7 Best Guitar Amplifiers under $500: Our Top Picks For This Year

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Our #2 Rated
Peavey ValveKing II Micro-head 20W/5W/1W Tube Head
Our #3 Rated
VOX AC10C1 Guitar Amplifier Head
Our #1 Rated
Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp
Our #4 Rated
Marshall CODE 100W 2x12 Guitar Combo Amp Black
Our #5 Rated
Peavey 03608790 Valveking II 20 Guitar Amplifier Combo
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Small and compact for portability
Boast the brand’s top boost tone
Good sounding speaker
Comes with the tones every player craves for
Includes a 3-way variable power switch
Great looking tube head
Ideal for home and studio practice
Comes with 16 different amp types
Designed with state-of-the-art technology
Changeable outputs for better music control
Switchable wattage for your needs
Easy to transport and portable
With channel switching format
Offers modern high gain options
Extremely portable micro head
Outstanding amplifier, great sound for its price
Versatile and easy to use for home or studio practice amplifier
Great value for the money for its plenty of amp types
The big time Marshall CODE for every guitar player
The high-end amplifier for the musician looking to get more of their investment
Our #2 Rated
Peavey ValveKing II Micro-head 20W/5W/1W Tube Head
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Small and compact for portability
Great looking tube head
Switchable wattage for your needs
Outstanding amplifier, great sound for its price
Our #3 Rated
VOX AC10C1 Guitar Amplifier Head
Boast the brand’s top boost tone
Ideal for home and studio practice
Easy to transport and portable
Versatile and easy to use for home or studio practice amplifier
Our #1 Rated
Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp
Good sounding speaker
Comes with 16 different amp types
With channel switching format
Great value for the money for its plenty of amp types
Our #4 Rated
Marshall CODE 100W 2x12 Guitar Combo Amp Black
Comes with the tones every player craves for
Designed with state-of-the-art technology
Offers modern high gain options
The big time Marshall CODE for every guitar player
Our #5 Rated
Peavey 03608790 Valveking II 20 Guitar Amplifier Combo
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Includes a 3-way variable power switch
Changeable outputs for better music control
Extremely portable micro head
The high-end amplifier for the musician looking to get more of their investment

Which among the best guitar amplifiers under $500 is for you? We understand you’re in the midst of confusion right now. We’ve been there, dude.

That’s why we’d like to help by listing the seven best picks in this category and reviewing each of their unique features, pros and cons so that you can later decide.

If you do, you can get more of your guitar amp and gain more satisfaction in your performances and practices.

 
  

Best Guitar Amplifier under 500 dollars

In the following, we’re also highlighting certain things that you have to consider when picking that amp for you. And a bonus, we’ve also included a video on how to buy this music device.

7 Best Guitar Amplifiers under $500

#1 Fender Super Champ X2 Guitar Combo Amp

Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp
73 Reviews
Fender Super Champ X2 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp
  • 15 Watt tube power amp with two 6V6 tubes and one 12AX7 preamp tube
  • 10 inch Fender Special Design speaker
  • Voicing knob with 16 different amp types (Tweed, Blackface, British, Metal, etc.) and 15 effects with effects adjust control and a TAP tempo control for delay time/modulation rate adjustments
  • Two Channels with Channel Switching Format and optional footswitch
  • USB output for speaker-emulated digital recording

The Fender Super Champ is one of the best picks in the category for its plenty of amp type options, allowing you to have more freedom in shaping your guitar sound.

You will also appreciate the voicing knob that comes with the amp coming with 16 different amp types, such as Blackface, Tweet, Metal and British.

I also noticed that the tube power amp comes with a 12AX7 preamp tube and two 6V6 tubes.  It offers a great value for the money for the settings it offers.

Another thing I liked about the amp under $500 is its 15 effects included plus effects adjust control.  Additionally, this one comes with a tempo control, giving you more control over the modulation and delay time.

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Pros
  • Comes with a channel switching format
  • Includes a USB output for digital recording

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Cons
  • Sound not as warm as a pure tube amplifier
  • Lacks midrange

 

#2 Peavey ValveKing II Micro-head 20W/5W/1W Tube Head

Peavey ValveKing II Micro-head 20W/5W/1W Tube Head
15 Reviews
Peavey ValveKing II Micro-head 20W/5W/1W Tube Head
  • Ultra-compact, 20-watt all-tube guitar amplifier head delivers great tone onstage or in the studio
  • Switchable between 20 watts, 5 watts, and 1 watt for any live or studio situation
  • Dial in Class A or Class AB tones with the Vari-Class control
  • TSI tube-monitoring indicator shows the health status of your power tubes
  • Peavey MSDI (Microphone Simulated Direct Interface) XLR DI lets you send your amps signal to the mixer or recording device

One of the most recommended amplifiers for beginners to advanced players is the Peavey ValveKing II tube head.  It has excellent control well laid out, allowing you to access and find them easily.

It contains all the solid performance features for its price.  It has easy to control knobs for that perfect sound shaping. This unit is able to include the two EL84s for the power stage and three-12AX7 for the preamp stage.

It is also easy to hook up to a cab for its 8/16 Ohm outputs, making it an intelligent choice for a convenient to use and control amp for your guitar.

This model also comes with the brand’s Tube Status Indicator that informs users if the tube might be failing.

Overall, it is a decent pick for its price that you might want to consider for yourself.

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Pros
  • Comes with XLR to send its signals to the recording device or mixer
  • Carries the brand’s reliability

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Cons
  • Not as spectacular but sounds good
  • No footswitch recommendations

 

#3  VOX AC10C1 Guitar Amplifier Head

VOX AC10C1 Guitar Amplifier Head
102 Reviews
VOX AC10C1 Guitar Amplifier Head
  • 10 Watt tube combo offering the classic VOX Top Boost tone
  • EL84 power tubes; 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • Custom 10" VX10 speaker made by Celestion
  • Simple but effective Gain, Bass, Treble, Reverb, and Master Volume controls
  • Extension and External speaker outputs; By-passable Effect Loop, Distinctive VOX Styling.Output Power:10W RMS

The VOX AC10C1 is a great amp head, which is one of those to carry the brand’s name, boasting a host of cool features.   It is a top pick for its articulating and rich tones that you will love.

At every setting, it produces superior sound, giving users a satisfying experience each time they use it. I’d also like to note that this one is a nice companion for stage, home or studio practice for its master volume and reverb.

The combo amp offers the well-known VOX top boost tone and has the speaker designed and made by Celestion. I also recommend this one for its effective but simple bass, gain, reverb and master controls.

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Pros
  • Special design and elegant speaker
  • Simple bass, gain, master and reverb controls

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Cons
  • Not as easy to adjust volume controls
  • Not the best sounding amp for large venue

 

#4 Marshall CODE 100W 2×12 Guitar Combo Amp Black

Marshall CODE 100W 2x12 Guitar Combo Amp Black
13 Reviews
Marshall CODE 100W 2x12 Guitar Combo Amp Black
  • 100-watt Modeling Guitar Amplifier with 2x12" Speakers
  • 4 Digital Power Amp Models
  • 14 Digital Preamp Models

If you’re looking for a reliable and high quality amplifier for your practice sessions and performances, you should not miss the Marshall CODE. It has the significant features you’re looking for when buying a new amplifier.

The Marshall CODE comes with a wide range of choices in terms of modern high gain options, vintage crunches and cleans.  It also includes the tones you are craving for a new or replacement amplifier.

It also gives you the tonal possibilities you need for more control over the music you want to produce from your guitar.   This model also comes with 24 effects, giving you more options on which to use based on your needs.

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Pros
  • Special design and elegant speaker
  • Simple bass, gain, master and reverb controls

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Cons
  • Not as easy to adjust volume controls
  • Not the best sounding amp for large venue

 

#5 Peavey 03608790 Valveking II 20 Guitar Amplifier Combo

Peavey 03608790 Valveking II 20 Guitar Amplifier Combo
8 Reviews
Peavey 03608790 Valveking II 20 Guitar Amplifier Combo
  • Two EL84 and three 12AX7 tubes
  • Damping control - controls Presence and Resonance at the same time
  • Vari-Class variable Class A simulation control^Patented Microphone Simulated Direct Interface (MSDI) output with ground lift and speaker mute switch
  • Buffered effects loop
  • 20w

Choose the Valveking II if you’re looking a high-end amplifier combo that offers you with more options on the kind of music you want to create.  It has the top performance features you’re looking for a new combo amp.

One thing that makes it a great pick is its 3-way variable power switch, allowing you to change or customize your output based on what the situation is calling for but that is without compromising the tone.

It also comes with two foot-switchable channels but each of them has its equalizer.

This model also has variable Class A/AB simulation control, which gives you more control over the sound to produce.   It can also deliver total customizable power of an all-tube amp that you will appreciate.

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Pros
  • Customizable all tube power
  • Comes with Class A/B simulation control

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Cons
  • Can be hard to master how to use it at first
  • A bit pricey

 

#6 Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge Battery Powered Acoustic Guitar Amp Bundle

Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge Battery Powered Acoustic Guitar Amp Bundle
2 Reviews
Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge Battery Powered Acoustic Guitar Amp Bundle
  • Rechargeable battery power
  • Bluetooth 4.0 Connectivity
  • Dedicated Instrument and Mic Channels with Input Gain Controls
  • Mix D.I. output
  • Digital Reverb & Chorus

Description:  Small yet reliable portable amp offering great sound reproduction

One of the things I liked about the Loudbox Mini Charge is its   superior portability that allows taking it to anywhere we have to practice or perform.

Especially if you’re a beginner and you need to practice often, you can also rely on the Loudbox Mini Charge because it is easy to recharge, yet it produces a loud sound especially in a small room.

It can also effectively reproduce the sound of different recorded or vocal accompaniments or acoustic instruments.  In addition, the amp comes with a rechargeable and powerful battery that adds to its convenience of use.

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Pros
  • Effective power management circuitry
  • Offers Bluetooth technology for wireless connection

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Cons
  • Battery needs replacement over time
  • Not the most powerful amplifier around

 

#7 ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox Acoustic Amplifier with 6.5-inch Speaker

ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox Acoustic 75-watt Class A/B Acoustic Guitar/Vocal Amplifier with 6.5-inch Speaker
112 Reviews
ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox Acoustic 75-watt Class A/B Acoustic Guitar/Vocal Amplifier with 6.5-inch Speaker
  • Lightweight and compact pro-quality 2-channel acoustic/vocal amp; 75W Class A/B power amplifier
  • Custom designed ultra-power 6.5" speaker; weighs just 12 pounds
  • Mic channel with 1/4" and XLR inputs; Instrument channel with 1/4" input
  • Independent Gain, Bass, Treble, Reverb controls for both channels; EFX Loop
  • 3-position Anti-Feedback Control with bypass; Switchable 115V/230V

If you’re shopping around for the best guitar amplifiers under $500, you might want to consider the ZT amplifier Lunchbox. It can produce a natural sound as an acoustic amp, giving you a more fulfilling performance.

One of the things I liked about guitar amp is that it is compact and lightweight, allowing you to take it anywhere. I also liked the sleek and minimalistic design of the custom speaker that comes with it.

It’s also designed with independent controls for reverb, bass, gain and treble for both the channels. When you’re traveling around, you can also rely on the unit that has switchable 115V/230V, offering more flexibility.

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Pros
  • Compact and lightweight to bring anywhere
  • Custom and modern designed speaker

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Cons
  • Controls not that easy to use
  • Not for large venues

 

Best Guitar Amplifiers Under $500: A Few Tips in Buying

Decide on the size

Sweetwater.com says that speaker size does matter because it makes the big difference in the sound that the amp produces. For example, smaller ones can give out that higher frequency range than those larger models can.

So in that case, a 10-inch speaker can produce a better top end than a larger amp speaker can.

Design also matters

Do you want an open-backed cabinet or a closed cabinet design?  It is why, based on the design, the amp also produces a different sound. For example, a 4 x 10 inch open back sounds different than a 2 x 12 closed cabinet designed amp speaker.  Some guitarists prefer open backed 4 x 10 inch ones because they can produce smooth to searing tones.

Best Guitar Amplifiers under 500 dollars

Wattage, what do you need?

PremierGuitar.com recommends deciding on the wattage you really need. When deciding, you should think about where you intend of playing – studio, home, arena, small club.

You don’t have to buy one that will blow out your windows at home and buy soundproofing materials to manage a too high volume.  

In that case, you might want to go for that with 5 watts because that can also sound loud in your room. Overall, be realistic and practical.  Determine your needs, period.

Get more help in this video guide on how to buy a guitar amp.

 

OUR TOP CHOICE FOR THE BEST GUITAR AMPLIFIERS UNDER $500

The Fender Super Champ X2 Guitar Combo Amp is the clear winner in this roundup of the seven best amps in this price range and for reasons.  It is the compact and portable amp that makes practices and performances easier.

Choose it if you’re looking for a great-looking amp that offers switchable wattage based on what the situation is calling for each time. Overall, it is a combination of value and technology in one.

Get the Fender Super Champ X2 here.

  

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