Are you an aspiring guitarist who spends hours honing your skills in your bedroom at home? Maybe you’re just getting started playing modest gigs in local bars and clubs, or you’re a seasoned musician who writes and performs their own material. Either way, you’ll need a good quality amp to make your playing sound great and wow your audience.

Now, you may think that a modest budget of less than $100 simply won’t get you a decent guitar amp. Well, think again!

We’ve tracked down and reviewed 10 of the best guitar amps that you can buy for under $100.

And to save you valuable time that you’d rather spend with your six string, we’ve included a convenient one-click “Check Price” link to each product. Here you can read other players’ reviews, and then go ahead and make a purchase.

But before we get into the reviews, you may be wondering what benefits are to be gained by spending $100 of your hard-earned cash on a smaller guitar amp.

Why buy a guitar amp for under $100?

In short, smaller amps have many advantages that their larger counterparts just don’t have.

For a start, a smaller amp is obviously more portable, which is essential for small newbie bands or solo performers playing small venues. And the sound quality from smaller amps is often much better when you’re playing in intimate venues with limited space where the acoustics can be tricky. Even established stadium bands use small amps for rehearsals and studio work so you’ll be in good company!

The first thing to know is that bigger isn’t necessary better when it comes to amps. Consider where you’re likely to be using the amp. If you’re playing at home, or if the gigs you have are all in bijou venues, a big amp won’t be the best choice.

Not only do they take up a lot of space, big amps also don’t work so well at low volume, period. Many guitars sound fantastic at low volume, but crank up the output through a big amp even just a little bit and you find yourself in feedback city with your carefully crafted tone flying out the window and your neighbors hammering on your door!

What to Look for in a Small Guitar Amp

For someone working to a budget, $100 is a lot of money. It’s therefore vital that you make the right choice when investing in a guitar amp. After all, you don’t want to have to buy twice. So, what features should you look for in a small guitar amp?

Aside from being compact, you want your amp to have a decent array of guitar effects to play around with. Although many of the bigger price ticket amps have a mind-boggling selection of effects, chances are that you’ll only use a few of them. So, look for an amp that just has a basic selection of effects and settings that will allow you to experiment.

Now, let’s take a look at our 10 best guitar amps for under $100 that you absolutely should consider purchasing!

Best Guitar Amps Under $100

Fender Champion 20 – 20-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier

Fender is an iconic brand that’s synonymous with great sound quality. Their Fender Champion 20 amp has a neat, highly portable design. There’s an impressive selection of dial-in effects for you to play around with, including digital reverbs, vibratone, delay, and chorus. And the EQ section (bass + treble) allows you to shape your tone and sound exactly as you want it.

A handy auxiliary input allows you to plug in your MP3 player so that you can jam along with your favorite tracks – an ideal feature for beginners learning the craft or gigging pros who need to get down new material. The headphone jack automatically mutes the speaker output so you can rock-out to your heart’s content, without annoying the neighbors!

These amps are ultra-reliable, but in case there are problems, Fender have included a lifetime limited warranty with this amp.

Whether you play jazz, rock, or country, this amp offers great value for money without compromising on quality.

The reviewers’ verdict

Over 90% of those who purchased this amp through Amazon loved it and awarded 4 stars+! Great value for money and way more bang for your buck than expected.

Blackstar FLY3 Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier, 3W

The Blackstar FLY 3 packs plenty of punch for a 3 watt mini amp. Two combined channels with tape delay and Blackstar’s unique Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) are incorporated into a compact, easily transportable design.

The ISF allows for infinite sound and tone manipulation, even when you’re playing at very low volume.

The amp includes a built-in MP3 jack so you can connect the FLY 3 to your MP3 player, laptop, tablet, or smartphone and jam along with your favorite tunes. You can also use the amp with head phones for when you want to keep your practicing private.

The FLY 3 can also be run on long-lasting battery power; brilliant if you want to play under the stars in a wilderness where there are no power outlets!

The reviewers’ verdict

Over 90% of Amazon purchasers rated this amp with over 4.5 stars and overall the reviews are highly complementary.

On a slight negative, users report that the sound quality deteriorates when the amp is turned up past 8. That said, the volume it gives is plenty loud enough for practice sessions and small venues.

Marshall MG10CF MG Series 10-Watt Guitar Combo Amp

The legendary Marshall brand has long been associated with great sound and iconic rock artists. And this small amp does not disappoint! Neat and easily portable, the MG series offers dual channels, 10 watts of power, and MP3 input functionality.

The reviewers’ verdict

Over 85% of Amazon purchasers give this mini amp 4.5 stars and positive reviews, praising its tone, sound quality, and reliability. The only slight negative is that the amp doesn’t include reverb in its selection of features.

Hotone Nano Legacy Mojo Diamond 5w Class AB Guitar Amplifier Head

The Mojo Diamond is the ultimate in portability and certainly packs a lot of features in to a very small unit!

Inspired by the sound of classic Fender Tweed amplifiers, this amp includes 3-bank EQ, gain and volume controls. There’s an aux-in MP3 jack so you can play along with your favorite artistes, and a headphone output jack for silent practice.

The inbuilt FX loop allows you to connect your favorite pedals and blend them to create your own unique sound. The Mojo diamond can be matched to any 4 to 16 speaker cabinet.

The reviewers’ verdict

Well over 90% of Amazon reviewers praised this amp for its sound quality (no annoying background hum) and they loved the idea that they could choose their own speaker cabinet for it. One small negative is that the Mojo Diamond doesn’t have reverb.

Fender Acoustasonic 15 – 15 Watt Acoustic Guitar Amplifier

The go-anywhere Fender Acoustasonic 15 is perfectly portable and compact, yet still delivers the tone and sound quality you’d expect from the brand.

With a built-in mic and lots of other great features, this amp is ideal for the acoustic performer who plays small gigs or gatherings, or the beginner practicing at home. The Acoustasonic 15’s instrument channel includes a chorus effect to give your playing extra ambient shimmer and depth.

The dual front panel has a standard instrument jack and an XLR input for your mic.

The reviewers’ verdict

84% of Amazon reviewers give this amp 4 stars and above. The only gripe is that for 6 string acoustics, the amp’s volume comes up a little on the low side. However, it’s perfect for ukuleles and 12 string acoustics.

Orange Crush 12 – 12W 1×6″ Guitar Combo Amp – Black

The Orange Crush 12 guitar combo amp boasts highly-responsive overdrive and off-the-scale levels of saturation. If you’re a rock guitarist looking for a practice amp, this one delivers – in spades, with wide-ranging tones and old-school “dirty” sound!

The Crush 12 has a headphone/line output feature too, so you can practice in silence (well, at least as far as the neighbors are concerned!). The single channel amp has a 3-band EQ, gain, and volume control.

If you fancy something a little more in-your-face in the looks department, you might want to choose the orange-cased version.

The reviewers’ verdict

Of all the reviewers who bought this amp through Amazon, well over 90% praised the clean sound, even when the amp was cranked up to 11. They also loved the responsive overdrive and spot-on gain control.

On the downside, there’s no tuner on the amp, which some reviewers missed.

Monoprice 611705 5Watt, 1 x 8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier with Celestion Speaker

The Monoprice 611705 offers superior guitar tone in a small, comfortably portable 5-watt package. The amp is actually a tube amp and speaker combo, so you get the best of both worlds with this little guy. There’s a low and high input facility, with the low input attenuating the signal by around 50% and the high input being easy to overdrive.

The reviewers’ verdict

Amazon reviewers gave the Monoprice over 90% positive reviews and an impressive average of 4.5 stars.

There was plenty of praise for the rich harmonics produced by the tube amp and for the warm tone that the unit gives.

The main downsides appear to be a few minor quality control issues such as proud screws that hadn’t seated properly during the assembly process. Problems such as this are purely cosmetic and can be easily remedied without having to return the item.

Mugig Guitar Amplifier 10W with Dist and Clean Effect, Support Aux Input and Bass Treble Adjust

This Mugig amp is lightweight and fully portable, making it ideal for street performers, outdoor playing, and home practicing.

The amp is suitable for use with your electric acoustic or bass guitar and also has an MP3 port and USB flash port. There are two adjustable clean and dist channels, and gain control so you can play around with your tone and effects.

Use the amp via AC adapter or power it with just 6 AA batteries.

The reviewers’ verdict

90% of Amazon purchasers who left reviews recommended the Mugig. They loved the attractive retro design and praised the surprising amount of power contained in such a small amp.

The main gripe appears to be that, although the results at low volume are great, if you crank the power up to 10, distortion sets in.

Peavey Solo 12W Transtube Electric Guitar Amplifier

The Peavey Solo 12W is an understated piece of kit that boasts the legendary reliability of Peavey’s world-renowned brand.

This handy portable amp has all the features you need for home practice and for playing small, intimate gigs. The amp has clean and lead channels, 3-band passive EQ, CD input and direct output, and headphone jack ports.

The low damping factor makes for superb, lively tube power amp sound.

The reviewers’ verdict

100% of Amazon reviewers gave this amp 5 stars!

The general consensus of opinion is that this is a great quality, good value for money practice amp. The distortion side is really impressive and the clean sound is also fine. The only downside (if there is one at all) is that the amp is not bristling with fancy effects. However, it’s perfect for rehearsals, for composing, or as a first amp for a beginner.

Pignose Industries 7-100SS Classic Guitar Combo Amplifier, Snakeskin

The Pignose Legendary 7-100SS is a revamped classic, now sporting a cool new snakeskin effect cover.

This is essentially a very good quality practice amp that would suit a beginner, although it can also be used for playing in quiet coffee shops and the like. The case opens to allow quick access to the amp’s speaker and other innards. There’s also a preamp out-jack so that you can plug the Pignose’s trademark dirty distortion sounds into an external power amp, recording console, or PA.

The Pignose can be powered via the mains or by 6 AA batteries.

The reviewers’ verdict

100% of those who bought this amp through Amazon gave it 5 stars!

There was no negative feedback! People loved the limited edition snakeskin covering, rugged, top-quality build, ease of portability, and superior sound quality.

Take aways

As you can see from our list above, you absolutely can buy a really good quality guitar amp for under $100, including products from mega-brands such as Fender, Marshall, and Peavey.

Before making a purchase, consider what you what the amp for – home practice or local gigging in small venues. Check out the features offered by each amp and pay heed to the reviews left by players who have already invested in the product.

If you’re ready to step up, see our recommendations for amps under $200.