For any guitarist that plays an electric guitar, guitar amps are essential. Whether it’s for practicing, recording, or playing shows, you’re going to need a guitar amp at some point. They come in all ranges of prices, sizes, and features, and today we’re going to look at some of the most affordable prices available for guitar amps. Some of these guitar amps that cost under $200 have surprisingly good sound and build quality.
These amps are inevitably going to be solid-state amplifiers or transistor amps because tube amps will usually cost at least $500 or much higher. Solid-state amps are digital and they use transistor circuits to convert electric signals into audio signals. But with the growing modern technology, digital amps keep getting better and better. Some of these digital amps are hard to tell whether you’re playing through a tube amp or a digital amp. Without further ado, let’s get into our list and help you find the best guitar amp under 200 dollars for your use cases.
|Name of Product||Image of Product||Description||Price Range||Full Review|
|1. VOX Valvetronix VT20X (Best Value)||Watts: 20 watts|
Inputs: One ¼ inch guitar input, one ⅛ inch auxiliary input, etc
|$150||Read Full Review Below|
|2. Fender Champion 40 (Editor's Choice)||Watts: 40 watts|
Inputs: One ¼ input, ⅛’’ Auxiliary input, ⅛’’ Headphone stereo input
|$200||Read Full Review Below|
|3. Fender Frontman 10G (Budget Pick)||Watts: 10 watts|
Inputs: One ¼ inch guitar input, ⅛ inch auxiliary in, ⅛ inch headphone output
|$60||Read Full Review Below|
|4. Peavey Rage 258||Watts: 25 watts|
Inputs: One ¼ inch input, aux input/direct out, headphone input
|$130||Read Full Review Below|
|5. Fender Mustang 1 V2 20-Watts||Watts: 20 watts|
Inputs: One ¼ inch input
|$140||Read Full Review Below|
|6. Orange Crush 20RT||Watts: 20 watts|
Inputs: ¼ inch input, Auxiliary input, and headphones output
|$190||Read Full Review Below|
|7. Blackstar ID Core 10 V2||Watts: 10 watts|
Inputs: One ¼ inch input, emulated output, MP3/line input, USB connection
|$130||Read Full Review Below|
|8. Fender Mustang LT-25||Watts: 25 Watts|
Inputs: One ¼ inch input, headphone, and auxiliary input, USB input
|$150||Read Full Review Below|
|9. Marshall MG15GR||Watts: 15 watts|
Inputs: one 1/4inch guitar input, headphone, and auxiliary input
|$140||Read Full Review Below|
|10. BOSS Katana Compact 7-Watt KTN Mini||Watts: 7 watts|
Inputs: ¼ inch guitar input, auxiliary input, headphone/recording output
|$100||Read Full Review Below|
|11. Blackstar Mini Amp FLY 3||Watts: 3 watts|
Inputs: 1 ¼ inch input, auxiliary input, headphone output, Bluetooth option
|$60||Read Full Review Below|
|12. Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII||Watts: 20 watts|
Inputs: One ¼ inch input, headphone output, micro USB input
|$130||Read Full Review Below|
|13. Roland Cube-10GX 10W||Watts: 10 watts|
Inputs: One ¼ inch input, one ⅛ inch auxiliary input, one ⅛ inch headphone output
|$150||Read Full Review Below|
Here Are the Best Guitar Amps Under $200
1. VOX Valvetronix VT20X (Best Value)
|Controls||Amp models, gain, treble, middle, bass, volume, power level, value 1, value 2|
|Inputs||One ¼ inch guitar input, one ⅛ inch auxiliary input, one ⅛ inch headphone output, one ¼ inch footswitch input|
|Effects||Reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser, delay, and tremolo|
|Speaker||Custom VOX 8’’ Speaker|
My Review: Here comes the most complete amplifier that you can purchase under $200. And if I had a budget between $150-$200, then I would pick this amp without hesitation. First of all, it’s unique from all the other modeling amps that we talked about. The Vox Valvetronix VT20X is a hybrid amp, meaning it’s a mix between a solid-state and a tube amp. It’s the dream combination of the two – it has super high-tech amp modeling with a whole range of effects and it’s equipped with two 12AX7 tubes like a tube amp. The price is unbelievable considering what this amp has plus it only weighs 16 lbs!
The legendary amp company VOX used VET (Virtual Elements Technology) to carefully recreate each classic amp model and effect, and the high-performance DSP has a crazy amount of processing power. It’s really one of the best affordable guitar amps ever created. The Valvetronix VT20X has all the usual elements of a practice amp, mixing the best elements from a tube amp – all under 200 bucks. With this amp, the sky is the limit – you can record high-quality guitar sounds either by connecting via USB cable or micing the amp. Or, it has amazing tone quality and loud enough wattage for performing onstage. And of course, you can just use this amp as a practice amp in your house or for your rehearsal space.
Key Specs and Features: First, let’s talk about the amp models on this amp. Valvetronix VT20X gives you up to 11 different choices of guitar amp models. You can access some of the most legendary guitar amps like Deluxe Clean (Fender tube amps), Tweed, Vox AC30, Boutique Overdrive, MKII, Double Rectifier (Mesa Boogie type sound), Brit 800 (Marshall JCM800), and more. This means you get access to the best American and British guitar amp models. And what’s more, is you can access more guitar amp models through the Tone Room editor/librarian software using your computer. These amp models sound realistic, and because the amp also uses two pre-amp tubes, you get a real high-quality guitar tone that is a step above any digital amp.
On the top left of the amp, there is a button called Preset Mode. When you click on this button, you can use this amp like a multi-effects pedal. You get spaces for 8 presets – 2 banks of 4 presets for each amp model. And in these presets, you can really put in whatever you like from the vast tonal options on Tone Room editor/librarian software.
You also can’t leave out the crazy amount of effects available on this amp. This amp has two buttons for effects – pedal 1, pedal 2, and reverb. The pedal 1 button gives you access to compressor, chorus, overdrive, and distortion. The pedal 2 consist of flanger, phaser, tremolo, and delay. And reverb has its own various options – room, spring, hall, and plate. It’s more than what you’ll need in a practice amp, and you probably won’t even have to carry your pedalboard to the gig if you have this amp. There’s also a TAP button and you can use this button to set the tempo for modulation effects. If you press the TAP button for a long period, you can also use a tuner.
The features on this amp don’t end here. On the bottom right, there are knobs labeled Value 1 and Value 2. With these knobs, you are basically setting the perimeters. This means you can control the noise level of a particular preset, or control the noise level of the overall amp sound.
This amp also gives you control of the 12AX7 preamp tubes. You can choose to operate Class AB or Class A setting and both settings active a different configuration of tubes. The bias shift gives you options for just a standard bias setting, cold/under bias setting, or a hot bias setting. On top of that, there is a footswitch input and the usual auxiliary input and headphone output. I know, it’s almost impossible to keep track of all the features. But the appeal of this amp is that if you just want a traditional tube amp with simple knobs, you can choose to use it like that. And as you become more familiar with the settings and the technology, you can slowly incorporate more and more technology into your tone shaping process.
Controls: The controls consist of amp models, gain, treble, middle, bass, volume, power level, value 1, and value 2. Other than these knobs, there are buttons like preset mode, bank and channel buttons, pedal and effect buttons, bias shift, and class buttons.
Hardware: The design is very attractive and just by looking at this amp, you would think that this is a $1000 boutique tube amp. Covered with ABS w/ Black Tolex, this amp features two 12AX7 tubes and a Custom VOX 8 inch speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: If you have the budget for up to $175, I highly recommend this amp to any and all guitar players. It’s perfect for all levels – beginners, intermediate, and advanced.
Bottom Line: I would say that the VOX Valvetronix VT20X is the best guitar amp under 200 in terms of overall value. It’s a perfect mix between a tube amp and a solid-state amp. You can experience the best of both worlds in a high-quality, high-tech setting for a shockingly affordable price.
2. Fender Champion 40 (Editor’s Choice)
|Controls||Chanel 1: Volume, Channel 2: Gain, volume, voice. Master: Treble, Bass, FX Level, FX Select TAP|
|Inputs||One ¼ input, ⅛’’ Auxiliary input, ⅛’’ Headphone stereo input|
|Effects||Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Tremolo, Vibratone|
|Speaker||One 12’’ Fender Special Design|
My Review: Fender is one of the oldest and tried-and-true companies that make guitars and amps and they literally wrote the book on the best quality guitar amplifiers. Along with their legendary tube amps, Fender has also created some of the best solid-state/digital amps in the market today. Fender Champion 40 is one of the most popular options for affordable digital amps and it offers a whole wide range of tones and effects, as well as a beautiful standard clean tone. It’s one of the most practical amps for all-around use.
Key Specs and Features: If your budget is $200, this amp is would be the best choice you can afford. The amp has 40 watts of sound, which is plenty for practicing, recording, and playing gigs. Even for medium size venues, with a little help from amp micing, you would have absolutely no problem playing clean, overdrive, and distortion tones from this amp on stage. The amp also only weighs 10.4 kg or 23 lbs, which is way lighter than any tube amps.
The highlight of this amp, however, is the enormous amount of variety of tones and effects in this compact little thing. First off, the wet and dry basic sounds are modeled after the legendary Twin Reverb, so the clean tone is gorgeous. Secondly, with channel 2, you have the selectable amp voicing feature. With the selectable amp voicing, you have access to four different amp models – Tweed, Blackface, British, and Metal. And by using the gain knob next to it, you can conjure up a variety of tones from classic and modern rock, country twang, to modern metal tones. The quality of the tones is surprisingly good – good enough to be used for recording and gigging. Lastly, there are up to 5 built-in options for effects-reverb, delay/echo, chorus, tremolo, and vibratone. You can even get different combinations of these effects. There’s also an additional TAP button that you can use to set delay time and tremolo speed. So because of this, you can carry fewer additional pedals than before by using just the features of this amp, or you might not have to carry around your pedals at all.
Controls: The amp is divided into two channels – channel 1 for the basic clean sound and channel 2 for various amp models and gain sounds. Channel 1 just has a single volume knob and the whole channel is based on the Fender Twin Reverb. Channel 2 comes with a gain knob, volume knob, and a selectable amp voicing knob. Then there’s a separate master channel with treble, bass, FX level, and FX select knobs. I love the fact that the EQ knobs (treble and bass) are in a separate master channel because in many amps with multiple channels, the clean channel usually just has a volume knob without EQ controls.
The amp also has an auxiliary input and a headphone input and these features come in handy when you’re practicing. You can use the auxiliary input to play songs from your electronic devices, and use the headphone input to practice quietly (at midnight).
Hardware: Fender Champion 40 has a Fender vintage design – the classic blackface design with silver grille cloth. As for speakers, this amp has one 12’’ Fender Special Design speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: The Fender Champion 40 is perfect for anyone looking for a good all-around amp with high quality clean and gain sounds as well as a variety of effects available at your disposal. If you have up to a $200 budget and if you’re looking for a portable, do-it-all amp, Fender Champion 40 is perfect for you.
Bottom Line: The Fender Champion is among the best, if not the best guitar amp under 200 dollars.
3. Fender Frontman 10G (Budget Pick)
|Controls||Volume, Gain, overdrive, treble, bass|
|Inputs||One ¼ inch guitar input, ⅛ inch auxiliary in, ⅛ inch headphone output|
|Speaker||One 6’’ Special Design 40 ohm speaker|
My Review: Here is the cheapest option on this list – Fender Frontman 10G. Only $60, it’s pretty hard to believe the features that are on this amp. The amp is tiny and it looks like a mini version of a classic Fender tube amp. This thing only weighs 8.5 lbs, almost like a toy. But it has a surprisingly large and good sound, and it even has a gain channel.
If your budget is very tight and you need the cheapest option possible for an amp, Fender Frontman 10G is not such a bad choice. It even has auxiliary and headphone options and you can get a decent enough tone for practicing in your room. For the price, it’ll be extremely hard to beat this amp for its features and tone quality unless you buy a used amp.
Key Specs and Features: Frontman 10G can amplify up to 10 watts of sound, and that’s enough for you to jam with your friends and practice with a relatively loud sound in your home. And because the amp is so light, guitar players can also use this as their travel amp. It’ll fit in your suitcase with no problem, and it’s quiet enough that you can use it in a hotel room.
Without pressing any buttons, you’ll get a classic clean tone. You also have access to treble and bass knobs, which you can use to shape the tone for your needs. When you press the overdrive switch, you immediately get this biting and sharp overdrive that you can use to practice your blues and rock licks and some soloing. If you like practicing with a backing track or playing along with a recording, you can get aux cord for a cheap price and plug the amp in your electronic device.
Controls: The controls consist of volume, gain, overdrive, treble, and bass.
Hardware: This amp has black textured vinyl with the silver grille cloth, finished with chrome hardware and blackface control panel. The speaker is a 6 inch Special Design 4 ohm speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: This amp is great for people looking for the absolute cheapest option possible, but at the same time, this amp will satisfy the needs of practicing and jamming at home.
Bottom Line: Fender Frontman 10G is the best amp under 200 dollars for those on a tight budget.
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4. Peavey Rage 258
|Controls||Clean volume, pre-gain, post-gain, voicing switch – stack, modern, vintage, low, mid, high|
|Inputs||One ¼ inch input, aux input/direct out, headphone input|
|Speaker||8’’ Blue Marvel Speaker|
My Review: Peavey Rage 258 is a trustworthy, simple, but effective practice amp that is one of the best options for a budget under $150. It is ultra-lightweight of just 16 lbs and it has most things you would need for a pleasurable guitar practice session. Rage 258 has an old school look and doesn’t have any built-in effects but has some quality tube amp modeling capability.
Many people might overlook this amp because of its simplicity but it will do almost everything you need for a great practice amp.
Key Specs and Features: The Peavey Rage 258 has one ¼ inch input for a guitar and additional aux input for plugging in your electronic devices and headphone input for a quiet practice session. The amp has something like TransTube tube emulation circuitry and this technology allows you excess a tube amp-like tone. Even better, you can three choices – stack, modern, and vintage. Every one of these options doesn’t sound too digital and you can get some really great tone options. And with 25 watts of sound, this is a loud enough volume to play small venue gigs.
While most amps only have treble and bass knobs, you get low, mid, and high EQ controls on this amp. One disappointing factor is that the Peavey Rage 258 doesn’t have any effects like reverb and delay available. But for home practice use and rehearsal use, this amp is a great option for an affordable price.
Controls: This amp is divided into two channels – clean and lead channels. You can also select between 3 totally different amp modeling – stack, modern, and vintage. The controls left to the right consists of clean volume, pre-gain, post-gain, voicing switch, low, mid, and high.
Hardware: Simple Peavey design amp with one 8’’ super-duty Blue Marvel speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: This amp is recommended to guitar players that are looking for an amp under $150 and simple home practice and band rehearsal use.
Bottom Line: Peavey Rage 258 is a simple amp with high-quality tube amp-like tones that is great as a practice amp – available at an affordable price.
5. Fender Mustang 1 V2 20-Watts
|Controls||Gain, volume, treble, bass, master, preset select, modulation select, delay/reverb select, save, exit & tap tempo|
|Inputs||One ¼ inch input|
|Effects||37 different effects|
|Speaker||One 8’’’ Fender Special Design Speaker|
My Review: Fender Mustang 1 V2 is an updated version of one of the best selling practice amps in the world. This amp is all about the most advanced technology in guitar amps – amazing amp modeling technology that you can go through in a wide range of presets and effects that are impossible to keep track of, and even has the ability to connect to your PC or Mac.
I would compare this pedal to a digital multi-effects pedal. It comes with a crazy amount of presets that spans across all genres imaginable, and even crazier, you can make your own presets from the comfort of your computer. Mustang 1 V2 is perfect for all the tech-savvy young musicians but might be too much technology for older, more traditional musicians. First, you really need to get to know how to operate the knobs and learn how to find the tone you like. But if you love technology and love playing all kinds of genres, it’s hard to beat this amp that only costs a staggering $140.
Key Specs and Features: If we’re comparing the amount of technology or the number of features in one single guitar amp, it’s going to be very difficult to beat this amp. With 20 watts of sound and weighing at only 17lbs, this compact machine can produce basically infinite guitar tones. It has 18 different amp models, 37 effects, and comes with 24 Factory Presets when you unbox this amp. You can tweak each preset with the usual controls – gain, volume, treble, bass, and master.
The crazy part comes with an application called Fender FUSE. It’s available on both PC and MAC, and you can connect the amp through a USB connection into this application. The 24 Factory Presets tend to be a little bit too much with too many effects added. So with the Fender FUSE on your computer, you can basically create your own ideal guitar tone. You first select your desired amp model from choices like Fender ‘57 Twin, British ‘60s, American ‘90s to even Metal 2000. Then you add all the effects you want out of the 37 effect options, and you can load that exact sound on the amp.
Depending on who you are, you might find this fun or annoying. If you’re too lazy to make your own preset, then you can scroll through the preset and find your favorites and tweak on the amp itself. Although the tone quality is obviously not the real tube amp original sound with actual stompboxes, they are good enough tone for practice use, simple recording, and gigging purposes. You can even use the amp as an audio interface for guitar, and plug in your amp straight into your favorite DAW using the USB cable.
The amp also comes with a chromatic tuner and has the usual headphone and auxiliary input on the top of the amp next to the control knobs.
Controls: Controls on the amp consist of gain, volume, treble, bass, master, preset select, modulation select, delay/reverb select, save, exit & tap tempo. So even with just the amp controls, you can probably find many presets and “sweet spots” that you like.
Hardware: The amp has black textured vinyl with a silver grille cloth, which results in a mix between modern and vintage design. And like the Champion 40 amp, Fender Mustang I V2 features one 8’’ Fender Special Design speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: Naturally, this amp would be suitable for guitar players who are into technology and using modern technology. The amp is also very affordable under $150, so it’s great as a practice amp for diverse genres.
Bottom Line: Fender Mustang I V2 is a modern amp that comes with an overwhelming amount of features and technologies, and it has realistic tones for an affordable price.
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6. Orange Crush 20RT
|Controls||Volume controls for clean and dirty channels, 3-band EQ, gain, reverb|
|Inputs||¼ inch input, Auxiliary input, and headphones output|
|Speaker||One 8’’ Orange Voice of the World|
My Review: Orange is one of the leading British amp companies since the late 1960s and their amps are inseparable from the British rock sound. Along with their legendary rock tube amps, Orange also released a series of solid-state practice amps that are very affordable. Among them is the Orange Crush 20RT that has up to 20 watts of sound.
It comes in the unmistakable classic Orange design – bright orange-colored amp with black fonts on white background. With so much legacy and history behind their tube amps, you would expect a certain quality from this amp. The Orange Crush 20RT is one of the smallest and among the cheapest options from their brand, but it has everything you would need for practicing and using it for rehearsals and maybe even recording.
Key Specs and Features: Orange Crush 20RT is the newly updated version of the Crush series in 2015. It features a Twin channel system – dirty and clean. This amp only weighs 15.9 lbs, which makes it a perfect portable little practice amp and it has an analog signal path and the tone is based on the famous Orange Rocker tube amps. Since the nature of Orange amps is best suited for high gain tones and overdrive, this amp will best suit the rock, blues, and metal guitar players that are looking for a practice amp.
From the very clear controls and features, you can easily navigate from sparkling clean tone to metal high gain distortion tone. The amp also features a high-quality spring reverb, which is super useful when you’re practicing without additional guitar pedals. It also has a chromatic tuner next to the reverb for all those times when you forget where your tuner is.
Another cool feature of this amp is the line-out/headphone output. Not only this works as your headphone connection for practice use, but this output can also be used for connecting to a mixing board. Even better, this particular line-out emulates a sound of Orange 4×12 Cabinet sound (CabSim feature), so you can recreate an even better tone through a PA system of your choosing.
Controls: The two channels of this amp have volume knobs for a clean tone and overdrive tone. Then there is a gain knob, and bass, treble, mid knobs. Directly below the main knobs, there is the control knob for the reverb and a chromatic tuner.
Hardware: Crush 20RT has the classic Orange design with bright orange and black fonts on white background. It’s equipped with one 8’’ Orange Voice of the World speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: This practice amp is best for rock and metal players that need an affordable and easily portable practice and rehearsing amp with decent distortion and gain tones.
Bottom Line: Orange Crush 20RT has all the essential features to be a great modern practice amp and has the classic Orange sound that lives up to the brand name.
7. Blackstar ID Core 10 V2
|Controls||Voice Selector (6 voices), gain, volume, EQ, effect selector, effect level|
|Inputs||One ¼ inch input, emulated output, MP3/line input, USB connection|
|Effects||12 Stereo FX – delay, reverb, mod|
|Speaker||Two 3’’ Blackstar speakers|
My Review: Blackstar is a fairly recent company that has been around mid-2000s, and the ex-Marshall employees built the company quickly into one of the top amp companies in the world. Their
ID Core V2 line of amps represent a culmination of work for more than nine years of research and development. After all this work, Blackstar came out with their best take on a modern versatile programmable amp that still has a somewhat intuitive traditional aspect to it.
Similar to the Fender Mustang 1 V2 amp that we talked about, Blackstar ID Core 10 V2 gives you options to choose from 6 different amp models, then you can alter the tone using the EQ knobs and gain knobs. The effects are also studio quality and you get excess to 12 different effects ranging from modulation, delay, and reverb.
Blackstar also has created their own tone creating software called INSIDER, where you can create and alter patches. At only 8 lbs, it’ll be almost impossible to find any other amps that are this size and this compact with so many features available. Like the Fender Mustang, the key is learning to use these rather complicated techs and taking full advantage of them.
Key Specs and Features: This amp has only 10 watts – probably enough for just practice use and simple jamming with your friends. If you need more sound, you can simply get the Blackstar ID Core 20 or 40, and there’s a 100-watt version available as well.
The six channels or voices on this amp are clean warm, clean bright, crunch, super crunch, OD 1, and OD 2. These voices cover everything from the classic tube amp clean sound to a tube amp gained turned all the way up. This will give you the perfect base to shape your desired tone. The effects include everything from flanger, phaser, chorus, tremolo to very detailed various kinds of delays and reverb. Even with those delays, you’ll get enough sounds to play around with for months. But here’s where the INSIDER software comes in.
Similarly to the Fender FUSE software, the INSIDER software is accessible on a computer or laptop through a USB connection. With INSIDER, you can access some deep editing and patch storing abilities. You can share, upload, and download patches with the online community, which means an infinite variety of guitar tones. The amp can also act as an audio interface, and you can record just the preamp sounds to your favorite DAW so that you can do all sorts of post-production work afterward. On top of that, the amp also has emulated output, MP3/line input, and a built-in panel accessible tuner.
Controls: Controls consist of a voice-selector that you can pick from the 6 different options, volume control, overall EQ knob, and an effector selector + effect level.
Hardware: Blackstar ID Core 10 V2 comes in a very sturdy design with two 3’’ speakers.
Who Will Use This the Most: This amp is great for all the guitar students or musicians looking for an affordable and portable practice amp that they can also use for recording and jamming.
Bottom Line: It’s a small, compact amp that has infinite possibilities when it comes to tones, and the design and controls are well designed and are easily understandable.
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8. Fender Mustang LT-25
|Controls||Gain, volume, treble, bass, master|
|Inputs||One ¼ inch input, headphone, and auxiliary input, USB input|
|Effects||25 onboard effects – delay, modulation, stompboxes|
|Speaker||One 8’’ Fender Special Design|
My Review: If you’re a fan of the modern amps with lots of features and tech involved, here is another popular model by Fender. Although this one is also called Mustang, Mustang LT-25 has a totally different design and use than the Mustang 1 V2. This one stands out from the other high-tech amps due to its digital screen. It has more interactive digital features in the amp and this amp is a perfect match for beginners or intermediate guitar players.
The Mustang LT25 has a very neat, all-black design in the wood cabinet and it’s the perfect size and shape for carrying it around everywhere. Like the other high-tech amps, it comes with up to 20 amp models to choose from, 25 effects including delay, reverb, modulation, and has up to 50 factory presets. The presets are the “greatest hits”, in other words, the top 50 guitar tones that Fender picked. While some of the tones can be a little exaggerated in terms of the number of effects put in, there are still some great tones that you can work with. It’s especially a good starting point for beginners because, with this amp, you can really explore a lot of different guitar tones.
The LT25 comes with a great selection of Fender-y clean sounds and even some exotic tones with auto-wah and octaver. For $150, it’s has a build quality and tonal variations that will exceed your expectations.
Key Specs and Features: Fender Mustang LT25 has 25 watts of sound, which in my personal experience, is more than enough to practice, jam, rehearse with your band, play subway gigs, record, play small venues, and much more. The 1.8-inch color display makes it very easy to navigate through the 50 different presets, and it’ll be a great experience for beginner guitarists to learn about the different tones you can get from the guitar without buying expensive pedals.
It has a USB connection where you can connect to the computer for making your own presets and altering the current factory presets. You can also use the amp as an audio interface and record straight into a DAW of your choice. The compact shape of the guitar and the super sturdy shape of the amp allows you to carry it around very easily – after all, the amp only weighs 15 lbs. I personally had this amp to carry around to different small restaurants and bar gigs around New York City and found the compact design and the sturdy build really easy to carry. And because the amp is so sturdy, I can just throw it around on the train without worrying about my tubes getting damaged.
Controls: The controls that are on the left of the screen are relatively traditional. The controls are gain, volume, treble, bass, master and on the right there’s the screen with extra buttons like back, save, menu, tap. If you’re used to having a separate reverb control knob or FX level knob, you will have to get used to using the screen and doing your effects control there.
Hardware: With a neat and compact ⅝ inch wraparound wood cabinet, Mustang LT-25 has one 8 inch Fender Special Design speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: This amp is the perfect choice for beginners and intermediates players because they can use this amp to learn about all the famous guitar tones and effects. But it will also suit the needs of an experienced guitar player who needs a portable and reliable practice/gigging amp.
Bottom Line: Fender Mustang LT25 is a very impressive amp with more tonal variety than you can ever need – all just for $150.
9. Marshall MG15R
|Controls||Clean volume, overdrive volume, 3-band EQ, gain, reverb|
|Inputs||One 1/4inch guitar input, headphone, and auxiliary input|
|Effects||Built-in spring reverb|
|Speaker||One 8’’ Custom design speaker|
My Review: Contrary to the Fender’s modern affordable amps, Marshall created their affordable amps in a very simple way. They are totally opposite to Fender’s practice amps – simple, no high-tech features, and just have what you need. It’s certainly not a bad way to build a practice amp and it’s just a matter of preference of the player. If you are one of those people that don’t like having all that unnecessary flashy effects and options, then you might like this amp. After all, they’re all around the same price range.
However, one thing to consider about this amp is the wattage. It’s only 15 watts and if it’s 15 watts for a tube amp, you can actually get pretty loud. But as a solid-state amp, it’s not enough for playing gigs and using it for band rehearsals. It’s probably only good for practicing in your home or your office. But the Marshall MG15GR will do what most people need in a practice amp, which are a decent clean tone, gain/overdrive option, some reverb, and aux and headphone input.
Key Specs and Features: Marshall MG15GR has 15 watts – good for home practice use. The amp comes in the classic Marshall design and weighs 16.9 lbs. With the Marshall brand name, you can expect some decent clean tones, and combined with the built-in spring reverb, the clean tones will suit most guitar player’s needs.
The gain sounds can be a little lacking by themselves, but if you’re looking for some simple, biting crunch or overdrive sound, this amp can handle that much. This amp comes in handy if you want to plug in your phone or iPad and play along with a backing track or a song. You can also practice quietly by plugging into the headphone input.
Controls: Marshall MG15GR has standard and easy-to-use controls. It has two channels, one overdrive channel and a clean channel. So it has a clean volume knob, overdrive volume knob, gain knob, 3-band EQ knobs, and a spring reverb knob.
Hardware: It has the classic gold-on-black Marshall design with one 8 inch Custom Design speaker by Marshall.
Who Will Use This the Most: This amp is great for any guitar player looking for a simple, easy-to-use, straightforward practice amp that won’t give you any headaches.
Bottom Line: Marshall MG15GR has good enough tones for an effective practice session, and it’s a no-frills practice amp.
10. BOSS Katana Compact 7-Watt KTN Mini
|Controls||Gain, volume, bass, middle, treble, delay time, delay level|
|Inputs||¼ inch guitar input, auxiliary input, headphone/recording output|
|Speaker||4’’ BOSS Speaker|
My Review: The BOSS Katana Compact Mini is the ultimate portable amp on this list. It’s definitely the lightest with only 2.6 lbs of weight, and it has some impressive tone quality and selection on such a small and compact amp. It has choices from the clean, crunch, and high-gain tones along with delay effect. You also get detailed control over the tone with the 3-band EQ control instead of just one or two EQ controls. Even the amp is relatively quieter than the other amps on this list, you can get a high-quality gain and a clean tone for just $100.
The size and weight allow you to fit the amp in most bags and luggage, and it makes the amp the perfect portable practicing amp. We all had experiences with needing a little practicing amp while traveling, maybe for work or for a tour, if you’re a musician. And with the auxiliary input and headphone output, you can practice anywhere you want without having to worry about being too loud, which is a common thing that happens with guitar players. Also with the auxiliary input, you can use the amp as a mini speaker for playing music as well.
Key Specs and Features: The BOSS Katana Mini comes at only 7 watts, which is enough wattage for practicing and maybe jamming with your friends. It’s unfortunately not enough to play gigs and use it to perform with. On the plus side, it’s has a staggering weight of only 2.6 lbs and that’s probably even lighter than your classroom textbook. You can also operate it with just a couple of batteries instead of plugging it into a power source, which is a huge plus if you want to carry the amp around everywhere.
The amp offers three high-quality amp voices – brown, crunch, and clean. The brown channel is what sets the Katana series apart from the other amps. The brown channel is the high-gain channel for metal and hard rock tones. The channel gives a powerful distortion tone, enough for you to shred hard without needing extra distortion pedals. Just the fact that you get a distortion tone of this quality with a 2.6 lbs amp is mind-boggling! The clean channel has a beautiful sparkling clean sound and the crunch tone gives you that chewy biting tone.
Katana Mini also comes with a direct recording ability, where you can connect your amp straight to your laptop and record directly into your computer. This kind of feature gives you so many possibilities that allow you to practice, jam, and record on the move.
Controls: The controls include gain, volume, bass, middle, treble, delay time, delay level. You can also use a little button to pick from the three amp voices – brown, crunch, and clean.
Hardware: The amp has a 4-inch BOSS speaker and it’s in a very sturdy casing.
Who Will Use This the Most: This amp is perfect for guitar players on the move, as this amplifier allows you to practice, jam, and record anywhere you want.
Bottom Line: Katana-Mini is a small and rather quiet amp, but it’s super lightweight with decent rock and metal tones with modern features.
11. Blackstar Mini Amp FLY 3
|Controls||Gain, volume, overdrive switch, EQ, delay level|
|Inputs||1 ¼ inch input, auxiliary input, headphone output, Bluetooth option|
|Speaker||3 inch Blackstar speaker|
My Review: Similar to Katana-Mini, here is an even smaller amp – Blackstar Fly 3. This amp was designed for practice use and for ultimate portability. The sound is too small for any jamming and recording, but it’ll be enough sound for you to practice in your hotel room. This amp can be powered with 6 AA batteries or with an AC power adapter.
The tones from this amp are relatively weak, but the cleans are relatively decent. The only issue is that when you try to turn up to the max, you will probably get an overdrive-like tone even on a clean channel. But overall, it’s super light and extremely convenient for carrying around. Think of it as a toy amp that actually works.
Key Specs and Features: Blackstar Fly 3 has only 3 watts – which you need to take into consideration before committing to this amp. It only weighs 2.6 lbs, which is even lighter than Katana Mini. But considering the 3 watt sound, it’s understandable why the amp is so lightweight.
The shape of a simple small rectangular box, and it looks like a toy guitar amp. But surprisingly, the amp gives you two options for voices – clean and overdrive channel. As you might expect, the overdrive channel isn’t that high-quality, but it’s enough to satisfy beginners and just simple practicing. I would recommend just using the clean sound to practice because, with the delay effect, the tone is decent.
It comes with the usual auxiliary input and a headphone output that allows you to play music through it, and also practice with your headphones using the headphone output. The cool feature though is the Bluetooth option. Just like using a Bluetooth speaker, you can hook up your phone through Bluetooth and it can double as a Bluetooth speaker.
Controls: The controls consist of gain, volume, overdrive switch, EQ, delay level. It’s more controls than you might expect from such a small amp, and if you tweak the knobs enough, you can find a satisfying practice tone.
Hardware: The hardware is solid with a sturdy plastic box with 3 inch Blackstar speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: This amp is satisfied the needs of a traveling musician or a guitar beginner, and you can even use this as a Bluetooth speaker.
Bottom Line: The Blackstar Fly 3 is an extremely light and small amp with small sounds that can double as a Bluetooth speaker.
12. Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII
|Controls||Preset selection, drive, tone, volume, reverb, FX, master|
|Inputs||One ¼ inch input, headphone output, micro USB input|
|Effects||Over 100 effect models|
|Speaker||One 8 inch Custom speaker|
My Review: Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII is the new version of long-lasting and trustworthy solid-state amps that have been around for a while. Line 6 kept its classic Spider amp series design, and it comes with a very powerful amp modeling and effects system. The newly updated amp has options for the modern micro USB port, which comes in handy for all types of electronics.
It also comes with some acoustic guitar and even bass presets, and that’s something that has not been seen in the other amps. The amp also comes in a lightweight and it can get pretty loud as well. Spider V 20 is super well-built and you really don’t have to worry about damaging the amp from carrying it around. With very powerful amp modeling technology with a crazy amount of presets and effects combined with modern technology and affordable pricing, Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII is right up there as one of the top practice amps under $200.
Key Specs and Features: Spider V 20 MKII can go up to 20 watts, which means you can get pretty loud. To get a sense of how loud 20 watt is, imagine jamming hard in your living room and your neighbors yelling all sorts of insults while banging your door. It’s that loud. And even though it’s that loud, the amp only weighs slightly over 10 lbs. That’s insane!
With this amp, you get access to over 200 preloaded presets. That means the amp you will have access to the classic tones from all your favorite jams, and more. In my experience, I was blown away by how accurate their British amp models sounded – the Marshall-type rock and blues tone sounds amazing in this amp. On top of that, you will get many options for high-quality clean sounds as well. And by using the Spider V Remote, you get direct control of the tone and you can shape the exact frequencies and EQ level with just a couple of easy maneuvers using your mouse. The Spider V Remote software is color-coded and the layout is very easy to use. It’s almost like an interactive game where you just pick an amp model, and drag and drop all the effects you want. You control the drive, EQ, levels by sliding down the various colored sections.
You also get wireless remote controls with your smartphone – just like you would control your TV with a remote. The Spider V Remote also gives you access to acoustic guitar and bass sounds, so you can double this amp as an acoustic guitar amp or a bass amp. There are an accurate built-in tuner and a tap-tempo function for setting all the modulation based effects. The system has way over 100 effect models and the three FX buttons give you access to three effects simultaneously like a mini pedalboard.
Controls: The controls include preset selection (crunch, chime, clean, acoustic, bass, ambient, vibe, insane, chunk), drive, tone, volume, reverb, FX, master. So if you just wanted to use this amp in a traditional way without using the Spider V Remote software, you totally can. Also, there’s a convenient separate reverb knob because reverb is the most popular and useful effect.
Hardware: Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII has all-black hardware with an 8-inch Custom speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: Because of the price, this amp is great for any guitar player looking for an affordable practice amp. With the crazy amount of presets and effects, it’s a great option for guitarists looking for a do-it-all amp and also for electric guitar players who also play acoustic guitar and bass.
Bottom Line: Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII is a reliable and compact amplifier with limitless tone possibilities and many uses like practicing, recording, performing.
13. Roland Cube-10GX 10W
|Controls||Amp type switch, gain, volume, bass, middle, treble, chorus, delay, reverb|
|Inputs||One ¼ inch input, one ⅛ inch auxiliary input, one ⅛ inch headphone output|
|Effects||Chorus, delay, reverb|
|Speaker||One 8 inch speaker|
My Review: Last but not least, we have the Roland Cube 10GX. Roland is one of the amp companies and in my experience, Roland amps have a quite bassy sound and thick sound. The Roland Cube 10GX is quite similar to Line 6 Spider in many ways. It has options for bass guitar and acoustic guitar sounds and you can control the presets remotely with a smartphone. But there are some subtle differences which I will talk about in a moment.
The Roland COSM modeling technology is a quite effective and powerful system and you have access to some real satisfying guitar tones with this amp. I am always impressed by the amp’s deep and thick clean sound. So if you’re someone who mostly plays in a clean tone for genres like pop, jazz, and RnB, you’ll have a ball playing with this amp. Without cranking up the bass knob by a lot, you’ll get a thick and creamy clean sound.
Key Specs and Features: This particular model is 10 watts and that’s enough for jamming with friends, recording, and practicing by yourself. It comes with the usual auxiliary and headphone and USB options and it has a great set of knobs to control your tone. This amp has 3 EQ knobs – bass, treble, and mid knobs, so you can get very detailed in your tone-sculpting process. Without using the CUBE Kit app, you have three options for amp models – clean, crunch, and lead. We talked about the very attractive clean sound before, but the lead tones are also quite mesmerizing. You can get a very thick and full lead sound and make you sure to turn up the treble knob because the amp has a bassy nature to it. On the far right, there is a knob for controlling the effects. This knob was very well designed and you can choose from chorus, delay, reverb, and spring reverb. Honestly, you can get a lot out of this amp without even using the Roland CUBE Kit.
The Roland CUBE Kit app looks a bit like the Guitar Rig app and with big amp shapes and effects options, it’s very convenient to use. Like all the other software we talked about in this review, this app will give you pretty much-unlimited tone options. You have options for all the classic amp models like Fender Tweed, British Marshall type tone to Orange type rock sound. You can also use this amp for acoustic guitar and bass guitar. There’s not much feedback when you plug in the acoustic guitar, and with the 3-band EQ control and the app, you can expect to get some sweet acoustic guitar tones out of this amp.
Controls: The controls include amp type button, gain, volume, bass, middle, treble, chorus, delay, reverb, and spring reverb. It’s very well-thought-out.
Hardware: The solid metal casing houses an 8-inch Custom Roland speaker.
Who Will Use This the Most: This amp is great for guitar players looking for the best clean tone in a practice amp and also for acoustic guitar players as well.
Bottom Line: Roland Cube 10GX has a very well-put-together set of controls and effects, and the CUBE Kit gives you access to an unlimited combination of guitar tones and effects.
That does it for this review, let us know what you think is the best amp under $200 in the comments below. Feel free to drop any questions you might have in the questions below as well and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-related content.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and recording gear, I love it all.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. With my engineering experience, I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.