best beginner electric guitar amp

We’ve rounded up some of the best Beginner Electric Guitar Amp that will last a lifetime and won’t need to be upgraded for many years – if at all! These starter guitar amps range from the small size practice or desktop amplifiers to the larger gig ready options that will accompany you on your guitar journey from beginner to gigging musician. These offerings from the likes of Fender, Orange and more prove that a beginner amp can actually sound great, will last a lifetime and when you choose the right option of the best beginner guitar amp 2020, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Best Beginner Electric Guitar Amp

Here’s our top picks in price ascending order.

1.Laney Mini-SuperG 3w Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier

Laney Mini-ST-SuperG 2 x 3w Battery Operated Guitar Amplifier

The Laney Mini SuperG 3w Battery Powered Guitar Amp has featured heavily throughout our best amplifier lists this year, and with good reason. This desktop amplifier, or mini amp as it’s otherwise known is a powerhouse of tone and packed full of great features.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

You have both a Clean and Drive channel that you can flick between at the push of a button and there’s also controls for Gain, Tone and Volume so it’s easy to try out a variety of sounds. It’s loud enough for practicing guitar at home or in class thanks to the 2 x 3-watt speakers and somehow the team at Laney have managed to cram that classic Laney amplification sound into a very portable amplifier powered by 6 x AA batteries or 9v DC adaptor (sold separately).

Finally, one of the main reasons we feel this one of the best beginner amps is because of the Laney Smart Insert (LSI) which allows you to plug directly into your smartphone and connect with the Tonebridge app which then gives you access to literally thousands of classic guitar sounds – perfect for guitarists finding their feet.

2. VOX AC2 RhythmVox Mini Guitar Amplifier

VOX AC2 RhythmVox Mini Guitar Amplifier

Next up we have the VOX AC2 RhythmVox Mini Guitar Amplifier which is used by guitartists everywhere who want that classic VOX sound, but don’t necessarily have the room for a full-sized VOX AC30 or VOX AC15 at home.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

The Vox AC2 features 2 watts of power, so it’s not going to blast your windows out whilst you’re noodling away and honing your skills. However, it’s still loud enough so you can rock out and jam along to your favourite tracks or create your own music. Finally, it’s very budget friendly so it makes a great start guitar amplifier.

3. Blackstar LT ECHO 15 Combo Amplifier

Blackstar LT ECHO 10 Combo Guitar Amplifier

The Blackstar LT Echo 15 Combo Amplifier is actually one of our favourite amplifiers here at PMT as it partners 2 x 3” speakers producing true Blackstar tones with Emulated Line Out for silent practice or recording. This means you can rock out loudly when nobody is around or practice quietly without annoying your flatmates. This is perfect for beginners as it means the amp responds more accurately to your playing thus encouraging better technique.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

This Blackstar Amp actually performs at a level of a far more expensive amplifier and features specifically voiced Blackstar speakers which are crisp and clear. There’s a 3.5mm headphone output jack so you can plug your headphones straight in and jam along in silence. This is a perfect feature that beginners will appreciate and a must-have for beginner amps as it stops you feeling self-conscious if you’re just starting out in the world of guitars.

best beginner guitar amp 2020

4. BOSS Katana-Mini Guitar Amplifier

BOSS Katana-Mini Guitar Amplifier

The Boss Katana-Mini guitar amplifier is not only one of the best beginner amps but one of the best amplifiers of 2018, packing all the lush tonality of the Katana series into a highly portable guitar amp. This may be small, but this thing is LOUD!

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

The BOSS Katana mini runs on six AA-size batteries or optional AC adaptor so it’s entirely portable and perfect for taking to practice sessions with a guitar teacher or just moving around the home for when creativity strikes. There’re three versatile amp sounds built in; Brown, Crunch and Clean so you can get to grips with a bunch of different sounds. There’s also a headphones output and Aux input for jamming along to tracks. However, the main reason we’ve included this as one of the best beginner amps is the fact it provides immense tone in such a small package. This high-quality tone will encourage players to keep practising, as it sounds amazing even at low volumes and quite frankly there’s nothing worse than bad tone!

5. Orange Crush 12 Solid State 12W 1X6 Combo

Orange Crush 20 Solid State 20W Combo

This next amplifier is definitely one of the best beginner amplifiers if you or your loved one learning guitar appreciates a wide variety of different musical genres and wants something a little louder for their first band.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

We think the Orange Crush 12 Solid State 12W 1X6 Combo is a perfect starter guitar amp as it’s packed with two very distinct sounds, making it perfect for a wide variety of genres.

This is a great amp for beginner guitarists as the headphone/line output includes the Orange CabSim feature. This basically mimics the sound of a mic’d Orange cabinet loaded with flagship Voice of the World speakers and encourages a better playing experience when you have your headphones plugged in.

A perfect beginner amp that you’ll hand down to your grand kids!

6. Blackstar ID:CORE 10 V2 Stereo Digital Combo Amp, Cream

Blackstar ID:CORE 10 V2 Stereo Digital Combo Amp, Blonde

Another amp designed for experienced players but priced for beginners is the Blackstar ID:CORE 10 V2 Stereo Digital Combo Amp in a limited edition cream finish. This is a 10-watt amplifier with 2 x 3” speakers a load of effects and a selection of premium amp models for versatility.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

We think this qualifies as one of the best beginner amps because you have 6 channels of amazing sounds including Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD 1 and OD 2 – which is perfect if you want a good all-rounded amplifier that can handle plenty of different genres. It’s ultra-compact, so it won’t break your back when you’re going to lessons or moving it around, it’s packed with 12 stereo effects and there’s a headphones input so you can practice in silence too!

7. Eastcoast G10R Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

Eastcoast G10R Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

The Eastcoast G10R Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb is perfect for beginners, intermediate players and professionals alike who need a great sounding practice amp that provides a variety of tonal options and won’t break your back when you’re moving it from room to room or carting it backstage.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

The Eastcoast G10R Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb is, you guessed it, a 10 watt practice amp packed with a reverb ceffect. It’s also one of the cheapest amplifiers in this list too! You have 10 watts of power at your disposal, so it’s quiet enough for around the home, but can easily be cranked for when you’re jamming along with other guitarists or when you’re starting your first band. There’s a Boost switch, so you can enjoy crystal clear tones as well as hard and heavy dirt rock tones, making it ideal for players of all genres. It’s got a headphones output, so you can practice in silence should you wish, free from distractions which encourages a better playing experience overall.

8. Fender Champion 50XL Digital Combo Amplifier Black

Fender Champion 50XL Digital Combo Amplifier Black

We’re getting louder with this one as the Fender Champion 50XL Digital Combo Amplifier Black has 50 watts of power – more than enough power to keep up with a drummer and one of the best beginner guitar amps that you’ll still be able to use as a professional guitarist.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

Aside from the fact it’s got 50 watts of power and is extremely affordable, you have 21 very different, classic amp models to choose from as well as quality effects built-in. This is like taking a full studio’s worth of gear with you everywhere – perfect for trying out a variety of different sounds and genres of music.

9. Yamaha THR5A Acoustic Guitar Amplifier Combo

Yamaha THR5A Acoustic Guitar Amplifier Combo

Since it was released, the Yamaha THR series of amplifiers have quickly become some of the most popular amplifiers on the market thanks to their immense sound and budget-friendly price tag. Yet again, this is an amp used by professionals that beginners can afford – and is perfect for the home.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

The modest price tag aside, there’s some really great features packed into the Yamaha THR5A. There are 5 selectable amp characters such as compressor, chorus, delay, reverb plus, using the free-to-download THR Editor software: noise gate, flanger, phaser, tremolo, & more.

10. Fender Champion 100 Guitar Amplifier Combo

Fender Champion 100 Guitar Amplifier Combo

When you don’t want to upgrade your amplifier for a very long time and want enough power to take your amp on to the stages of the world (and not look silly doing it) the Fender Champion 100 Guitar Amplifier Combo is a perfect option. Yes, it’s a great starter guitar amplifier, but it wouldn’t look out of place on stage at Glastonbury either!

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

You have 100 watts of power at your disposal straight out of the box with the Fender Champion 100 – more than you’re likely to ever need. It’s what’s known as a solid-state amplifier, so you get the same sound, whether you choose clean or distortion at lower volumes, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone because the amp doesn’t need to be cranked to get the best sound! There’s Reverb, Delay, Echo, Chorus, Tremolo and many more digital effects built in as well as a range of different amp voices including British Rock, American Blues and many more.

11. Blackstar HT-1R MKII 1W Valve Combo Guitar Amp

Next up we have the Blackstar HT-1R MKII 1W Valve Combo Guitar Amp which has been designed for the gigging and studio musician but priced at a level that beginner players can afford.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

This 1-watt combo amplifier is portable and robust but will make quite the racket when you want it to. We think it’s one of the best beginner guitar amps as you get a quality Blackstar sound at all volumes, whether you’re playing low at home or busting out the big riffs at band practice. This amp ensures you get a quality sound at all times, which makes all the difference when you’re just starting out. I

If your amp sounds terrible, you’ll think it’s your playing and you might not stick at it – which is definitely not what we want! Thankfully, the HT-1R MKII sounds quality all the time. In addition, you have channel options to cover a wide range of sounds and a headphones out so you can practice without disturbing anyone.

12. Line 6 Spider V60 MKII Guitar Combo Amp

Line 6 Spider V60 MKII Guitar Combo Amp

The Line 6 Spider V60 MKII Guitar Combo Amp is an amazing starter guitar amp that includes a world of different sounds to suit players of all genres.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

We think the Line 6 Spider V60 MKII Guitar Combo Amp is one of the best beginner guitar amplifiers as it’s a 60-watt amplifier priced at a level we can all afford. There’s 200+ amps, cabs, and effects so a new guitarist can try out a bunch of different genres and sounds.

You also get a tuner, metronome, jam-along drum loops, and 60-second looper built-in, so you can essentially create a full band jam in your bedroom.

This is perfect for the beginner guitarists out there who want to dip into a range of genres and eventually take their sound to the stages of the world.

13. Vox VT20X Guitar Amplifier Combo Bundle with VFS5 Footswitch

When you want that tube amp sound, but you don’t want to spend tube amp money, or break your back carrying one to practice all the time the Vox VT20X Guitar Amplifier Combo Bundle with VFS5 Footswitch is ideal. This amp effectively partners tube amp response with solid-state reliability. If you’re seeking one of these amps then get in touch with the team at PMT to place an order.

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

The main reason we think this is one of the best beginner guitar amps, is due to the fact you get a hard-working amplifier that provides that classic VOX sound, with all the relevant tonal controls at a fraction of the cost. The team at VOX have somehow condensed the classic sound of their classic VOX tube amps into a more affordable amplifier that still gives you the response of a valve amp but doesn’t need to “warm up” when you switch it on, and doesn’t suffer from the unreliability that can sometimes come hand in hand with a tube amp. If you want a beginner guitar amplifier that is gig-ready when you need it, provides a professional level sound and offers up the classic British sound without breaking the bank, this is the one you need.

You have 11 realistic amp models built-in, ranging from the Classic VOX amp sounds to other widely used amps. You also have 13 high-quality on-board effects and 33 preset programs modelled on the sounds of some of the worlds most famous artists.

14. Vox AC4C1-12 Mini Combo Valve Amp

vox-ac4c1-12-mini-combo-amp-1

Ok, we’re pushing the boat out a bit here as the Vox AC4C1-12 Mini Combo Valve Ampisn’t exactly cheap, but it’s totally worth it, so stay with us…

What makes it one of the best beginner guitar amps?

We think the Vox AC4C1-12 Mini Combo Valve Amp is one of the best beginner guitar amps as it has a 4 watts which still give you the fantastic AC30 Top-Boost even at low volumes.

Common Mistakes When Buying Your First Guitar

Often people get inspired to play guitar and jump straight to purchasing something that might not suit them. Here are seven common mistakes people make when buying their first guitar:

Mistake #1. Getting the wrong sound – Classical, Acoustic or Electric?

You have 3 basic choices of sound when you buy a guitar:

  • Nylon String Classical
  • Steel String Acoustic
  • Electric

A lot of people believe that the best choice is to start on an Acoustic Guitar and build up to an Electric Guitar. However, I think that your first guitar should be appropriate to the style of music you enjoy listening to.

If you like AC/DC, Green Day, or say the Foo Fighters, you really need an Electric Guitar to get the sound you want. If you like Jack Johnson, Ben Harper or Taylor Swift, an Acoustic Guitar could be a good choice. Nylon String Guitars sound great for flamenco music, classical music and a lot of traditional music.

Having said this, if it’s for a child under 12 we normally do recommend a nylon string as it’s easier for them to press the strings down. Some children can have tougher hands than others, so if you have a rough and tumble child, they mght be able to handle steel strings earlier than usual. Check out our buying guide for Choosing a Guitar for a Child for more information.

If you’re not sure what type of guitar is best for you, then just think of the music that you like to listen to the most, and call or email us. We will give you a personalized recommendation.

Mistake #2. Getting the wrong size

This is something that a lot of people get wrong. Electric Guitars are much smaller than Steel-String Acoustic Guitars and Nylon String Classical Guitars, they can basically be used by most people, but you do need to consider the extra weight. An Electric Guitar can weigh 5-6 Kg which can be difficult for children to handle. We would normally recommend children be at least 13 years before they try an Electric Guitar, but this is a generalisation and some children (sometimes as young as 10) have been ok. Every child is different, and some children may be capable at a younger age, so if you consider your child to be quite strong for their age, then by all means go for an electric. We carry a broad range of sizes in our entry level range. The correct size is most accurately determined by the player’s heightage and in some cases gender. If you can tell us these three details we can give you a personal recommendation.

Electric Guitar:

  • Smaller in size than acoustic or classical
  • Good for rock, metal, pop and country music
  • Has steel strings which can be hard on young fingers
  • Can be heavy, depending on the model.
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
5 – 1280 – 125 1/2 Size – See MiniS
12+125 +Full Size – See STH

SHOP BEGINNER ELECTRIC GUITARS

Acoustic Guitar:

  • Good for folk, pop, country, slow rock music
  • Has steel strings which can be hard on young fingers
  • Sounds bright and loud, great for strumming chords 
  • Light weight but bulky
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
5 – 12100 – 120 3/4 Size – See LSP34
12 – 15 120 – 165 Small Body – See LSPS
15+165 +Full Size – See LSP

SHOP BEGINNER ACOUSTIC GUITARS

Classical Guitar (Nylon String Guitar):

  • Good for classical, flamenco, Spanish music.
  • Available in the smallest size – 1/4 size.
  • Gentle on finger tips – perfect for young children
  • Sounds mellow and soft – not as loud as acoustic
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
2 – 575 – 100 1/4 Size – See CL14
5 – 8 100 – 125 1/2 Size – See CL12
8 – 12125 – 1653/4 Size – See CL34
12+165 +Full Size – See CL44*

* A full size classical guitar has a wider neck than other guitars. If you have small hands we recommend the CL44S slim neck classical guitar.

SHOP BEGINNER CLASSICAL GUITARS

Mistake #3: Buying a guitar with strings that are too high and hard to play

String action is one of the critical things for getting an easy to play guitar. The easiest way to understand action is that it’s just the measurement of the gap from the bottom of the string, to the top of the fret and it’s measured at the 12th fret (the half way pint of the string).

For a beginner we recommend an action of:

  • Electric Guitars 2-2.3mm
  • Acoustic Guitars 2-2.7mm
  • Nylon String Guitars 3-3.6mm

A common issue with most entry level nylon string guitars is that the necks are usually made in a very traditional manner using a section of metal bar a few mm thick to keep the neck straight (you can’t see this bar it is built into the neck).

We started finding that this type of construction leads to the neck bending (or bowing) after about 6 months. Unfortunately with the traditional method there is not an easy way to adjust it back to normal – once it is bent it’s time to get a new guitar! This lead us to re design our classical guitars to use a truss rod. A truss rod is a much stronger example of the bar used in traditional manufacturing, but its main advantage is that it is adjustable. So if in the future you neck begins to bend it can easily be adjusted back into correct shape. Here’s our guide to adjusting your truss rod.

Mistake #4: Getting stuck with bad machine heads guitar that don’t stay in tune

Here is an example of a basic covered machine head:

These are made out of gears and pressed metal, it used to be the only way to make machine heads (so a lot of vintage guitars use this type). While it can look cool and retro, these vintage style tuners are often very hard to tune and to keep in tune.
Now there is a modern way to get a much better guitar – the die-cast machine head:


Made from a mould these machine heads are much smoother and more accurate than a covered machine head.

Mistake #5: Choosing a popular brand name because you think you’re getting a superior product

Most popular brand name guitars are indeed very good quality at the higher levels but their entry level guitars, in our experience, are not such a great deal.

In the entry-level market, brand-name guitar companies are usually forced to make their guitars with cheaper materials. There is a simple reason for this. Most major brand-name companies have a brand owner (sometimes an American company). That company buys from a factory in China, and in Australia they will have a distributor who will sell to a retailer (your local music store). It’s pretty easy to see why they can be forced to use cheaper materials. There is a lot of price pressure to get a guitar manufactured at a low enough price for everybody to take their cut of the profit down the chain.

At Artist Guitars we manufacture our Australian designed guitars at our trusted factory in China and sell direct to you. There is no need for us to choose inferior components because we don’t have the pressure of keeping the costs low.
 

Mistake #6: Buying a guitar without any support materials

When most people buy their first guitar they can be a little confused about what to do. A guitar can be a confusing purchase and most guitars don’t even come with a manual explaining how to use them. That becomes a problem because most people then have to search for the information (which
can be hard to find).
Unfortunately it’s during this critical time that a lot of people get discouraged and may even give up on playing altogether. The first 6 months of learning guitar are critical, statistics show that if someone can still be playing at 6 months they will be much more likely to go on to play guitar for life, so the first 6 months are actually the most important time.

Mistake #7: Paying for features you just don’t need

At the beginner level, you need a good quality instrument, but having a more expensive instrument generally doesn’t make your playing any easier. Higher level instruments are designed for high-level players who want the ultimate in sound.

As a beginner most people are not very sure of the sound, style or type of guitar that they would ultimately like to play, but after playing for 6 months or so I’m sure you will know a lot more about guitars and when it comes time to choose your next guitar it will be an easy choice. The key features a beginner needs is a guitar that is well set-up and easy to play, but you don’t really need to spend too much money on getting a better quality of sound. Higher level guitars will only sound better when your playing has progressed to the level that you can play quite well.
Most beginners find that during the process of learning (after a year or so) you will figure out your own sound. You will naturally be drawn to music that features guitar in it, and great guitar parts. So what usually happens is that your own musical tastes will change and with this change the type of instrument that suits your sound the best will also change. So when you’re ready to take the next step, you will have a much better idea of what you really want.


So in summary…

The 7 key mistakes when buying a beginner guitar are :

  1. Getting the wrong sound
  2. Getting the wrong size
  3. Buying a guitar with strings that are too high and hard to play
  4. Getting stuck with bad machine heads guitar that don’t stay in tune
  5. Buying a brand name and thinking you will be getting a better guitar.
  6. Buying a guitar without any support materials
  7. Paying for features you just don’t need

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