10 Cheap Practice Amps for Christmas

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| Posted in Feature, Guitar

Here’s a quick roundup of some practice amps that can be had for well under £100 – any one of which would make an ideal Christmas present for someone who may have just taken up the electric guitar but is not quite ready for a big Marshall stack. If you don’t know what to look for in a practice amp here’s a quick guide. First off, it should have a headphone socket for private practice. This will possibly prevent both infanticide and/or divorce proceedings if the recipient of said amplifier is in the early stages of guitar lessons or hasn’t quite grasped the subtleties of tone and taste that can make the instrument such an expressive force in more experienced hands. It should not have more than 10-20 Watts of overall power – this is plenty loud enough for home use but to be fair, it will need up-sizing when you or your protege feel it’s time to team up with other musicians and drummers. Third, it should be cheap – there’s absolutely no point on spending hundreds on something that may end up in the loft and forgotten about. Lastly – and the most essential feature of all – it must have in-built DISTORTION.

We have picked out ten such amplifiers which fulfil the criteria, with a short description of the individual features. Here they are:

Fender Frontman 10G: 10 Watts, 6″ speaker, Overdrive, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

Vox Pathfinder 10: 10 Watts, Vox Bulldog 6.5″ speaker, Clean/Overdrive switch, Headphone socket.

Laney LX12 Camo: 10 Watts, 6″ speaker, Overdrive, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

Peavey Backstage TransTube: 10 Watts, 6.5″ speaker, Two switchable channels, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

Laney LG12: 10 Watts, 6″ speaker, Overdrive, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

Fender Frontman II 15G: 15 Watts, 8″ speaker, Two switchable channels, External speaker output, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

Peavey Solo: 12 Watts, 8″ Blue marvel speaker, Two channels, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

Marshall MG10: 10 Watts, 6.5″ speaker, Two switchable channels, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

Laney LX20: 15 Watts, 8″ Custom speaker, Two switchable channels, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

Orange Crush PiX CR20L: 20 Watts, 8″ Custom Design Orange speaker, Two switchable channels, Headphone socket, Aux input jack to plug in a CD/Media player.

A quick tone guide for practice amps:

If the amp doesn’t have switchable channels for Clean and Overdrive/Distortion, the cleanest sound will be achieved with the Master Volume control turned up, the Gain control turned down and some of the Middle taken out. A distorted sound is achieved by turning the Gain up, the Master down and adding more Middle.

A quick safety tip:

If you’re using headphones with your practice amp, always make sure that the volume is at zero before plugging in your guitar to prevent possible damage to your hearing.

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Marc Noel-Johnson has written 733 post in this blog.

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1 Comment

One Response to “10 Cheap Practice Amps for Christmas”

  1. PeteG says:

    What no Roland Microcube?
    Fabulous noise from a really small box

      

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