Last Updated on December, 4th 2021
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If you are just beginning with guitar, and are looking for an amp that will guide you through your formative years, get the Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20. It represents the best compromise possible between effects, price, tone, and power, making it the best value guitar amp for beginners around today.
You’ve done it!
You’ve finally found the perfect starter guitar after completing the daunting task of researching countless brands and styles online, reading reviews and asking friends opinions. You may have even made a trip or two to the local music store loaded with an infinite amount of questions for the sales person, as you gazed upon the wall of guitars.
But it was worth it.
You found the perfect guitar with the tone, depth, richness, and textured sound you were looking for. Now you’re all grown up and ready to find the perfect beginner amp to compliment your perfect guitar. Finding a good beginner amp doesn’t have to be another long and arduous journey, but there are a few things to consider when purchasing the best beginner amp for you.
Looking for a low-cost amp that’s durable? A solid-state amp is a good option for you. Want better sound and willing to spend a bit more for it? We suggest an all-tube amp instead. Looking for the most tonal variety on a budget? A modeling amp will for sure meet and surpass your expectations without requiring a fleshed-out pedal board.
What beginners require in a guitar amplifier is quite different from what pros need. Often, if you are just starting to play, you will be unsure what style you will end up playing in, and therefore what sound you need. Choose an amp with enough flexibility to deliver a wide range of different tones.On the other hand, as a beginner you don’t want to worry about adjusting hundreds of dials every time you want to practice.
Whatever breed of amplifier you’re looking for to compliment your shiny, new electric guitar, these 5 picks cover all the fundamentals. Let’s get to it shall we? But first, let’s take a look at…
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Best Guitar Amps for the Money
Model Size Weight Power
Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 18.9 x 9.4 x 16.1 inches 8.9 pounds 20 W
Marshall MG30CFX 8.85 x 18.89 x 16.54 in 23.81 pounds 30 W
Line 6 Spider Classic 15 Modeling Amp 16 x 8.5 x 15 in 16.97 pounds 15 W
Roland CUBE Street 20 x 20 x 20 in 16 pounds 5 W
Fender Champion 100 19 x 26 x 10.25 in 40 pounds 100 W
3 Core Things To Consider When Buying The Best Amp For Beginners
The type of amp you need, and the features you want it to have depend on how you’re going to use it. An amp for beginners is worlds a part from an amp that you would tour huge venues with. But there are some things that you should always consider when purchasing any amp:
- Power. A lot of people talk a lot about power, as though it was a measure of how good an amp is. Certainly, if you are playing huge venues, or outside, you will need a powerful amp. However, for most beginners, 10 watts of power will easily deal with the task. It will still go incredibly loud, so don’t worry about not being heard in the practice room.
- Speakers. A common set-up for guitar amps is a 12” woofer coupled with a smaller tweeter, typically 1”. Some amps come with an additional mid-range horn as well, which can potentially improve frequency response and definition.
- Inputs and outputs. It might sound obvious, but make sure the amp you are looking at has the correct type of inputs, and enough of them, to accommodate all the pedals you want to plug in.
Blackstar ID: Core Stereo 20
We feel the Core Stereo 20 qualifies as the best electric guitar amp for beginners primarily due to the number of included channels. Six! You have 6 channels of amazing sounds including Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD 1 and OD 2 – which is perfect if you want a good all around amplifier that can handle many of different genres. It’s lightweight and compact, so it won’t break your back when you’re going to lessons or taking it to a friends place for a jam session. This amp features 12 stereo effects packed in to 20 watts of power, and there’s also a headphone input so you can practice in silence.
1. Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20
The best beginner guitar amp.
If you are new to playing electric guitar, you might not have heard of Blackstar. Don’t let that turn you away from this brand. Blackstar produces an amazing line of amplifiers, which have been tried and tested by amateurs and pros alike. Their amplifiers deliver high quality and an excellent price.
The Blackstar ID: Core Stereo 20 is ultimate practice amplifier for beginning guitarists. What sets this amp apart is the range of tones it offers. It has six distinct “voices”, from Clean to OD2, and on top of this has 12 stereo effects.
As it’s name suggests, this amp kicks out 20 watts of full stereo sound, which is an unusual feature for an amp of this size and at this price point. So if you are already into recording and production or plan to be, this is a really useful feature, as the output from your guitar amp will already be in stereo. Awesome right?
Combined with more than enough power for beginners, intuitive controls, and solid construction, this amp stands out from the competition. Unlimited tones than can be also be achieved with the Core Stereo 20 allowing its user to create a signature sound.
The build quality of this amp is amazing. Blackstar has built an enviable reputation for this over the past few years, and this amp is a great example of their range. You can really throw this amp around, and it will keep on delivering quality tones for years to come.
Add gloss and dimension to your playing with built-in modulation, delay, and reverb effects, while Blackstar’s Super Wide Stereo technology envelops you in immersive sound. Jam along to your favorite tunes via a re-voiced MP3/Line Input. Edit and store your favorite patches with the included Insider app.
This is the best amp for a beginner to experiment with before graduating to a larger, more complex amp. No matter what genre of music you play, this amp will deliver precisely the tone you need. This is the perfect amp to guide you through those first few years of playing, this is the one to get.
- 20 watt (2 x 10W) 6-channel modeling guitar combo amplifier that’s ideal for beginners
- 6 inspiring amp voices run the gamut from classic clean to saturated overdrive
- 12 built-in effects add gloss and dimension to your playing
- Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) dials in the perfect blend of American and British character
- Super Wide Stereo technology envelops you in immersive sound
- Jam along to your favorite tunes via a re-voiced MP3/Line Input
- USB 2.0 functionality for recording directly from your amp to your computer
- Edit and store your patches and maximize your practice time with the included Insider app
Of course, this amp also has several more advantages:
2. Marshall MG30CFX
The brand Marshall is legendary and the go to choice for many musicians having built a stellar reputation as one of the best in the business after well over 50 years in business. This amp is yet another addition to their illustrious brand, offering a solid device that will give years of reliable service.
The no-nonsense design of this amp suits a beginner really well. Too often with amps, manufacturers feel obliged to pack the front panel with hundreds of dials and knobs, most of which have no relevance at all to the beginner. With this amp, you have access to just the options you need, meaning you can focus on the important thing – playing the guitar.
This 30-watt guitar combo amp with 10-Inch speaker that works great for rehearsals, in the studio or even small gigs. There are four different channels to choose from: Clean, Crunch, OD1, and OD2. It has control knobs for Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Reverb, Volume, FX, and Master.
This amp also features an MP3 input. You can plug it in to your computer, phone or other device and play music directly through the amp. This is a really handy feature, as playing along with your favorite track will quickly build confidence, and increase your motivation to practice.
Despite the fact that this is a solid state amplifier, Marshall have done a great job replicating their signature sound with the MG30GFX. Nothing sounds quite like a Marshall amp, and this practice amp is a great example of that iconic sound. This amplifier is one of the best for a beginner just finding their way around an electric guitar.
- 30-watts offers enough power for rehearsal and studio
- Custom 10″ speaker provides classic British tone
- Clean, Crunch, OD1, and OD2 channels give you plenty of sonic textures
- 3-band EQ provides broad sound shaping
- Integrated delay, reverb, and other digital effects for polishing your sound
- Preset channel modes for storing and recalling your settings
- Line input for jamming along with tracks
- Emulated headphone and line outputs for practice
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3. Line 6 Spider Classic 15 Modeling Amp
At 15 watts, this is not the most powerful amp we are reviewing today, but it more than makes up for this in sound quality. This modeling amp represents amazing value. These style of amp is a bit different from your ordinary amp. They use the latest technology to simulate the sounds of other amps. Some purists claim that modeling amps can never reach the gloriously analog sounds of a solid state or tube amp, but this is becoming less and less trues in recent years.
The Line 6 Spider Classic 15 Modeling Amp provides you with the core guitar tones that are at the foundation of modern and classic rock. Build your own combinations and tweak settings to create your own signature sound. With celebrated guitar amp sounds at the ready, the controls on the Spider Classic 15 practically demands that you turn it up and play it loud.
Spider Classic 15 puts a collection of classic Line 6 effects at your fingertips. Flavor your sound with effects like reverb, tape or sweep echo, and tremolo. Create your own unique combinations with up to two simultaneous effects. The knobs are right in front of you so you can easily make adjustments on the fly. Plus, you’ll spend less time tweaking and more time playing since Spider Classic 15 guitar effects are so easy to use.
This Spider Classic 15 is great for a beginner and an overall advantage of all modeling amps is that there are many tone options to choose from. This is great for those that may be unsure of the musical direction they are going to take. This amp allows them to try out a many different styles, making it one of the best guitar amplifiers around today.
- Power output 15-watts
- Single input
- Built-in amp, cab and FX models
- 1x 8″ Custom-Made Speaker
- FX: reverb, sweep echo, delay, and more
- Use two FX simultaneously
- High-Quality Output
- Three-Quarter Closed-Back Speaker Cabinet
- Built-In Tuner
- USB port to edit, upload and download tones
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4. Roland CUBE Street (Top Battery Powered)
A slightly unusual amp, but one you have probably seen used quite a lot – CUBE amps are the go-to choice for buskers, or those who just want to jam outside. Take it to a picnic with your friends, and it’ll be an instant hit.
At just 5-watts this Roland CUBE Street is the amp for you if you’re a musician on the move. Whether you’re running to a rehearsal, lesson, street gig, or any situation that requires portability and versatility, the battery powered CUBE Street guitar amp is a marvel that’s ready to travel fast. The CUBE Street sounds amazing and is capable of high-volume output thanks to dual digital power amps and a pair of high-performance neodymium speakers. And just wait until you hear the built-in effects and amp models!
Roland CUBE amps are famous for performance that exceeds their physical size, and the CUBE Street is no exception. With two high performance neodymium speakers on board, this amp sounds incredible, and is capable of high-volume output that defies its physical dimensions. Best of all, it can run for up to 15 hours on just six AA alkaline batteries.
These amps is chock full of extra features to make your gigs easier, including a built-in chromatic tuner and 2 digital effects processors. In addition to the aforementioned COSM amp models, you can choose from six of Roland’s famous effects to enrich your sound.
More than meets the eye, the CUBE Street is actually 8 different amps in one via its built-in COSM amp models. From tube-driven blues classics to modern metal stacks, Roland’s COSM technology is world famous for capturing every nuance of the original amps — from the preamp and circuits to the speaker.
The Roland CUBE is great for both a beginner as well as a seasoned pro. These are the best amps for a beginner on the go. You never know when you might be inspired to take to the streets and put on a jam session for the people.
- Power output: 5-watts
- Compact, lightweight stereo amplifier with slanted cabinet design
- Two high-performance 6.5″ neodymium speakers
- Battery driven (6 x AA, maximum 15-hour continuous use)
- Dual-channel architecture with Guitar/Inst and Mic/Line inputs
- 8 COSM AMPs, 6 digital effects, and chromatic tuner built in
- 2-band EQ, Delay/Reverb for the Mic/Line-channel
- AC Adaptor included
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5. Fender Champion 100 Combo
Simple to use and versatile enough for any style of guitar playing, there’s a Champion amp that’s right for you whether you’re looking for your first practice amp or affordable stage gear. The 100W, dual-channel Champion 100 Combo amps features two 12″ Special Design speakers, with great amp voices and effects that make it easy to dial up just the right sound – from jazz to country, metal and more.
You have 100 watts of power at your disposal straight out of the box with the Fender Champion 100 – more than you’re likely to ever need. It’s what’s known as a solid-state amplifier, so you get the same sound, whether you choose clean or distortion at lower volumes, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone because the amp doesn’t need to be cranked to get the best sound! There’s Reverb, Delay, Echo, Chorus, Tremolo and many more digital effects built in as well as a range of different amp voices including British Rock, American Blues and many more
No Fender guitar amplifier would be complete without a dose of style, and the Champion series doesn’t disappoint. With a black “Bronco” vinyl covering with silver grille cloth, plus black vintage-style skirted controls, the Fender Champion 100 combo amps offers that old-school Fender vibe that’s a perfect match for its sonic character.
Simple to use and versatile enough for any style of guitar playing, there’s a Champion amp that’s right for you whether you’re looking for your first practice amp or affordable stage gear to entertain the masses. This power-packed, 100-watt, dual-channel Champion 100 is one of the best amps for a beginner.
- Power output:100-watt solid-state combo amp
- 2 x 12″ Fender Special Design speakers
- Vintage-style skirted controls
- 2 channels (Blackface clean and selectable amp voicing)
- 1 x 1/4″ instrument input
- 1 x 1/8″ stereo aux input for use with media player
- 1 x 1/8″ stereo headphone jack
- Effects include reverb, delayecho, chorus, tremolo, Vibratone, and more
- Delay time and tremolo speed can be set with Tap button
- Effects loop (preamp out, power amp in) for use with outboard effects
- Included 2-button footswitch
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Our Final Thoughts
So which to choose?
Well, your choice of amp is yours alone, of course. Nothing can beat hearing these amps in the flesh, and finding one that perfectly matches the sound you want to achieve. All of the amps we reviewed today offer incredible sound that we are confident will please even the most discerning metal fan.
Our choice, though, is the Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20. It represents the best compromise possible between effects, price, tone, and power, making it the best value guitar amp for beginners around today. If you want enough flexibility to really experiment with playing styles, but in a package that is easy to use, this is the amp you are looking for.
I’m Mark Mullen. For the last 20 years I’ve worked with some of German’s biggest bands and promotion companies organizing industrial sound systems and special acoustic installations. I created this site as a resource for my many friends worldwide to make the process of buying a quality amp easier.
- 1 3 Core Things To Consider When Buying The Best Amp For Beginners
- 2 Editors Pick
- 3 Our Final Thoughts
- 4 Additional Reading