Top 5 guitar amps

The Top 5 Best Guitar Amps in 2018

Here is a short list of some of the best guitar amps. There are a lot of great amps out there and its hard to narrow it down. So this list is of the top 5 best guitar amps that are primarily combo amps. Meaning the amplifier contains the amplifier and one or more speaker.

The top best guitar amps are as follows.

1. Fender Hot Rod Blues Junior 15 -W

top 5 best guitar amps

          Blues Junior 15W Amp

Fender takes the Blues Junior 15-W amp and gives it the vintage look. A total make over to a longtime favorite gem. With the durability from the lacquer tweed cabinet and 12″ Speaker. It is no wonder it is rated one of the top 5 best guitar amps.

Because its power is generated by using two output EL84 tubes and three 12AX7 preamp tubes it gives the Blues Jr the classic warm tone you come to expect from Fender.

Most importantly your in business with flexible controls and renowned Fender reverb. Besides that a FAT switch for mid boost options and plenty of large echo effects with Fender spring reverb.

Features

  • 15 Watts
  • 12″ Jensen C 12N Speaker
  • Single Channel and Input
  • Preamp tube overdrive
  • Spring reverb
  • FAT boost switch

Simply put the Fender tube amp stands on its own when it comes to the unmodified, powerful sound of the Fender tube amplifier. For years the Fender amps have had an unmistakable tonal sound from the touch sensitive dynamics of real tubes.

This Fender amp like other Fender amps have many sonic attributes and like this one especially known for its Spring reverb. That gives a great sound that ranges from subtle to a deep hollow porous sound. With the Fender Blues Junior you can dial in your own tones to suite your taste.

Boost the mid range with a FAT switch located at the top of the chrome control panel. This switch boosts the mid-range for a even thicker sound of golden tones.

Best Guitar Amp for the MoneyBlues Junior Top Panel

The top panel of the Blues Junior has Dial knobs to obtain precision tone. The controls are versatile, yet simple to use. If you want to dial in clear tones, gritty Rock or anything in between, Blues Junior has you covered.

The control knobs are as follows: Volume, Treble, Bass, Middle, Master, Fat Switch, Reverb. The Fat Switch can be controlled at the top panel or with a foot switch.

Fender Blues Junior Control panel

  • (A) An on/off switch -Turns the ac power on and off.
  • (B) Power indicator – when the indicator is lit up the Blues Junior power is on.
  • (C) Reverb -Adjust the amount of Reverb.
  • (D) Master – Adjust the loudness of amp.
  • (E) Middle – Adjust the middle frequency, boost or cut.
  • (F) Bass – Adjust the low frequency range, boost or cut.
  • (G) Treble – Adjust the higher frequency, boost or cut.
  • (H) Fat switch – Increases the preamp gain when the button is depressed.
  • (I) Volume – Adjusts preamp gain.
  • (J) Input – high sensitivity plug in connection for instruments.

Function of Blues Junior Bottom Panel 

There are two connections at the back of the amp for easy access to:

  1. Fat Foot switch connector – Is the jack for the optional external Foot switch instead of using the Fat Switch on the Top Panel.

    Fat Foot Switch

    External Foot Switch

  2. Speaker connection – Internal speaker connection. This jack provides the capability of using an external 8 ohm cabinet instead of the internal speaker.

Blues Junior is a result of forty years of research and dedication from Fender engineers to create an exemplary amplifier to withstand years of use.

The blues Junior is a Professional small combo amp Great for even in the studio. It’s compact size, and that classic tone makes it the best amp for the money.

You will be rewarded when you select the Fender blues Junior with years of quality and musical tones.

Besides the tones, look at the Tweed finish with pinstripe grille cloth, chrome panel, and vintage pointer knobs. You can see it is the best amp in its class. Ready for gigging guitarists and ideal for crafting your signature sound. Affordably priced.

See the Blues Junior on Amazon to check the price. Item is eligible: Free Shipping, No interest if Paid in full within 12 months with the Amazon.com store card. Click link to See details!


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2. VOX AC15C1 Guitar Combo Amplifier 15-W 

top 5 best guitar amps

 VOX AC15C1 amp

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Another top 5 best guitar amps is the VOX AC15C1 amp an evolution in tone, boasts normal and top Boost channel. Each channel has its own volume controls. The top Boost channel has interactive Treble and Bass tone control to provide an abundance of tones. You control your own classic sound.

Both channels have an additional degree of tone shaping with the Master tone cut. The tone cut operates in the power stage allowing additional tone shaping.

The Master Volume control works with each channel to create the correct amount of gain staging. Vox balances each channel volume with the Master Volume to deliver sounds ranging from clean to an overdrive tone. If after purchasing your amp you need some soundproofing. Here is a post on a cheap but effective soundproofing. Get the FAQ!

The Vox  EL84 all tube delivers 15 watts of tone into the Celestion 1×12 Speaker. To deliver authentic British tone. The AC15C1 also offers Classic Vox tremolo to enhance the sound and a footswitchable spring reverb.



Vox custom series amplifiers are synonymous with remarkable tone. The distinguished all tube sound has inspired music history starting with British Rock n Roll, and continues into today’s modern music. Continuing a tradition since 1958 the Vox AC15C1 is the quintessential Vox amplifier.

Features

  • 15 Watts
  • 1×12 Celestion G12M Greenback Speaker
  • Limited Edition Classic Red Color Scheme
  • Top Boost input
  • Normal Imput
  • classic tremolo effects
  • Spring Reverb
  • 3 – 12AX7 preamp tubes 2 EL84s power tubes.
Vox AC15C1 Control Panel

Vox AC15C1 Control Panel


Vox 5 channel foot switch

Vox VFS5 5 button footswitch

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 The Top panel of the Vox AC15C1

From Left to right the switches are as follows:

Power

A power switch – On/off switch

Standby Switch – This switch allows the amp to obtain a working tempreture before the direct supply power is connected. Turn on the standby switch 2-3 minutes after the  power switch is turned on to prolong tube life.

Master

Volume control – Controls overall volume of amplifier. You can lower the boost or normal, and raise the Master volume. If you want a fat more distorted tone set the Master lower, and the normal and top boost higher. This will give you a distortion at a lower level. You can play around with the controls to suite your playing style.

Tone cut control – Turning this knob clockwise decreases the higher frequencies, and turning it counterclockwise adds higher frequencies. Again it’s up to you how you want to customize the tones.

Play around with the fine tuning. 

Tremolo

Tremolo is controlled by two controls, Depth Control and Speed control. The Tremolo stems from the 60’s Vintage amplifier effect from the Brit invasion. This effect is the equivalent of the Master switch being turned up and down. The speed control adjusts the speed at which the volume is turned up and down.

  •  Depth control – Is used to control the intensity of the Tremolo.
  •  Speed control – controls the speed of the Tremolo that is built in.

Reverb

You can adjust the reverb with the controls or with a remote foot switch.

  • Level Control – Controls the Mix of reverb. Turning the knob Clockwise all the way will give a saturated wet sound. All the way counter clockwise will effect the sound oppositely with a dry sound.

Top boost Tone Controls 

The Vox AC15C1 Top Boost tone controls are: Bass, Treble, and Volume Controls. Using the top boost controls make this channel interactive. Increasing the Treble Control cuts the Bass. First off the best place to keep the tone control knobs is at the 12 o’clock position. Then play around with the sound to find the best tone for your playing experience.

  • Bass Control – Controls the low frequencies, when turned counterclockwise the sound is thin. Then if you turn the Bass Clockwise the sound becomes warm.
  • Treble Control – Controls the high frequencies, when turned down the sound is soft. Then when cranked up the sound is bright.
  • Volume Control – Determines the preamp sensativity.

Volume Control – Depending on where the Volume Control is set determines the amount of gain. To get more gain turn the knob clockwise. For a cleaner tone turn the knob counterclockwise. Both Master volume and Normal volume can be used together to obtain distortion and overall volume.

Adjust Master volume low & Normal volume up to get Distortion at a lower level.

Inputs 

  • Top Boost jack – Run your Guitar through the Top Boost Channel when plugged into this jack.
  • Normal Jack – Run your Guitar through the Normal Channel when plugged into this jack.

This amp is comparable to the blues junior, but the cost is slightly more expensive.

See the VOX AC15C1 amp on Amazon to check the price.


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3. Roland Blues Cube 60-W Combo Amp

 

top 5 best guitar amps

               Roland 60 W Amp

Vintage Series Roland 60 Watt amp Classic 1×12 combo amp with 6L6 tube sound and response. Tube Logic design by Roland  reproduces the Tweed – era tube amp.

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Tube Logic Design by Roland starts within, by carefully reproducing the tweed era tube amp. Everything from the guitar input to the speaker output is reproduces in every way. Making the Roland 60 watt a contender for the top 5 best guitar amps.

Two Channels – clean channel and crunch channel can be used together or independently to produce a wide array of tones. This amp is ready for the gig and has Easy portability. The price is reasonable too.

Top Panel of the Roland Blues Cube 60 

Here is what to expect from the Roland Cube 60 Top Panel.

INPUT jacks – connect your electric guitar here. Use either jacks depending on the output of your guitar. Normal operation you would connect to the high input.

Channel select button – Switches between the CLEAN channel and the CRUNCH channel. You can Mix the clean channel and the Crunch with the dual Tone Button. When attaching a foot switch the dual tone button and channel select are eliminated.

CLEAN channel – You can create a broad range of sounds, Clean to light overdrive. The Volume knob adjusts the clean Channel volume. With the boost off, 0-6 setting provide a clean sound. Setting the dial 6-12 provides a slight crunch.

BOOST button – Depressing the  BOOST button on provides a crunch sound.

TONE button – Depressed the Mid-range and High range frequency are Brightened for a crisper sound.

Roland Blues Cube 60 Panel

Roland Blues Cube 60 Top Panel

CRUNCH channel – Adjusts the gain (amount of distortion) of the crunch channel.

VOLUME Adjusts the volume of the crunch channel. BOOST button raises the gain of the CRUNCH channel. Adjusting the gain knob changes the crunch to a distortion. The TONE button Adjusts the Mid and High range frequenciess to a bright crisp sound.

EQUALIZER BASS – Adjusts the sound level of the low-frequency range.

MIDDLE knob – Adjusts the sound level of middle-frequency range. TREBLE knob – Adjusts the sound level of the high-frequency range.

EFFECT REVERB knob – Adjusts the reverb depth

MASTER knob – Adjusts the overall volume.

POWER CONTROL switch- Allows you to switch the output level. The MAX setting selects the maximum output. This is equivalent to 60 Watts for the Blues Cube Stage.

POWER switch – Turns the power on/off. When the power is on, the indicator at the left of the switch illuminates.


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The Back Panel of the Roland Blues Cube 60

The Back Panel has an AC In Jack to hook the power cord to it. Next is the Dual Jack for a foot switch that is Sold Separate. See the Price of the Boss FS-6 Dual foot switch on Amazon. The foot switch can be used to switch between the Clean/Crunch Channels. Also it can turn on/off the dual Tone. The foot switch can be used to switch between the Clean/Crunch Channels. Also it can turn on/off the dual Tone.

Boss FS6 Foot Switch

Boss FS-6 Dual foot switch

On the Back panel is a USB port for recording, and a Phone Jack to connect headphones. Next is a line out to connect a PA system or recorder. This allows you to obtain a powerful amp sound.

The Blues Cube 60 is the result of Roland’s expertise and technology to reach a pinnacle of sound from your electric guitar.

 See the Roland 60 Watt Amp on Amazon to check the price.

4. Marshall DSL Series DSL40C Guitar amplifier combo

top 5 best guitar amps

    Marshall DSL40C Series

The Marshall DSL40C Series is a 40 Watt tube combo amp. That is rated at the top of the 5 best guitar amps. Because the DSL40C is an all tube amplifier that is sturdy and ready for the gig. The Celestion 1×12 speaker packs some punch as it is smaller in stature. It has a triode option to drop the output  from 40 watt to 20 watt. The half power mode makes this amp exceptionally versatile.

It features a footswitchable digital reverb/channel change and the back panel series FX Loop. The DSL40C has a 12″ Celestion Seventy 80 Speaker.

See the Product Features Table Here & examine the pros/cons of each Amp.

Features

  • 40 Watt (tube)
  • 4 –  12AX7 tubes and 2 – El34 tubes
  • Pentode/Triode switch to drop power from 40w – 20w
  • 2 footswitchable channels. Classic Gains and Ultra Gain
  • Two Modes per channel for extra flexibility
  • 1×12 Celestion Speaker
  • Footswitchable studio quality, digital Reverb with level control for each channel
  • Shared 5 way EQ – Treble, Middle, Bass,presence and resonance
  • Mid-shift button adds to the amps tonal flexability
  • By-passable FX loop

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Marshall DSL40C Control Panel

Marshall Control Panel

  • Input – The input is used to connect your guitar.

CLASSIC GAIN CHANNEL

  • Classic Gain Channel Control – The Classic Gain knob controls the distortion level.
  • Clean/Crunch Mode Select Button – Next the Clean/Crunch button controls the clean sound out of the Classic Channel when depressed. Adding more gain will give a plexi crunch sound.
  • Classic Gain Channel Volume Control – Using this control sets the volume of the Classic Gain Channel.
  •  Channel LED for the Classic Gain – When the Classic Gain is selected the LED aluminates green.
  • Selection Button (Channel Gain)  – When the button is pressed in the ultra gain is selected and when it’s out the Classic Gain is selected.

Ultra Gain Channel

  •  LED for the Ultra Gain Channel – When this is lit up Red the ultra gain is selected.
  •  Channel Control for the Ultra Gain – As soon as more Gain is selected there will be more distortion in the ultra gain channel.
  • Lead 1/Lead 2 – In the ultra gain channel there are two features, Leads 1 and 2. First when Lead 1 is selected there is a high gain crunch with the button out. Lead 2 the button is pushed in, there is a mid boosted tone for even more gain.
  •  Volume Control (Ultra Gain)  – Used to Control Volume in the Ultra Gain Channel.

Equalization

  • Treble Control – Is used to Control the high frequencies of guitar tone.
  • Middle Control – This Controls the Midrange of guitar tones.
  • Bass Control – Controls the Low frequencies of tone.
  • Tone Shift Button – Is used to add an aggressive midrange sound when depressed.
  • Presence Control – To add higher frequencies to guitar tone, turn the knob clockwise. This makes for a cutting, crisp bite.
  • Resonance Control – Add a Bass Boost by turning to the right and increase low end for a Fat Tone.

REVERB

  • Classic Gain Channel Reverb Control – Use to control reverb on the Classic Gain Channel.
  • Ultra Channel Reverb Control – Use to Control the level of reverb on the ultra gain channel.
  • Standby Switch – Controls high voltage to the valves, furthermore allows correct operating temperature prior to playing. This is particularly handy at gigs to keep the amp geared up for playing (proper temperature) .

TWO NOTES: First to prolong the life of the valve, switch on the main power switch about 2 minutes before switching on the standby. (See owners manual for details). Next note: Before turning off the amp Power Switch turn off the standby. (See owners manual details).

  • Power Switch – On/off switch for main power supply.

Rear Panel Features

  1. Imput Socket with fuse – The main power chord is detachable and plugs into the input socket.
  2. Pentode/Triode Switch – At first when Pentode is selected the amps output is full power at 40 Watts. As soon as the Triode mode is selected the output is 20 Watts. Which has a smoother sound in the triode mode. Important Note for operating: The amp has to be in Standby mode whenever this switch is used.
  3. FX Loop – Use the FX loop to connect external effects pedal.
  4. Loop Return (FX) – Connect to the output of an effects pedal or processor.
  5. FX Loop Switch – Switch the Fx Loop On/off.
  6. Foot switch Jack – Connect a foot switch to switch between classic gain and ultra gain.
  7. 16ohm  Speaker Output – Connect to a Speaker cabinet.
  8. And 9. Speaker Outputs – Are used when the total impedance of the speaker cabinet is 8 Ohms. In addition when using 1×8 cab or 2×16 cabs.

This best seller is critically acclaimed for its Tone, Affordability and portability.

Check the price of the  Marshall DSL40C Series Amp on Amazon.

5. Blackstar HT-5R 

top 5 best guitar amps

                                    Blackstar HT-5R 

Blackstar HT-5R guitar combo has the same tone and reverb as the acclaimed HT Venue series. Which makes it one of the top 5 best guitar amps with 2 channels and ECC83 preamp tube, a 12BH7 power tube. The amp features stereo reverb and custom 12″ speaker with clean channel tones. This is a great amp for home or studio. Get $50 off instantly; upon approval for theAmazon Reward Visa

Features

  • 5 Watt, all-tube
  • 1 x 12-Inch Combo amp 
  • Tube Complement: 1 x ECC83 (12AX7), 1 x 12BH7 Power Tube; 12-Inch Blackbird 50 Speaker
  • 2 Channels: Clean (Volume, Tone); Overdrive (Gain, Volume,); 3-Band EQ; Digital Stereo Reverb
  • Emulated Speaker (1 x 12-Inch or 4 x 12-Inch) Out is great for recording – use along with the speaker(s)

This amp is for home or studio with a modest price. The amp has Best in budget price.

See the Blackstar HT-5R on Amazon to check the price.

Blackstar HT-5R Front Panel

  1. Input Plug – Plug in your guitar  here.
  2.  Clean Volume – Controls the Clean Channel Volume.
  3. Clean Tone – Adjust the balance between treble and bass tone frequencies. Get a warmer darker sound by dialing in to a lower frequency. When the control is turned to the right the tone is brighter.
  4. Overdrive Select – Press this switch to select the Overdrive Channel.

Overdrive Indicator – When the red LED is illuminated the Overdrive channel is selected. If the light is out the Clean Channel is on.

Overdrive Gain – Adjust the amount of Overdrive with this knob at lower levels. Adjusting counter clockwise gives a clean sound. As the Gain control is increased by turning it to the right, the sound will become more overdriven and more of a crunch tone.

Overdrive Volume – This controls the volume of the Overdrive Channel.

Bass OD Channel – You can adjust the low end frequencies in your tone. The Amps advanced tone shaping circuit allows the tone to be tight and cutting or warm and thumping, pick your poison.

Middle OD Channel –Adjusts the Middle frequencies in your tone. The middle frequencies are important in setting the amount of ‘body’ your tone has. You can obtain an aggressive tone by setting the Middle position at its minimum, which is a great sound for playing rhythm. Increasing the Middle control makes a full Fat tone great for sustained lead guitar tones.

Treble OD Channel- Adjust the treble frequencies within the sound. At low settings the sound is warm and is a darker sound. Increasing the Treble control the sound will become brighter. Turning the knob all the way to the right to max setting the sound is aggressive and cutting.

Infinite Shape Feature

Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) – The ISF control allows you to choose an exact tonal signature, by working in conjunction with the Bass, Middle and Treble controls. You can dial in an American tight lower end and an aggressive Middle, or dial in a British feel which is less aggressive.

Reverb – The reverb control sets the overall level of the reverb effect. Turning the control clockwise increases the amount of reverb. The HT-5R features a digital reverb found on the HT Venue Series.

Power Indicator Light – The power indicator will illuminate when the amplifier is switched on.

Standby – This switch enables the operation of the power amp stage and speaker output. Always turn this on at least 30 seconds after the Power switch. For silent recording or practice this switch should be put in the standby position. This will disable the power stage, but the emulated output will continue to work.

Power – This switch is used to turn the amplifier on/off. You should always turn this switch on before turning on the Standby switch.


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Rear Panel on the Blackstar HT-5R

Mains Input – Connect the power Chord here.

Speaker Emulated Output & Headphones -This output emulates the tonal characteristics of a guitar speaker cabinet.

Cabinet Switch – The switch enables you to select either a 4×12 closed back or a 1×12 open back cabinet emulation for the Speaker Emulated Output.

Footswitch – The footswitch is connected here. Once connected you can switch between the clean channel and overdrive channel.

Effects Loop Send – Connect the input of an external effects unit here.

Return (Effects Loop) Connect the output of an external effects unit here.

Effects Loop Level – The Effect Loop Level switch sets the effects loop so you can use a guitar effects pedal.

MP3/Line Input – Connect the output of your MP3 or CD player here. Adjust the volume so you can play along.


Summary

The Top 5 Best guitar Amps

Fender Blues Junior amp is a longtime favorite. Best in its class, ready for gigging guitarists and ideal for crafting your sound. In addition, best of all affordably priced.

VOX AC15C1 Combo Amplifier is comparable to the blues junior, with its rich Tones, but is more expensive. AC15C1 Combo Amp is adored by some of the biggest names in music and is gig ready.

Roland Blues Cube 60 – ready for the gig and has easy portability. The price is reasonable too.

The Marshall DSL40C popularity is due to its featured capability, versatility, volume to size and value for the money.

A great amp for home and the best for a low budget amp its hard to beat the Blackstar HT-5R 

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