Top 10 Best Guitar Amplifier Brands

The Top Ten
1 Marshall

I've played a handful of different amps, all being about the same "size," and Marshall is the one that moved me the most. Whether I was plugged in with my Les Paul or my Strat, it gave me the tone I was looking for. This may sound weird, but when I first played on a Marshall amp, I was hooked because of the feel it gave me. It just "fits" for me.

I've been playing guitar for over 30 years now, and I have played them all. If you're into rock, rock 'n' roll, hard rock, metal, grunge, or thrash, there is no better amp out there. Plain and simple. You get the most massive chunking when doing rhythm and the best screaming solos and pinch harmonics from the Marshall. And they are built to last a lifetime.

Line 6 is a poor imitation of a Marshall and a Fender. They're an amp for a youngster to play around with. How many pros on your TV do you see using Marshall? There's a reason for it. Marshall is the best and will always be.

2 Fender

People sometimes don't really know what they want and use other brands of amps. They haven't found their sound yet, and they kind of try other stuff or hear someone or some artist talking about using it and try it. But that is not good enough.

Then they try a Fender. With a Fender, you can create your own sound, whether you are using pedals or just using the amp and the guitar. A true wonder for every player. Fender's just the best.

Definitely agree that Fender should be number one. Marshall is overrated, and Fender brings the tone way better than a Marshall, hands down. Marshall makes you pay for their name. Fender only charges you for the amp components and the time-tested Fender quality.

Why do you think so many amp companies try to replicate the Fender tone? Because it's awesome and blows people's minds!

3 Orange Amps

Orange amps, where do I even begin? These are killer amps at every price point! I owned a Crush 35RT and that thing could sing! From sparkly, buttery cleans to gritty, punchy dirty sounds, Orange is the only brand of amp you ever really need. They are highly underrated. They can do it all.

When I went to GC, I intended to purchase a Vox Valvetronix, but it wasn't the sound I was looking for. I spotted a pretty orange amp (my first time knowing about Orange) and told the salesman that I wanted to try it. He made a face and said, "Ah, you don't want that," and tried to sell me a 15-watt Bugera tube amp (sounded awful). I got my way in the end and tried out the Orange. As I played through the amp, the guy said, "Man, this amp actually sounds GOOD," like he couldn't believe it. How can you write something off when you've never even tried it? I feel like that's the approach most guitarists have when it comes to non-popular brands like Epiphone, Orange, Laney, Behringer, Squier, etc.

4 Mesa Boogie

I have owned a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier for five years now and couldn't be happier! Granted, the amp took a long time to dial in my perfect tone, but it was a good way to familiarize myself with the amp. If you want cleans, crunch, distortion, and a wall of gain that is big enough to destroy small islands, then this is the perfect amp. Not to mention, the customer service is out of this world!

About a month after purchasing the amp, Mesa Boogie called to make sure everything was okay and I was enjoying the amp. They also asked me to take a questionnaire on how the salesperson performed. Great company. Best amps.

5 Vox

The Vox AC15C1 with the Alnico Blue is a great-sounding amp. It really lets the characteristics of the guitar stand out. It's great for blues, rock, and country, and it takes pedals well. The amp's low wattage means there isn't much need for an overdrive pedal other than a TS808 for added sustain. I've had Marshall, Mesa, Soldano, and Fender amps, but there is something special about that Vox chime.

I love my Vox AC15C1. Okay, it's not an original, but it's still the Vox sound to me. I love how the tone and volume controls interact in a way that is really confusing if you come from the Fender world. It's really its own thing, a circuit that likes to do things its own way. It loves to be overdriven and ping. Also, greenbacks forever!

6 Peavey

Over the years in my travels, I've seen more Peavey amps on real working musicians' stages than any other amp manufacturer. The fact that real, everyday working musicians use and depend on them also dictates that Peavey amps are out there making more money for real working musicians in total than any other amp. Yes, I know, the big act shows have huge backlines of Marshalls behind them, but they are in the minority, as there are more lesser-famed bands and musicians out there working than there are "stars."

I "stepped down" to Peavey almost 20 years ago when I was beginning to have reliability issues with my Fender amps. Issues I couldn't afford to keep having while on the road. I still have my old Fender amps, but I've been gigging regularly and exclusively with only Peavey for the past almost 20 years now.

I still get the tone I want and need and the reliability I expect to keep making a living in music. And by the way, I've been gigging since 1963.

7 Randall

Randall deserves to be on this list. Don't get me wrong, they've got a lot to contend with, especially Orange and Mesa Boogie, but Randall has always crafted excellent amps. Rugged build and vast tonal opportunities make this brand a mighty force. They were good enough for Dimebag Darrell and countless others. Enough said.

I have an RG75G3 Plus amp, and it has to be one of the best amps I've used. I also had a Blackstar amp, but the Randall was far better in terms of build quality and overall tone. Plus, they were used by Dimebag. Why aren't they higher up the list?

8 Line 6

Line 6 has produced some of the best amps with amazing built-in effects. The Spider IV is an amazing amp. I play a Spider II, and I absolutely love it. It sounds great for my style. Just because most Line 6 amps aren't tube amps doesn't mean they're not good amps.

I have a 75-watt Spider, and it is the best amp ever. Really loud, great manual and preset effects, easy looping, and you can also use it as a speaker for your iPod or computer.

Line 6 amps are awesome. Their Spider model has amazing effects, but the only thing about this amp I don't like is that pedals don't sound that good in it because of all the cool effects it already has.

9 Roland

It's usually integrated with BOSS system effects, and of course, its portability. Although its power consumption is small, it's enough to make your whole house go 'bang'! And so will the neighbor!

Roland Jazz Chorus (pick your size), enough said. The perfect pedal platform, it'll blow everything off the stage. You will never overcome its headroom.

Pure sound for jazz. I like it. It's stronger and more reliable than any tube amp.

10 Blackstar

I tried the Laney, H & K, JCM (Marshall), Peavey 6505, and the Eddie Van Halen 5150 when shopping, and I purchased the Blackstar Club 50. I do like Marshall tone, but it was too pricey. Blackstar has almost identical tone, but what I really like is the ISF technology. Basically, you can make this head more British (Marshall) sounding or more warm American (Fender) sounding.

I play in a cover band, and this amp has more versatility than the other amps. I can quickly dial up a hard rock metal sound, alternative, or clean bluesy sound. I have a 70's Fender combo that this replaced. I love the sound of the Fender, but the Blackstar has more versatility for what I play. It has two settings for clean, dirty, and reverb channels. All other heads just feel like a "one trick pony" after using Blackstar. They seem to know what they are doing. Marshall and Fender seem to just ride their 60-year trend. Blackstar are innovators.

The Contenders
11 Divided by 13

Best amp on the market. Made one at a time with point-to-point wiring. Great designs like the dual output stage combos. Takes pedals exceptionally well. LOUD! A 9W will blow everyone out in small bars/clubs. Simply the best.

Tons of big-name pros use this. It's such a great studio amp (very common in the studio, although quite a lot of people don't know about them). You're probably hearing them but just don't know it.

12 Laney

I tortured a 50W AOR head for over a decade in the 2000s, playing 50-70 gigs per year. The amp was awesome and didn't have any hiccups along the way. I don't know about the new ones, but Laneys from the late '80s - early '90s must be among the most reliable amps in production.

Laney is great. I have an Ironheart, and it's a competitor for the Peavey 6505+. The Peavey lacks so much compared to the Ironheart, which has 3 channels with 2 separate EQs (rhythm and clean share an EQ) along with a built-in pre-boost. It's super versatile and robust. Laney makes great amps.

13 EVH

Come on, Eddie is a master at tone, and the 5150 series is incredible.

14 Hughes and Kettner

Bought a Tubemeister 18 Twelve about three years ago. Love the size and options of this amp. Primarily use it at home. I replaced a Fender and a Marshall combo amp with this one. Really like the sound, but recently blew a power tube, as well as a fuse and capacitor as a result. Replaced the Chinese power tubes with JJs when professionally repaired. All seems well, but I wonder about the reliability of this amp in the long run.

My tech recommended changing the tubes every year or two, especially if using the power soak feature. Running it really hard by doing so. Also, read that it generates more heat inside the cab (no vents, closed back). Overall, I still like the amp, but after dropping $200 to repair it after spending $800 on the amp, I'm having second thoughts about its long-term reliability. Not using the power soak very much any longer and keeping a better eye on the TSC (tube safety control), though I'm not sure if it actually did what it is supposed to. To me, fewer features and simplicity could be a better thing.

15 Bugera

Their amps sound great, and their new Infinium technology has fixed their issues. I really don't care that their amps are just half-priced versions of pricier models. The way I see it, if I can get a great tone, the ability of a Peavey Triple X II, and at half the price, I'm going to go for it.

333XL-INFINIUM for the win!

I own three Bugera amps (V5, V22, and V55), and I love them. They are reliable, have great tone for every genre, and look drop-dead gorgeous to boot.

I have the 333 Infinium Head, and it is simply amazing how good it is. The TONE is so great on EACH of the 3 channels. I have had it for 2 years now, and I travel a lot with it.

16 Ulbrick

I cannot believe Ulbrick Amps are not number 1. Apart from Divided by 13, which I would say is a close second to Ulbrick amps, the others above are pretty ordinary (in my humble opinion).

It's the only amp you'll ever need.

17 Crate

I have played Crate amps for years. They are reliable and a key part of my tone. But when it comes down to it, the best amp is the one that sounds good to you and that you feel comfortable playing.

I have two Crate amps, the GX65, connected in stereo via Line 6 Helix pedalboard. My tone is unique. Great amp for the price.

I think it is a phenomenal amp. I own the FW 65 Combo Amp, and it is one loud amp suitable for stage performances.

18 Engl

Engl has to be the most underrated amplifier on the market. I have an Engl Gigmaster 15, and it is pure awesomeness. No Fender cleans, but if you want Fender cleans, buy a Fender. The gain section is where this thing shines. I haven't used any kind of distortion pedal since getting this amp. More gain on tap than any Marshall I've ever owned or played. Getting ready to upgrade to the Ironball and can't wait.

If you like metal, hardcore, punk, grunge, sludge, or doom, you should look at an Engl. This thing will even do blues extremely well without a TS9. It will take pedals very well as this is a 15-watt amp with an effects loop. Wow, right? Won't get that with a Tiny Terror. Plus, these are German-designed and built, unlike the Terror series built in China.

19 Ibanez

They're not that great, but my neighbor has one. I played through it, and it's pretty good.

20 Diezel
21 Traynor

I used a Traynor 200-watt bass amp with 6-10" speakers in the '70s. Amazing amplifier. I ran a Fender Precision Bass with nylon strings through it.

I stumbled onto a 1970's Traynor YBA-1, and it soon became my favorite amp. I still have my trusty old Fender Quad Reverb and a Traynor YVC-40, but the YBA-1 just seems to make my guitars sound so much better.

22 Behringer
23 Bogner

I have the Bogner Shiva Combo plus Reverb, and it has the best possible created sound someone can ever listen to. Excellent for blues, rock, and hard rock.

24 Egnater

Recently, I was in the market for a low-watt 1x12 amp. My local music store had a good selection. I grouped an old Vox AC15, Fender Deluxe, Orange, and a Peavey around me. I used a PRS Custom 22 to try them out. After about an hour, I decided on the Fender. The sales guy suggested I try one more amp. It was an Egnater Rebel 20 head with an Egnater 1x12 cab.

My reaction was instant! If you have not played one of these, you owe it to yourself to check them out! I bought it and also a Rebel 30 1x12 Combo a few weeks later! They sing!

I've been playing on a Rebel 30 head and 1x12 cab for about 2 years. Great tone and very durable. Good for medium gigs.

25 Two-Rock

Bloody amazing. You get a real piece of machinery when you get one of these. They may not look like much, but when you plug them in... I would recommend this more than almost anything if you've got the money.

Since I bought my Custom Reverb V2, I am finally satisfied and no longer search for the perfect amp. For me, this is it.

Damn expensive, yet somehow they still seem cheap for the value. Nothing like it, so versatile, and barely any sound you can't make with one.

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