The Top 10 Guitar Amps

Although some might say that the best amp comes down to personal taste, and there is an undeniable element of that, there are some manufacturers who seem to continue building great amps year after year.

Our friends at American Musical Supply have put together their list ranking the top 10 amps currently available. We here at Guitar Site pretty much agree with their selection - you can see our old top 10 list of classic amps below. It's interesting to see that our old list, which we first published way back in 1999, contains many of the brands which are still in the top 10 today!

1. Peavey 6505 Plus Peavey 6505 Plus Guitar Amplifier Head An immensely popular amp, the Peavey 6505 Plus can be seen rocking stages all over the world. The 6505 Plus’s raw tone is provided by four 6L6GC power tubes and six 12AX7 preamp tubes. Two distinct channels with footswitch control and separate pre and post gain preamp controls on each channel allow you to adapt your tone to whatever the song requires. This is the ultimate gigging musician’s amp. More Peavey Amps.
2. Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb Guitar Combo Amplifier Crank this amp up for rock, country, blues and more! The Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb Guitar Combo is the sound heard on many famous recordings from Memphis to Abby Road. Features include dual 6V6 power tubes with one 5AR4 rectifier tube, four 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 12AT7 tubes for an insane amount of tonal warmth. Two channels and a tube-driven Fender reverb along with a vibrato which can be controlled via a two-button footswitch. More Fender Guitar Amps.
3. Fender G DEC 3 Thirty Fender G DEC 3 Thirty Digital Guitar Combo Amplifier Fender has left no stone unturned to bring you the ultimate practice space in a compact 30 watt combo amp. Practice and record with a G DEC 3 that features digital amp and effects models for every playing style, 100 presets with many created by the world’s top artists and session aces, and a huge collection of music to practice and play over. Connect this amp to your computer via USB for even more control over your tone with the included Fender FUSE software. More Fender Guitar Amps.
4. Orange TH100 Orange TH100 Twin Channel Guitar Amplifier Head The incredibly versatile Orange TH100 guitar head dials in everything from blues to country, classic rock to nu-rock, and finishes off by dialing the shape knob to 10 for the perfect metal tone. The Orange TH100 twin channel guitar amplifier head is the highest wattage, highest gain and cleanest amp Orange has ever made! More Orange Amps.
5. Line 6 Spider IV 75 Line 6 Spider IV 75 Guitar Combo Amplifier All the effects and amp models you've only dreamed of, until now! 75 watts of power, compact 1x12 inch enclosure, the Spider IV 75 from Line 6 pulls out all the stops providing modeling that redefines the spectrum of sonic possibilities you expect from modeling amplifiers. Applying all the features that made Spider III the best 1-selling guitar amp line in the country, Spider IV 75 offers 500+ presets, modern and vintage amp tones and their revolutionary and adjustable Smart FX. Browse through an incredible collection of classic and revered guitar tones at the turn of a dial. Cranked through the 12-inch Celestion custom speaker and you have the stuff that dreams are made of. More Line 6 Combo Amps.
6. Marshall MG100HCFX & MG412ACF Marshall MG100HCFX Head and MG412ACF Cab Half Stack Combining the ultra-sleek Marshall MG100HCFX Guitar Amplifier Head and the powerful Marshall MG412CF 4x12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet, this half stack delivers a new look and feel along with the massive tone you would expect from a genuine Marshall Stack. The brand new MG Series amplifiers deliver essential digital features, but with vastly superior and programmable analogue tone at its heart. All this and wrapped in a new carbon fiber vinyl look giving you an impressive stage presence. More Marshall Stacks.
7. Vox AC15C1 Vox AC15C1 Custom Guitar Combo Amplifier The Vox AC15C1 Custom guitar combo amp offers maximum tonal dexterity to countless guitar players around the world. Featuring a single 12 inch Celestion G12M Greenback speaker that is driven by 15 watts of power, two channels including top-boost, and highly interactive tone controls, the AC15C1 Custom delivers that Vox tone that has been around for over 50 years. More Vox Combo Amps.
8. Line 6 DT25 Line 6 DT25 Guitar Amplifier Stack with 1x12 inch Extension Cabinet The Line 6 DT25 Guitar Amplifier Stack delivers portable tube amplification with four stunning, lust-worthy amp voicing’s and unprecedented versatility due in part to tube-amplifier guru Reinhold Bogner. The powerful combination of reconfigurable analog components and HD modeling allows the DT25 amplifier to be four boutique tube amps in one. The Line 6 DT25 Guitar Amplifier Stack is capable of producing spectacular American cleans, British crunch, Class A chime and modern high-gain with a switchable 10/25 watts of power thru a 12 inch Line 6 extension cab. More Line 6 Stacks.
9. Laney IRT120H Laney IRT120H Ironheart Guitar Amplifier Head The 6L6 and ECC83 driven Laney IRT120H Ironheart Guitar Amplifier Head produces 120 watts of huge gain-driven tone that hits you hard between the eyes! Play through the IRT120H Ironheart head and you’ll soon discover that it’s much more than just a killer metal amp. This amazing amp offers features that allow you to tackle virtually any style. More Laney Products.
10. Fishman Loudbox Fishman Loudbox Artist Acoustic Guitar Amplifier The Fishman Loudbox Artist Acoustic Guitar Amplifier is an evolution in acoustic amplifiers. 120 watts of ultra-clean, bi-amplified acoustic power gives the Loudbox Artist a great clear sound with plenty of headroom. Two versatile input channels featuring Fishman's legendary tone and feedback-fighting controls, plus a dual effects section make the Loudbox Artist the ultimate portable acoustic instrument amplifier for the seriously active musician. More Fishman Products.

Older Top 10 Amplifiers Reviewed

#1 Marshall JCM-900 Series

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Marshall are one of the best amp brands and this amp is both very versatile and powerful. Channel A can get super clean. It stays clean with the gain up to 4-5 (Gain goes to 10 on CH. A), as loud as you want. I know Marshall's claim to fame is their distortion, but the clean sound on this amp is very full, shimmering, and beautiful. As the gain increases, it gets into "classic" Marshall overdrive. This is a great amp for rock/hard rock. If you want to get a big distorted sound, though, you need to pair it with a closed-back Marshall speaker cab.

#2 Peavey 5150

This is an all tube 2x12 sealed back 60 watt 2 channel combo. Everything you need for playing metal to hard rock to funk to blues and jazz. This amp really wails at any volume for any rock guitarist. If you play hard rock and roll and it suits you perfect. On just about any setting the amp is very very noisy. An honorable mention also goes to the Peavey Classic 30/112

#3 Trace Elliot Super Tramp

This amp is amazing, People have told me that there is absolutely nothing they hate about them. I had one guy say "can't think of anything else in that I need in a combo amp, This thing pretty much does it all". If you're shopping for combo amps, don't discount this thing just because there are no tubes. You may be surprised.

#4 Fender Twin 100W Tube Combo

Fender are one of the top brands. Both channels feature low-mid-high controls with push-pull pots for boosting a particular range of frequencies. The overdriven channel also features a presence/notch control. The overdrive channel is nice and crunchy without any noticeable harshness.

#5 Peavey Classic 50

This amp has an impressive clean sound -round, warm, motherly, well-defined and very articulate. I play an EC strat which produces really glassy tones. As the volume winds up the sound remains clean, with crunch becoming apparent at the extremes. This is a loud amp by the way. The overdrive channel is not modern mega-high gain, but more your smooth driving sound.

#6 Mesa DC-5

Versatile but you must tweek. Dont fall into the stock amp mentality, use low bass settings and send it up with EQ. 2 channels one boost, Really, you can use the clean setting and pull boost for blues and rock. the overdriven channel is good for heavy modern rock (Bush,..etc)

#7 Fender Vibrolux Reverb 2x10 40w

Most people buy this amp because it is all valve, it's light weight, and has two independant channels. Alot of people think this amp just sings. It has plenty of clean headroom but will go into some smooth sounding overdrive if cranked. This thing is perfect for any musical style I can think of except hard rock/metal type stuff.

#8 Mesa Boogie Heartbreaker

Very expensive! Great amp, the cleans sounds are shiny, and the overdrives are great two. You can get a Marshall sound or a Fender sound with the flick of a switch. The 6l6's that come with it have a ton of bottom end and the crunch is very thick and smooth. It's not harsh or irratating like some Marshall's can be. No complaints other then the price!

#9 Fender Blues Deville

The Blues Deville is all tube & 60 watts. Very loud. It has 2 channels, clean & overdrive. They are both really nice but the overdrive has very little distortion. Both channels share controls for EQ. It's got pretty good reverb. (but gets a little strong) It has presence, and a bright switch. Its tweed w/ chicken head knobs that go up to 12. This is a very bluesy amp.

#10 Peavey Bandit 112

Seems to be the choice for entry-level players, almost everyone found this amp to be very noisy, both reverb and distortion. I had one last year, the reverb would always short out. The distortion is fine for that metal shred stuff, wouldn't want to do any recording with this amp. Since it's an affordable amp with a decent amount of power it made it into the Top 10. Don't expect ANY tube sounds from it.

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