5 Best Guitar Amps Under $1500
Finding the perfect guitar amp is one of the toughest things for a guitar player, especially one who performs in a band. If you play your own material, you’re probably trying to form your own signature sound, and you’re looking for the right gear to make it happen.
If you’re looking for the best of the best, then you want to check these amps out. They all offer a distinct sound, and can easily fill any venue.
No matter the sound you have in your head, you’ll be sure to find an amp that will achieve it in this guide to the best guitar amps under $1500.
Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb Guitar Combo Amp
Featuring dual normal and vibrato channels, the power of two 12AX7 and two 12AT7 tubes, and 22W of power, the ’65 Reissue Deluxe Reverb is a formidable tool built for the working musician.
With each sporting two-band EQs and additional controls for reverb, speed, and intensity on the tremolo, the dual-channel design allows easy toggling between crisp, snappy cleans and surf-laden warble via a channel selector switch.
Top Guitar Amps under $1500
1. Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb Guitar Combo Amp
The 22-watt ’65 Deluxe Reverb amp is for rock, country, or blues players who want a moderately powered amp that they can crank up on the gig or in the studio.
At 22-watts, you’ll have plenty of power to play along with a band but in a small and lightweight package. Plus, you’ll be able to overdrive it with ease and pull out a natural-sounding and classic overdriven tone.
The Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue is an all-tube combo beast, with dual 6V6 Groove power tubes, four 12AX7 preamp tubes, two 12AT7 preamp tubes, and one 5AR4 rectifier tube.
This is what gives this amp its unmistakable clean, crisp tone that breaks up beautifully at higher volumes.
A single 22-inch Jensen speaker does the heavy lifting and is the perfect match for amps size and 22-watt output, resulting in a sweet balance of tone and volume.
There are two-channel options, Normal and Vibrato, and each channel has two inputs: a normal input and a lower ohmage input specially designed for guitars with active pickups.
The amp delivers a thoroughly addictive tone that flatters every guitar you may plug into it.
The Deluxe Reverb’s bigger speaker and cabinet add up to a bigger sound – the slightly increased volume level and headroom mean the Deluxe is just right for pubs and clubs.
Also, its smooth cranked-up overdrive with just a hint of an edge is perfect for blues, fusion, Southern rock… in fact, just about any American musical genre you care to name.
2. Orange AD30HTC Guitar Amp Head
Featuring a two-channel design with autonomous signal paths, a 12AX7 vacuum tube preamp, and a GZ34 rectifier, the Orange AD30HTC covers tones from a springy boost to classic rock bark on the fly.
One of the most popular 30w heads produced that remains unchanged since its original production, this versatile head can go from classic rock to heavy metal with the flip of a switch.
There are a lot of 2-channel tube amplifiers out there, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an amp that sounds as different from one channel to the next as the AD30. That’s because the AD30 is more like two completely separate amplifiers in one than a single amplifier with two tones.
When you plug into Channel one, you get a frothy, vintage-style tone. Flip it down to channel two and the character changes to a tight and springy high-gain tone with more bite, shine, and presence.
The AD30HTC breaks up nicely at higher volumes and is crisp at lower volumes. If you are a metal or hard rock guitarist, this is not the amp for you.
However, if you are a rock guitarist looking for a smooth crunch and fast attack, then this is the amp for you. Once the tubes heat up, it’s a rocking little amp.
The Orange AD30HTC is a great addition to any setup giving you that classic crunch and thick bright tone. If you are looking for the classic tone with a bit lower gain then, this is the amp for you.
The AD30HTC has amazing channel switching with absolutely no lag time. The clean tone is beautiful and bright yet you can create that warm thick tone if desired.
3. Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40
This monster is a 4-channel, 40-watt tube amp with three 12AX7 preamp tubes and four EL84 power tubes.
But it features deep programmability and an assortment of modern features, including MIDI control via an optional iPad remote controller, that gives the H&K some of the same flexibility and functionality that makes modelers appealing.
With the exception of the master volume, everything is MIDI-powered, so you can edit and store presets to your heart’s content.
MIDI also controls the built-in five-step attenuator, series effects loop, boost voicing, and studio-quality built-in digital effects.
It also features a slew of built-in effects, a built-in cabinet emulator, an attenuator (with 40-watt, 20-watt, 5-watt, and 1-watt settings), a Tube Safety Control that automatically adjusts bias, and a built-in noise gate.
This is a serious tool that’s designed and built to withstand many years of use and abuse.
The GrandMeister Deluxe 40 powers up with minimal hiss on the Clean and Crunch channels and only slightly more on the Lead and Ultra channels.
The two American-voiced lead channels have all the gain you could possibly need for almost any musical genre, from classic rock to modern drop-tuned metal, with a nicely sculpted top-end that squeals and snarls on demand.
The built-in noise gate does a decent job of squashing the hiss on higher gain settings and the new, thicker voicings sound equally impressive with regular single coils and PAF-style humbuckers.
The ultra channel, meanwhile, turns the H&K into a fire-breathing monster, providing liquid lead tones with seemingly infinite sustain, crystal clear articulation on fast low riffs, and a gigantic bottom end.
4. Orange TH30 Amp Head
The Orange TH30 head is a two-channel amplifier with discrete channels for dirty and clean sounds.
Each of the amp’s two channels—which you can select using a front-panel toggle—is controlled by just three knobs, which means you can dial in both clean and dirty sounds with very little fuss.
The Clean channel features a Volume knob and Bass and Treble EQ controls, while the Dirty channel features Gain, Volume, and Shape knobs.
An effects loop is included, powered by a single ECC81. The preamp is powered by 4 ECC83 tubes whereas the output section features 4 EL84 tubes.
The amp is switchable from 30, 15, and 7 watts and weighs 33 lbs. A number of matching Orange cabinets are available.
The amp’s overall wattage can be cut from the maximum of 30 watts to 15 watts, using the 3-way standby switch on the front panel.
And if you’re in the mood for some low-wattage, greasy-amp goodness, another rear-panel switch lets you knock the wattage down to a tiny seven watts by bypassing two of the four power tubes.
Build-wise, this chunky little combo looks more than tough enough to withstand the rigors of touring and it’s consistent with the high manufacturing standards showcased by the updated Rockerverbs.
With its simple layout and feature set and its flexible voicing, it packs the potential to deliver that classic fat and bright Orange tone, but it also stays punchy and refined without having to be blisteringly loud.
There’s not much to complain about with the Orange TH30. With two usable and distinct dirty and clean channels, the TH30 is a solid contender for anyone looking for a good blues or rock amp that can be used in a variety of venues.
5. EVH 5150III Tube Guitar Combo Amp
This is an amp that can truly do it all, from dazzling clean tones and fiery classic rock crunch to the heaviest modern metal grind.
The EVH 5150III 50-watt 6L6 Head looks virtually identical to the original 50-watt 5150III, with the exception of the dual-concentric knobs for channels 1 and 2, and a new front panel badge with ‘6L6’ added to the model name.
All of the remaining features are the same as before, including low, mid and high EQ controls for channels ½, volume, gain; low, mid and high controls for channel 3, global presence and resonance controls, a ¼-inch stereo headphone output, MIDI In, effects loop send and return jacks, and ¼-inch preamp line-level output.
A pair of parallel speaker output jacks and the 4/8/16-ohm impedance switch enable the connection of a single or matched pair of speaker cabinets.
The all-tube, 3-channel amp (clean, crunch, and lead) features seven ECC83S preamp and two 6L6GC power-amp tubes.
A Celestion 1X12 speaker lurks inside the 7-layer, birch-ply, closed-back cabinet. The front panel sports mini push buttons to select between channels. There are two sets of controls for gain, low, mid, high, and volume.
Over on the crunch channel, you’ll hear a fair amount of grit even at the lowest gain levels.
The crunch channel is also versatile. It cleans up nicely with volume attenuation and is perfect for playing typical Eddie-style rhythm moves where dynamics play an integral role.
The lead channel has a modern, open feel, but the amount of available gain is especially impressive.
With the gain and all EQ knobs around noon, the amp generates incredible sustain. But even if you bump the gain to near-maximum levels, the pick attack remains clear and present.
It’s the end of another interesting review and now we must as usual stick our necks out by choosing one product from the lineup as our top pick under the category. After carefully reviewing all the great amps featured in this review, we chose the Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb Guitar Combo Amp as our Top Guitar Amp Under $1500.
We believe that this amp offers the best all-around quality as well as value.
At Radaudio, we help musicians find the best gear with top-ranking gear round-ups and high- quality, authoritative reviews. Our passion here at Radaudio is to provide helpful straight forward clear advice and product reviews for aspiring and established musicians.
Radaudio is a participant in several affiliate advertising programs, including (but not limited to) proprietary programs and the following networks: Amazon Associates, Clickbank, ShareASale.
We disclose, as an affiliate publisher, that we may earn advertising fees by advertising through these networks at no additional cost to you.