Guitar Amp Under $500 Buyers Guide
What to look for when buying a guitar amp under $500
We’ve outlined quite a few worthy prospects on our list. But with the versatility that is available out there, it can be tough to know exactly what the right pick is if you’re a little less experienced. You’ll have to have a certain number for things in mind when picking out your guitar amp
We have decided to put together a short guide filled with the things that are necessary to remember when buying an amp under $500. Read on to gain buyers confidence.
How much power are you going to need in your everyday practice? When you’re looking for an amp under $500, there are still a lot of options when it comes to power. If you can figure out what type of music you’ll be playing, and in which settings, you’ll be much closer to figuring out what amp is right.
Are you planning to play mostly at home with no other instruments accompanying you? Or are you more likely to join a band really soon and start playing gigs? If you’re a stay at home player, anywhere from 10-50 watts will be fine. If you’re planning to play gigs and practice with a full band, you will need to go into the 50-100 watt range for that extra punch.
How portable do you need your amp to be? Home amps generally are smaller and don’t need to be carried around too much, which is sort of ironic when you think about it. The more portable the amp is, the less power it usually has, with a few exceptions. There are amps available that will give you enough power while still being strong enough to keep up with the band. But you will need to have an idea of how much weight and size you will be able to comfortably move around on a regular basis.
Do you mostly play acoustic guitar with no effects, or are you planning to be playing along with Van Halen and U2 where you need to have serious power and capability? Extra effects can be a beautiful thing. They allow you to match the exact sounds that you are looking for and create really unique masterpieces. However, they are not always 100% necessary. For players who are always going to playing on the clean channel with no effects, a more simple amp model will be just fine. You can always add effects to your arsenal at a later date. But if you think your playing will need a touch of extra flair, test out one of the modeling amps or one with a little more effect capabilities.
Tube vs Solid State
We only have one tube amp on our list, and its a little guy. But the sound is a little bit different. Tube amps have a more raw and warm sound to them. Solid state amps can be a little less powerful but tend to foster a wider range of effects and capabilities to choose from. If you want the old-time and genuine sound of a tube amp, then, by all means, the tubes don’t lie, but solid state amps are well within the realm of acceptability.
You can get a little bit more power for a little bit more money. But music can grow into an expensive hobby. Do you need to buy a footswitch or effects pedals to get the sound you are really craving? Be sure to calculate exactly what you are going to need before making a buying decision. You can save a lot of money by going with a modeling amp or one with effects and capabilities built in. If you do not have to go and purchase extra components, you may be better off.
Now you have all the information you need to go and get your new amp. As you can see, there is a lot to consider when it comes to buying an amp under $500, but whatever amp you decide to go with, surely you will be satisfied and rocking along to your favorite tunes in no time.
All amps are not created equal. Certain companies design amps to sound better with different styles of music. Be sure to check the model of speakers that are coming along with the amp you are buying to ensure you’re going to get the most sound clarity for the money. Fender has always been known for country and folk music, whereas, Marshall has a reputation for heavier music. They can be interchangeable but it is something to keep in mind.
Did you know?
We feature a lot of Fender amps on our list. But, Fender was the first company to produce an electric guitar in 1950. The Fender Broadcaster was a Spanish style guitar and is now better known as the Telecaster. After this guitars success, Fender followed up by producing the first electric bass guitar called the Precision P-Bass