Top 7 Best Amplifiers Under $1000 – The Major League

The-Best-Amps-Under-1000
Last Updated Apr-20-2017. A big welcome to all of the serious guitarists out there. You guys (and gals) have mastered your craft to the point where you need an earth-shattering, top-of-the-line guitar amplifier to practice and perform the best you can both inside and outside. The point where a great $300 guitar amp is just not enough..

When the time comes for a guitar player to get a serious amplifier, the good stuff starts to become available as you reach the $1000 mark. Some of the best amps on the market are going to hover around this figure. If you are considering getting something that fits this description, you are in the right place. We have compiled a list of top 7 best amplifiers under $1000, which includes some of the legendary models as well as some lesser known options. Compared to amps you can get for around $500, the ones listed below are going to have a lot more power and offer better performance. We have included a wide range of flavors for you to check out. From units designed for metal to more traditional tube amps that pack a classic, vintage sound. Let’s jump right in.

Top 7 Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $1000:

ImageGuitar Amplifier / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Peavey 6505 Peavey 6505

Total of 4.85/5   4.85 Stars

One of the most legendary amps for the fans of heavier tone.

+ - EVH 5150III 50W EVH 5150III 50W

Total of 4.88/5   4.88 Stars

Eddie Van Halen’s miracle head that packs a whole lot of heat.

+ - Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM36H Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM36H

Total of 4.72/5   4.72 Stars

Awesome tube head that offers great, unique tone delivered with enough power.

+ - Marshall DSL100H Marshall DSL100H

Total of 4.80/5   4.80 Stars

Proven recipe that is perfect for those who need reliable, rich tone.

+ - Bugera Trirec Bugera Trirec

Total of 4.80/5   4.80 Stars

A true triple rectified tone coming with a rather affordable price tag.

+ - Vox Custom AC15C2 Vox Custom AC15C2

Total of 4.70/5   4.70 Stars

Legendary Vox tube sound packed in a more flexible and versatile package.

+ - Orange Amplifiers Dual Terror DT30H Orange Amplifiers Dual Terror DT30H

Total of 4.73/5   4.73 Stars

This is essentially a scaled up and beefed up Tiny Terror head.

Peavey 6505

Peavey 6505

Controls:4.8 Stars
Features:4.7 Stars
Performance:5 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

For over 20 years, Peavey 6505 has been the go-to choice for many metal bands and producers looking for a quality heavy tone. Fairly simple in design, Peavey 6505 offers 120 Watts of pure power that is being delivered by four 6L6 tubes in the power stage. The type of performance you can expect needs no introduction. Just put on any Machine Head album and you will hear it for yourself. On top its legendary tone, 6505 has been known as one of the most reliable and durable tube amps ever made. Whether you are touring the world or just playing gigs in your area, this amp will offer the kind of consistency that is becoming more and rarer.

EVH 5150III 50W

EVH 5150III 50W

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

EVH’s 5150III shares the same roots as Peavey’s 6505. Compared to that amp, you’re looking at an extended range that brings a trademark Van Halen signature with it. This head is the smaller brother to the original 5150III and offers 50 Watts of power delivered by a full suite of JJ’s tubes in both preamp and power stage. It’s capable of pushing both the 2x12 and 4x12 speaker cabs, making it a great choice for studio work as well as stage use. Easy to use, aesthetically impressive, and simply awesome in terms of tone, EVH 5150III 50 Watt head is among the better amps in its category. If you’re a fan of heavy tone, this is the amp for you.

Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM36H

Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM36H

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

In the world of tube guitar amplifiers, Hughes & Kettner holds a very special place. Their designs are often a bit unusual, but ultimately impressive both in terms of appearance and performance. Hughes & Kettner TM36H is one such amp that brings a flashy aesthetic paired with enough tube power to satisfy just about all of your needs. It offers three channels which include a clean, crunch and lead option. Tone shaping is done using two sets of passive three-band EQs and individual gain controls for each channel. With 36 Watts of power, this amp head will be a great choice for both home and gig use. All you really need is a decent speaker cab and you are good to go.

Marshall DSL100H

Marshall DSL100H

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

In a world where most brands are racing to produce boutique tube heads, Marshall has decided to stick with their guns. Their DSL100H is the epitome of a workhorse tube head that packs just the right kind of power and performance. This thing features two channels, each with two modes of operation, essentially giving you four different flavors of tone. Its extensive EQ section allows for elaborate tone shaping while it also comes with a digital reverb. Offering 100 Watts, this Marshall is suitable for both studio and stage use. If you're trying to extract a heavier tone, cutting the output down to 50 Watts will get you a more saturated distortion. In simple words, this is a proven formula.

Bugera Trirec

Bugera Trirec

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

Bugera's Trirec Infinium has delivered something that was considered to be borderline impossible not so long ago. They have created a triple rectifier amp head at a price which makes it a bargain. Trirec features three distinct channels, each with its own EQ section. With a power output of 100 Watts, you are looking at a true stage workhorse. One interesting detail is how Bugera achieved rectification. They give the user a choice to either use silicon diodes, tubes, or both. This way you can choose between tight and heavy tone and that loose saggy rectification we are used to. Those who are looking for a Dual Recto type performance on a tight budget will love what Bugera Trirec offers.

Vox Custom AC15C2

Vox Custom AC15C2

Controls:4.6 Stars
Features:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Vox AC15C2 represents a continuation of what AC30 has begun a long time ago. This combo brings the same type of sound, the same aesthetic, and enough power to those who are looking for a proper vintage tube amp. The main difference between the C2 and C1 is the addition of an extra 12 Inch Celestion Greenback speaker. Having one more of these legendary transducers allows you to experience the full extent of Vox’s vintage cleans. On top of that, this amp also comes with a great reverb as well as the tremolo effect. In terms of vintage style tube amps, it doesn’t really get better than this. For a 15 Watt unit, AC15C2 offers plenty of volume to work with.

Orange Amplifiers Dual Terror DT30H

Orange Amplifiers Dual Terror DT30H

Controls:4.6 Stars
Features:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Orange Amplifiers Dual Terror is one of the most compact and most potent tube heads you can find on the market. They have taken the core of their legendary Tiny Terror series and scaled it up into a model that has more power. The amp is very simple in nature, which can be seen in its rudimentary controls. However, it brings you that trademark Brit tone which not many amps are capable of doing these days. With twangy cleans and gritty overdrive, you are looking at a very potent little box. Its 30 Watts of power make it a great choice both for a half stack setup to be used on a stage, or a capable studio recording tube configuration.

Benefits Of Owning a $1000 Amplifier

There are amps which are much more expensive than the ones found in this price range, as well as those which are a lot more affordable. However, the $1000 range is where the perfect performance to price ratio is found. Most of these models are going to be tube designs, predominantly in a head format. We have included almost exclusively amp heads in our list, mainly because they offer the best performance for the money. If you need an all tube amplifier for your guitar and are looking to gig with it often, any one of the models listed above will work just fine.

On top of the raw power, you are hardly going to find this type of performance in an amp that costs $300 or less. We say this even though there are some pretty amazing models that can be found for that kind of money. The truth is that the amp you paid a grand for is going to be a whole new level of quality. This is major league level.

Factoring In Additional Equipment

The deal with most of these heads is that they are just heads. Some of them come with features which allow you to plug them in directly into your computer or even a mixer.
With that said, the only real way to experience the power of these awesome amps is to have a decent speaker cabinet. That is the only downside to dealing with amp heads instead of combos. Shopping for a quality amp head means that you will also have to factor in the price of a speaker cab.

What Does $1000 Get you?

The main reason why you would want to be interested in amps from this price range, aside from the obvious performance boost, is their flexibility. Gigging with a 15 Watt tube amp is possible to some extent, but definitely not recommendable. On the other hand, working with a 100 Watts of pure tube power makes stage work extremely easy.

Conclusion

The amps we have shown you are by far some of the best amplifiers you can get for less than $1000. We have included a couple of legendary designs whose reputation is well known all over the world. With that said, we have also added a few less known gems which are highly unappreciated. Either way, you should be able to find a great fit for your needs, no matter what they are.


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