The 20 Most Popular Guitar Amps You Can Buy for Less than $500

Recently, we published some data on the most popular budget–friendly guitar pedals on Reverb, honing in on effects that can regularly be found for less than $50 on the used market. Today, we thought we'd give the same treatment to the amp market and showcase the most popular guitar amps you can find for less than $500.

The amps shown below cover a variety of formats and styles and reflect data for both new and used sales over the past year. If you're a new player looking to buy your first amp or someone with a little more experience just looking to add another option to your setup, we hope this list will provide some useful insight into what other players on the market are gravitating toward.

    Make and Model Avg. Used Price New Price From User Reviews
1 Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amp $419 $730 "There's a reason this thing is an industry standard."
2 Vox AC15C1 15W Tube Guitar Combo $467 $630 "I love everything about this amp. Looks great and sounds even better."
3 Fender Blues Junior III 15W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amp $375 $530 "Great amp for home and small gigs, and takes pedal nicely."
4 Orange MT20 Micro Terror 20w Guitar Head $107.95 $150 "Incredibly loud and full–sounding for such a small amp."
5 Orange Micro Dark Terror 20w Guitar Head $148.91 $190 "Both are excellent little practice amps...the micro dark is the better choice if metal is your thing."
6 Vox AC4C1-12 $218 $349 "You can cook the tubes at much lower volumes getting that amazing tone that you can only get by pushing a tube amp."
7 Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 Head $368.80 $600 "Can't tell you how many of my other amps are just collecting dust now. This covers it all."
8 Fender Champion 600 $158.59 $330 "This little combo does not always get the recognition it deserves. I own 3 of them!"
9 Marshall DSL40C 40/20W 1x12 Guitar Combo $466.89 $700 "Big Marshall tone in a small package."
10 Fishman Loudbox Mini LBX-500 $242.15 $330 "Great acoustic volume with reverb and chorus is you so choose."
11 Vox AC10C1 10W 1x10 Guitar Combo $333.18 $450 "Instant Vox chime. Immediately sounded good when I first turned it on."
12 Danelectro Honeytone Mini Amp $17.88 $30 "You can get a surprisingly diverse amount of tones and coloring from this lil' baby"
13 Quilter 101 Mini 50W /100W Guitar Head $239.22 $300 "Extremely quiet and accurate amplification with plenty of power."
14 Yamaha THR10 $199.06 $300 "You can get some awesome sounds out of it and the little speakers in it are much louder than I thought they would be."
15 Peavey Classic 30 112 $347.98 $600 "Great little tube amps that you can kick around from stage to studio."
16 Yamaha THR10C $203.13 $300 "Comes with a number of great features...takes pedals better than any modeling amp I've ever heard."
17 Peavey 6505 MH Micro Head $341.62 $500 "Great cleans out of the amp and awesome classic rock tones on the rhythm channel."
18 Fishman Loudbox Artist $397.35 $575 "Delivers a warm, clear sound. Projects well in small and large rooms."
19 Vox AC4TV $179.53 $320 "The best feature is its built-in attenuator -- when you're jamming or practicing with acoustic folks, you can have good tone and at low volume."
20 Fender Pro Junior III $289.78 $420 "The quality of sound from this amp, especially the highs and mid-range, have improved my ear and, as a result, my playing."

Notes:

  • These rankings are based on individual models and combined new and used sales. That means that certain series — like the Blackstar HT line, which includes a wide array of individual models — may not rank as highly.

  • Since we're including both new and used sales here, some advantage is given to items that have been on the market for a long time, like the Vox AC15. That said, a number of relatively new models did rank very highly, such as the Orange Micro Terror and Dark Terror.

  • The above rankings just include combo amps and amp heads. No cabinets were included.

  • Several models on the list have been discontinued in recent years but are still being traded regularly on the used market as entry–level products that many players sell when the time comes to upgrade to something heftier. This is the case for the Fender Champion 600 and Epiphone Valve Jr Combo, both of which are also popular foundations for modding projects.

The budget amp market at a glance:

Is there any corner of the gear marketplace you'd like us to explore in a future post? Let us know in the comments below.


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