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Best Amp Under $300?

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

  1. Tom_dB

    Tom_dB TDPRI Member

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    Monoprice 15-Watt Combo Tube Amp. Over a year of owning it, and I'm still impressed with how damned good this little amp sounds.
     
  2. jonpowl

    jonpowl TDPRI Member

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    Love my 90 USA Blues Junior, but would consider the Pro Junior Tweed. They're a little pricey new, but should be in your price range used. Around the house, I use my Roland Cube Street 5 watt version, which runs on batteries and AC, has 8 COSM amp models, effects, EQ, and built-in tuner. The Black Panel sound just like a Fender Tube amp. I think I paid $150 for the Roland used but in new condition with a cover.
     
  3. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    A used pre-modeling era American made Peavey solid state amp would be great for your purposes and budget. I think up to the early 2000s a lot of Peaveys were still American made.
     
  4. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Teal Stripe 90's Peavey goodness...
     
  5. albatros

    albatros TDPRI Member

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    Roland JC 22
    DV Mark Little Jazz
    P. S. Stay away from modeling amps if you want to improve your playing.
     
  6. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

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    62FF767C-FD9C-4FC2-824D-CCFC2F8C132A.jpeg I acquired both of these used for $200. Used in a hotel room and now an apartment. Headphone out on the GT-1 is quite good as well. Quite content with both. 888CE282-186E-4C19-BEC9-1D2DE871403F.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  7. BlueGillGreg

    BlueGillGreg TDPRI Member

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    Wait until the guitar comes and then try it through a few amps. Hopefully this can be done with an appointment, masks, and maybe gloves.
     
  8. NJ Deadhead

    NJ Deadhead Tele-Holic

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    Bought my son one of these new for $50 at guitar center. Nice little amp for the money.
     
  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had one of these red ones. It was really a great little amp, sounded big, and I liked the LED overdrive circuit.
     
  10. MiniMig

    MiniMig TDPRI Member

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    My Gretsch Centerblock sounds lovely through the Blues Jr. - can't believe the big tone for a little package.
     
  11. waynereed

    waynereed TDPRI Member

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    Lots of great suggestions here. The issue is . . . personal taste. I'm pretty sure you could buy any of these amps and will be more than happy with any of them.

    If you're just starting out, don't play much yet, then you're quite a ways off from gigging. BUT . . . you could find yourself jamming with a buddy soon. Maybe even jamming with a couple buds, who play bass and drums.

    If you go too small, you won't be able to jam with others. (You WILL be able to jam with a buddy! You just both have to play at a reasonable volume.)

    IF . . . if you think you'll be jamming in even a beginner's combo within the next year or so, consider buying something that can do both . . . sound great at low volume, AND can play loud enough to jam with a band.

    I'm 71, been gigging since the mid 60's. I have dozens of guitars and a dozen great amps! Including power houses like a VOX AC30-CC2, a Marshall, etc. I can play for HUGE venues with no volume limitations.

    I play many styles, professionally. I can play straight out Jazz, love Blues! I play a lot of Santana, and love playing all the old SURF stuff. (Surf is fun to play, sounds cool, and one of the best styles to learn if you want to learn to play guitar really well! I've been teaching longer than you've been alive. Trust me, learn Surf songs! All those cool guitar-based melodies. You'll get to know your guitar better, and develop much better timing! Picking coordination, and articulation. Playing slowly is always the key to getting better. Most Surf tunes are moderate tempos. Learn Surf, get better. Play anything!)

    So, from a performer's perspective . . . Guess what my MAIN, go to gig rig is.

    A 15wt Fender all tube Super Champ HEAD through a MojoTone 4x12 Lite with Celestion Neo-Creamback speakers!

    I can't get the amp past 3 on volume for even outside gigs. It's that loud.

    Super Champs are WAY under rated! So my suggestion . . . But a Super Champ HEAD! Pick up any speaker cab you can find cheap. The 1x10 in the combo (if you buy the combo instead) sounds crazy good! But you can't push it hard at any volume past 3 or it breaks up, and not in a great way. The 1x10 is not enough speaker for the amp at more than moderate volume. BUT it sounds GREAT at lower volumes!!! I use to have 3 SC combos! Yeah, THREE! I used 2 to run my guitar rig stereo, and one for harp. But even with 2 in stereo I couldn't get quite loud enough for mid/large gigs.

    BUT, if you go with the head, and maybe a Fender 1x12 (recommended) cab, LATER, when you're ready to start jamming with a band, all you need to do is buy a better speaker cab! And still use the small cab for the bedroom!

    The SC has a great clean channel, and a very useful OD channel with amp sims! Plus built in effects that are more than useful! Actually, they're very good effects! And you can use 2 at a time, unlike most DSP amps. (Like you can use Delay & Reverb together, etc.)

    The amp also handles pedals GREAT! Because it's designed to be a CLEAN amp! And it's a tube amp!

    If you shop around, you can find SC heads for around $150/$200. And speaker cabs are easy to find used, and cheap. I strongly suggest a 1x12. Otherwise it's gonna be loud! Or a 1x10, maybe you can find a 2x8! Hard to dial in great tones if volume isn't up at least a little!

    NOTE: Celestion Neodymium speakers are incredibly efficient! I use 4 Neos in a 4x12 cab and it's clean and LOUD! If you buy a used 1x12 cab that's shot, you can get it dirt cheap. Buy a Celestion from MojoTone. Pop it into the cab, and you'll have GREAT tone! You cannot beat the sound of these speakers if you want clean, transparent sound! Then use your pedals, or amp effects and amp syms to get the sound you want! PLUS, they weigh a LOT less than other speakers! My 4x12 cab weighs 43 pounds! (Compared to most 4x12's weighing around 65 pounds!)

    I've gigged with that head using a 1x12 for small gigs, and it's great! I use a quality 2x10 custom built cab for small to medium size gigs. And the MojoTone 4x12 cab for big, or outside gigs.

    I've owned probably 50 amps in my life. Gigged through the 60's, then kicked it up in the 70's. (Hendrix, Cream era stuff), done Jazz gigs. Played thru the 80's and 90's. And still gigging today!

    I've found the SC head and cab to be the most versatile, flexible, and best sounding amp combo for any playing scenario!

    NOTE: Just so you know (full disclosure here!) When I gig, I play a LOT of different styles of music at any gig. If it's a Blues gig, and we're playing heavy Blues and Classic Rock, I bring my Fender rig AND my Marshall! If it's what I call a "normal" gig, and I'm playing a variety of my stuff . . . I bring my Fender rig AND my VOX AC30-CC2, or one of my VOX AC15-C1 amps. Depending on the size of the gig.

    Most often it's the Fender rig and a VOX. Why? Mainly because I play a LOT of SURF and Santana! The Fender rig sounds AWESOME for USA Surf, especially when using my real Reverb Tank. Can't get a better sound for USA Surf!

    BUT . . . I also play British Rock. And the VOX . . . Well, The Shadows, Dude! Nothing sounds like the Shadows more than a Strat thru a VOX! Plus I get a phenomenal tone with my PRS thru the VOX for Santana tunes!

    There you go. Lots of "bedroom" advice above. And all GOOD! But if you want a player's opinion, for tone, versatility, volume, economy, and potential long term use . . . go with a Super Champ head and a Fender closed back 1x12 to start! OR . . . get the combo! You can still use a cab with it, and don't need to dump the amp and replace it later if you start jamming!

    Play on! Wayne Reed
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
    Tim S and TwangerWannabe like this.
  12. wbmeyerson

    wbmeyerson TDPRI Member

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    For clean: Roland Cube 10GX
     
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  13. stratcatt

    stratcatt TDPRI Member

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    Do yourself a favor, save up some more money and save yourself the headache and frustration of trying to make great sounding music using a cheap amp. $300. isn't likely to get you there unless a small miracle befalls you. Save an additional $300. to go with what you have now and then buy a new little Fender, or similar amp. Be patient, be picky and be specific about what you want this $600. amp to do. You will be much happier in the long run, believe me. Also, I would advise a tube amp, not a solid state amp. Of course, that's just my opinion. Some of the new solid state stuff is supposedly good, but I like tube amps. Good luck!
     
  14. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

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    The combo is a "light" weight for a 50W Marshall. For me is the last Bang for the buck. The Neodymium speaker sounds really good once broken in

    As I am a TS808 user, I will always choose a PR over a BR. Just a vol and a tone knob and you are done. Is smaller in size but to me, sounds bigger

    And light!!!

    I am really thinking on swapping the speakers in my 2x12" Marshall cab for that.





    And my last 2cts... for home ONLY, try a Yamaha THR10, please
     
  15. ballynally2

    ballynally2 Tele-Holic

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    I have a Champion 20 which i rarely use, only at panto shows in which i am in the orchestra pit. It is a handy grab and go option w all the effects. The speaker and cab and the ss amp do not produce anywhere near the niceties of a small valve amp, especially a small single ended cathode bias one. id say a Vibro Champ is a very good option or a VHT Special6.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  16. fatz treeboy

    fatz treeboy TDPRI Member

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    prolly out in left field on this one but i'll say the best amp u can get for under 3bills is a used carvin x100b...... traditional 100 watt , 2 ch head w/ 4 6l6's and 3 12 ax7's .... w/ reverb tank..... in the 80's they were the California Marshall...... as far as bedroom tones, don't worry.... it can sound great at low or high volumes.... and when u need it u will be all over the lil solid state 1x12 combo crap...... thats my 2 cents :)
    ps: i happen to own a 73 twin reverd AND 83 x100 100 watt head...... and an earlier serias 3 x amp, 1976... also 100 watts :)
     
  17. Doctor Fauxcaster

    Doctor Fauxcaster TDPRI Member

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    Vox Valvetronics series, Versatile and reasonable. If you need more tube tone, Behringer has a tube pedal for under $100 that will warm up any SS amp.
     
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  18. Otis Fine

    Otis Fine Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Monoprice 15 is good. I like the Monoprice 5 watt amp better. It’s a one trick pony, but it’s a great trick.

    I’ve had a Katana. It was good.

    I really liked the Vox AD30VT. Kind of regret selling it just because I didn’t like the metal grill.
     
  19. TeleBluesMan

    TeleBluesMan Tele-Holic

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    7 pages! Stop the madness!! Buy an Orange Crush 35RT.
     
  20. Jazzerclean

    Jazzerclean Tele-Meister

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    I have a 10gx a fun amp, but it is really a good amp & a great JC clean tone.
     
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