11 Best Combo Amps for Gigging & Home Use

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We highlight 11 of the best combo amps for gigging and home use that won’t get you laughed off stage or get you evicted for a noise complaint – well, the last part is up to you!

best combo amps

When you’re looking for the best combo amp for gigging and something that won’t take up too much room at home, we’ve got you covered. We’re musicians ourselves so we understand that when you’re looking for the best combo amps possible, you want something that’ll sound good, won’t be too much of a burden to carry on and off stage and something you can use at home, too.

So, with that in mind we’ve rounded up a range of solid state and valve combo amplifiers that provide world class sound and don’t need two people to lift. We’ve also included a selection of amps that have attenuation switches which can reduce the output so you get cranked amp tones and response at lower volumes.

1. Boss KTN-50 Katana 50w Combo Amplifier

Boss KTN-50 Katana 50w Combo Amplifier

The Boss KTN-50 or Katana 50 as it’s otherwise known is easily one of the best combo amps ever created and is quickly becoming the industry standard combo amp for gigging and home use. This is a solid-state amplifier made for people who need the dynamic response that a valve can provide, but could do without the weight and extra added cost.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

This comes out on the top of our list thanks to the fact you have 5 selectable amp characters Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown, and Acoustic built-in so it suits a massive variety of different genres and playing styles. It actually responds like a valve amp; crank the drive and enjoy lush overdriven break up sounds! The Boss KTN-50 Katana 50w Combo Amplifier is 50 watts, so it’s loud enough for gigs and the power control allows you to drop the output so you can enjoy cranked tones at lower volumes. Finally, you have access to over 55 BOSS effects which are customisable using the free BOSS Tone Studio Editor software and you can actually store 15 of those effects on the amp. It’s essentially a multi effects pedal wrapped up in a world class amplifier. If you want a solid-state combo amp that you can gig with, start here.

  • Amp type: Solid state
  • Wattage: 50 watts

2. Orange Rocker 32 2x10" Valve Combo Amp

Orange Rocker 32 2x10" Valve Combo Amp

The Orange Rocker 32 2x10" Valve Combo Amp packs a lot of power into a portable combo amplifier designed for those who love their stereo effects, and just beautiful amplifier tone in general. If you have stereo delay or modulation effects and you want a better sound than going straight in to amp, then listen up – your amp has arrived.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

The Rocker 32 is an all-valve stereo guitar amp featuring a stereo effects return with two separate valve output stages. This basically means your stereo effects on your pedal board can now breathe far better and enjoy the separation and sonic soundscapes they were designed to help you create.

Furthermore, the entre effects loop is an all-valve signal path, so there’s nothing digital affecting your tone. There’s two channels, “Natural” and “Dirty” so you have a choice of sounds, 2 x 10” speakers to blast out your tone, 30 watts of power at your disposal and the home friendly “half power” mode which allows you to drop the output power but retain that valve goodness.

  • Amp type: Valve
  • Wattage: 30 watts

3. Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III Valve Combo Amp

Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III Valve Combo Amp

Because we obviously have to have this amplifier in! The Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III is easily one of the best combo amps for gigging ever crafted and the smaller size makes it ideal for around the home, too. This is relied upon by thousands of artists all over the world and an industry standard amplifier as you get 60 watts of power pumping through 2 x 12” speakers as well as 3 distinct channels of classic Fender tone.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

There’s a reason you’ll find this combo amp on pretty much every festival stage in the world; mainly the fact that you have 3 x 12AX7 PreAmp Valves and 2 x 6L6 Power Valves pushing your sound. The three channels you have - Normal, Drive and More Drive allow for a wide range of tonal options depending on your preference and all the controls you need to sculpt your sound. Try this amp out and see why it’s one of the most relied upon combo amps from small stages to the massive festivals of the world.

  • Amp Type: Valve
  • Wattage: 60 watts

4. VOX AC30C2 Custom Combo Valve Amp

VOX AC30C2 Custom Combo Valve Amp

Again, this is a no brainer and any list of best combo amps that doesn’t have the AC30 simply is not credible. Music would simply not be the same without the impact that the VOX AC30 has had. The likes of the Beatles used them for some of their most iconic recordings and world class bands like the Foo Fighters still use them to this day - and that's only two of the thousands of bands that use them!

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

The Vox AC30C2 Custom Combo Valve Amp is a great all-rounder amplifier used by everyone from country artists, to rock, to blues to heavy metal. The quintessential British tone within this amp sings loud and clear whether you're playing clean or driving the top boost section for more drive. It takes pedals well, has its own distinct sound which is instantly recognisable on record and on stage and is powerful enough for all stages with a master volume so you can bring it down if the venue is smaller. The 2x12" Celestion Greenback speakers push some serious air around so you really feel the amp when you crank it, the effects loop allows for stereo effects to be used and the extension speaker output jacks ensure you can add an extra set of speakers should you make it to the stadium rock -we believe in you. If you get hold of one of these, you won't look back.

  • Amp type: Valve
  • Wattage: 30 watts

5. VOX AC15VR 15 Watt Valve Reactor Combo Amp

VOX AC15VR 15 Watt Valve Reactor Combo Amp

If you want the sound of a VOX AC30 and but don’t want to have to break your back carrying a valve amp around, then the VOX AC15VR 15-Watt Valve Reactor Combo Amp is the ideal option. This is a 15-watt hybrid combo amp, ‘hybrid’ meaning it utilises a combination of valves and solid state technology so you have the response and dynamic of a valve amp, but the reliability of a solid state.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

We think the VOX AC15VR 15 Watt Valve Reactor is one of the best combo amplifiers for gigging as the 15 watts of power gives you more than enough output for smaller gigs and rehearsals, whilst the fact you can drive the gain at lower volumes means you can get that classic AC crunch without having to turn the volume way up and blow out your windows. It’s also extremely affordable making it a great choice for beginners who wont want to upgrade for many years, those who need an amp for around the home and musicians who need something reliable for studio and live work. If you want teh AC sound but cant quite stretch your budget, this is perfect.

  • Amp Type: Hybrid
  • Wattage: 15 watts (but sounds louder)

6. Marshall CODE100 - 100 Watt Guitar Amp Combo

Marshall CODE100 - 100 Watt Guitar Amp Combo

The list of iconic Marshall amplifiers is impressive to say the least, the likes of the 1962 Bluesbreaker – the first combo amp made by Marshall, the Silver Jubilee and the JCM 800 spring to mind straight away. However, getting hold of these classic amps is not only going to be expensive, but you’re going to break your back dragging the massive heads and cabinets around with you. This is where the Marshall CODE100 - 100 Watt Guitar Amp Combo comes in handy. It’s essentially the Marshall aficionado’s best friend.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

This is essentially like taking an entire studio’s worth of classic Marshall amplifiers with you everywhere you go. It’s a modelling amp, which uses the new Marshall Softube technology, or MST for short, which means each amplifier sound within the CODE100 responds exactly the way the original amplifiers do retaining any quirks and sweet tone spots that the original amps have. We love it because you have 14 MST preamps, 4 MST power amps and 8 MST speaker cabinets as well as the ability to control your tone via Bluetooth from your iOS or Android device using the Gateway App.

  • Amp type: Modelling Amp (solid state)
  • Wattage: 100 watts

7. Blackstar HT-20R MkII Combo Valve Guitar Amplifier

Blackstar HT-20R MkII Combo Valve Guitar Amplifier

If you want a smaller combo amp for rehearsal and around the home that you can comfortably gig small venues with, then the Blackstar HT-20R MkII Combo Valve Guitar Amplifier is a great option full of great amplifier voices driven by ECC83 and EL84 valves.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

We think this is one of the best combo amps for gigging and around the home as you have 20 watts to play with as well as the option to drop that down to 2 watts – ideal for around the home when you want the cranked valve amp sound at lower volumes. You have 2 different amplifier voices that give you the best of British and American amp sounds as well as 2 channels (clean and overdrive) essentially bumping that up to 4 different amp sounds in total. The emulated line out means you can record direct to your DAW and essentially emulate a 2x12 or 4x12 cab, making it a great song writing and studio partner too.

  • Amp type: Valve
  • Wattage: 20 watts

8. Marshall MG50GFX Guitar Combo Amplifier

marshall MG50GFX

If you need a hardworking, highly portable amplifier that can keep up with the demands of a touring band but won’t break the bank or your back trying to carry it, then you need to take a look at the Marshall MG50GFX Guitar Combo Amplifier. With plenty of sounds built-in, lush effects and tools for recording/jamming at home you’ll find this extremely useful.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

The Marshall MG50GFX has 50 watts of power built in so it’s loud enough to compete with a drum kit and other guitarists on stage but not so loud that you’re going to blow the cat out of the room when you crank it up at home. It’s one of the best combo amps for people who love their Marshall amps as you have 4 channels at your disposal - Clean/Crunch, OD-1/OD-2, each of which have very distinct tones that can be activated on the front panel or by a foot controller (sold separately). There’s lovely built in reverb, delay and other assorted FX so there’s no need to buy any extra pedals and the headphone output allows for silent practice at home. There’s also a MP3/Line-In input so you can jam along to music or just use it as a speaker in between sets.

  • Amp type: Solid state
  • Wattage: 50 watts

 

9. Wharfedale TCT35C 35W Valve Combo

Wharfedale TCT35C 35W Valve Combo

Valve amps can be pretty expensive, so getting your perfect valve amp sound on a budget is not always possible. However, we’ve managed to secure the last remaining stock of the Wharfedale TCT35C 35W Valve Combo amplifiers designed by Steve Grindrod, the man behind some of the most iconic Marshall and Vox amplifiers, and have got them at almost half price here at PMT. However, we’re not just recommending them because of the price, as these sound absolutely amazing and offer a lot of control over your sound.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

First of all, this is easily one of the best combo amps for gigging as you have a 4 x 12AX7 and 2 x 6L6 valve power section powering the 35 watts. This provides a massive sound and really sings when you crank the gain and let rip. In addition, the 35 watts output can be dropped to 33% making it a great option for around the home too. You can run each of the 2 channels Clean/Distortion on their own or in unison via the Mix mode, giving you a world of tonal options. This is a fantastic combo amp designed for working musicians and those who want total control over their sound.

  • Amp type: Valve
  • Wattage: 35 watts

10. Fender Champion 100 Guitar Amplifier Combo

fender champion 100

The Fender Champion 100 Guitar Amplifier Combo is yet another industry standard amplifier and one of the best combo amps for gigging, home use, studio, the list goes on. If you’re looking for a budget friendly solid-state combo amplifier that you probably wont ever have to upgrade, then the Champion 100 needs to be on your “must try” list.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

It’s got 100 watts of power ready to be unleashed through the 2x12” speakers, 2 channels, one of which gives you the classic Fender clean tone based on the Twin Reverb and the other has a selectable amp voicing which allows you to cycle through a range of different voices to get your ideal sound. There’s also Reverb, Delay, Echo, Chorus, Tremolo and many more effects built-in allowing you to gig without the need for a pedal board. Best of all, it’s just over £200 making it a perfect option for players of all levels.

  • Amp type: Solid state
  • Wattage: 100 watts

11. Line 6 Spider V 60 Modeling Guitar Amp

Line 6 Spider V 60 Modeling Guitar Amp

Last but by no means least we have the Line 6 Spider V 60 Modeling Guitar Amp. This is not your general run-of-the-mill modelling amp but an impressive piece of kit with 200 amps, cabs and effects models built in. To make it easy, the team at Line 6 have also included 100 presets—including instantly recognisable iconic rigs, artist-built tones and Line 6 originals that offer up a world of different tonal options for all styles.

Why is this one of the best combo amps?

If the 200 updated amps, cabs and effects models haven’t given you reason enough to believe this is one of the best and most useful combo amps, then maybe the fact it’s got a built-in tuner, metronome and drummer loops built in should sway your vote. Seriously, this is like a full studio in an amplifier. The amp is wireless ready and compatible with the G10T Line 6 Relay transmitters, there’s 60 watts of power pumping out through a 10” full range speaker and you can record directly to your DAW thanks to USB connectivity.

  • Amp type: Modelling amp / solid state
  • Wattage: 60 watts

Check out a full range of combo amps over at PMT online today or call in to your local PMT store today to try them out for yourself.

combo amplifiers

3 Comments on “11 Best Combo Amps for Gigging & Home Use”

  • Jason
    8th June 2019

    Marshall JVM215C surpasses every combo amp you have listed here.

  • Marty Canaday
    25th March 2019

    Do you have Wharfedale TCT 35W amp in stock?

    Do you have the Albion AG80DFX 80W Hybrid 2x12 Combo amp in stock?

    Could you give me your price for these 2 amps if you have them in stock?

    Thanks!

    • Lee Glynn
      25th March 2019

      Hi Marty, here's the links to these amps with updated prices: https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/albion-ag80dfx-80-watt-fx-hybrid-combo, https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/wharfedale-tct35c-35-watt-valve-combo - Lee

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