You can’t pull off a successful gig without a good and trusty amplifier. It’s crucial to have one on your side, to make your electric guitar truly sing out with power and gusto.
The only problem is, amplifiers can be extremely heavy and clunky to drag around, and we haven’t even mentioned the price yet!
Buying yourself a good amp can cost you quite a fair amount, and then you have the troublesome task of keeping it safe and operating properly so that you can get the most out of your sunken cost.
These costs, combined with the often incredible size of amplifiers, make it necessary to find better solutions. Luckily, there’s a much more compact and efficient option just for you.
If you play electric guitar and you’re looking for a more easy amp to carry around with you from show to show, why not try taking a look at our comprehensive list that we’ve compiled just for you.
Below, we will explore some of the very best small amps that you can purchase today, to make your touring life much more simple and efficient, without also costing you the earth!
The Positive Grid Spark 40 is one of the best small amplifiers we’ve ever laid our eyes on. Not only is it compact, and yet fully powerful, but it is also incredibly stylish.
The light black leather work that surrounds the unit is strikingly modern, and the golden lining around the unit gives it a fancy finish.
The comfortable handle towards the top of the device makes it easy to port the device around.
This amp is also perfect for home use, as it looks good, and can be stored or displayed easily.
It can produce some truly earth-shaking audio levels, but it is never overwhelming or too loud.
Controlling the Positive Grid is also easy, thanks to the multitude of controls and dials laid out neatly across the control panel, which sits squarely towards the top of the unit.
Through these dials, you can quickly adjust your bass, treble, and reverb, amongst many others, to get just the right sound, without any hassle.
Control is also made easier thanks to the Spark application, which allows you to make precise changes to your settings so that you can get just the right sound out of your guitar with every strum.
You can also control everything with just your voice, by giving the application voice commands. This makes it easy to just get on with playing and practicing.
Improving your play is also a key feature of this amp. Positive Grid created an intuitive AI program that listens to how you play in order to suggest improvements and to cater your practicing to what you need.
This AI program, called Smart Jam, can also create personal backing tracks based on how you play, that you can jam along to, in order to improve your play.
And if you want, you can also stream your favorite songs from Apple Music or Spotify to the app, to learn how to play along to them, too!
And you don’t even need to use the app, as the Spark 40 has more than enough power, despite its size, to make your electric guitar sound immense.
This is great for gigs and touring so that you can still wow a crowd without pulling out your back! You can also plug headphones into the amp so that you can get down to some personal practice sessions without disturbing anyone else.
We could wax lyrical about this amp for hours, and there’s still so much we haven’t touched upon yet. Seriously, we recommend trying it out for yourself. The price is very generous for everything you receive.
- The companion Spark app makes it easy to improve your guitar playing, thanks to the AI program ‘Smart Jam’.
- Can also double as a speaker for your favorite music.
- Small and easy to port around, but still packs a punch with its volume level.
- Some of the control options do require the use of the Spark app, which would be off-putting to those who do not want to use the smart features and just want a small amp.
- Some users have noted that the amp sounds decidedly bassy, even when the bass is toned down on the control panel.
Specs For The Positive Grid Spark Amplifier
- Output Wattage: 40 Watts.
- Dimensions: 7.48 x 13.78 x 7.09 Inches.
- Weight: 5.2 Kg.
- Sockets: Bluetooth Audio, USB Connection, ¼” Guitar Input, ⅛” aux and headphone input.
- Smart Jam learns your style and feel, generating authentic bass and drums to accompany you
- Access to 10,000+ amp-and-FX presets on ToneCloud, powered by PositiveGrid’s BIAS realistic virtual tube amps and effects for Guitar, Acoustic or Bass
- Import your music from Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube and Spark’s smart app will auto display the guitar chords in real time
- Powerhouse 40 Watt combo includes onboard tone stack controls, effects, tone starter preset programs, a built-in tuner, tap tempo and more
- Use Spark as your USB audio interface and track your ideas with included PreSonus Studio One Prime recording software
This is a perfect amp if you want a good starter option or a quick solution to an amp portability problem. It is incredibly tiny, to the point that it’s quite adorable, and its cost is incredibly low.
This amp takes on a very classic look, with very few bells and whistles. It knows its purpose and executes it perfectly.
It produces an incredibly dynamic sound that can easily fill a room, and the sound that it creates can be controlled through the use of tone, volume, and gain controls.
This helps you to choose exactly the sound you want, on the fly, without having to play around with too many controls or having to open any kind of companion application on your smartphone.
Its output wattage stands at around 3 watts, and while that might initially sound like a rather paltry wattage level, it makes full use of every single watt.
We tried it out for ourselves, and the sound has a serious punch to it that really blew us away. You have to hear it to truly believe it.
There’s no need for any complicated power outputs or anything either, simply jack up your electric guitar to this baby, and you’re ready to shred away and pump out some incredible music.
When it comes to catering to different environments, the volume controls make it easy to make instant adjustments to the sound level, and you can also plug in your own pair of headphones, to allow you to get down to some solo jamming sessions.
This amp is light on mind-blowing features but is still packed full of everything you could need out of a portable amp.
And its incredibly generous price tag makes it a more than tempting option. We couldn’t recommend this anymore for someone that needs an easily portable amp that also has some great sound.
- Lightweight, and easy to port around, thanks to the sturdy handle atop the device, and the sturdy build throughout that holds all of the essential elements in.
- Features very simple and easy-to-use controls that aren’t complicated by any extra bells and whistles or smart-device connectivity.
- Ready for plug and play action, to get right down to jamming.
- Uses batteries which is convenient for portability, but these batteries do need to be charged or replaced frequently, which can be inconvenient at times.
- Won’t produce quite the same dynamic range as a full-size amp, but does more than enough considering its small frame.
Specs For The Fender Mini Deluxe Electric Guitar Amp
- Output Wattage: 3 Watts.
- Dimensions: 11.42 x 7.48 x 3.54 Inches.
- Weight: 0.2 Kg.
With its flashy retro 50s inspired look, this tiny amp is perfect for showing off your guitar skills in absolute style. With an amazing design that is simultaneously flashy and simple, with a black and cream color scheme that makes it truly draw the eye.
And this speaker doesn’t just look good, it also has it where it counts: sound. It may only have a 1 wattage output, but it creates fully impressive sound levels that make the best of every single strum or pluck you make.
The handle atop the device and the square shape makes it easy to move about or even to store it away discreetly. It’s also so light and fashionable that it would even look great displayed on a shelf.
Controlling this amp is also similarly simple, thanks to the control panel on the rear, which gives you access to volume and tone controls, amongst others.
This means that the buttons don’t clutter up the elegant front face of the amp, but can still be easily played around with at the back of the amp.
This amp can then be further hooked up to other devices, or even to recording hardware or software so that you can get crystal clear recordings of your guitar shredding with just a few simple plugins.
Simplicity is king with this amp, as it is focused on first bringing out the best quality sound from your electric guitar, and then amplifying it however you choose.
There are no flashy extra features that you’ll touch once and forget about, just a classic design with everything you could need all in one flashy and fashionable package!
- The 50s style makes this tiny amp truly one of the best-looking options on this list. While sounding good, this amp also looks good too!
- Lightweight and easy to move, as you would probably expect by its design (and the list that you are reading!)
- Can be hooked up to more devices, such as recording hardware, so that you can permanently make a record of your best playing.
- Has a very large price tag in exchange for top-of-the-road technology.
Specs For The Supro Delta King 8
- Output Wattage: 1 Watt.
- Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 4 Inches.
- Weight: 17.26 Pounds.
- Type: Class A Tube Combo.
- 1 x 8" Tube Combo Amplifier with FET-driven Boost Line Out - Black
This is probably the most modern and stylish-looking option we’ve seen yet. The Boss Katana-Air amp features a jet black appearance accented with silver elements, such as the handle, which is sturdy and provides a firm grip.
Control is taken a step above other amplifiers of its size, thanks to the expansive control panel that rests at the top of the unit.
This specific amplifier is wider than its counterparts, which allows for some great bellowing sound, but also allows for more room for personalized controls.
The control panel allows you to make adjustments to things such as volume, bass, treble, and gain.
The Katana-Air is also wireless and operates via batteries, that simply need to be charged between uses.
This means that you can drop it anywhere and begin jamming. There is no input lag with this amp, and it will play out exactly what you play within mere milliseconds.
Our tests proved that sound played out near-instantly after every single strum or pluck of our strings. This is incredible, considering that it operates wirelessly.
The battery within the amp can operate for upwards of 12 hours so that you can play and play and never have to worry about a low battery interrupting your flow.
You can also choose to use it while it is hooked up to a power source so that you can extend its use past its 12-hour battery life.
And it wouldn’t be a modern amp if it didn’t have smartphone connectivity, would it? You can connect this amp to any of your compatible smart devices, via the BOSS Tone Studio application.
With the application, you can make instant changes to your settings, such as your volume and bass levels. This allows you to be more precise with your options.
As well as allowing you to remotely control your amp the BOSS Tone Studio application also allows you to access the amp’s memories.
The amp itself features six internal memory storage spots, where you can save your preferred amp settings so that you can access them with the touch of a button on your phone.
This is really convenient for when inspiration strikes you, and you just need to play, as you won’t have to wrestle with any wires or setup.
- The smartphone connectivity is a true game-changer, as it allows you to remotely access your amp’s settings, and save your favorite settings so that you can pick up and play whenever you want.
- Rechargeable, and boasts a 12-hour battery life. This makes it perfect for those times when you just want to start playing.
- The amp features a simple and sturdy design, complemented by striking color choice and expert construction.
- Has a very hefty price tag, making it a significant investment.
- Doesn’t have refined low or high ends, like other models.
Specs For The Boss Katana-Air 30-Watt Guitar Amplifier
- Output Wattage: 20 Watts.
- Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 16 Inches.
- Weight: 5 Pounds.
- Type: Wireless Desktop Modeling Amp.
- Totally wireless guitar amplifier with newly developed BOSS technology delivers rock-solid sound with ultra-low latency
- Compact wireless transmitter plugs into various kinds of electric guitars and charges while docked in the amp
- Transmitter provides 12 hours of playing time on a single charge, and automatically enters standby mode to conserve the charge when no activity is detected
- Always ready to play, with motion sensing technology in the transmitter that instantly wakes the amp from power-saving standby mode
- Premium tones derived from the Katana stage amplifier series, with five unique amp characters and access to over 50 world-class BOSS effects
Now that we’ve explored even just a small number of some of the best small amps on the market, you’re probably eager to break out your wallet and invest in one right now, right?
That’s good! But there are a few things you should make sure to consider before you purchase any small amp so that you can ensure you are getting exactly what you need.
How Much Does The Small Amp Cost?
This will generally be your biggest consideration. You will want to find out exactly how much the amp costs, and whether you feel it is worth the price.
Are you a beginner when it comes to guitar amplifiers and still learning the minutiae?
Don’t buy a model with a hefty price tag and lots of extra features. The likelihood is, at your skill level, you won’t use those features, rendering your money wasted.
If you just need a simple amp, opt for a simple model with a lower price so that you don’t overpay.
What Can The Amp Do?
Some amps come with a bevy of extra features to allow for easier control. However, for some people, many extra features prove to be totally unnecessary.
Paying for an amplifier with lots of features and a heftier price tag to account for them would prove to be very foolish, and a waste of your hard-earned cash.
Decide if you actually need any of those extra features. If you don’t then opt for a more simple model!
How Is The Amp Powered?
One of the reasons you’re looking for a small amp is for its portability, right? In this case, you will definitely want to consider your power source.
Amplifiers that are powered by rechargeable batteries will be lighter, and easier to carry around, but they do need to be recharged. This is perfect for outdoor performances, or sudden jam sessions, as there’s no need to plug into a local power supply.
However, amps with rechargeable batteries may cost slightly more, so you need to consider that carefully.
We hope that this list of the best small amps has been enlightening for you.
There are so many great amps out there, so it can be quite difficult to wrap your head around the various options. The four that we explored today held up best during our tests and impressed us consistently throughout.
If you’re thinking of picking one of these amps up for yourself, make sure to follow our buyer’s guide, so that you can make the perfect choice for your amp!