Best Guitar Amps Under $300

Dave Mostert
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I’m sure you’ve heard of Fender amps. If not, where have you been for the past 50-odd years?

Let’s not get into a history lesson here, but here’s a summary: Leo Fender revolutionised the way we look at music, guitars and the electric guitar, primarily because he designed it around a single tube (yes, one), something that had never been done before.

In 1951 this became the first commercially available guitar amplifier. Ever since, Fender have been in the amp game. In fact, they invented it! If you’re a guitar player, they will have an amp on the go for you.

This article looks at some great beginner amps; amps for guitarists on a budget.

NameCategoryProduct
Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar AmplifierBest OverallFender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier
Sawtooth 10-Watt Electric Guitar AmpBudget PickSawtooth 10-Watt Electric Guitar Amp
Yamaha THR10 Desktop Guitar Amplifier and InterfaceUpgrade PickYamaha THR10 Desktop Guitar Amplifier and Interface

1. Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier

Our rating: 9 / 10

Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier

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Pros:

  • Better than average sound quality
  • Bluetooth technology enables guitar to be played along with streamed tracks via a smartphone or tablet
  • Great features/options
  • All-tube-amp sounds available with purchase of optional foot switch
  • Loud amp with higher-than-average wattage
  • LCD Sound Manager included
  • Multiple channels

Cons:

  • More expensive than other brands and models with similar features and capabilities
  • Heavy and bulky

This amp is the best choice if you need a quality amp that won’t break your budget. It is great for beginners because of the ideal price point and overall quality. The features and capabilities have been received favorably by customers.

Fender knows how to bring out the best sound quality, and that’s what they did with this weighty piece. It houses a 12AX7 tube, which most competitors do not. This amp has options for adding a tube effect that adds an overall tube amp sound to the sound of this amplifier.

2. Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1×8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1x8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier

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Pros:

  • Awesome price-to-performance ratio
  • User-friendly interface
  • Delivers great sound
  • Comes in various colors

There are always a lot of options which one can consider when looking for a low-budget amp, but the one which really stand out is the Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1×8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier. Fender as a brand is a pretty good example of just how good and worthwhile a guitar amplifier can get at a far more economical price, specially in this particular package that is already fairly more than generous than the majority of entry-level amps.

This amp has 20 watts of power at 8 Ohms, and is sure to impress anyone who wants to see just how a simple beginner amp can be much more than that.

It comes with a solid state preamp and power amp section, and it also has a a new feature called the V2 Mustang Mix control. This feature basically controls the amount of clean and overdrive in your voice. The bright switch ensures great clarity and the 1-12" inch speaker has crisp and clean acoustic tone.

3. Blackstar Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Blackstar Electric Guitar Mini Amplifier

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Pros:

  • Great for beginners or for secondary practice rigs
  • Affordable price point
  • Incredible sound quality
  • Lightweight and small enough to take on the go

Cons:

  • Not ideal for long jams
  • Only adds 3 dB to an 8ohm cabinet, 7 dB to a 4ohm cabinet

When you’re on a mission to find the best guitar amps under 300 dollars, you’re not wrong to think that you can only get started with a small practice amp. We understand there are tons of beginner amps out there, but we’ve found one that stands out from the crowd.

This little amp from Blackstar is one of the best amps for beginners out there, and for an affordable price. It features stereo inputs for versatile signal flow and monitoring, and provides you with a USB input and headphone output for some privacy when practicing at home.

It goes beyond your basic controls with some functionality that will make your life easier (and your tone better). For one, there are volume controls for both low and high gain stages for proper volume adjustment. There’re also a built-in overdrive that gives you a more responsive tone and a noise gate that levels your input.

4. Fender Champion 20

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fender Champion 20

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Pros:

  • Solidly built
  • Cool Fender styling
  • Great tone
  • Good volume
  • Includes footswitch

Sometimes, the best cheap guitar amps are the ones that get the basics right, without a lot of extra noise and fuss. This amp from Fender is just that – the Champion 20. It gives you all the functionality you’ll need for practicing at home or at the studio, and it comes at a pretty reasonable price.

Featuring a single 20-watt amplifier with a 6.5-by-10-inch speaker, this amp has all the basic functionality you’ll need to start playing. You can use the amp with an 8-ohm speaker, but that would be cutting it a bit thin for most modern guitars.

Everything from the controls to the styling is on-point, and though it’s not exactly up to the level of professional-level guitar amps, it’s definitely the right choice for people looking to play at home with minimal fuss.

5. Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

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6. Fender Acoustasonic 15

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fender Acoustasonic 15

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Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Ideal for solo entertainers, bar gigs, etc.
  • Built-in volume and tone controls
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Remote input for use with compatible devices

Cons:

  • Minor feedback problems
  • Could use a slightly better preamp

If you need a small acoustic guitar amp but don’t want to sacrifice on quality, you should first check out this amp from Fender. The Acoustasonic 15 offers a 15-watt output, a battery-powered option, and integrated volume and tone controls so you can adjust your sound to suit your acoustic guitar.

This versatile acoustic amplifier also comes with a 3.5mm AUX input for use with your MP3 player or smart phone, as well as a 1/8-inch auxiliary input. The device also has a tuner output so you can easily keep your levels accurate, and an effects loop in case you want to add in your own sound effects.

The Acoustasonic 15 is lightweight and portable, so you can use it anywhere. It comes with built-in hanger brackets so you can easily mount it on your guitar stand as well. Plus, you can also tilt the amp for easier access.

7. Sawtooth 10-Watt Electric Guitar Amp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sawtooth 10-Watt Electric Guitar Amp

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Pros:

  • Logical control layout
  • Low price
  • Good quality sound
  • Low weight
  • Good value for the price
  • Easy to use
  • Good for practice, jamming, and recording
  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Can be used with acoustic-electric guitars

Cons:

  • No EQ slider makes it difficult to dial in the tone you want for different songs
  • Only one channel
  • Only has a volume knob
  • Distortion isn’t the best

This little head has an amazing tone, and is perfect for home practice, jamming, and recording. It’s reliable in construction, and gives you a nice range of pro-level features for a very reasonable price.

This is a solid, 10 watt amp that gives you good amp tones thanks to the three different voicings “ blues, jazz, and crunch …. and it comes with a cool tone-shaping EQ that works really well in getting the sound you want. You can also connect your MP3 player with the 1/8" auxiliary input in order to turn your amp into a PA system.

8. Monoprice 611815 15Watt

Our rating: 7 / 10

Monoprice 611815 15Watt

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Pros:

  • Looks and sounds great
  • More than sufficient for an intermediate guitarist
  • Perfect for playing at home or office
  • Incredible sound reproduction

Cons:

  • Speaker changes might be necessary
  • There’s not a separate gain knob
  • Volume can be an issue with the line out

The Monoprice 611815 guitar amplifier is a great option if you have a limited budget but still want to get a decent sound.

The amp features a 12” speaker that delivers a lovely crunch and punch to your sound without blowing your eardrums. Plus, it’s loud enough for practicing and playing in small to medium sized rooms without having volume issues.

It features quite a few controls on the front panel, which include treble, bass, brightness (mid), volume, reverb, and a standby. There is also an external frequency/gain knob that replaces the standard volume control. If you are using an effects pedal, you can connect it to the internal effects loop.

9. Yamaha THR10 Desktop Guitar Amplifier and Interface

Our rating: 6 / 10

Yamaha THR10 Desktop Guitar Amplifier and Interface

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Pros:

  • Ideal for beginners wanting a more affordable option for entry-level tube amps
  • It is also surprisingly rich and warm for a solid-state option
  • Yamaha offers exceptional sound quality in a compact, affordable package

Cons:

  • It does not come with a foot pedal or a carrying bag
  • It is not suitable for live performance

The Yamaha THR10 is best suited for the recording studio or the bedroom. However, if you want to take it to small venues, you are better off using a DI box. It’s very affordable considering everything that you get in the package and the sound quality is surprisingly warm and rich.

It’s very versatile and there are many different ways to use it. You can use it as a standalone 10-watt amp, connect it to your computer or smartphone as an interface, or connect it to a mixer.

What’s even better is that you can tweak the sound to your liking by adding various effects such as the spring reverb, tremolo, chorus, phaser, flanger, and more. The sound is quite clear and can easily fill up a small room.

10. Peavey Vypyr VIP 2 Guitar Modeling Amp

Our rating: 6 / 10

Peavey Vypyr VIP 2 Guitar Modeling Amp

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Pros:

  • Multiple modulating effects
  • Guitars, bass, and mic input
  • Comes with amp modeling software to download
  • Complete control over the sound via the on-board presets
  • 3 different channels that allow you to switch to different genres of music
  • Guitar tuner

Cons:

  • Quality of the external speaker is not the best
  • Not the best for the serious musician

If you’re on a budget and want to get a guitar amp without spending too much, you should definitely consider this one. It's a great bang for your buck and comes at a reasonable price. These features make it a popular choice for new and intermediate guitar players.

You will find a myriad of sound quality settings on this amp, which is one way of helping you find the sound that’s right for you. There are 5 different amp models, and parameters that allow you to make adjustments and create your own custom sound.

The Vypyr VIP 2 also comes with effects like chorus, phaser, reverb, and tremolo, so you can also get the perfect rock or metal sound. Once you’re happy with the sound you’ve created you can save it as a preset.

Conclusion

So what makes one amp better than another? Well, there is no perfect universal answer to that question. While one person might really love a vacuum tube, for example, it’s not going to be the same for you if you’re not a fan of that sound.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar AmplifierBest OverallFender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier
Sawtooth 10-Watt Electric Guitar AmpBudget PickSawtooth 10-Watt Electric Guitar Amp
Yamaha THR10 Desktop Guitar Amplifier and InterfaceUpgrade PickYamaha THR10 Desktop Guitar Amplifier and Interface