If you are a guitarist who practices primarily at home, you know that a good-sounding amp should be an essential part of playing electric guitars. But most of the time, we guitar players are constrained with the budget. And often, a good amp can be pricey. Especially bigger amps with higher wattage or tube amps. In today’s list of cheap guitar amps, you may find numerous features. So, let’s see the list of Best Guitar Amps Under $100.
Going down to the basics, there are two types of amps: Tube Amps and Solid State Amps.
The tube amp consists of vacuum tubes or valves for the preamp or power amp, which technically produces the sounds you want to hear from an electric guitar. This is an older technology, but tube amps have that girth in the sound, making it pleasing to many people with its realistic sounds. However, tube amps can be costly, and you need to use separate cabinet speakers to sound proper.
On the other hand, Solid State Amps take a different approach to producing sounds, as they use digital transistors for the preamps and power amps instead of tubes. That allows the amps to be compact in size and more future-ready.
But this transformation took somewhat of a sacrifice in the tonal quality of amps. So, most artists use tube amps for studio recording or live concerts due to their superior sound quality.
That’s the history lesson for you. Now we come back to the topic of affordable guitar amps.
Some Points to Consider When Buying a Guitar Amp
If you’re new to buying a guitar amp or just want to have some background knowledge before spending your money, check out some pointers below!
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 essential to understand how wattage and volume are related.
The Wattage acts logarithmically with the volume level rather than arithmetically. For example, A 10-watt amp is roughly twice as loud as a 1-watt amp and half as loud as a 100-watt amplifier. Most amps in the $100 price range will be 10-watts or lower, which is ideal for bedroom guitarists.
Speakers come in many sizes, but 12” speakers are known to be most tonally balanced. More oversized speakers tend to produce warmer and more bass-focused tones, while smaller speakers generally have a thinner and brighter tone.
Tone Shaping (EQ)
Almost every amp has tone-shaping controls or Equalizer (generally labeled as bass, mid, and treble). These controls change the instrument’s tone.
Many amps have effects built-in. The most common effects found are reverb and distortion. Distortion is that signature tone of rock, blues, and metal. Reverb makes guitar sound kind of echo-y.
Most amps have extra outputs, with the most common being a headphone out and a line-out jack. You can plug in your headphones for silent practicing through the headphone jack, while line-out lets you play through other speakers. Modern amps now have a USB port for direct computer recording.
10 Best Guitar Amps Under $100
Orange CRUSH 12
Volume, Overdrive, Gain Knobs
Blackstar FLY3 Mini Amplifier
3 watts portable guitar am
Two channels: Clean and an overdrive
Controls: Volume, Gain, and EQ called the ISF
Delay effect that can also sound like reverb
MP3 line-in plus headphone out
Vox Pathfinder Combo
6.5” Vox Special Bulldog speaker
Open back Classic Cabinet
Brown diamond grille cloth
Controls: Power switch, Gain, Clean/overdrive button, bass, treble, and Volume knob
Output jack that also works as a line out for recording by muting the speaker
NUX Mighty Lite BT
Effects: Overdrive, Delay
Controls: Gain, Volume, Tone, Delay/Reverb | OD/DIST,
Built-in Bluetooth for connecting your devices.
Drums Tracks, Play/Pause, Tap
Inputs/Outputs: ¼”, AUX-In, Headphone
USB to power it up
Fender Frontman 10G
6” Fender-designed speaker
Tolex covered cabinet
2 Channels: from clean to overdrive
Controls: 2-band EQ bass-treble, gain, volume
Aux in, Headphones out
Ibanez IBZ10G, 10-Watts
2 Channels: Clean and Distortion
Controls: 2-band EQ bass-treble, gain, volume
Aux in and Headphones out
Peavey Backstage Guitar Combo Amp
6” custom-designed speaker
Black Tolex covered cabinet
Peavey’s TransTube circuitry with two switchable channels
Controls: overdrive, lead On/Off button switch, volume knob, and 2-band EQ high-low
Headphones out and aux-in
Volume & tone control
Orange Crush Mini 3W
Shape knob to tweak your sound
Onboard Chromatic tuner display
headphone output for silent practice
Blackstar ID: Core 10 V3
10W (2 x 5W)
Six different Voices
1/8" Cab-emulated Line/Headphone Output
TRRS Aux Input
1. Orange CRUSH 12
The Orange Crush 12, a solid-state combo amp, reproducing Orange's known overdriven tone at a beginner-friendly price point.
Many players out there love the sound of bigger Orange amps, and if you do, you will love the Crush 12 too. The amp is one of the best amps on this end of the budget, and the price is at the peak of our range.
2. Blackstar FLY3 Mini Amplifier
FLY3 is a compact, battery-powered 3-watt amplifier. Aside from its portability, a huge feature is that it has an awe-inspiring sound considering the size of its speaker. Recommended to the guitarists needing an amp on the go or to use backstage as a warm-up amp in gigs.
3. Vox Pathfinder Combo
Vox offers the vintage-looking V9106 Pathfinder for its budget crowd. It is a 10-watt guitar amp with one 6.5” speaker on the classic vinyl open-back cabinet, with the recognizable grill cloth Vox uses.
You can quickly transfer from the clean channel to the overdrive channel by pushing a button. There’s an output jack for the headphone for a quiet practice session that also works as a line out for recording by muting the amp when a jack is plugged.
4. NUX Mighty Lite BT
The NUX Mighty Lite BT is a feature-packed guitar amp that is both affordable and portable. It lets you switch among three channels - Clean, Overdrive, and distortion. It also has two of the most common effects - delay and reverb.
Furthermore, it has built-in drum patterns, including a metronome - making it an authentic beginner-friendly piece of equipment. The amp has a tap tempo control for absolute control over the timing of delay and drums.
5. Fender Frontman 10G
The Frontman 10G has an output of 10-watts with a 6”-speaker for practice and jamming on low volumes. This small portable guitar amp is perfect for you if you are a beginner and have a tight budget.
Controls on the face panel are the 2-band EQ, gain control, volume, and channel select to go from clean to the overdrive channel. Also included are headphones out and aux-in jacks to practice with a media player
6. Ibanez IBZ10G, 10-Watts
The IBZ10G is a 10 watts entry-level guitar amp focused on new guitar players to help them take their first steps in guitar amplification.
There’s an input jack on the front panel, a distortion switch to play overdrive channel, gain knob, 2-band EQ, and the master volume. It also features a headphone out to practice silently and an aux-in to plug in a media player.
7. Peavey Backstage 10W Guitar Combo Amp
A good beginner amp with dual channels and 2-band EQ for beginners improve their skills in playing the guitar. This amplifier can output 10 watts of power to start rocking.
There is an output jack for the headphone for quiet practices, along with an aux-in to plug in a media player.
8. Marshall MS2
The MS2 has a genuine, rich Marshall sound. This little box of sound can be switched to two different modes and has a tonal control with massive bandwidth.
Besides, there’s a headphones jack through which an external power amp can be controlled.
9. Orange Crush Mini 3W
Another Orange product, and this one is even tinier. It's pretty impressive how much powerful sound this little amp brings, and the overdrive sounds so good.
This can be a great practice amp for the rock guitarists, as Orange amps have pretty high gain even on the clean channel.
Additionally, it has a chromatic tuner built-in for tuning your gear instantly. It also features a speaker out jack for cabinets up to 8-ohms.
10. Blackstar ID: Core 10 V3
Although this amp is slightly more than the $100 range, we listed it here because it has all the bells and whistles to be a great amp, and if you manage to get the extra money, we would highly recommend you to get this.
This amp has six types of voice you can choose from using the knob. There are three effects options, tuner. For EQ, you get the ISF control, which lets you select your sound to be either like American amps or like British amps or a blend of two types.
Guitar amps, good guitar amps have always been on the expensive side. But in recent years, manufacturers came up with budget solutions for home practices. So, now we can find amps around $100 at ease.This article lists the best guitar amps under $100, which can bring you the best output and satisfaction. Hope you will find your perfect amp for practice after reading this article.
You can also read about best acoustic guitar pedals.