The Most Versatile Budget Guitar Amplifiers You Can Buy
Versatility is key for the modern gigging guitarist with diverse tones often calling for multiple amps and pedals. However, all of this can be expensive, confusing and cumbersome! Here are our suggestions for the most versatile budget guitar amplifiers currently available…
The guitar tones of rock and pop music are largely built upon the tones of tube amplifiers. However, tube amplifiers generally tend to be more expensive, heavier and typically excel at one particular tone. If your heart’s set on a tube amplifier, then check out our post on The Best Value Tube Guitar Amps.
You’ll note that in this list, our choices are all digital modelling amplifiers in a combo format. That’s because they’re affordable, relatively lightweight and offer a huge selection of sounds all in one convenient package.
Harley Benton HB-200MFX
Let’s start small. This HB-200MFX is a great budget-friendly option if you’re looking for multiple sounds. With a modest 20-watts and single 8-inch speaker, there are admirable qualities on offer.
You get 5 amp voicings with 4 fully programmable presets allowing you to store four of your favourite tones. Also available to you are digital effects such as phaser, reverb and delay, all of which have adjustable parameters.
A Bluetooth audio receiver makes this a great amp for practising with; and at 6.5kgs, why not take it with you on the bus or train to your first few gigs?
Marshall Code 50
If you’re looking at the most versatile guitar amplifiers you can buy, this is a good place to look. Plus of course, it carries one of the biggest names in the business, Marshall. A strong contender, this 50-watt amp has the ability to use 5-digital effects at once.
Not only that, you have the use of 100 adjustable presets, 14 preamp models and 24 professional effects and a built-in tuner. Utilize the 8 loudspeaker modes, and Marshall Gateway App to fine-tune your tone. A really versatile offering, great for practice or gigging!
Boss Katana 100 MKII
The Boss Katana range has been providing us with amazing amps since 2016. This 100 MKII rendition of Boss’ legendary Katana series has versatility at heart. Equipped with a 12-inch custom speaker you can configure the power amplifier output to 0.5, 50, or 100 watts. Think of it as quiet mode for the neighbours, and rocking out mode for live performances.
Furthermore, you can take control of 5 amp types and 5 different digital effects along with access to the Boss Tone Studio, which allows you free roam of over 60 extra effects. The Boss Katana has become a “go-to” in the budget amp segment for a very good reason; it sounds great, it’s highly portable and it covers lost of musical ground. What’s not to love?
Fender Mustang GTX100
Fender’s Mustang GTX100 offer a wide range of amp models with traditional Fender-style sounds as well as many other classic tones. X2 XLR outputs make it easy to interface with a house PA or recording interface; a solid choice for home or live use.
Welcome appointments include:
- 40 Amp Models
- Gain, treble, bass, mid, master and reverb controls
- 12-inch Celestion G12FSD 100-watt speaker
- Send/return effects path via 6.3mm stereo jack
Line6 Catalyst 200
Line6 almost single-handedly invented the segment of modelling guitar amplifiers. Where most modelling amps aim to serve up “sound-alike” tones, the Catalyst series focuses on six unique and original amp tones. The focus with the Catalyst series is to give you great sounding and great feeling amp tones in a package which feels like a traditional guitar amp.
We’ve chosen the Catalyst 200 here because with 200W of power on tap, you can play any venue and any size stage. You’ll also find 18 additional onboard effects along with a dedicated Reverb. If that’s not enough, there’s a balanced XLR output with speaker simulation for recording or live use.
Additionally, USB connectivity gives you a deep dive editor as well as a four-channel recording interface. Versatility on a budget? You’ve got it with the Catalyst 200.
- Line6 Catalyst 200: Thomann