10 Best Guitar Amps Under $500 in 2021

So you've just finished watching Jack Black's School of Rock and are you ready to become a rockstar? Well, a decent decision, first of all. In ways that you can only think of, playing guitar can change your life. Your sound will largely depend on the gear you play through, whether you are a professional or a "starting gate" beginner. You're on the hunt for a guitar amp for less than $500 because you've landed on this post. You're in luck, because you can pick from a lot of choices.

We realized that picking out a new amplifier or a replacement could be a bit of a shot in order to support our musician friends as much as possible. It can be hard to determine what is the right way to go for you, with so many choices open. In 2020, we agreed to put together a short guide for buyers and a list of the top 10 guitar amps under $500. Hopefully, you will be able to make a more positive decision with this guide.

View The Best Guitar Amp Under $500 Below

1. Fender Champion 100

This classically built guitar amp can be picked up today and you can start blasting your favorite classic tunes. Fender has a reputation for making some of the most reliable guitars ever. In the world of amps, they do not lose their experience either. With strength and precision, 2 12' speakers can pump the crystal clear sounds into the universe. You can turn between the clean and overdrive channel with absolute ease when you buy the footswitch. This can be accomplished by hand without the footswitch.

There is an auxiliary input so you can play your favorite MP3s and jam along at your leisure. This amplifier would be perfect for any novice looking to have a strong practice amp around the house. The Fender Champion 100 can keep up with ease if you're jamming with friends in a louder room.

Pros:

+ Outstanding quality of sound
+ Durably designed
+ Input Aux
+ 2 Speakers of 12"
+Reputation backed by Fender

Why We Liked It - For acoustic and electric guitars, this amp is great. The sound on the clean tone is very transparent and on the overdrive channel it's beautifully gritty. It's very flexible and doesn't come with too many needless surprises.

2. Fender Mustang GT 100

Another 100-watt amp that will give you more than just a little bit of power is the Fender Mustang GT 100. You get a lot of features for a guitar amp below $500 that could come in handy later on. It is known as a modeling amp, meaning that it is filled with tons of wifi-uploaded built-in effects.

You can instantly download all the requisite effects that will have you sounding like your favorite guitarists once connected to the Fender Tone app. Presets are produced by artists from Fender and uploaded directly to your database of amps. Via Bluetooth and a colourful LED screen, anything can be managed. The speakers exude the sound with clarity and perfection every time you turn this amp on. To keep up with every jam session, this amp will be loud enough.

Pros:

+ Technology for modeling
+ Bluetooth and Wifi
+ app Fender Tone
+ Power 100-watts
+ LED screen

Why We Liked It -The convenience and comfort at the touch of a button of making all your favorite sounds accessible is too much to resist. You can spend so much time often looking for the perfect sound to play along with. With almost no headache, this amp delivers it to you. This review on the best guitar amps under 300 dollars might be better suited if you want quality, but have a smaller budget.

3. Marshall Acoustic Soloist

Marshall generally has a reputation for being seen on the stages of hard rock acts and heavy metal bands. For a different audience, they are still able to come up with a successful product. The Acoustic Soloist is built with a softer music style in mind that will provide a sound that is very warm and welcoming. This amp looks like it will fit into any episode of The 70's Show, and is beautifully built in a retro fashion.

For either clean or overdrive modes, it comes fitted with two channels. The 50-watts of power comes through 2 8-inch speakers and you have the option of adding chorus and reverb effects to your tone. If you are looking for a really reliable amp with a little extra juice around the house, the Acoustic Soloist will do just fine. For both XLR and 1/4 inch jacks, it also has a combination input.

Pros:

+ Retro layout
+ 50-watts
+ Reverb/chorus
+ Output from Marshall
+ XLR input input

Why We Liked It -Marshall always comes up with amazing items, and with the Soloist, they have done it again. For less than $500, a powerful practice amp that can equal this one in style and efficiency will be difficult to find.

4. Fender Acoustasonic 90

If you have an amp built to reinforce acoustic tones at a power range of 90 watts, then you've got some serious noise to make. On the Acoustasonic 90, the sound is exceptionally clear and crisp. It will take your acoustic guitar's authentic tones and turn them up to 10 with pleasure. You can plug a guitar as well as a microphone into the amp through two separate channels.

At an ear-breaking rate, you can practice your vocals and chords. An auxiliary input helps you to listen to your favorite tracks and play along, and the shrills are kept out of the equation by a feedback elimination circuit. At just 19 pounds, for such a strong amp, it is surprisingly lightweight and compact. For the house or for any stage show, this acoustic amp would be perfect.

Pros:

+ Lightweight weight
+ 90-Watt
+ Sounds in acoustics
+ Input Aux
+ XLR input input

Why We Liked It - It is a real plus to have a strong acoustic amp for under $500. It's usually fine for acoustic guitars without having an amp at all. When you're called to action on the main stage and in the jam room, this will provide the amount of volume boost you need.

5. Fender Mustang GT 40

The little brother to the Mustang GT 100, in a smaller, more portable case, this amp will carry you all the lovely tones you want. The solid state amp allowed by Bluetooth is best suited as a practice amp for all around the building. 40-watts is still a decent amount of power, so you don't have to worry about having the amp filled with any additional wattage.

If you're looking to use this amp in a jam environment, as long as the volume does not exceed the limits, it will keep up. You get the same amount of flexibility as you get with the 100-watt edition with all the presets available via the Fender Tone app, except that you don't have to lug around the extra weight.

Pros:

+ Lightweight weight
+ Presets of Modeling
+ Great sound
+ app Fender Tone
+40-watt

Why We Liked It - Often, a lightweight version of the Mustang GT 100 is just what you want. Generally, 100-watt amps are quite a bit heavier and bulkier than required. You will be a bit more compact and take up less space in the house with the 40-watt amplifier. On the 40-watt amp, the presets are the same and will provide a broad variety of tones to any guitar player to pick from and play along with.

6. Monoprice 611815 15-Watt

You sometimes want an amp that is very easy to switch around and practically takes up no room. That, plus the warm, deep sound of a tube amplifier, will give you the Monoprice 611815 15-watt amp. Tube amps are typically found on professional musicians' stages in much larger packages (although, there are small tube amps available). In such a small box, it's good to have that capability. With straight forward EQ characteristics, this amp is very easily built.

The sound comes from a 12" celestial speaker and spring reverb works as the lone effect possible. There is an FX loop located between the pre and power amp to give you more flexibility in terms of the sound you can make. This is a good amp for people to experiment with at home. There is no-nonsense involved and you literally get the tube tone you want in a small vessel.

Pros:

+ Enduring and light
+ Tube power amplifier
+ 15-Watts of
+ Reverb from spring
+ Divine speaker

Why We Liked It - This amp does the trick, as far as an easy, in-home practice speaker goes. The fx loop is what you need to put in the extra tonality of your playing with its strong tone and all the requisite features to play clean guitar tones. A great exercise or an amp for beginners.

7. Peavey Vypyr VIP 2

Peavey is known for making any possible form of speaker. You can see the Peavey name everywhere, from guitar amps to bass amps, and stage speakers. When it comes to speakers, they have a reputation for delivering some of the greatest bang for your buck. They also agreed in the Vypyr VIP 2, that a good way to go is to have an amp that can manage bass frequencies in a guitar amp.

This is very interesting as a guitar player, as guitar amplifiers are typically overblown by bass frequencies. Through this amp, you can play your acoustic guitar, electric guitar or bass guitar and it will handle the pressure. For recording, rehearsal or smaller live gigs, this 40-watt combo amp is perfect. It doesn't have the strength to make it to the back of the room, but the tones will be smooth and pleasurable when the mic is up. You have simulation technology and access to hundreds of different presets to tune your guitar to, along with the extra frequency capabilities.

Pros:

+ Technology for modeling
+ Capabilities for Bass
+ 40-watts
+ Lightweight weight
+ Polyvalent results

Why We Liked It -For under $500, this is one of the most capable amplifiers you'll ever find. To play along with something, you can access so many different tonal presets. A bit of a mind blower is the truth that you can play a bass through the amplifier. In that area, this is new technology and is very exciting for players who like to pick up various kinds of guitars from time to time.

8. Yamaha THR10 Desktop

That's the Yamaha THR10 Desktop amp for the days when you just want to get an amp right in front of your face when training. It is very light and compact which is ideal for home practice. Some of the most reliable guitar items on the market were always brought to us by Yamaha. To produce a very compact and steady practice amp, they have used their experience.

To give you a range of tone options, 5 classic amp models are included. Using a power cable or using batteries, this amp will work. When it comes to effects processing with Yamaha's VCM technology, it is usually capable. Through a lightweight speaker casing, it delivers true Hifi quality sound. Electric, acoustic and bass features include guitar modes.

Pros:

+ Extremely lightweight
+ Engineered Desktop
+ Several capabilities for impact
+ Hifi Standard of sound
+ Versatile architecture

Why We Liked It - It doesn't sound or look any better than this for a practice amp. The desktop amp has a shape that, unless the sound comes straight out of it, resembles larger generating amp heads. The look is very good and you can get so many different tones out of it that you would love to have this amp around any guitar player.

9. Fender Frontman 10G

With the Frontman 10G, the guitar amp with the most traditional look for a practice amplifier comes to you. This amplifier is incredibly simple and easy to use. If you are a beginner, then the amp has been built for you by Fender, and this is it. At a decent volume, the sound can come out very clearly without any fuzz.

The epitome of portability is this amplifier. You're friends, and when you don't use it, your family won't even know it is there. In order for them to know, you would have to tell them you're learning the guitar. In this small amp, you get a clean channel and overdrive, aux input, and 10-watts of power. Ideal for an in-home starting guitar player.

Pros:

+10-watts
+ Lightweight weight
+ Basic interface
+ Quick to make use of

Why We Liked It -For a beginner, this is a fantastic amplifier. No bells and whistles, just fender quality straight forward.

10. Fender Champion 20

Somewhere in between number 1 and number 9 is the final pick on our chart. It is twice as heavy as the 10G Frontman, but it is still reasonably portable for easy movement. It is fitted with 17 different amp models that almost any guitar freak would be delighted with. You can listen to your favorite music or play along with headphones with aux and headphone inputs to protect your families' wellbeing.

Unless it is in a very intimate atmosphere, it doesn't quite pack enough power to play live. You can juice up your tone to just the right spot with a fully stocked EQ portion. Nice for a little extra power to practice and not a lot of confounding characteristics.

Pros:

+ 20-The Watts
+ Lightweight and compact
+ 17 Models of Amp
+ segment EQ
+ Inputs Aux/Phone.

Why We Liked It -For anyone looking for a practice amp with a tiny bit more power and capability, this is an optional choice. It can be a little bit rewarding to be able to turn up a little more while nobody is home. You can really select and choose what kind of sound you want with 17 different amp models.

Guitar Amp Under $500 Buyers Guide

What to look for when buying a guitar amp under $500

On our list, we've outlined quite a few worthy prospects. But with the flexibility that is available out there, if you're a little less experienced, it can be difficult to know exactly what the right pick is. When choosing your guitar amp, you'll have to have a certain amount of things in mind.

We agreed to put together a short guide packed with the stuff to consider when buying an amplifier below $500. To win the confidence of consumers, read on.

Power

In your daily practice, how much power are you going to need? When you're searching for an amp below $500, when it comes to electricity, there are still a lot of choices. If you can find out what kind of music you're going to hear, and in what environments, you're going to be far closer to finding out what kind of amplifier is right.

Are you going to play mostly with no other equipment accompanying you at home? Or are you more likely to join a band and start playing gigs very soon? If you're a home player, anywhere from 10-50 watts is going to be okay. For that extra punch, you'll need to go into the 50-100 watt range if you're planning to play gigs and practice with a full band.

Size

How compact do you need to be with your amplifier? Generally, home amplifiers are smaller and don't have to be taken around too much, which is kind of ironic when you think about it. The more compact the amp is, the less power, with a few exceptions, it typically has. There are amps available that, while still being powerful enough to keep up with the band, will give you enough strength. But you're going to need to get an understanding of how much weight and height you can carry around safely on a daily basis.

Capability

Do you play acoustic guitar mostly without any effects, or do you intend to play with Van Halen and U2 where you need serious power and ability? Extra effects can be a lovely thing. They allow you to match and build truly unique masterpieces with the exact sounds you are looking for. They are not always 100 per cent required, however. A simpler amplifier model is just perfect for players who are only going to play with no effects on the clean channel. You can still add effects at a later date to your arsenal. But if you think a bit of extra flair is needed for your game, test one of the modeling amps or one with a little more effect capability.

Tube vs Solid State

On our list, we only have one tube amplifier, and it's a little man. But a little bit different is the sound. To them, tube amps have a more raw and warm sound. Solid state amps may be a little less efficient, but tend to promote a wider range of effects and option capabilities. If you want a tube amp's old-time and authentic sound, then the tubes don't lie by any means, but solid state amps are well within the acceptability realm.

Budget

For a little bit more money, you can get a little bit more control. But music can become a costly hobby. To get the sound you really like, do you need to buy a footswitch or effects pedals? Before making a purchase decision, make sure to calculate exactly what you are going to need. By going for a modeling amp or one with effects and capabilities built in, you can save a lot of money. You will be better off if you do not have to go and buy additional parts.

Conclusion

You've got all the data you need now to go and get your new amp. As you can see, when it comes to buying an amp below $500, there is a lot to consider, but whatever amp you decide to go with, in no time you will definitely be happy and rocking along to your favorite tunes.

Expert Tip

Not all amplifiers are made equal. Some companies build amps for different music types to sound better. Be sure to check the model of speakers that come along with the amp you purchase to ensure that for the money you can get the most sound quality. Fender has long been renowned for country and folk music, while Marshall has a greater music reputation. They may be interchangeable, but it's important to note.

Did you know?

We have a lot of amplifiers from Fender on our list. But, in 1950, Fender was the first business to manufacture an electric guitar. The Fender Broadcaster was a guitar in the Spanish style and is best known as the Telecaster now. Following this success with guitars, Fender created the first electric bass guitar called the Precision P-Bass.