September 2022

Guitar Amplifiers: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Guitar Amp rankings posted by key online experts, as of September 2022.

Summary

As of 9 Sep 2022, Positive Grid Spark takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed guitar amp with 3 expert endorsements. 2 experts out of 3 recommended it as the '#1 guitar amp' this month. It is followed by Orange Crush 20 and Orange Micro Terror , with 4 and 3 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - September 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Guitar Amp
BestCovery
Gearank
Guitar World
Music Critic
Music Radar
GuitarPlayer
Loud Beats
Ledger Note
BestReviews
Consordini
1
- $299
Positive Grid Spark
-
-
2
-
1
1
-
-
-
-
2
- $149
Orange Crush 20
-
2
-
-
-
-
3
2
3
-
3
- $158
Orange Micro Terror
-
5
1
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
4
- Check price
Marshall MG50CFX
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
1
-
-
5
- $598
Vox AC15
-
-
5
-
10
-
7
-
4
-
6
- Check price
Mesa Boogie Mark V
2
-
13
-
17
-
9
-
-
-
7
- $150
Fender Mustang LT25
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
8
- $452
Marshall AS50D
6
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
6
9
- $110
Fender Champion 20
-
1
-
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
10
- $1650
Marshall SC20H
-
-
10
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
11
- $400
Boss Katana 100 MKII
-
-
3
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
14
- Check price
Peavey Vypyr VIP 2
-
-
-
7
-
-
-
3
-
-
15
- $750
Fender Blues Junior IV
-
-
4
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
16
- $869
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 20 Deluxe
-
-
7
-
-
6
-
-
-
-
17
- $900
Blackstar HT Club 40 MKII
-
-
8
-
-
-
6
-
-
-
18
- Check price
Marshall DSL100H
12
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
-
19
- Check price
EVH 5150III 50W EL34
-
-
-
-
13
-
5
-
-
-
20
- $1449
Victory V40 The Duchess
-
-
11
-
-
12
-
-
-
-
21
- $1900
Peavey Invective . 120
-
-
14
-
19
-
-
-
-
-

We ranked Positive Grid Spark #1 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Positive Grid Spark as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

The smartest amp on the market

Pros
Impressive smart features
Bluetooth compatible for streaming music
Spark app unlocks even more tones

Cons
Not designed for gigging

Go to ranking

Music Radar

The ultimate smart guitar amplifier

Pros
Packed with features
Comprehensive range of tones
Smart Jam and Auto Chord features are invaluable for practice and learning

Cons
Waiting times on orders can vary

Go to ranking

GuitarPlayer

Is this the smartest amp on the planet?

Pros
Every sound you could ever want
Auto Chord/ Smart Jam features
Affordable

Cons
Not for those who dislike apps

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We ranked Orange Crush 20 #2 in September 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

Best Guitar Combo Amp Under $200

Pros
Simple operation
Great sounding overdriven tone
Good build quality
Distinct Orange aesthetics

Cons
Limited functionality
Clean tone is not as good as overdriven
No Reverb

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Loud Beats

Pros
Simple and neat design.
Convenient to use.
Affordable.

Cons
Low output power restricts it for home use only.
No option to connect to an external cabinet.

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Ledger Note

Best Budget Pick

Pros
Several wattage choices. The distortion is legendary. The clean channel is exceptional. 3-band EQ & CabSim tech gives you the same tone as their huge cabinets.

Cons
This amp forgoes all of the extra built in effects, proving only distortion. It'll be up to you to score the pedals or rack units you want, otherwise.

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BestReviews

Distortion option

Pros
Geat distortion with this 20-watt amp and four stage preamp. Has clean and dirty modes, a channel foot switch, and aux ports for backing tracks and practice headphones. 8-inch speaker produces rich, harmonic overtones.

Cons
No onboard effects. More gear may be needed to flesh out your tone.

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Guitar Amplifiers.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Guitar Amplifiers, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for September 2022 ranking

We ranked Orange Micro Terror #3 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Orange Micro Terror as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

Best Guitar Amp Head Under $200

Pros
Great sounding tube overdrive tone
Lively and responsive
Can go loud and still sound good

Cons
Limited functionality
No reverb
Not for those who want great sounding

Go to ranking

Guitar World

The tiniest of tiny terrors

Pros
Compact
Cheap

Cons
Not full-tube
Not that loud

Go to ranking

BestReviews

Best bang for the buck

Pros
Compact and very affordable. Offers 20 watts of power. Great for young players getting introduced to music or those who share walls with others and can't be loud while shredding.

Cons
Entry-level amp with relatively modest volume, so most will outgrow it.

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We ranked Marshall MG50CFX #4 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Marshall MG50CFX as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Loud Beats

Pros
Neat layout.
Affordable.
Sound quality is great.

Cons
The sound produced by clean channel is somewhat bland and weak.

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Ledger Note

Best of the best

Pros
Various wattages available. One clean & 3 distortion channels, all passing through a 3-band EQ & plentiful FX strip. Can save presets for FX recall. Headphone output for quiet practice time.

Cons
The built in tuner isn't very convenient to access unless you route in a foot switch, which is nice to tap in your delays anyways.

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We ranked Vox AC15 #5 in September 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

The best guitar amp for a vintage vibe with class to spare

Pros
Nails that iconic Vox tone
You’ll love the tremolo!

Cons
Not one for the high gain fans

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Music Radar

A classic British combo in 2x12 format

Pros
Usable volume
Classic tones
Responds well to pedals

Cons
May not be enough headroom for totally clean players

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Loud Beats

Pros
Balanced harmonics and natural sound.
Volume is usable.
Responsive.
Value for money.

Cons
Heavy to carry around.
Channels are not foot-switchable.

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BestReviews

Vintage Design

Pros
Tremolo and reverb effects are popular features.
Clean and crisp tone.
Reputable brand known for its classy cabinet designs.
Great for rock, pop, and blues genres.

Cons
15 watts isn’t all that powerful.

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We ranked Mesa Boogie Mark V #6 in September 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
BestCovery

Runner Up

Go to ranking

Guitar World

The best guitar amp for versatile cleans, and devastating gains

Pros
Sounds amazing
Feature-packed

Cons
Could be overkill for some players

Go to ranking

Music Radar

A feature-loaded low-wattage head with built-in speaker emulation

Pros
One of the best small amps on the market
12 possible sounds
Built-in CabClone speaker emulation

Cons
It's not cheap!

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Loud Beats

Pros
Excellent sound quality.
Wide range of tone and sound effects.
In-built speaker emulation.

Cons
It is expensive.

Go to ranking

We ranked Fender Mustang LT25 #7 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Fender Mustang LT25 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

Best Guitar Combo Amps Under $200

Pros
Versatile amp modeling and effects
Good sounding Fender clean tone
USB recording and software control
Sleek modern aesthetic

Cons
Requires more tweaking to get good tone

Go to ranking

Consordini

Best Versatile Amp

Pros
Exceptional versatility – there are dozens of preset sounds you can use to shape your tone anyway you see fit.
Great sound quality – even though it’s not particularly loud, the tone coming from this amp is pretty strong and robust.
Built like a brick wall – Fender’s Mustangs pack incredibly sturdy cabinets, and LT 25 is not an exception.

Cons
Only 25 watts – the only problem with this amp is that it’s not suitable for medium sized and bigger venue gigs.

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We ranked Marshall AS50D #8 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
BestCovery

Best Acount Guitar Combo Amplifier

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Music Critic

Pros
Standard Marshall quality
RCA inputs
Balanced sound
Good for small venues

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Consordini

Best Amp for Acoustic Gigs

Pros
Exceptional sound quality – as soon as you plug into the AS50D you will recognize that it’s a Marshall.
Two channels – this amp can power up your guitar and your microphone at the same time.
Decently strong – the AS50D packs 50 watts of power.

Cons
Not so well suited for heavier types of music – the whole idea of the Acoustic Singer is for it to be used at acoustic shows primarily.

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We ranked Fender Champion 20 #9 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Fender Champion 20 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

Best Guitar Combo Amps Under $200

Pros
Versatile amp modeling and effects
Clear sounding Fender cleans
Good low to mid-gain tones
Intuitive old school control setup

Cons
Parameter control is limited

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Music Critic

Pros
Lightweight
17 Amp models
Quality tone
4 effect options
Simple design

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We ranked Marshall SC20H #10 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Marshall SC20H as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

This downsized JCM800 is ground zero for the modern Marshall sound

Pros
Classic tones
Looks amazing

Cons
Some players may want more power for live use

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BestReviews

Best of the best

Pros
Crisp and clear classic tone. Durable construction. Ability to create effect loops as well as direct-to-record functions. Can be combined with other Marshall amps.

Cons
Lacks some of the bells and whistles of premium Marshall amp models.

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We ranked Boss Katana 100 MKII #11 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

Could be all you ever need from a guitar amp

Pros
Wide range of sounds
Great value

Cons
Needs the software for deep editing

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Loud Beats

Pros
Compact & sturdy design.
Excellent in-built sound effects.
Affordable.
Power splitting.

Cons
Does not include a footswitch.
Some may not appreciate the simpler looks.

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We ranked Peavey Vypyr VIP 2 #12 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Critic

Pros
Variable sizes
Exceptional modeling tones
Bass capabilities
Modern design
Lightweight

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Ledger Note

Best Bang for the Buck

Pros
Other wattages available. Built in looper. USB connectivity to computer for easy recording. Far more convenient than lugging around giant pedal boards.

Cons
You'll ultimately want the foot switch to make it easier to use, which is a separate purchase. Could have benefited from a built in compressor.

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We ranked Fender Blues Junior IV #13 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

This amp may be small, but it’s mean too

Pros
Classic tone
Compact

Cons
Not very versatile
Not cheap

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Music Radar

The best low-price combo for all-valve blues tones

Pros
Ace clean tones and hot sizzling drive
Fat switch thickens up single-coils nicely

Cons
Lacks clean headroom when playing with a drummer

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We ranked Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 20 Deluxe #14 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

Technical wizardry meets German engineering

Pros
Modern features
Compact

Cons
Only 20W

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GuitarPlayer

When tone meets technology

Pros
Built-in Red Box AE DI
Lead boost switch
Solid build quality

Cons
20 Watts may not be enough for some players

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We ranked Blackstar HT Club 40 MKII #15 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

Likeable everyman amp rebooted

Pros
UK/USA voicing switch offers versatility
Great-sounding reverb

Cons
May be too many options for some players

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Loud Beats

Pros
Build quality is great.
Versatile and responsive.
Value for money.

Cons
Quite heavy.

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We ranked Marshall DSL100H #16 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
BestCovery

Best Medium Range Guitar Amp Head

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Ledger Note

Best Guitar Amp Head

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We ranked EVH 5150III 50W EL34 #17 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

The best valve head for hard rock and metal

Pros
A compact powerhouse with gain to burn
Exceptional harmonic and dynamic detail
MIDI switchable channels and effects loop

Cons
A lot of volume for domestic use

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Loud Beats

Pros
Sound quality is outstanding.
Tube amplifiers provide natural tones.
Flexible gain controls are effective.

Cons
This guitar amplifier is a little expensive.

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We ranked Victory V40 The Duchess #18 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

Sometimes, one channel is all you need

Pros
Clean tones to die for
Takes pedals exceptionally well
Super portable lunchbox head

Cons
Voicings are not footswitchable

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GuitarPlayer

A small victory for your guitar tone

Pros
Surprisingly versatile for a one channel amp
Fantastic value for money

Cons
Not for high-gain players

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We ranked Peavey Invective . 120 #19 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Guitar World

A metal head for the new generation

Pros
Excellent clean and gain channels
Modern features

Cons
Most don't need 120W

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Music Radar

A modern metal beast

Pros
In-built noise gate highly effective
Switchable power is super useful
Clean channel is actually good

Cons
Still kinda pricey

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