Finding the best guitar amps under 100 bucks can be hard. There are tons of choices out there, and not all of them are particularly good! We Found some of the best that you can get on a budget, and we are going to take a look at them today.
The Best Guitar Amps Under 100 Bucks? Who Needs Them?
Finding the best guitar amps under 100 bucks was at one point, an impossibility. I know, I remember!
When I first started playing guitar, I was 13-14 years old. To say that I was “on a budget” is a little bit of an understatement! I didn’t have ANY money at all and I relied on the goodwill of my grandmother to buy me guitar gear while I was learning. I believe a lot of us start out in a similar situation.
Later, as a teen, I was able to get a part time job and buy my own guitar stuff. But that was long after obsession had kicked in. I was full-on addicted to guitar.
Best Amps Under $100 (Quick Overview)
|MOOER Hornet Modeling Amp||★★★★★||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
|Fender Champion Series||★★★★★||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
|Blackstar Fly 3||★★★★||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
|BOSS Katana Mini||★★★★||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
|Marshall MG15||★★★||VIEW LATEST PRICES|
Yet, as an adult, I have also found myself sometimes working with a seriously slim budget as well. Because it’s part of being an adult. As guitarists, the first thing we think about when we receive a large sum of money is running out and buying new gear. But that isn’t always reality, is it?
So who needs to know about the best guitar amps under 100 bucks? All of the above definitely apply! But someone who is just getting started playing can also benefit. No one wants to spend a fortune just to get started playing guitar. Likewise, someone with experience may be in a tight spot and need an affordable amp.
We are going to try and cater to both of these people today, the beginner and the experienced, and see just how much amp 100 bucks gets you these days!
Detailed Reviews of The Best Amps Under $100
#5 Marshall MG15
Marshall is a legendary amplifier company. As guitarists, we all know the name. We also probably picture a wall of Marshall Stack amplifiers filling up a stadium stage. Marshall is certainly known for that kind of rock star excess. When you think of Marshall, you probably don’t think about the best guitar amps under 100 bucks!
But what you probably didn’t know, is they also make a whole series of small affordable amplifiers for beginners and pros alike. We have mentioned some of their products like this one before. The MG series are all affordable versions of Marshall’s legacy. These are stripped down amplifiers that are meant to do one thing really well.
They don’t seem like they have many features, at first:
- 15 Watts RMS
- 8 Inch Speaker
- 2 Channels
- 3 Band EQ
- MP3/ Aux Line In Jack
- Speaker Emulated Headphone Output
On paper, these features look pretty spartan. But while the Marshall Mg doesn’t have any bells and whistles, it DOES have a great distortion tone! This amp captures the classic British overdrive sound perfectly. The clean channel is nothing to scoff at either, and sounds great.
The best feature about the Marshall MG series is the headphone output. The speaker emulation sounds great on your favorite set of headphones. This allows for quiet practice time, without sacrificing tone. This is the perfect little practice buddy for someone just starting out, or a pro guitarist that needs something on a budget!
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#4 BOSS Katana Mini
It would be impossible to talk about the best guitar amps under 100 dollars without talking about the Katana Series. BOSS really knocked it out of the park when they released the Katana amplifiers. These amps range from the mini one we are talking about today, to full size professional amps!
What they all have in common, though, is they are feature packed!
- 3 Basic Amp Models
- Single Channel
- Single 4” Speaker
- 3 Band EQ Section
- Controls: (Mono): Gain, Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Delay Time, Delay Level
- Headphone Jack
- Aux Input Jack
- Powered by Batteries or DC Power
I have this little amp sitting on my desk, and you should not let the small size and price fool you. This is one of the best guitar amps under 100 dollars you can buy. It’s perfect for quiet headphone practice, or you can use the speaker. The Katana Mini can run on batteries and this makes it completely portable!
The three channels are all excellent. You get a clean, crunch, and “brown” sound. The brown sound of course being a hot-rodded Marshall amp from the 80’s. These all sound amazing for such a tiny amp, especially through a good pair of headphones. The three band EQ lets you dial in the perfect tone.
The built in delay effects are fantastic as well. But this only gives you a tiny taste of what the BOSS Katana series can actually do. But it gives you a great little amp for practicing, and it is certainly one of the best guitar amps under 100 bucks on the market!
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#3 Blackstar Fly 3
Much like the BOSS Katana Mini, The Blackstar Fly is a tiny little amp, that produces some huge tones! Blackstar started making the Fly Amp several years ago, and I have seen tons of pros use these little guys backstage to warm up. The outline of the amplifier is based on the popular ID Core series.
This is actually a pretty versatile little amp with a lot of features:
- 3 Watts
- 3” Speaker
- 2 Channels
- Delay Effects
- ISF Knob For Tone
- Headphone and Recording Out Jack
- Battery or DC Pack powered
This is by far the smallest of the best guitar amps under 100 dollars. But that makes it even better as a practice amp. You can power it by batteries and take it literally anywhere you want! The small speaker puts out a big sound for being so tiny, but the real power lies in the headphone output.
The headphone output has speaker emulation, and makes the delay effects sound like they are in stereo. Both of the channels are controlled by the ISF Knob that switches your amp sound between British and American. With the ISF Knob you can also blend these two sounds however you like. Personally, I like the British tone.
If you are a pro guitarist that travels a lot, the Blackstar Fly 3 can be the perfect hotel room buddy. Conversely, it would also make a great first amp for a guitarist on a budget!
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#2 Fender Champion Series
Over the years, we have seen lots of solid state Fender amps come and go. The Fender Champ used to be a “dirty word” among guitar players because of the quality of sound they had. A few years ago, Fender redesigned the Champ from the ground up, and added some great new effects.
Just a short few years ago, no one would have said the Fender Champ is one of the best guitar amps under 100 bucks. But these days, it is honestly a great deal. The features are much better than the original series.
- 20 Watts
- 8” Speaker
- Lightweight Design
- Controls for gain: Volume, voice, treble, bass, FX level and FX select
- Effects: Reverb, delay/echo, chorus, tremolo, vibratone
- Black Bronco vinyl with silver front grill
- Full EQ Section
- Headphone Jack
I don’t know that I would recommend this one for a pro guitarist, per se. It is not as portable as something like the Blackstar Fly, or the Katana Mini. The Champ is definitely geared more towards the beginner guitarist, and that isn’t a bad thing at all!
If you are just starting out and on a budget, the Fender Champ has everything you need to familiarize yourself with the different tones and effects that electric guitar can produce. The channels have their own EQ section for you to dial in your tone, as well as control your effects.
The built in effects are not the greatest, but they are more than serviceable. What the Fender Champ does best is give you an example of how effects work as a beginner, as you probably do not have a giant pedalboard yet. Not only is the Champ one of the best guitar amps under 100 dollars, it’s an inexpensive way to get your feet wet when it comes to amplifier controls.
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#1 MOOER Hornet Modeling Amp
When I first started writing this article, I knew there were some decent amps that fit the bill. But I was kind of taken aback by the newest offering from the budget friendly people at MOOER.
Seriously, what the hell?
The MOOER Hornet is crazy when it comes to the amount of tones and effects you can dial in. When it comes to features, the Hornet has almost as many options as something like the Fender Mustang series, at a fraction of the cost!
- 15 Watts
- Equipped with: Custom 6.5″ speaker
- Wireless Bluetooth connection for AUX input
- 9 High quality digital recreations of popular guitar amps: JZ CLEAN, F.CLEAN, PL 100, PV 5150, TRIPLE, MKIV, POWER DS, MOGNER and MOOER MT
- 3 Modulation effects: Chorus, phaser and vibrato
- 3 Delay types: Analog, Tape Echo and Digital
- Reverb types: Room, Hall and Church
- Independent Tap Tempo input for modulation effects and delay
- Built In Tuner
- Gain, Treble Mid, Bass, Volume, Mod, Delay and Reverb controls
This is a crazy amount of stuff for such a bargain price. I honestly think the MOOER Hornet is one of the best guitar amps under 100 dollars you can find, anywhere. The amount of features you get is absolutely nuts. Their official website breaks it all down, but I am going to tell you about my favorite features.
The dial on the front of the Hornet is what controls your amp model, and this has quite a few to choose from. You get everything from crystal clean to all out Metal distortion. Each amp setting has it’s own EQ section as well, so you can dial in your exact tone without relying on a preset.
Another feature that makes this one of the best amps for guitar under 100 bucks is the amount of effects you get, and the sheer quality of them! The modulation effects sound great and have a stereo effect when wearing headphones. The tape delay is particularly impressive, and it sounds very organic.
You also get several presets where you can store your tones. Now, more expensive amps definitely do this, but a tiny little guy like the Hornet? Once you have a tone dialed in exactly the way you want it, you can save it to one of the presets. This not only saves your amp model, but it saves all of your other choices too, like effects.
The MOOER Hornet ended up being a wildcard among the best guitar amps under 100 bucks. But I was pleasantly surprised!
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The Best Guitar Amps Under 100 Dollars: Verdict
Things have certainly changed when it comes to low budget guitar gear these days. Whether it is budget-friendly pedals, or the amps that we talked about today. You can get a lot for your money nowadays, and i think that is awesome.
Newer guitarists have access to some really great sounding gear, and professionals can be “ballin’ on a budget” with some of this awesome new technology. It has never been easier to get a good guitar tone in the history of guitar. I was absolutely blown away by these little amps and what they could do.
Guitar can be an expensive hobby. It can be even more expensive if you are trying to make it professionally. Anywhere you can cut down the cost is a welcome addition to me!
Can you get a good guitar amp for under 100 dollars?
There are a bunch of great options these day! Many offerings from BOSS and MOOER are amazing deals!