Top 7 Best Portable Guitar Amplifiers – When You Want To Practice On The Go

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Last Updated Apr-21-2017. Practice guitar amps come in a variety of different shapes and forms. Some like them big and powerful enough where it’s possible to use them for gigging, while other have completely different requirements. One of the more popular niches of practice amps are the portable ones. We are talking about models which are small enough to be used on the road, as well as capable of being powered by a set of batteries.

While portable amps are usually affordable, some can easily be placed among the best $300 practice rigs. With that said, portable amps have a very special place in the guitar community. Some of these are considered to be the best amplifiers in general. Today we are going to show you our top 7 best portable guitar amplifier picks, and talk about what makes this niche category so awesome. Let’s get started.

Top 7 Mini Guitar Amps:

ImageGuitar Amplifier / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Roland Micro Cube GX Roland Micro Cube GX

Total of 4.85/5   4.85 Stars

A tiny portable powerhouse that brings the full might of modeling technology.

+ - Yamaha THR10C Classic Combo Yamaha THR10C Classic Combo

Total of 4.88/5   4.88 Stars

An extremely versatile and powerful amp for both home and road use.

+ - Blackstar Fly 3W Blackstar Fly 3W

Total of 4.90/5   4.90 Stars

The functionality of a full-sized guitar amp in a very portable package.

+ - Pignose Legendary 7-100 Pignose Legendary 7-100

Total of 4.58/5   4.58 Stars

A very simple, very potent and overall impressive little portable guitar amplifier.

+ - Marshall MS-2 Mini Am Marshall MS-2 Mini Am

Total of 4.80/5   4.80 Stars

A micro stack that brings the core tone of its full-size cousins.

+ - Vox amPlug 2 AC30 Vox amPlug 2 AC30

Total of 4.78/5   4.78 Stars

The essence of AC30 packed into a super portable and versatile package.

+ - Fender '57 Mini Twin Amp Fender '57 Mini Twin Amp

Total of 4.70/5   4.70 Stars

A great looking, fairly powerful and decent sounding portable solution from Fender.

Roland Micro Cube GX

Roland Micro Cube GX

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

Roland's Cube series have been at the very front of modeling amp category designed for practice and home use. Their Micro Cube GX represents one of the smallest models from the series, and it is absolutely awesome. Unlike most of its directcompetition, this amp brings on the full might of modeling technology. There are eight different amp emulations to choose from, six effects including both emulation and reverb/delay, and finally the ability to store presets. For a tiny little amplifier like this one, those features make it extremely powerful. On top of that, you can run this thing using both the adapter and a battery. In terms of pure performance, Roland Micro Cube GX is a true powerhouse.

Yamaha THR10C Classic Combo

Yamaha THR10C Classic Combo

Controls:4.9 Stars
Features:4.9 Stars
Performance:5 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Yamaha is known for many things, but amplifiers aren't one of them. Even so, they have managed to produce one of the most versatile and powerful compact packages on the market. Yamaha THR10C brings the versatility of a full fledged modeling unit along with the tone of a proper tube amp. With over 6 different guitar amp emulations available, the user also has access to a bass amp, acoustic amp and mic simulation preset. In other words, this is your one-stop shop for home recording. What makes it a great portable amp is its still reasonable size and the fact that it can run on batteries for a pretty respectable amount of time. All in all, a powerful choice.

Blackstar Fly 3W

Blackstar Fly 3W

Controls:4.9 Stars
Features:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:5 Stars

Blackstar Fly 3W belongs to the portable amplifiers category, but it brings a performance that is much closer to a full sized amp. Not only is it generally more powerful than most of its immediate competition, but Blackstar has also packed it with a great variety of features. We are talking built effects, an actual EQ section and more. With a clean and overdrive channel, you can enjoy a great variety of tones on the go. One of the most interesting features of the Fly 3W has got to be the fact that you can attach a speaker cabinet if the built in 3 Inch unit is not enough. Overall, Blackstar has created a highly versatile platform with Fly 3W.

Pignose Legendary 7-100

Pignose Legendary 7-100

Controls:4.2 Stars
Features:4.3 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

When it comes to portable amplifiers, you will hardly find a more unique and deceptively basic setup than the Pignose Legendary 7-100. This amp is the epitome of simplicity. There are no controls aside from the one volume knob, while everything else is done using nothing more than what your guitar comes equipped with. Even so, its 5 Watts of power and a quality voiced 5 Inch speaker give it an almost tube-like aesthetic. This line of portable amplifiers has become so popular over time, that numerous popular guitar players have decided to record some of their songs using nothing more but a Pignose unit. That type of value and legacy is pretty hard to find in this price range.

Marshall MS-2 Mini Am

Marshall MS-2 Mini Am

Controls:4.7 Stars
Features:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:5 Stars

Marshall MS-2 Mini guitar amplifier is one of the smallest, yet best sounding amps you can get. When mobility is a requirement, the device's super compact form allows you to experience the core of Marshall's popular tone on the go. The power rating of this amp is limited to 1 Watt. Even so, it is more than capable of giving you the volume necessary for a good practice session. MS-2 comes with two channels and is powered by a single 9V battery. They have designed it to look like one of their classic stacks, which makes it one of the better-looking models in the portable category. If you're looking for a mobility on a budget, Marshall MS-2 Mini is the answer.

Vox amPlug 2 AC30

Vox amPlug 2 AC30

Controls:4.6 Stars
Features:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

Vox amPlug 2 AC30 belongs to the family of headphones guitar amplifiers. As such, it packs a lot of heat compared to its immediate competition. Not only do you get the essence of one of the most legendary tube amplifiers ever made, but Vox has also built in a whole lot of effects into these little amps. You get three different effects, each with three different modes. Battery operated, Vox amPlug 2 AC30 will give you almost 20 hours of continuous work time on a single charge. Add to that the ability to plug in your smart device, and you have a pretty great practice rig that can also be used to for casual jamming to your favorite tunes.

Fender '57 Mini Twin Amp

Fender '57 Mini Twin Amp

Controls:4.6 Stars
Features:4.6 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Fender is a brand known for producing just about everything and anything guitar related. As such, everyone expected them to design a decent portable amplifier. Fender '57 Mini Twin is what we got and it is pretty decent. The power output you are looking at here is 1 Watt being distributed to not one, but two 2 Inch speakers. In terms of versatility, this amp comes with a clean as well as overdrive channel, both of which can be pretty loud. What makes it so practical is the fact that you can power it either by using a battery or a power adapter. On top of all that, it just looks fabulous even though that is not all that important.

Why You Should Strongly Consider Getting a Portable Amp

The main and most obvious benefit of having a portable guitar amp is the fact that you can take it anywhere with you. In other words, you can drop some of these into your guitar’s gig bag and you will be able to practice anywhere, anytime. On the other hand, a ‘portable amp’ applies to a fairly broad spectrum of models. We are talking anything from the headphone amps like that Vox on our list, to what can be considered a decent size combo like the Yamaha. Both of these are portable, only one of them is packed with many more features as well as power. The point we are trying to make here is that a portable amp doesn’t mean something cheap and pea-sized. On top of that, some of these guitar amps offer a pretty simple way to record music at home, which is something that is becoming more and more important.

Simple or Complex?

Whether you are going to go for a simple or complex portable amp is completely up to you. Some guitar players like the inherent basic design of these units, which makes it extremely easy to just plug in your guitar and start playing. On the other hand, there are those who demand greater control over their tone. More complex amplifiers will also cost you more. However, even the more expensive ones will never reach price tags near the $500 range. That’s the full-size territory.

Conclusion

Finding the best portable guitar amp for your own needs will essentially depend on what you need from an amp. If you are content with having a great tone in a super small package, your choices will be much more diverse and affordable. Those who need additional features and controls will have to opt for slightly larger and more expensive rigs. Either way, portable amps are the only real solution to amplification without a power outlet.


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