Top 7 Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $200 – The Sweet Spot For Practice Rigs
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Last Updated: Apr-26-2019
We rung in the changes in our latest refresh of this sub-$200 amp chart, removing three models and adding three in their place. Newcomers to the list included the solid Blackstar ID:Core 20 V2, the Orange Crush 20 RT, and the Line 6 Spider V 30.
Shopping for affordable practice amps is much easier when your budget is a little more flexible. On this page, you won’t find the best guitar amps on the market, but the selection is much wider.As you may know, there are some superb amps costing less than $100, but doubling your budget will yield many more options.
This segment of the market is where you experience the sweet spot of modeling technology. You will also start to see amp heads, which is something that used to be reserved for much higher budgets.
In the chart below we have selected a handful of the best amplifiers you can grab for $200 or less. Then stick around after the chart for a discussion on these amps.
Top 7 Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $200:
|Image||Guitar Amplifier / Rating||Summary||Check Price|
|+ -|| Blackstar ID: Core 10 V2 |
Total of 4.90/5
A compact modeling amp packed full with awesome features and versatile controls.
|+ -|| Orange Crush 20RT Guitar Amp |
Total of 4.58/5
This cool Orange amp packs a mean punch for under 200 notes.
|+ -|| Fender Champion 40 |
Total of 4.70/5
Perfect balance of power, performance, and style designed for true Fender fans.
|+ -|| Bugera V5 Infinium |
Total of 4.67/5
An affordable all-tube amp from Bugera.
|+ -|| Line 6 Spider V 30 |
Total of 4.80/5
A very diverse practice amp – priced right and loaded with features.
|+ -|| Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark |
Total of 4.67/5
An awesome yet simple hybrid head that brings a rather memorable performance.
|+ -|| Peavey Rage 258 |
Total of 4.58/5
Simple, old school solution from Peavey, at a more than competitive price.
Blackstar has already established their presence in the budget segment with their impressive tube amps. This time around, they are showing the world just what they are capable of delivering in the modeling segment of the market.
Blackstar ID: Core 10 V2 is a multi-tool every guitar player would want to have in their bedroom. With a vast range of voices, presets and effects, ID: Core 10 V2 comes across as one of the most versatile budget amps you can get your hands on.
But wait, there's more. On top of an already impressive hardware aspect, there is also a software side to this package. You get Blackstar's own INSIDER software as well as Presonus' DAW suite to work with.
In this price range, a lot of amps offer versatility by packing in effects and features that are decent… but not great. While the Orange 20RT still manages to cram in more features than the average 20-watt amp, it definitely focuses on quality over quantity.
It has more than enough versatility in the 3-band EQ and built-in reverb to shape your sound just how you like it. With a quality Voice of the World 8” speaker delivering solid tone, the 20RT lives up to the legendary Orange name for a price that won't scare you off.
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.
We just had to include an all-tube amp on this list and there’s no surprise to find it’s from Bugera – probably because they are one of the only brands that actually make them at this price!
As we mention in the full review of the Bugera V5 Infinium, this popular 5-watt model features a 12AX7 preamp tube and EL84 power tube projected through a single 8” Turbosound speaker.
This setup delivers a rich and creamy tone with natural overdrive that’s perfect for classic vintage blues. While the tone controls are a little limited, there’s options for volume, gain and reverb, offering some variation. An excellent choice for practice and those wanting to experiment with tube amps.
The Line 6 Spider V 30 is the entry-level model in the Spider V Series, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks the features that its bigger brothers (like the V 60 and V 120) have to offer.
An impressive array of amp, cabinet and effects models – coupled with a full-range speaker system – creates an all-in-one solution. It’s just right for practicing or taking things to the next level, with stage performance not out of the question.
Line 6 has generated a winner in our eyes, especially when you consider that the whole package can be yours for under $200. What you get for what you pay is too big a list to go over here – check out our full review to see what’s included.
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.
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.
Should You Buy a $200 Amp?
If you have a budget of $200, you open yourself up to a new level of amp when compared to the entry-level practice amps that dominate the sub-$100 category. Sure, the amps on this page aren’t going to bring the house down with power or tone, but they are a big step up in terms of output and versatility.
To be classed as a good amp in this category, the model should show off good tonal flexibility, whether that comes from a variety of EQ controls, or amp modelling and built-in effects.
It should also have ample power. In this category you can find everything from 5 watts right up to 40 watts. This makes many of these amps suitable for both home use and smaller performance scenarios (although still in the realms of school hall rather than opera house).
Do You Need a Head or a Combo Amp?
It’s nice to have a choice isn’t it? Choosing between a head or a combo isn’t something you can do in the entry-level price range. However, these days – thanks to quality amps becoming more affordable – it is certainly an option in this $200 category. But which is right for you?
Buying an amp head is seen as the way to go if you are planning to perform to more than a small hall of people. These amp heads are plugged into an external speaker cabinet for huge power, capable of filling an auditorium.
Of course, heads also come with negatives, such as the fact that you do need to buy or hook up to a cab or PA system for output, as well as carry extra cables. However, the power and tone they offer is unrivalled.
However, the majority of players will be best off with a combo amp. Combos allows you to play, practice and gig from an amp that combines both the head and the cab into one unit.
These convenient amps dominate the budget section and, providing you have something that delivers 20 watts of power or more, you can still gig in smaller venues. At this price point, you’ll have more choice of combos too.
The decision is down to you – every guitarist is different. Decide whether you favor convenience over power and you’ll probably have your answer.
The Final Word
As you now know, if you have $200 in your pocket, you can buy yourself a very good amplifier. The models we have featured in our chart above are some of the most popular and what we consider to be the best options on the market at the moment.
Have a good look around, read some reviews and watch some videos of the amps on your shortlist. Eventually you’ll find one that you can’t say no to. Good luck!