Its so easy as guitarists, to put a ton of focus into buying the perfect guitar. I’m certainly guilty of that. Guitar Amps can seem less exciting in comparison, and spend most of their time behind us out of sight. Being musicians, we generally don’t have a lot to spend, so it’s important to find the best guitar amp for the money that we DO have. Cheap Guitar Amps don’t have to suck, and this guide for the Best Guitar Amps Under 1000 is your key to finding the standouts.
Choosing the Best Guitar Amp for the Money:
There are a lot of factors that go into determining the right Guitar Amp for your rig. Brand, size, tone characteristics, tube or solid state, analog or digital, speaker configuration, cost, and the list goes on. This best guitar amp for the money roundup will cover a wide spectrum of guitar amplifiers to help you decide what will work best for you.
The first thing you need to decide is: What type of Guitar Amp is best for you… Tube, Solid-State, Hybrid, or Digital Amp Modeling?
- Choosing the Best Guitar Amp for the Money:
- Tube Amps (Guitar Tube Amplifiers):
- Solid State Guitar Amps: (Tubeless Guitar Amplifiers)
- Hybrid Guitar Amps (Solid-State w/ Tubes):
- Things to Consider Before You Buy.
- American Amp Tone:
- British Amp Tone:
- Best Guitar Amps Under 1000
- Best Guitar Amp for the Money #1
- Fender 68 Custom Princeton Reverb Amplifier
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- Best Guitar Amp for the Money #2
- Kemper Profiler Amp Head & Remote Board
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- Best Guitar Amp for the Money #3
- Marshall DSL40CR 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp
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- VOX AC15C2 Guitar Combo Amplifier
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- Best Guitar Amp for the Money #5
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- Supro 1970RK Keeley Custom 25W Tube Guitar Combo Amplifier Blue
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Tube Amps (Guitar Tube Amplifiers):
Tube amps use one or more vacuum tubes to amplify the signal. They are the kings of Guitar Amplification, and their price reflects that. That doesn’t mean you can’t find the best guitar amp for the money in tube form, you’ll just have to look a little bit harder, and know your stuff. Tube amps generally have warmer, richer tone than their counterparts, but they also require more maintenance and care.
Solid State Guitar Amps: (Tubeless Guitar Amplifiers)
Solid-State Guitar Amps rely on solid-state electronics (diodes, transistors, etc.) to amplify the signal. When it comes to the best guitar amp for the money, you may want to check out solid states amps first. They are the “economy version” of Guitar Amplification, and their price often reflects that. Solid State Amps generally have tinny, thinner tone than their tube driven counterparts, but they require less maintenance. They are also highly adaptable to venue size, often having built in attenuators.
Hybrid Guitar Amps (Solid-State w/ Tubes):
Hybrid Guitar Amps rely on Vacuum Tube Pre-Amps with solid-state electronics (diodes, transistors, etc.) to amplify the signal. They are the happy middle ground in Guitar Amplification. They are usually priced less than Tube Amps, and closer to Solid State Amp prices. The Hybrid’s tone quality vary from brand to brand, but generally have a more authentic tone than Solid-State only amplifiers. They require very little maintenance, only occasionally needing a replacement tube. These often have attenuators, allowing for power adjustments on the fly.
Hybrid amps are actually hard to come by these days. I’ve owned a few hybrid guitar amp heads. The first was the Fender RocPro 1000 100w head with 4×12 cab. That thing was the loudest amp I’ve ever heard, no attenuator.
The second was a Vox Valvetronix 120 modeling head. I used the Roc Pro 4×12 cab, and it really sounds quite nice. The Vox has a built in power attenuator making it capable of bedroom volume to stadium volume.
Things to Consider Before You Buy.
Before you narrow down your guitar amp short list, you need to know what type of sound you want. Guitar Amp tone can be broken down in many ways, but lets go with the classic American vs British amp tone argument.
-American Amp Tone (Fender, Mesa/Boogie, ToneKing, Morgan)
-British Amp Tone (VOX, Marsall, Orange, Laney)
American Amp Tone:
Clean, warm, and harmonically rich guitar tone. American amps will usually be fitted with 6L6s or 6V6s, and are well known for their ample headroom. So much in fact, that a lower wattage may be necessary if you don’t want to completely blow your audience away to get distorted tone.
Best Guitar Amps Under 1000
Best Guitar Amps for the Money
Best Guitar Amp for the Money #1
1968 was a transitional year for Fender amps, with tone that was still pure Fender but a look that was brand new. With a silver and turquoise front panel and classy aluminum “drip edge” grille cloth trim, the Princeton Reverb received a fresh new face as it remained the perfect recording and gigging amp. Small, light and moderately powered, it produced big tube tone, with world class Fender reverb and vibrato effects. For countless guitarists ever since, the Princeton Reverb has been the go to amp for classic Fender sound.The ’68 Custom Princeton Reverb Amp pays tribute to the classic look, sound and performance of Fender’s late ’60s “silverface” amps. In a special twist, a modified tone circuit gives modern players greater tonal flexibility with pedals, and the amp’s reduced negative feedback gives greater touch sensitivity and quicker onset of overdrive. The ’68 Custom Princeton Reverb’s single 10″ Celestion TEN 30 speaker also delivers a more distinctively rock ‘n’ roll flavor.
Comes equipped with Celestion Speakers (30-Watt speakers) for a more modern, punchy sound that breaks up nicely when pushed. It features reduced negative feedback for a more “touch-sensitive” feel, quicker break up and added harmonic richness.The 68 channels are wired in phase and can be blended for more tonal options, via A/B/Y box. “Custom” channel features a 50s Tweed “Bassman” tone circuit for more low mids and sooner breakup. ˜65 Reissues have the same “Blackface” tone circuit on both sides. The 68 Princeton Reverb has only one channel so it features the “bassman” tone circuit.
Who’s It For?
Players that love their amps to break up a little sooner, rock players, alternative players that like something a little different, players that use pedals, and players that love the look of “Silverface” amps.
Best Guitar Amp for the Money #2
This unit has become famous for it’s ability to reproduce any tube amp you can think of exactly, but in digital form. Guitarists from all genres, but especially Praise & Worship, have made this one of the top amp modelers on the market.
This may not be your traditional tube amp, but it made this list because it is no doubt the future of guitar amps. The ability to capture and store hundreds of real tube amp profiles makes it an easy choice. If you love to tinker, need more than one amp tone, or just like the idea of having the ability to copy your favorite amps, then this may be the perfect option for you.
Kemper Profiler PowerHead
The Kemper Profiler enables you to capture the sound and soul of any amplifier inside a lunchbox-sized amplifier. You can now create your own profiles from amps that you know and love and take them with you to use anywhere you like. Variations with alternative amp settings can be created and even the cabinet of a profiled combo amp can be exchanged at any time. Dozens of pro-grade onboard effects and stomp boxes can be used to spice up the profiles.
Profiling is as simple as plugging your tube amp into the Kemper Profiler and pressing ‘record’. Just insert the Kemper Profiling amplifier into the recording chain and it will do its magic. Test signals will be sent from the Kemper Profiler Amplifier into your tube amp and recorded by the microphone in front of your cabinet. You don’t even have to play your guitar. After less than a minute the Kemper Profiler acquires the sonic DNA of your tube amp and offers you the resulting custom profile. You can then use the A/B comparison mode to compare original tube amp sound with the profiled sound.This gives you a fast and convenient way to make final tweaks to the profile to get it exactly right.
Kemper Profiler Remote
Profiler Remote is the quintessential foot controller for your Profiler. Kemper has spent a tremendous amount of time to create a versatile and yet easy to operate floor board. The tight integration in between Profiler and Remote allows you to control, administer and program without any knowledge about MIDI or delving through cryptic data sheets.
Comments about Kemper Profiler PowerHead Powered Guitar Amplifier Head with Profiler Remote:
I’ve owned the powered Kemper/remote for about 3 months and it’s a masterful product. There’s a learning curve, BUT once you get the hang of it, it’s amazing. Wasn’t a huge fan of most of the stock profiles or amps if you will, but once I profiled my long time favorite amp and made some adjustments, it actually sounded better than the original. I’m not endorsed by Kemper, but I fully endorse this technology and company. Well done! Also, MAJOR shout out to Buddy from the Richmond, VA store for price matching and ALWAYS doing his best to help my band Artusha out! Much love!
This Marshall 40w 1×12 small enough for at home practice, but just enough power for medium sized gigs. It won’t kill you to lug this thing around either.
You’ll get the classic Marshall tube powered amp tone with channel switching abiltiy. There is a reason Marshall has always been one of, if not the biggest player in the amp game. They do things right, and sound great while doing them.
This amp really gives you some bang for your buck. Built with the same classic Marshall craftsmanship that has made the brand world renowned, this amp features dual gain channel power and intricate tonal shaping. For the player that needs a diverse, powerful combo amp with awesomely customizable sound.
The Marshall DSL40CR puts out 40-watts of tube power thru a 12” Celestion V-type speaker. This combo houses dual EL34 power tubes, paired with 4 ECC83 pre-amp tubes. Combined, they give this amp that classic, crowd-pleasing Marshall sound.
Dual Gain Channel Power
With its dual channels, “Ultra Gain” and “Classic Gain,” the Marshall DSL40CR has a wide variety of tones, from a nice clean to an extreme distortion. Switching between them is quick and easy, thanks to the included footswitch. Each channel on the Marshall DSL40CR features its own designated volume and gain controls for fast and simple tonal adjustments on each individual channel.
Intricate Tonal Shaping
The DSL40CR also features an attenuator switch which enables you to shift from 40-watts to 20-watts, to accommodate your needs. Whether you need a little less power in a studio session or full-on power for live performances, the attenuator has you covered.
Vox holds a special place in a lot of guitar players’ hearts. The tone of a VOX is unmistakeable. Jangly and full of Chime. For those of us who can’t afford the hand-wired AC30 versions, this is a fantastic option. The ratings reflect that much.
Based on the classic AC15, the AC15C2 “TWIN” is part of the VOX Custom Series line. These amps have been updated to include dual channel sound, tremolo circuitry, and footswitching capabilities. True to its past, the AC15C2 “TWIN” relies on 3 x 12AX7 dual triode vacuum tubes in the pre-amp stage, and 2 x EL84 pentode tubes in the power stage.
Two channels are provided on the AC15C2: Normal and Top Boost. Each channel is equipped with its own Volume control, and the Top Boost channel offers highly interactive Treble and Bass tone controls. This powerful channel pairing provides an abundance of tone-crafting control. Both channels rely on the Tone Cut and Volume controls in the Master section. The Tone Cut control operates in the power stage rather than the preamp stage, allowing an additional degree of tone-shaping. The Master Volume control works in conjunction with the individual volumes of each channel to create just the right degree of gain-staging. By balancing the individual and Master volumes, the AC15C2 “TWIN” can deliver the coveted clean VOX “chimey” sound or a powerful overdriven tone – and everything in between.
The AC15C2 “TWIN” provides the VOX Classic Tremolo effect, with adjustable controls for both the speed and the depth. A warm Spring Reverb is also included on all Custom Series amps, adding spaciousness to the sound. Thanks to the AC15C2 “TWIN”‘s two-speaker cabinet size, the AC15C2 “TWIN” uses the larger reverb tank found on the Custom Series AC30 models
The Hot Rod Deluxe IV is best experienced in person, not by reading a review. Let me tell you my first experience with this amp. I was at Guitar Center, trying out some amps. My friend recommended a Line 6, so I tried several Line 6 amps. They were so-so. I saw a Hot Rod Deluxe sitting nearby so I plugged in.
What a world of difference! The Hot Rod Deluxe was tone was solid gold compared to the other amps. Rich, crisp, clear, responsive tone even at the lowest volume. That changed my view completely on the solid-state vs tube argument. Tube wins in my book.
An updated version of the legendary amplifier that’s been the heart of many guitarists’ rigs, the Hot Rod Deluxe IV features modified preamp circuitry, smoother-sounding spring reverb and updated aesthetics that any player is sure to appreciate. A supercharged amp decked out with player-requested features, this scorching 40-watt 1×12″ combo is ideal for guitarists who need hot-rodded power with performance to spare. Includes 2-button footswitch and cover.
- 40 watts; Normal, Drive, and More Drive channels
- Celestion 12″ A-Type speaker
- Modified preamp circuitry for increased overdriven note definition
- Spring reverb modified for improved smoothness
- Lightweight pine cabinet
- Includes 2-button footswitch and cover
This amp made the list for two reasons.
- It’s the result of two respected companies – Keeley and Supro.
- It’s was designed specifically to be used by pedal junkies. Thats right. This Supro-Keeley Amp is supposed to have pedals hooked up to it in every manner possible.
Designed in collaboration with Keeley Electronics, the Supro Keeley Custom is built to integrate your pedals into the heart of an all-tube Supro amplifier. The preamp and 2-band EQ section are voiced perfectly for running your gain pedals in front of the amp, while still maintaining Supro’s signature midrange girth and phenomenal touch dynamics. A transparent effects loop has been worked into the design, providing the ideal point to inject your delay and reverb stompboxes into the amplifier’s all-tube signal path. A master volume circuit allows you to control the sound pressure level coming from the speaker, while pouring on copious amounts of gain from the ECC83S-based tube preamp or your favorite dirt pedals.
If you have an Orange Amp, then you probably love it. They almost have a cult-like following in the guitar world. This model in particular made the list because.
- Power Attenuation: 15W, 7W, 1W, .5W
- The Tubes: three 12AX7, one 12AT7 (preamp); two EL84 (power amp)
- The ratings are 5-stars, no matter where you look.
Capable of 0.5, 1, 7 or 15 Watts of output the Rocker 15 is an extremely portable combo that moves seamlessly from the home, to the studio, to the stage. Finally, a small, two channel, bedroom-friendly all-valve amp that you can legitimately gig with!
With the Rocker 15 set wide open, smaller venues are comfortably taken care of despite the amp’s miniature footprint. Thanks to a custom Voice of the World Gold Label speaker and beefy transformers, the Rocker 15 has a remarkably potent delivery which takes full advantage of its EL84 output section. Even when scaling back the power, the amp’s tone stays fat and full, oozing warm valve compression and saturation without disturbing the neighbors.
Clever options aside, the Rocker 15 has real character – a twin channel design with a twist. The Natural channel is a purist’s dream with just a single knob: Volume. Finely balanced and supremely playable, this channel is perfectly voiced to bring out the “natural” sound of the instrument under your fingers (or the pedals under your feet). The “Dirty” channel is a more familiar affair with controls for Gain, Volume and a three band EQ section. Both channels are very sensitive to touch and playing dynamics, making Rocker 15 very versatile despite its straightforward, player-friendly layout.
The amp also features a proper valve driven effects loop for total purity from input to output. So, whether you need a rig for low-volume practicing, recording, or to be heard on the club circuit, the shape-shifting Rocker 15 will show itself to be the amp for every occasion.
Looks like a classic Twin Reverb right? The thing is, this badboy is all digital. No tubes. I know, it problably sounds digital right? No, its damn near impossible to tell by the tone that its digital. Here is why its on this list.
- It looks and sounds like a classic Tube Powered Fender Twin Reverb.
- The ratings are 5-stars, no matter where you look.
In a bold Fender first, the Tone Master Twin Reverb amplifier uses massive digital processing power to achieve a single remarkable sonic feat: faithfully modeling the circuitry and 85-watt power output of an original Twin tube amp. Powerful convolution-based technologies recreate the classic reverb and tremolo effects that made these amps famous and inspired new genres of music.
Tubeless Twin Reverb Tone and Playing Experience
This amp features the most accurate emulation of our original Twin Reverb. Using a high-performance 200-watt digital power amp to achieve the headroom and dynamic range of a real vintage Twin tube amp, it gives guitarists a playing experience identical to the tube version, including Fender’s world-standard reverb and tremolo effects.
Modern Convenience and Flexibility
This amp’s rear panel is packed with useful controls and connections. An output power selector for full power and five attenuated settings delivers full, natural tone at almost any volume – from a full 85W of Fender power down to bedroom- and apartment-friendly 1W. Additional rear-panel features include a balanced XLR line output with Level control and three-way impulse response (IR) cabinet simulations, mute switch for silent stage or recording use, USB port for firmware upgrades, and more.
Every single time I a hear a conversation related to “the best tube amps” , there is always mention of the Fender Blues Junior.
Not only is it affordable, but it sounds exactly like a tube amp should sound. It is an excellent starting point for anyone looking to get into real tube powered amplifiers.
One of the most-beloved small combo amps in the world, the Blues Junior IV adds modified preamp circuitry, smoother-sounding spring reverb and improved aesthetics that any player is sure to appreciate. A 15-watt favorite in any setting, this amp is ideal for guitarists who need to hit the stage or studio at a moment’s notice with warm tone and versatile features. Includes 1-button footswitch for FAT mid boost.
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1. What is a "Tube Amp"?
Tube amps use one or more vacuum tubes to amplify the signal. They are the kings of Guitar Amplification, and their price reflects that. Tube amps generally have warmer, richer tone than their counterparts, but they also require more maintenance and care.
2. What is a "Solid-State Guitar Amp"?
Solid-State Guitar Amps rely on solid-state electronics (diodes, transistors, etc.) to amplify the signal. They are the "economy version" of Guitar Amplification, and their price often reflects that. Solid State Amps generally have tinny, thinner tone than their tube driven counterparts, but they require less maintenance. They are also highly adaptable to venue size, often having built in attenuators.
3. Which is better, Tube Amp or Digital(Solid-State) Amp?
That really depends on individual preferance and venue. However, in a professional guitar playing scenario (ex: You play lead for a Headlining Band), you will likely have at least one tube amp for reliability and tone. You may back up that tube amp with a digital modeling amp for the front of house mix.
It depends great deal on what you like. Tube amps sound great, but are expensive, heavy, and require maintenance. Digital Amps/Modelers are typically more convenient and customizeable, but vary in tone quality from brand to brand.
4. What is the best tube amp for beginners?
When it comes to cheap guitar amps, you can't go wrong with a Fender Blues Junior or a Vox AC15C1. Ideally your best bet is to try as many amps in person, and decide based on what sounds best to you. Consider how you plan to use it. Is it purely for practice, or do you need to gig with it as well? The higher the wattage number, the louder it needs to be before it starts to get that break up sound.