Best Amps For Pedals – 2021 Complete Round-up

| Last Updated: May 6, 2021

If you are a guitarist who enjoys using pedalboards to maximize the distortion of your tunes, then you need a guide to help you choose the right amp for pedals. 

Fortunately for you, this review will feature all the necessary details you will need to make an informed decision on which amp to settle for.

This will include a buying guide, features of top amplifiers for pedals, and seven of the best products on the market.

How Do These Work?

There are a lot of technicalities when you peek into the in-depth mechanics of how amp pedals work. However, to simplify it all, they simply turn sound from your guitar into a wilder and more distorted version. 

Amp pedals are mostly used by guitarists to experiment with new sounds. Therefore, you will find most of them modify their pedals for more significant effects. 

There are pedals that compress or boost a sound signal. Others modulate it, some create echo effects, and others simply distort or delay the sound effects. Each functions differently to create those effects, although, upon closer inspection, most of these areas are gray and tend to overlap. 

Will Any Pedal Work With Any Amp?

All pedals can basically be used with any type of amplifier. However, using mismatching pedals with amps only works to your disadvantage, because it significantly reduces the quality of the sound being produced. 

Each pedal is designed to produce optimum distortion results with individual amplifiers. Therefore, make sure you get a high-quality pedal and amp, and you will be impressed at just how well they can create distortions when appropriately matched together. 

Characteristics of Our Favorite Pedal Amps

When considering an amp for your pedal, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are the top characteristics to remember.

Ease of Use  

The amps we have chosen are all designed with simplicity in mind to ensure that users can get the most out of them without struggling. They have features that can be easily understood, making it a breeze for you to control sound effects while using them. 

Clean Sound Production  

These amp pedals also made the list because of their excellent sound production. Whether you are looking to distort, reverberate, or create any other sound effect, they will deliver as expected. 

Portability  

Most of the mentioned amp pedals can be carried with you anywhere you want with ease. They are lightweight, thus making the process a breeze. 

Power Output  

The best amp pedals have a high power output because the higher it is, the better the sound production. This is even more advantageous if you use high-quality speakers with the amp pedals. 

Value for Money  

These amp pedals were also chosen because they give their buyers the best value for the money. Their pricing is quite moderate when placed against the features and benefits they offer. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Amp For Pedals

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best amp for pedals overall
  • Power output of 10W (RMS)
  • Has excellent volume control for Gain, Bass, Tremble
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  • Has a Celestion 12-inch A-Type speaker
  • Modifiable spring reverb for extra smoothness
  • Has a lightweight pine cabinet
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  • Sounds like a real tube amp’
  • Best amp for pedal for the money
  • Has 80-watt (RMS) into 8 ohms and 100-watt (RMS) into 4 ohms with an external speaker
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  • Best Solid State Amp for Pedals
  • Has the classic black fender styling
  • Has a variety of options in the EQ selection, such as bass and tremble
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  • 12-inch A-type speaker
  • Best Fender Amp for Pedals
  • Modified preamp circuitry which can be used for improved overdriven note definition
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Review of the Best Amp for Pedals

Now that you know what to look out for when buying an amp for your pedal, let’s look at some of the top options.

Best Overall:
Vox AC15

VOX, 2 Electric-Guitar-Amplifier-Combos, Vintage (AC15C1)

PROS

  • Highly versatile
  • Produces clean sounds
  • Has EL84 power tubes and 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • Easy to use due to its intuitive and straightforward controls
  • Has a 10-inch VX 10 Custom speaker designed by Celestion
  • Highly convenient, as it comes with external speakers and an extension
  • Has an extension and external speaker output, which has by-passable loop

CONS

  • Produces relatively thin sounds, as compared to others
  • Tremble can be quite high, which can distort the sound quality

What Recent Buyers Report

The general consensus from new purchasers is that the amp is generally positive, with most reviewers giving it a perfect score. Many buyers praise the amp for its great sound from almost any setting. Others describe the sound cutting of the amp as nearly perfect, which adds to the tone of the music. The tremble and spring reverberation are also excellent, and it also handles fuzz excellently.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The excellent controls are what make this amp immediately stand out from the pack. It produces a presence and a punch that most benders in this category lack. Its master volume is also quite effective, as it has a lot of headroom on the normal channel while being able to be pushed to overdrive quite easily.

Who Will Use This Most

This amp shines in almost all categories. The simple yet highly effective controls make the amp nearly perfect for beginners, people just getting into music, and sound production. However, the overall product of the sound makes the amp acceptable for most successful global musical artists. The controls and the convenience of this product make it particularly attractive to professional musicians.

Bottom Line

The merits of this amp vastly outweigh the disadvantages. This makes it particularly attractive for any musician or sound production artist. This is then reinforced by the mostly positive reviews, with long-time musicians claiming it is the best amp they have ever used. The richness of the sound alone makes it easy to recommend to anyone looking to purchase an amp.

Runner-up and Best Tube Amp for Pedals:
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV 40

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amplifier

PROS

  • 40-watt speaker
  • Is also pedal friendly
  • Lightweight pine cabinet
  • Portable due to its lightweight cabinet
  • Has the convenience of having a 12-inch speaker
  • Has the added convenience of having a cabinet for wire storage
  • Has versatility resulting from modifications that can improve smoothness
  • Has a spring reverb that offers improved smoothness through modification
  • Convenience from the Celestion speaker
  • Can achieve higher clarity from its modified preamp
  • Versatility due to the modified spring reverb for improved smoothness

CONS

  • Tolex is not glued adequately and peels off rather easily
  • Output jack has been stripped down, which stresses the circuit board when plugged in
  • Does not have a headphone jack, which takes away from its convenience

What Recent Buyers Report

Most reviews from recent buyers give the amp an overwhelmingly positive review. Most of them claim it provides great value for the money. It has great applications throughout the range, offering sweet high and sublime lows. The construction of the amp is of high-quality, and it also provides high-quality sounds.

Buyers praise this amp for its great sound quality, as well as having a price range at an affordable level. Some people mention the distortion effects can be too much, which is especially the case for those who prefer cleaner sounds. This amp has also been praised for its ability to accommodate various genres.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This amp stands out from the multitude of amps on the market due to its pricing in relation to its quality. The amp offers high-quality output, not unlike its counterparts in the higher echelon of amps. However, the amps that rival its quality are priced far above this amp.

This amp has a pedal that helps it stand out from others. It offers the user greater versatility to the artists in their craft. It also has incredible versatility options, and it allows for modifications that help with the adjustments that can enhance performance. It is also lightweight, which allows for portability unlike some other amps on the market.

Who Will Use This Most

Mid-level artists and sound producers who are looking to get great quality for the money spent would have a preference for this amp. The sound suggests that this amp designed may be directed towards beginners, as it leans towards distortion effects, which is popular with the youth.

The pricing makes it great for beginners and easy to pick up for most people on a budget. The effects also seem to be designed to be adopted by new, young musicians. However, the pedal can be quite useful to professionals, as it helps give them options in their craft.

Bottom Line

Few amps on the market can offer more bang for your buck than this one. It offers high-quality output. Other than minor construction defects that are easily fixable, there are few other downsides to this amp. It is highly recommendable to both beginners and professionals.

The pedal is where this amp shines. Professionals will appreciate this amp solely for the pedal because of the versatility it offers. For beginners, its an easy recommendation due to its effects and pricing, which is great for beginners or intermediate users on a budget. The modifications allow the users to have better control over their creation.

Best for the Money:
Peavey Bandit

Peavey Bandit 112 Guitar Combo Amp

PROS

  • Great value for money
  • Has tube amp-level quality
  • Has a 12-inch Marvel® speaker
  • Reverb with heavy level control
  • Convenience from having 12-inch speakers
  • Highly versatile from having both 80 and 100-watt options with an added external speaker

CONS

  • No onboard effects
  • Produces fizzy and synthetic sounds when on the higher end of the spectrum

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers agree with the notion that this amp generally offers great value for the money when compared to other amps on the market. Other customers claim that the amp has a return-to-form feel, as it is reminiscent of the 1970s rock and roll years. It is being championed for great sounds.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The obvious reason this amp may stand out is its pricing. This makes it affordable for most people looking to get into music or sound production. It also stands out in its sound quality, as it matches the sound of the 1970s, when amps used tube amps. This makes it particularly unique in its market segment.

Who Will Use This Most

This amp could be especially useful to beginners solely for its pricing. It can come in handy for people who solely play acoustic, as it could help ease them into electric guitars. It can also be of great use to '70s rock aficionados due to its tube amp sound quality.

Bottom Line 

This amp is unique in its segment for its pricing. This makes it easy for a lot of beginners and musicians on a budget who are looking at getting an amp. Its versatility with both 80 and 100-watt options makes it attractive to various professionals, as well. Its sound quality calls back to the '70s era and makes it attractive for cover artists.

Best Solid State Amp for Pedals:
Fender Champion 20

Fender Champion 20 - 20-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier

PROS

  • Has intuitive controls and effects options
  • Has an open back cabinet to accommodate various wires
  • Convenience from its open back cabinet that allows for storage of wires
  • Versatile due to its knob that allows for the accommodation of any genre
  • Easy to use as it can be instantly connected to a device with a ⅛" headphone jack
  • Has a knob that changes the sound from clean to mean, accommodating almost any genre

CONS

  • Effects are lacking compared to its counterparts on the market
  • Cannot switch from clean to tweed with the spring reverb in a single click, which can be an annoyance to some

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of buyers appreciate the amp for its sound, as well as its classic black stylish fender design. The open-back cabinet for some is God-sent for anyone's storage needs. The highlight, however, is the foot pedal, which gives the user even greater control in their creative endeavor.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This amp offers greater convenience of use with its foot pedal. Users will appreciate the added control in their creation. It is great for beginners, as it has intuitive controls that help beginners take control of their creative endeavors. It also stands out due to the ease of connecting to it with its ⅛" headphone jack plugin.

Who Will Use This Most

The design makes it great for beginners. This is due to its intuitive controls and its effects. New beginners will also gravitate towards this amp due to its multiplicity of effects. However, professionals will find these amps very useful due to the knob that allows the artist to change genres at will. This gives the artists broader versatility for their craft.

Bottom Line

The pedal itself is a good reason for recommending this amp to anyone. New users will love this amp for its intuitive design and breadth of its effects options. The headphone application allows new users to get used to the amp, which makes it all the more endearing to new beginners.

Best Clean Amp for Pedals:
Ibanez TSA15H

Ibanez TSA15H Tube Screamer 15W Tube Guitar Amp Head

PROS

  • Has 6V6 tube’s character
  • Has a warm sound suitable for rock and blues
  • The sound quality is good due to the tube head
  • A variety of controls that give it more versatility
  • Has the added versatility of having both 5W and 15W options

CONS

  • Tolex covering is not very good, as it peels at the seams
  • The speaker that comes with the amp is not of high-quality

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of buyers agree that the amp produces acceptable quality output. One buyer claimed that the amp is great for beginners and experienced users should look at alternative amps. The effects are especially attractive to beginners, but the documentation of the amp is not up to standard.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Pedals are often mostly used by professionals who would like greater control of their music. However, this amp offers both a pedal and effects that make it a great choice for beginners. It also offers both 5W and 15W options, which provide better versatility to the user.

Who Will Use This Most

Beginners and some professionals on a budget would get great use out of this amp. The pricing and the range of effects make these amps a great choice for beginners. The pedals and the versatility offered by having both the 5W and 15W options make it easy to recommend to some professionals.

Bottom Line

The pedal, the options for wattage, and the modifications that can be made put this amp in its own class of convenience. However, most people (especially professionals), will be particular about what they want. For that reason, recommending this amp can be troublesome, as it does not do any single thing particularly well enough to deserve a recommendation.

Best Tube Amp for Pedals:
Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb 22-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amp

PROS

  • Offers full snappy guitar tones
  • Great overdrive for added versatility
  • Added convenience of the Jensen speaker
  • Works on 22W, which allows for great overdrive
  • High-quality sounds with great reverb and vibrato
  • High-quality guitar tones that can be heard in legendary albums like The Beatles' Abbey Road.

CONS

  • Heavy, limiting portability
  • Has a hum at low and higher settings

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are praising the amp for being loud enough for medium to large gatherings. For many acoustic guitar players having used the amp, they are delighted with the quality of the tones being produced. They claim they are akin to high budget studio recordings. They also praise the pedal used in controlling distortion to a reasonable level.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The quality of the guitar tones on the amp is almost unmatched by any other amp on the market. The volume of the sound is also remarkable for the amp. It is ideal for a medium to a large gathering. It also has a Jensen speaker, which makes it stand out from most of the amps that have Celestion speakers.

Who Will Use This Most

This amp would be great for professionals due to the great guitar tones it produces. Professionals may also benefit from the versatility offered by the pedal in distortion control. Performers would also make great use of the amp, as it has the volume to handle large crowds.

Bottom Line

This amp would be considered professional by most people. It can be used by various recording studios due to its great quality. It can be used by others on tour performing concerts due to its high volume. This amp is exceptionally easy to recommend.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before you purchase any musical equipment, here are the aspects to think on first:

Frequency  

The frequencies that your guitar can play should be in sync with those that your amp pedal can handle, too. Always ensure that you get amp pedals that function at the same frequencies that your guitar can produce for the best and most precise sound effects. If the difference between these frequencies is too wide, the sound effect production will be of poor quality. 

EQ Effects and Control  

Equalization effects allow you to change the timbre of your sound while the pitch remains constant. Different amp pedals offer varying levels of precision control on the equalization features. The more control you want, the higher quality your amp pedal should be. 

Wah Pedals  

There is a broad range of these available. They offer far more options of sound control, as the sound changes based on how you step on the pedal. For instance, rocking forward creates more treble for your sound, while middle positions offer heavier tones. This makes them very dynamic. 

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

Whenever you buy an amp for your guitar, there are a few things you need to remember to consider. Here are the main ones.

Voltage  

The amount of power your pedal can handle significantly influences the quality of sound it can produce. The more, the better, because if it can handle higher voltage, then you can also consider it protected from power surges, too. 

Quality  

Amp pedals undergo a lot of vigorous activity with all the stepping done on it. There is a lot of weight and pressure involved. It is, therefore, vital that you only go for the best quality brands that have durable materials to ensure they last for as long as possible. 

Compatibility  

When selecting which amp pedal to buy, make sure you consider its compatibility with the guitar you own. You measure this by looking at the range at which your guitar plays. For example, if your guitar has more mid-range and compression, then your amp pedal should be within the same bracket, too. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this review has given you new-found light on which amp pedals are the most suitable for you as a guitar player. Remember to factor in the compatibility of frequencies and the features of your amp pedals to ensure you buy only the best of these products. There are no rules to this, but a slight knowledge will save you from spending money on the wrong pedals. 



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.