Best Beginner Guitar Amps of 2021 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: May 5, 2021

Practice is the key to success, isn’t it? Well, yes and no.

You also need high-quality gear to get there. Take amps, for instance. There are several types on the market, but which one is the best for a beginner?

 Follow us in the upcoming sections of this article to find the answer to that question. We have compiled a list of the best beginner amps, as well as reviewed each product.

What is a Guitar Amp and What is it Used For?

A guitar amplifier (amp) is a system or a device that takes the weak signal from your instrument (bass guitar, acoustic, electric) and transforms it into sound that is then transmitted to the speaker. Some amps can only take and transform the electrical signal, but some can also have the speakers integrated, which is known as a combo amplifier. Some amplifiers are big enough to be used for on-stage performances, while some can be less powerful and can be used for practicing at home. 

Another function of a guitar amplifier is tone control. You can use the amp to adjust the instrument’s tone through controls the amplifier might have. Although they come with different controls, some of the most popular ones include EQ, treble, overdrive, reverb, and some others. The most common features are distortion and reverb

For electric players, the amp is part of their signature tone, therefore, thoughtful decisions should be made when purchasing one. Most guitar players out there use a guitar amplifier for a long time, often using the same brand or model for many years. 

How Does a Guitar Amp Work?

Staying away from too many technicalities, a guitar amp has a tiny vacuum tube inside which is made of glass and some other metals. The metals inside heat up significantly when the electrical signal is received from the instrument, and the heat causes the voltage to increase. 

The voltage then travels to a magnet, which determines the speaker to make the sound, which is often loud, depending on the amp’s power. Most manufacturers recommend that you let your amp run for approximately 30 seconds before you start playing to ensure that it heats up accordingly. 

Why Are These The Best?

Amps come with different qualities and features. Here’s why our list contains only the best products on the market:

Combo Configurations

All of our products include both speakers and amplifiers – this is the most convenient option since, otherwise, you would have to purchase an additional wooden cabinet with speakers. While it is entirely up to you, combo configurations would be best for beginners who want to keep it as simple as possible. 

Build Quality

The quality of the build is extremely important for amplifiers since it is the main determinant of sound quality. Think about a paper-thin amp – the powerful vibration would most likely make it fall apart very quickly. Another main feature of the build quality is whether it has a closed or open back – the closed back is the ideal option, since it has a better bass response compared to open back. 

Power and Size

Lastly, even though you are a beginner, we know that loudness is important – even though you might be practicing at home, our recommendations are all compatible with headphones so you can practice in silence. All products we offer for your scrutiny range for 10 to 100 watts, so it is virtually impossible not to find the best one for you. 

Comparison of the Best Beginner Guitar Amps

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 12 watts and a 6-inch speaker
  • Best beginner guitar amp overall
  • Highly versatile with controls for EQ, gain, and overdrive
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  • Headphone and audio inputs
  • High quality with powerful output
  • Highly tweakable tone adjustments
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  • Best beginner guitar amp for the money
  • Distinctive VOX design and look with high-quality materials
  • Highly flexible, includes controls for treble, gain, bass, and volume
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  • 17 models and 24 presets
  • Best Beginner Electric Guitar Amp
  • Plenty of effects for enhanced control
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  • Best Beginner Bass Guitar Amp
  • Very powerful output of 100 watts and 12-inch speaker
  • Aux input, good for recording, footswitch, and headphone jack
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Review of the Best Beginner Guitar Amps

Now that you know what to consider when looking at a good guitar amp as a beginner, let’s look at some of the best offerings on the market.

Best Overall:
Orange Amps Electric Guitar Power Amplifier

PROS

  • Easy to use and convenient
  • Can be used with headphones
  • Great for practicing your skills
  • High-quality sounds and power output of 12 watts
  • Highly versatile and easy to control the EQ, overdrive, and gain

CONS

  • Does not include many features
  • Not for outdoor use or stage events

What Recent Buyers Report

This amp is really loud – probably one of the loudest you can find, with a power output of 12 watts. Although it is a mini-size, it includes most of the features you would expect from a full-size amp. Apart from gain and volume, you can tweak the 3-band EQ and overdrive.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is undoubtedly our top recommendation for a beginner amp. It is extremely loud and affordable. It offers effects such as overdrive, along with other tweakable features for the best tone possible. It is portable and you will find it easy to use and very convenient.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are an aspiring guitarist with a keen sense of quality, this amp is the best we have in store for you. It is powerful, includes varied controls, and will soon become your new best friend. On top of that, it can also be connected to a set of headphones so you can play at home without disturbing your family or neighbors.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Orange Crush 12 is highly functional and affordable. This will be a great starting point for your career or can simply allow you to enjoy your hobby to the fullest. It is a great rival to many full-sized amps on the market and can even be used with headphones for a late-night practicing session.

Runner-up:
 Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

PROS

  • Has tube-emulated overdrive
  • Offers fair controls over the tones
  • Affordable and good value for the money
  • Easy to use and can be paired with headphones
  • Extremely portable, tiny case, perfect for space-conscious players

CONS

  • Overdrive effect could be better

What Recent Buyers Report

Having a high-quality amp for practicing is an important aspect for anyone aspiring to be a highly skilled guitarist. This Fender Frontman Amp is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to practice their skills with a top-notch amp. In fact, it is used by many pros for their practice sessions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product offers the optimal blend of sound quality and price, all with a high-quality, amazing Blackface look. You can also attach a media player of your choice or attach it to your headphones for a completely silent performance. It is definitely our runner-up choice for the best beginner amps!

Who Will Use This Most

Although it is recommended for beginners, this amp is often used by professionals, as well. It is high-quality, extremely portable, and easy to practice with at any time. Whether you want to further develop your skills at home or need an amp for practicing as a traveling musician, this is a must-have.

Bottom Line

Overall, when considering price and features, this amp reaches all the standards you would expect it to. It is well built with typical Fender quality, is affordable, and allows you a fair degree of control over the tones of your instrument. The quality of this product definitely makes it a must-have!

Best for the Money:
Vox Pathfinder Combo

Vox Pathfinder Combo, 10W (V9106)

PROS

  • Easy to use and durable
  • Great as a practicing amp
  • Has 10 watts of output power
  • Strong and sturdy build quality
  • High-quality, well-defined sounds

CONS

  • Does not have a reverb effect
  • Cannot be used with batteries
  • Not for gigging or live performances

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a great amp to jump-start your guitar skills. In tandem with other VOX products, it keeps the classic looks, tones, and overall build quality. It is quite loud for the standard bedroom guitarist at ten watts of output. The 6.5-inch speaker is a nice addition that keeps the tones crystal clear.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product is a great beginner amp with ample features. You can switch between clean or overdrive tones with the click of a switch and get some crunch or control the EQ. Another great feature is that it is suitable for both headphone use and recording due to the filtered line out output.

Who Will Use This Most

This amp offers the ideal blend for beginners – it is mild on the budget, the sound quality is fair, sturdy, and reliable, and it has good looks. This amp is definitely a great asset for home practicing, but not powerful enough for stage performances or gigging.

Bottom Line

Vox is synonymous with quality – which means you will definitely not regret purchasing the VOX brand amp. It also contains a good pack of features suitable for a beginner, including overdrive, EQ, and sturdy design with quite a strong output of ten watts. You will increase your skills in no time!

Best Beginner Electric Guitar Amp:
Fender Mustang V2 20-Watt 1x8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier

Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1x8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier

PROS

  • Has free software
  • Perfect for digital recordings
  • Includes numerous models and pre-sets
  • USB to connect audio recording devices
  • Authentic sounds and high-quality output
  • Preserves the high quality of the Fender original tones

CONS

  • No control for mids
  • Some models could be better quality

What Recent Buyers Report

This is the best choice if you are looking for a challenge – with a complex set of features, this little amp is a winner. However, at the same time, it feels approachable enough that a beginner can find his or her way around this device. All you need is dedication and passion!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product might be the definition of versatility. It has abundant features that allow you to enjoy your music to the fullest. It is a great amp for any guitarist who wants an easy-to-use, complete amp with a highly portable and compact design and 20 watts of power.

Who Will Use This Most

This amp is highly recommended for recording. Fender is a founding pillar in recording – it is absolutely astonishing how easily you can record, edit, store, and share your music with this device. This is a must-have for any aspiring guitarist looking for a challenging, yet highly satisfying amp.

Bottom Line

Whether you are traveling, a student, or just decided that guitar is for you, this Fender amp has to be considered as a part of your potential new gear. It is high-quality and, as you get on with your skills, you will get to know and love many of Fender’s music accessories. Why not start now?

Best Beginner Bass Guitar Amp:
Fender Rumble 100 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

Fender Rumble 100 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

PROS

  • Gentle on the budget
  • Wide array of controls
  • Extremely classic design
  • Enhanced sonic versatility due to abundant controls
  • Perfect for bass tones, preserving vintage warm sounds
  • Lightweight and compact, yet extremely powerful output of 100 watts

CONS

  • Poor quality control
  • Loud, yet not loud enough for gigging – only practice

What Recent Buyers Report

If you care about quality, the Fender brand, and a tiny-sized amp perfect for practice, this is the best choice. What is really important is that it keeps the standard warm Fender sound, along with the usual quality, which gives this product great value for the money. It is long-lasting and has a great range of features.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Light, yet louder than ever before, this Fender amp is a real asset for any guitarist. It has the standard Fender vibe everyone loves and includes a footswitch for the overdrive effect. Even better is the wide array of features that includes vintage mode, which is perfect for bass tones.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone who wants to practice – both beginners and professionals – can truly benefit from this Fender amp. It is easy to use and lightweight, which makes it highly portable. The 100 watts far outweigh all of the other options on this list – it is not loud enough for a gig, but very loud for practice and rehearsals.

Bottom Line

Overall, this amp is ideal for bass players who want to recreate the distinctive rustic and warm tones of this genre. This Fender amp includes a vintage switch, among many other tweakable controls to allow you to practice your skills and improve as much as possible in no time.

Perks of Getting a New Guitar Amp

Here are the top advantages you get if you invest in one of our models:

High Quality

All of the guitar amplifiers on our list are extremely high-quality and have well-defined features and controls. We know a good guitar amp will allow you a certain degree of overtone control and can be used efficiently both on high and low volumes. The popularity of some brands we listed is also a good indicator of overall product quality. 

Connection to Headphones

Beginners need to practice a lot – sometimes even at midnight. In order to avoid any complaints from family or neighbors, we have ensured that all recommendations can be connected to headphones so you can practice in silence or enjoy a midnight solo on your own. 

Portable and Easy to Use

Another feature of our recommendations is, of course, portability. This makes them useful not only for beginners but also for more experienced players who would rather not deal with a full-sized amp and have to connect the pedalboard. You can keep the pocket-sized amp close at any time and it does not take up much space. 

Types of Guitar Amps

The main guitar amplifiers are tube, solid-state, modeling, and hybrid. 

Tube Amps

The tube amps provide warm tones that many guitarists enjoy. The tubes heat up when they are cranked up, which breaks your signal and you get a smooth overdrive effect. This is the oldest type of amp, however, many guitarists still enjoy it. 

Solid-State

The tube amp was soon replaced by a transistor-based amp – the solid-state guitar amp. The tubes are replaced by transistors located on a printed circuit board. As compared to the glass-made tubes, a transistor is more reliable since it is rock-solid, yet very light. The best part of solid-state amps is that they need no maintenance and should never break down (unlike tube amps). 

Modeling Amps

This new type of amp is a great option for pre-sets and many built-in effects. As the name suggests, modeling amps offer you access to numerous amp models and many other features, making use of the newest technologies. 

Hybrid Amps

Lastly, a hybrid amp is a mix of the different types of amps mentioned above. For instance, you can get the warmth of the tube amplifier, mixed with some of the perks of the solid-state. 

Conclusion

Overall, we have shown you that guitar amps are quite important pieces of equipment. Luckily, we reviewed the best beginner guitar amps to guide you and help you along your new path. They provide different functions and have quite a few controls, so be sure to find the best one for you.



Thalia has spent most of her life loving two things - writing and music. Thalia's passion for music saw her learning to play several instruments throughout her childhood and teen years. This passion also led to her earning two qualifications in Sound Recording Engineering, which she now uses by writing about musical instruments, studio gear, and the processes involved in making and producing music.