Best Guitar Amp Under 200

With quality at an all-time high in the entry-level market, now is an excellent time to hunt for low-cost amplifiers. Here is our list of the best guitar amp under 200.

Best Overall
Fender Mustang LT25

Fender Mustang LT25

Fender's core clean tone and then some, in a portable and affordable combo amplifier.

Best Value
Boss Katana Mini 7W

Boss Katana Mini 7W

A compact 7-watt combo amp with Boss Katana's streamlined yet high-quality amp modeling and effects.

Best Old-School Amp
Orange Crush 20RT

Orange Crush 20RT

There is no amp modeling, presets, or various effects—just a simple 2-channel clean/dirty channel. This amplifier is as old-school as it gets.

Best for High-Gain
Blackstar ID Core 10 V3

Blackstar ID: Core 10 V3

Blackstars' ID: Core 10 V3 has nice high-gain tones, known to the brand.New effects, and voicings along with its patented Architect editing software.

Best Feature Set
Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII

Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII

Streamlined design with Line 6's rich arsenal of effects for extensive tone-shaping.

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Due to strong competition, entry-level guitar amplifiers have advanced significantly. Manufacturers are constantly looking for methods to gain an advantage by putting as many high-quality features as possible into compact combo amplifier packages.

One disadvantage of severe market rivalry is the sheer volume of products created, which also applies to the best budget guitar amplifiers.

So, to help you narrow down your options, we’ve chosen the best guitar amps among the many amps available in the sub-$200 price range, taking into account guitarists’ diverse needs.

Sweetwater

The Top 10 Best Cheap Guitar Amps

Fender Mustang LT25

Best Guitar Amp Under 200 (Overall)

Fender Mustang LT25

Fender Mustang LT25

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

While there are affordable amps that offer amp modeling and effects, many of them don’t have good-sounding classic Fender clean tones. The LT25 gives you Fender’s core clean tones plus essential amp models that cover a wide range of musical styles.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Fender

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The Mustang LT25 is a compact 25-watt combo amplifier. It delivers a distinctive clean tone that is synonymous with Fender. It then blends that with modern Digital Sound Processing technologies.

Its DSP supports a total of 20 amp types. It begins with popular Fender amplifiers such as the ’65 Twin Reverb, ’65 Princeton, ’57 Deluxe, ’57 Twin, and ’59 Bassman. It also includes emulations of other popular amplifiers including the Vox AC30, Marshall amps, Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, and EVH 5150, among others.

Unlike other modeler guitar amps under 200, it does not overwhelm you with too many amp models. This provides the necessary ones you’ll need to support a variety of musical styles.

The effects side of the amp has 25 digital effects organized into four areas. The first of which is the Stompbox section, which includes overdrive, noise gate, fuzz, and compression pedals. The remaining categories are modulation, delay, and reverb, each offering a few effects options to play with.

Interestingly, Fender was able to combine all of these current functions while maintaining a simple interface. For extensive editing, there is the option for software control via USB.

And speaking of USB, it does support direct recording. Other features include a 1/8″ headphone output and a built-in tuner.

With its good tone and sensible features, the Fender Mustang LT25 is the best amp under 200, our top overall pick. 

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 25 Watts
Speaker: 1 x 8″
Amp Models: 20
Effects: 25
Controls: Gain, Volume, Treble, Bass, Master, Preset Control Switches
Input: 1 x 1/4″, 1 x 1/8″ (Aux)
Output: 1 x 1/8″ (Headphones
Weight: 14.9 lbs.

Boss Katana Mini 7W

Best Guitar Amp Under 200 (Value for the Money)

Boss Katana Mini 7W

Boss Katana Mini 7W

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Boss Katana series is acclaimed by critics and pros, with its larger 100-watt models seeing a lot of stage and studio use. The Katana-Mini takes this same sound quality and reliability and packs it in a 7-watt portable combo amplifier.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Boss

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The Katana series is similar to Fender’s Mustang line, having a range of onboard effects and amp models. However, the Katana series is more streamlined, focusing on having better sound and response over having more features.

The Katana Mini is the smallest and most portable amp in the series, with a 7W amp section and a 4″ speaker.

It features the same multi-stage analog gain circuit that powers its three voicings: clean, crunch, and brown (high-gain). This amplifier also includes a three-band equalizer and a delay effect.

The Boss Katana Mini works on 6 x AA batteries and can be powered by an optional external power supply.

If you want a compact yet good sounding portable amp with just the essential amp models and effects, then this is the best amp under 200 to get. 

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 7-Watts
Battery Life: Up to 7 Hours with Alkaline batteries or up to 9 Hours with rechargeable Ni-MH batteries
Power Source(s): 6 x AA Batteries or DC
Speaker: 4”
Effects: Distortion, Delay
Controls: Gain, Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Delay Time, Delay Level
Input(s): ¼” Instrument, ⅛” Aux
Output(s): ⅛” Headphone / Rec
Weight: 2 lbs 11 oz
Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth): 7.13” x 9.06” x 4.63”

Orange Crush 20RT

Best Guitar Amp Under 200 (Old-School Combo Amp)

Orange Crush 20RT

Orange Crush 20RT

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Orange continues to receive good reviews from guitarists for its simple Orange Crush 20RT. With only two channels and a digital spring reverb, this amplifier is as old-school as it gets. There is no amp modeling, presets, or various effects—just a simple 2-channel clean/dirty channel.

0
out of 100

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The Crush 20RT is a consistent top contender in this price range because of its dirty channel. You can go from low to mid-gain, reproducing Orange’s characteristically loose and open, vintage-style overdrive voicing.

Nothing about it will confound any guitar player, regardless of ability level. This makes it ideal for practice and quick plug-and-play which is great in developing your musical chops.

This type of voicing fits classic blues and rock styles very well. Adjust it to be a little tighter for more modern applications.

Speaking of adjusting, another positive aspect of this amplifier is the responsiveness of the 3-band EQ settings. This allows for more flexibility than you might expect from its simple design.

The Crush 20RT’s 20W solid-state amp section drives a single 8″ speaker. It also includes headphones with speaker simulation for silent practice.

The main difference between this and the Crush 20 is the built-in reverb and tuner, hence the label RT.

The clean channel is decent, but not as effective as the dirty channel. It has a flat, nearly neutral sound that appears stale when compared to other amps that produce a good, clean tone. It is still a good platform if you want to get your dirt from a pedal. 

When it comes to simplicity and straightforward rock tone, this is the best amp under 200. However, if you want more effects and voicings, this is not for you.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 20-Watts
Speaker Size: 8”
Models: N/A
Effects: Distortion, Reverb
Controls: Dirty, Treble, Middle, Bass, Gain, Clean, Reverb
Input/Output: AUX-In, Headphone/ Line-Out
Extras: Tuner, Voice of the World Speaker
Weight: 15.9lbs

Blackstar ID: Core 10 V3

Best Guitar Amp Under 200 (High-Gain)

Blackstar ID Core 10 V3

Blackstar ID: Core 10 V3

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Similar to its previous iterations, the Blackstars’ ID: Core 10 V3 comes with new effects and voicings. It also features the brand’s patented Architect editing software. All housed in a compact closed-back cabinet format.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Blackstar

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Sound-wise, this amp is quite impressive for its size. It has decent cleans, and mid-tier overdrive. But what sets it apart is its gnarly crunch to high gain tone.

Its overdriven sound has good saturation, which is perfect for practice and for low volume jams. More importantly, getting the amp to sound good is super easy, with just a few tweaks.

And speaking of tweaks, Blackstar’s ISF feature allows for a wide variety of tones, without having to resort to digital trickery.

The main downside of this amp is its lack of low end, and volume.  But this is to be expected given its small size.

Blackstar recently released a Blackstar ID: Core 10 V4 in this year’s NAMM Show. It’s another great addition to Blackstar’s line of amplifiers that’s worth checking out.

Considering Blackstar’s track record, I won’t be surprise if it takes the spot in our next “best amp under 200” update.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 10W (2x5W Super Wide Stereo)
Speaker Size: 2 x Blackstar 3″
Channels: 2 Clean and Dirty
Controls: Voice, Gain, Volume, Patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature), Effects, and Volume
Amp Models: 6 Voices; Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD1, OD2
Effects: Delay x 4 Modulation x 4 Reverb x 4
Inputs/Outputs:
Dimensions: 340(W) x 265(H) x 185(D)
Weight: 3.7 lbs

Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII

Best Guitar Amp under $200
(Feature Set)

Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII

Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Line 6 Spider series remains a strong contender in the entry-level guitar amp market. The Spider V 20 MkII is their current entry in the sub-$200 price range. This tiny amp is primarily intended for practice and offers a relatively streamlined feature set. Still, streamlined for Line 6 means way more features than what others offer.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Line 6

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The Spider V 20 MkII allows you to mix and match 78 amps, 24 cabs, and 4 mics. This should be more than plenty for even the most experienced players. It also has over 100 effects models, which expands your sonic options even more.

There are over 200 presets to choose from, many of which are artist-inspired. Others are designed to replicate guitar tones from well-known songs.

The biggest drawback is its quieter 20-watt 1×8″ combo arrangement. It also lacks DI output, although it does include a USB port for connecting to your computer.

The MKII series now can switch off amp and mic simulation for a more classic amp-like performance.

If all you want is an economical practice amp with sonic variety, look into the Spider V MkII. It’s a good all-around amp that will easily suit the needs of most entry- to intermediate-level guitarists.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 20 Watts
Speaker: 1 x 8″ Woofer
Amp Models: 78 amps, 24 x cabs and 4 x Mics
Effects: 100+
Controls: Preset, Drive, Tone, Volume, Reverb, Effects, Master, Tap Tempo
Input: 1 x 1/4″
Output: USB
Extras: Built-in tuner
Weight: 11 lbs.

Blackstar FLY 3

Blackstar FLY 3

Blackstar FLY 3

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Blackstar Fly 3 is one of the smallest guitar amps available. It is very light, compact, and affordable while offering nice high-gain tones, as expected from Blackstar. It also features the company’s ISF control, which allows for versatile tone shaping.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Blackstar

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The Blackstar Fly 3 is a compact amp that weighs less than 2 pounds. It is rated at 3W and features a 3″ speaker. With the option of being powered by 6 x AA batteries or an optional 6.5V DC power supply, you can use this product almost wherever you choose.

It includes Blackstar’s IFS (Infinite Shape Feature), which allows you to adjust the voicing of the amp with a single knob. Voicings include American and British

Other features include an MP3/line-in connection and a headphone output with speaker emulation.

All of these qualities make it an excellent portable amp. It does not require much space, plus if you want to go extra quiet, you can use it while using headphones.

If you enjoy Blackstar’s brand of dirt and high-gain tones, and you want a portable battery powered amp, the Fly 3 is for you. 

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 3-Watts
Battery Life: Up to 50 Hours at Lower Volumes
Power Source(s): 6 x AA Batteries or DC
Speaker: 3”
Controls: Gain, Volume, Overdrive, EQ, Delay Level, Delay Time
Input(s): ¼”, MP3
Output(s): Headphone and extension speaker out
Weight: 2 lbs
Dimensions: 6.6” x 5” x 4”

Orange Crush 20

Orange Crush 20RT

Orange Crush 20

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Despite most of its competition shifting to modeling, Orange manages to get continued success by sticking to a basic features and solid-state 2-channel configuration. The Orange Crush 20 is a perfect example of this, a budget-friendly amp that gives you great tones with minimal tweaking.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Orange

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What sets it apart though, is its 4-stage preamp. This adds realism to its tone and produces a superb sound when overdriven.

With the right adjustment, this amp can deliver great-sounding tube-like overdriven tones at moderate volumes.

It also sticks out visually because of its distinctive orange color. And the build quality is more than you’d expect for the price. If you wish to practice quietly, this amp also has a headphones option.

The downside of this amp, however, is its clean tone. So, if you want a good, clean-sounding amp, this is not it.

The Orange Crush 20 is among the best amp under 200 amp when it coms to traditional plug-and-play amplifier for rock guitar playing. It’s hard to go wrong with its tried-and-true simplicity and killer tone.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 20-Watts
Speaker Size: 8”
Channels: 2
Controls: Clean/Dirty Switch, Dirty, Treble, Middle, Bass, Gain, Clean
Amp Models: None
Effects: None
Inputs/Outputs: 1 x 1/4″, 1 x 1/8″ (Aux), 1 x 1/4″ (Headphones)
Dimensions: 12.8″ x 14.67″ x 7.75″
Weight: 15.8 lbs

Fender Champion 20

Fender Champion 20

Fender Champion 20

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Fender Champion 20 is a combo guitar amplifier that provides the flexibility and convenience of modern amp modeling technology, but in a more streamlined form factor. It retains much of the vintage appeal and tone of old Fender amps, plus the benefits of basic amp modeling.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Fender

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Fender is well known for its bright, clear tones and bluesy roughness. Both of which are perfectly reflected on the Champion 20. 

This makes it perfect for clean playing with Strats and Teles, or even for use with acoustic guitars.

However, this amp is more than just basic clean and overdrive tones. It includes multiple voicings inspired by legendary amps, making it a versatile practice amp.

The amplifier models include vintage Fender amplifiers, a Vox model, a Marshall model, and three high-gain variants.

The onboard effects are also excellent, including the vast majority of modulation effects that the average guitar player will want.

The amplifier includes a Fender-style reverb, which is among the most sought-after reverb ever.

The effects section is controlled by an FX selector knob, a level knob. A Tap Tempo button that allows you to manually tune the timing of some of the effects.

It has an auxilliary input and headphone jack, allowing you to jam along to your favorite songs and practice quietly.

Fender’s distinctive “Blackface” style completes the package, giving this modern amp a classic feel.

The Fender Champion 20’s has a good mix of sound quality and craftsmanship.  Definitely one of the best amp under 200.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 20-Watts
Speaker Size: 8”
Channels: 1
Controls: Volume, Channel, Gain, Channel 2 Volume, Voice, Treble, Bass, FX Level, FX Select, Tap Temp
Amp Models: 12 (Vintage Fenders, Vox, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Super-Sonic)
Effects: Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Tremolo, Vibratone, Overdrive
Inputs/Outputs: ¼”, AUX-In, Effects Loop, Headphones
Dimensions: 12.75″ x 13.75″ x 7.5″
Weight: 12 lbs

Marshall MG10G

Marshall MG10G

Marshall MG10G

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Marshall is undoubtedly one of the most well-known amplifier brands. Its presence in music videos and on stages all over the world makes this brand among the easiest to recognize. The MG10G lets you experience Marshall’s acclaimed overdriven tone at a very accessible price point.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Marshall

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The MG10G is a 10-watt combination amplifier with two channels: clean and overdrive. This amp is great for beginners and pros alike who want a small practice amp.

It features a compact design with a single 6.5″ speaker. As expected of a very small amp, this one has minimal control options.

Controls include two volume knobs for each channel, a gain knob for the overdrive channel, and a contour knob for tone/EQ. Other features include aux input and headphones/line out.

This amp is for you if you want that high-gain Marshall sound. Don’t expect the same sound intensity you’ll get from a full-size amp though.

But for its size and price point, this mini Marshall is the best amp under 200 for rock music and has nice overdriven tones.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Power Rating: 10-Watts
Speaker Size: 6.5”
Effects: Overdrive
Controls: 2 x Volume, Gain, Contour, Overdrive Switch
Inputs/Outputs: ¼”, AUX-In, Headphone/Line Out
Weight: 10.5 lbs
Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth):
12.3” x 11.65” x 6.8”

Roland CUBE-10GX

Roland CUBE-10GX

Roland CUBE-10GX

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Roland Cube-10GX helped establish the company in the amplifier market. It’s a 10W amplifier with an 8″ speaker, housed in a compact cabinet, ideal for beginners and students looking for a portable practice amp.

0
out of 100

Manufacturer: Roland

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Roland provided this amp with three COSM-loaded amp channels. It can be swapped with other amp models using the companion software controller and cable adapter. It houses three COSM effects: chorus, delay, and reverb.

Its compactness earned it several positive reviews, while others praised its sound quality. Many users appreciated the flexibility to swap various amp models using iOS or Android devices.

However, some cautioned that the amp can’t be used very loudly, which is understandable given its 10W power output. As a result, it’s not a viable choice for individuals looking for a portable amp to jam with other musicians.

If you’re searching for the best amp under 200 that is dependable, easy plug-and-play for your bedroom or living area, consider the Roland Cube-10GX.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
10W Amp
8″ Speaker
COSM Amp Models (Swappable)
COSM 3 x Effects
Headphones Output
Aux Input / iCube Link
Mobile App control via Cable Adapter (iCube Link)
Weight: 10.37 lbs.

Things to Consider when Buying a Budget Guitar Amp

Budget

In this price range, budget is a big deal, because saving for a few dollars more can get you a louder and more feature-packed amp. So if you don’t want to regret simply buying a cheap amp, get your budget sorted out and only look at practice amps that fall within your limitations.

Solid-State vs Tube amps

In an ideal world, we will all have a wall of premium tube amplifiers, but the reality is, that maintenance, cost, and consistency of tubes can be problematic. So for beginners, we recommend that you stick with straightforward amplifiers, and after gaining more experience you can then weigh up your options better.  You can also go for a modeling amp with multiple amp voicings, that cover different styles, from pop, to classic rock, to metal, and more.

Head vs Combo

If you already have a speaker cabinet setup then you may consider amp heads. Other than that, going for combo amplifiers is the best thing to do for both beginners and cash-strapped guitarists, simply because you’re getting more out of your money. Thankfully, most combo amps are actually modelling amps packed with features, so you get even more out of your budget.

Volume/Output Power

You’ll want a decent guitar amp that is enough for practice and the occasional jam, without the excess weight and cost of bigger and louder amplifiers. Amps that are too powerful may not work for practice and room jamming because you can’t really drive the amp to get to its sweet spot. Included in this list are amps that range from 5 Watts to 30 Watts, so consider how loud you really want to get before you make your choice. 

Tone and Voicing

As you gain experience, you will begin to notice the subtle differences in the best guitar amps. So right at the start, it would be best to get the amp with a tone that you prefer. One sure way to do this is to look at your favorite guitarists and their tracks, find out which electric guitar and amplifier they use, and get the music gear that sounds as close as possible – be it via analog or digital methods.

Portability

Portability is another critical factor that will depend on where you want to use your amplifier. We’ve included a number of portable options in this list for those who want to play virtually anywhere using these battery-powered combo amps.

Conclusion: Do you have a model that was not included in this list? What is the best guitar amp under 200 for you and why? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Alexander Briones

Lead Author

Jerome Arcon

Contributor: Research and Supplemental Writing

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