7 Best Guitar Amps for Alternative Rock 2023
If you’re looking for the best guitar amp for alternative rock, then you’ve landed on the right page! When it comes to alternative rock, guitar amps are not all created equal.
Alternative rock music is a subgenre of rock ‘n’ roll that started in the 1980s-90s and has continued through the present day.
In the beginning, alternative rock music did not fully mesh with the biggest rock bands of the era, such as U2, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Guns N’ Roses.
Instead, it served as a continuation of the college rock scene of the 1980s, where groups like R.E.M. and the Pixies were gathering a huge fan following outside the glare of the spotlight.
Despite its alternative moniker, alt-rock received considerable radio airplay. Alternative bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Beck, and Nine Inch Nails cracked pop charts early in their existence.
Over time, alternative music has received less media attention and radio airplay, yet alternative rock remains an active component of the current pop music landscape.
If you are trying to find the perfect guitar amp for alternative rock, I think you’ll like the amps in this review.
These amps are made by some of the best guitar amp builders in the world so you know they’ve earned their reputations.
|Orange Crush 20W High Gain 2 Channel CabSim||See on Amazon|
|Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier||See on Amazon|
|Marshall Amplifier Speaker (MG15GR)||See on Amazon|
|Donner 25W DBA-2||See on Amazon|
|LyxPro 60 Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier||See on Amazon|
|Hartke HD15 Bass Combo Amplifier||See on Amazon|
1. BOSS Katana-50 MkII
The BOSS Katana-50 MkII is a super versatile modeling amp, filled with quality amp tones and effects. It’s easy to use and it doesn’t have most of the issues that are typically associated with digital amps in this price range.
The Boss Katana is perfect for every guitarist looking for a great, stage-ready tone on a budget.
The amp is popular with people who want to downsize their heavy tube-rig, while still maintaining great sounds.
The Katana 50 MkII is small, portable, affordable, and super powerful with an ability to switch the wattage which makes it sound excellent at bedroom levels.
the Katana 50 MKII dishes out a range of lush tones associated with alternative rock.
You can get that chimey, glassy Strat tone; warm, full-bodied clean tones with humbuckers; and choppy, funky rhythm sounds, all by making simple tweaks to the control panel.
It has five amp types that are – acoustic, clean, crunch, lead, and brown; selection is via a rotary switch, and you simply push the button above it to access the variations.
The amp also includes tons of effects ranging from chorus and flanger to auto-wah and harmonizers. All of the effects are emulated after official Boss pedals.
Same with all the overdrives and distortions.
The Katana 50 can save four presets plus a panel setting. The presets are divided into two banks.
The Katana 50 can switch from 0.5 watts to 25 and 50 watts, so you can play at any volume.
The effects are very good sounding. The analog effects sound very natural, and the digital effects are very good.
The full list of effects is very long, and there are variations between the same effects. As in, there’s a spring reverb, plate reverb, modulating reverb, etc.
2. Fender Mustang LT-25
The Fender’s Mustang LT25 is a compact little combo, with an eight-inch speaker, a fuss-free control panel, and a black-on-black finish.
There are 20 amplifier models, 25 onboard effects, there’s a USB connection for hooking up to your computer for recording, and an auxiliary input for playing along to your favorite tracks.
For a beginner, or someone looking for something compact, versatile, and easy to practice alternative rock, the Fender Mustang LT25 is the one.
The Mustang LT25 is endearingly small, measuring just 36.8 x 21.1 x 33.2cm (WDH). At 5.8kg it’s quite portable too.
It has a 6.35mm input for your guitar, there are two 3.5mm jack sockets that you can use to plug in a pair of headphones – doing so automatically silences the speaker.
It comes with 30 presets, ranging from warm blues and jazz tones to punk/alternative rock and metal and overblown prog sounds and almost all of them are inspiringly usable.
If you want to go beyond these predefined tones you’re also free to get hands-on with the LT25’s five-stage processing chain, which lets you apply and adjust amp, stomp-box, modulation, delay, and reverb settings in that order.
The wide range of effects and amp styles is great for beginners, meaning you won’t need to buy additional effects pedals, at least at first.
You can play almost anything with this amp. Maybe some really edgy stuff, like some super-specific metal tones can be hard to achieve, but other than that, this can handle everything.
From acoustic sim to heavy thrash metal tones. From Fender cleans to punk-tones full of attitude.
So versatility is definitely not the problem with this amp.
As a bonus, you can use the Fender Tone software, which is free but you’ll need a USB cable to have it interact with your LT25.
The Fender Tone software is similar to Boss Tone Central, in that you can edit presets and download additional Fender preset patches.
3. Orange Rocker 15 Terror
Fat to fuzzy gain, crunchy to clear, the Orange Rocker Terror amp head gives you all the sound of a big amp in a compact head that Orange is known for.
With the Rocker Terror head, you can truly explore the sounds that your guitar and pedal setup have to offer.
The Rocker 15 Terror offers 15 watts from a pair of EL84s, switchable down to seven watts, in a compact white metal chassis.
Capable of 15, 7, 1, or 0.5 Watts of output, the Rocker 15 Terror is the head only version of the enormously popular Rocker 15 Combo.
Rocker 15 Terror is a small, two-channel, bedroom-friendly all-valve amp that you can seriously gig.
It has two channels (including a bonafide clean sound) and great-sounding effects, and a “headroom to bedroom” switch that enables home use.
The “Natural” channel is the very embodiment of simplicity, with a single volume knob and nothing else.
The rounder delivery is warm and smooth, flattering overdrives, fuzzes and amp-in-a-box style pedals equally well.
The dirty channel starts off rather tame and gets richer and richer as you crank the preamp gain, and sounds even better if you’re free to turn the volume up to full for a bit of output valve distortion.
The inclusion of a proper valve-driven effects loop is a very welcome addition for the modern player.
The amp is loud enough to do some serious damage on stage but it can be tamed for home use, and the tones are inspiring at any setting.
4. Marshall MG15GR
The MG15GR is loaded with a pure Marshall tone. You get your choice of Clean and Overdrive channels that you can shape with a 3-band EQ.
You also get an integrated digital spring reverb effect. Best of all, each channel’s settings are storable and recallable.
The Marshall MG15GR amp delivers a range of classic, modern & alternative tones, with all the essential features that players need, and so much more.
The amp is fitted with an emulated headphone output to make silent practice easier than ever.
No matter what stage you’re playing on, the MG15GR will look as great as it sounds, thanks to its iconic gold piping and gold metal finish.
This little dynamo pushes 15 watts through an 8-inch speaker and features four channels (Clean, Crunch, OD1, and OD2) along with five very good effects: Reverb, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, and Delay.
The reverb can be applied independently of the other effects, and your settings are programmable.
This is an outstanding little amp that packs more features than you’d expect.
5. LyxPro 60 Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier
The LyxPro 60 Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier is an excellent device for those who are looking to play alternative rock on a live stage.
The amplifier has a powerful 10″ speaker which can give you the power that’s needed when playing live, as well as all the sound quality you want in your bass and trebles.
Offering mic input, passive and active inputs, a line-in input, and a headphone output, the LyxPro 60-watt amp also has an overdrive channel, a three-band equalizer, and a delay circuit.
This allows you to play around with echo and time effects, and the right setting will give you a noticeable reverb.
The LyxPro Amp is great for live gigs and will add to your sound. It has an adjustable mic volume so you can plug-in and play.
The amp produces sounds that are great for a live performance and can be adjusted to your personal taste.
At 26 pounds, it’s very lightweight and easy to carry around.
6. Orange Crush 20RT
The Orange Crush 20RT is a versatile practice amp featuring all-analog circuitry that helps give it as close to tube-like tones as you’re likely to find for this kind of money.
This is a solid-state 20W guitar practice amp, foot-switchable clean and dirty channels, three-band EQ, aux in for playing along to music, and a headphone output featuring cab speaker simulation.
It’s the perfect solution for players that want the classic Orange sound for alternative rock in a small and simple, bedroom-friendly package.
As the name suggests, the Crush 20 outputs 20 watts of power via an 8 inch speaker, which Orange calls the “voice of the world” speaker.
Although bigger than other amps in its class, the Crush 20RT is still pretty small and only weighs 7.2kg.
The amp has two channels, clean and dirty. Each channel has its own volume control, which stops unnecessary fiddling around when switching between channels.
The amp has a 3 band EQ consisting of bass, middle and treble control.
The Crush 20RT also includes a built-in reverb effect with its own dedicated control.
At higher levels, you get a “spacey” effect, but you can use it at lower levels to add some dynamism to your tone.
The 20RT will suit players of most styles, despite Orange being mostly connected with rock and blues genres.
The 3-band EQ is very detailed, so whether you play alternative rock, blues, or metal you can find the right tone for you.
6. Fender Blues Junior IV
The Fender Blues Junior IV is a single-channel, all-tube 15-watt combo that features a pair of EL84 power tubes and three 12AX7 preamp tubes.
The amp has one 12-inch Celestion A-type speaker. This might look like it’s not enough for gigging, but the tube nature of this amp is more than enough for live performances and it can be combined with multiple speakers seamlessly.
Its controls include Volume, Treble, Bass, Middle, Master, and Reverb, with a single 1/4-inch input jack, a Fat switch, and a power switch.
The Fat switch adds a generous midrange boost and can be remote-controlled from a footswitch for greater versatility, while the improved reverb circuit is very impressive, with no noise and a smooth, warm delay that feels more integral to the overall amp tone, harking back to the underground alternative rock of the 1970s.
Fender Blues Junior IV delivers a fuller sound that is far in excess of the amplifier’s compact dimensions.
As you turn the amplifier up, you’ll notice the lows stay full, the mids can be as assertive or as mellow as you need, and the top still sings with the familiar American-voiced chime.
We recommend the Boss Katana-50 MKII as the best guitar amp for alternative rock. The Boss Katana 50 MkII is a medium-sized combo amp packed full of modern features, with a lightweight and compact enclosure that’s easy to transport to venues.
Fitted with a custom 12″ speaker that can push plenty of air in a live scenario, the Katana 50 MkII also serves as a fantastic practice amp for the home.
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