Best Combo Amps of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

Nowadays, the guitar universe is not complete without amplifiers – we cannot imagine our life without them!

There are so many models and preferences to satisfy that sometimes it is almost impossible to find the perfect combo amp.

Check out the next section for more details about combo amps and find out why guitarists love them so much!

Comparison Chart of the Best Combo Amps

PRODUCTDETAILS
gm2-table__image

Fender '65 Princeton Reverb

  • Best combo amp overall
  • Top-quality 15-watt tube amp
  • Includes both reverb and vibrato effects
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Vox AC15C1 Guitar Combo Amp

  • VOX design and effect loop
  • 10-watt output with a classic boost tone option
  • Extensive range of efficient controls for reverb, treble, master volume, gain and others
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Line 6 Spider V 60

  • Best combo amp for the money
  • Intuitive interface with tone-shaping controls
  • Speaker system for acoustics, electrics and music playback
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Audioengine D1 24-Bit DAC

  • Best Dac Amp Combo
  • Easy to use with Mac or PC, no driver installation needed
  • High performing combo amp with headphone and USB inputs
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Fender Rumble 500 v3 Bass Combo Amp

  • Best Bass Combo Amp
  • Two speakers of 10” and a single channel
  • Has a vintage switch and controls for contour and overdrive
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Vox AC4

  • Best Small Tube Amp Combo
  • Includes the popular top boost tone
  • Highly compatible with any play style and music genre
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Peavey 6505+ 112

  • Best Combo Amp for Metal
  • Unsurpassed gain due to the five preamp tubes
  • 60 watts tubes and 3 band EQ for each channel, with separate resonance/presence controls
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Marshall CODE25 Combo Guitar Amp

  • Best Marshall Combo Amp
  • Tone simulations and full of sound
  • Can connect via Bluetooth or USB to record/stream audio
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Phil Jones Bass Double Four 70W Bass Combo Amp

  • 3 band EQ bass combo amp
  • Best Bass Combo Amp Under $500
  • Single-channel has input for audio player
View Latest Price

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

A combo amp is an amplifier composed of the head and the cabinet – so you get an ‘all-in-one’ or combo amp. The two parts are built into each other. The head is the part that contains all the knobs, controls, and tweakable features, while the cab makes all the sounds. It is called a ‘combo’ amp because they already come together, so you don’t need to do the wiring. It is all ready to go, without worrying about setup, ohms, and other nerve-wracking technical details. 

How Do I Choose a Combo Amp?

Here are some short considerations when you choose a combo amp:

Choose the Right Amplifier for You

Amplifiers come in various types, configurations (although we do focus only on combos for now), they have different power outputs and many others. Make sure you take into consideration all of its specifications before choosing the right one for you – more simply, do you need a solid-state, a tube amp, or a modeling (digital) one? Is it open or closed back? Make sure you do your research – maybe you get a top-notch amp, but if it is not perfect for you, it will be futile. 

Fender '65 Princeton Reverb

Match Between Versatility and Functionality

In tandem with the previous aspect, make sure you match versatility and functionality. There’s no need to go for an extra complicated model if you don’t need it. Most of the combo amps are for practicing or small venue gigging, so you should keep them small and highly functional. 

Is it The Ideal One for my Needs?

Make sure you also match the power output. Maybe 5 watts does not sound like a great deal, but a 5-watt amp for practicing at home will be a great choice, and you don't need anymore. You might want to look into some more powerful ones for other uses, though!

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Review of the Best Combo Amps

We have taken a look at how to pick the best combo amp, so now let’s take a look at some of the best options.

Fender '65 Princeton Reverb 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp

PROS

  • Ideal for small stages or studio
  • Portable, as it is small and lightweight
  • Power of up to 15 watts, perfect for small stages
  • Overall outstanding performance and sound quality
  • Includes spring reverb and the tube-specific vibrato
  • High-quality sounds both for live performances or recording

CONS

  • High price range
  • Poor quality control
  • Spring reverb could be a bit warmer

What Recent Buyers Report

This amp performs great, and both tube vibrato and reverb are great features, and they quite exceed expectations. Additionally, this combo amp has numerous controls for fine shaping the tunes, such as intensity, treble, bass, reverb, speed, and volume. Definitely a must-have combo amp for performing in small venues or recording!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Fender Princeton Reverb Amp is a classic reproduction of the authentic ’65 one; it comes with 15 watt output and a 10” speaker. The amp has one channel with two inputs, along with vibrato and reverb effects. The controls are varied, covering speed, treble, and others.

Who Will Use This Most

This combo amp is best for any musician who often performs in small-sized venues or records their tunes. The sounds are clean and clear, perfect for jazz and many other music genres. The tones are fat, clear and warm, with good headroom. It’s worth checking out!

Bottom Line

Overall, the Fender Princeton is a beautiful combo amp for any musician. Whether you are just starting your career or you’re a pro recording your tunes, you will definitely find some nice features in this combo amp. It will definitely help you take your skills and career to the next level!

VOX, 2 electric-guitar-amplifier-combos, Vintage (AC15C1)

PROS

  • Two high-quality channels
  • Reverb and tremolo effects
  • High-quality, durable stock tubes
  • Best for both classic/vintage guitar tones
  • Includes 3 band EQ and extensive controls

CONS

  • Lacks headroom
  • No mid-range control
  • High frequencies/EQs are harsh

What Recent Buyers Report

This amp sounds good with almost any setting you can imagine. The low ends are great, although you might pay extra care with the treble. The tone cut can be efficiently used to balance out the tones, and both tremolo and reverb effects are exquisite. The design is top-notch!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The VOX AC15 is an outstanding piece of equipment with two channels (normal/top boost), and it is all tube. Authentic, clear, and high-quality tones are delivered at a maximum of 15 watts for the best experience. It masterfully combines the classic VOX tremolo with modern spring reverb.

Who Will Use This Most

This VOX combo amp is a great choice for small to medium gigs. With 15 watt power, the combo amp can deliver strong, yet creamy and warm sounds to your small crowds with impressive quality. All of its features work concomitantly to offer you high degrees of versatility.

Bottom Line

Overall, the VOX AC15 is a fantastic quality combo amp that combines a wide range of features to offer you the best experience. The top-notch quality of the sounds will help you turn from a beginner to a pro in no time! It is the perfect companion for blues and jazz.

Best for the Money:
Line 6 Spider V 60

Line 6 Spider V 60 Wireless Ready Modeling Amplifier

PROS

  • Includes 128 custom presets
  • Outstanding recording qualities
  • Simple to control and easy to understand
  • Built-in tuner, drum loops, and metronome
  • Has a color-coding system for effects for ease of use
  • Highly versatile with a massive number of effects and amp models

CONS

  • Best performance requires FBV3 foot controller
  • Not compatible with older iOS/Android devices
  • Shortcomings with performance, but great for beginner level

What Recent Buyers Report

This combo amp is the perfect versatile mix for any musician, no matter the skill level. It has numerous amp models, cabs, and effects that can help you shape unlimited tunes. High-quality punch, this combo amp combines realism and quality to such an unprecedented high level.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Spider V 60 is packed with models, both amp and FX, which can be easily and efficiently accessed through the controls. The speakers are full-range, and they work great with music playback, electrics, and acoustics alike. The combo amp offers access to 128 presets, including classic tones and iconic rigs.

Who Will Use This Most

This amp is great for beginners on a budget, as it offers the chance to learn about various models, effects, rigs, and creating their own unique tones. If you are an intermediate or a professional, you might want to check out some more advanced amps which allow you more freedom of choice in creating the tunes.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Spider V 120 combo amp is packed with a wide variety of features. If you are a beginner, you need to check this piece of equipment, as it will serve you as the building block of your future career as an amazing guitarist.

Best Dac Amp Combo:
Audioengine D1 24-Bit DAC

Audioengine D1 24-Bit DAC, Premium Desktop Digital To Analogue Converter and Headphone Amplifier

PROS

  • Strong amplifier 
  • Highly affordable DAC
  • Enhances audio quality
  • Compact and high-quality build
  • Easy to install, no software required
  • Includes DAC (digital to analog converter)

CONS

  • Quite bulky
  • Not so much value for money if you don’t use DAC

What Recent Buyers Report

This device is great if you need a DAC. The headphone amplifier is also good quality and has a durable build – not to mention the flawless finish. What is more, this DAC is quite unbelievably inexpensive compared to other products on the market, but well worth every cent and beyond.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This DAC (digital to analog converter) stands out to us due to its high-quality at an incredibly low price. You can use it to bypass your computer’s sound card/headphone output and sends the signal through USB/optical. It can process audio up to 24 bits; it has low distortion and high signal-to-noise ratio.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re a headphone enthusiast, this DAC will deliver exceptional quality and outstanding value for money. It is designed for a wide range of headphones, and it will help improve the sound quality of your entire music library. Furthermore, it is extremely easy to use – no installation required!

Bottom Line

The Audioengine D1 Premium DAC is overall an outstanding quality DAC, which allows you to enjoy your music to the highest standards. It is inexpensive, yet extremely useful for any headphone enthusiast – and on top of everything, it is compatible with a plethora of headphone models.

Fender Rumble 500 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

PROS

  • Flexible amp with a sturdy build
  • Great for gigging, practice and rehearsals
  • Highly flexible due to the integrated controls
  • Outstanding tones typical of Fender reputation
  • Has an effects loop and one ivory soft radio potentiometer
  • Has a single channel and two 10” speakers for great quality sounds

CONS

  • Inconsistent claims that it breaks up at low volumes

What Recent Buyers Report

This amp comes with eminently designed dual speakers of 10” which work together harmoniously to give you clear sounds, but also low ends. It is made of plywood; thus, the amp is highly portable due to its light weight. It is a powerful, but extremely versatile combo bass amp.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Fender Rumble 500 Combo is the next step in the evolution of bass amps. With new engineering, this new series impresses us with astonishing light weight and booming sounds, great for any gig. It also features a versatile voicing palette with three modes and other pro features that need to be explored.

Who Will Use This Most

If you enjoy a challenge, you have to check out the new Fender Rumble. Its high-quality, lightweight features a wide range of abilities – XLR output, horn defeat, an effects loop, and even two speakers to ensure you are at your full potential when rehearsing, practicing, or even gigging.

Bottom Line

Overall, this product is the new challenge Fender brings to the market. Typical to this brand, the product is a massive improvement over any other past amps they brought to us to impress. It has a budget-friendly price, and there is virtually no reason why you shouldn’t check this one out right now!

Best Small Tube Amp Combo:
Vox AC4

Vox Bass Amplifier Head, Black (AC4C1-12)

PROS

  • Extremely affordable
  • Highly flexible with numerous controls
  • Well-known for warm sounds of the tubes
  • Vintage sound with top boost and clean chime
  • Classical VOX tube amp with 12” Celestion speaker
  • Extremely compact and ready to go to the studio or rehearsal room

CONS

  • For the real tone freaks, it misses a bit on the low end – however you can add an external speaker or replace the stock one to make up for it

What Recent Buyers Report

This high-quality all-tube amp is astonishing. There is nothing you can wish for that is not already there, including volume, gain, treble, bass, and the popular top boost and clean chime. It might miss a bit on the low end for actual tone freaks, but it can be easily fixed by replacing the stock speaker.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If Fender does not impress you, we challenge you to say no to the amazing Vox AC4. With a 12” Celestion Speaker, this combo amp will turn you into a true legend. The classic Vox sounds are vintage, giving you the beautiful, warm sounds of tube amps.

Who Will Use This Most

Whether you are live or recording, at home or on stage, practicing or just experimenting, the Vox AC4 ticks all the boxes on your checklist. Anyone will enjoy its performance, and it is one of those products ​thar needs to be experimented with at least once in a lifetime.

Bottom Line

Overall, this product is an excellent match if you are looking for a reliable, sturdy combo amp to use both in the studio or gigging. The build quality is ideal for long-term use, and it delivers high-quality classic Vox tones. Extremely easy to use, you can also attach an external speaker to overwhelm a large crowd!

Best Combo Amp for Metal:
Peavey 6505+ 112

Peavey 6505 Plus 112 Guitar Combo Amp

PROS

  • 60-watt output power
  • High-quality metal sounds
  • Ideal for metal guitar sounds
  • Portable and extremely easy to use
  • Closed-back design for best results
  • The five preamp tubes give unsurpassed gain

CONS

  • Half-power mode would be a good feature
  • The treble is quite high and might sound piercing

What Recent Buyers Report

The 6505 is a great, versatile amp, although it does not seem so at first sight. Whether you want some warm crunch or a metal piercing sound, this combo amp can do it all. On the other hand, some feel as though this amazing piece of equipment would benefit from a half-power mode, too.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This combo amp stands out to us due to its great tonal foundation. You can largely tweak its numerous controls and make use of different channels to reach original, varied tones as per your wish. The product features lead/rhythm channels, 3 band EQ, presence and resonance adjustments, and gain controls.

Who Will Use This Most

This great combo amp can deliver so much value for metal players. Despite this, you can also use it for other genres – for instance, by tweaking back the pre-gain using rhythm channel, you get some bluesy overdrive with a warm crunch. It is also a great asset to a rock player!

Bottom Line

Overall, the 6505 Plus 112 combo amp is highly underappreciated. The only thing it cannot do is, crystal clear and clean sounds – other than that, it is perfect for any music genre you wish. It is quite popular among metal players, although blues and rock would definitely benefit from the nice, warm crunch it offers.

Best Marshall Combo Amp:
Marshall CODE25 Combo Guitar Amp

Marshall Amps Code 25 Amplifier Part (CODE25),15' x 10' x 15',Black

PROS

  • Very compact, portable and lightweight
  • Can connect via Bluetooth and USB
  • Authentic Marshall tones with high-quality FX
  • Ideal for live performances, practicing, or recording
  • High-quality construction with top-notch materials
  • Highly versatile, can simulate numerous amps, pre-amp, and cabinet rigs

CONS

  • Software is buggy
  • Not so powerful for large crowds

What Recent Buyers Report

Extremely impressive and versatile, the Marshall Code 25 is the perfect companion of the modern musician. You will benefit from the classic Marshall tones, blended to perfection with the latest modern technology. The versatility of its numerous features and options is simply overwhelming.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This combo amp is so versatile you can hardly believe modern technology has reached so far. State of the art technology is mirrored in this amp through numerous simulations of amps, pre-amp and rigs, FX, and many more, which lead to the creation of every tonal combination you can ever dream of.

Who Will Use This Most

Ideal for studio recording or practicing, the Marshall combo amp has 25 watts with a 10” speaker that is made to impress you – whether you are a beginner or a pro, it takes no notice. If you look for classic Marshall quality in a budget-friendly product, this is your best bet.

Bottom Line

As one of the greatest leaders on the amp market, Marshall has never let us down. Once again, this combo amp allows you to benefit from the latest technologies combined with classic Marshall tones, which enables you to use numerous presets or create your own. Call it what you may, but this combo amp is truly versatile!

Best Tube Combo Amp Under $500: 
Peavey VYPYR VIP 2

PROS

  • Wide range of ten instrument models
  • Ideal for acoustic, electric or bass guitar
  • Budget-friendly combo amp with 12” speaker
  • User-friendly interface with easy to navigate effects and models
  • 10 models which simulate acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, 7 string, baritone, resonator model, electric violin, bass guitar, sitar model

CONS

  • No noise gate
  • Bass mode could have some better lows

What Recent Buyers Report

It is virtually impossible to state what this combo amp cannot do. From bass amp to electric amp and then right to an acoustic amp, this can simulate anything that goes through your mind. It is exceptionally intuitive to use, and you can use the USB data and audio ports to record or get access to store presets, lessons, and others.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of the best sounding amps available. It makes use of a perfect blend between 32-bit SHARC processors and Transtube analog circuitry to reshape your musical experience from scratch. What’s best, the high quality sounding VYPYR effects, amp models, and all the parameter controls can be tweaked with directly via the amp, no computer necessary.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re looking for the ultimate amplifier, then we just simplified your work. The Peavey Electronics combo amp has everything you could wish for, and it is specially created to accommodate every need you might have. It works great for acoustic, bass, electric, and many more.

Bottom Line

Overall, this Peavey Electronics amp is our best tube combo amp, which does not break the bank. Extremely versatile and flexible, it combines a wide variety of features and options, which are basically begging to be explored. If you are still looking for the perfect sounds, you might have just found them!

Best Bass Combo Amp Under $500:
Phil Jones Bass Double Four 70W Bass Combo Amp

Phil Jones Bass Double Four 70W Bass Combo Amp Black

PROS

  • Includes input for audio players
  • High-quality build, long-lasting materials
  • 4” speakers and headphone connection
  • Can be used with headphones or recording
  • Loyally replicated the natural sounds of your bass guitar
  • Prevents cabinet coloration due to acoustic damping materials

CONS

  • Directional use
  • No reverb effect

What Recent Buyers Report

This combo amp is the perfect solution if you play old-school country, bluegrass, and jazz. Although it is a small practice amp, it will definitely handle a gig in a small-sized room. Similar to other bass amps, this product is also sensitive to room placement – so you might consider placing it near a wall or in a corner.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The double four 70W Bass Combo Amp is a self-explaining piece of hardware, perfectly created to bring your bass guitar to life. Despite its shoebox-size, this combo amp will breathe essence into your tunes – just because it is a practice combo amp, it does not mean it cannot outperform full-sized ones.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great combo amp for practicing for favorite tunes and perfecting them. It is extremely portable, and the sounds are well-rounded. You can use it for jazz, bluegrass, and old-school country, and it might even be possible for use in a small venue live performance.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a fantastic tiny-sized amp. It has plenty of headroom, and you can tweak the tone to fit your liking, whether it is mud, punch, or anything in between. It is the perfect practice amp for bass you can find on the market with such outstanding sound qualities and features!

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying?

Combo amps come in different types and variations, so it is quite a difficult job to know how to choose the right one and what to look for when you are shopping around. Here are some considerations you need to keep in mind when buying:

Tube vs. Solid-State vs. Digital

The three types of amps are all great – but they do vary significantly. Make sure you know these differences before choosing:

  • Solid-state comes with clean tones, sturdy and reliable;
  • Tube amps have fat, warm tones and an organic distortion, they often have clean and distorted channels; they require maintenance;
  • Digital amps simulate numerous amps and are packed with effects/features.

Open or Closed-Back?

If you are a bass player, you should definitely go for a closed-back amp. They have a better bass response from the speaker. 

Power and Speaker Size Matters!

If you plan to practice with your new combo amp, smaller power and speaker size will be just right for you. If you are into rehearsals and gigging in small venues, tube and digital amps are the most common choices for musicians with power as high as 50 watts and 12” speakers. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, combo amps are an integral part of our music world. Whatever we do, we need them – during home practice, rehearsals, even street gigging or performing for a small crowd in a venue. Because they are so important, we felt the need to present you with our top recommendations for the best combo amps.