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Best acoustic guitar amplifier under 500 - Top 15 Products

Guitar amps in the under $500 price range are just about the most popular on the market. Amateur enthusiasts and seasoned musos with a modest budget can afford them, and you’ll be amazed and delighted at the power and extra features you can get for your money that you just can’t find in amps in the lower budget sector.


Why you should spend $500 on an amp

One important question that many folk ask when considering buying an amp in the under $500 range is, why not save your cash and wait until you’ve got $1000 to spend on one? This is a good question! After all, when it comes to buying any guitar-related piece of gear, it’s best to buy the very best you can afford, right? Well, in the world of amps, this is not necessarily the case.

There are actually two good reasons why buying a guitar amp for under $500 might be a better choice for you than scrimping and scraping to save up $1000. First of all, your financial circumstances might mean that you have to wait forever to save that much money, leaving you frustrated and amp-less for far too long.

Secondly, today’s technological advancements mean that most amps in the under $500 price bracket will give most musos everything they need for home practice, recording, and local gigging. A $500 guitar amp is the happy medium, whereas a $1000 one might just be overkill and an unnecessary expense that you can’t really afford.


Comparison Table

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1
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    9.6
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  • Brand
    Fender
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2
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    9.4
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    Positive Grid
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3
  • SCORE
    9.4
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    Fishman
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4
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    9.4
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    Positive Grid
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5
  • SCORE
    9.2
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  • Brand
    Fender
6
  • SCORE
    9.2
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  • Brand
    Fender
7
  • SCORE
    9.2
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  • Brand
    Fender
8
  • SCORE
    10.0
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  • Brand
    Coolmusic
9
  • SCORE
    8.8
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  • Brand
    Vangoa
10
  • SCORE
    8.6
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  • Brand
    ToneWoodAmp

Last update on 2022-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

4.8
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Buying guide

It doesn't matter if you're on a tight budget if you're looking for a tube, modeling, or wireless-capable amp. In order for you to make an informed decision when it comes time to buy a new guitar amp, this buying guide will help you better understand the terms we've previously discussed. To be on the safe side, resist the urge to buy the first amplifier you see! Despite the fact that it may feel like a perfect match, it's best to do your research and explore all of your options before making a final decision.

Tube vs Solid State

To begin, deciding between a tube (also known as valve) amp and a solid state (also known as digital) amp is a significant one. Tube amps are preferred by more experienced players due to their rich, vintage sound, while solid-state amps are preferred by hobbyists due to their portability, tonal variety, ease of use, and low cost. The differences between the two will be discussed in greater detail below.

The difference between tube and solid state amplifiers is that tube amps use vacuum tubes to amplify the guitar signal, whereas solid state amplifiers use electronics to amplify the guitar signal. When compared to solid-state amps, vacuum tube amps have that classic sound, while solid-state amps offer a whole new world of digital possibilities, including the ability to "model" other classic amps as well as multi-instrument modeling.

Although solid state amps can imitate the sound of a tube amp, many guitarists believe that they can never match the original tube tone, which is described as "warm" and "fat" in the music industry.

Solid State Amps

Until recently, there wasn't much of a difference between an average solid-state amp and a great one, but now there are so many exciting features on solid-state amps, from editing presets with apps to multi-instrument modeling and much more. A solid-state amp has a lot more room for growth and improvement, which makes it an excellent choice for a wide range of musical genres.

Solid-state amps are also more durable than tube amps, which require more frequent replacements and are more prone to breakage; with solid-state amps, you don't have to worry about maintenance for years or decades.

Tube Amps

Your favorite musicians probably use tube amplifiers because of their rich, warm tones. Additionally, they're excellent at picking up on the tiniest details of how you play. When it comes to boosting and saturating your sound, a tube is an excellent choice.

For many guitarists, having complete control over the sound is a necessity for creating a distinctive style of playing.

Modeling Amps

You can clone the sound of other amplifiers and instruments with modeling, a cutting-edge solid state amp technology. Even with the most basic, light, and inexpensive amplifiers, you'll be able to get nearly any sound or effect you desire (or create it yourself). It's easy to go from clean to dirty, vintage to modern, and a wide variety of famous amps all in one package with modeling amps, which allows you to easily switch between music styles. This is an easy way to broaden your sonic horizons as a musician, even if you're not a die-hard fan of tube tones.

Power and Speaker Size

Before purchasing an amp, it is important to consider the amp's power rating and the speaker's volume. Is your primary form of performance rehearsing in a large or small concert hall? It is more common for people to use practice amps that have low power output (10-30w) and small speakers (8"-10"). While there are some small, lightweight tube amplifiers out there, they are more rare. Rehearsing and playing in a small venue is best served by tube or modeling-combo amps, with power ratings of around 50w and speakers of around 12" so that your sound can still be heard above other instruments. As a rule of thumb, look for amps with at least 100W of power. To get the best sound, you can use a pair of 12-inch speaker systems with twin speakers or combo amps.

Extra Options

Reverb

While spring reverbs sound more natural, digital reverbs are also common.

Effects loops

Allows you to use stomp boxes or rack units without amplifying any effect noise.

Preamp channel switching: switching between clean and distorted channels in the preamp.. A footswitch for remotely changing tones may be included in digital amplifiers, or you may be able to purchase one separately.

Built-in effects

Many amps have built-in effects, such as tremolo, wah, and chorus, which can give you the sound of a slew of different guitarists all playing in time with each other, all of which are great for getting that surf guitar sound.

Modeling amplifiers often have a wide range of digital effects pre-installed, some of which can be customized and even shared online.