If you think that getting a solid guitar amp for under $100 is an impossible task, you are wrong. Amps are just as crucial piece of equipment for all the aspiring young guitarists out there as the axe itself and can define one’s sound in a vast array of different ways.
Whether you’re a pro musician with years of recording and performing experience under your belt or just another fresh face trying out the ways of the six-string, having a portable, small-sized amplifier is a must. It’s not all about rocking out in major venues, that’s a stage one can only reach after tedious practice and skill development, a process that kicks off at your very own home with a guitar plugged into a convenient amp.
The Top Five Best Selling Guitar Amps Under $100:
- 10 Watts
- 1-6" Fender Special Design Speaker
- One Channel
- Controls: Gain, Over-Drive Select Switch, Volume, Treble, Bass
- Other Features: 1/4" Instrument Input, 2-Band EQ, 1/8" Auxiliary Input Jack for Jam-Along with Media Player or CD, 1/8" Headphone Output Jack for Silent Practice, Closed-Back Design for Heavier Bass Response
- Connections: Headphone Out, AUX In
- Power Supply: AAA batteries x 2
- Dimensions: W x D x H) 3.39 x 3.15 x 1.22" 86 x 80 x 31mm)
- Great clean and overdrive tones
- Leather handle
- Belt clip
- Headphone jack
- Color: Aqua
- Shape your sound with the EQ section (Bass + Treble) as well as dial in lush effects such as digital reverbs, chorus, vibratone and delay.
- Jam along with your favorite tracks by simply plugging your MP3 player into the Auxiliary input and you instantly become part of the band and /or practice privately with the 1/8th headphone output jack that also mutes the speaker output.
- With a turn of a knob, choose from clean to mean tones from the 17 various amp models that will to accommodate almost any genre of music.
- Store extra cables or other small accessories with the open back cabinet.
- Enjoy the peace of mind that this amp is backed by Fender's 5 Year Transferable Warranty.
- 1.50'' D x .82'' H
- Mounting Hole .25'' Diameter
- Steel Washer Insert
- Black Rubber
What to Look for in Smaller Guitar Amps
Although smaller amps tend to compromise with various features, the truth is that not all of the given specs are needed for a good house jam. So basically, the catch is in finding the best piece of equipment for the given surrounding. Fact is, big amps don’t work too well at low volume, and you simply can’t blast them to 11 all the time, it’s not good for your ears or your relationship with the neighbors.
But you don’t want an amp that works properly at low volume only, you need to get to a mid-volume range to truly experience the sound configuration you’ve assembled. A lot of guitars sound great at low volume, but once you get them even a tiny bit up, the sound turns into plain awful. So the focus we had in our minds was on the sound, as well as getting a realistic image of your sonic impact prior to hitting the big amp for the gig. You probably saw at least a few guitarists struggling in the studio with a lousy tone, swearing how good they sounded back at home.
Another nice feature to have is a decent amount of guitar effects to experiment with. Having too many can also turn out to be a con, as none of them are really good. So the best path to take is the one with just the basics covered, and by that we mean properly covered, delivering a sound good enough for the musician to actually learn how to use it, rather than just struggle with tens of useless tweaks.
So right now we’ll briefly focus on several prominent guitar amps under $100 you should most definitely consider purchasing. Details below.
Marshall MG15CF MG Series 15-Watt Guitar Combo Amp
With an iconic rock brand logo in the front, the Marshall MG15CF MG Series 15-Watt Guitar combo amp has all you need to kick off your rock star career. Both the clean and overdrive channel deliver high-quality audio at every volume range.
It’s Marshall we’re talking about, so even the smaller devices have what it takes to deliver when cranked to 11. If your preferred musical styles vary from crunchy blues to full-on heavy metal, this little guy is just the thing you need.
Fender Mini Deluxe Amp
Neatly designed and highly portable, the Fender Mini Deluxe amplifier has got your back covered for a vast array of playing styles. Whether it’s jazz, blues, rock, metal, you name it – it’s covered.
Most musicians who gave this amp a go agree that the power delivered is way more that you’ve paid for, but also point at several slight twists. The amp reportedly doesn’t come with its own power adapter and is prone to damage, so take make sure to take good care of this fellow.
Behringer AT108 15-Watt Acoustic Amplifier
Behringer might not have the household status of Fender or Marshall, but still knows how to pack a strong punch with some of its products. One such device is the AT108 15-Watt Acoustic amp, more of a niche device focused on all you acoustic guitar players out there.
The amp’s smoothness is what impresses the most of the player who decided to give it a go. Although occasional hums might occur, the AT108 will give your guitar a smooth, crackling-free sound perfect not only for house jams, but smaller club gigs.
Vox amPlug AC30 Guitar Headphone Amp
You’ll obviously get the ultimate mobility and you’ll be able to hear the guitar while strumming. It obviously can’t deliver the top-notch performance, but the sound is far from bad. Truth is, it’s not even mediocre – it’s good. If you’re planning to hit the road and simply can’t bring both the guitar and amp along for the trip, Vox amPlug AC30 Guitar Headphone Amp can fit into your pocket, giving you an instant jam on the go.
Pignose 7-100 Legendary portable amplifier
Finally, this one’s for all the old-school vibe fans. Pignose 7-100 not only looks like a retro device, but also delivers a sound similar to the past, of course with a few modern adjustments.
The classy appeal will always garner a solid niche crowd, but the 7-100 delivers a lot more – the crunchy sound stands out among the device’s most praised features, while the clean channel hardly lags behind, delivering soft notes when needed.
Should I buy a smaller amp?
Why yes, you most definitely should. As pointed out in the introduction, smaller amps offer an array of their own pros, most of which the bigger amplifiers simply don’t have. Convenience, portability, even the sound in certain surroundings, we’ve listed them all.
As a modern guitar player, learning how to be versatile is a critical task and overcoming smaller amps as a transition toward the big ones drops as a crucial step along the way. No matter what you guitar status might be, we highly recommend giving any of the listed amps a try – you’ll hardly regret it.