Every guitar player wants to have the best amp possible, and enjoy that adrenaline infusing sound that makes most of us grin like little kids when we’re about to turn on the amp.
Having the best, also means dishing out serious amounts of money, and most are not capable or willing to do that.
With this said, it’s not impossible to find a good middle ground, and treat yourself along with your guitar with a great setup that will take care of all your needs. We’ve been digging to find what are the best guitar amps for the money, and there were numerous candidates.
We chose these three based on their quality of sound, features, and price.
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– Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III –
When it comes to great sound and decent price, Fender is delivering on point. Their Hot rod DeVille 212 III amp is one of the most versatile you can find on the market these days. It’s rather simple, compact enough to be transported with ease, and loud enough to cover almost any kind of gig scenario.
Being a household name definitely doesn’t hurt, and offers a certain level of confidence that your newly acquired amp will perform up to spec, and give you the experience you deserve.
Hot Rod DeVille 212 III comes with two 12-inch Celestion G12P-80 speakers, and 60 watt power section to drive the whole rig. You have your standard 3-band EQ, with the addition of some unique features. Their ‘spring reverb’ is refreshing, and quite pleasant especially with clean sections. Unlike the older models of this amp, you get three different channels, including more than one overdrive channel.
Crisp treble, and rich bass tones are something this amp does incredibly well. The clean channel is very pleasant and warm, especially when used with single coil guitars. Overdrive is just the right kind of crunchy but very defined. If you need something more aggressive, you can expect great results with just about any distortion pedal.
– Marshall MG102CFX
Everyone has their own taste, but most guitar players will agree that Marshall is the unprecedented king of heavy rock and metal amps. Their MG102CFX combo represents a lot of power squished into a small box. For it’s small form factor, this thing brings on the storm.
It’s a no nonsense amp that is simple to use, and has everything essential for a good gig. The case is sturdy and easy to transport, while the aesthetics are simple yet beautiful.
MG102CFX comes with two 12-inch speakers capable of pushing out 65 watts each. For a small amp, this kind of power is more than great. Controls are basic, and consist of your standard EQ settings. Aside from the clean channel, you also have crunch and two separate overdrive channels which are all programmable.
One of the best attributes of the Marshall MG102CFX is its versatility when it comes to sound. Out of the box, the clean channel is sharp and warm, while the crunch and OD1/OD2 offer a good amount of heavy overdrive. Since the channels are programmable, you can create all kinds of sounds with this amp, and it will still sound like a tube amp.
You could say that the Marshall MG102CFX is more inclined for heavier music, and excels when used with something like EMG 81s. If you’re looking for a good practice amp that has enough power and flexibility to step up and take on a gig, this Marshall combo amp is the way to go.
– Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube Amplifier
Some people consider Peavey to be the underdog on the market. While they certainly don’t enjoy the popularity and street cred of brands like Marshall and Fender, Peavey is nothing to mess with.
For years they have been able to push out amps which offered a more than great balance of price and performance, sometimes even reaching the quality and sound of their far more expensive competition.
Peavey Bandit 112 is definitely a prime example of this odd situation. Compared to its performance and what it offers to the end user, Peavey Bandit 112 is ridiculously well priced.
This amp comes with a single 12-inch speaker capable of delivering 80 watts of power. It comes with two channels, clean and lead. Both of these have their own separate EQ settings, which is useful if you want apply different settings to your clean and overdrive.
They also have two modes each, classic and vintage for the clean channel along with classic and modern for the lead channel. This gives you some extra flexibility when shaping your sound. Effects are limited to reverb which is nothing incredible, but sufficient for its intended use.
One of the most surprising things about the Bandit is how good its clean channel sounds. You can easily compare it to a more expensive Fender, and you wouldn’t be far off. It’s warm but crisp with great mid range tones.
Overdrive on the lead channel is flexible, and can be tuned to accommodate a variety of styles. It produces a very sweet hard rock overdrive sound that has just enough distortion, but still retains a good clarity of tone.
We selected what we think are three best guitar amps for the money from three different price groups which all deliver on-point performance.
The Fender is our personal choice due to its incredible clean channel and abundant flexibility.
If you prefer a more heavier sound, Marshall is a way to go for sure. Peavey is a jack of all trades and offers surprisingly great performance for the money. No matter which one you choose, you won’t make a mistake.