Best guitar amp under 500 – Perfect Pedal Alternatives!

Do you know? How many guitarists are there in the US? In 2009, it was about 16 million.. The count touched around 500,000,000 after ten years. That’s not my research -Quora did that.

Based on the research, it is evident that –electric guitar players are prone to try different guitar models and amps like a crazy one. I won’t say it is madness. Instead, it is a gas (gear acquisition syndrome)

Come on, every guitar player faces this sweet problem. Even i was into this for six years above. I love to foster it because this weird psychological syndrome gave me a diversified experience. Choosing the best guitar amp under 500 is one of the great experiences I have learned.

So,today I am going to share that experience through this article. It will later help you to choose the perfect pedal alternative. No more wasting money on buying worthless padel. 

Hold on! Before moving on, take a quick glance at our recommended three guitar amp.

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Best Choice
Fender Champion 20 - 20-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier
Best Value
Valeton Rushead Max USB Chargable Portable Pocket Guitar Bass Headphone Amp Carry-On Bedroom Plug-In Multi-Effects
Premium
Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1x8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier
Name
Fender Champion 20
Valeton Rushead Max USB Chargeable Portable Pocket Guitar
Fender Mustang I V2
Item Weight
6.61 pounds
4.3 ounces
17 Pounds
Product Dimensions
16 x 12 x 16 inches
4.7 x 3.8 x 1.1 inches
7.6 x 15.5 x 14.5 inches
Power
20 Watts
5 Watts
20 Watts
Rating
Best Choice
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Fender Champion 20 - 20-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier
Name
Fender Champion 20
Item Weight
6.61 pounds
Product Dimensions
16 x 12 x 16 inches
Power
20 Watts
Rating
Best Value
Image
Valeton Rushead Max USB Chargable Portable Pocket Guitar Bass Headphone Amp Carry-On Bedroom Plug-In Multi-Effects
Name
Valeton Rushead Max USB Chargeable Portable Pocket Guitar
Item Weight
4.3 ounces
Product Dimensions
4.7 x 3.8 x 1.1 inches
Power
5 Watts
Rating
Premium
Image
Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1x8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier
Name
Fender Mustang I V2
Item Weight
17 Pounds
Product Dimensions
7.6 x 15.5 x 14.5 inches
Power
20 Watts
Rating

 

10 best guitar amps reviews:

As I said, I will review the top ten guitar amps in this section. Now, the question is, what will you get from review? Well, I tested each of the amps for two days with my Epiphone, Les Paul, Telecaster, and Schechter for observing the pedal alternative.

The observation picked some positive and negative sides of each amp. I will write about the positive and negative sides. It will help you to get a good knowledge before selecting the perfect alternative. Let’s start without any further delay.

 

1. Fender Champion 20

fender frontman 10g review

Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Loudness:4.5 out of 5 stars
Effects:4.4 out of 5 stars

Starting with the beast of fender. The amp sound is still roaming around my ears. Why? I got a perfect balance of EQ during my jamming session. In that session, I noticed several mind-blowing features.

 

 Like: the FX selection and leveling are amazing. Since I did not want to use stomp for trying the raw sound, I decided to set a tone for my telecaster then played some random riffs and fingerpicking. It was pretty good. But not up to the mark, because the transition between clean to dry is not satisfying. Yet not deal breaking. 

 

That is why I placed this first for the fresh guitar player. People might have other opinion about it. Still, we recommend you to check the amazon, but before that, check the pros and cons first.

Pros

  • Perfect practice amp.
  • I loved the accessories.
  • 20 watt is good enough.

Cons

  • Clean to rock effect switching is slow.

2. Fender Frontman 10G

fender frontman 10g review

Sound:4.6 out of 5 stars
Loudness:4.5 out of 5 stars
Effects:4.4 out of 5 stars

Gorgeous and straightforward guitar amp as far as I have seen. Gutarists are rating this as beginner amp, but I don’t think it is actually an entry-level amp.Its even better than any high-end guitar amps. For example, the controls are simple.

These simple controlling can make a bright sound in clean mode. But in “overdrive” mood, it could not win my heart because the tone sustainability is too low for me. I don’t know what others say.

For me, this 6-inch speaker is still a compact gear with tremolo and delay pedal. No matter what it is: I cannot live a day without htting this amp. And yes, that’s what the Fender Frontman did for me.

Apart from my opinion, you need to check the amazon review cause I just put the best and worst.so please check the amazon link, and don’t miss the pros and cons option.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Crunchy sound.
  • Perfect for self-practice.

Cons

  • I did not like the overdrive sustainability.

3. Valeton Rushead Max USB Chargeable Portable Pocket Guitar

Valeton Rushead Max USB guitar review

Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Loudness:4.7 out of 5 stars
Effects:4.6 out of 5 stars

This is the most compact tiny amp I have ever seen. All the essential features are included in this little amp. For example, I tried a clean tone with some reverb and delay. It sounds like a perfect alternative for my delay and reverb pedal.

During the time of testing various effects, I observed the UX features. The UX is quite good. For instance, the LED lights indicate – how long this device will stay alive. In my case, it supported nearly five hours. Pretty good enough for me.

Besides the decent battery backup, it also has five controlling knobs. You can adjust the sound with this controlling knob. To hear the balanced control, it also offers a headphone jack. This means you have the best option practice silently. 

Though the headphone jack has slight adjustment issues, it’s alright if you don’t use headphones. In a word, the best travel amp after VOX. To learn more about the gear, click the amazon link. Before that, read out the pros and cons first.

Pros

  • Small pocket amp.
  • Smooth sound.
  • Rechargeable batteries.

Cons

  • It only supports the front jack guitars.

4. Fender Mustang LT-25

fender mustang lt25 review

Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Loudness:4.5 out of 5 stars
Effects:4.4 out of 5 stars

It has seen that many guitarists are switching to the model amp. The reason behind switching to the modeling amp -is for saving cash. I mean, the model amp has different presets all the built-in sound response like a real pedal.

No matter what your genre is, you can incorporate your confident tone in this amp -by installing their driver software. Since I am a bit of an ambient artist, I tried all the presets. They sound great. It does not mean you don’t need pedals.

Of course, you will. For better performance, there is no alternative to pedals. But there is a trick that can nearly sound like pedal -I applied that.

I connected the amp with FL studio nine and recorded a country progression, then added some extra layer. The return of each layer was mind-blowing. Obviously, the sound could not beat the Mustang 1 v2. So, the experience says; an excellent amp to go for the fresh start.

Before starting your journey, take a look at amazon for better reviews. And don’t forget to check the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Model amp
  • Enough presets.
  • Great sound
  • Good accessories.

Cons

  • The presets setting could be better.

5. VOX AP2AC amPlug 2

vox amplug 2 ac30 review

Sound:4.4 out of 5 stars
Loudness:4.3 out of 5 stars
Effects:4 out of 5 stars

I have infatuated over Vox amplug. There are a lot of firm reasons for this infatuation. The first reason is the impressive portability. You can put that inside your pocket, and it does not need any electric power.

Two pencil batteries are good enough to run this amp. This means I need to explain the second reason.

The sound. Ah! I loved the clean and blues versions among the other six versions. One thing I want to clear before explaining my playing experience, which is; I did not try the bass, rock, and metal version. 

(Note: Vox comes in six musical versions)

So, let’s get back to the explanation. In my clean and blues version, there are four knobs. They are volume, tone, gain, and fx knob. All these features sound fine with my Maudio studio headphones when I plugged it through the aux jack.

Especially the sound of each dominant and suspended chords was so touchy that- I created a dreamy track with built-in effect. It’s all about the combination. However, the tone mixture does not fit well with tube amps.

The reason is: tube amps can not adjust with the digital plug. In a word, this device is my travel partner. As a traveling artist, I checked what I need; maybe you need better in some cases. Check the amazon before paying the cash. But wait!! Check the pros and cons first.

Pros

  • Built-in sound presets.
  • Amazing control.
  • Perfect for travel.

Cons

  • It did not fit with a tube amp.

6. Orange crush 12 electric guitar amp

Orange crush 12 electric guitar amp review

Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Loudness:4.6 out of 5 stars
Effects:4.5 out of 5 stars

A perfect solid-state amp for a beginner player. I bought this last month for my younger brother. He is a bit of a clean tone freak. So, this little three-band EQ is good enough for his Fender Tele.

Now, why am I saying it’s perfect? Well, the six-inch speaker is not that much loud to annoy your neighbors. I tried this amp with my Epiphone Les Paul. The clean channel and distortion channels were perfect for my ear, though the sound cracks after raising the volume from the mid-range.

Yet, It’s okay for practicing with drummer, but not okay for the grand stage. Because there is no speaker jack, I will recommend this amp for starter. If you still need a query, then check Amazon. Don’t miss the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Basket weed design.
  • Smooth sound.
  • Portable

Cons

  • Distortion sound loses its appeal, after increasing the volume from mid-range.

7. LyxPro Electric Guitar Amp

LyxPro Electric Guitar Amp review

Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars
Loudness:4.1 out of 5 stars
Effects:4 out of 5 stars

Guitarist and forums are talking about Lyxpro for a long time. Based on their discussion, I tried this am from my friend john. My first impression after having this guitar amp was, “if I don’t have another option, I will go for this amp.”

Why? It’s too cheap. Only a low-end guitar can endure the sound. It’s not like I am encouraging you to look alternatives — instead, a perfect amp for tight budget. For example, the controlling panels are decent but not up to the mark.

I tried clean and drive channel, both sound decent in clock 12 range. Over 12, it seemed a bit odd. In “overdrive” mood, these options are good enough if you are a beginner. So, my opinion is; if you are on a tight budget, consider this device. But before paying your hard-earned cash, take a look at amazon for equal alternatives.

Before clicking the link check the pros and cons first.

Pros

  • Sturdy material.
  • Colorful knobs.
  • Aux and headphones supported.

Cons

  • They could make the sound quality better.

8. NUX Mighty 8 SE Battery Powered Portable Guitar AMP

nux mighty 8se review

Sound:3.7 out of 5 stars
Loudness:3.5 out of 5 stars
Effects:3.4 out of 5 stars

Last year I first used this battery-powered amp for band practice. My short experience says; this device is the mid-range device. Why? Except for the clean tone, I did not like the six different distortion sound.

They sound seems a bit odd for me. I don’t know if it happened with other users or not. But the best part is; you can fix the problem by adjusting the knobs. If you can do that tough work, this gear will be a blessing for you.

Blessing like; you can add phaser, flanger, tremolo, and chorus in your playing. These EFX effects can spice up the practice environment even in the bonfire. So, I advise you to check the amazon features and our pros and cons.

Pros

  • 10 hours battery backup
  • Portable
  • Three band EQ

Cons

  • The echo controller has a weak grip.

9. Fender Mustang I V2

Fender Mustang I V2 review

Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Loudness:4.7 out of 5 stars
Effects:4.5 out of 5 stars

When I was writing about Fender LT-5, I hint about a mustang version. Can you remember that? Yes, I was highlighting  the Mustang I V2. This is the most compact amp I have seen so far.

The EQ band is balanced like the presets. I could enjoy his/her warm-up session with these facilities. Besides the warm-up facilities, Fender offers a “Fuse” software. By installing this software, I  can set own presets. Trust me; the built-in presets are fantastic.

 I have a favorite preset of this amp that is: “twin reverb.” My telecaster has exactly found what it needs. Apart from these facilities, it has one drawback that is; the “fuse” software does not support all OS platforms.

That is why I put this amp in nine. Maybe there might be some exceptions. To understand the unique touch, I recommend taking a tour from amazon. But before that, read out the pros and cons first.

Pros

  • Amazing presets.
  • EQ has a right balance.
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The software could be more user-friendly.

10. Fender Acoustasonic 15

Fender Acoustasonic 15 review

Sound:3.5 out of 5 stars
Loudness:3.4 out of 5 stars
Effects:3 out of 5 stars

My bandmate Jim had first seen this amp in a street show. A street performer was performing  “Perfect” by Ed- Sheeran with this amp in Dublin city. During his performing, Jim filmed the sound. The sound was too good that i started to search.

Finally, I bought  Fender acoustasonic and gave a try. Alas! That was one of my worst decisions. Why? I faced a terrible HUM sound after plugging my Taylor. I thought it was happening for cable. But the truth is.

I had to buy a high-end fender cable to adapt to the acoustasonic amp. Wait! Am I discouraging to you? Not at all. You will be blessed if you have a high-end guitar cable because this amp is perfect for handling a small party with fenders recommended cable.

Moreover, the MIC input and chorus balancing  can help you to fuel up the party. That  is what I did on Jim’s birthday. So, the advice is think twice before buying t. You can check the amazon discussion for more information. But don’t forget to check the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Sturdy material.
  • 15 watt
  • Good tone features.

Cons

  • It needs specific fender cable as far as I have noticed.

Guitar amp buying guide:

Maybe my reviews were bitter for some of you. Right? It’s okay; I tried to be straightforward since it is your hard-earned cash. So, like the reviews, I will try to give a better guideline regarding guitar amp buying.

I hope my considerations will help you to choose the right guitar amp. So the first thing is:

 

Guitar amp type:

As a guitar player, you have to have a solid idea about different types of guitar amps. So, there are three different types of guitar amps. They are solid-state, tube amps, and modeling amp.

Solid-state:

This amp uses a transistor circuit to convert the electric wave into a sweet sound. The advantage and disadvantage of this solid-state amps are:

  1. Lightweight
  2. Low maintenance.
  3. Less fragile.
  4. Disadvantage: It cannot take heavy amp distortion.

Tube amp:

Experts are used to explain this type of amp as an advanced amp because of its structure and characteristics. For example, this sort of amp can create different sounds based on the playing style.

It will be easier for you if I put an example here. Jim and I had experimented over a tube amp for 3 hours. The amp sounds completely different when I played after Jim. So, if you are a beginner, I will not prefer this amp for you because these amps are sensitive.

Modeling amp:

Now let’s move to the third amp. People call this amp as the “digital amp” why? Because it has combined facilities of solid-state and tube amps. In some cases, these digital amps offer a considerable amount of presets.

If you buy one of them which has the built-in presets, then you won’t need any extra pedals or processors. The built-in presets works like the pedal. In fact, they work better in some cases.

Speaker size and power:

I hope my initial idea about guitar amp type -has given you a precise approach. Now, I want to move on to the next step. In this step, you will write about two important considerations. The first one is the speaker size.

The loudness of your amp will depend on speaker size. So choose wisely. I will suggest a six-inch amp if you intend to practice at home alone. Along with the speaker-size suggestion, I am also requesting you to check the power.

The power option is crucial for the distortion sound. So, start at 10 watts if you are practicing alone.

Effects:

At this fourth stage, I will recommend you to check the results. For that, my best suggestion is to take your guitar to the amp store. Then plug in the guitar with your expected amp. It will be convenient for you to meet your requirements.

For example, I took my telecaster and Epiphone Les paul for testing the reviewed product. This trick helped me a lot to get the perfect amp.

Channel switching:

If you are working with different tones, then shifting different channels with a balanced EQ is essential. So, choose an amp that will meet all your requirements. I saw a lot of newbie guitarists neglected this consideration. As a result, they get frustrated with their playing.

Budget:

The last thing I will recommend before going to the conclusion is; make a decent budget. Don’t compromise your requirements for budgets. It will harm your entire composition skills. Remember, a perfect guitar amp can not only improve your playing power but also it will improve your senses.

 

Conclusion:

So, the concluding opinions are; I tried my best to share my guitar amp buying experience. I don’t know how much it helped you. But one thing I can assure you that – you will buy the best guitar amp under 500 after reading my reviews and buying guides. Now, let me know: which amp do you like most?

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Ashley King
Ashley King is an audio engineer and music-passionate personality. He is proficient in audio production, balancing and adjusting sounds. He is currently working with the Musical Instru team with great knowledge in audio technology. Ashley King has a vast experience in recording and editing audios. Before reviewing every instrument, he inspects the instrument to help the team learn more about it. He makes sure you get authentic and unbiased information. Moreover, Ashley King is great at using equalization, audio mixing, effects, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound. He provides all the technical assistance to the Musical Instru team regarding audio and instruments.

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