Best Guitar Amps 2024: 14 Supreme Tube And Solid-State Amps For Home, Studio And Stage

A Fender Twin Reverb amp on a wooden floor
(Image credit: Future)

Choosing the best guitar amp is not a decision to be taken lightly. More than any of the other parts of your signal chain, the sound of your amplifier will define your overall tone. Of course, there are plenty of other factors such as your pickups, and of course, the age-old adage of the tone being “in your fingers”. But where do all of these components end up? Coming out of the speakers of your amplifier of course.

You might not be happy with your current rig, or perhaps you're considering your very first amplifier. Whichever it is, we’ve trawled through all the options available on the market today to give you the low down on the best guitar amps available today. 

From all-powerful tube amps that will bring the house down at your next show, to home-friendly practice amps that won’t cause any noise complaints, and everything in between. We’ve lined them up in price order to make things easier, starting with budget and ending in the most boutique offerings.

Best guitar amps: Guitar Player picks

For players looking to get their first amp, it’s hard to find a better choice than Positive Grid’s super-popular Spark. With its intuitive practice features and pretty much any guitar tone you could ever want at your fingertips, it’s the perfect place to start your guitar journey.

For those who want tube amp tone without annoying the neighbors, the Orange Rocker 15 delivers a serious rock’n’roll guitar tone with a handy attenuation switch to dial things back when you need to. Volume not an issue? Then you can’t go wrong with one of the guitar amp gold standards in the Vox AC30, ideal for the gigging musician who wants to cut through the mix.

Lastly, if price is no problem and you want the very best in boutique guitar tone, the Tone King Imperial MKII is a hand-built guitar amp of the highest quality. Delivering those highly sought-after Tweed-era tones, it also has some modern twists, like the Ironman II attenuator for quiet practice.

Best guitar amps: Product guide

Best guitar amps: Positive Grid Spark

(Image credit: Positive Grid)

1. Positive Grid Spark

Is this the smartest amp on the planet?

Specifications

Type: Solid State
Speakers: 2 x 4”
Output: 40W
Channels: 33 Amp Models
Tubes: N/A
Weight: 11.46 lbs/5.2 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Every sound you could ever want 
+
Auto Chord/ Smart Jam features
+
Affordable 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for those who dislike apps 

Hitting the scene in late 2019, the Positive Grid Spark changed the face of home practice amps forever. This unassuming 40W amp may look like all the other practice solutions on the market, but don't be fooled - it's concealing some very advanced technology. 

Powered by the highly revered BIAS tone engine, this amp is capable of recreating some of the most popular tube amps and effects of all time, and when used in conjunction with the Spark app, this plucky little amp becomes the ultimate practice tool. 

The revolutionary Auto Chord feature is hands down one of the most remarkable elements of this amp - giving you the ability to figure out the chords in any song from Spotify, Apple Music, or Youtube. While, the Smart Jam feature carefully analyses the notes you're playing and creates a backing track in a style of your choice - no, seriously, your amp will jam along with you! Now, if all of this wasn't enough, the app also gives you access to over 10,000 tone presets. 

Read our full Positive Grid Spark review

Best guitar amps: Friedman BE Mini

(Image credit: Friedman)

2. Friedman BE Mini Head

The Friedman tone on a shoestring budget

Specifications

Type: Solid State
Speakers: N/A
Output: 30W
Channels: One
Tubes: N/A
Weight: 4 lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of gain on tap 
+
Lightweight 
+
An affordable way to get close to the Friedman tone 

Reasons to avoid

-
Some players would prefer a valve amp
-
High gain sounds 

At this point, Friedman has become somewhat of a modern classic with the likes of Jerry Cantrel, Bill Kelliher and Billy Duffy using the golden-faced amps to devastating effect on stages around the globe. Now, while most of us would love nothing more than playing our Les Paul through a full-fat BE 100 Deluxe or even a Runt, there is one problem - price.  

Luckily, Friedman has an incredibly affordable option for those seeking the BE bark without breaking the bank. Enter the Friedman BE Mini, a solid-state take on the famous preamp circuit wrapped up in a handy 30W mini head format. 

This stripped-down amp provides only the bare essentials for quality tone, with a single channel set-up that delivers top-class high gain sounds, while the tiny footprint, lightweight nature, and 30W of power mean the BE Mini can be used in a myriad of situations, from playing live, recording in the studio or practicing at home. 

Best guitar amps: Blackstar HT-1R

(Image credit: Blackstar)

3. Blackstar HT-1R MKII

The tiny valve tailored to home practice

Specifications

Type: Valve
Speakers: 1 x 8”
Output: 1W
Channels: Two
Tubes: ECC83/ECC82
Weight: 5.6kg

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect for home practice 
+
Lightweight and small 
+
Built-in reverb

Reasons to avoid

-
8” speaker too small for some players

Okay, let's face it, as much as we all love the sound of a tasty set of humbuckers into a cranked valve amp, it isn't always practical - especially at home. For most of us, we turn to a digital modeling amp to virtually recreate the tone we are longing for - but what if you really need it to be valve? 

Well, in that case, it's best to keep the wattage as low as possible to ensure you get as much natural break up as possible, and the Blackstar HT-1R does this perfectly. This petite combo amp kicks out plenty of gain, natural compression, and the tone you've come to expect from the folks over at Blackstar. 

Housed inside this pint-sized combo are two distinct channels, each with two voices, giving you a surprisingly versatile range of tones, while the built-in digital reverb adds the much-needed ambiance we've all come to rely on. As an added bonus, the MKII comes with the ability to record via the USB port found on the rear of the unit - making this a valuable amp to have in your home studio. 

Best guitar amp: Boss Katana 100 MKII

(Image credit: Boss)

4. Boss Katana 100 MKII

The ultimate practice amp with a tone that cuts

Specifications

Type: Solid-State
Speakers: 1x 12” Katana Speaker
Output: 100W
Channels: Five - with three variations
Tubes: N/A
Weight: 14.8kg

Reasons to buy

+
Great selection of sounds  
+
Power attenuator
+
Boss reliability  

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may prefer a tube amp 

The Boss Katana may not be the most expensive amp on this list - I mean, there isn’t even a tube in sight - but there's a reason it's one of the most popular practice amps to be released in recent years - it sounds fantastic. 

These days whether an amp is solid-state or tube doesn't really matter all that much. With advancements in technology, digital modeling amps sound better now than they ever have done before, and Boss proves this with the Katana. 

Offering users access to five channels - Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown, and Acoustic, as well as 15 in-built effects, this is a highly versatile little amp. As you would expect from Boss, the effects are of superb quality. Whether it's delay, chorus, or tremolo, all sounds are taken from Bosses famous stomp-boxes. Hookup the Katana 100 to your PC, and you'll be able to gain access to 60 different additional effects via the Boss Tone Lab. 

Best guitar amps: Marshall Origin 20C

(Image credit: Marshall)

5. Marshall Origin 20C

A throwback to the origin of epic guitar tones

Specifications

Type: Tube
Speakers: 1 x 10” Celestion V type
Output: 20W
Channels: One
Tubes: 2 x EL34
Weight: 13.9 kg

Reasons to buy

+
One of the best looking Marshall amps in years  
+
Simple control layout
+
Vintage British tones    

Reasons to avoid

-
No reverb 

You can't have a list of the best guitar amps and not include Marshall - arguably the most recognizable amplifiers in the world. Of course, we could have chosen a myriad of models to be featured in this guide, but the one that stands out is the Marshall Origin 20C. 

Marshall fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when the iconic amp manufacturer dropped the Origin series back in 2018. Finally, Marshall was going back to their roots and releasing a no-nonsense single-channel tube amp that was a perfect throwback to their past yet included modern features that players demanded. This is easily one of the best Marshall amps in recent years. 

The Origin 20C is capable of producing rich, warm cleans, on the edge of break-up blues-tones and righteous rock tones, all by playing with the gain control in conjunction with the power attenuator. This mighty amp also features an in-built gain boost if you find yourself needing more juice and also a footswitch controllable FX loop. So if you have an itch only Marshall could scratch, then the Origin 20C might be the best option out there for you. 

Best guitar amps: Hughes and Kettner TubeMeister Deluxe 20 Head

(Image credit: Hughes and Kettner)

6. Hughes and Kettner TubeMeister Deluxe 20 Head

When tone meets technology

Specifications

Type: Tube
Speakers: N/A
Output: 20
Channels: Two + Boost
Tubes: 2 x EL84
Weight: 5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in Red Box AE DI
+
Lead boost switch
+
Solid build quality  

Reasons to avoid

-
20 Watts may not be enough for some players  

Hughes and Kettner - when outstanding German engineering meets high-fidelity guitar tones. The TubeMeister Deluxe was released back in 2016 and is still one of the most popular Hughes and Kettner models to date, perfectly combining glassy clean tones and super articulate gain sounds. 

There is plenty of gain on tap here for most applications, while the addition of a "lead boost" allows you to push the overdrive to a whole other level - but don't worry, there may be an abundance of gain, but the tone never gets fizzy or harsh. 

Where the TubeMeister really comes into its own is actually the technology hidden on the back of the amp. Concealed on the back panel is the incredibly clever RedBox AE DI. This smart feature turns your already great amp into the ultimate studio partner. This is a switchable DI output, which gives you the ability to emulate either a 4x12 or 1x12 cabinet, as well as choose between vintage and modern modes. Of course, you can also turn this feature off, but it sounds so good, we're not sure why you would.

Best guitar amps: Orange Rocker 15

(Image credit: Orange)

7. Orange Rocker 15

One for the rocker at heart

Specifications

Type: Tube
Speakers: 1 x 10” Voice of the World Gold Label
Output: 15W
Channels: Two
Tubes: 2 x EL84
Weight: 13.6kg

Reasons to buy

+
Classic Orange tone 
+
Super easy to use  

Reasons to avoid

-
Some players may want more headroom  

Orange may seem like the sometimes forgotten British amp brand behind the juggernaut that is Marshall and the provenance of Vox. Still, they offer a tone that sits right in between the two offering the best of both worlds. The punchy and not too fizzy tone is perfect for rock 'n' roll. 

The Orange Rocker 15 is designed to easily switch between the bedroom and the stage - something Orange has perfected with the Terror series - going from 15 watts down to the super neighbor-friendly 0.5 watts. In addition, the "natural" channel features a solitary volume control - not unlike the AC30 - and is designed to let the natural tone of your guitar shine through. 

The "dirty" channel, on the other hand, is a little more of a standard affair, with a three-band EQ, gain control, and master volume. Crank this channel to unlock those face-melting rock tones.  

Best guitar amps: Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb

(Image credit: Fender)

8. Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb

All the Fender tone, none of the weight

Specifications

Type: Solid-State
Speakers: 2 x 12" Jensen N-12K Neo
Output: 200W
Channels: Two
Tubes: N/A
Weight: 15kg

Reasons to buy

+
The Fender tone you know and love, without the weight 
+
Still looks like a Twin Reverb

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may consider it expensive for a solid-state amp

While the enormous, deep tone of the Twin Reverb brings a smile to the face of most guitar players, the back-crushing weight certainly does not. The clever folks over at Fender have been tirelessly working away on solving this age-old grievance - enter the Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb. 

Most of the other modelling amplifiers on the market are more concerned with simulating as many different amps as possible, giving the player a digital-smorgasbord of different tones. This can result in a few great sounds, but usually a few unusable ones with it. Where the Tone Master differs is in its intent. This hi-tech Twin's sole purpose is to perfectly recreate one amp, down to every last detail. 

So if this amp looks like a Fender Twin and sounds like a Fender Twin, what's the main difference? Well - apart from the lack of tubes - it weighs in at only 33 lbs! Meaning you can comfortably carry this to and from gigs with no hassle. Check out more of the best Fender amps in our guide.

Best guitar amps: Supro 64 Reverb

(Image credit: Supro)

9. Supro 64 Reverb

A small blast from the past

Specifications

Type: Tube
Speakers: Jensen C8R
Output: 5W
Channels: One
Tubes: 6V6
Weight: 10.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Jensen speaker
+
Tube driven spring reverb
+
Old school design      

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 5 Watts  

This may be the smallest amp on this list, but don't let its small stature fool you. The Supro 64 Reverb sounds enormous! Like many entries in this guide, this amp takes inspiration from what has gone before but adds a few modern twists to make it work for today's player. 

This fierce 5-watt combo is oozing with vintage style and has the tone to match. The 6V6 tubes and 1x8 Jensen speaker deliver a powerful retro bark that is dynamic and a delight to play. This is the sort of amp that just begs to be played - especially when you set it right on the edge of break up. 

The Supro also has a few clever features hidden behind its old-fashioned facade. Located at the rear of the amp is a set of line outputs that offer the ultimate flexibility, whether you want to use them to drive another amp or even for home recording. The "Dry" signal output - as you'd expect - provides the dry signal only, with no reverb. This also stops the dry signal from being sent to the power amp. The "Reverb" output does the same but with only the reverb signal, while the "Mix" output combines the two and doesn't affect what is sent to the power tubes.

Best guitar amps: Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

(Image credit: Fender)

10. Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

A Fender classic re-visited

Specifications

Type: Tube
Speakers: 12” Celestion G12V-70
Output: 22W
Channels: Two
Tubes: 2 x 6V6
Weight: 19.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect Fender tone
+
One of the best for reverb/tremolo
+
Classic vintage look    

Reasons to avoid

-
Too loud for most homes  

No matter the decade, you'll be sure to find a Fender amp sitting pride of place on any stage - from smokey jazz and blues clubs to lively country bars and sticky rock stomping-grounds - they are an enduring presence in every music scene. The big reason Fender amps have been so loved for so long is that they offer a clean, harmonically rich, and mid-scooped tone that always seems to bring out the best in your playing. 

The Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb is the ultimate throwback to the silver face era of amps, delivering vintage twang and the touch-sensitive dynamics the original was famous for - all while looking the part as well. For the traditionalist, the aptly named "vintage channel" belts out all the silver panel tone you could ask for, while the "custom channel" is loaded with the iconic Bassman tone circuit for more sonic possibilities. 

The 22-watts of power is right in the sweet spot for gigging, allowing you to really push the amp and get the best out of it - although it may be a little much for the house! So if you are looking for the ultimate Fender tone, this might be one of the best guitar amps for you. 

Best guitar amps: Vox AC30 C2

(Image credit: Vox)

11. Vox AC30 C2

The sound of the British invasion

Specifications

Type: Tube
Speakers: 2 x 12″ Celestion G12M Greenback
Output: 30W
Channels: Two
Tubes: 4 x EL84
Weight: 32kg

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of mid-range bark
+
Classic tremolo 
+
Gorgeous looks 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the lightest - it has three handles for a reason 

The Vox AC-30 is a cultural icon and favored by the likes of Tom Petty, Brian May, The Edge, and even Dave Grohl - oh, and the Beatles, you might have heard of them? This 30-watt diamond-clad-combo is responsible for some of the most remarkable guitar tones in history and has a sound that is purely its own - and not many amps can say that. 

The AC-30 uses three 12AX7 preamp valves, as well as a quartet of EL84s to deliver its fabulously mid-focused sound. There's a power to an AC30 that hits you right in the gut - especially when it's cranked! Dial it back, and you can achieve those sparkly clean sounds that can cut glass if you're not careful. 

The reverb and tube-driven tremolo are welcome additions, bringing the ability to soften the sometimes harsh nature of all that mid-range. At the same time, the master "tone-cut" provides even more tone-shaping capabilities. So if you are looking for an amp that will bring those classic British tones, take pedals incredibly well, and look impeccably stylish while doing it, then look no further than the Vox AC-30 C2. 

Best guitar amps: Victory V40 The Duchess

(Image credit: Victory)

12. Victory V40 The Duchess Head

A small victory for your guitar tone

Specifications

Type: Tube
Speakers: N/A
Output: 42W
Channels: Two
Tubes: 2 x EL34
Weight: 8.2kg

Reasons to buy

+
Surprisingly versatile for a one channel amp
+
Fantastic value for money  

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for high-gain players  

This relatively small English company has really made a name for itself since launching in 2013. Offering competitively priced, hand-made amplifiers that are durable, roadworthy, and most importantly, sound fantastic! 

The V40 is a single-channel, all-valve head that offers both American clean tones and British overdrive sounds. Through a series of clever switches, you can shape the tone to exactly how you like it, without any fuss. For example, the "voice" control shapes the upper mids. Voice I mode allows less of these frequencies through to the subsequent gain stage, whereas Voice II allows more through. This may seem like a simple feature, but it really does allow you to dial in your perfect tone - it works particularly well when playing with a band.

It's not just glorious high power on offer though, as the front panel switch allows you to lower the overall power to around 7 watts. In case that wasn't quite enough, you also have the option to use single-ended mode, which selects to just one or other of the power valves in Class A operation, resulting in a minuscule 1 watt RMS.

Best guitar amps: Blackstar St James EL34 combo

(Image credit: Blackstar)

13. Blackstar St James EL34 combo

The lightest tube amp in the world

Specifications

Type: Tube combo
Output: 50W, switchable to 2W
Channels: 2
Tubes: 2x ECC83, 2x EL34
Speakers: 2x12
Weight: 16.9kg

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight for a tube amp
+
Great pedal platform
+
Great for practice, recording, and live playing

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks not for everyone

When Blackstar came out with the claim of having ‘the lightest 50-watt tube amp in the world’, there were more than a few raised eyebrows. We were doubtful too, but it wasn’t just a marketing spiel. This really is a tube combo you can carry with one hand.

EL34 tubes make this combo an amazing pedal platform, giving you a pristine clean or lightly crunchy tone to build your sound upon. On its own, it sounds phenomenal, but where this amp really shines is when you put a bunch of pedals in front of it and drive it hard.

It’s also got some amazing connectivity options. The cab-rig output allows you to send your amp tone straight to front-of-house, or into your recording interface. This ingenious bit of tech, in conjunction with Blackstar’s Architect software, lets you painstakingly choose which cab sound you want, tweaking mics, cab sizes, and room settings.

Best guitar amps: Tone King Imperial MKII

(Image credit: Tone King)

14. Tone King Imperial MKII

The king of boutique tone?

Specifications

Launch price: $2,595/$2,379
Type: Tube
Speakers: 12” Custom Eminence
Output: 20W
Channels: Two
Tubes: 6V6
Weight: 17kg

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in power attenuator
+
Tweed era tones with a modern twist
+
Stunning unique looks   

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 20W  - some player may need more power

The name Tone King is synonymous with extremely high-quality, hand-built boutique amplifiers that look like they have just jumped out of the '50s. The Imperial is one of the first amps produced by the Maryland amp gurus way back in 1993 and has been a firm favorite ever since.

The Imperial MKII clearly has its roots in the sound of the Fender Tweed and Deluxe amps of yesteryear, but with a few modern twists that make it desirable to the contemporary player. This 6V6 loaded dual-channel amp offers two distinct tones - rhythm and lead. The rhythm channel is voiced to deliver those classic '60s clean tones, but - thanks to a few clever tweaks in the new MKII - it also boasts a smooth overdrive sound as well as shimmering cleans. The lead circuit still has its hand firmly in the tweed tone world, but the addition of the "mid-bite" control means it can deliver scorching classic rock tones. 

The 20W all valve power could be considered overkill for most home practice sessions, so Tone King has included the Ironman II Attenuator, which gives you the ability to drop the volume to a manageable level without sacrificing tone.