Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Amplifiers That Inspire You to Play

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 13, 2017
To reach high levels of playing guitar, it's not enough to have a good musical instrument — the right guitar amp is also crucial to keep yourself motivated to practice. In this review, we've chosen five exciting guitar combo amplifiers for you to help make the right choice! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Power Output
Speakers
Number of channels
Inputs and Outputs
Controls
Size / Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

Virtual Tube Circuitry makes the amp perfect for musicians who value vintage, tube amp tone. The chassis is very compact and lightweight, and therefore the amp is very convenient to transport.

CONS

Some effects sound with noise.

OUR VERDICT

This is a decent powerful guitar amp that produces rich and clean tube-like sound. A nice-looking and well-sounding gear to opt for.

detailed parameters
Type

Integrated, state solid

Power Output

15W

Speakers

1x 8" dual-cone speaker

Number of channels

2 channels

Inputs and Outputs

CD input, mic input, Instrument input, Headphones output

Controls

Mic Vol, Instr Vol, Low, Mid, High

Size / Weight

12.7" х 14.05" х 6.4";

11.7 lbs

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The amplifier offers multiple options and configurations to give you the sound you want. It can be connected to a PC and used with most guitar effects.

CONS

Some effects may not reach the necessary level of performance.

OUR VERDICT

This is one of the best amps for beginners, combining all necessary features for studying and playing at home. Besides, you can connect it to a PC. Awesome!

detailed parameters
Type

Integrated, state solid

Power Output

10W

Speakers

2x 3" full-range speakers

Number of channels

1 channel

Inputs and Outputs

Stereo output (1/4" Jack TRS), AUX (stereo mini Jack), USB port

Controls

Amp, Gain, Master, Tone, Effect, DLY/REV, Volume, Tap/Tuner Switch

Size / Weight

6.6" x 10.7" x 4.7";

 4.4 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This bass amp delivers surprisingly rich and deep sound for such a small combo option. Easy to use even for beginners.

CONS

Limited number of parameters.

OUR VERDICT

Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo is one of the best affordable amplifiers for a bass guitar. An excellent option to select if you're a beginner.

detailed parameters
Type

Integrated, state solid

Power Output

25W

Speakers

1x 8" Fender special design speaker

Number of channels

1 channel

Inputs and Outputs

1/8" auxiliary input, 1/4" headphone output

Controls

Volume, Overdrive On/Off, Bass, Contour On/Off, Mid, Treble

Size / Weight

15.25" х 15.25" х 11";

21 lbs

Warranty

5 years

PROS

The combo boasts an extremely compact design, it can be operated from 3 AA batteries, and, therefore, used anywhere.

CONS

Relatively low power output.

OUR VERDICT

It'll be a great option if you're selecting an additional portable amplifier. This space saver will definitely make a difference.

detailed parameters
Type

Integrated, state solid

Power Output

3W

Speakers

1x 3" speaker

Number of channels

2 channels

Inputs and Outputs

Guitar input, MP3/Line input, Speaker emulated output

Controls

Gain, Volume, Overdrive Switch, EQ (ISF), Delay Level, Delay Time

Size / Weight

5" x 6.7" x 4";

2.2 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The amp features an earphone output which will allow you to listen to your guitar without disturbing anybody near you.

CONS

Somewhat high level of produced noise.

OUR VERDICT

If your task is to find an amplifier for playing at home, in small rehearsal rooms, or during trips, this amp is the right choice!
The model offers the best price-to-quality ratio.

detailed parameters
Type

Integrated, state solid

Power Output

10W

Speakers

1x 6" Fender special design speaker

Number of channels

1 channel

Inputs and Outputs

2x RCA, 1/4" instrument input

Controls

Gain, Overdrive, Volume, Treble, Bass

Size / Weight

11" x 10.25" x 5.75";

8.5 lbs

Warranty

1 year

What is a Guiter Amplifier

A guitar amp is an electronic device that strengthens the electrical signal from a guitar pickup and produces sound through one or more loudspeakers. A guitar pickup captures mechanical vibrations produced by a musical instrument, converts them to an electrical signal, and sends the signal to an amp through a cable. The amp boosts the signal to drive the speakers typically housed in a wooden cabinet. As a result, you can hear the music you're playing much more powerfully.

Many musicians also use different guitar pedals and effects between an amplifier and the guitar. It allows them to get a special kind of sound that benefits their music.

By the way, if you're hunting the best electric guitar to pair with an amp or thinking about mastering a ukulele, take advantage of our reviews!

What Features to Compare

Amplifier Type

First of all, you need to decide in advance what configuration of a guitar amp you actually require: either a head/cabinet stack or combo version. A head and cab option implies that an amp and speakers come in separate chassis. The guitar amplifier stack offers a greater flexibility as, depending on your needs, you can use different combinations of amps and speakers connected together. A combo amplifier combines an amp and speaker in the same cabinet and, therefore, provides maximum comfort and ease of use. 

Besides, it's important to choose between a solid state amplifier and a tube one. Solid state (or transistor) gears are considered to be more reliable and affordable than their competitors, however, tube amps produce smoother and warmer sound.

Power

The place where you are going to play guitar also matters. For example, if you're planning to practice guitar at home only, an amp with a power output of 5–10 watts will be more than enough for you. It's important to note that tube watts are generally louder than solid-state watts, so, keep this in mind before selecting. Additionally, you want to pay attention to a number of speakers and channels that determine the quality of sound and offer the flexibility of use.

Connections and Controls

A guitar amp always comes with a standard output jack to connect your guitar. Some models are also equipped with various outputs to hook up headphones, microphones, players, and even PCs. Amps usually feature volume, tone, and sometimes gain controls to provide you maximum configuration capabilities. Besides, some gears can boast even additional effects and tuner simplifying their ease of use. 

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Behringer Ultracoustic At108

Compact and Convenient

The Behringer Ultracoustic At108 is one of the most powerful and exciting amps in its price category. It comes with a huge variety of ports and controls including a three-band EQ for getting the most exquisite tone you could dream of. Additionally, the model is rather compact, light-weight, and convenient to carry around, you can bring it anywhere with you.

A powerful 8" dual-cone Bugera speaker is capable of providing an amazing sound with a wide frequency response. 15 watts of power output will be great even while playing outdoors. And there is the another important thing — the amplifier keeps its tone well even at the higher volume. Decent job!

Review of Behringer Ultracoustic At108 Instrument Amplifier With Vtc-Technology

Your Small Gig

Without any exaggeration, we can say that the amplifier features a multiplicity of different inputs and outputs. The XLR connector will allow you to hook up a microphone for singing or capturing an accurate acoustic guitar sound. You'll be able to adjust the microphone level via a special regulator. With a built-in headphone output, it'll be possible to practice chords and riffs quietly and without disturbing anyone at your home. The model also comes with a CD input, so, you'll be able to plug a CD player into the device and play along with necessary music tracks. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton would definitely envy you.

It's worthwhile to add that the cabinet is made of high-grade wood covered with durable vinyl and has rubberized legs for a good grip.

Behringer Ultracoustic At108 Instrument Amplifier With Vtc-Technology in the use

Take the Amp Anywhere

The Ultracoustic At108 will fit everyone who dreams about playing the guitar at the beach, on the road, or wherever else. Without a doubt, it's a great option for guitarists who need to move from one place to another and give solo concerts there. 

Thanks to the VTC (Virtual Tube Circuitry) technology, the device can emulate a true tube sound. This feature will definitely be a gift for enthusiasts who value clean, warm tone and sounding of old vintage amplifiers.

With all those advantages and remarkable performance, the Behringer Ultracoustic At108 will let you get the maximum enjoyment from your guitar playing style!

Detailed review of Behringer Ultracoustic At108 Instrument Amplifier With Vtc-Technology

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Behringer Ultracoustic At108
Behringer Ultracoustic At108
 

Yamaha THR5

One of the Best Amps

Although the category of affordable guitar amplifiers is fairly small, it's rather difficult to select the right one for practicing at home. The point is that inexpensive amps do not always deliver the desired tone and they usually come in cabinets made of cheap materials. However, it's not true when it comes to the Yamaha THR5. The model offers a huge variety of options, configurations, and features available and delivers fantastic sound quality. It's worth mentioning that the device was developed by a team of professional musicians.  It is a really well-sounding amplifier and is definitely an excellent choice.

Review of Yamaha THR5 Desktop Guitar Combo Amp

Huge Potential

The Yamaha THR5 Desktop Guitar Combo Amp has many advantages as for an affordable amplifier. Equipped with multiple effects such as chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, delay/reverb, spring reverb, and hall reverb, this combo amplifier is really capable of improving your playing. Featuring an exclusive VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) technology, the device ensures rich, warm and natural tone emulating the sound of old-fashioned tube amplifiers. Besides, Extended Stereo Technology dramatically improves the performance of the amp by creating a spacious and incredibly wide audio image. 

No matter what music you are passionate about, the model will be great for any genre. It's up to you what to choose, to get a clean tone or achieve a good heavy sound via a distortion.

Another great benefit of the amp is that eight AA batteries enable you to perfect your technique and skills on-the-go or away from a power outlet. 1/8" aux input will allow you to connect your smartphone or another gadget and play along to it! This amplifier will definitely make a difference.

Yamaha THR5 Desktop Guitar Combo Amp in the use

The Choice of Future Professional Guitarists

Thanks to impressive and clean sound, multiple effects and options, the given model will definitely be a great choice for beginners practicing at home as well as for musicians who have some experience in playing guitar. Additionally, the amp offers an excellent price-quality ratio.

Detailed review of Yamaha THR5 Desktop Guitar Combo Amp

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Yamaha THR5
Yamaha THR5
 

Fender Rumble 25 v3

A Powerful Bass Producer

The Fender Rumble 25 is a high-quality bass amplifier in a lightweight and compact chassis that nevertheless produces a great sound. The crucial point is that a design like this doesn't affect its sounding at all. Instead, the bass amplifier provides astonishing loud sound with a deep bass response which allocates it among competitors. The amplifier shows excellent compatibility with various effects, so you'll be able to choose the necessary ones and start practicing with the most exciting sounds. Of course, the model is equipped with a headphone output for practicing at home without annoying your family members and neighbors.

Review of Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Inspiring Gear

Apart from standard volume and EQ regulators, the Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier contains two overdrive controls and switchable contour control. The model is easy to use, it'll be a great purchase for beginners who just started honing their skills. At the same time, with 25 watts of power output, the gear provides surprisingly rich and loud sound good enough even for experienced musicians. The design of the model is also remarkable — a cloth covering is fitted with a classic Fender logo that looks amazing with the vintage-style control knobs. It's worth mentioning that the manufacturer provides the warranty for a period of five years which is another evidence of strong professional engagement.

Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier in the use

Perfect Choice!

If you're going to learn to play bass guitar, the Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo amplifier is your best bet! A relatively small cost, high power output, and multiple options will help you make the right choice! It's important that the bass amp fits both practicing at home as well as gigging on a small stage. 2 RCA inputs will allow you to connect an audio player, smartphone or other gadget and play along with it. Additionally, if you need to practice quietly, the 1/4" output will provide you an opportunity to hook up your headphones.

It really doesn't matter what you are going to play, the Rumble 25 V3 will impress you with its versatility and astonishing tone.

Detailed review of Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Fender Rumble 25 v3
Fender Rumble 25 v3
 

Blackstar FLY3

Small Music Friend

The Blackstar FLY3 doesn't have multiple extraordinary features and configurations, however, its main advantage is compact size. With the dimensions of 5" x 6.7" x 4" and weight of 2.2 lbs, this amp for a guitar is capable of producing 3 watts of power. This space saver features a 3" speaker that offers an impressive Blackstar tone. It's important that the mini cabinet amp can be powered by 6 AA batteries as well as plugged into a standard AC outlet. The manufacturer recommends using rechargeable (NiMH) or Alkaline batteries to get the maximum from the amplifier while on the go. 

Without a doubt, it's an indispensable thing for everyone who wants to play guitar in any place.

Review of Blackstar FLY3 Guitar Amplifier

Boost Your Practice Session!

This innovative amplifier comes with everything you will need to reach advanced levels of guitar playing. Being equipped with two channels (Clean and Overdrive) and digital tape delay effects, this combo amp makes melodies and riffs sound awesome. The gain control allows selecting an amount of overdrive or distortion. The Blackstar patented Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) provides infinite adjustment over the characteristics of the tone control, allowing the guitar combo amp to reproduce either "American" or "British" tone. While an American characteristic stands out with a tight bottom end and more aggressive middles, a British one sounds more "woody" and less aggressive.

The Blackstar FLY3 also features a headphone output for silent playing and an aux line input for jamming with your favorite musicians. Just connect your mp3 player, smartphone, or another gadget to the amp and play along with the music! 

Blackstar FLY3 Guitar Amplifier in the use

Music for Everyone

This combo amp is one of the most affordable and compact solutions available on the market. Besides, it's a well-sounding, low-wattage gear you can take advantage of almost anywhere: in your bedroom, courtyard, on the beach or elsewhere. Its light weight and compact size will allow you to carry the combo amp even in your backpack! 

Detailed review of Blackstar FLY3 Guitar Amplifier

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Blackstar FLY3
Blackstar FLY3
 

Fender Frontman

Proven Quality

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is the world’s iconic manufacturer of guitars, basses, amplifiers and related equipment. In fact, along with Gibson Guitar Corporation, the company started mass production of electric musical instruments. Fender products are primarily recognized for their sound, quality, and performance reliability. Let there be no doubt in your mind, this piece of equipment will serve you for long years!

Review of Fender Frontman Electric Guitar Amplifier

Options and Configurations

The Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier is rather compact and powerful; weighing only 8.5 lbs, it provides 10W of power. Basically, the model comes with a standard set of options and doesn't include any extraordinary features. The huge advantage of the model is that it works perfectly with both clean sound and overdrive/distortion. The 6" Fender speaker produces a powerful and clean sound. Apart from a volume regulator, the model comes with an overdrive select switch, gain, volume, treble, and bass controls that allow personalizing the sound of your electric guitar and achieve the most exciting and astonishing tones. The gain control offers a wide range of tones, from soft overdrive to powerful ultra-saturated distortion for the most extreme rock genres. Additionally, thanks to an excellent compatibility with multiple effects, the amp will be ideal for practicing just about any type of music styles: blues, reggae, country, rock-n-roll, and even metal. If you are also passionate about a sound of a classical guitar, you can take advantage of well-known Fender clean tone. Like some other modern models, this mini cabinet features an input jack output for practicing along with compositions played on your mp3 player or smartphone and a headphone output for silent practice. 

Fender Frontman Electric Guitar Amplifier in the use

Great Choice for Everyone

Affordable amplifiers are basically produced for beginners or people who play the guitar rather rarely. Although Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier belongs to affordable solutions, it's also a great choice even for experienced musicians. Decent sound and good compatibility with different effects make it perfect for every guitar player.

Detailed review of Fender Frontman Electric Guitar Amplifier

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Fender Frontman
Fender Frontman
 

Infographics

Comparison of Acoustic Electric Guitar Amplifiers That Inspire You to Play

FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between solid state and tube guitar amplifiers?
A: The major difference between solid state/transistor and tube/valve amps lies in the technology of signal amplification. To produce sound, solid state amps use a combination of transistors. The input signal from a guitar pickup goes through conductors on a printed circuit board. Having passed the semiconductor circuits, the amplified signal is sent through the speakers. Solid state amps are reliable and more affordable than tube gears.

Tube or valve amplifiers use vacuum tube technology to amplify the weak signal received from a guitar before passing it on to an output. Passing the circuitry, the signal is slightly distorted and becomes richer and warmer. Typically, the amps of this type are very fragile and more expensive than their alternatives.

Q: What is hybrid amplifier?
A: Hybrid amplifier involves both vacuum tube technology and solid state (analog) technology. The signal from a guitar pickup passes through vacuum tubes in the preamp stage and goes further to power section consisting of solid state circuitry. 

Q: Do I need a head/cabinet stack or combo amp?
A: Basically, it depends on your needs, level of comfort you would like to get, and budget. Combos are usually cheaper, more portable and easier to use, while a head/cabinet stack always offers a versatility of speaker configurations — you will be able to use different cabs and heads in various combinations. For practicing at home and playing guitar on small stage, a combo is likely to be a better option for you. However, for medium and large gigs, you will need to take advantage of a head and cabinet version.

Q: Do amps come with guitar built-in effects?
A: Now, most amps for a guitar are equipped with predefined settings and effects you can use for getting different sounds. More expensive gears typically contain a higher number of effects you can select from.

Q: Does a size of a guitar combo speaker really matter?
A: Yes, it does. A size of a speaker is very important for obtaining the right sound. Basically, smaller speakers produce higher frequencies than larger speakers. 10", 12", and 15" speakers offer good warmth and the necessary volume to sound well even in mixed with other instruments. 

Q: Which guitar combo speaker will be right for practicing at home?
A:  If you’re searching a good quality amp producing power enough for playing guitar at home, an amplifier with a 10" speaker will be an excellent option for you.


Sources:

1. Guitar Amplifier Buying Guide:Find the perfect guitar amp setup and start playing!zZounds.

2. Peter Prown How to Buy an Amplifier, Guitar.com

3. Acoustic Guitar Amp Buying GuideeBay. March 3, 2016.

4. BUYING AN ELECTRIC GUITAR AMPLIFIER, Sam Ash Music Stores. January 26, 2016.

5. Guitar Amp Buying Guide, Sweetwater. 

6. Chris Gill How to Buy an Amp: A Guide for the First-Time Buyer, GUITAR WORLD. March 13, 2017.

7. How Do Tube Amps Work? eBay. June 29, 2014.

8. Bass amplifier, Wikipedia.

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