Whether you’re looking for the best practice amp you can get for your kids or yourself, or even looking for something new to play around with you’ve come to the right place.
Playing with different gear is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and break out of any rut you may find yourself in. There is perhaps no piece of gear that influences your tone and style more than the amplifier. Here are a few low cost amplifiers that should add a little spice to your practice.
Battery Powered Amplifiers Under $100
Battery powered amps are about as small as you get for traditional solid state amplifiers. They’re not as portable as headphone amps (like the VOX amPlug), but battery powered amps are better for practicing with others. They’re the perfect fit right between the 10-20w practice amp and the headphone amp. And they’re conversation starters.
THE LEGENDARY PIGNOSE 7-100
The Pignose 7-100 is a unique looking and playing amplifier. It’s genius is its simplicity. It has a single knob that looks like a pig’s nose and is located on the front. That one knob controls the power, volume and distortion. It works with your guitar’s volume knob too, so the tonal possibilities are surprisingly diverse.
At a glance:
- 5w amp with 5? speaker.
- Runs on 6 AA batteries or an optional AC adapter.
- About the size of a shoe box and weighs around 5lbs.
- Hinged design and can be played either fully closed, wide open or at any point in between.
- It also has an open space inside that can be used to store the AC adapter or guitar cable when not in use.
- A preamp out jack which makes it possible to play the Pignose through a larger and more powerful amplifier (or PA) or straight into a mixing board.
The Pignose 7-100 has a distinctive look and sound that is like no other. It’s stylish and funky, and is definitely a conversation starter
The Blackstar FLY 3 is a 3 watt mini amp that runs off battery or DC power.
The FLY 3 has standard MP3 / LINE IN jack and a headphone output jack. It’s 3 watts and features clean and overdrive channels and digital ‘tape’ delay effect.
It’s compact and portable and features Blackstar’s patented “Infinite Shape Feature (ISF)”, which lets you vary the tonal character of the amp.
When turned towards zero, it gives a tight, focused, percussive response, characteristic of American amplifiers. When turned towards 10, the response becomes woody, crunchy and warm, like traditional British amps.
SMALLER, LOW WATT PRACTICE AMPS
The VOX V9160 Pathfinder 10 Combo Amplifier
The Pathfinder 10 is like the classic VOX AC15’s little brother. You get classic VOX look and VOX tone at a great price. The Pathfinder 10 has a clean/overdrive switch which lets you choose tones ranging from VOX chime to creamy, warm overdrive.
With its 10 watts of power and custom 6.5 inch speaker the VOX Pathfinder 10 is a great amp for everything from clean leads to crunchy rock and blues. Also included are Bass and Treble EQ, and a lineout/headphone jack.
The MG15CF is pure Marshall tone in a compact 15 watt combo. It features clean and overdrive channels, 3 band EQ, and MP3/line in jack and a headphone jack. The MG15CF sports the modern Marshall look and is decked out in a bold carbon-fibre exterior.
ORANGE CRUSH 12
The Orange Crush 12 is a 12w solid state amplifier with a 6 inch speaker. It also features 3 band EQ, volume and gain controls. The headphone out jack with the Orange CabSim circuit. This lets you emulate the sound of a 4×12″ cabinet through the headphone jack.. Sweet!
The Orange Crush 12 gives you great British crunch tone in a portable practice amp at an affordable price of only $99
The Vox MINI3 is a 3-Watt amplifier that runs on either 6 AA batteries for up to 30 hours, or an AC adapter. The MINI3 has the distinctive VOX look and great VOX tone.
- 3 watts
- 5″ speaker
- Clean/Overdrive switch
- Volume, Gain, Bass and Treble controls
- Line-out/Headphone processed output
- 8 editable effects:
- Spring Reverb
- Room Reverb
- 11 amp models:
- Fender Blackface 2×12
- Fender Tweed 4×12
- Vox AC15
- Vox AC30 (with treble boost)
- Marshall Plexi
- Marshall 80’s
- Fender Supersonic
- US High gain
- Boutique Clean
- Direct line in for use with keyboards or straight guitar with no effects/models
- Dedicated mic input, with dedicated reverb
- Aux/mp3 line in
The Vox Mini3 might be the best battery powered amp on the market and sells for $99
Peavey Solo 12W Transtube
Peavey’s Solo amplifier is a 12w amp with an 8″ Blue Marvel speaker.
What makes the Peavey Solo stand out from other more basic amps is Peavey’s TransTube technology. TransTube is
tube emulation circuitry that stem from the patented preamp and power amp designs:
The preamp section tailors gain to meet the need for any amount of drive, from crystal clear to thick, smooth sustain. The power amp reacts just like a tube output section by responding to the preamp with natural compression that increases as the amp gets louder. With TransTube, you get a killer amp with wide ranging dynamics and natural “grit,” just like a tube amp!
- Clean and Lead channels
- 3 band passive EQ
- ¼” stereo input
- Direct Out jack
- Low damping factor for lively tube power amp sound.
- Headphone jack