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The Best Practice Amps Available Today

Published: Wed October 29, 2014  News Feed
The term "practice amp" is just a generic term commonly used to refer to smaller, portable guitar amps which are indeed suitable for home practice, but there's much more to them. They are the most versatile type of guitar amps: they can be used at home, in the recording studio, and even onstage, in some cases. Ideal as beginners amps, but widely used by pros, too!

Keith Richards at home. Can you spot his Marshall MS-2 Mini?
Above: Keith Richards at home. Can you spot his Marshall MS-2 Mini practice amp?

What we call practice amp is in most cases nothing more than the smaller, low-wattage combo amps, usually with only one speaker (generally smaller than 12") and which are light enough to be carried around easily.

Because they are not very loud, they are perfect for home practice, when a full-blown 100w Marshall stack is not recommended (unless you live in a sound-proof bunker, or in the middle of nowhere with no neighboors and a very understanding family!)

These amps can be considered good Beginners Amps because they're often more affordable than bigger, louder amps, and therefore just a cheap investment for those who are just starting to play the guitar.

But by no means does it mean that practice amps are aimed only at beginners! Every guitarist, of whatever skill level, at some point needs to use a smaller amp, too! It's good to have something small and portable to take to trips, practice backstage before gigs, record demos, or just to be able to place anywhere at home for a quick jam, whithout having to move something much heavier around! As the picture above shows, even Keith Richards has a cheap, £28 Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp! On a past news story, we pointed out to Ryan Adams using a Vox Pathfinder amp.

Another great reason for purchasing a smaller practice amp, is that they work great as Recording Amps, because it's not helpful to have a very loud amp in the studio, when you can simply crank up a smaller amp and get a fantastic sound, since you'll be miking it anyway. This is especially true of small, 1 or 5-watt valve amps - their "tubeness" shines through when you crank up the volume. Jimmy Page famously used only a small Supro amp when recording some of the most rocking Led Zeppelin songs, such as Whole Lotta Love.

Finally, depending on your musical style, size of venue and whether the amp will be miked or not, some practice amps can be used onstage, too.

With all of the above in mind, here's our list of Best Practice Amps today!

Image: Orange Crush PiX CR12L 12 Watt Combo Guitar Amp Orange Crush PiX CR12L 12-Watt amp
The Orange Crush PiX range are the ultimate combo practice amps, perfect for rehearsal or smaller gigs. The Orange Crush PiX combos combine portability with solid Orange construction and durability. For Orange to put their name on a transistor amp, it must be good. View details
Yamaha THR5 Guitar...Yamaha THR 5 and THR10 amps
These amps are amazing, and very stylish! They look like small head amps, but are actually great practice combos, in 5 or 10-watts versions, and in a range of different models, to suit all players: The THR5A for Electro-Acoustic guitars, the THR10X for Rock/ Metal, the THR10C for Blues/ Jazz. But if we had to pick one, it has got to be the standard THR5 - cheap, versatile and an all-round great little amp!
Image: Roland Cube 10GX Combo Guitar Amp Roland Cube 10GX 10-watt amp
The Roland Cube-10GX comes ready to rock with Clean, Crunch, and Lead COSM amp types. But that’s just where the fun starts—using the CUBE KIT app for iOS and Android devices, you can load up those three slots with a variety of different amp types and adapt the sound of the CUBE-10GX for the music you like to play! View details
Image: Fender Mustang I V.2 1x12” 20W Modelling Amp Fender Mustang I V.2 1x12” 20-watt amp
Cramming over a dozen legendary amps and effects into one package that's easy to gig with. There's also loads of features for getting hands on with your sounds at home, deep editing software to hone your tone and be heard next time you're at practice or on stage. View details
Image: VOX AC4 Custom Series Valve Guitar Amp 4 Watts - 1x12” VOX AC4 Custom Series 4-watt valve amp
The 12" Celestion speaker gives you extra headroom that makes this viable for gigging when mic'ed up. An affordable option for an authentic Vox valve amp, and available in different colours, they provide a simple and hassle free way to enjoy the rich sound of a tube driven amp. A tube amp you can enjoy whether you're practicing at home, performing live, or recording. View details
Image: Marshall MS-2 Micro Amp Black Marshall MS-2 Micro Amp Black
Mini amps are a completely different beast, and even deserve a category of their own. They are the least versatile of all practice amps - too quiet for live performance or to jam. They look more like toys, and the sound is too tiny to be much use in recordings. So what's good about them? They're very cheap, very portable and good fun when you're just noodling away on your guitar, on your own. Hey, and even Keef owns one! View details
Image: Blackstar HT-1R Combo Amplifier Blackstar HT-1R 1-watt valve amp
The Blackstar HT-1R Combo is the perfect amp for studio or practice. It packs all of the great tone and innovative features of the award-winning Blackstar HT-5 valve amp into a 1 Watt format. Features include push-pull power amp design, two channels, 8" speaker, reverb, Infinite Shape Feature and a stereo MP3/Line input. View details
Line 6 AMPLIFi 75...Line 6 AMPLIFi 75 75-watts amp
This little, very light amp can easily be used at gigs, with its full 75 watts of output. However, it's also ideal not only as practice amp, but can be used as hi-fi speaker to stream music. This is a flexible combo you'll want around the house and at the gig. View details
Image: Line 6 Spider IV 15 Guitar Amp Combo Line 6 Spider IV 15 15-watt amp
The 15-watt Spider IV combo features four amp models and six Smart FX (two effects simultaneously) Spider IV amplifiers are feature-packed with new artist-created presets (from Deftones to Johnny Marr!) and amp models, gorgeous new effects, FBV™ foot controller compatibility, and much more! This is a very popular range, and it's easy to see why. View details

Image: Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 20W 1x8 Guitar Modeling Combo Amp Black Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 20-watt amp
The world’s first guitar amp that's built for electric AND acoustic AND bass. So whether you're a six string slinger or concentrate on the low end this amp delivers instrument emulation, recreation of classic FX, a wide range of amp tones as well as a tuner, built in soundcard and auxiliary input for playing along. View details
Image: VOX Valvetronix Plus VT20+ Amp VOX Valvetronix Plus VT20+ Amp
The Vox Valvetronix Plus VT20+ Amp is one of Dolphin Music's best selling Guitar Amps. This guitar amplifier brings convincing Vox guitar amp modeling technology together with the legendary vox guitar tone and classic VOX amp design. View details

Image: Roland Micro Cube RX Roland Micro Cube RX 2.5-watt amp
Tone, Power, & Portability. Meet the new MICROCUBE - small, loud, proud, and in true stereo! These little amps overachieve with serious bombast in a small body. It has FOUR speakers, AUX input and can work on batteries, too! View details

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