Today we are suggesting what do you need to watch out when you go out to buy a guitar amp under $300. Every guitarist’s journey begins with getting acquainted with chords and scales. All guitarists will agree that this is one of the most monotonous experiences in life. As guitar practice begins, the first things you have to learn is to come to terms with the pain your fingertips are going to feel. Not to forget the frustration of your fingers simply not listening to you and the worst of all, the abuse your ears have to take when you create an absolute Cacophony of misplayed notes, hisses and buzzes.
But once you have braved through all of this, you are ready to finally to play to an audience, the most fulfilling experience on the planet for an axeman! This is where the real journey for a guitarist truly begins.
What is the right guitar amp for me?
How entertaining and engaging are you as a guitarist? The brutal truth is, your audience could not care less about how difficult it has been for you to master guitar playing techniques, all that matters for them is your articulation and most importantly, your sound. If your sound cannot entertain, having the fastest fingers on the planet cannot save you and two of the most critical components that influence your sound are, the pickups on your guitar and your amplifier.
You need to choose an amp, based on what sound you are trying to create. An amp does not have to cost a lot when you have just started off, but it does have to bring out your identity as a player. The diameter of the speakers, the amount of tonal control it offers and the power output are the three important things to consider when you are looking for an amp. Bigger the speaker, the better tone resolution you are going to get, the more power your have, the easier it will be to play along with a drummer, the more tonal control you have, the sooner you will find your sound.
Let us now look at the top ten brilliant amps that cost less than $300.
Peavey Vypyr VIP 3
Pro: Loaded with an unbelievable amount of features, the amp lets you dial up a sound based on the kind of instrument you are using, big 12 inch speaker, Aux/mp3 and CD input for practise scenarios, inbuilt tuner, solid 100 watts power, extremely versatile.
Con: Takes a bit of getting used to, given the number of features, not something that you may need if you are an absolute beginner.
The first thing that you are going to notice about the Peavey is that this is a 100 watt set up with a 12-inch speaker. This amp has all the makings of a great modeling amp at a great price. Loaded with 26 on board tonal effects, 400 presets, 36 amp models, the Vypyr is capable of producing a whole flurry of custom sounds. There is also an LCD display that lets you know what you are doing at any given time. The best part about this amp are the ten instrument models that come with it. These models let you customize your sound, according to the type of guitar that you plug into it. Truly a well-rounded package.
Roland CUBE Street
Pro: Sweet package with performance grade setup, offers excellent control with dedicated knobs for EQ and effects, Stereo capabilities, ultra compact and lightweight, mic input.
Con: Built for an “on the go” guitar player, there are better options at this price, if you want a dedicated amp for frequent use.
Staying true to their design philosophy, Roland has introduced stereo capabilities on this one. That’s right, this is a dual speaker setup, powered by two 6.5 inch speakers. This is a lightweight package that is powered by 6 AA type batteries that are perfect for street use. We love the fact that the amp is ultra compact while managing to offer superb tonal quality and ample head room. The two band EQ, 6 tonal settings, and dedicated tonal controls make this a busker’s best friend.
Pro: Superior sound quality, versatile tonal capabilities, runs different types of guitars with the same tonal elegance, ultra-portable, battery powered, great value for money
Con: If this set up had an inbuilt speaker, this would have been a flawless amplifier at this price point.
If you are looking to find ‘your tone’, this little box of goodness from Yamaha will train you up on this elusive art, perfectly. At the outset, the quality of tone that this amp puts out is fantastic. In fact, it is so good that playing acoustic and clean numbers on it is guaranteed to be a surreal experience. The perfect culmination of a good practice amp, modeling amp and a solid state amp, the Yamaha can run on battery power as well. Designed to work with acoustic, electric and bass guitars, this amp has one of the simplest controls layouts you could possibly come across for such a versatile package. There is a high chance that you may soon find that you don’t have a need for the rest of your effects and amplification equipment, once you have this baby in your hands!
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
Pro: Jam packed with features and superior tonal controls for an economically priced amp, very powerful and versatile.
Con: Besides the fact that using this amp has a significantly steep learning curve there are no distinct cons that stand out.
Peavey is known to make some awesome modeling amps and the Vypyr VIP1 will tell you exactly why. The VIP is a 20 watt set up and has a whole slew of tonal control capabilities. For what it costs and what it can do, the Peavey is extremely impressive and remarkable. It doesn’t matter if you are practicing with it, giving a live performance or recording your tunes, the Peavey holds up really well like a trained professional. Peavey’s proprietary ‘trans tube’ technology on the VIP1 brings out some great tube amp-like sounds which will leave you thoroughly impressed and all this for under $300!
Pro: Master of Melody and clean sounds, tube powered set up at a great price, small and compact, ultimate practice amp for a blues and classic rock guitarist.
Con: Not built for modern sounding guitar tunes, but this can easily be taken care of with effects pedals.
This under $300 guitar amplifier is powered by the 12AX& tube and everything about the Bugera has a distinct vintage feel. Designed to put out some brilliant vintage sounds, this is the ideal amp for you if you are looking to be a master of melody and subtle sounds. Despite being a small 15 watts package, by no means is this amp, underpowered. The Bugera has a two-band EQ and a two channel preamp that is going to make you lose yourself in all the bright sounding melodies that it can create, thanks to the excellent 8 inch onboard speaker.
Line 6 Spider V
Pro: Definitely our pick for the best guitar amps under $300! The ultimate practice amp at a phenomenal price, state of the art hardware and robust construction, an impressive range of onboard tonal controls and presets, one of the most versatile sounding amps at this price.
Con: At 30 watts it may not be powerful enough to run big speaker cabinets, but there are also 60,120 and 240-watt versions.
Behold the line 6 Spider 5! This amp is famous(or is it infamous?) for its ability to churn out some fierce Metal guitar tones from a wide variety of genres. First things first, the Spider 5 is driven by full-range speaker system which means that it was built from the ground up to play some heavy stuff. But the Spider is truly a master of different tones and can handle anything expected out of it, including clean and acoustic tracks. It has 128 crafted presets that include iconic rigs & classic artist tons, tons of amp and FX models and the standard EQ and connectivity jacks. It will keep you busy all day in your quest to find your own identity as a guitarist.
Fender Champion 40
Pro: Excellent vintage sound, simple layout, rich tone reproduction.
Con: You need effects pedals to play heavier music, no onboard presets.
Churning out 40 watts of power and driven by an 8-inch Fender speaker, the Fender champion is your ideal choice if you want to create some great sounds using the single coil pickups of your guitar. We would like to think that this is the perfect amp for a guitarist training with a Stratocaster. The Fender champion is truly a champion of warm and colorful tones. The controls layout is straightforward and has the standard auxiliary plug in and headphones out jacks. This is a simple no gimmick approach to a very good and a reliable amp by Fender.
Orange Amplifiers Micro Crush PiX 3
Pro: Truly lives up to the expression ‘ultra portable’, serious amount of power, excellent quality, perfect if you are on the go most of the time.
Con: Not many onboard effects but then it is understandable given the size.
Warning, do not let the size fool you, there is a beast under the hood! Though this may sound dramatic, you will understand what we meant when you plug your guitar into the micro crush. What is impressive about this amp is that it is truly micro, but nowhere near as small in terms of power output. The Orange has a potential to be a superb backup amp and just how they managed to include overdrive, a chromatic tuner and two tone control knobs which work flawlessly, into such a small space, is beyond our comprehension. See it to believe it.