Best Amp for Telecaster (2021 Reviews Updated)

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[wpsm_titlebox title="Our Top Pick" style="3"]So, you’ve got your killer vintage Telecaster, and are ready to start playing the blues. Which amp should you get to really bring out that signature Telecaster tone? Well, let us tell you. There are a few options available, all of which sound great, but in our opinion the Marshall DSL Series DSL40C is the best guitar amp for Telecasters around at the moment.

It sounds great, delivers more than enough power for most guitar players and situations, and comes with a great range of added features. If you are looking for an amp that will really bring out the quality of your Telecaster, and of your playing, this is the one to get.


Editor's Picks

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Top Telecaster Amplifiers for the Money

Marshall DSL Series DSL40C 29.33 x 25.39 x 15.35 in 61.72 pounds 40W
Vox AC15C1 15.2 x 28.1 x 21.9 in 56.06 pounds 15W
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 12.5 x 26 x 22 in 52.2 pounds 40W
Vox VT40X Modeling Amp 18.5 x 9.6 x 22 inches 24.3 pounds 40W

How to Choose

Choosing a guitar amp for your Telecaster can be a daunting business. To some degree, the amp you choose depends on the style of music you play, and what kind of tone you need.

However, there are some things to keep in mind. The Telecaster sounds different from other guitars due to its lo-fi, dirty sound, and you want a guitar amp that will really bring this out. Many guitarists with other types of guitars try to replicate the Telecaster sound by getting an amp, or setting one up, that purposefully distorts the input they give it.

What you want in a Telecaster amp is the opposite – a device that will amplify the already great, slightly filthy, noise you are feeding it. In our reviews today, therefore, we are focusing on amps that deliver incredible sound fidelity. Don’t worry, though – all these amps also come with enough overdrive that if you want to push your distortion to the limit, you can.

Our Reviews

What kind of guitar amp you need for your Telecaster, and the features you want it to have, depend on how you’re going to use it. An amp for practicing in your room is quite a different beast to one you can tour huge venues with.

Some of the things to look for in amp stay the same, though:

  1. Power
  2. Speakers
  3. Inputs and Outputs
  • 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 places and people, a 50 W amplifier will easily deal with the task. It will still go incredibly loud, so don’t worry about not being heard.
  • 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 gear you want to plug in.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for hearing these amps yourself. Everybody has different preferences when it comes to how they want their amp to sound. But you could do worse than checking out these ones.

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1. Editor’s Pick: Marshall DSL Series DSL40CMarshall DSL Series DSL40C

Wow. Marshall (1) has long been the choice of guitar amps for serious and professional musicians, and it is not hard to see why. Over the past decades, the brand has built a reputation for building solid amps that simply sound great.

The DSL40C is no exception. Plug your Telecaster into this beast, and you will instantly hear all of the gorgeous tones your guitar is able to produce. From the deep low-end right up to the quavering highs, it will lovingly amplify your playing, adding a lovely warm tone without distorting what you are trying to do.

No matter what style of music you play, this amp will deliver. Its frequency response is incredible, meaning that even when pushed to its limits, every note is clear and bright. It is also highly adaptable, so even if you are the kind of guitarist who has a huge bank of effects pedals on stage, the amp will be able to deal with even the weirdest noises. Want more reviews of marshall amps?

Go down to your guitar store, plug in your Telecaster, and give it a listen.

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Of course, in addition to the incredible sound, this amp comes with a range of great extra features:

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  • The amp has more than enough power to deliver great sound, even when pushed to the limit. Whilst, at 40 W, this is not the most powerful amp that we reviewed, it is really, really loud. You can play even large halls with this amp, and not worried about being heard.
  • This amp shares many of the great features that have made Marshall amps such classics. It features foot-switchable classic and ultra gain channels, so you can quickly and easily switch between sounds, no matter how crazy things get on stage.
  • The digital effects that are built in to this amp are also great. The digital reverb included with this amp is quickly becoming something of an iconic sound, and with this amp it can be activated using the included foot switch.
  • The flexibility of this amp has made it a favorite amongst gigging musicians. The people we talked to for this review praised the fact that this amp was so compact, whilst also delivering all the power and volume that it is famous for. This is especially valuable for busy musicians, because lugging a heavy, huge amp to gigs and practice quickly becomes really tiresome. This is also a great beginner amp.
  • Pairing a Telecaster with a Marshall is a classic set-up, and it is not hard to hear why. The amp lovingly reproduces the tones of your guitar, allowing you to play with a minimal effects set up and still sound great.
See also  Vox Amps Review (2022 Updated)

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  • In truth, none. It is very hard to beat this amp at the price, and the value it represents is outstanding.


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2. Vox AC15C1

This is simply a great amp to pair with your Telecaster, and represents amazing value.

Vox have a legendary reputation, and draw on over 50 years of amp-building expertise in their products. This amp is a worthy addition to a line of amps that has become iconic.

Before we get to the sound and other features offered by this amp, take a moment to look at it. It looks great, with vintage styling that will never go out of fashion, and resembles so many iconic amps so closely that we’re sure even the most discerning amp connoisseur will fall in love with it.

In other words, it is the perfect accompaniment to your vintage Telecaster.

The sound is great. Vox know that different styles of music, and different musicians, each require something different from a guitar amp, and have designed this amp with this in mind. No matter if you play jazz, rock, or even metal, the gorgeous tones of this amp will sound great.

Whilst, at 15 W, this amp is not really powerful enough for gigging, it is perfect for practicing, and many professional musicians recommended it because it is so easy to carry to and from practice.

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In addition, is has these great features:

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  • The small size of this amp makes it perfect for practice sessions. You can easily chuck it into your truck, and carry it around all day, without your back complaining. Whilst you may want a bit more power to play stadium shows, adding this amp to your collection will really pay dividends.
  • The circuitry in this amp, whilst based on classic designs, is really innovative. It offers two channels of amplification, Normal and Top-Boost, and each channel is equipped with its own volume control, and the latter channel offers treble and bass controls. Read this to find out more about amp circuity and wiring.
  • For beginners, who are just starting to learn how to set up an amp, this one is perfect. Small enough to be carried around easily, yet still delivering a powerful sound, the effect options are also just complicated enough to provide a huge range of effects without confusing the amateur.
  • The Vox tremolo sound is iconic, and no Vox amp would be complete without it. Even when paired with this small amp, it sounds incredible, with the warm and bright tones you would expect from any Vox amp.
  • Seriously, plug in your Telecaster and you will be amazed at how good it sounds.

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  • None, for the price. If you are looking for a gorgeous sounding practice amp that is perfect for your Telecaster, this is the one to get. If our reviews were based on looks alone, this one would win.


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3. Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III

picture of Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40-Watt Guitar Combo Amp

Fender are one of the most well-known guitar amplifier brands, and have offered a huge range of different amps over the years. Having tested this one, we think it is perhaps the best yet.

Pairing a Telecaster with a Fender is a tradition dating back many years now. The two devices are a perfect match for each other, each bringing out the strengths of the other. From the bass response right up to the high-end, the gorgeous lo-fi tones of your Tele will shine through this amp.

It is hugely powerful, offering a full 40W of noise, and is incredibly loud when pushed to its limits. The people we spoke to for this review even said that this was the only amp that most guitarists will ever need.

It sounds great even at low volumes, making it perfect for the practice room. The sound then stays remarkably stable even up to the limit of its volume. With 40W of power, the amp is capable of playing small venues on its own, and if you are playing larger venues it will be plugged into a PA system anyway, so any more power is somewhat unnecessary

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In addition, this amp comes with some great features:

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  • The no-nonsense design of this amp is a great advantage. With some guitar amps, manufacturers feel obliged to pack the front panel with as many controls and features as possible. Whilst great for some musicians, the majority simply want an amp that will reproduce their sound accurately, and let the guitar do the work.
  • That said, the spring reverb on this amp is gorgeous. The first time you use your Telecaster through this effect, you will be reminded of so many tracks that have used it in the past, and it sounds so good that you may end up changing your style to incorporate it more often.
  • If you are looking at building a large set-up around your Telecaster, this amp is the perfect place to start. It is powerful enough to form the base of a huge system, and reliable enough that even if you spend years tweaking your sound, the Fender will keep going.
  • It is hard to beat the sound of tube amplification. Even the most advanced amp simulators available today are not quite able to match the warm, vintage sound of tubes. If you are looking for an amp to reproduce classic 60s sounds, then this is the one.
See also  Do You Really Need a Tube Amp?

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  • Very few. If you break a tube, they can be difficult to replace, but be careful and this amp will give years of reliable service.


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4. Vox VT40X Modeling AmpVox VT40X Modeling Amp Review

A slightly different amp to those we have reviewed so far. This kind of modeling amp makes use of the most advanced digital technology to reproduce the sounds of classic amps.

Whilst, in a perfect world, you want your Telecaster to do most of the work required for creating a great sound, it is nice to know that you can also spend hours playing around with tone settings to achieve precisely the sound you want.

Whilst there has long been criticism of amps like this from purists, who claim that it is impossible to get the kind of vintage sound you get from a tube amp, the newest breed of modeling amps sound so close to classic amps that most players will find it difficult to tell the difference.

The advantages of this kind of modeling amp also more than make up for some perceived lack of “purity”. It is possible to simulate many great amps of the past, and even create your own effects, meaning that getting a modeling amp can come in as significantly cheaper than buying many, many separate items.

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This example, the Vox VT40X, represents one of the best modeling amps around at the moment, and comes with many advantages:

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  • It delivers more than enough power for most players. With 40 W of noise, it is perfect for either the practice room or small gigs. If you are playing larger venues, it will easily connect to PA systems.
  • The Virtual Elements Technology in this amp, a innovation made by Vox themselves, delivers stunning sound quality. No matter what style of music you play, tones are just how you want them, and it will really bring out the lo-fi sound of your Telecaster.
  • The amp models offered by this amp are wide-ranging. It can simulate 11 different amps, offers 13 on-board effects, and 33 preset programs. The people we spoke to for this review reported that they had spent many happy hours just playing around with the sheer range of options available on this amp, before finding the perfect sound.
  • Whilst it includes all the latest technology, Vox have cleverly integrated vintage elements into this amp. The Valvetronix pre-amp uses vacuum tubes to deliver that Vox signature sound, so the base amplification of this amp is as traditional as they come, and is a perfect match for your vintage Telecaster.

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  • Very few. Some purists will never be happy with the sound of a digital amplifier, but we think that the differences they hear might just be in their own heads. If you are looking for an adaptable amp that offers an unparalleled range of sounds, this is the one to go for, producing sounds that you'd regular get on a higher quality 4 channel or 5 channel.


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Our Final Thoughts

So which to choose?

Well, your choice of guitar amp for your Telecaster is yours alone, of course. Nothing can beat taking a trip down to your local guitar store, Telecaster in hand, and trying these amps out for yourself.

Our recommendation would be to get an amp with valve amplification (2), as in our experience the warm tones these amps produce really bring out the qualities of the Telecaster (like a tube amp). All of the amps we have reviewed today will do this.

Our choice, though, is the Marshall DSL Series DSL40C. This is simply the best guitar amp for Telecasters around at the moment. It sounds great, delivers more than enough power for most guitar players and situations, and comes with a great range of added features. If you are looking for an amp that will really bring out the quality of your Telecaster, and of your playing, this is the one to get.

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