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
flat. Not these ones! They represent exceptional value for money and
deliver rich, vibrant tones with the zero-fuss reliability of solid
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.
Guitar Combo Amps
6 Spider IV 75
who want rich, bright Fender cleans & enough power for larger
who want a wide choice of effects & amp models in one unit.
Loud. 2 x 12
inch speakers. Dedicated volume & tone per channel. Glassy
effects. 16 amp models. Create your own sounds. Looper. LCD display.
Channel A, B, C, D, Tap Tempo/Tuner, Quick Loop, Preset FX Select/Edit.
Power amp in,
Preamp out (effects loop), Footswitch
Line out, Line
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
12" driven Fender will be music to your ears. Arguably the
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.
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
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
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
Frontman for its clean channel. Its glassy cleans are some of the best
find on a solid state amp. Crystal clear, biting highs, deep lows, loud
doesn't distort at high volumes. It delivers an underlyingly warm,
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
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
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
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.
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
6 Spider is a no brainer. If you like to truly keep your
options open, take a look at the incredibly feature rich Spider IV 75.
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
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 -
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
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
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
covered, but on the surface, it's loud (stays clean at high volumes as
well), versatile and solidly built.
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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