Eventually, there is going to come a time when a guitarist is practicing and will think, “I need a good practice amp” Well luckily there are various options and we have listed the 10 best practice amps available.
There are amps from such amps from places like Marshall, Vox, and Fender along with newer options from Line 6, Yamaha, and many more. In all these, there will be a practice amp that will be perfect for you and will fit in your budget too.
These amps will not break the bank and will not need to be pushing air out the speaker for you to find your sound. Because you do not want your neighbors hearing you while you are practicing.
Here are some of the best practice amps out there for you.
How to buy the best practice amp for you
When you are looking at buying a practice amp, you are in a way limiting ways in which you can work, but in a good way. The practice amp does not have to sound like the absolute best and it does not have to cost you an arm and a leg either and it can get you playing quickly without all the fancy bells and whistles.
With the practice amp, you are looking essentially looking for a way for you to plug your guitar in and have a little control over how it sounds. As with any sounds, we all have an idea in our head about how it should sound and what we would like the amp to do. Luckily enough for us, the amps available today are of a much higher quality than ones 10 or 20 years ago.
Today you can easily expect the best practice amps to have several effects like control over parameters through a table or mobile, different amp voicings, and so on.
The best practice amp will have an impact on the style and genre of music that you are trying or learning to play. For example, metal fans will need something to provide the saturated gain then need. Instead, you might like trying out different styles and genres depending on your mood on any given day.
Be strung out with the best available electric guitar strings and keep it nice and protected with the best possible guitar straps.
Here are some features to think about when purchasing a practice amp.
Features to consider
Take into consideration that when choosing an amp for a specific style, will more often give you good results than an amp that is do everything and inspire you to experiment. However, you will lose the ability to try different styles that could increase your overall ability. So, choosing which one to purchase, a smaller scale amp or one that is a specifically dedicated practice amp will ultimately decide what is the best practice amp for your needs.
You will have some options at a feature level too. Tube amps are significantly louder than their counterpart the solid-state amps, so a tube amp that has a 20-watt power source will make your whole house shake.
In saying that, many tube amps that are used for practicing already have a built-in noise level reduction which makes it easy to drop the level of power down.
A tube amp that has a 1-watt power source will be more than enough if you are practicing at home. Other practice amps can have a recording ability that comes built-in and you can use it through a USB that can be connected to your computer. This allows you to record how you are playing and gives you the chance to listen to how you sound which has many benefits.
We will now look at the like of the best practice amps and we include options from Orange, Line 6, and Boss.
There are only two reasons why you would have a small amp, one is to be able to practice quietly and warm up before you go on stage. Portable amps are ideal for practicing at home because you can easily take it around the house with you and practice literally whenever you feel like. If playing at home is more your style then you should look at a light amplifier. If your amp has an 8 or less speaker then it should be a good portable option, although if your tone is not a major concern then you could look at a micro amp and that is smaller again.
Speaker Size and Power Rating
When an amp is being advertised, it has a number on it regarding watts, and this is about its power rating. Usually, the higher an amp’s power rating is, the louder it is going to be. A 100-watt solid-state amp will be good enough if you are playing a gig however for practicing if it is clear to you, then there will not be a set wattage you need.
The size of the speaker is crucial to look at as well. In general, smaller speakers will be hard-pressed to produce low-end frequencies and this makes the sound seem thinner than the sound that you would expect to hear from a speaker of larger size. Keep in mind, however, a bigger speaker will be heavier and harder to move around.
Luckily, the size of the speaker does not matter for solo practice because some amps make use of modeling and cabinet simulation
Thankfully, speaker size will not really matter if you are practising by yourself, particularly when the amps make use of modeling and as well as cabinet simulation.
Tones both good and sometimes even bad relate here. It is hard to say one set of gear sounds better than others even though one piece of guitar gear might be better than others. But when looking at a large group of practice amps there only a few attributes that are attractive to the guitarist.
The most important thing to look for if you are going to use an amp as and out and out tool for practice is the tone that enables the genre of music you have the desire to play. For example, if you love country music, an amp that has what they call decent cleans is perfect, also, if you love metal then you are going to need an amp that is more designed for that.
A neat feature of many amps nowadays is that most are capable to mimic different amp cabinets and that is what can change the shape of the sound. Setting your amp to model the response of a 4×12 stack, that will give the sound more depth and authority.
Also, you can set your amp to be more responsive to a small combo and that has a more centred focus on tone and punch while also having the ability to set it roughly in the middle as well.
Most amps have different channels too, normally like a clean or distorted setting. Thanks to these settings, you can now flip from a clean to distorted sound very easily and that gives you a much wider range of tones that you can make.
Most practice amps can double as both featuring pre-sets as well as modeling amps of famous effects. The amps that do this include an example of literally everything. On your amp, you will have settings for overdrive, distortion, delay, and fuzz just to name a few.
The big advantage that you will get from this is going to largely depend on what you want to do. For example, if you are going to play several different genres then there is a great chance that an amp that has a stack of effects built-in will be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you do not require these kinds of effects then you can easily get a better amp with your money if you do not get one with the effects built-in. It will depend on your budget too.
Solid State or Tube?
Most of the practice amps today are of the highest quality. This is because they have all the necessary features that make them a perfect amp for practice, they are light, will not break your budget, and are easy to use. For someone who is a beginner, then a solid-state amp is best suited to them. But if you are a seasoned player then a small tube amp to practice with will improve your sessions.
Thanks to the introduction of low power switches, tube amps are now more suited for low volume so you can practice at home. This is largely dependant on if you know how to use it properly and that you have the money to be able to afford it, a tube practice amp could very well be worth the money.
With the advent of low power switches, tube amps are becoming more and more suitable for low-volume practice at home. Providing you are experienced enough to make the most of them – and that you have enough money to pay for it, then buying a tube practice amp can be a great choice for you.
Combo or Head?
Something else to think about it whether you decided to go for a combo amp or a head amp. This is helped because just about all practice amps today are combos simply because they are so useful. You also will not need a separate speaker to be heard properly and, they are much cheaper than heads too.
In saying that though, you should not shut down the idea completely because both tend to extremely versatile. An example of this is you can practice on it with headphones while you are at home and then you can easily move it to the venue you are playing your gig at, attach it to a cab and away you go.
Having a practice amp is by far the best and most effective way to hone your guitar skills no matter if you are a seasoned pro or a beginner, both can get valued use out of a practice amp.
Even though this is not a complete look at all of the available practice amps, it will give you something to ponder and give you an idea about what is in style right now and that could inspire you to greater heights with your play.