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Best Amp Under $300?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ddk1, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    i like it, i just like my cube more. the cube takes pedals better and with the onboard effects i don't need to always plug my pedal board in to practice. the ac4 is fine, but i like the clean and a few of the dirt models on the cube more for general usage. the ac4 is what i'd go for if i was playing some garage rock.
     
  2. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    Just noodle at home but wanted to try a valve amp. I went for the Bugera V5 infinitum.

    [​IMG]
     
    Treynor likes this.
  3. oopsimeltednitro

    oopsimeltednitro TDPRI Member

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    For 300 bucks...+1 katana ... sort of gives everyone over the age of 30 a "why didn't I have this when I was 15" reaction.
     
  4. KimTexDon

    KimTexDon TDPRI Member

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  5. bfisch

    bfisch TDPRI Member

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    Solid state I'd say Boss Katana, and for a tube option the monoprice 15w is hard to beat for the price.
     
  6. KimTexDon

    KimTexDon TDPRI Member

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    Positive Grid Spark 40. Bluetooth compatible. Can download tons of effects and presets which you can control from your phone or Bluetooth device. Runs about 299 although they are advertising 224 through August.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  7. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    After you edit or twist the knobs, you just plug in and play like any other amp.
     
  8. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    With an SCXD or SCX2, if the DSP dies you lose both channels. Channel 1 is just a DSP voice like the 16 DSP voices of Channel 2.
     
  9. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    New - Katana would be my choice - they sound good and are versatile.
    Used - a bit unconventional, but an Avid Eleven Rack - these were state of the art, and have tons of great amps and effects built in. Use with headphones or powered speakers to play at apartment levels. Bonus: it's a USB audio interface for playing back music or recording... I bought mine used in 2015 for $275.
     
  10. scooter

    scooter TDPRI Member

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    A used Vox AC-10C1 - I've bought three on Craigslist under $300 (one to leave at rehearsal space, one for gigs, one I leave in another state - with a Tele, of course - for gigs there). Sounds great with the internal 10" speaker, turns very full band gig-worthy with a 1x12" extension cabinet. Very lightweight, too.
     
    Marc Morfei likes this.
  11. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    I found a slightly used Roland Blues Cube Hot for $285.

    Old Musicmaster Bass Amps can be found for
    About $300.
     
    rangercaster likes this.
  12. flatcat90

    flatcat90 TDPRI Member

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    I really love my THR-10, it might be among my top five gear purchases ever. Sounds fantastic, fine for apartments, and I frequently use it as a recording interface. I have the version I, so it's probably not even 15W. Last time I played guitar live, I took the headphone out and plugged it into a Tech 21 PowerEngine. Sounded great. Really, really love that amp.
     
  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    My first AC4 was the AC4-TVH, which sounded better after I did a couple of mods to it. I thought the AC4C1-12 would sound better, so I sold the first AC4 and bought the 12. Honestly, I think the AC4TVH sounded better than the AC4C1-12. The AC4TVH circuit just had something cool going on that the 12 didn't have. Hard to explain. I didn't really like either of them, but if I had to choose between the two it would be the TV.
     
  14. timbgtr

    timbgtr TDPRI Member

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    As someone who is both cheap and too lazy to lug an amp weighing more than 30 lbs, I've been around the block on this more than a few times. My thoughts, some of which differ from perhaps the majority of those who've chimed in, with the caveat that I'm a Fender clean tone guy through and through. I have a '79 silverface Vibrolux Reverb that's the gold standard, and it unfortunately hasn't been out of my basement in more than 20 years. Many of these have been discontinued.

    Vox Pathfinder 15R: Unlike most, I couldn't get a sound I liked out of it, but it is loud. I gave it to a friend's daughter who was starting a band.

    Tech 21 TM30: Very lightweight, but again not quite what I'm looking for. Solid state, but analog. I still use it in the living room, but I wouldn't try to gig with it, other than as a SansAmp that happens to have a speaker. It does have a nice half-size spring reverb, along with an XLR out.

    Fender Vibro Champ XD: This is the best home practice amp I've ever had. At 5W and an 8" speaker, I wouldn't try to bring it to a bar or full band rehearsal. For those who know it, I have it on the "Champ" amp setting and the effects on "spring reverb" and otherwise don't touch it other than to tweak the volume. If you're playing at home or with light volume with friends, this is great if you can find one.

    Fender Super Champ XD: Like many, I loved this amp (with an Eminence Copperhead) and gigged with it--or tried. It died on me twice. I replaced the power tubes, which required rebiasing. If that happens once, you're over your $300 limit. Many on this list have had better experiences, so factor that in. I left the settings pretty much the same as the Vibro Champ. It also was barely loud enough for VFW hall blues jams, although the harmonica player in the house band uses an X2 and he's plenty loud.

    Roland Cube 40XL: This has been replaced by the Katana 50, which gets lots of love. I still have and use this, primarily because it weighs only 19 pounds but does the job. It's got lots of features, all easy to use, that is, no programming required. If you can find one of these used and in good shape, it's probably great bang for the buck.

    Roland Cube 80XL: When these were getting discontinued for the Katana series, the price of these fell quite a bit. Wanting a bit more low end and volume than the 40XL, I went for it. Since then, I got a pedal steel, and this amp will be devoted to that. BTW, both the 40XL and 80XL are closed back, which is annoying when you're looking for a place to stash the detachable power cord.

    Fender Champion 40: A few people mentioned this and like them. I have one, and for a long time I thought it was pretty bad, and was about ready to give it away. Then, I read that Fender puts an Eminence Cannabis Rex in their PRRI 12" amps, so I decided after reading up to put that in the Champion 40. After a bit of a break in period for the hemp-coned speaker, the amp does the job fine. It's a little heftier with the ECR speaker, probably closer to 25 lbs than 19 lbs, but still an easy haul. I pretty much leave it on the BF DR setting and spring reverb; the other 11 amp models and effects may as well not be there. With the ECR, it still comes in under $300.

    As many say, YMMV.
     
    GoldDeluxe5E3 likes this.
  15. NJ Deadhead

    NJ Deadhead Tele-Holic

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    The thing was a blast!
    Their app is very easy to use, integrates with apple music and spotify, and the smart jam feature works surprisingly well. It pulls in backing tracks from youtube also, and displays the chords being used in real time. Here is a brief (and poorly done) demo I did of the smart jam feature. The "backing track" is actually the amp reacting to me playing a couple of chords back and forth before the video started.
     
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  16. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I'd buy the combo for that, just to try it out. Good shopping El Marin -
     
  17. kirby02

    kirby02 TDPRI Member

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    I have a Fender Frontman 25 R that is an amazing sounding small amp. It has a 10 inch speaker and the tone of a much larger amp. I have used this amp to play (low volume) jams. These amps can be found for less than $100. Check out this Youtube video.
     
    rangercaster and 3-Chord-Genius like this.
  18. christafer03

    christafer03 NEW MEMBER!

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    The Spark is supposedly in stock but i would also loos at the Vox Mini Superbeetle, it is made for the living room player but can also be paired with a larger speaker for gigging or jamming with friends. Highly recommended.
     
  19. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    Roland Micro Cube is my favorite: Has amp modeling, effects, aux in and head phone jack not to mention can be battery powered or ac/dc........and they sound great...new $160 used $100 or less
     
    jays0n likes this.
  20. jays0n

    jays0n Tele-Meister

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    A friend just went through the Apartment amp hunt. He tried some things and ended up keeping the a Roland Micro Cube.
     
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