Choose the Best Metal Amp Under $500
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Metal Amps Under $500
10 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!
If you are fond of playing the guitar, then most likely you have a question about buying a guitar amplifier. A guitar amplifier will become an irreplaceable thing not only for a beginner, but also for a professional. It can be used for concerts in clubs, for rehearsals at home, for recording in the studio or at home. They buy a guitar amplifier not only because we want to improve the sound of the guitar, but also because it is mobile, compact, and can be easily transported from one place to another.
Guitarists have quite a variety of equipment, but among all that can be bought in a music store, the basis is a transistor, an amplifier and a floor lamp.
Technologies are changing and now you can easily replace the transistor with a digital one. Digital emulation is becoming more and more advanced every year and is practically not inferior to tube transistors. Despite this, professional musicians prefer to have both of them in their arsenal.
What to choose: a lamp or a transistor?
To understand which transistor is worth buying, you need to characterize each and decide on a few points. A tube guitar amp is right for you when:
- You will be studying music for more than one week;
- The sound should be harmonious for the musician to enjoy it, and not get tired of the endless loud sound of the guitar;
- You can afford the high cost of a tube transistor;
- You are considering buying guitar pedals;
- You want to assemble a pedal board.
These costs can be justified. High-quality equipment will serve you for many years and the sound will be pleasant.
The digital amplifier is suitable for those musicians who need these functions:
- Ergonomic, takes up little space;
- A wide range of built-in effects;
- Poor sound quality;
- Affordable price;
- Portability, lightness.
If you are ready to give in to quality, then this option is for you. You must remember that the more functions an amplifier has, the lower its quality.
We would still recommend that you buy tube amplifiers. They may cost more than digital ones, but the sound quality will be much better too. Even among such options, you can find
We always recommend buying tube guitar amps. We consider them to be an integral part of the guitar sound, unmatched so far in any digital emulation. Check out the 5 best metal amplifiers under $500. This will help you learn about all the advantages and disadvantages of the device and make the right choice.
Fender Mustang GT 40 Bluetooth Enabled Solid State Modeling Guitar Amplifier – the best for Wi-Fi function
This is a 40-watt, two-channel amplifier with spring reverb and chorus. Wi-Fi was first built into this model. Many musicians choose this model just because it has Wi-Fi. This gives them certain advantages of using such a combo amp. Fender spring reverb is renowned for its good sound.
This combo was well-thought-out. It has added a chorus modulation speed control, a three-band equalizer, a button for the volume control, and also has several non-standard solutions that you will not find in previous models. Here you turn on Bluetooth audio streaming, and you can control the combo amplifier using your mobile phone or laptop. The combo has a patented Fender effect.
It can be turned on using a special handle. This effectively cuts the high frequencies when played loudly and emphasizes the guitar playing if it sounds too quiet. There is also a second channel built-in here. It was optimized for vocal sound and phantom power.
- Wi-Fi equipped;
- 2-year warranty;
- Full-color display screen;
- Fender Tone app connectivity.
- It is better to update the firmware to the latest version immediately upon purchase.
It is also worth noting that this acoustic guitar amp model has a reverb control mode. The disadvantages include that such an adjustment cannot be carried out for each channel, but used according to a general parameter. You can also turn on the Feedback Suppressor using the PHASE button. It is used when playing the guitar in small rooms.
Marshall Acoustic Soloist AS50D 50 watt acoustic guitar amp – best for digital chorus and reverb.
The Marshall AS-50D is a powerful 50-watt amplifier. This model is equipped with two channels. Each channel has a 3-band EQ, feedback suppressor knob and reverb and chorus control. This is the main advantage of the combo amplifier. One of the channels is a microphone-equipped with phantom power.
Acoustic Guitar Amp Marshall AS50D 50W, four-channel combo amplifier with stereo sound. This model is suitable for recording stereo and acoustic sound, as well as for use in performances and rehearsals of acoustic groups. It is very convenient to use two channels. If you take such an amplifier at a concert, then you can connect a negative phonogram to one channel, and use the second channel as a vocal one.
- 50 watts;
- Powerful overdrive with reference mids, classic heavy metal sound;
- Reliability and ease of use;
- Stylish “Marshall” design;
- High power and volume.
- Work only from the mains;
- Quite large and heavy for a portable amplifier.
The sound of the Marshall amplifier is also worth noting. Buying such an amplifier, the sound will be dense and clean, pronounced top and middle will make the sound of an acoustic guitar as pleasant as possible. With good hearing, you can use this amplifier in a recording studio without worrying about its performance while performing. Quality assurance and quality sound make this combo one of the favorites on our list.
VHT AV-SP1-6 Special 6 Combo Amplifier – best for foot-switchable boost mode
The VHT AV-SP1-6 is the only amplifier in its class with the addition of two channels. The combo amp can be connected to a clean sounding channel, overdrive, or use a footswitch boost to adjust the tone range.
This model has added a High / Low switch that increases the low volume of the tone. This function works to improve the sound quality when using the amp at home while recording your guitar playing. When you select High, you increase the volume of the instrument. The combination is also equipped with VHT Special Design. This is a 10-inch speaker with which you can get the most effective sound.
- Pedal switchable Boost mode;
- 10 “high-sensitivity speaker;
- A clear but transparent sound, with an incredibly elastic attack, the very sound of the “British invasion”;
- Stylish retro design;
- Great reverb and tremolo.
- Operates on AC only;
- No built-in effects.
If price is one of the criteria when choosing combo amplifiers, then here we can please you. Despite the low cost of the amplifier, the bass sound quality and return are quite high. If you use a clear channel, the speaker will sound bright and clear, without any extraneous sound. If you want a more aggressive sound, use distortion effects. Try recording audio playing with overdrive, then lower the volume and feel the clarity and brightness of the sound. Whether you play rock or blues, the classic Vox sound reproduces sound with crisp color and will make it unique.
Orange Amps, 1 Electric Guitar Power Amplifier – the best for headphone out with CabSim circuit
This amplifier is inexpensive and has several interesting features that set it apart from its brethren. It’s easy to use and has a user-friendly design. The amplifier is small and only weighs 2.2 pounds. You can use the amplifier outdoors where there is no direct access to the electrical network. The amplifier has a built-in 9 V battery. Indoors you can connect the amplifier to the mains and get 20 W.
The controls are located on the side of the amplifier. It is quite easy to figure out how to use them. There are several switches here. These are gain and tone control, volume control, headphone output, guitar input, tuner.
- Quality construction;
- Great sound;
- There is an additional entrance;
- Simple controls;
- There is an output to an external speaker.
- No reverb in this model.
Despite the small size of the combo amplifier, it sounds completely different. If you connect your guitar to a clean channel, its sound will be clear. If you add a little tint drive, you can make a rough and slightly aggressive sound. Using distortion, the bass stays sharp and aggressive, you can easily feel that sound.
Amp of this brand will sound equally good in distortion modes or when using a clean channel. The tone control flexibly changes the sound in the process of tuning the amplifier. This way you can adjust the sound clearly, add a little bass and aggression, and make the sound perfect and clear.
VOX AC10C1 Guitar Amplifier Head – the best for Master Volume controls
The VOX AC10C1 is a 10W guitar combo amp, a reissue of the acclaimed VOX AC10 amp model that was produced from the early to mid-1960s. The tube combo amplifier has a great thick, clear, and stunningly readable sound at low volume, which is a significant advantage for a guitar combo and is not so common. The VOX AC10C1 guitar Amp has a distinctive sound and proves that high power is not necessary to get a great sound. The combo amplifier is perfect for home practice and rehearsals, and can also be successfully used in the studio or at a concert.
- Sound quality;
- 11-mode sound character change;
- Microphone input;
- Lots of effects;
- Includes AC adapter.
- Overtones appear at high volume.
Its portability, along with a wide range of sound control functions, make this combo amp model interesting for beginners to use. Paired with an electric guitar, this amp can produce loud bass, sound bright and clear.
On a clean channel, you can set the volume to maximum and get great VOX sound. For such a small and compact speaker, the sound of an acoustic guitar will be very powerful.
There are many factors to consider when purchasing an acoustic guitar amp. It is necessary to pay attention not only to the price and size of the amplifier but also to many other things. When buying, consider the presence of built-in effects, sound quality, portability, the ability to work from the mains and the battery, the ability to connect to external devices.
Most amplifiers on the musical equipment market are lightweight and portable. Even the ones we wrote about in our review do not take up much space in your rehearsal room. They weigh very little. The most common models are around 30 watts and weigh around 2.2 – 2.5 pounds.
If portability does not matter, you will not carry the amplifier from place to place, then more powerful and massive amplifier models are quite suitable for you. The sound of such models is much better, clearer, especially at low frequencies.
The more the better the rule does not always work here. Sometimes the presence of large built-in effects only degrades the sound quality of the guitar. Many amplifiers sound very clear and beautiful, yet they only have 3-5 sound effects. Undoubtedly, effects help you find the optimal sound, the sound that will sound exactly how you want.
If you like onboard effects, be sure to try Fender. This model has many sound effects that stand out from other representatives of sound amplifiers. With a large speaker, you will get good bass if you use this model with a bass guitar or acoustic guitar.
When choosing a combo amplifier, pay attention to the fact that the model can connect to an external device. All amplifiers we reviewed in this review have this input. Also, choose a model that has a microphone jack. It would be nice to have an output for connecting external speakers. They equip few models with such a function, but if you come across just such a model, do not hesitate and buy it.
Compact amplifiers won’t give you the sound quality of the full-size versions. But most often these models are bought for home use. In a small room or small club, they will sound decent, with a minor power they will show clear sound.
In terms of sound quality, the best in our roundup are the Fender Mustang GT 40 and the Marshall Acoustic Soloist AS50D 50-watt acoustic guitar amplifier. Their large speaker delivers really powerful sound and almost accurately captures the distinctive character of these brands.
Useful Video: Lunchbox Amps Shootout
Going to the store for a guitar amplifier, it makes sense to study in advance the main parameters that characterize the combo. Let us emphasize the criteria that will help solve the problem:
- schematic diagram: tube, transistor, or hybrid
- manufacturing firm
- character of music
- the presence of effects and additional devices (for example, a tuner)
If you are not into music very recently, then you may not understand how to choose an amplifier for an electric guitar among the hundreds of options available. Which of the presented assortment is perfect for you, and which is better to pass by right away. We are sure that this article will help you solve this issue. Having considered all the main parameters of amplifiers from our top, and having decided on what they are and what they are suitable for, you can easily make your choice.