Choose the Best Metal Amp Under $500
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Metal Amps Under $500
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So you’ve decided to buy yourself a guitar amp. As you know, the main advantage of a guitar amplifier is all in one: both the amplifier and the cabinet. Compactness, mobility, and ease of transportation. Guitar amplifiers are bought for rehearsals, home practice, concerts in small rooms, small clubs, as well as for recording in the studio.
There are 3 main types of devices for guitarists:
There are more and more digital ones and fewer transistor ones. technologies and electronic components change, and digital emulation is getting closer to a real lamp every year. However, tube amplifiers are still popular today and are the preferred choice for professional musicians.
What to choose: a lamp or a transistor?
Good question. To answer it, you need to decide on several points. If you want to practice for a long time, enjoy the sound, not get tired of the sound, and have the opportunity to play quite loudly, then our recommendation is definitely to buy a guitar tube amplifier. Especially if the budget allows you. Especially if you plan on buying guitar pedals and assembling your pedalboard in the future. In this case, the cost of a guitar amplifier will be justified, because this is an investment in your guitar future, and you will thank yourself more than once for buying a quality device that will serve you for many years and will delight you with sound from day one.
If you want a wide variety of onboard effects so that your amp doesn’t take up a lot of space or weight, and you’re willing to make compromises in sound, then a solid-state/digital amp is your choice. Buying a guitar amp for home, playing on weekends, or after work without spending a lot of money on it is also possible and there are good options here too. But the rule, as with any hardware, is simple: take the cost of the hardware and divide it by the number of functions. The result is quality. The more functions, as a rule, the lower the quality of each one.
We always recommend purchasing tube guitar amplifiers. we consider them to be an integral part of the guitar sound, so far unsurpassed by any digital emulation. Check out the top 5 Best Metal Amps 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
Opening the top is the Fender Mustang GT 40, a two-channel 40-watt amplifier with chorus and spring reverb, and the brand’s first wi-fi. It is the presence of the latter that often persuades musicians to choose this particular model since Fender’s spring reverbs are known for their rather good sound. The instrument channel is equipped with a three-band EQ, volume control, button, and chorus modulation speed control. This combo also has several non-standard solutions, including Bluetooth streaming and control available from your mobile device. Patented Fender effect that cuts high frequencies when played loudly and brings out nuances of playing when played quietly. This effect is adjusted with a separate knob. The second channel is fully optimized for vocals and has phantom power.
- Wi-Fi equipped;
- 2-Year Warranty;
- Full-color display screen;
- Connectivity to the Fender Tone app.
- It is better to update the firmware to the latest version when buying right away.
The advantages of the amplifier can also be attributed to the presence of reverberation control, which can be carried out not for each channel separately, but also by a general parameter. There is also a modest feedback suppressor for small rooms that can be turned on with the PHASE button.
Marshall Acoustic Soloist AS50D 50 Watt Acoustic Guitar Amplifier – the best for digital chorus and reverb
The Marshall AS-50D is a solid 50 Watt acoustic guitar amp. It has two channels, one of which is a microphone with phantom power. Each channel has a separate three-band EQ, as well as reverb and chorus controls and a feedback suppressor knob. There is a stereo.
The Marshall AS50D 50 Watt Acoustic Guitar Amplifier, four-channel combo amplifier that is perfect for rehearsals and performances for acoustic teams. You can connect two instrument channels to the combo, one vocal channel, and the remaining one linear channel can, for example, include a phonogram with a “minus”.
- 50 Watts;
- Powerful overdrive with reference mids, classic heavy metal sound;
- Reliability and ease of use;
- Stylish “marshall” design;
- High power and volume.
- Operation only from the electrical network;
- Quite large and heavy for a portable amp.
Marshall amplifiers have always been distinguished by a clear and dense sound with pronounced “top” and “middle”. These amps are very reliable, so you won’t have to fear for them during performances. Also, with experience and good hearing, you can set up a very good sound for recording.
VHT AV-SP1-6 Special 6 Combo Amplifier – best for foot-switchable boost mode
The VHT AV-SP1-6 is the only amp in its class that has two channels of clean and overdrive and boost with foot switching. To further expand the range of tones, the combo is equipped with a High / Low switch that increases the low volume of the tone. This is ideal for recording or for musicians who rehearse at home. When you select the High mode, you get a volume that is strong enough to compete even with a drummer. The combo is also equipped with a 10 “VHT Special Design speaker.
- 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 mains only;
- No built-in effects.
The bass sound quality and impact is higher than other combo amps in this price range. The speaker sound is bright when using a clean channel and aggressive when distortion is on. It’s cool when you play with overdrive and then turn down the volume and the sound becomes clear. And this model has a classic Vox sound that is very clear and great for blues and rock. When using a channel with overdrive, the speaker reproduces sound with clear coloration.
Orange Amps, 1 Electric Guitar Power Amplifier – the best for headphone out with CabSim circuit
This amplifier is small in size and weighs just over 2 x 2 pounds. It is powered by a 9V battery, but it can also operate on AC power and delivers 20W.
The controls on the side of the amplifier are fairly straightforward. There are volume, gain, and tone controls, as well as a guitar input and headphone output. Besides, there is an easy-to-use customizer.
- Great sound;
- Simple controls;
- Quality construction;
- There is an additional entrance;
- There is an output to an external speaker.
- No reverb.
This amp sounds much bigger than its size. When connected via a “clean” channel, the sound is crisp and clear. Add a bit of drive and the sound becomes crisp and rough, as it should be. But even when using distortion, the bass remains sharp and tangible.
This amp sounds very good in both clean and distortion modes. Finally, we like how the tone control flexibly changes the sound during the tuning process. The amplifier is very easy to use, looks good, and sounds great.
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;
- Lots of effects;
- Microphone input;
- Includes AC adapter.
- Overtones appear at high volume.
The feature set and portability make this amplifier great. When paired with an electric or acoustic guitar, the VOX sounds equally good and produces more than enough volume to annoy (sorry, we meant to entertain) your neighbors.
If you want to get the highest volume, then this is more achievable in a “clean” channel. Overall, the VOX’s excellent sounding performance makes the VOX an excellent choice for use with acoustic guitars. But whatever it was, it must be admitted that the sound is very powerful for such a compact speaker.
There are many things to think about when purchasing a compact combo amp. Apart from the price, you need to consider its portability, built-in effects, connectivity to external devices, and, of course, sound quality.
Let’s take a quick look at each of these amplifier selection criteria.
While all of these amplifiers are lightweight and portable, if you need to move around freely while playing your guitar, you can choose something like Orange Amps, 1 Electric Guitar Power Amplifier, or VHT AV-SP1-6. They weigh very little. If you need a portable device, but without the condition of free movement with it, then you can choose among the models a power of about 30 W and weighing about 2.2 pounds.
If portability isn’t too important, then you can consider the more powerful models on our list. They will be heavier, much more difficult to carry from place to place, but they have better sound, especially at low frequencies.
A large number of built-in effects will not necessarily improve the sound, and there are many great sounding amps with very few effects to prove it. However, having such effects potentially gives you more flexibility to find the exact sound you’re looking for.
If you like built-in effects, then be sure to check out Fender, which has an almost overwhelming amount of them. Besides, thanks to its large driver, this model has very good low frequencies and is one of the best in our review for use with a bass guitar.
We need to be able to connect an external device to the amplifier as an additional signal source. Almost all of the amplifiers we’ve reviewed in this review have this input. We also think that it is desirable to have an output for connecting external speakers, but very few models have this function. However, the only connection we find particularly useful is the mic input.
Compact amplifiers never sound as good as full-size versions of the same brand. They can, however, help you put on a real show in a small room, and often have unexpected power for their size.
In terms of sound quality, the best in our roundup is the Fender Mustang GT 40 and Marshall Acoustic Soloist AS50D 50 Watt Acoustic Guitar Amplifier. Their large speaker delivers truly powerful sound and almost faithfully captures the signature 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.