7 Best Guitar Amp Under $500 In 2023

Buying guides for the best guitar amp under $500

Are you looking for a great guitar amp that won’t break the bank? With so many options available, it can seem overwhelming to choose the best one within your price range. Fortunately, we’ve done the research and rounded up our top 7 picks for budget-friendly guitar amps under $500!

best guitar amp under $500

From solid state models to tube-driven powerhouses, these versatile amplifiers will keep your sound quality high while still fitting into your wallet. Whether you’re an experienced musician or just starting out, find out which amp is right for you in this comprehensive list of our favorite affordable guitar amps on the market today!

Top 7 Best Guitar Amps Under $500 should buy in 2023

*Note: Score is based on our AI score (Editor’s choice and rating)

What is a guitar amp?

A guitar amplifier, or amp, is an electronic device that increases the volume of a guitar. It consists of preamplifiers, power amplifiers, and speakers in a cabinet.

Guitar amplifiers are used to amplify acoustic guitars and electric guitars to create sound at live concerts, recording studios, and practice sessions. They come in a variety of designs with different features such as overdrive, distortion, and built-in effects like reverb and delay.

Benefits of guitar amp under $500

  1. Affordable: A good guitar amp under 500 is a great option for those on a budget. With so many options available, you can find an amp that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
  2. Quality Sound: Thanks to advances in technology, even amps under 500 offer quality sound and crisp tones. Whether you’re looking for a clean tone or something with plenty of distortion, you can find it without spending too much money.
  3. Versatility: Guitar amps under 500 often come with plenty of features, such as multiple channels and effects loops, allowing you to customize your sound according to your playing style or genre of music.
  4. Durability: Amplifiers under 500 are designed to last, with top-of-the-line components and sturdy construction. You can expect years of use from your guitar amp when you buy within this price range.
  5. Portability: Many amps under 500 are designed to be lightweight and easily portable, allowing you to take your sound anywhere you need it. Whether you’re practicing in your bedroom or playing a small show at a local venue, an amp under 500 will get the job done without issue.
  6. Value: You don’t have to spend a fortune to get quality sound and plenty of features with an amp under 500. You can find amps with powerful output, versatile tone controls, and more at this price point, making them great value-for-money options.
  7. Reliability: With so many brands and models available, you’re sure to find an amp that meets your needs in terms of reliability as well as sound quality. Many amps under 500 come with reliable warranties that give you peace of mind knowing your purchase is covered if anything goes wrong.

Pros and Cons of guitar amp under $500


  • Cost effective. Guitar amps under $500 are generally much more affordable than higher end models, making them ideal for those on a budget.
  • Easy to use. These amps are usually designed with beginner guitarists in mind and make it easy to get started playing without having to worry about complicated controls or settings.
  • Great sound quality. Despite the lower price tag, many of these amps offer excellent sound quality and can give you a great tone when plugged into your instrument.


  • Limited features. While these amps may offer some basic features like reverb and chorus effects, they lack the advanced options found in higher end models such as distortion, delay, and modulation effects.
  • Limited power. While these amps can provide plenty of volume for practice and small gigs, they are unlikely to be powerful enough to get heard in a larger venue or when playing with a full band.

How to use a guitar amp?

  1. Connect the Amplifier to Your Guitar: Before you can begin using your guitar amplifier, the first step is connecting it to your guitar. Doing this is simple; all you have to do is plug one end of a standard guitar cable into the output jack on your guitar, and the other into the input jack on your amp.
  2. Choose Your Settings: Once you’ve plugged in, it’s time to adjust some settings. Most amps will come with three basic controls that are necessary for setting up any sound: gain, volume, and tone knobs (or sliders). The Gain knob adjusts how loud or “hot” the signal from your guitar will be before entering the amp. The Volume knob adjusts the overall output of the amp. And finally, the Tone knob controls how much treble or bass your guitar’s signal will have.
  3. Adjust Your Effects: Depending on the type and model of your amplifier, you may have access to additional effects such as reverb, delay, chorus, etc. These effects should be used sparingly and can add subtle nuances to your sound. Most amps will also come with a “contour” switch that allows you to adjust the overall character of your tone even further. Experiment with these settings until you find something that works for you!
  4. Start Playing: Once all of your settings are adjusted to taste, you’re ready to start playing! Make sure to take your time and enjoy the process of exploring different tones and settings. With enough practice, you’ll be able to get the most out of your amplifier and create unique sounds that will make your playing stand out from the crowd.
  5. Proper Maintenance: To keep your amp running smoothly for years to come, it’s important to regularly clean the connections, ensure all cords are in good condition, use a surge protector when plugging into an outlet, and store it in a safe place when not in use. Doing these things will help extend the life of your device and ensure that you can continue using it for many years down the road.

Types of guitar amp

Solid-state amps: Solid-state amps are often the preferred choice of touring musicians due to their durability, reliability, and compact size. Though they lack the classic warm sound available from tube models, solid-state amplifiers still provide a clean tone with adjustable levels of distortion depending on the model.

Rather than rely on tubes for preamp/power sections as traditional tube amps do, modern stamps utilize transistors; making them resistant to wear & tear even during frequent use.

Tube amps: Tube amps offer a distinct advantage over other types of amplifiers – the warm and powerful sound they produce. Whether you’re playing loud or subtle, tube amps can bring out nuances in your music that are otherwise hard to achieve.

However, there is one caveat; these powerhouses come with some weight attached and their interior tubes may need replacing after substantial use.

Hybrid amps: Hybrid amps combine the classic, warm sound of tubes with the modern power and reliability of solid-state technology to provide guitarists with a best-of-both-worlds experience. This amp type unlocks extraordinary tonal possibilities while providing improved durability and dependability than ever before.

Modeling amps: Digital technology has revolutionized how we create, modify and share music. Modeling amps are the perfect example of this innovation as they allow us to recreate classic tube amp sounds via programmable internal software that offers a vast selection of digital effects.

Not only does computer-based control offer powerful creative possibilities but it also allows for easy connection with sound systems or recording devices thanks to their choice between digital or analog outputs!

Acoustic amps: An acoustic guitar amp is a must-have tool for solo and small group performances, providing an undistorted sound with full range output to give your music the clarity it deserves. With onboard input capabilities for vocal microphones too, you get everything you need right within one device!

Common mistakes when using a guitar amp under $500

The most common mistakes guitarists make when using an amp under 500 dollars are:

-Using the amp without an instrument cable connected to it. This is a very simple mistake, but for some reason people still do it. If you don’t have an instrument cable connected to your amp, you’ll just hear silence.

-Setting the volume knob too high or too low. This can cause damage to your ears and speakers, and it makes it difficult to play with other musicians.

-Not adjusting the EQ settings on your guitar or amp. The EQ controls allow you to adjust how much treble, bass and midtones come through your amp’s speakers in order to create a specific sound that works best for your music style.

-Not properly connecting your effects pedal to the amp. Improper connection of effects pedals can result in distorted or faint sounds coming through the speakers.

-Using too many distortion/overdrive pedals at once. When using multiple distortion/overdrive pedals, it can be difficult to control the amount of gain and create a muddy sound that doesn’t work well with other musicians in a band setting.

-Forgetting to turn off all volume knobs when unplugging from the amp. This is an easy mistake to make but a very important one nonetheless – forgetting to turn off all volume knobs before disconnecting your guitar or bass from the amp can cause damage to both your instrument and your amp’s speakers.

-Setting incorrect levels for the gain and volume knobs. This is also a simple mistake but one that can have a big impact on your sound. Be sure to set both the gain and volume knobs at appropriate levels in order to get the best sound possible from your amp.

-Not taking the time to experiment with different sounds and settings. Taking some time to play around with different EQ, effects, and gain settings can help you dial in the perfect tone for your playing style – so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Factors to consider before buying a guitar amp under $500

Power: The amount of power an amp produces is one of the most important factors in making your decision. A guitar amp of around 500 watts will provide plenty of volume for typical applications, such as rehearsing with a band or small gigs.

Tonal Characteristics: Different amps have different tonal characteristics, so it’s important to find one that suits your particular style and sound preference. Consider whether you need a warmer, darker tone or a brighter, twangier sound when evaluating amps under 500 dollars.

Number Of Channels: If you plan on playing multiple instruments through the same amp, make sure it has enough channels to suit your needs. Most guitar amps under 500 dollars will have either two or four channels.

Effects Loop: If you plan to use any external effects, such as delay or reverb, an effects loop is essential. An effects loop allows you to insert the effect between the preamp and power amp stages in the signal chain, which can give you more control over your sound.

Weight And Portability: If you’re planning on gigging with your amp, it’s important to consider the weight and portability of models under 500 dollars. Most amps will be quite light and easy to transport, but some may be heavier than others due to their construction materials or additional features.

Headphone Output: Many guitar amps also feature a headphone output, which is useful for playing silently in a home studio or late at night. Make sure to check whether the amp you’re looking at has this feature before making your purchase.

Price: While guitar amps under 500 dollars can offer great quality and features, it’s important to pay attention to what you are getting for your money. Consider how much each model offers in terms of sound, effects, and other features in order to get the best value for your money.

Weight: The weight of the amp is also an important factor to consider before buying. If you plan on taking your amp with you for live shows or rehearsals, it’s important to make sure it’s lightweight enough for easy transport.

Warranty: Most guitar amps come with some kind of warranty, so make sure to check what type of coverage the manufacturer offers before making a purchase. This can help protect your investment if something goes wrong in the future.

Customer Service: It’s always helpful to find out about a company’s customer service and after-sale support before making any purchase. Reading online reviews or asking other musicians about their experiences with particular brands can be a great way to get an idea of how a company treats its customers.

Material: Lastly, you should also consider the material used in constructing the amp. Many amps are constructed from cheap plastic materials which can easily become damaged with regular use. Investing in a higher quality model that’s built with metal or more durable composites will ensure your amp lasts for years to come.

Tips to use the guitar amp under $500

  1. Set the volume of your amp to a moderate level during soundchecks and performances. This will help you keep unwanted noise from distracting the audience or disrupting other musical instruments.
  2. Keep your guitar plugged in when not in use, as this helps maintain the quality of the sound you produce.
  3. Make sure all cables are securely connected to both the guitar and amplifier so that there is no loss of signal strength during performance or recording sessions.
  4. If using multiple guitars with different pickups, ensure each one is connected to its own individual outputs on the amp for optimal sound quality and clarity.
  5. Experiment with settings on your amp such as gain, treble, and bass settings to find the sound that best suits your style of music.
  6. Make sure all settings are balanced before performing or recording so that each instrument is heard clearly.
  7. Take breaks during long performances to conserve power and avoid overheating the amplifier.
  8. Use a noise gate on your amp to reduce any noise when not playing, such as feedback from other instruments or sounds in the room.
  9. If you’re playing with a band, make sure you communicate with each musician so everyone is heard at their best level and in volume throughout the performance.
  10. Be careful when adjusting knobs and dials on your amp as they can be easily damaged if turned too quickly or harshly.
  11. Never open up the casing of your amp, as this could damage sensitive components within and could void any warranty you have on the product.
  12. When traveling with your amp, be sure to use a hard case or flight case to protect it from impact and transportation damage.
  13. And lastly, enjoy yourself! Playing guitar is supposed to be fun and creative, so explore all the possibilities that your amp can offer you!


How to maintain a guitar amp?

  1. Clean the exterior: A clean amp looks better and functions better since any dust or dirt that builds up on the outside can interfere with the sound. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe down your guitar amp, ensuring that no water gets inside the device.
  2. Inspect all cables: Check for frayed cords, worn out connectors, and any other signs of damage. If you find any problems replace them immediately to ensure optimal performance and reliability of your amp.
  3. Make sure all settings are adjusted properly: Make sure all knobs and switches are set correctly so as not to cause unnecessary wear and tear on components from over-adjusting or leaving something in an incorrect position.
  4. Check for proper power: Make sure your amp is receiving the correct voltage so as not to cause any damage or blown fuses.
  5. Check tubes and speakers: If you have a tube-type amplifier, check the condition of the tubes regularly to make sure they are functioning properly. Also, inspect all speaker cones for wear and tear or distortion. Replace any components that may be damaged for optimal performance.
  6. Test all connections: Make sure there’s no loose wiring, bad connectors, or other electrical problems by testing each connection with a voltmeter when necessary.
  7. Have it serviced regularly: To ensure optimal performance and reliability of your guitar amp, it’s important to have it professionally serviced at least once a year. This will help identify any problems before they become too serious and costly to repair.
  8. Store it properly: When not in use, store your amp in a climate-controlled environment away from moisture and dust. Keep all controls set at their default positions when you’re done playing so as not to cause unnecessary wear and tear on components.

Does the guitar amp affect sound quality?

Yes, the guitar amp can affect the sound quality of your playing. Different amps will give you different tones, whether it’s a classic tube amp for that vintage sound or a modern solid-state amp for more crunch and gain.

The type of speakers in your amp also plays a role in how it affects your sound: some have tighter bass response while others have brighter treble ranges.

And if you use an effects pedal or two, this will further shape the tone coming out of your amplifier. In short, there are many factors involved that influence the sound quality of your guitar playing, and choosing the right guitar amp is an important piece of the puzzle!


After reading this article, you should now have a better understanding of what to look for when purchasing the best guitar amp under $500.

By keeping the above factors in mind, you can be sure to find an amplifier that fits both your budget and playing style. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’re happy to help!

See more:

Best Electric Guitar Under $300

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