The mid-priced amp range has long been one of the most hotly contested areas of the music-making market and, if anything, it's become more competitive in recent years.
This is the territory of the more serious Vox, Orange and Marshall boxes and classy valve combos, but you'll also see innovative takes on the concept from the likes of BluGuitar and Hughes & Kettner.
There are of course many notable and respected amps not featured on this list - Fender's Blues Junior III, or '68 Custom Princeton Reverb for example - but only those products that have scored 4.5 stars of higher in our rigorous tests made the grade in this round-up.
Browse on to see our pick of the highest performing mid-priced amps...
Victory V40 'The Duchess'
Victory Amplification is rapidly carving a reputation as the British amp company to watch out for, and with no less a player than Guthrie Govan endorsing its products, that's hardly surprising.
By focusing on often-overlooked but highly effective low-to-medium overdrive sounds, the V40 has effectively carved out its own niche, and looks set to become popular for blues, roots, jazz and country players.
"A very portable head with stunning low-gain tone that's in a class of its own."
FULL REVIEW: Victory V40 'The Duchess' review
BUY: Victory V40 'The Duchess' currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music
BluGuitar Amp 1
We've seen several floor-standing pedalboard-type amps in the last couple of years, but the Amp 1 is in a completely different league, combining great tone and useful features with the simplicity of a vintage head, while offering the option to add MIDI control and patch presets for players who want all of that.
Without it, the Amp 1 is still a potent tool and one that could revolutionise many players' backline needs. It looks great, sounds great, it's portable and has plenty of features to keep die-hard tweakers happy for hours.
"The next big thing? We reckon the Amp 1 will do for pedal amps what the iPad did for tablets - watch out!"
FULL REVIEW: BluGuitar Amp 1 review
BUY: BluGuitar Amp 1 currently available from:
Laney Ironheart IRT30-112
With its beefy 30-watt output and comprehensive channel coverage, Laney's Ironheart may seem like something of a black sheep in a world of tiny retro valve combos, but with a low price tag (at least, in the UK), it more than justifies its position as a cost-effective combo for gigging guitarists and tweak-happy tonehounds.
This Laney more than delivers on value-for-money with a large range of features and tones. That comes at a price of weight and size, but this brute will carry fans of heavier styles to bigger stages.
"One of the most versatile valve combos we've heard in this price range: one seriously impressive amp."
FULL REVIEW: Laney Ironheart IRT30-112 review
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Twelve
We've always found plenty to praise in H&K's TubeMeister series, and in recent years, the TubeMeister 18 has become the best-selling valve head in the USA. Now it's available in a 1x12 combo format.
Anyone who's tried a TubeMeister head or combo in the past will know that H&K is onto a winning formula, and the 18 Twelve is no exception.
"A lightweight, versatile combo that offers straightforward functionality and packs tonnes of great tones."
FULL REVIEW: Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Twelve review
AER Compact 60 3
The Compact 60 3 is a very simple proposition that neatly answers the question, 'What is the best-sounding, most portable, professional standard acoustic guitar amplifier I can buy?' It's that straightforward, and the list of professional players who choose it only serves to underline the point.
Apart from the price - we're into serious/ pro territory - the biggest hurdle to get over with this amp is the physical size. The diminutive dimensions might kid you into thinking this box will be lacking in power or volume, but not a bit of it: the Compact 60 3 will surprise you with the size and spread of its projection.
"Super portable, excellent sounding acoustic guitar amp that you can also sing through. Pro all the way."
FULL REVIEW: AER Compact 60 3 review
Peavey ValveKing 100 head
The popular ValveKing line combines made-in-China pricing with boutique features and Peavey's customary reliability.
The ValveKing range is about getting boutique features and sounds on a budget, and this amp is priced to sell in the most competitive sector of the market, aimed squarely at the younger players, weekend warriors and dedicated amateur home users who make up the bulk of the amp-buying population.
"Big and beefy it may be, but the extended feature set makes it highly versatile. We like those 6L6s, too."
FULL REVIEW: Peavey ValveKing 100 head review
Mesa Engineering Recto-Verb Twenty-Five
Mesa has an enviable reputation for producing great-looking, beautifully made guitar amplifiers, and the Recto-Verb Twenty-Five is no exception.
The Recto-Verb Twenty-Five is proof that nobody can match Mesa when it comes to maximum tone from minimum dimensions.
"Mesa scores big time with the Recto-Verb Twenty- Five - it's the best small combo the company has made in ages."
FULL REVIEW: Mesa Engineering Recto-Verb Twenty-Five review
As ever, simplicity proves itself to be the backbone of great design, but that doesn't mean Marshall has skimped on features.
Like the original DSL, you've got two channels, divided into Classic Gain and Ultra Gain. Each also has two separate modes, giving you four different voices to play with. Sonically, it's as great as it's ever been, if not better. A keen reminder that Marshall has earned every one of those 50 years at the top.
"Undoubtedly one of the most compelling sub-£700 combos around."
FULL REVIEW: Marshall DSL40C review
Peavey 6505+ 112 Combo
Peavey clearly empathises with the reality for the gigging guitarist - that a wall of stacks is just not feasible. Instead its stripped the guts of its genre-defining 6505+ head and placed them in a cabinet with a 12-inch Sheffield speaker.
The combo has the same two-channel/ three-mode design as the head, but you lose a 12AX7 preamp valve and a pair of 6L6GL output valves. Fledgling metallers who are yet to reach bigger venues will appreciate the portability and control that a 1x12-inch combo provides, and the direct output will come in handy if you're playing the occasional larger gig.
"For those who want to play with true stadium-metal tones but on a smaller budget, this amp is perfect."
FULL REVIEW: Peavey 6505+ 112 Combo review
This new amp is not a reissue of any particular AC4 model; rather, its a cosmetic cousin of differently styled early Voxes, built for today's practising or recording guitarist. That it employs one of the most historically significant and drop-dead gorgeous looks in all guitar ampdom is a happy bonus.
A great grab-and-go tone machine and, while there's no reverb, it has wonderful clean and drive tones, all imbued with chiming Class A Vox tone.
"For recording, this could be all the amp you ever need."
FULL REVIEW: Vox AC4HW1 review
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 36
There are some hot competitors in the tone department at the moment. However, none have MIDI switching and a multi-step attenuator that can also be remotely controlled - we think that's a first and it makes the TubeMeister 36 a seriously versatile amp, especially when teamed with a good MIDI effects device.
If you're looking for a mid-priced amp that really can do it all, the TubeMeister 36 deserves to be right at the top of your 'must try' list.
"Hughes & Kettner has produced a gem we reckon will sell and sell."
FULL REVIEW: Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 36 review
Vox AC15C2 'Twin'
The AC15 'Twin' does sound magnificent when clean, but listen carefully and it's rarely completely undistorted.
That harmonically rich drive that was never supposed to be there is the key characteristic that latter day, non-master volume AC users find hardest to replicate. The simple fact is that now you can.With twin speakers for the extra spread and depth, this is one AC15 that's so much more than a half-measure. There's literally nothing else quite like it out there.
"Pretty much the only relatively affordable 2 x 12, EL84-driven, 15-watt valve combo available. Thank heavens it's good!"
FULL REVIEW: Vox AC15C2 'Twin' review
Egnater Tweaker 40
The Tweaker 40 combo is a neatly proportioned package with a higher level of attention to detail than you'll find on many offshore-made amplifiers.
We think the Tweaker 40 is a superb club amp; the fact that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg is a positive bonus that could have you laughing all the way to the bank… and gig!
"In a crowded market, the Tweaker 40 is one of the best mid-price amps out there. Don't pass up the chance to try one."
FULL REVIEW: Egnater Tweaker 40 review
The TH100 is a great British amplifier in every sense of the phrase, except for the discreet 'made in PRC' around the back that betrays its Chinese origins. As we type this using a Chinese-made computer wearing Chinese-made clothes, is this even an issue?
Ultimately, this is a pro-spec amplifier that's at once both simple and tweakable, is loud enough for any stage on earth and sounds good at sensible levels too… all for less than a grand.
"This is an amp for the road, not the pub at the end of your road. Crystal cleans and blistering raunch make this a must-try amp in its class. Turn it up, stand back and grin!"
FULL REVIEW: Orange TH100 review
Vox Night Train NT50H
This is a surprising amp. The touch-sensitivity, quick attack and sparkling highs are all classic Vox hallmarks, but they're tempered by the extra headroom and visceral power on tap from that EL34 power section.
In stylistic terms it'll cover a great deal of ground - perhaps unsurprisingly - between a more rock-focused AC30 and, dare we say, a heavier-gained Marshall JCM800. 50 watts keeps a relative lid on things, but it's plenty loud enough for a pub and club band, especially with the superb G12Hs: tonally it's a winner.
"A brilliantly conceived, expertly executed head that offers a compelling balance of portability and volume for classic rock and blues gigs."
FULL REVIEW: Vox Night Train NT50H review
Laney L20T 212 combo
Laney's Lionheart series consistently surprises us every time we plug into one.The range continues to grow, with the recent addition of the L20T 212 combo, which uses four EL84s wired in parallel single-ended to provide around 20 watts.
The L20T is a serious boutique amp with more versatility than many and a price that's almost embarrassingly affordable. We can think of a few well-known competitors that cost three times as much, and are frankly struggling to keep up with the sonic excellence here. It's built like a tank, and should handle anything that pro touring can throw at it.
"The colour scheme may be polarising but the sounds aren't: world-class tone at a very affordable price."
FULL REVIEW: Laney L20T 212 combo review
Blackstar HT Club 40 1x12 combo
Blackstar's mid-priced market, err, stars,the HT Venue amps are intended to give the working musician maximum bang for his/her buck.
The Club 40 is ideal for enthusiastic semi-pro and amateur use and should last for absolutely ages. In this price bracket there's a lot of very worthy competition that's fighting hard for your money and the Blackstars are not the cheapest products out there. They are, however, among the very best.
"The HT Venue series sets a benchmark for affordable performance. Plug in as soon as you can!"
FULL REVIEW: Blackstar HT Club 40 1x12 combo review