Reviews Of The Top 8 Guitar Amps Under $500 To Select From

In general, guitar amps under $500 are considered to be getting towards the professional level. With such a budget, you can get a somewhat professional amp that will give you pristine sound almost anywhere – at home practicing, in a room with your band, or even on stage at small and medium-sized venues. These are the perfect match for any of the guitars in our best under 500 list.

You want to be careful with the amp you choose, though. You’ll likely be using this one for years to come – you want a good amp in general, and you want one that suits your needs specifically.

We’ve taken the liberty to scour the internet for every amp on the market today. From all of them (there were hundreds), we selected the top 8 for you to select from. No matter who you are or what you enjoy playing, as long as you have at least $500 to spend, you will find your perfect guitar amplifier on this list.

Read on!

List Of The 8 Best-Rated Guitar Amps For Under $500:

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Guitar Amps
Summary
Rating
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Vox Valvetronix VT80 Plus Guitar Combo Amplifier
A true performer's workhorse made by a reliable brand, offering reliable performance.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
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Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp
Not so versatile for a modeling amp, but delivers high quality tone.
4.8 Stars
Total of 4.8/5
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Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 Modeling Guitar Amplifier and Bluetooth Speaker
A modern amp that incorporates some of the advanced, rarely seen features.
4.8 Stars
Total of 4.8/5
584527000001000-00-500x500
VOX AC15VR Guitar Combo Amplifier
This amp is the ticket to that golden, classic Vox tube sound.
4.7 Stars
Total of 4.7/5
amplificador-para-guitarra-fender-mustang-iv-v2-150-watts-trans-37-efectos-fender-fuse-combo-2x12
Fender Mustang IV (V.2) 150-Watt 2x12 Electric Guitar Combo Amplifier
4.6 Stars
Total of 4.6/5
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Bugera V55 55-Watt Vintage 2-Channel Valve Combo Amplifier
Stylish solution that offers a different type of tone, but great performance.
4.6 Stars
Total of 4.6/5
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Line 6 Spider IV 150 150-watt 2x12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier
Well rounded package with lots of features, effects, and a great tone.
4.5 Stars
Total of 4.5/5
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Marshall MG101CFX MG Series 100-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amp
Powerful Marshall solid state unit that brings reliable performance and proven tone.
4.4 Stars
Total of 4.4/5

 

Vox Valvetronix VT80 Plus Guitar Combo Amplifier619qfKEN2PL._SL1000_

Features:4.9 Stars
Controls:4.9 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Click here to view the official product page.

The Valvetronix VT80 takes the #1 spot because it’s an exceptionally good all-around amplifier… and it comes with 99 different carefully-calculated presets to make you sound unique right out of the box.

The presets are separated into three categories – we’ll call them classics, Valvetronix, and FX.

  1. Classics: these are presets that mimic the sounds of classic bands in classic songs perfectly
  2. Valvetronix: these are proprietary amp presets from the team at Valvetronix
  3. FX: these are presets that use chorus, flanger, tremolo and much more for a distinct sound

As far as power, you’re set – with 120 watts, the Valvetronix VT80 is enough for almost any performance and venue. With a true-tube vacuum tube system and a 12” speaker to finish everything off, this is an amplifier that will serve a wide range of purposes for all guitarists out there. The gap between this one and any $300 guitar amplifier is well worth the money.


Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1×10-Inch Guitar Combo AmpH79021000001000-00-500x500

Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

Click here to view the official product page.

The Super Champ X2 is another exceptional all-around amplifier with a slight focus on sound quality over diversity of presets. There are still 16 different presets, all the way from Tweed to Metal, but with Fender, you get a 10” speaker, channel switching format, and much, much more.

Despite the lower number of presets, customers say that they find themselves changing up the settings more and more with the Fender Super Champ X2. Whereas with other amps you find one setting and primarily stick with that one, on the X2, every adjustment provides a real difference in your tone – especially if you’re using different guitars while playing!

Get this amp if you don’t see yourself exploring through almost 100 different presets. With slightly more tone customization, the X2 is a perfect amp under $500 for experienced players.


Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 Modeling Guitar Amplifier and Bluetooth Speaker

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Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

Click here to view the official product page.

If you’re okay with spending all of your $500, consider the Line 6 AMPLIFi 75. The AMPLIFi series is the only type of amp that works wirelessly as both an amp and a bluetooth speaker. With its ridiculously sleek design and wireless connectivity, you can play from anywhere without having to deal with a huge amp being in your presence.

As far as controlling the AMPLIFi 75, you’ll need a smartphone. The amp is compatible with all versions of iOS and Android. Line 6 provides a free app that allows you to control your amp and all of its settings from one simple interface.

The icing on the cake? It’s loud (100 watts) and creates a particularly distinct sound with its 5-speaker system. Instead of having a single speaker blast right into your ear, the 5-speaker systems creates a more surround-sound type of feeling. Line 6 made this type of speaker system specifically for its AMPLIFi series so it could handle both guitar and regular music just as well.

If you’re looking for a tech-savvy, 2015 piece of guitar equipment, go with the Line 6 AMPLIFi 75. It’s wireless, it’s controlled from your phone, and it’s a fantastic amp in general. Of course, it’s just under $500 – but hey, that’s still within your budget range, right?


VOX AC15VR Guitar Combo Amplifier584527000001000-00-500x500

Features:4.7 Stars
Controls:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.7 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars
Average:4.7 Stars

Click here to view the official product page.

As you probably already know, the issue with amps that have a ton of wattage is when you try to play at lower volumes, something just sounds… off. You don’t get the sound you’re aiming for until you’re cranking the volume, and that’s not always feasible if you’re practicing, or, you know… just trying to keep it down.

The AC15VR is the under $500 amplifier for guitarists who want perfect sound at lower volumes. With 15 watts, you’re not going to use this at your larger performances, and depending on how loud your bassist is, you might not even be able to use it during practice.

But by yourself, this is the amp you want. It’s built for practice, and it’s powered by Vox and all of their cutting-edge amplifier technology. With the small dimensions and relatively light weight, you’ll be able to hone your skills effortlessly and sound great while doing so.


Fender Mustang IV (V.2) 150-Watt 2×12 Electric Guitar Combo Amplifieramplificador-para-guitarra-fender-mustang-iv-v2-150-watts-trans-37-efectos-fender-fuse-combo-2x12

Features:4.7 Stars
Controls:4.5 Stars
Performance:4.6 Stars
Value:4.6 Stars
Average:4.6 Stars

Click here to view the official product page.

The VOX AC15VR was based around practice play – the Fender Mustang IV, is the complete opposite.

With 150 watts of power, two separate 12” speakers, and exceptional sound quality at louder volumes, this is an amp you can take to major gigs and feel safe that you’ll be able to cut through the band and fill the room with your sound adequately.

Usually, when you start adding more power, amps become heavier… again, this is the opposite of that. At 47 pounds, it’s not exactly the lightest thing in the world, but it’s exponentially lighter than other amps with similar specs.

It comes with 100+ presets, a foot pedal is included, it’s easy to use, and you even get free recording software if you register your amp with Fender. This takes about five minutes and there are step-by-step instructions on how to do it in the box.

Overall, this is a loud amp that gets the job done. If you’re looking to spend your $500 on a gig amp and get free professional recording software at the same time, look no further.


Bugera V55 55-Watt Vintage 2-Channel Valve Combo Amplifier81gZJULnhSL._SL1000_

Features:4.6 Stars
Controls:4.6 Stars
Performance:4.6 Stars
Value:4.6 Stars
Average:4.6 Stars

Click here to view the official product page.

Chances are, when you picked out your guitar(s), you considered how they looked at least a little bit before making your decision. And chances are, you’re doing the exact same thing right now with your amplifier.

Look at how the V55 looks. Is that your style? If yes, you’re in luck – not only is this a vintage amp, but it packs all of the features that a regular amp has, too.

According to customers, this is a suitable guitar amp for anyone who plays blues or classic rock. Don’t expect pristine distorted tones, but hey, it’s under $500… you shouldn’t be expecting top-of-the-line equipment, anyways. It’s not a Marshall.

Overall, get this amp if you’re someone who needs an amp for warm, clean sounds. Because of the 55 volts, this can easily be used at gigs and practices with drummers and bassists. It’s not that expensive and serves a certain style of play perfectly… so if you fit into that style of play (clean sound specifically), this is your best bet.


Line 6 Spider IV 150 150-watt 2×12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier51WoXuEGcbL

Features:4.6 Stars
Controls:4.4 Stars
Performance:4.5 Stars
Value:4.5 Stars
Average:4.5 Stars

Click here to view the official product page.

Line 6 makes it onto this list of the top eight guitars under $1,000 for a second time with its Spider IV. As the title suggests, this is a modeling amp with 150 watts of power and two 12” speakers inside.

There are ample presets to give you the sounds of classic musicians and allow you to explore some unique ones of your own. The FX is where this amp particularly shines, though – there are 20 smart effects and up to four of them can be used at once.

With pretty much every input/output option you could need, ample presets, tons of FX options, substantial volume, and surprisingly good sound quality (out of 20+ customers, almost everyone rated it 5/5 on sound), this is a solid choice for anyone looking to explore new sounds while maintaining an acceptable level of max volume and sound quality.


Marshall MG101CFX MG Series 100-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Combo Ampmg101cfx-xlarge

Features:4.4 Stars
Controls:4.4 Stars
Performance:4.4 Stars
Value:4.4 Stars
Average:4.4 Stars

Click here to view the official product page.

It’s a Marshall… but it’s not a tube amp. It’s solid state. Some might be okay with this, but some might not be – that’s why it’s #8 on the list.

As with most Marshall amps, there’s everything you’d expect with superior sound quality. There aren’t a ton of presets of effects, but hey, you’re not paying for that with Marshall – you’re paying for the sound quality (and to look like a rock legend).

Get this amp if you want a Marshall and are okay with having a solid-state amp.

You’ll see that there are a few 1-star reviews – these are from customers who received defective units years ago. Ignore those and read through the normal reviews, then make your decision on whether or not to get a Marshall with your under $500 budget.)


Last Words

Take your $500 and hold onto it very carefully. Before making such a substantial purchase on your equipment, you want to make sure that your money is going towards the perfect amp for you and your needs. You can always get some of the recommended cheap solutions for a start but do you really have to?

Honestly, the eight above are the only eight you should consider under $500 – there is something for everyone, and you’ll be able to get the best value for your money by selecting one of the amps above.

That’s a promise.

 

Good luck, and happy shredding!