The Best Guitar Amps Under $100 - Combo Models

Guitar Amplifiers

Guitar amps are an integral part to your sound, but a lot of musicians just can’t justify dropping hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars on a guitar amp. If you’re looking to get a great tone for as cheap as possible, check out our list of the best guitar amps under 100 dollars!

Contents

The Best Guitar Amps Under $100

Gearank Sources Street Price
Fender Frontman 10G 89 1150+ $60
Blackstar Fly3 92 600+ $60
Vox Pathfinder 10 90 550+ $80
Pignose Legendary 7-100 89 600+ $88
Peavey Solo 89 30+ $90
Boss Katana Mini 91 90+ $100
Fender Champion 20 92 700+ $100

Fender Frontman 10G

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 1150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$60
Fender Frontman 10G 10-watt 1x6" Combo Amplifier

Fender’s Frontman 10G is a tried and true standby for beginning musicians, and is arguably one of the most common and revered practice amps currently produced. The amp, weighing in at just 8.5 pounds, has a great mid-ranged focus Fender-style clean. Though the amp is does only come with a 6.5” speaker, the clean response actually compares pretty favorably to the larger amps in the Frontman series.

Features

  • Power Rating: 10-Watts
  • Speaker Size: 6”
  • Effects: Overdrive
  • Controls: Gain, Volume, Treble, Bass, Overdrive Switch
  • Inputs/Outputs: ¼”, AUX-In, Headphones
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs
  • Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth): 11” x 10.25” x 5.75”

Something to be aware of with this amp is that the overdrive is only going to give you enough gain for blues and light rock. Like all Fender amps, the Frontman 10G isn’t going to give you good results if you’re looking for an amp that can pump out hard rock and metal tones.

Blackstar Fly3

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$60
Blackstar Fly3 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amplifier 3W

Blackstar’s Fly 3 is a compact, battery powered 3-watt amplifier. Aside from the Fly 3’s portability, a huge feature that works in this amps favor is that it has a really impressive sound considering the size of its speaker. Coupled with the amps portability, the Blackstar Fly 3 is a great amp to take along to private lessons.

Features

  • Power Rating: 3-Watts
  • Speaker Size: 3”
  • Effects: Overdrive, Delay
  • Controls: Gain, Volume, Overdrive Switch, EQ, Delay Level, Delay Time
  • Inputs/Outputs: ¼”, AUX-In, Headphone
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth): 6.6” x 5” x 4”

An interesting feature of this amp is Blackstar’s ISF control, which can best be thought of as the combination of a tone control and a voicing switch. The amp also comes with “tape” delay, which models the more “organic” tone of vintage delay devices.

Lastly, something to be aware of with this amp is that if you plan on using it without batteries you will also have to purchase a power supply. The power supply can be purchased in a bundle off of various retailers, or separately.

Vox Pathfinder 10

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$80
Vox Pathfinder 10

The Vox Pathfinder is arguably the cheapest way to get that trademark Vox chime in a portable package. A lot of smaller amps don’t retain the tone of their namesakes, and just sound weak and uninspired overall. Thankfully, this isn’t the case for the Vox Pathfinder 10.

Features

  • Power Rating: 10-Watts
  • Speaker Size: 6.5”
  • Effects: Overdrive
  • Controls: Gain, Treble, Bass, Volume, Overdrive Switch
  • Inputs/Outputs: ¼”, Headphones
  • Weight: 10 lbs
  • Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth): 10.24” x 14.96” x 6.69”

A cool thing about this amplifier is that it’s pretty minimalistic, which depending on what you’re looking for can actually work in an amp’s favor. There are times where you just want an amp for a particular tone or purpose, like an amp to bring to lessons or play while watching TV. In times like these, you actually get a better bang for your buck when you purchase an amp without effects.

Pignose Legendary 7-100

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$88
Pignose Legendary 7-100 Gutiar Combo Amplifier

The Pignose Legendary 7-100 is an interesting little amp. It’s very dependent on the use of your guitar volume and tone controls, as evidenced by the lack of onboard controls the amp has. With that in mind, the amp is incredibly responsive to your guitar controls. By using the volume control on your guitar, you can clean up the amp pretty well.

Features

  • Power Rating: 5-Watts
  • Speaker Size: 5”
  • Effects: N/A
  • Controls: Volume
  • Inputs/Outputs: Preamp Out
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth): 9.5" x 6.25" x 5"

Something to keep in mind with this amp is that it’s not a great choice if you’re looking for an amp for great cleans. The Legendary 7-100 is geared more towards overdriven and fuzz tones as opposed to bright or jazzy cleans.

An interesting feature of the amp is that you can also run the preamp section through a different amp. This is different than amps that use an extension cab, because you can actually run the amp at a higher wattage. This allows you to get a volume that’s suitable for live performances while still retaining the unique grit that the Pignose line is known for.

Peavey Solo

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$90

The Peavey Solo is a 12-watt amplifier that’s a part of Peavey’s TransTube line. The TransTube line is a series of solid state amps that are built with the intention of mimicking the response a tube amp without the extra cost or maintenance. The overdrive effect on the amp reflects this as well, as it has a lot of warmth on tap.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 12-Watts
  • Speaker Size: 8”
  • Effects: Overdrive
  • Controls: Overdrive, Overdrive Switch, Volume, Low, Mid, High
  • Inputs/Outputs: ¼”, AUX-In, Headphones
  • Weight: 14 lbs
  • Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth) 16.12’ x 9.75” x 14.87”

The cool thing about this is that the amp actually does have a lot of the warmth and organic character you’d get with a tube amp, and you can get this response at a volume that won’t disturb those around you (or get the cops called).This amp also comes with an 8” speaker, which gives the tone a lot more warmth than an amp with a smaller speaker.

Boss Katana Mini

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
Boss Katana Mini 7W Combo Amp

The Boss Katana Mini is a portable sized replica of Boss’s recently launched (and very highly received) Katana series. The Katana series can best be thought of as Boss’s answer to Fender’s Mustang line, featuring a variety of onboard effects and amp models.

Features

  • Power Rating: 7-Watts
  • Speaker Size: $”
  • Effects: Distortion, Delay
  • Controls: Gain, Amp Type, Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Time, LEvel
  • Inputs/Outputs: 1/4”, AUX-In, Headphones
  • Weight: 2 lbs 11 oz
  • Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth) 7.13” x 9.06” x 4.63”

The Mini scales back some of the offering of the larger amps in the line, but with that in mind it still packs in plenty of great features. The amp comes with three different voicings: brown, crunch, and clean. Brown is a Marshall voiced amp, crunch features higher gain, and the amp also comes with a clean voicing (like based of the JC-120). Between these three different models the amp features a ton of great different tones, especially if you’re looking for an amp that can pump out blues and classic rock.

The Katana Mini also comes with delay, which on lower settings can be used to somewhat resemble reverb.

Fender Champion 20

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 700+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
Fender Champion 20

The Fender Champion 20 is arguably one of the most versatile amps featured on this list, featuring 8 different amp models and onboard effects. The amp models cover vintage Fender Amplifiers, a Vox model, a Marshall model, and three high-gain models. This alone makes it worth a look if you’re looking for a high gain amp, because most of the models featured above don’t really have enough gain on tap for modern hard rock and metal tones.

Features

  • Power Rating: 20-Watts
  • Speaker Size: 8”
  • Effects: Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Tremolo, Vibratone, Overdrive
  • Controls: Volume, Channel, Gain, Channel 2 Volume, Voice, Treble, Bass, FX Level, FX Select, Tap Temp
  • Inputs/Outputs: ¼”, AUX-In, Effects Loop, Headphones
  • Weight: 12 lbs
  • Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth): 12.75" x 13.75" x 7.5"

The onboard effects are also a great inclusion, featuring the majority of modulation effects the average guitar player is likely going to need. The amp also comes with Fender style reverb, which is the most copied reverb ever.

Lastly, the Champion 20 also comes with AUX-In and headphone functionality, allowing you to jam along with your favorite tracks and practice silently respectively.

Things to Consider When Buying a Guitar Amp for Under $100

If you’re not sure where to start when buying a guitar amp, or you just want to brush up on your background knowledge before throwing any money down, check out the sections below!

  • Power Rating

    The power rating of an amp, also known as its wattage, is a good indicator of the amount of volume an amp will have. However, it’s important to know how wattage and volume relate to each other.

    A 10-watt amplifier is going to be (roughly) twice as loud as a 1-watt amplifier, and half as loud as a 100-watt amplifier. Wattage is a better indicator of “headroom”, which is how loud an amplifier can be turned up before it starts to distort.

    As a general rule, when it comes to wattage 100-watts is usually enough to gig with. 10-watts is enough to easily be audible in a home or apartment, and 1-watt is great if you’re looking to play without (overly) disturbing others.

  • Speaker Size

    Speakers come in all shapes and sizes, with the most common (and tonally balanced) being 12” speakers. The bigger the speaker the warmer and more bass focused its tone is going to be, while smaller speakers generally have a thinner and brighter tone.

    However, there are amps that are exceptions to this rule. Some manufactures use specially designed speakers that, while small, still produce a really full and musical tone.

  • Tone Shaping Controls (EQ)

    Almost every amp comes with tone shaping controls, otherwise known as an EQ section (generally labeled on an amplifier as bass, middle, and treble). These controls change the tone of your instrument. Tone is best defined as the combination of harmonics, sustain, and frequency response (which is controlled by the EQ sections mentioned above) produced by your guitar and amplifier.

  • Built-In Effects

    Many amps come with built-in effects, with the most commonly found ones being reverb and distortion. Distortion is what gives rock, blues, and metal their trademark tone. Reverb makes your guitar sound like it’s being played in a large room.

    The cool thing about built-in effects is that they give you more options when you’re dialing in your tone, and they make it possible to play different genres. However, they do increase the price of the amp. If you’re on a budget it’s better to find an amp that only features the effects you can reasonably see yourself using, rather than trying to find an amp with as many effects as possible.

  • Outputs

    Many amps come with extra outputs, with the most common being a headphone jack and a USB out. A headphone jack allows you to plug in your headphones for silent practicing, and a USB out allows you to plug your amp into your computer for easy recording. Some amps also come with software that, when your amp is plugged into a computer via the USB jack, allows you to edit various parameters of your amp.

    Some amps also come with output jacks that allow you to plug your amp into extension speaker (a different speaker that either works with or separate from the speaker already in your amp) or a P.A.

Methodology

We short-listed 27 sub-$100 combo guitar amps that were available from major American online retailers and then gathered feedback from owners and experts via 5 star ratings, written reviews and forum discussions. We used over 7,200 sources and we also processed those data with the Gearank Algorithm to calculate the scores out of 100 you see above. Finally we selected the highest rated options to recommend. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works

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