Getting the right guitar amp is just as important for your sound as getting the right guitar - a great guitar played through a terrible amp is just going to sound rubbish! However, you don’t need to spend a lot to get a quality amp nowadays; there are plenty of amps for around the £100 mark that will suit any need. Whether you need a portable acoustic amp for busking or an effects-laden combo amp that will handle anything from clean natural tones right up to heavily distorted metal shredding there’s an amp out there for you! We’ve put together a handy guide to a few of our favourite amps for around £100 to help make sure you get the amp you need:
Fender Champion 20 – Classic Fender looks and tonnes of great tones
Although the Fender Champion 20 has a lot going for it overall, it really stands out on two fronts – variety and ease of use. The Champion 20 offers four different amp models and an array of useful effects, catering for your tonal tastes whether you’re into jazz, blues, heavy metal or anything in-between. Having all that variety on an amp this size could easily lead to a confusing set of controls, but the Champion 20 is one of the simplest amps to use out there, featuring one dial to cycle through the amp models and another to select your desired effects. It’s worth mentioning that the Champion 20 looks absolutely great as well, featuring a similar design to the iconic Fender Twin Reverb amp, with a simple black vinyl body, classic silver mesh front and front-mounted amp controls.
Fender Mustang I - The most customizable practice amp in the world
The Mustang I is an amazingly versatile 20 watt solid state amp, with great features including 17 inbuilt amp pre-sets, 24 effects and an on-board tuner. However, it’s not what’s already on the amp that makes it stand out, but the option you have to plug the Mustang I into your computer and download an unlimited array of pre-sets and effects via Fender’s own Fuse software. You can even download the full effects settings of some your guitar idols or the pre-sets for your favourite songs, so you can set up your Mustang amp to get the perfect tone to play along!
Fender Acoustasonic 15 – Ideal for the aspiring singer-songwriter
Although electro-acoustic guitars can be played through any guitar amp they just won’t sound as good unless you’ve got it going through a dedicated acoustic amp. The 15 watt Fender Acoustasonic has a great acoustic tone and also features a lovely chorus effect for a rich, shimmering sound. A big plus point of the Acoustasonic is that it also boasts an XLR input for plugging in microphones, making it the perfect choice for singer-songwriters who want to power their guitar and vocals through one amp.
Roland Micro-Cube - Great quality ultra-compact amp
If portability is high up your checklist of what you need from a guitar amp then Roland’s brilliant Micro-Cube will be right up your street. Weighing in at just over 3kg the Micro-Cube is the kind of amp you can take absolutely anywhere and, thanks to its battery compatibility, you don’t even need to be near a mains socket to plug in and play. Don’t be fooled into thinking that what you gain in portability you must lose in features though - the Micro-Cube is packed with 7 amp models and 6 DSP effects including delay, flanger, tremolo and chorus and even boasts a digital tuning fork for tuning on the go! For just under £100 you get a totally portable amp and micro effects unit which you can quite literally use anywhere you go!
Fender Passport Mini – The perfect portable busking amp
In a similar vein to the Roland Micro-Cube, Fender’s Passport Mini amp offers total portability without compromising on quality of sound or effects. Like the Micro-Cube it can be fully battery powered and also weighs in at just over 3kg, but the Passport Mini also offers XLR compatibility, enabling you to plug your guitar and microphone in at the same time, making it the perfect amp for busking and can even as a small PA system! With eight on-board amp pre-sets and a generous range of effects, the Passport Mini also offers a great variety in tone, making it perfect for a range of styles. The ideal portable performer’s amp, the Passport Mini does everything you need a busking amp to do and more, all for under £100!
Fender Frontman 10G– Your first steps to stardom!
By far the cheapest amp on this list, the Fender Frontman 10G is an awesome option for young players taking their first steps to being the next Hendrix or for the more experienced player looking for a lightweight amp offering great tones at an eye-catching price. Boasting classic Fender clean tone on one channel and, at the touch of a button, an impressive overdrive channel with a range of distorted tones, perfect for anything from blues to metal. Despite only being a 10w amp the Frontman 10G pumps out a very reasonable amount of noise - it’s hard to think of a another amp out there offering stylish looks, great tones and total portability for such an amazing price.