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Highest Rated Cheap Guitar Combo Amps

These cheap guitar combo amps are especially for gigging guitarists who want a professional, efficient stage setup on a tight budget (see the practice amps page for smaller combos). The picks below are conveniently lightweight and portable yet loud enough for most gig venues.

Many combo amps in this price range (sub-$300) can sound sterile and flat. Not these ones! They represent exceptional value for money and deliver rich, vibrant tones with the zero-fuss reliability of solid state electronics.

If you are, however, specifically looking for tube amps and willing to pay a bit more, take a look at the tube combo amps page.

Compare Cheap Guitar Combo Amps

Fender Frontman 212R

Fender Frontman 212R Guitar Combo Amp
Line 6 Spider IV 75

Line 6 Spider IV 75 Guitar Combo Amp
Best For Guitarists who want rich, bright Fender cleans & enough power for larger venues. Guitarists who want a wide choice of effects & amp models in one unit.
Defining Features Loud. 2 x 12 inch speakers. Dedicated volume & tone per channel. Glassy cleans. 300 preset effects. 16 amp models. Create your own sounds. Looper. LCD display.
Output 100 Watts 75 Watts
2 x 12 inch Special Design 12 inch custom Celestion
Channels 2 4
EQ/Controls Ch1: Vol, Treble, Mid, Bass
Ch2: Drive, Vol, Treble, Mid, Bass
Amp Model Select, Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble, Channel Volume, FX1, FX2, FX3, Reverb Master
Switches Channel Select
More Drive
Mid Contour
Manual, Channel A, B, C, D, Tap Tempo/Tuner, Quick Loop, Preset FX Select/Edit.
Reverb Yes Yes
Effects loop Yes No
Additional Inputs/Outputs Power amp in, Preamp out (effects loop), Footswitch Line out, Line in, Footswitch
Est. Price $305 $300
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Fender Frontman 212R Guitar Combo Amp

If you spend most of your time on the clean channel, or you already have your own favourite distortion and effects units, this twin 12" driven Fender will be music to your ears. Arguably the best solid state cleans you'll hear and with all the head room you'll ever need and enough power for all but the grandest of gig venues.

Fender Frontman 212R Guitar Combo Amp

Overall Rating

8.5 / 10


Harmony Central | Ultimate Guitar
Amazon | Zzounds | Musicians Friend

Best Deal

  Est. $305

Key Features

100 Watts - LOUD with loads of head room. 2 x 12 inch Special Design speakers. Glassy, biting Fender cleans. Dedicated volume and tone for each channel. Channel footswitch included.

What users say

The Frontman 212R features straight forward controls typical of Fender amps. Dual input (for normal and high/active inputs). Dedicated 3 band EQ for each channel with a gain knob on the overdrive channel and a shape control for enhanced, mid range scoop. There's also a single reverb control for both channels. No need to fork out extra dough for a channel footswitch - included. Also frontside are standard pre-out/in ports for effects loops. The dual 12 inch speakers at 50 watts each handle louder volumes with more depth and clarity.

Reading through the hundreds of reviews, it's clear that players buy the Frontman for its clean channel. Its glassy cleans are some of the best you'll find on a solid state amp. Crystal clear, biting highs, deep lows, loud and doesn't distort at high volumes. It delivers an underlyingly warm, modern vibe without the sterility of many cheap combo amps. The fact that it's solid state actually becomes a bonus given the quality of tone, since you don't have to faff around with tubes.

The drive channel will satisfy most except those looking for high gain metal. It delivers a mild, albeit bright and note-articulate crunch for those big classic rock riffs, with the mid contour control offering smoother, more modern lead tones. The "more drive" function (which is footswitchable) will give you that extra gain for your solos, although many say things can get a little too muddy at higher volumes. If nothing else, this channel is usefull for giving your existing distortion pedals a boost when the solo spotlight is on you.

The reverb is subtle, and for some a little too subtle, but it furnishes your playing with just enough spring without drenching it.

It's a loud amp, even compared to other 100 watters, with plenty of volume for gigs of all sizes, yet it's conveniently compact and portable.

Bottom line... stunning cleans but not an all rounder, although many who use external distortion pedals and effects look for a good clean base and the Frontman handles them pristinely.

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Line 6 Spider IV 75 Guitar Combo Amp

For those looking for a more self contained budget solution, with all the tones and effects under the sun packed conveniently into a gigging combo, the Line 6 Spider is a no brainer. If you like to truly keep your creative options open, take a look at the incredibly feature rich Spider IV 75.

Line 6 Spider IV 75 Guitar Combo Amp
click to enlarge - front panel
Overall Rating

9 / 10


Harmony Central | Ultimate Guitar
Amazon | Zzounds | Music Radar
Musicians Friend

Best Deal

  Est. $300

Key Features

Over 300 effects presets crafted by world-famous musicians. Create & save up to 64 of your own sounds. 16 amp models. 14 second looper. LCD display.

What users say

This is a modelling amp boasting over 300 presets, 16 amp models, 20 industry standard effects and up to 64 of your own creations, building on what made the Spider III range a best seller.

The IV's key feature is its "rock star" inspired tone bank - 200 tones based on popular guitar songs over the past 60 years, from vintage jangly cleans to melt-your-face-off modern metal distortion. Granted, not all the presets sound great, but there's a lot to discover based on your own personal tastes and you can even create your own sounds.

The amp models give you authentic tube replication and complexly layered, compressed tones resembling valve legends such as the Marshall JCM900, Vox AC 30 and Fender Twin/Deluxe - not the real thing, but damn close. You can also tap in many effects such as auto-wah, chorus, phaser, delay, reverb and a looper allowing you to record up to a 14 second riff and then play over it.

The frontside LCD screen gives you a visual reference as you scroll through the hundreds of presets, set the parameters for your own sounds and tune up using the onboard tuner.

It will take a while to truly get to know all this amp has to offer as it has pretty much everything covered, but on the surface, it's loud (stays clean at high volumes as well), versatile and solidly built.

Note that if you'll be gigging with this amp, you'll most likely want to purchase the separate footswitch board (with expression pedal).

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