PMT's Guide To The Best Practice Guitar Amps - Play Guitar Anywhere

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Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, a Practice Guitar Amp is a necessary piece of kit for all guitar players. Here's all you need to know about the best practice guitar amps available today.

Practice Amps buying Guide

The term "practice amp" or "practice guitar amps" refers to any smaller, portable amp that's suitable for practice at home. However, don't be fooled by the term "practice" as these amps are often the most versatile type of guitar amp available: ideal for beginners or professional musicians; for playing at home or recording in the studio; and sometimes even for gigging!

Best Practice Amps for Guitarists

Any small, low-wattage combo amp that's light enough to be easily carried around, can be considered a "practice amp". Usually, these amps only have one speaker that's smaller than 12". If you go to our Electric Guitar Amps section you can browse amps by woofer size, and any amp with just one woofer, smaller than 12", will be a suitable practice amp (however, bear in mind that some amps with 12" speakers can also be used as practice amps.)

smallspeakeramps

Practice Guitar Amp = Perfect Beginner Amp

Most practice amps can also be considered good beginners amps, because they are usually cheaper than bigger, louder amps, and therefore perfect for someone who's just starting - and who doesn't want to spend much money on an amp that they'll only be using at home. But this doesn't mean that practice amps are meant just for beginners - even pros need a smaller, quieter amp too, from time to time!

Guitarists of any level find it useful to have a smaller amp to take to trips, play backstage before gigs, record demos or just to take it around the house to play anywhere, any time. In all of those situations, small practice amps fit the bill in a way bigger amps never could.

Even Keith Richards owns a small, very cheap Marshall MS-2 Micro Amp! Can you spot it in the pic?

Keef at home

Small Amps = Great Recording Amps

Another great reason to purchase a smaller amp is that they are great for recording! In many situations, a louder amp won't sound as good as a small amp that's well mic'ed. This is especially true of small valve amps - when you crank them up, you can get some amazing, dirty tubey tones. Jimmy Page was always fond of big Marshall Stacks on stage, but he famously just used a small Supro valve amp to record some of Led Zeppelin's most rocking songs, such as Whole Lotta Love.

The Best Beginner & Practice Amps Available Right Now

Feeling inspired yet? If you're looking for a great practice, recording or beginners amp, here's a list of the best available today:

1) Blackstar FLY 3 Mini Guitar Amplifier

fly3

Tiny yet powerful, the little FLY 3 packs a great punch and has a really good tone for such a portable amp. Great for busking, taking to camping trips etc. Its almost-instantly popularity is true testimony's to its quality. The tone is great, totally unbelievably good for such a tiny amp, and it also features a tape delay effect. View details

2) Orange Crush Mini 3 Watt Guitar Combo Amp

orange crush mini 3 watt headphone amp

The tiny, humble Orange Micro Crush has been released a few years ago, and it's still a favourite. This cute little amp comes with built-in tuner, overdrive function and packs a great punch. Perfect as a first amp - especially for kids getting their first guitar! View more...

4) Marshall MG10G 10w Combo Amplifier

Marshall MG10G 10w Combo Amplifier

The little Marshall MG10G 10w Combo Amplifier is the perfect beginner amp for those who want to rock out from the start! This amp features a handy Aux In for jamming along to a track, and an emulated Headphone output for great sounding silent practice. Marshall sound at an affordable price - what's not to like?

If you want a louder amp, you can try a Marshall MG15GFX Guitar Combo Amplifier, or you can also go for the Marshall MG50GFX Guitar Combo Amplifier which is loud enough for small gigs, if miked.

5) Marshall MS-2C Micro Amp, Classic Grey

Marshall MS-2C Micro Amp, Classic Grey

And here it is -  an even smaller Marshall amp! Micro amps are completely different beasts: they are the least versatile of all practice amps - too quiet for live performance or to jam. They look more like toys, and the sound is too tiny to be much use in recordings. So why buy one? They're very cheap, very portable and good fun when you're just noodling away on your guitar, on your own. Hey, and even Keef owns one! View details.

6) BOSS Katana-Mini Guitar Amplifier

BOSS Katana-Mini Guitar Amplifier

New for 2017, the BOSS Katana Mini amplifier is the super scaled down version of the highly popular Katana series that has taken the music world by storm.  This small and highly portable practice amplifier includes an authentic multi-stage analogue gain circuit and three-band analogue tone stack to give you a huge amount of tonal options. Whether you want beautiful crystal cleans or super gritty distorted tones, this thing can handle it all and pump out a huge sound through the 4" speaker!

Packed inside the amp is three versatile amp types: Brown, Crunch, and Clean for true sonic diversity - BOSS have catered to all sound types here! There's also a built-in tape-style delay so you can get those arena rock sounds and add a new dynamic to your playing. A fantastic practice amp that features headphone jack for silent practice too. View more... 

7) Laney Mini-ST-Lion Battery Powered Stereo Amplifier

Laney Mini-ST-Lion Battery Powered Stereo Amplifier

The Laney Mini-ST-Lion Battery Powered Stereo Amplifier is from the all new Laney Mini amp series, combining portable, battery powered functionality with superb sound. The team at Laney have managed to include separate clean and drive channels with controls for Gain, Tone and Volume into this nifty piece of kit. Best of all, you have 2 x 3 watt speakers busting out an impressive amount of sound as well as a headphone socket for silent practice when you need to bring the noise down. You also have Laney's Smart Insert (LSI) socket built-in which allows you to hook up your smartphone or tablet and access 1000’s of guitar tones via the Tonebridge database.

 8) Blackstar ID Core 10 V2 Guitar Amplifier Combo

Blackstar ID Core 10 V2 Guitar Amplifier Combo

Yes, another Blackstar amp! But this one has an important difference when compared to most other practice amps: the Blackstar ID Core 10 V2 Guitar Amplifier Combo, Black, is one of the best and most versatile practice amps around today: with Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD 1 and OD 2 channels to choose from - that's 6 different amp sounds rolled into one. In addition, you have 12 Setero effects built in including Super Wide Stereo modulation, delay and reverb effects. This amp packs a lot, in a small sized and great value package! View more...

9) Eastcoast G10R Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

Eastcoast G10R Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb

Small in size - but not in sound! The Eastcoast G10R Amp features an ultra-compact footprint, and is easily carried whether you're off to lessons or to band practice. You have 10 watts of solid state power as well as a Boost effect which allows you to go from crystal cleans to all out hard rock at the push of a button.  A built in Reverb effect allows you to add more presence to your sound and the headphones input ensures you can practice in silence. A great practice amp with plenty of character. Best of all it's only £59 too!    View more

10) Yamaha THR 5 and THR10 amps

Yamaha THR10X Valve Modelling Guitar Amplifier Combo.

These amps are amazing, and very stylish! They look like small head amps, but are actually great practice combos, in 5 or 10-watts versions, and in a range of different models, to suit all players: The THR5A for Electro-Acoustic guitars, the THR10X for Rock/ Metal, the THR10C for Blues/ Jazz. But if we had to pick one, it has got to be the Yamaha THR10X Valve Modelling Guitar Amplifier Combo.

11) Vox Valvetronix VT20x

vox-valvetronix-bundel

For a limited time only - Get a great deal on the VT20X with a 5-way Footswitch at PMT Online or In-Stores. An 8", 20 watt modelling amp with tube circuitry, 11 amp models and 13 on-board effects.    View more...

12) Blackstar ID:Core 40 V2 Guitar Amplifier Combo

Blackstar ID: Core 40

At 40-watts, this could be more accurately described as a small gigging amp that's also suitable for home practice, and ideal for home recording, thanks to its integrated USB interface. If you also consider it's a true wide stereo amp, besides having an all-round great tone, then this amp is also one of the best value guitar amps available right now! View more...

13)  Orange Crush 12 Solid State 12-Watt amp

The Orange Crush guitar amps are the ultimate combo practice amps, perfect for rehearsal or smaller gigs. The Orange Crush combos combine portability with solid Orange construction and durability. For Orange to put their name on a transistor amp, it must be good! View more...

14) Fender Mustang GT 40 Combo Amplifier

Fender Mustang GT-40 Combo Amplifier

Cramming 21 classic amp models and 47 effects one package that's easy to gig with. There's also loads of features for getting hands on with your sounds at home, as well as Wi-Fi connectvity to download updates and new sound presets from some of your favourite setups and artist rigs. View details.

15) VOX AC4 Custom Series 4-watt valve amp

ac4c1-12

An affordable option for an authentic Vox valve amp, the AC4 model provides a simple and hassle free way to enjoy the rich sound of a tube driven amp. A tube amp you can enjoy whether you're practising at home, performing live, or recording. If it's a bit beyond your budget, the Vox Valvetronix amps are a more affordable option, and great at home or even onstage. View AC4 details.

 

16) Wharfedale WGR10 10W Hybrid Combo

Wharfedale WGR10 10W Hybrid Combo

The Wharfedale WGR10 10W Hybrid Combo is the perfect amp for studio or practice. It packs all of the great tone and dynamics of a valve amp by utilising a valve driven preamp yet uses solid state power amp technology so it's more reliable (and less expensive) . There's a headphones input for silent practice, a drive/boost switch for tonal variety and a lush sounding specially voiced Albion speaker. Perfect for around the home or small gigs. View details.

 17) Line 6 Spider V 20 Modelling Guitar Amp

Line 6 Spider V 20 Modelling Guitar Amp

This little, very light amp can easily be used at gigs, with its full 20 watts of output. However, it's also ideal not only as practice amp, but as an amp top record with via the USB connectivity. This is a flexible combo you'll want around the house and at the gig thanks to the 16 onboard presets and access to over 200 sounds. Line 6 Spider V 20 Modelling Guitar Amp

18) Laney Mini-ST-SuperG 2 x 3w Battery Operated Guitar Amplifier

Laney Mini-ST-SuperG 2 x 3w Battery Operated Guitar Amplifier

Tone, Power and Portability. The Laney Mini Amp Series is fantastic, but the Laney Mini-ST-SuperG stands out - small, loud, proud, and packed with 2 x 3 watt speakers! These little amps also sound great with bass too! Overachieve with serious bombast in a small body. It has 2 speakers, beautiful sounding gain and LSI and Headphones sockets so you can practice in silence whilst using the Tonebridge app which provides access to 1000's of classic guitar sounds. It's extremely portable as it can work on batteries, too! View details.

19) Marshall CODE25 Combo Amplifier

Marshall CODE25 Combo Amplifier

The Marshall CODE25 Combo Amplifier is one of the most user friendly modeling amps available today - using digital technology to accurately recreate some classic Marshall tones! Perfect for beginners who want to experiment with many different sounds, or experienced players who just want a very versatile practice amp. This is packed with some serious Marshall tones which utilise Marshall Softube Technology to accurately recreate the sound of the most famous Marshall amps such as a 1962 Bluesbreaker – the first combo amp made by Marshall, the SCM2555 Silver Jubilee and the JCM2000 DSL100, plus many more! It's also packed with loads of effects so you can create a vast array of sounds.

Want to see more? Check out our best practice amps video below

Watch the video below to see some of the best practice guitar amps that you can still gig with - ideal for those who want to be able to play at lower volumes at home but bust out the big sounds on stage.

 

Practice Amps