It Goes To 11: Best Electric Guitar Amps

by Frederik Nielsen, Oct 5, 2018 . 4 min read

It Goes To 11: Best Electric Guitar Amps

Do you even need an amp? If you’re a home studio producer like me, then buying an electric guitar amp might not even be necessary. Just plug into the DAW of your choice and add some plugins. But an electric guitar without an amp is less than impressive in a live setting. (To check out the best amps for acoustic guitar, read this previous blog post)

To find out what you need in terms of amplifying power, start with the end goal. Are you just looking for something to practice with at home? Are you planning on taking over the streets as a busker? Are you looking for a real amp to record with instead of digital amps? Will you be playing Madison Square Garden?

The best amp for playing at home

Getting yourself a mini amp will be sufficient beginners and for playing home sessions. A Marshall MS2 Micro Guitar Amp will do the job just fine and will only set you back about $50. Seeing as Keith Richards owns one, it is possible to sound like him with it.

The best amp for busking

You’ll want something portable since you’ll be performing in the streets. The Roland Micro Cube is a popular choice because it can be powered by batteries. It’s also an affordable choice, and pretty much peanuts when you think about all the money passersby will be showering you with!

The best amp for recording

Whether or not digital amps are good enough or not is an ongoing discussion I have with the guitarist in my band. Regardless where you stand on the analogue vs. digital debate, you might want an amp for recording purposes. Small amps, like the Fender Super Champ X2, tend to be a better choice than bigger amps. Small amps will allow you to crank it to 11 and still get a good recording.

The best amp for small gigs

A small amp will suffice If you’re in the bar and club circuit, but it also depends on the style of music you play and whether or not you’re with a full band. I play with a loud band in mid-size venues, and the Orange Crush 20RT has been producing an excellent result for our guitarist. If you’re a solo act or don’t play as loud as we do, then you might be better off with one of the amps mentioned earlier.

What other things should you know?

Before drinking and Priming, have a think about what else you want out of your amp. Should you have a valve or solid state amp? Do you need effects or not? Should be a combo or not?

Valve vs. solid state

Valve is generally seen as the better choice as they produce a better tone. This is more a matter of taste than not, as the layperson in the audience won’t likely hear the difference. Solid state amps are not a wrong choice by any means — they’re good enough for The Rolling Stones.

Effects vs. no effects

Whether or not you want effects will also help you decide between valve and solid state. Valve amps generally won’t give you more than some reverb and tremolo. Solid state amps, on the other hand, will come with a whole host of digital effects. Having the right pedals can offset the lack of effects on the valve amps.

Combo vs. head+cab

This choice is often just down to logistics. Some find it easier to have a combo, others like the portability of a head + cab setup. My band needs a super-loud head because we don’t want to challenge any existing stereotypes about rock bands. But the choice is entirely yours.


Subscribe to Gain Access to our Alternate Tuning Library & Accompanying E-Book Guide
Discover the origin of the most popular tunings, some less-known facts, AND most importantly, learn how to play songs in your desired tunings.

Check out some other similar articles

A lot of people stargaze, others “shoegaze”.

Rayan Sayegh
Apr 21, 2023 . 5 min read

The best studio desks can make a big difference in your workflow. Folks that record music in any capacity are

Rodrigo Sanchez
Apr 19, 2023 . 3 min read

The best acoustic guitar pickups are great options to plug in your instrument. Whether you want to attend an open mic

Rodrigo Sanchez
Feb 24, 2023 . 5 min read

Today we’re going to give you the best left-handed guitars. No left-handed guitar player is more famous than  Jimi Hendrix. However,

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jan 13, 2023 . 3 min read

These 10 best rock guitar intros of all time are instantly recognizable.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jan 9, 2023 . 6 min read

We bring you the 4 best guitar amps of 2022. Amp technology has developed immensely in the last decades, offering quality at lower prices.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Dec 9, 2022 . 3 min read

Today we’re going to give you the 4 best guitar capos currently on the market.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 4, 2022 . 3 min read

The 3 best John Mayer Songs may not be the most popular he’s written, but they are fantastic.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 3, 2022 . 3 min read

Have you ever wondered what is a guitalele and why you should get one? Well, if you have, today is your lucky day.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 30, 2022 . 3 min read

Today we give you the 7 best VST plugins in 2022. VST stands for “Virtual Studio Technology” and is a fantastic resource for music production.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 22, 2022 . 5 min read

Today we give you the top 10 apps like GarageBand. Produced by Apple, GarageBand is a digital audio workstation (DAW) for Mac users.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 18, 2022 . 5 min read

Today we’re going to talk about the 5 best MIDI keyboards for beginners.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 15, 2022 . 4 min read

This list of the 8 best tuning pegs for your guitar features some of the best models on the market.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jun 20, 2022 . 6 min read

These 5 singing auditions you must watch will inspire you. It is no secret that talent shows have exploded all over the world in the last 20 years.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jun 10, 2022 . 3 min read

In this list of best of best mics for music recording, we bring you an array of good choices.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Apr 29, 2022 . 6 min read

In this list of music practice apps for beginners we’ll explore the best there is to get you started with making music.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Apr 11, 2022 . 3 min read

Today we’re going to look at some of the best music tools for beginners. I get it, starting out in music can be as intimidating as it is exciting.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Mar 25, 2022 . 5 min read

The 10 most influential blues albums have had a massive impact on western music. It is impossible to overstate the impact of blues on the most popular genres today.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Mar 14, 2022 . 5 min read

In this guide of best guitars for beginners, we’ll give you the basics to get started.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Feb 18, 2022 . 3 min read

The 5 moments that marked rock history are all centered around the electric guitar. No instrument embodies the spirit of rock better than the electric guitar.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 30, 2021 . 3 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!