Best Practice Guitar Amps

Best Practice AMP

Last Update: August, 2019

As every good musician knows, you must practice the same way that you perform. The best practice amps out there are portable, affordable, and produce a great sound that will help you to get the most out of your practice.

In this post, we have put together a list of some of the top practice amps on the market right now, as well as what to look for when you make your purchase.

Amplifier

Summary

Blackstar Guitar Combo

Blackstar Guitar Combo

A very light and transportable mini amp with 3-watt sound output. It’s perfect for travel and quiet practice.

Fender Frontman 10G

Fender Frontman 10G

This Fender amp is a great mid-range amp with intuitive controls. It looks and sounds like a classic Fender.

Fender Champion 20

Fender Champion 20

An upgraded Fender amp with 20-watt sound output, headphone jack, and aux portal. It comes with lots of features and gives you greater control over sound quality.

Fender Mustang V2

Fender Mustang V2

An accurate Fender amp with plenty of onboard controls and 20-watt sound output. It’s known for allowing accurate practice.

Monoprice 611705

Monoprice 611705

This Monoprice is a lightweight and transportable amp with a 5-watt sound output. It also has vacuum tubes for clear sound quality and distortion.

Pros:

  • Light and transportable size
  • Great, clear sound quality
  • Doubles as a speaker – can connect an MP3 player or other music sources

Cons:

  • 3-watt speaker – does not very too loud

More About The Blackstar Guitar Combo

This Fly mini amp from Blackstar is a super compact, portable amp that is designed to produce high-quality sound, even at lower volumes.

This is a 3-watt amp, which means it does not get very loud, but the sound will be just as clear as it would be through a larger, professional amp. This mini amp is perfect for practicing without disturbing the people around you. Its convenient size makes it easy to transport wherever you go, for practice anywhere, any time.

Shop Related Products

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Fender Mustang LT-25

Fender Mustang LT-25

Orange Amps

Orange Amps

Ibanez Bass Combo

Ibanez Bass Combo

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Classic Fender look
  • Built-in headphone jack

Cons:

  • 10-watt output – could be louder for practice in large spaces

More About The Fender Frontman 10G

The Fender Frontman is a slightly larger 10-watt amp that produces great quality sound at low to mid volumes. It is small and light enough to easily transport and comes with intuitive controls that are easy to use.

A headphone jack in the amp allows you to practice without disturbing anyone around you. There is also an aux portal to plug in a phone or laptop and play the music you want to practice.

One of the best features of this amp is the look – it has the appearance of a classic Fender, in a smaller, manageable size.

Shop Related Products

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Fender Mustang LT-25

Fender Mustang LT-25

Orange Amps

Orange Amps

Ibanez Bass Combo

Ibanez Bass Combo

Pros:

  • Louder volume capacity
  • Accurate, easy to use onboard effects
  • Classic Fender look

Cons:

  • Makes a loud noise when turned on and off

More About The ​Fender Champion 20

The next amp on our list, also a Fender, is a 20-watt practice amp with a little more power than some other options. The price is a little higher than with some smaller practice guitar amps, but it is well worth the price for the quality and sound output.

This amp has a ton of features and onboard effects, including reverb, chorus, treble, and other effects that you will find on larger amps so that you can practice more effectively. There is a headphone jack and an aux portal. This way, you can play music or practice in silence.

This is a great amp for someone who wants a little more control over the sound quality and slightly louder volume output.

Shop Related Products

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Fender Mustang LT-25

Fender Mustang LT-25

Orange Amps

Orange Amps

Ibanez Bass Combo

Ibanez Bass Combo

Pros:

  • Onboard effects for accurate sound control
  • Headphone jack and aux portal
  • High volume output

Cons:

  • Controls can be a little more difficult for a beginner to figure out

More About The ​Fender Mustang V2

The Fender Mustang is another 20-watt Fender amp, that can be used to practice silently with the built-in headphone jack, or at louder volumes with the 20-watt output.
It is lightweight and easy to transport and produces great, high-quality sound for accurate practicing.

The amp has the classic look of a Fender, with plenty of onboard controls to adjust the sound effects. This way, it imitates a larger performance amp. It is a little more expensive than some of the other amps on this list, but it is great for someone who wants to be able to practice with the same quality sound as they will play.

Shop Related Products

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Fender Mustang LT-25

Fender Mustang LT-25

Orange Amps

Orange Amps

Ibanez Bass Combo

Ibanez Bass Combo

Pros:

  • Super high-quality sound
  • Small and easy to transport
  • Easy to use and adjust

Cons:

  • Only 5 watts of sound output – not loud enough for practice in a louder space

More About The ​Monoprice 611705

The last practice amp on our list is a super-compact, lightweight 5-watt amp that produces amazing sound quality at a lower volume. It is perfect for someone who is always on the go and wants to be able to practice anywhere.

The amp has a tube amplifier, so it will produce the same tone and sound quality as a larger, professional amp. Plus, it has a sleek look and simple, intuitive controls that are easy for a beginner to use. Included is a built-in headphone jack and an aux portal to play music.

The tube amplifier drives the price of this amp up a little more than some other practice amp models, but it ensures perfect sound quality.

Shop Related Products

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Acoustic Guitar Amplifer

Fender Mustang LT-25

Fender Mustang LT-25

Orange Amps

Orange Amps

Ibanez Bass Combo

Ibanez Bass Combo

How Practice Amps Work

Unlike with acoustic guitars, it can be hard to quietly practice playing an electric guitar. Practice amplifiers are designed to mimic the sound of a larger amp, without the high volume. 

Performance

The first thing you will want to look for in terms of performance, is an amplifier that will suit the genre of music that you want to play. For example, if you would like to play metal music, then you should look for an amplifier that will cater to that. 



They allow you to practice and accurately hear what you are playing, without making too much noise. If you have never used a practice amp before, here are a few tips that you should know before you get started.

Tube Amplifiers

A lot of musicians will argue that vacuum tube amps are the very last word in sound quality. Tubes give you the best harmony and distortion and produce that classic sound we all associate with electric guitars.

If you want great, professional-style sound quality for your amp, keep an eye out for vacuum tubes.

There are some downsides, though. Vacuum tube amps are usually more expensive, and they are also heavier, due to their design. For a beginner, they might not be the best choice.

Solid State Amplifiers

Solid state is a more modern type of amp that uses digital technology. They are generally much lighter, easier to use and more affordable than tube amps.

You won’t get quite the same sound quality and distortion from a solid-state amp than a tube amp. But it is a great tool to take on the road with you or a practice amp to get started with, if you are a new musician.

Tone Controls

The best practice amps have onboard controls to adjust the tone of your sound, just like you would with an ordinary amp. You can adjust them for more bass or treble, or distortion.

For a beginner, you should choose a practice amp that has simple, intuitive controls that are easy to adjust. If you are a more experienced musician, you will want more complex controls that allow you to practice exactly as you would on a larger amp.

Tuning your Practice Amp

You will want to tune your practice amp regularly to get the best use out of it. To tune the amp, start by plugging in your guitar. Then, turn the master volume down and your guitar’s volume all the way up.

Set all the controls on the amp to neutral, and then test the neutral as well as the distorted sound of the amp by playing a few simple chords. You can then adjust the bass and treble on your amp accordingly, to get the sound you are looking for.

How to Choose the Best Practice Amp

Size

This is a very important factor that you should consider before purchasing an amplifier. For many guitarists, practice is done at home. Therefore, the size of the amplifier certainly makes a difference.

In other words, your amp will need to be small and compact enough to be stored easily. It also needs to be easy to carry around, all while maintaining great sound. For reference, if you see an amplifier being advertised as “number” watts, then that is talking about its power rating.

The higher the amplifier's power rating, the louder your playing is going to sound. For practice, it may not be necessary for you to have an extremely loud amp.

Portability

This goes right along with size. With, two of the number one reasons to get a small amplifier is to be able to practice reasonably at home and warming up.

You should look for amplifiers that are 8" or less if a smaller amplifier is what you prefer. Doing so will ensure that your amp is small enough for easy transportation.

Furthermore, if you are not too concerned about tone, then you can even consider getting a micro amplifier. A micro amplifier is so small that it is about the size of a coffee mug.

For those who like a combination of the two, a combo amp would be the happy medium.

Power

Every guitarist would love the experience of blasting their electric guitar playing at 100 watts. However, it is certainly not something one should get in the habit of doing.

Thankfully, along with these smaller amplifiers, you can control the sound levels without being unbearably loud.

Performance

The first thing you will want to look for in terms of performance, is an amplifier that will suit the genre of music that you want to play. For example, if you would like to play metal music, then you should look for an amplifier that will cater to that.

An amazing feature that many modern amps have is the ability to model various amp cabinets. This is what changes the quality of your sound.

Furthermore, many amplifiers come with different channels which allows you to alter your sound from clean to a distorted setting. This will allow you to produce a variety of sounds.

Why Get A Practice AMP?

There are many great reasons why you should get a practice amplifier. Here are just a few of them.

They are Affordable

This might be the very reason why practice amplifiers are selling so quickly. You can get yourself one of the best practice amplifiers on the market without even breaking the bank.

Not only are these practice amplifiers affordable, but they also come with several excellent features that make them hard to miss.

However, the one downside is that it may become very difficult for beginners to find the best practice amplifier for them due to the influx of them on the market.

They are Efficient

The size and compatibility of these amps make them efficient with those two factors alone. However, manufacturers have also added in a few user-friendly features that add to the experience.

For example, most amps now allow you to plug in your music player by using an aux cord so that you can play along to the music.

Furthermore, some amps even go as far as having built-in backing tracks. These allow you to surround yourself with a virtual band. Some even include a built-in metronome, which is an essential tool for every musician.

They are Convenient

It can be quite difficult trying to set up small gigs to play. However, by having a smaller amplifier you can easily set up and play wherever you are.

Say goodbye to an extremely long set-up and take-down process- with a small amplifier, all you need to do is plug in and play. Even well-known artists have admitted to using a small practice amp for regular practice.

They are Quiet

This is a very important factor for artists who may live an apartment and would still like to practice at home. A small practice amp allows artists to still practice will be maintaining a volume that is courteous to those who may live around him or her.

Although it will not have the same feeling as practicing with a powerful amplifier does, it will still allow you to practice efficiently, improve your sound, and have fun.

Many modern amps even have a headphone jack where you can plug in your headphones and play, which prevents the disturbance of those in closer proximity to you.

Tips for Using the Practice AMP for Guitar

Learn how to Use the Amplifier First

A big mistake that many musicians make with their new amp is attempting to use it without understanding how it works. It would be beneficial for you to take some time to learn how your amplifier works first.

For example, start by adjusting both the gain and volume to manageable levels. From there, you can then adjust the volume to a comfortable listening level. This is also a great idea to experiment with an effects loop.

Examine the audio input and output loop that is placed after the preamp.  Play your instrument with the amp to experience the sound. Another thing you can do is begin tweaking the treble, mid, and bass knobs one after another while you are playing.

Doing so will allow you to get a feel for your range. You should repeat this process multiple times, especially if there are numerous channels or modes for each channel.

This exercise should give you a good idea of the range that your amp possesses and will help figure out how to utilize it.

Relocate your Guitar Amp

This is a very simple but useful tip. The location of your amp plays a huge part in your tone. Therefore, if you are always practicing in the same location, you are allowing yourself to get comfortable with that tone.

Furthermore, you are not allowing your amp to show what it can do in different locations. Any adjustment- no matter how slight- can make a world of difference in your sound. A change in the distance, height, or position can completely alter the results of your sound.

For example, placing your guitar amp on the floor will cause it to sound completely different than if you were to place the same guitar amp on a bench. You should experiment with your amp so that you can find the best position that produces the sound that you enjoy the most.

Do Not Follow the Recommended Guitar Amp Settings

Every guitar amp is different and therefore, no amount of basic settings will be able to apply to every amp out there.
This is because every amplifier’s controls are different. Gain that is set to five may be way too high for one amplifier but sound way too low and muddy on another one.

Conclusion

Finding the right guitar amp may seem like a daunting task. But if you follow our suggestions, you should have an easier time. Remember to experiment with different amps in order to discover the one with the sound that you enjoy the most. Take note that not every guitar amp is the same and to pick the best one for you, you need to first know what your musical style is and what features you require.
Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Best Practice AMP
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *