Top 8 Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $100 – Battle Royal In The Budget Segment
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Contrary to popular belief, it is actually much harder to find and choose a good affordable amp than it is a top-tier unit, like the models you’ll find on our list of the best amps.
Last Updated: November 19, 2019
Out latest refresh of this important amp chart saw a bit of a reshuffle, with the removal of one amp and the addition of three new models. These included the impressive Fender Champion 20, as well as the Blackstar LT-ECHO 10. We also added the solid Peavy Solo 12W to complete the lineup.
There are so many factors you need to worry about, which can be rather overwhelming. Because of this, we have decided to do the footwork for you. We have taken a good look at the budget amp market and handpicked those amps that offer the best features and performance for under $100.
We have included various power ratings, sizes and styles of amps, so that you are guaranteed to find something you like. Enough talk – let’s get into it!
Top 8 Cheap Guitar Amplifiers Under $100:
|Image||Guitar Amplifier / Rating||Summary||Check Price|
|+ -|| Fender Champion 20 |
Total of 4.83/5
A budget combo with effects from the biggest name in amps.
|+ -|| Blackstar LT-ECHO 10w Practice Amp |
Total of 4.65/5
A cheap little practice amp with a lot to say.
|+ -|| Peavey Solo 12W |
Total of 4.73/5
Packs a tube-a-licious punch for this budget price range.
|+ -|| Orange Amplifiers Crush12 |
Total of 4.78/5
One of the smallest and basic but still great sounding Orange amps.
|+ -|| Pignose Legendary 7-100 |
Total of 4.58/5
Hard to fault this legendary practice amp!
|+ -|| Vox Pathfinder 10 |
Total of 4.88/5
Solid state perfection delivered by one of the best brands out there.
|+ -|| Peavey Backstage |
Total of 4.67/5
A very distinctive amp that brings tube tone to the budget crowd.
|+ -|| Blackstar FLY 3 |
Total of 4.47/5
One of the most unique looking and extremely capable micro amps available.
|+ -|| Fender Mini Deluxe |
Total of 4.47/5
Small, mobile and versatile micro amp that comes at a great price.
For players on a budget looking for a good-sounding and versatile amp, the Fender Champion 20 has all you need. This solid-state combo from the biggest name in guitars offers outstanding tones and unmatched versatility at this price.
The Champ 20 features 12 different amp models, including tweed, Blackface, British, and metal voicings. The three different voicings in each category give you the flexibility to nail whatever sound you’re looking for.
Beyond the voicings, this amp also offers effects from reverb and delay to wah, chorus, and tremolo. While they leave a little to be desired, they offer beginners an exceptional way to experiment with their sound at a low cost. For a more in-depth look, check out our full review of the Fender Champion 20.
The Blackstar LT-ECHO 10w is a portable practice amp that’s perfect for both beginners or players who want a little amp to move around with. Including some features not often seen at this price, this amp promises to stand out from the competition. Check out our full LT-ECHO review to find out if it succeeds.
Most amps of this size and price will be similar – in terms of function at least. The biggest talking points with this one are the patented ISF EQ and digital tape delay FX. At under $100, these offer far more versatility than you would expect.
Overall, this little amp offers extreme value for money from a manufacturer you can trust. We can't argue with that.
Amps in the sub-$100 range can be a bit of a crapshoot. Quality and tone can suffer at this price point, and it may be hard to find a good amp that you wouldn’t consider to be relatively disposable.
The Peavey Solo 12W is a strong contender among the competition. It’s all that an amp in this price range should be, with a relatively simple feature set and a tone that sounds like it cost much more than its measly price tag suggests.
This 12-watt practice amp may be the perfect choice for an amp that gives you so much for so little. The devil is in the details, and you can check them all out in our full Peavy Solo 12W review.
Orange Amplifiers offers a whole range of awesome amps that will get you that legendary 'Orange sound'. However, they also have a very impressive line of affordable amplifiers which are designed to give you a portion of that legendary performance on a budget.
Crush12 is the smallest box they offer, but it packs one mean punch. Simple, effective and with a killer sound, this model is a perfect fit for those who need a reliable practice amp to use at home.
The sound this thing brings to the table is tuned to replicate the sound you get from their full-size stacks. That alone means that you are getting way more than just a budget practice setup with Orange Crush12.
As the name suggests, the Pignose Legendary 7-100 is a true legend when it comes to mini amps! With a compact design and 5” speaker, this affordable little 5-watt amp offers a unique vintage suitcase style with an incredibly simple operation that makes it perfect for both beginners and travel alike.
While controls aren’t this amp’s strong point (in fact, there’s nothing more than an on/off switch) and versatility is down to your guitar, the Legendary 7-100 delivers a great tone for practice, with an almost tube-like clean sound, while you can achieve some real vintage fuzz as you increase the volume.
Be sure to check out the full review of the Pignose Legendary 7-100 for all the details.
Vox Pathfinder 10 represents what Vox is capable of offering to the budget crowd. As expected, the results are pretty amazing. With an exterior designed borrowed directly from their famous AC30, Pathfinder 10 is one of the better-looking models in this price range.
Performance-wise, you are looking at a truly versatile practice amp that delivers both in terms of cleans and overdriven tones. Being a solid state model, no one really expected any of that legendary Vox tone. However, that is exactly what we received.
Even though it is obviously rendered by digital circuitry, the tone still brings some of the Vox signature vibes we all love. Simple and effective, Pathfinder is one practice amp you should check out.
Peavey's lineup of affordable solid state amps hides one of the most interesting budget models on the market. Peavey Backstage was designed to offer something only a few brands even attempted to do - a solid state amp that sounds like a tube box.
Needless to say, they've managed to pull this off, thus giving anyone in search for a vintage tone, a great alternative that won't ruin their bank accounts. Simple both inside and out, Peavey Backstage delivers great performance and carries more than enough volume to for a practice amp.
If you simply need a taste of tube amps in your life, make sure to check out the Backstage as it's among the most distinguishable amplifiers of this kind.
When mobility is a factor, you will find some pretty compact amps. Going even further down the scale, there are micro models which few ever really look into. This is perfectly normal considering the performance limitations this class of amps has to deal with.
Blackstar's FLY 3 is one of the rare exceptions to that unwritten rule. With only 3 Watts of available power, this thing brings on the thunder like you would never expect to see from such a tiny package.
With a very versatile set of controls and even abuilt-in delay effect, Blackstar FLY 3 is among the most capable micro-amps on the market. On top of that, it also comes with a unique design.
What Should You Look For in the $100 Amp Market?
The main reason most players would buy a guitar amp for less than $100 is to have a decent practice partner for home playing – whether complete beginner or experienced guitarist with limited space. Although you will find some models in this entry-level price range are suitable for smaller gigs, these tend to be the exceptions.
So, what should you look for in a sub-$100 amplifier? The performance is not going to match that of an amp in a more expensive category, although you can still find a fantastic tone for low-volume playing. Of course, this price range is solid-state territory, with no tube amps available (although you may find something second-hand). But with solid-state models, you can expect to see a big range of tone-shaping features, from surprisingly advanced EQ controls to a series of built-in effects such as delay, tremolo and phaser.
The exact tone and the amount of versatility you end up with will depend on the brand you choose, as each one brings something different to the table.
Should I Bother with a Sub-$100 Amp?
Absolutely! Because spending $1,000 on a decent head then pairing it up with a 4×12 cabinet is rarely something you will use to its full potential – at least not in your bedroom. So affordable practice amps are a much better way to spend your money if you are looking for something to use at home or at low volumes, especially if you are a beginner.
However, if you are able to stretch your budget and you aspire to jam with a band or perform in smaller gigs – or simply want more power and versatility – browsing the amps in the under $200 category is a smart move.
The Final Word
Affordable amplifiers have become a necessity and an integral part of any guitarist’s home setup. They usually come with a few compromises to keep the costs low – whether power, versatility or quality control.
However, there is no better way to practice guitar at home than to have one of these at your side. The models we have highlighted above are by far some of the best you can buy for less than $100.
Good luck with your hunt for the best budget amp!