Top 8 Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $300 – Stepping Into More Serious Waters

The-Best-Amps-Under-300
Last Updated Apr-20-2017. We have some good news. Guitar amps aren’t cheap, but they’re not ridiculously expensive, either. With $300, you’ll be able to pick up a solid amplifier that will sound great and last you for a few years down the line.

For many guitar players out there, getting a $300 amp is the sweet spot. This is the price range where you start seeing some pretty decent setups and power outputs which go over the 100 Watt mark. On top of that, this is where you are going to run into some fairly good tube amps. It is fair to say that some of the best amps out there can be had for $300 or just around that point. Naturally, we are not talking about $1000 plus Marshalls, but rather great combos that worth their weight in gold. If you are shopping for a decent amp, you are in the right place. We have done a lot of research into what is available today, and have selected top 8 best guitar amplifiers based on what we’ve found. Let’s dig right and see what models made the cut.

Top 8 Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $300:

ImageGuitar Amplifier / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Vox AV15 Vox AV15

Total of 4.83/5  

A rare type of hybrid that brings the valve tone and versatility.

+ - Peavey Vypyr VIP 3 Peavey Vypyr VIP 3

Total of 4.83/5  

One of the most versatile combo amps available on the market today.

+ - Marshall Code 50W Marshall Code 50W

Total of 4.80/5  

One of Marshall's most well-rounded modeling combo amps on the market.

+ - Fender Mustang V V.2 HD Fender Mustang V V.2 HD

Total of 4.78/5  

Modeling capabilities fused with a high power output and great tone quality.

+ - Orange Amplifiers Crush35RT Orange Amplifiers Crush35RT

Total of 4.70/5  

A modern take on a classic configuration with a killer dirty channel.

+ - Bugera G5 5W Bugera G5 5W

Total of 4.65/5  

One of the best balanced all-tube head amps available on the market.

+ - Blackstar HT Series HT-1 Blackstar HT Series HT-1

Total of 4.65/5  

One Watt of pure vintage valve tone at a rather affordable price.

+ - VHT Special 6 VHT Special 6

Total of 4.65/5  

Affordable, hand-wired and packing a punch. It's a perfect affordable tube rig.

Vox AV15

Vox AV15

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In the world full of pretty similar digital modeling amps, Vox has decided to spice things up by going fully analog. Their AV15 is a hybrid that brings you the versatility of a modeling amp, all done by using a single tube. Tone wise, you can expect that classic valve sound in a variety of colors. Thanks to its flexible nature, you can custom tailor the tone so it fits your needs no matter what they are. The only thing that is digital on the AV15 are its effects, but even they are voiced to sound analog. With 15 Watts of power and a single 8 Inch speaker, you are looking at one rather unusual, but ultimately pretty decent setup.

Peavey Vypyr VIP 3

Peavey Vypyr VIP 3

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Peavey's Vypyr series have been the source of versatile modeling amps for years. The one we’re looking at here is the sweet spot. Packing some 100 Watts of modeling power, it’s definitely loud enough for stage use as well as practice. The amp comes with over 400 presets that include amps, cabs, effects and even instruments. That is the type of versatility you don’t get to see too often. It’s not without a fault, but the sheer amount of value you get for your money is overwhelming. If you are looking for a decent combo that can be used both on stage and in your bedroom, Peavey Vypyr VIP 3 is among the top choices you have at the moment.

Marshall Code 50W

Marshall Code 50W

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Marshall's Code 50W hits the market as one of the most well-rounded packages you can find in this price range. With 50 Watts of power available through its single 12 Inch speaker, volume saturation is not going to be a problem even for smaller gigs. On the other hand, you a true modeling configuration with a multitude of presets to choose from. These include both amps, pre-amps, and cabs. Marshall did a great job at modeling some of their best tubes into this combo, so you also get a portion of that traditional Marshall tone. Whether you are a beginner looking to 'future-proof' their rig, or a performing musician on a budget, Marshall Code 50W is a great choice.

Fender Mustang V V.2 HD

Fender Mustang V V.2 HD

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Fender’s Mustang series amps are considered as one of the better modeling units on the market. Their Mustang V V.2 head spearheaded the design, bringing this modeling success story to the stage level. While it’s not the perfect guitar amp, Mustang V V.2 is one of the rare models which brings a great balance of power and versatility to its users. Hook this thing up to a decent cab and you’re looking at a stage-ready setup. On top of that, its USB connectivity combined with a complex software suite means that you can create your own presets and record in the comfort of your own home. All of that at a price that is more than competitive.

Orange Amplifiers Crush35RT

Orange Amplifiers Crush35RT

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Orange Amplifiers Crush 35RT is a perfect example of a solid state amp done right. Instead of trying to cash in on the versatile nature of this technology, Orange pretty much kept it on the low with a conservative selection of features. However, the tone this cab offers is pretty impressive. They've spiced things up with several significant features, making Crush 35RT relatively unique. Even so, this thing still brings the bread and butter of Orange Amplifiers. In other words, the killer dirty channel. With 35 Watts of power, there is enough juice for both home use and limited gigging, which only adds to the already decent versatility. While there are no outrageous presets, Crush 35RT packs just enough heat.

Bugera G5 5W

Bugera G5 5W

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Bugera has been known to deliver some pretty spicy all-tube designs lately. One of their heads that made quite some noise on the market is the Bugera G5 5W. It’s pretty conservative, packs a decent amount of heat, and is capable of delivering 5 Watts of power. Bugera did a thorough job with this one, adding all of the features a good tube head should have. It’s a great choice for a stack to use at your home or in a studio, as it comes with power attenuation. While it’s not exactly the type of head you would want to gig with, G5 might just surprise you given the right circumstances. At this price, it is an absolute favorite.

Blackstar HT Series HT-1

Blackstar HT Series HT-1

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Finding an affordable tube amplifier for home use is rather difficult. Blackstar is among the very few companies who offers something that fits this exact description. Painfully old school, this tiny bundle of vintage tone has enough potential to be used both for practice and studio recording. They've definitely managed to balance the performance in a way that offers good versatility. The gizmo's 1 Watt of power makes it easy to push into that natural overdrive, even though it has a dedicated overdrive channel. In terms of affordable tube amps, this Blackstar definitely sets the bar pretty high. If you're one of those guitarists on a budget who insist on having that valve tone at their disposal, this is the solution.

VHT Special 6

VHT Special 6

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VHT is one of the rare companies who offer a full blooded tube amp head in this price range. Their Super 6 brings a great balance of performance, versatility, and power to its users. Its strongest selling point is by far its tone. However, the fact that it is manually wired and that the circuitry was designed to be modded, adds a lot to its value. Great for home use, this is the type of amp you would want to have in your budget recording setup. VHT included 4/8/16 Ohm speaker jacks, making it easy to attach this head to a wide variety of speaker cabs out there. Overall, it's an interesting amp that comes at a great price.

Why A $300 Amp?

There are several reasons why you should get an amp that is in this price range if your budget allows it. There are some pretty awesome models that are below, in the $200 segment, but just a $100 more brings quite a few upgrades. First, and most important thing that needs to be mentioned is the power. In this price range, you will start seeing amplifiers that cross that magical 100 Watt mark. Some are going to be even more powerful than that. In other words, you will see amplifiers which are more than suitable for stage use, while also being capable of serving as practice rigs at home.

It is easy to disregard power for a cheaper price, but chances are that you will have a gig sooner or later. After all, live performance is the main way to spread your music to people around you. Having an amp that is capable of serving that purpose is one of those things you will find necessary at one point.

Aside from power, there are two more reasons why it is worth investing in a $300 amplifier. If you are a fan of tube amps, you will find some very reasonable models in
this segment. Not only are combos going to be more powerful, but you will also find quite a few tube heads which offer a great performance. Lastly, let’s talk versatility.

Modeling amps still accumulate the gross percentage of models sold today. Their versatility is more or less directly linked to their price. Modeling amps you can get in this price category are going to pack a whole lot more heat. Just look at the Peavey Vypyr above. It’s ridiculous what this amp offers.

Tubes Or Modeling Masterpieces?

Which should you get? To be honest, this is the type of money which will get you some pretty decent tubes. Now, whether or not you can live without all the features a modeling amp brings is completely up to you. One thing to keep in mind is that tube amps in this price range are still rarely capable of serving you on stage, while their modeling counterparts are. That is going to be the main factor when making a choice.

Wrapping It Up

At the end of the day, spending $300 on an amp is going to get you a more formidable setup. From this point on, you won’t see too much improvement in the modeling segment. With that said, tubes only get better as you start throwing more money into the mix. However, that’s a whole different story.


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