If you are a musician and if you ever performed anywhere, you know how important an amp is. However, amp aren’t always cheap and beginner musicians often cannot afford one. Of course, an amp has a significant effect on your music sound, quality and overall performance. This is why, you need to be looking at amps that are budget friendly. Luckily for you, I have a way to help you find the best amp under $200. This price is not too high nor too low. After all, if you go too low with the price you might end up getting garbage. That is something we want to avoid, right?
So, before you make a random purchase for an amp, here is how you can find the best amp under $200. First of all, take a look at the brand name. Even the most renowned manufactures offer budget-friendly amps. You just need to know where and how to look for one. Additionally, you should look for the basic features and quality. It shouldn’t be too flashy or with some extraordinary quality. However, it shouldn’t get damaged after the first use. This is why, at this price range you should find the golden middle. I reviewed, tested and tried a lot of amps as an experienced band guitarist. After a lot of work and patience, here is the list for the best amp under 200 I came up with.
1. Blackstar FLY3
The FLY 3 is a very nice, compact, almost mini amp, but still has a lot to offer. It is a 3-watt app that combines two channels. In addition to this, it features a tape delay and the very famous Blackstar patented Infinite Shape Feature (ISF).
With all of these features at disposal, it serves as a very handy, convenient and easily portable guitar amp. But don’t worry, regardless of its size, it still can offer an impeccable sound. It packs a big-toned punch, even if you like playing your music at lower levels.
Also, the patented Infinite Shape Feature makes sure that you can change the sound easily and without issues. Connectivity wise, asides from the guitar, you can connect this unit to a smartphone or a tablet, as it is USB cable enabled. With its revolutionary sonic performance, the 3-inch speaker produces true, well-detailed and high-quality sounds.
However, you should know that it is battery or DC powered and allows a lot of options for a lot of players as such. You can easily carry it around and play for your friends or in the local pub. This probably makes this unit the most travel-friendly and yet cheap option you can possibly find and as a result can be considered as the best amp under $200.
The FLY 3 also features an MP3 jack built in. This allows you to connect to your MP3 player, mobile phone, laptop, tablet etc. and play your favorite songs. You should also know that the Emulated Output jack can also be easily paired with earbuds.
- Very compact size
- Incredible connectivity
- Cool design
- Not very versatile
2. Line 6 Spider V 30
Line 6 is definitely not as big as the first one I listed – the Fender. However, it still comes from a brand that is easily recognized in the world of music lovers. If you are an audiophile and value the sound you produce, the Line 6 Spider V 30 is just another choice you should be looking at.
It has a lot to offer for those who don’t want to empty out their wallet for an amp purchase. The first thing I noticed about it is that it features an 8-inch speaker. Also, it has tweeters for a fuller, more powerful and rich sound. Still, it lacks the wireless receiver. I expected this one as other Spider V series have one, and to be hones I was disappointed to find out that there wasn’t one. But then again, they cost more and I was looking for a cheap amp under $200. On the other hand, I did enjoy other features like the XLR outputs and the aux input for connecting a smartphone. Oh, and it also has a FBV pedal input for connecting a Line 6 foot controller.
If you like to practice without disturbing anyone, you’ll also enjoy the headphone jack on the Line 6 Spider V30. It is a great feature for those who are shy or have complaining neighbors. Still, the most important aspect of this unit is the incredible price. With a metronome, a lot of effects and a built-in drum loops, this amp is worth every penny you pay for it. Last but not least, I should mention that this one is also an audio interface and can be used as such. Just connect it to a computer and record in a DAW. Pretty cool, right? So, if you are looking for the best amp under $200, this unit is worth considering.
- Has a lot of presets and effects
- Can be recorded directly in a computer
- Very lightweight
- High-quality, durable construction
- Great for traveling
- Low ends might be too week for some peoples’ tastes
3. Donner DEA-1
The Donner DEA-1 is the underdog on this list, and I was also surprised that it passed a lot of my tests. As a 10-Watt amplifier, it offers a lot of high-quality sounds and very intuitive controls. I used it for electric guitar practicing, but I can easily see myself playing at the mall with it, it is quite powerful too.
It has multiple controls including boost, select, switch, treble, bass, middle and gain. These are very easy to understand making the Donner DEA-1 a perfect choice for beginners and could be the best amp under $200.
The unit features a 1/4″ input, 3-Band EQ and an 1/8″ auxiliary input jack. If you want to practice silently, you can use the headphones output jacks too.
- It has rubber protection, preventing damage
- Very cheap
- Easily portable
- Intuitive controls
- Doesn’t have too much power for large rooms and stages
4. Marshall Code 25W
Unlike the more expensive units from Marshall, this one might disappoint you that it doesn’t offer the whole experience, but still, it is a great value for the money. The Marshall Code 25W is an incredible buy for casual players and performers as well.
It has 25 watts of power packed into this solid-state amp, with great performance. I loved that there is a lot of flexibility which is often needed by a lot of guitarists.
Also, if you are beginner, you’ll enjoy the fact that the amp has 14 classic preamps preloaded. In addition to these, there are four power amps and eight speaker cab emulations. Last but not least, you get 24 digital effects including pitch shifter, distortion, chorus, flanger and phaser. These can be further customized by using apps too. Oh, didn’t I mention. There is amazing connectivity including USB and Bluetooth options. Yeah, it is a unit that offers a lot more versatility that you can possibly expect to find.
The last thing that I would like to put attention to is the overall performance. It is simply out of its price range. As I said before, it offers a very versatile sound, and offers something that all types of musicians can find a way to enjoy. Moreover, even if the unit cannot give power or detail of a 100-watt cab with four speakers, you can surely find a way to enjoy it. It is a cool, handy combo amp that can offer more than enough power for a good practice. If you and your band aren’t going big and play in smaller pubs and gigs, the Marshall Code is the best amp under $200 for you.
- Very flexible
- Good design
- Great for practicing and smaller purposes
- Has USB and Bluetooth connectivity
- Cannot offer a lot of power or detail
5. Fender Mustang I V2
If you are looking for a crispy and a clear sound, the Fender Mustang I V2 is the choice for you. Even if at first sight it doesn’t look like that, since it is a rather small amp, believe me, it will surprise you. In sound, it offers quite a big performance and it was the greatest surprise for me too. It has all the sound controls any guitar player can ever need.
Also, if you don’t have a lot of experience, you’ll enjoy the preset effects. You can change your sound and add reverb, echo or delay, tremolo, phaser… the list goes on. However, what really surprised me about this Fender amp was the connectivity option. It is USB compatible and features a FUSE software with it. These two together open up a lot of doors for you.
Without any issue, you’ll be able plug in your phone and play your favorite songs. It is great for practicing too, especially if you don’t like to be heard. It has a 1/8th headphone jack which mutes the speaker output. Feature wise, it is outstanding because of all it offers. It can be used for creating songs with the Ableton Live Lite 8 Fender Edition recording software. As a budget-friendly amp, it is versatile above expectations and offers high-quality sound. I also really liked that with a turn of a knob you can choose from clean to mean tones. Specifically, the unit features 17 various amp models that easily accommodate any music genre.
Even if you are a professional, you might still find this unit quite handy. It can be used for traveling as it is very versatile and helpful for all purposes. All in all, the Fender Mustang I V2 is a really nice investment and the best amp under $200 for beginner guitarists.
- Excellent for beginners and traveling
- Nice presets for sound effects
- Budget friendly
- Great performance
- Incredible connectivity options
- Controlling the presets might be difficult for some