Whether you’re looking to just practise your chords and scales, or you’ve got your first gig coming up, the best guitar amps under $300/£300 will ensure you’re always ready to rock, with sucking up your entire gear budget.
A good amplifier is the heart of any guitarist's sound and most would say it’s the single most important thing in determining your tone, apart from your playing of course! It used to be that great amp tone was out of reach for beginner guitar players, but thanks to the marvels of modelling technology, you can now get a huge range of different tones and effects without blowing your whole budget.
We've picked and tested some of our favourite sub-$300/£300 amps for this guide. You can see our choices below, in addition to some buying advice further down the page to help you make your choice.
Best guitar amps under $300/£300: MusicRadar’s Choice
The Orange Crush 35RT quite literally crushes it as the number one choice for best guitar amp under $300/£300. Delivering searing dirt tones and pristine cleans, it’s powerful enough for your first gig and offers a headphone-out for silent practice.
The Fender Champion 40 comes in second place thanks to its myriad amp tones and effects. It’s a road-ready and reliable companion that will serve you well beyond your initial foray into the world of guitar playing.
Best guitar amps under $300/£300: Product Guide
Orange amps are fast becoming one of the biggest names in the game thanks to their powerful, unique tonal voice. The Orange Crush 35RT gives players the sound and features of the company's more expensive tube amps, in a unit that is unbelievable value for money.
The Crush 35RT guitar amp has two channels, clean and dirty, with plenty of scope to cover a huge array of sounds. The clean channel is warm and full, whilst the dirt channel can do everything from Britpop to Slipknot.
The built-in reverb delivers a shimmery ambience to your playing, whilst the onboard tuner ensures you’re always in the right key. The CabSim circuit even lets you record straight to your computer - using the amp essentially as an audio interface. Great for getting your ideas down whenever inspiration strikes.
Read the full Orange Crush 35RT review
The Fender Champion 40 is a real workhorse amp that can do it all. It features 12 different amp voices with classics from the Fender stable like the Bassman, Deluxe and 65 Twin Reverb.
As well as giving you a choice of classic Fender amp tones, there are also British-voiced Marshall emulations and a suite of high gain amp tones. This means you can cover a lot of ground with a single amplifier that’s more than powerful enough for small gigs.
There are 12 built-in effects with chorus, delay, and reverb ready for you to accentuate your guitar tone. You get a headphone jack for silent practice, and a line in for jamming along to your favourite songs, making this a supremely powerful amp for relatively little money.
There’s not much more inspiring than seeing that gold control band and white Marshall logo on your amplifier when you plug in your guitar. The Marshall MG30GFX aims to give newer players a boutique British amp tone without costing an arm and a leg.
Marshall amps are all about their drive tones, so it’s no surprise to find three drive channels to play with. All of them offer up that lovely and warm crunch that Marshall is renowned for, and will do everything from a light dusting to all-out sonic chaos.
The onboard effects range from reverb to octave effects, ensuring you’ll have plenty of room for experimentation. You get a headphone-out for silent practice, and there’s even a recording-out that allows you to record to your computer or smartphone.
If you want to understand what all the fuss about tube amps is, then the Bugera V5 Infinium offers players a low-cost way to experience the holy grail of guitar tone. It’s quite incredible that Bugera can offer such a configuration at this price, but we’re not going to complain!
The V5 Infinium is powered by an EL84 tube, delivering a powerful guitar tone. When clean it’s a luscious, warm sound but dial up the gain and you get a throaty and mid-heavy voice that will cut through well on stage and in the practice room.
Despite being only 5 watts, this is a tube amp so it’s seriously loud. Thankfully Bugera has included a power attenuation switch so you can go down to 1 watt, or even 0.5 watts when practising at home.
Blackstar is a serial innovator and the ID:Core V3 is definitely made with the modern guitar player in mind. The busy control panel gives you a plethora of amp tones, effects and connectivity options, making this one incredibly versatile amplifier.
Six amp types deliver a variety of clean and dirty sounds, covering everything from vintage chime to a tight, metal guitar tone. You can get some absolutely gorgeous crunch sounds out of it too, whether you like a ’70s classic rock vibe or a more modern indie guitar twang.
Onboard effects are delivered in super-wide stereo thanks to the speaker configuration, so the high-quality suite of reverbs, delays, and modulation effects sound absolutely stunning. You can stream directly to your smartphone and computer, and the Architect software allows for in-depth tone tweaking.
Read the full Blackstar ID:Core V3 Stereo 40 review
The Fender Mustang LT25 is a very modern take on the modelling amplifier that does away with busy control panels to get you a great tone, quickly. The onboard display guides your way through selecting your amp voice and effects, making for efficient sound selection.
There are 30 ready-made presets for you to select from, with everything from classic Fender clean tones to high gain metal madness. You can tweak the presets with a simple press of the large encoder button, adjusting the tone to your desired sound.
The suite of effects gives you everything from the more utilitarian compression to exotic sounds like the octaver and auto-wah. Having these on board will help you to push the boundaries of your guitar playing through experimentation, and there are some fantastic delay and reverb sounds too.
Read the full Fender Mustang LT25 review
Line 6 was the originator of the modelling amp, and its Spider range has remained popular thanks to the huge amount of choice it offers. The Line 6 Spider V 30 gives you plenty of power for small gigs while offering lots of opportunities for finding your sound.
There are so many choices of amp tone here that it will take you days to get through them all. The cleans are lovely and pristine, while the crunch and high gain tones offer plenty of girth for harder and heavier riffing.
You can control everything with your smartphone if you wish, which offers a nicer interface than the tactile controls on the front of the amp. It even comes bundled with a copy of Cubase so you can lay down demos whenever inspiration strikes.
The Vox Valvetronix VT20X is a hybrid amplifier that aims to put realistic valve amp tones within the grasp of any guitar player. Featuring an actual 12AX7 tube in the preamp section, it delivers the warmth and touch sensitivity so loved by guitarists across the globe.
There are a lot of amp models and features here which can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you spend some time with it you’re sure to find your perfect sound. It does Fender-style Tweed, Marshall-type crunch, and of course, the classic Vox Type-A chime.
With the 20 built-in effects, you won’t find anything particularly experimental, but all of them are very usable, accentuating the amp tones well. The included Vox tone room software lets you download some amazing presets that emulate many famous guitar players’ rigs.
The Marshall CODE25 represents the British amp brand’s first foray into the world of modelling amps, aiming to bring the stable of classic Marshall tones into one handy package. It comes pre-loaded with 100 presets to get you up and running quickly.
There are plenty of awesome tones here, with searing lead tones that simulate pushed tube amps as well as classics like the Marshall Plexi Super Lead sound. The majority of the presets are usable out of the box too.
Onboard effects include all the usual suspects like reverb, delay, and modulation. When you connect the Marshall Gateway app you can sculpt the effects and amp tones in minute detail, with the amp reacting in real-time to help you dial in your perfect guitar tone.
Read the full Marshall Code 25 review
The Roland Cube 10GX delivers a surprising quality of amp tone considering its small size and low price point. Using it in conjunction with Roland’s Cube Kit app allows you to unlock even more amp tones, expanding this amplifier’s sonic palette.
The sound quality is phenomenal even as you crank it louder, with a harmonically rich clean tone that works well for jazz and country. The dirt settings are just as good too, with tight high gain sounds and articulate crunch tones aplenty.
The Cube Kit app is super easy to use, and while it would be even better with a wireless connection, that doesn’t detract from the high-quality amp tones on offer. An aux input lets you jam to your favourite tunes, whilst the headphone-out is great for silent practice.
Best guitar amps under $300/£300: Buying advice
What type of amp can I get for under $300/£300?
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When purchasing an amplifier at this price point your choices are fairly limited. Amplifiers are expensive pieces of gear, particularly when it comes to the most highly sought-after tube-driven amps. The best amps under $300/£300 are more likely to be solid-state or modelling amps, aiming to emulate the warm sound of their tube amp cousins through digital wizardry. That’s not to say you can’t find a great-sounding amp at this price point though. Modelling technology gets cumulatively better with each iteration, and thus draws ever closer to emulating the holy grail of guitar tone, the tube guitar amplifier.
Do these amps have extra features?
There are often a plethora of features on amplifiers in this price range so it’s a good idea to do your research so you can understand what it is you need. For example, if you’re spending the majority of your time practising at home, a headphone-out is a must (check out out guide to the best guitar amp headphones if need to invest). If you’re gigging then you’ll want to make sure you have enough power to compete with the other instruments in the mix. The type of music you play is also key – if you like heavier styles then an amplifier with a good drive channel will be a necessity. If you’re interested in experimenting with different effects then be sure to look out for an amplifier with these built-in.
How much power do I need?
One of the best ways to determine what an amp is best suited to is its wattage. This figure gives you an idea of how loud the amplifier is, and thus what its capabilities are. Anything over 30 watts should be plenty for smaller gigs and rehearsals.
Conversely, amps over 30 watts will sound incredibly loud at home, so be prepared to turn it down or use headphones! Speaker size also plays a part in determining the sound. Universally speaking, the bigger the speaker, the more dynamic range you’ll have, particularly in the low end. For the most part a 10-inch speaker is more than enough to cover a guitar’s range, but if you like to downtune or play heavier styles, a 12-inch speaker might be better suited to getting you that low-end girth you’ll need.
Related buying guides
- Got a bigger budget? These are the best guitar amps under $/£1,000
- And these are the best budget guitar amps under $500/£500
- Take a look at the best practice amps
- Limited space? Check out the best small guitar amps
- Go all out with the best high-end guitar amps