Top 7 Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $200 – The Sweet Spot For Practice Rigs

The-Best-Amps-Under-200
Last Updated Apr-20-2017. $200 isn’t a bad budget for a guitar amp. You’re not going to be getting top-of-the-line equipment, but at the same time, it is enough to get past the barebones budget solutions with almost zero cool features.

Shopping for affordable practice amps is much easier when your budget is a bit more flexible. You won’t find the best guitar amps here, but the selection is much wider. While there are definitely some great models in the sub $100 range, doubling your budget will yield much more options. This is the segment of the market where you get to experience the sweet spot of the modeling technology. On a similar note, you will also start seeing amp heads, which is something that used to be reserved for much more expensive segments of the market. We have selected seven of the best amplifiers you can grab for $200 at the moment. Let’s dig right in and see what we’ve found.

Top 7 Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $200:

ImageGuitar Amplifier / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Marshall MG Series MG15CFX Marshall MG Series MG15CFX

Total of 4.78/5   4.78 Stars

Classic Marshall package that packs a good portion of their classic tone.

+ - Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark

Total of 4.67/5   4.67 Stars

An awesome yet simple hybrid head that brings a rather memorable performance.

+ - Vox Mini5 BRG 5W Vox Mini5 BRG 5W

Total of 4.80/5   4.80 Stars

An all too familiar vintage design with cutting edge electronics and performance.

+ - Fender Champion 40 Fender Champion 40

Total of 4.70/5   4.70 Stars

Perfect balance of power, performance, and style designed for true Fender fans.

+ - Blackstar ID: Core 40W Head Blackstar ID: Core 40W Head

Total of 4.75/5   4.75 Stars

Lots of power and Impressive versatility in a very low profile package.

+ - Blackstar ID: Core 20W Blackstar ID: Core 20W

Total of 4.70/5   4.70 Stars

A great affordable model that brings versatility to a whole new level.

+ - Peavey Rage 258 Peavey Rage 258

Total of 4.58/5   4.58 Stars

Simple, old school solution from Peavey, at a more than competitive price.

Marshall MG Series MG15CFX

Marshall MG Series MG15CFX

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

Marshall's practice amplifiers have been the patron saint of budget guitarists all around the world. The reason for this is their ability to give you a dose of that trademark Marshall vibe in an affordable solid state combo. MG Series MG15CFX is an extraordinary little box of pure performance that simply gets the job done. Those who insist on more modern features will find a decent balance in the FX cluster that comes with this model. While it might not be as versatile as some amps out there, you get to enjoy a well-known standard of quality. To many, that is something that matters the most. If you're looking for a reliable and proven practice amp, this is it.

Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark

Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark

Controls:4.4 Stars
Features:4.6 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

In a market full of regular combos and heads, Orange took the initiative and managed to infuse a pretty competitive segment with a bold setup. Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark is a hybrid head that packs both solid state and valve circuitry. Capable of delivering enough power to push a 4x12 cab, you can also use this bad boy in the confines of your bedroom. This is mainly thanks to cab emulation technology which Orange implemented specifically for this purpose. Aside from its unusual nature, Micro Dark is defined by its impressive tone and an extremely minimalist control cluster. In many ways, it is the perfect amp for someone who needs a single solution to cover both home practice and gigging.

Vox Mini5 BRG 5W

Vox Mini5 BRG 5W

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

Vox has once again used their legendary exterior design as a vessel for a rather innovative package. Vox Mini5 BRG 5W brings the usual modeling configuration, but it also comes with several pretty unique features. We are mainly talking about the awesome rhythm section that provides a backing track for your practice sessions and helps you perfect timing. On top of that, the quality of amp emulation is on the level of its own. They have modeled in an almost perfect rendition of their legendary AC30, which is something many have tried but failed. Compact, powerful and versatile, Vox Mini5 BRG 5W is by far one of the best guitar amplifiers in its respective price range. It's is that good.

Fender Champion 40

Fender Champion 40

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

Fender dug deep into their bag of tricks and found an older design that simply works. They have ported some of the best tones from their valve legends, took the same cab design, and created a modern affordable amp. Champion 40 does it pretty much all. Especially if you are a performing musician tied down by a limited budget. Great power for limited gigging, a lot of potential and a price that is extremely competitive. What else could one ask for? Compared to other models in its category, it's extremely hard to find something that offers this type of versatility while also bringing you a portion of a famous heritage. Overall, this is one affordable amp you can't go wrong with.

Blackstar ID: Core 40W Head

Blackstar ID: Core 40W Head

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

Long gone are the times when amp heads were expensive and somewhat exclusive. Models such as Blackstar's ID: Core 40W have enabled guitar players to experience the power of a budget stack. Bringing the entire spectrum of features that we have seen in ID: Core combos, this head is packed to the brim with various voices, effects and more. The device's emulated cab line out allows you to use it as a practice rig without a cabinet. Just plug in your headphones and you are good to go. Perfect for performing musicians on a budget as well as beginners, Blackstar's ID: Core 40W is one of the rare heads you can grab in this price range. And it's worth every penny.

Blackstar ID: Core 20W

Blackstar ID: Core 20W

Controls:4.7 Stars
Features:4.9 Stars
Performance:4.7 Stars
Value:4.5 Stars

Blackstar's modeling amps have added a rather distinctive spin on this pretty standardized tech. Their entire ID: Core series is impressive but ID: Core 20W comes across as the sweet spot. Providing its users with enough juice mixed in with great tone quality, this amplifier combo is a perfect choice for both home use and recording music.Aside from its extensive library of voices and effects, Blackstar's ID: Core technology allows you to create and download brand new patches directly to the amp. Needless to say that Blackstar wanted to exploit the fullest potential of modern modeling amp design. If you are on a budget but still demand a high dose of versatility, this is probably the model you need.

Peavey Rage 258

Peavey Rage 258

Controls:4.5 Stars
Features:4.3 Stars
Performance:4.6 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

Peavey’s Rage 258 is not your average modeling amp. Instead of packing it full of various voicing options, effects, and other features, Peavey has decided to keep things simple. Two channels, a three-band EQ, and a little extra. That is all Rage 258 offers, and it is more than enough to dial in a killer tone. One benefit of such design is its incredibly light weight. Coming in at 16 lbs in total, this Peavey is perfect for those who gig very often but don’t need ultra powerful amps. Speaking of power, you get 25 Watts RMS to work with. That is probably the ideal amount of juice for a practice amp. Overall, this is one awesome little guitar amp.

Why You Should Get A $200 Practice Amp

Practice amps are judged by a very different set of requirements compared to their full sized performance counterparts. In other words, you can’t expect a practice amp to perform like a top-tier stack. A good practice amp needs to be versatile, powerful enough to facilitate all your needs, and affordable enough so most guitar players out there can get one. Amps that come in this price range meet all those requirements. In terms of versatility, you are looking at a full range of modeling features such as various amp emulations, effects and more. On top of that, the quality of these features starts to get a lot better in this segment.

One of the most important benefits of these amps is their power output. You are generally looking at anything from 5 Watts all the way to 40 Watts of power. That makes them suitable for both home use and gigging. If you decide to go with an amp head instead of a standard combo, gigging goes from being a slim possibility to an actual intended application. This brings us to another question.

Should You Get A Head Or A Combo?

Now that this choice is possible, you will have to make a decision based on your needs. One of the great things about modeling amp heads is that they don’t necessarily require a cab in order to work. Most will come with cab emulation. This means that you can simply plug in your headphones directly into the head, and get the tone you need that way. On the other hand, having a head instead of a combo allows you to gig without wondering whether or not you have enough power at your disposal.

The other option is a powerful combo. With something that delivers 20 or more Watts of power, you can still gig in smaller venues, but it makes practice that much more fun. Making this choice is all about what your priorities are. The important thing is that amps in this price range allow you to even have that choice.

Conclusion

Going for a $200 practice guitar amp is the sweet spot. You get the most bang for your buck. Models we have shown you above are what we consider to be the best options on the market at the moment. Each of them offers a unique angle and pack a formidable amount of performance. All you have to do is pick the one that best fits your needs.


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