We did our best in pursuing the perfect product, sifted through today’s market, and yielded a total of 4 items that are fit to compete for the flattering title of the best guitar amp under $300. Apart from the financial constraint we gave ourselves, some of the key factors we took into consideration are value for money, versatility, and overall sonic power. Let us dig in now (though, there’s plenty more online for you to sift through)!
Fender Mustang II
Fender is a leading name in guitar equipment for a reason. Not only are their guitars and amps some of the most popular options for the modern guitarist, they also offer excellent value with models like this Mustang II V.2 combo amp, which offers a surprisingly powerful sound in a remarkably compact package.
This little 40 watt amplifier weighs in at only 21 pounds—a third the weight of many tube amps. Its portability is certainly one of its most appealing points, but it also has a sound quality that’s much bigger than the size of the amp would suggest. The 12” speaker is designed specifically by Fender to maximize the output you can get out of a single-speaker cabinet. This little guy will give your guitar tone the power and versatility you need for everything from classic rock to smooth jazz.
This versatility is in large part thanks to the 18 amp models that come installed. The Mustang II also gives you a host of effects, including intelligent pitch shifting, big fuzz, and green screamer, with even more effects available through the included Fender FUSE software. Whether you’re planning to use it on the stage or in the studio, the Fender Mustang II gives you the sound and features you need at a price you can afford. This is a classic and one of the best guitar amps under $300 (actually under $200) on the market.
Fender Champion 40
If you are looking to extend your playing beyond the realms of rock, metal, and heavy blues, we recommend giving the Fender Champ 40 a go.
This amp comes from one of the most renowned manufacturers of musical equipment out there, which becomes evident from the moment you plug in.
The word of the day here is versatility. Fender might be typically associated with classic rock, but the boys have really stepped up their game in recent years, and are now easily capable of covering just about everything from light pop to heavy metal.
The amp delivers 40 watts of power while utilizing very user friendly and straightforward controls such as FX Select and Voice. You just need a few minutes alone with this little guy and you’ll already be able to dial in the desired settings and acquire the desired sound.
The thing we particularly like about this Champ is the fact that it pretty much never sounds bad. As long as you don’t overload it and push to a breaking point by cranking everything up to 11, you will always have a good sound. The amp never sounds synthetic and phony, and in the era of digital trickery and shortcuts, that is most certainly no mean feat.
Line 6 Spider IV 30
And speaking of versatility, up next is the company whose name is typically associated with the given word – Line 6. Their Spider IV amp is globally renowned as one of the industry’s game-changers, and we wholeheartedly consider it a shoo-in for any type of rundown similar to our little list here.
With 30 watts of power, this fella is perfect as your first amp, a device to spend countless practice hours on and conduct many sonic experiments with.
Experimentation is the focal point here, but what we really like is that despite having a truly vast array of sonic tweaks available, which include a set of 12 dialed in amp models and seven smart effect types, the device always delivers the goods with solid or high-quality audio. This gives the players a realistic image of effects they could use, allowing them to actually forge their style from the very get-go. In the world of overproduction, carving a distinctive style is a must, and this little Spider allows it.
As for other notable features, the amp features a single 12-inch Celestion custom speaker, a standard 1/4-inch input, a 1/4-inch headphone output, a CD/MP3 input, a built-in chromatic tuner, and a FBV foot controller jack. This should be on anyone’s list of the best guitar amps under $300.
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
Last but certainly not least, we’d like to draw your attention to the Peavey Vypyr VIP 1, a budget-friendly option on this list that is bound to surprise you with quality performance.
First off, this thing works on all front, operating not just as an electric guitar amp but as an acoustic guitar amp and even a bass amp. The manufacturer made sure that all frequencies are properly covered and that you have absolutely nothing to worry about whether you plug in a high-pitched electric guitar or a low-end bass into this thing.
In addition to standard practice and jamming use, we advise getting this amp if you are into recording music. The VIP 1 is perfect for demoing your material, and really makes the process surprisingly simple and effective.
We’re talking about a modeling amp that features a wide range of sounds and effects, along with an onboard looper and an included five-year warranty. Bar none, this is one of the best guitar amps under $300.
What to Expect from a $300 Amp?
We’ll sum up our thoughts by underlining what a $300 or cheaper amp can bring you. First and foremost, we believe that this budget is best spent on a quality house amp rather than a crappy amp for live shows that will do you no good.
Other than that, focus on versatility and covering as much ground as possible. Your home is the perfect place to make sonic experiments, and you will want an amp that will be able to follow you on every turn you decide to make.
Finally, expect to practice and don’t expect the amp to cover your musical shortcomings. Get that six-string in your hand and get to work!