Doing more with less

We all love the little boxes that pump out that awesome, goosebumps inducing sound. When you plug your guitar into an amp, the world stops revolving and you just phase shift into another dimension as the distortion starts to build up.

Alright maybe we got a bit carried away there for a moment. However, no one can deny the power of a good amp. But wait you say, “what if I can’t afford a really nice amp?” Do not worry brothers and sisters, because there are many affordable amps that can give you the same experience without breaking your bank account into pieces.

Our task today is to find the best guitar amp under 300 dollars. Is it possible? You can bet it is. We selected some fine amps for you, including a combo modeling amp, a nice amp head, and even a sweet little tube amp for those who want that vintage sound.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in and see what these bad boys can do.

We selected some fine amps for you!

Top - Editor ChoiceEDITOR’S CHOICE

Fender Mustang V 


Fender makes some great amps, that’s not even up for discussion. Their more affordable models are where things get interesting. In this case you get a sweet amp head which has enough power to juice a beastly 4×12 cabinet, while also delivering a great sound.

Yes, this means that you will need a cabinet of some sort in order to use this amp head, but we included this Fender Mustang V for those who want to build their ring step by step, and just can’t bother with a combo amp.



Fender Mustang V brings you 150 Watts of pure power pushed through a single channel. At this point you’re probably wondering how come it only has one channel. Well this thing is a modeling amp with a library of emulated amps.

This means that instead of having one clean and one overdrive channel, you have a bunch of amps to choose from. You also get a foot switch with four ‘quick access’ stomp switches to which you can assign different amps.

In terms of controls, you get gain, volume, treble, middle, bass, reverb and master knobs. To the right of all that, you’ll see a little LCS display surrounded with different soft keys that control the amp selection and effects. Speaking of effects, you get modulation, delay and reverb to play with. In other words, this is a more flexible modeling amp that comes in form of an amp head.

Sound- Icon  Sound

Sound is pretty decent for a solid state setup. Once connected to a nice 4×12 cab, you can really push out some volume with this thing, all while retaining decent clarity.

If you go crazy with some heavier distorted amp emulations that are available, you might start to see the tone getting muddy a little.

However this is easily fixed with EQ adjustments. For the money, this is really a solid amp that will get you through a lot of gigs no matter how big or small the place is.

[easyazon_link identifier=”B004E4LTXK” locale=”US” tag=”msk-general-20″]Blackstar HT1[/easyazon_link]

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”250″ identifier=”B004E4LTXK” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”msk-general-20″ width=”500″]

Now that we got the big guns out of the way, let’s talk about this little tube amp. It’s made by Blackstar, and it’s one of the best selling models at the moment. Everyone appreciates good tubes, and this amp comes with a pair that is great for home use.

Blackstar HT1 is small, very maneuverable, and it packs a decent punch. If you need something to practice your guitar skills on, and you need it to come with tubes, this Blackstar is the way to go.



Feature wise, this amp comes with a singe 8-inch speaker, one 12AU7 power tube, and one 12AX7 preamp tube. Together they push out 1 Watt of power. This means that you can crank this bad boy up and get that saturated tube sound without having cops called on you by your neighbors.

The controls that are available on this amp are pretty basic. You have your standard gain and volume knobs, along with a channel select switch that gives you access to overdrive channel.

There is also an ISF knob which is Blackstar’s trademark feature. Using the ISF, you can emulate different types of amps since this function represents a three-band EQ compressed into one control.

You can definitely get some decent results by playing with this thing. Aside from all we mentioned, there’s an emulated output/headphones out and mp3/line input.

Sound- Icon  Sound

This small amp delivers that sweet tube amp that we all strive to experience. It’s a small amp with low power output, but once you get that volume near 12 o’clock position, you start to really hear that vintage tube sound.

Sure, it’s not something you want to gig with. But if you can mic up the amp, you could probably play smaller gigs with this thing. All in all a compact little beast.

[easyazon_link identifier=”B002024MVY” locale=”US” tag=”msk-general-20″]Marshall MG30CFX[/easyazon_link]

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No amp list is complete without at least one Marshall on it. This time we chose a nice solid state, middle of the line amp that has a nice sound and simple layout. This is a combo amp that is part of Marshall’s MG series. So if you ever played on of those, you already know what to expect.



Marshall MG30CFX features one 10-inch speaker, and is capable of pushing out 30 Watts of power. There are four programmable channels on this amp. These are clean, crunch, OD1 and OD2.

When in manual mode, these act as any normal channels do, however once you go to preset mode, whatever tone you shaped can be stored. In terms of controls you have, gain, volume, 3-band EQ, reverb, FX select, master, two channel select buttons, tap, and store.

Sound- Icon  Sound

When it comes to sound, all we can say is that it’s a Marshall. Take that as you will. For some it’s a good thing, for very few individuals it maybe isn’t. You get all the qualities of the trademark Marshall sound in a very small and affordable amp. What’s not to like.

In Closing..

There you have it, we gave you enough information for you to select your own best guitar amp under 300.

We included a bit of everything hoping to appease even those picky readers who expect different things than most of us do.