October 2021

Guitar Amplifiers: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Guitar Amp rankings posted by key online experts, as of October 2021.

At a glance - October 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Guitar Amp
Guitar World
Music Radar
Consordini
Music Critic
BestCovery
GuitarPlayer
Ledger Note
BestReviews
Loud Beats
Gearank
1
- $149
Orange Crush 20
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
3
3
1
2
- Check price
Mesa Boogie Mark V
11
17
-
-
2
-
-
-
9
-
3
- $149
Orange Micro Terror
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
7
4
- $598
Vox AC15
5
10
-
-
-
-
-
4
7
-
5
- Check price
Marshall MG50CFX
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
1
-
6
- $452
Marshall AS50D
-
-
6
3
6
-
-
-
-
-
7
- $269
Positive Grid Spark
2
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
- $759
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 20 Deluxe
8
-
-
-
11
9
-
-
-
-
9
- $180
Fender Mustang LT25
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
10
- $1500
Marshall SC20H
9
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
11
- $380
Boss Katana 100 MKII
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
12
- $250
Peavey Vypyr VIP 2
-
-
-
7
-
-
3
-
-
-
13
- $650
Fender Blues Junior IV
4
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
14
- $1000
Blackstar HT Club 40 MKII
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
15
- $1900
Peavey Invective 120
12
19
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
16
- Check price
EVH 5150III 50W EL34
-
13
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
17
- Check price
Marshall DSL100H
-
-
-
-
12
-
5
-
-
-

We ranked Orange Crush 20 #1 in October 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Orange Crush 20 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
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

Pros
Orange amplifiers specialize in distortion, and with a four-stage preamp, this 20-watt combo is no different. Features clean and dirty modes, a channel foot switch, as well as two aux ports — one for backing tracks and one for practice headphones. The sound is projected through an eight-inch Voice of the World speaker for rich, harmonic overtones.

Cons
This amp has no onboard effects and will require additional equipment to flesh out your tone.

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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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Gearank

Pros
Earning high ratings in this price range is quite a feat, especially when faced with other amps offer more features. Interestingly, the simplicity of this amp is what helped it gather high scores. And it's not just because it is easy to play - but because there aren't that many things to be unhappy about, only the default Orange overdrive voicing that almost everyone loves. It also helps that it looks good, which is reflected by the many kudos for its distinct visual appeal. Build quality is also often praised.

Cons
There haven't been many complaints about this amp, aside from a few who wish that it had some extra features.

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We ranked Mesa Boogie Mark V #2 in October 2021 because:

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

The best guitar amp for versatile cleans, and devastating gains

Pros
Sounds amazing
Feature-packed

Cons
Price

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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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BestCovery

Runner Up

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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.

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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 October 2021 ranking

We ranked Orange Micro Terror #3 in October 2021 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:
Guitar World

The tiniest of tiny terrors

Pros
Compact
Cheap

Cons
Not full-tube
Not that loud

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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, so most will outgrow it.

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Gearank

Pros
Many are impressed with the MT20's tone, which is as classic rock friendly as one would expect from an Orange amp. The tone is described as organic and lively, and sounds much more expensive than it actually is. There are also plenty of users who were surprised at how loud this 20-Watt amp head can go, especially when considering its portable and lightweight design.

Cons
This is not an ideal amp for those who want more tone shaping options right on the amp. While it is well loved for its overdriven tones, clean tone is not as desirable to some reviewers.

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We ranked Vox AC15 #4 in October 2021 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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BestReviews

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

Cons
15 watts isn’t too powerful.

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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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We ranked Marshall MG50CFX #5 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Marshall MG50CFX as #1.
Critic endorsements:
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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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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We ranked Marshall AS50D #6 in October 2021 because:

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

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

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BestCovery

Best Acount Guitar Combo Amplifier

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We ranked Positive Grid Spark #7 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Guitar Amplifiers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert 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
Nothing at this price

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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

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We ranked Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 20 Deluxe #8 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 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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BestCovery

Best Medium Range Guitar Amp Head

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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 Fender Mustang LT25 #9 in October 2021 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:
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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Gearank

Pros
The Fender Mustang LT25 is often praised for its sonic versatility, which in turn results in getting more bang for the buck. Many of the positive comments point to its Fender clean tones, but there are also those who are happy with its overdriven presets. Music Radar had similar sentiments in their review stating, "We loved the classic Fender cleans, but likewise the thick distortion you can find if you dial it in. Allied to a thoughtful complement of effects that includes modulation, filters, pitch-shifting, delay, reverb and more, the sky is the limit." The amp's sleek design also helps, giving it an appearance that is one step above conventional entry level amp design.

Cons
There are a few who feel that the volume control behaves oddly (too much volume increase as you up turn the knob). There are also some who are not too happy with some of the amp models and presets, especially when compared to its clean tone settings which most users love.

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We ranked Marshall SC20H #10 in October 2021 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
Few extra shiny features

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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
Doesn’t possess some of the bells and whistles premium Marshall amps provide.

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We ranked Boss Katana 100 MKII #11 in October 2021 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 October 2021 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 October 2021 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 Blackstar HT Club 40 MKII #14 in October 2021 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 Peavey Invective 120 #15 in October 2021 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
Price

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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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We ranked EVH 5150III 50W EL34 #16 in October 2021 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 Marshall DSL100H #17 in October 2021 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

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