If you’ve picked up your guitar just recently and have found yourself out of cash for a proper amp, you might want to consider getting a budget model even though most people would advise you against it.
Sure, budget amps are smaller, weaker, less durable, and most of them are barely versatile enough to allow you to switch between blues and soul. However, we’ve found some of the best cheap guitar amps which we think you’ll find interesting.
Guitar amps are usually the most expensive part of a guitarist’s gear, but even so most brands have cheaper models which should help people who are on a tight budget out.
Here are the best cheap guitar amps under $100:
- Boss Katana-Mini
- Peavey Solo
- Fender Acoustasonic 15
- NUX Mighty Lite BT
- Orange Crush 12
- Dean DA20
- PylePro PVAMP60
- Monoprice 611720
1. Boss Katana-Mini
Let’s open up with the Boss Katana-Mini. In a nutshell, this is a 7-watt compact guitar amp that sounds amazingly loud for its size, it’s highly versatile, and, of course, it’s made by a very reputable brand that has plenty of best-selling amp models under their belt. In fact, the Katana-Mini is one of the best cheap guitar amps you could find on the market due to its exceptional all-around performance.
First, let’s talk about its versatility. It packs a 3-band equalizer onboard, meaning you can tinker around with the bass, middle, and treble frequencies. This is pretty a pretty basic setup, but it’s all you need to find a decent tone. Additionally, you can add or remove ‘gain’ and ‘volume’ or pitch in some delay in your sound.
One of the main benefits the Katana-Mini provides, apart from sounding great, is the fact that it’s supremely portable. It’s a very small amp that can be carried around to gigs and rehearsals with ease, not just because it’s tiny in size, but because it’s light as well in terms of weight.
|Image credit: Boss Check Price on Amazon||
With no more than mere three pounds of weight and a built-in delay, the Katana-Mini by Boss is a perfect budget model for people who are looking for a practice amp. There’s just about enough versatility for you to be able to get a decent array of tones, clean, gain-driven, and full-on distorted, so with a proper microphone in front of it, it might just as well be used for gigs at smaller venues.
2. Peavey Solo
Peavey is certainly one of the strongest amp manufacturers out there, and we’ve handpicked their Solo 12-watt amp for our review out of numerous reasons.
First and foremost, this amp packs quite a punch for a cheap model. It has 12 watts that are punching through an 8-inch speaker which basically means that it sounds a bit louder while still retaining its tonal clarity.
This is a relatively plain amp that packs a straightforward outfit of control knobs. The 3-band EQ is comprised of ‘low’, ‘mid’, and ‘high’ knobs, with the addition of the ‘volume’ knob which is quite self-explanatory.
Now, what’s really interesting about this amp is the fact that it comes with a distortion knob instead of having a traditional switch. This means that you can customize the intensity of drive in your sound, allowing you to play on the spectrum between pristine clear and straight up massive.
Last, but certainly not least, this is a tube amp that boasts an incredibly organic tone. No matter how you tweak the controls, it will put up a brilliant tone. The only bad thing about it is that it’s pretty heavy with 14 pounds of weight.
|Image credit: Peavey Check Price on Amazon||
Even though Peavey’s Solo weighs as much as it does, it’s still a somewhat compact amp. It’s quite small in size and it does have a handle on top, so you shouldn’t have any problems moving it from place to place. On top of that, it sounds exceptionally great and it’s both versatile and fairly easy to use.
3. Fender Acoustasonic 15
The Acoustasonic 15 is exactly what it sounds like – it’s an amp which was tailor made for guitarists who want prefer playing a bit tamer music genres, such as pop, blues, soul, jazz, and such. It’s perfect for both electric and semi-electric guitars.
Now, the Acoustasonic 15 could, perhaps, be used for rock and heavier musical styles, but it doesn’t have gain or drive knobs, which renders it useless if you don’t pitch in a pedal or two.
Basically, the entire feature setup is oriented towards providing a clean sound. The 3-band EQ packs bass, middle, and treble, there are two channels, both which feature separate dedicated volume knobs.
Additionally, there’s the chorus effect knob which is as customizable as Peavey’s Solo overdrive knob. If you’re looking for a dramatic boost in clarity and vibrato in your sound, this is probably one of the best amps you could have.
What’s more, it packs 15 watts which are coming through a 6-inch Fender speaker. It was purposefully designed to enhance the response of higher frequencies, being able to handle even the chirpiest sounds with ease. It’s also very portable since it’s light, small, and comes with a leather handle on top.
|Image credit: Fender Check Price on Amazon||
Unless you’re looking for a dirty-sounding amp for your technical death metal band, you’re most likely going to love Fender’s Acoustasonic 15. It could work very well for even those heavier types of music with a pedal or two in your board, but its primary function is delivering the cleanest, brightest tone possible.
4. NUX Mighty Lite BT
The NUX Mighty Lite BT is a perfect example of how a practice amp can outmatch a performance of a tube-like model in pretty much every possible aspect.
First of all, it’s extremely portable due to its miniature size and roughly 2 pounds of weight. Not only can you take it to your rehearsal studio in your backpack, but it can also sit comfortably on your working table as it almost doesn’t take up any space at all.
Secondly, it packs a couple of built-in effects, such as reverb and delay, both of which are customizable via the DLY/RVB knob. By simply twisting the knob clockwise you will augment the intensity of the chosen effect. However, only one of them can be used at the time.
On top of that, there are three channels at your disposal – the clean, overdrive and distortion. You can muddy up cleaner channels or wreak havoc on the distorted one with the ‘gain’ knob. The ‘tone’ knob fine-tunes the warmth and color of the sound. Overall, this is a highly customizable amp in terms of tone shaping.
To top it all, this amp also features 9 drum patterns, as well as a tap tempo, a metronome, and various other utility features that were purposefully introduced for practicing at home and recording. Sadly, it has only 3 watts of output power which means that it’s significantly quieter than most similarly priced amps.
|Image credit: NUX Check Price on Amazon||
Despite being a small, relatively weak amp, the Mighty Lite BT is a great all-around solution for basically any kind of guitar player. It’s incredibly versatile, and it comes outfitted with so many practice-oriented features which will make your time spent practicing arpeggios, vibratos, slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs all the more exciting.
5. Orange Crush 12
With the new Slipknot album ‘We are not your kind’, Orange amps are getting more and more famous since Jim Root (who plays them) is all over the place.
It’s very interesting to see that the guitarist of such a heavy band actually has an incredible amount of nuances in his tone, plenty of detail, and even with the ultra-high-gain settings, he still manages to economize drive and clarity.
At first glance, the Crush’s equalizer packs a modest set of fairly straightforward features. First there’s the volume knob on the left-most side, after which comes the treble, middle, bass, overdrive, and the gain knobs.
The 3-band EQ comprised of the treble, middle and bass obviously lacks the knob which would tweak the higher frequencies, but you’ll notice after plucking a couple of licks that Crunch already has a bit brighter tone as is.
What’s also interesting about this amp is the fact that it features both overdrive and gain knobs. This, of course, means that it was specifically designed for heavier music styles, such as hard rock, djent, metal, and such. There’s no limit to how much dirt and grit you can add to your sound with this beauty.
It does only pack 12 watts of power, but its strength is punching through a 6-inch custom made speaker, so it could possibly be used for smaller venue gigs.
|Image credit: Orange Amps Check Price on Amazon||
The Crush didn’t get its name by accident. The authentic sound of this amp would be best described as ‘crushing’, as most of its features are based on providing the player with as much gain and distortion as he or she could possibly want. Even though it was basically made for heavier music styles, the Crush 12 by Orange Amps is a well-balanced amp that could accommodate any guitarist.
6. Dean DA20
It doesn’t get much simpler than Dean’s DA20 acoustic guitar amp, so if you’re looking for a straightforward solution for your semi-acoustic axe, you might’ve found it among one of the best cheap amps in our review.
The DA20 features a plain 4-band EQ comprised of treble, middle, bass, and presence knobs. It’s incredibly easy to use it as there are no special channels, buttons, modes, or any type of utility features that could potentially confuse a beginner guitarist.
Ironically, the Dean’s DA20 is a small and somewhat compact amp because it weighs almost 12 pounds. Even so, that’s certainly not enough to label it as ‘heavy’ per se.
Some of the best things about this acoustic amp is that it packs two 5-inch speakers and 20 watts of power, making it more than suitable for actual gigs, even at medium-sized venues with proper wiring and microphones.
|Image credit: Dean Check Price on Amazon||
In truth, the DA20 is not the most versatile amp you can get for the buck. It does the job quite well, but if you really want to manipulate your tone and sound, you might need a couple of pedals to do that. The equalizer it features is simply not capable of fine-tuning your tone, although it’s more than capable of shaping it quite nicely.
Overall, the DA20 from Dean Guitars is a very sturdy amp with plenty of power under its belt, so if you’re looking for a cheap powerhouse amp, you’ve found it.
7. PylePro PVAMP60
Even though the Pyle PVAMP60 is placed this far in our review, it’s one of the strongest and most versatile amps we’ve found in the budget section of the market.
First of all, it features 60 watts, which is several times stronger than most of our picks. Furthermore, it packs an 8-inch speaker which will easily break all the glass objects in your house if you’re not careful with how you handle the volume.
In terms of tone shaping, the equalizer packs treble, middle, and bass knobs, the gain knob is separate from it, and there’s also a built-in digital delay effect with ‘depth’ and ‘volume’ knobs you can use to fine tune it.
What’s more, there are two selectable channels onboard, so you can opt between clean or overdrive, depending on which suits your playing style the best. Apart from being incredibly versatile, it also features an incredibly robust construction with leather layers surrounding the edges.
|Image credit: Pyle Check Price on Amazon||
With the only drawback being that it weighs a bit more than average, the PVAMP60 from Pyle Audio is certainly one of the best guitar amps under 100 dollars. It sounds massive, it’s strong as a bull, and it’s versatile enough to fit into any music genre or play style.
8. Monoprice 611720
Let’s wrap it up with Monoprice’s 20-watt amp. This amp is quite unique as it features separate controls for clean and driven sound types. On top of that, it also packs two selectable channels which will basically set the foundation for your tone which you can further customize with the six knobs onboard.
It packs 20 amps of power coming through an 8-inch speaker, so it’s pretty fair to say that it’s a bit too loud for home practice. Luckily, it does come equipped with a headphone jack so you can easily practice without bothering your housemates.
What’s more, there’s an auxiliary jack which can be used to connect your smart phone to it, allowing the player to shred along with your favorite tracks.
However, it’s quite big and it weighs 15.4 pounds. Even so, it brings so many benefits to the table which are more than enough to compensate for these small flaws.
|Image credit: Monoprice Check Price on Amazon||
You might need to call up your band mates to help you bring this Monoprice amp over to your rehearsal spot or studio, but once there, you’ll never regret the pain in your backs. This amp is incredibly powerful and versatile, and it has some of the strongest gains available which span up to 86 decibels.
Contrary to what most people think, there aren’t actually that many cheap guitar amps out there. The market is full with boutique and mid-priced models, with cheap ones almost being pushed out of the market. Even so, we’ve handpicked a couple of exceptional models for your convenience. We wish you good luck with finding the best cheap guitar amp!
Marko is a writer, bassist, and fan of all things music. His passions include quality music gear, King Crimson, and sifting the web for the latest music updates.