best guitar amp under $500

The Best Guitar Amps Under $500

Finding an affordable guitar amp that won’t break the bank can be quite confusing, especially when you don’t want to sacrifice tone or quality when buying a guitar amp. There are literally a ton of amps out there that are technically affordable, but if the amp sounds like complete crap, it can make a beginner just give up and quit. 

I was guilty of this years ago when I bought a Crate amp from the pawn shop near my apartment. I bought a decent guitar, but then I bought that darn Crate amp, and well, it sounded like dog crap. (Crate amps are widely known for their low quality tone.) It just made me want to quit and completely give up trying to learn the guitar for good. 

And then one day I decided I wanted to get a better amp, but I also didn’t want to break the bank. Alas, I ended up buying a Fender amp and thank god I did. It was then that I realized that I didn’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a guitar amp to get a decent sound. 

In this buyer’s guide, I have handpicked the best sounding guitar amps for under $500 dollars. That way you can keep your guitar playing dreams alive without going bankrupt.

Fender Mustang LT25 Guitar Amp, 25-Watt Combo Amp, with 2-Year Warranty, 30 Preset Effects with USB Audio Interface for Recording
  • The Fender Mustang LT25 Guitar Amplifier features 25 watts, 12.75Hx14.5Wx8.25D inches
  • This amp comes with an 8 inch Fender special design guitar speaker for the tried-and-true Fender quality sound
  • The simple user interface with 1.8 inch color display makes this amp an excellent choice for beginners
  • Bring out the eclectic in you with 30 preloaded presets covering a wide range of music
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty: Fender amplifiers are designed for players and built with unmatched quality, down to the last screw—Fender warrants this amplifier to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for two (2) years from original purchase

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

  • 30 presets
  • Easy menu navigation
  • Beginner friendly
  • Perfect for someone who doesn’t own a lot of effects pedals

Cons

  • Not the best for acoustics
  • Not really for bass guitars

Best Practice Amp Under $500

Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier, (Crush20RT)
  • Power: 20 watt (solid state)
  • 2 foot switchable channels
  • Speaker: 1x8 inches Orange Voice of the World
  • Controls: 3 band EQ, volume, gain, reverb
  • Built in reverb

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

  • Built-in tuner and reverb
  • Sounds like an old-school guitar amp
  • Voltage switcher on the back

Cons

  • Doesn’t sound the best with a bass guitar
  • Not loud enough for gigging

Best Mini Guitar Amp

Roland Micro Cube GX 3W 1x5 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amp Black
  • Power: 3W
  • Ultra-compact portable DSP guitar amp with 5-inch speaker
  • Runs on battery or AC power (adapter supplied) and includes carry strap
  • i-CUBE LINK jack provides simple audio interfacing with Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (interface cable included)
  • 8 COSM guitar amp models including JC-120 and a special mic preamp model

Last update on 2024-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

  • Runs on batteries or AC adapter, making this little amp perfect for practicing outdoors
  • Comes with built in modeling effects
  • Sounds good for it’s size

Cons

  • A bit spendy for the size

Best Amp for Gigging Under $500

Fender Champion 100 - 100-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier, with 2-Year Warranty
  • When ‘burying’ your drummer in volume is important, the 100 watts thrown out of 2 – 12” Fender special designed speakers will get your point across.
  • Jam along with your favorite tracks by simply plugging your MP3 player into the Auxiliary input and you instantly become part of the band and /or practice privately with the 1/8th headphone output jack that also mutes the speaker output.
  • Toggle between 100 Watts of clean or mean from the 2 channels with the kick of a footswitch during a stage or studio performance.
  • Explore many very usable musical tones from the many amp classic to modern amp voicing’s and the various spacial effects such as digital reverb, chorus, delay and vibratone.
  • Limited Warranty Included.1/8 inch aux input

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

  • Built in effects allows a ton of tone control
  • Loud enough for a small venue performance
  • Perfect for clean tone
  • Great for recording

Cons

  • Sometimes has a loud ‘pop’ when you turn the amp off

Best Tube Amp Under $500

Pros

  • Effects Loop and 3 band equalizer
  • Extremely rugged and durable
  • Sounds amazing for the price
  • Spring reverb feature
  • Can switch between 1w and 15w

Cons

  • Power cord isn’t removable
  • You might have to replace the tubes earlier than the higher priced tube amps 
  • Tubes are made in China

Best Bass Amp Under $500

Fender Rumble 25 V3 Bass Amp for Bass Guitar, Bass Combo, 25 Watts, with 2-Year Warranty 8 Inch Speaker, with Overdrive Circuit and Mid-Scoop Contour Switch
  • The Fender Rumble 25 V3 Bass Amplifier features 25 watts, a 1/8 inch auxiliary input jack, a 1/4 inch headphone output jack, and three band EQ
  • An 8 inch Fender Special Design speaker pumps 25 watts of pure Fender bass tone
  • The newly-developed overdrive circuit and switchable contour controls supply this bass amp with a rich, satisfying tone
  • The top-mount control panel features ivory “soft touch radio” control knobs
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty: Fender amplifiers are designed for players and built with unmatched quality, down to the last screw—Fender warrants this amplifier to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for two (2) years from original purchase

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

  • MP3 and Aux port
  • Contour control
  • Overdrive switch
  • Headphone input

Cons

  • No gain control
  • Not loud enough for gigs

About Me

I love playing around with various types of guitar gear so I started this website to share my guitar gear knowledge with the world. Enjoy!

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