road changes with a spotlight – particularly the fact that you can change the ambience for each channel individually. There are definitely more efficient and flexible amps out there, but the Acoustasonic 40 does the basics quite well.
Otherwise, it’s a plainly built amp. This is true for the rest of the Acoustasonic Series with a simple but elegant brown textured vinyl case and a black grille cloth, as well as a convenient carrying strap on the top.
What We Don’t Like About Fender Acoustasonic 40 Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
Although there are not as many buttons as certain other portable amps, all the basics are there. With everything simplified, it’s easy to make changes when you need to, but there isn’t a lot to play with.
| Tiny and lightweight, with a handle for fast handling
Two channels that can be used with either guitar or speaker, with different controls for both of them
Suitable for performance in small spaces, with a clean sound suitable for acoustic performances
Clear controls that can be quickly interpreted and modified
| Fewer buttons than any other amp, with less functionality
A basic amplifier that may be too easy for certain people to use
Not many on-board effects to pick from, which might be insufficient for certain players
Not a good alternative for wider output spaces unless more amplification is used
The Yamaha THR5 is the latest standard for home guitar and rehearsal amps-and you can take it on the road with you too. Ideal as a third amp, the THR5 has 5 highly realistic built-in versions (thanks to the Yamaha VCM technology) that will give you a true-feeling, authentic-sounding amp tone in a portable stereo speaker with built-in effects, USB interface, and auxiliary input. In short, the THR is the perfect partner for guitarists who want to play and can be inspired at any moment.
- THR comes packed with Steinberg’s Cubase AI music development tools to allow professional recording and editing with certain tones only a touch away. Using the free THR Editor App, you’ll be able to build and change amp sounds with amazing detail. When practicing is such a vital aspect of playing, why would you accept a sound from your practicing amp that is anything but inspirational? You don’t have to do this with THR, because the superb stereo playback sound will keep you playing faster, longer, and later than ever before.
- With a broad amp response, amazing effects, and hi-fi stereo sound in a kit that’s engineered to fulfill all your off-stage needs, THR adds a new dimension to your play.
- Created by a team of guitarists searching for the perfect tone, THR delivers the sound you want and the feeling you deserve. Effects that improve and compliment your play mix with room-filling reverbs and delays that drive your play to new levels.
- The THR5 is the perfect third amp for your key gigging and practice amps. It’s going to encourage you to take up a guitar again and again.
- The blend of excellent pitch, versatility, and portability makes THR the ultimate backstage warm-up amp. With the fantastic sound of THR, you’re going to want to play every chance you get. It’s the only amp that gives you the sound you desire, wherever and wherever inspiration hits.
- Built from the ground up, every aspect of THR ‘s architecture, from the preamp to the speaker enclosure, focuses on providing the ultimate playing experience in a tone that is less than THR ‘s super compact scale.
- THR uses a newly developed amp-modeling technology using Yamaha’s Computer Circuitry Modeling (VCM) technology. VCM gives THR the ability to model real amps amazingly precisely, with each control operating and acting just as it does to the real thing. The amp offers rich clean tones from a 6L6 power section with a soft break-up of excellent jazz, blues and country sounds.
- It has a low-power EL84 class-A tube output with vivid, transparent, dynamic amp distortion characteristics. It’s a classic British single-channel sound. The combination of the low-gain preamp section and the EL34s in the power section gives rich, controllable distortion with a good midrange.
- Most of the effects of THR feature VCM effects processors. Based on the technologies used in Yamaha’s advanced audio mixers, VCM effects offer unsurpassed realism and consistency. Tap the tempo feature to adjust the delay time fast.
- The built-in chroma tuner features precise, reliable tuning and an easy-to-read monitor.
- THR integrates the latest Expanded Stereo Technologies from Yamaha to produce an extremely large, spacious audio picture. Stereo tracks and studio-level reverb carry on an incredible depth from such a small enclosure.
- The THR architecture allows stereo playback from your smartphone or other devices through an AUX jack or directly from your computer through a USB2.0 connexion.
- THR is bundled with Cubase AI, Steinberg’s advanced music development program providing full-length recording and editing.
- The THR Editor, which can be downloaded from the Yamaha website, provides deep editing of amp and effect parameters using a computer. Additional in-depth controls provide compressor and sound gate features.
What We Like About Yamaha THR5 10-Watt Desktop Guitar Combo Amp
You don’t have to settle for mediocre amp tones when a musical inspiration strikes you on holidays, at work, or on a tour bus. THR5 will be equipped for all the sounds you’d ever need for a jam or writing session. The THR 5 uses a USB 2.0 interface, which ensures that THR can be used as a storage system for your machine and that you can record your guitar tone (dry, affected or both) directly to the provided Cubase AI software.
Yamaha’s Extended Stereo speaker technology and two full spectra 8 cm speakers mean that the THR sounds amazing for both guitar tones and recorded songs. Thanks to THR’s unique nature and emphasis, stadium-filling volume is not a prerequisite-everything about this amp is built to suit the way you play, even down to the need to hold it quite occasionally.
You’ll love the opportunity to keep playing all night with tone and sound like this. Incredible amp models offer the tone and response of a real amp, cranked, mic’d, and straight into a mixing console-all from USB or line output.
What We Don’t Like About Yamaha THR5 10-Watt Desktop Guitar Combo Amp
The only drawback is residual noise after one stops playing.
| Good tone even at low volume
Powerful and highly flexible
Extremely high battery power
Easy to use
|Some residual noise when playing stops|
The Crush 20RT builds on the Crush 20 tonal model with yet more versatility thanks to the addition of a lush onboard reverb and an incorporated chromatic tuner.
This trendy rock guitar amplifier makes for a simple but inspirational practice amp, a portable amp that creates an orange sound that influenced legendary artists like Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin.
- Like its more ‘stripped down’ twin, the Crush 20RT features a foot-switched channel plus the latest high-gain, four-stage preamp configuration, serving up a wide palette of overdriven and distorted sounds, rich in harmonic overtones.
- The sheer effect of Crush 20RT ‘s custom 8” World Speaker Voice is nothing short of astounding, with a commanding delivery and a range of sound that is outside the modest footprint of the amp.
- Complete with an Aux In backtrack and a CabSim-loaded headphone output, the Crush 20RT is the ultimate compact practice amp combination, mixing functional features with the legendary Orange sound and classic Orange Mojo buckets.
- The highly successful 3-band EQ segment of the Crush 20RT enables you to monitor your sound from bold retro colors to scooped new tones.
- The headphone/line production includes our new CabSim feature, which faithfully emulates the sound of a mic’d Orange 4×12” cabinet filled with our flagship Voice of the World speakers.
- This is identical to the Orange Crush 20, but it has the added features of the built-in Reverb and Tuner. In this age where amp modeling has become the standard, it is quite a feat for a conventional amplifier not only to survive but to succeed.
- Also with its old school style, the Crush 20RT’s distinctive picture frame looks and in-your-face overdriven tones were more than enough to get the thumbs up and be suggested by many players.
What We Like About Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier, (Crush20RT)
Experience the level of comprehensive saturation and flexibility that has never been heard before in a functional amplifier. Building on the huge popularity of our Crush Pro series, our high-gain preamp architecture places a genuinely exciting set of dynamic tones in the hands of the player.
High-quality, low-noise materials offer four levels of improvement with outstanding richness and transparency, offering everything from blissful cleanses to classic Bluesy Orange crunch all the way down to full-bodied, ultra-high-yield metal distortion. Channels can be moved to the top panel of the amp or manually with an optional footswitch.
What We Don’t Like About Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier, (Crush20RT)
There were a couple of users who considered the built-in reverb to be absent, but this may be a matter of taste, and one reviewer even found that setting the reverb higher made it sound better.
|The old-school style of sound
|Lack of built-in reverb|
If we had to choose one guitar amp that overshadows all others, it would be the Blackstar 10W Digital Stereo Combo (IDCORE10V2). Blackstar has stretched all the possibilities of crafting a dynamic, powerful guitar within an unbelievably low price margin.
Whether it is the ease of connectivity or the option given to the guitar to be able to record himself and alter his playing accordingly, Blackstar leaves everyone hard-pressed to be blown away by its extremely powerful budget amp.
The Blackstar ISF single-band EQ trademark and the different knobs add to the many amazing features this amp has. Once you get an idea of how to operate this amp with ease, you will probably choose this amp over and over again.
Before we get started, let’s look at some simple stuff you need to consider before you find the amp that best suits your needs. When looking for their first guitar amp, beginners should begin with what is known as a combo amp. Combo amps pair speakers with a preamplifier and a power amplifier. The preamp influences the tone of the guitar, and the power amplifier drives the signal to the speakers.
Of course, that’s just the fundamentals when it comes to guitar amps, and there are several aspects to weigh when picking one that best suits your music style and tastes. Combo amps incorporate an amp, a preamp, and a speaker in one unit. The other key arrangement is to have a separate “head” (the mechanical portion of an amp, without speakers) connected to a separate speaker cabinet. For practicing at home or on the road, most guitarists select combination amps for their smaller size and portability.
Combo amps appear to be smaller in size but crammed with additional functionality, such as headset jacks and input jacks that allow you to play along with your favorite recordings. Guitar and bass amps are two very different pieces of equipment, both built to maximize their respective instruments. The guitar amp can not replicate the very low frequencies produced by the bass guitar, and the bass amps seem to make the guitars sound lifeless and uninteresting. A dedicated guitar amp can create sounds that sound smoother and encourage you to practice more.
There are a lot of considerations to weigh before you buy your first guitar amp, and you want to make sure that you make a decent investment. Let’s take a look at some of the things you’re going to want to look for so that you can find the best guitar amp.
Size and portability
When it comes to choosing the first guitar amp, choosing the right size is a perfect way to start. Where it comes to scale, guitar amps range from tiny microamps to massive setups with several speakers.
If you’re just starting on the guitar, a tiny practice amp would be everything you usually need to get started. Because of their smaller scale, these amps are also perfect for musicians who move on the road or to their next band rehearsal for whatever occasion.
Speakers and amp wattage
When picking your guitar amp, two things that need to be taken into account are the amp wattage and the configuration of your speakers. Though sometimes underestimated, speakers are the most critical aspect of an amp – they’re the only thing to stand between all the technical gobbledygook and the vibration that hits your ears (except for my mom’s fist, but that’s another story). Different size speakers have different tonal properties, and you can regard the size of the speakers the same way you would consider the amp’s wattage rating.
Speakers are like booty – small ones are tighter, and large ones have more bottoms. But like a pair of trousers, the construction of the cabinet may also form the bottom edge. That’s why a closed-back 4×10 cabinet will put more bass than a 15-inch speaker in an open-back cabinet.
There are a lot of myths regarding the required wattage needed for a guitar amplifier. Much of the “pro” amps are 30-100 watts. Loudness does not double when you double the number of watts. The 30-watt amp is just five decibels louder than the 100-watt amp.
Any of the amps sound better when they can be tuned up halfway. If your guitar amp is never tuned up past 3, you can typically use a smaller amp. You want to make sure that the speakers are rated for the amount of power the amp can generate.
When selecting the configuration of your speaker, two considerations to be taken into account are the amp wattage and the impedance. The common speaker setup includes a 12-inch speaker, two 12-inch speakers, and four 12-inch speakers. One 12-inch or two 12-inch speakers are perfect for most gigs. Remember: In most situations, the amp is attached to the PA system.
Location of use
You don’t even need a guitar amp for home use that uses more than 20 watts of power. Using a high-powered amp at home is like getting a racing car you can’t drive more than 20 mph. You don’t need a lot of wattages to make it sound good.
Likewise, most of the practical amps have a single speaker between 8 inches and 12 inches in diameter. The practise amp is designed to practise at home at a decent volume – save the large amp for the stage.
For performing live, giant amps are no longer required, since most venues use microphones on amps to help control the sound that the crowd hears. Usually, you will also have on-stage speakers that will provide sound to you and your bandmates. The only real factor is the willingness to deal with the inherent frequency of the drum set.
If you see bands playing stadiums, they always use dummy cabs on stage – most don’t even have microphones! The most electricity you usually need to play live in most cases is 30–50 watts. A cab with one or two 12-inch speakers is definitely going to be fine for live shows.
Often a 4×12 cab is used for very big venues, particularly for heavier bands. Save the entire 100-watt amp stack and several cabs before you hit the big time!
Multi-Channel amps are perfect for players who use a lot of different sounds, but if what you want is a good clean sound and a good filtered sound, they may be more amp than you like. If you determine that an amp with three or more channels is the best one for you, look for one that offers different EQ controls for each channel.
You should be able to dial rapidly and reliably in a tone you prefer. Adjust each tone regulation to see how they communicate with each other. If it’s too hard to dial in a good sound in the shop, odds are you won’t be able to do it when you get home or onstage.
Although tone and volume should be your primary concerns, you should also decide what extra features you actually need. Built-in effects are perfect if you want a no-hazard, all-in-one kit, but they might not be as versatile as external effects pedals and processors.
An effect loop is useful for effects such as digital reverb and delay, but it’s not necessary if the effects consist of a few stompboxes. Line outputs with speaker emulation are useful for home filming, and external speaker outputs are perfect for extending your live setup.
Effects can be a helpful tool for several different guitar amps, but beginners shouldn’t get carried away. Eventually, however, there might be a need for guitarists. Some amps have a variety of digital onboard effects that you select from. Many football players use pedalboards that are customized with multiple effects pedals.
By having digital effects integrated into the amp, you can play with multiple effects without having to purchase the pedals individually. Then when you’re ready to switch to a larger live amp, you can select and choose just what impact pedals you want to use.
Another significant factor is the type of music you’re most likely to play. A strong rehearsal amp can cover a wide variety of musical genres, from metal to rock to jazz. Any more seasoned players with a narrower emphasis can opt for a “one-trick pony” amp that nails their desired sound. For beginners, it’s better to pick a guitar amp that brings versatility to the experiment. Usually, this is better than getting trapped with a single tone, as it will make the practice more enjoyable.
Hope our review on the best guitar amp under $200 will help you choose the one according to your needs and requirements.