Best Guitar Amp Under $500

We will show you how far $500 can take you with our selection of the best guitar amps in this price range - updated for 2014.

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This page is sponsored by Sweetwater so you can click through to get the full specifications, the latest price, and purchase any of the Amps that we here at GuitarSite.com have selected below.

No need to go above your budget, these sub $500 amplifiers offer sound, functionality and looks that can rival more expensive amps. As a bonus, we've included video demonstrations of each amp so you can see and hear for yourself how they sound and perform.

Vox AC15VR

Vox AC15VR

If you ever wanted the tones of a Vox AC15 or AC30, but found they are out of your price range, then the next best thing is the AC15VR. The VR stands for Valve Reactor - this is the technology Vox also use in their effects pedals to deliver something close to the valve sounds of the original AC series of tube amps by using a 12AX7 tube in the preamp going into a solid state power amp. It produces 15 watts of power and comes with the same 12" Celestion custom speaker that the original AC series use. For less than $400 this is a bargain!

Vox AC15VR Video Demo:

Further details and the latest price are available at
Sweetwater: Vox AC15VR

There's also a 30 watt version with 2 x 12" speakers for a little over $500 Get the details at Sweetwater.

Bugera V55 Tube Amp

Bugera V55

No modeling here - this 55 watt combo amp from Bugera is all tube featuring three 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 6L6 power tubes. It's surprisingly versatile for the price with two foot-switchable channels, switchable triode/pentode mode for halving the power while retaining the tone, and you can easily plug in additional cabinets rated at 4, 8, or 16 ohms. It has a clean warm tone but it can also deliver good old tube crunch and distortion while retaining its warmth. It sports a vintage series speaker with a open back cabinet which really helps it deliver classic tube tones. You won't find better value for a classic tube vibe than this.

Bugera V55 Demo - NB the price in the video is for Australia - it's much cheaper in America:

Further details and the latest price are available at
Sweetwater: Bugera V55

Fender Champion 100

Fender Champion 100

The Champion Series of amplifiers is Fender's is among their latest models, with the Champion 100 being the loudest and flagship model. This workhorse amp also has the looks, sporting a classic Fender exterior design that cleverly hides all the modern modeling and effects circuitry inside. The amp voicings and effects are limited to traditional ones, which reduces setup time and complexity while matching the retro look of the amp with classic sounds. For just under $300, you get more than what you can get from other brands - a two-channel 100 Watt amplifier combo with two 12" speakers, multiple amp voicings and useful effects.

Fender Champion 100 Video Demo:

Further details and the latest price are available at
Sweetwater: Fender Champion 100

Line 6 AMPLIFi 150

Line 6 Spider IV 150

The Line 6 AMPLIFi 150 is a new comer that will soon be besting the other amps in this price range. It is expected to replace Line 6's top selling amp line in the US, with amazing features such as Bluetooth connectivity, wireless iOS control and improved sound thanks to its full range 5-speaker stereo system. You are basically getting a guitar amp and a Bluetooth multimedia speaker system for the price of one! If that is not enough, know that you can manipulate over 200 amps and effects to create your virtual rig via the amp's interface or in the comfort of your iPad or iPhone - and you can share your settings online or utilize someone else's settings including those of artists. Your $500 is well spent if you pick the new Line 6 AMPLIFi 150.

Line 6 AMPLIFi 150 Video Demo:

Further details and the latest price are available at
Sweetwater: Line 6 AMPLIFi 150

Orange Crush CR60C

Orange Crush CR60C

If you're an Orange fan, not only are you part of a growing community, but you'll also be happy to learn that they now have a sub $500 60 watt combo amp which gets as near as you can to the classic orange valve amp sound without the tubes. This is a straight up amp - no modeling - and the whole signal path is analog with the exception of digital reverb. Guitarists who have talked about seeing it at Musikmesse in 2013 are saying it's definitely worthy of Orange. It has a 2 gain clean channel as well as a 4 gain dirty channel for distortion and overdrive, and it also has a built in effects loop.

Orange Crush CR60C Video Demo:

Further details and the latest price are available at
Sweetwater: Orange Crush CR60C

Blackstar HT-5R

Blackstar HT Series HT-5R

Blackstar amplification has gained popularity especially among high gain enthusiasts. And rightfully so as their amps are built to give off awesome high gain tones that many metal and rock fans adore. The smaller 5 Watt HT-5R combo amp is designed for practicing and recording. It has two channels powered by an ECC83 preamp tube and a 12BH7 power tube and features the same preamp used in the popular Blackstar HT Pedal series. The clean channel is nice, but it shows its true black color in the gain channel where you can get various tones by adjusting the gain.

Blackstar HT-5R Video Demo:

Further details and the latest price are available at
Sweetwater: Blackstar HT-5R

If there is another sub $500 amp that you feel deserves to be included in this roundup then please let us know in the comments below.

Related Items:

guitar amplifiers See what we named as the best Practice Amp
 

electric guitars Check out this collection of guitars under $500 which our team here are GuitarSite.com have rated as the best.
 

guitar headphone amplifiers See our Guitar Headphone Amp Report - they come with effects and plug directly into your headphones.
 

tube amp Come and see our roundup of affordable Tube Amps.
 

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Great list!

Was just looking around for reviews for amps on the cheaper side and stumbled across this. Great collection and info on here. Keep up the good work!

Thank you AJPJR - we

Thank you AJPJR - we appreciate your encouragement and we're glad you found this article useful!

Useful Article

Thank for the useful article, this really useful for newbie like me, i also looking for guitar amp reviews.

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