5 Best Guitar Amps Under $2000: Combo & Amp Heads
There are all kinds of guitar amps out there, and many have their own claims to fame.
In order to help you find the best guitar amp under $2000, we considered a number of features that differentiate these amplifiers.
We looked at the configuration of each amp – modeling, acoustic, and tube or solid – and the power each amp is able to put out.
These features can dramatically alter the sound and versatility of an amp, so you’ll need to think carefully about how you plan to use your amplifier.
As always, our recommendations for guitar amps under $2000 are based on reviews and ratings from end-users and experts, to ensure that they reflect current market sentiment.
Table of Contents
- Our Top Pick
- Guitar Amps Under $2000
- Which is the best Guitar Amplifier for you?
- Which is the best guitar amp under $2000?
Our Top Pick
Marshall SV20H Studio Vintage Tube Head
The Marshall SV20H has a legendary tone that is packed into a 20-watt head. Plug it in, and you’ll experience saturated blues grit and biting leads — the iconic Plexi tone. The Studio Vintage has plenty of player-friendly features on tap, such as four separate inputs, high- and low-sensitivity loudness controls, a 3-band EQ with Presence control, an effects loop, and a DI output.
Guitar Amps Under $2000
1. Marshall SV20H Studio Vintage Tube Head
The Marshall SV20H is one of those amps that deliver. It sounds great and it most definitely has that Marshall flavor.
The SV20H comes with three ECC83 tubes and two EL34 tubes. The same tube layout as the Marshall 1959 SLP 100 watt head. Minus two EL34’s that is.
It’s a single-channel amp with four separate inputs, just like the originals. It has high and low sensitivity loudness controls, plus treble, middle, bass, and presence controls to dial in your tone.
The SV20H also has a useful DI cab-emulated output that lets you plug it directly into your recording interface and capture the sound of the amp.
You can run the amp in either 20-Watt or 5-Watt modes which, again. is useful for studio work and home use.
The amp features an FX loop on the rear panel, along with five outputs rated at 4, 8, and 16 Ohms.
A word of advice – Always research the ohms of your speakers. Improperly pairing the amp and speaker can damage the amp.
If you’re unsure, purchase a multimeter to check your speaker cab.
Marshall offers a new vintage-voiced 2 x 12″ speaker cab. It comes loaded with Celestion V-Type speakers that have a 140-watt power handling.
The high headroom speakers should ensure plenty of clean headroom from the speakers.
The Normal and High Treble channels of this amp sound very different. Add in the variables you get from jumping the channels, and you have a very interactive amp.
The Marshall SV20H is an authentic Marshall tone. It doesn’t sound or feel like a watered-down reissue such as many other brands have been releasing.
2. Vox AC30C2 Tube Combo Amp
The Vox AC30 C2 electric guitar tube amplifier offers 30-watts of power. There are two 12-inch Celestion G12M Greenback speakers inside the amplifier, and it has in-built reverb and tremolo effects.
Based on the classic AC30 design, the exciting new AC30C2 offers two channels – normal and top boost.
The two channels aren’t footswitchable, though each has its own inputs and volume control, feeding the master volume.
The Top Boost channel also has a pair of tone controls while the onboard reverb and tremolo sections, both controlled by two further pairs of controls, are applicable to both channels. It’s also possible to plug instruments into both channels at once.
The AC30C2 and the AC30C2X both make use of 3 x 12AX7 preamp tubes and use 4 x EL84 tubes to push 30 watts of power.
You’ll find Tone Cut and Volume controls in the Master section to take your tonal crafting power even further.
Tone Cut works by modulating the signal passing through the power stage, yielding a darker, richer tone.
Then, you’ll find yet another level of tone control, playing with the balance between the Master Volume control and Top Boost Volume.
Traditionally, the classic-spec Top Boost AC30 offers chiming clean tones, all of which gets darker and more overdriven as you wind it up.
Much of that is in evidence in the Top Boost channel here, but thanks to the master volume setup, it’s much easier to coax the AC30C2 into overdrive at lower levels.
When you want to send your AC30 tone into a separate set of speakers, there is a switchable 8/16 ohm output jack.
Plugging into this jack automatically mutes the internal speakers.
There is also an additional 2nd extension speaker jack, which allows you to run an extra 16-ohm cabinet simultaneously with the Vox AC30C2’s internal speakers.
3. Marshall 2525C Mini Silver Jubilee
Marshall 2525C amp is provided with a three-position standby switch for either 20W, 5W, or standby.
It also has the usual controls such as presence, bass, middle, treble, output master volume, lead master volume, input gain.
The input and output master channel of this mini jubilee is provided with a push/pull for the diode-clipping circuit, so the peaks are chopped off and you get this real tube overdrive sound.
The cabinet is perfectly covered in silver-grey vinyl, with matching chrome metalwork rather than the traditional gold finish.
The electronics are held inside a rigid steel chassis with one large PCB holding most of the components, including all the valve bases. Layout and wiring are typical of Marshall’s high standards.
The combo has a deeper-than-average cabinet, with a full-height rear baffle and a slim port to enhance bass response, and more importantly, the loudspeaker is a proper Celestion G12M ‘Greenback’.
The 2525C is a really quiet amp, there is not much humming or rattling in the tubes that could directly be noticed.
The sound is surprisingly steady on all volume ranges, even when input gain is set very low.
The Mini Jubilee’s controls are familiar and straightforward. From left to right, they are input gain (with a pull switch for rhythm gain), lead master, output master, treble, bass, middle, and presence.
A footswitch is included for going from clean to dirty. The rear panel has five speaker-out options (1×16 ohm, 1×8 ohm, 1×4 ohm, 2×16 ohm, and 2×8 ohm) as well as a DI out.
This amp is definitely the best-sounding mini amplifier we’ve ever heard! If you’re looking for the best guitar amp under for $2000, then this amazing little device will be perfect for you.
You’ll get all of the power and tone that made Marshall one of the biggest names in music without having to lug around something huge and heavy.
4. Marshall SC20C Studio Classic
The Marshall SC20C amp is provided with a three-position standby switch for either 20W, 5W, or standby.
It also has the usual controls such as presence, bass, middle, treble, master volume, and preamp volume.
This amp is also consisting of a low sensitivity and high sensitivity input to switch between different pickups or just to get a different, cleaner sound on your guitar.
The compact SC20C combo features a single 10-inch Celestion V-Type speaker and is based on the JCM800 2203 circuit so beloved of heavy rockers.
The styling reflects this, with black speaker cloth and chunky black-and-red molded-plastic switches.
The amp’s high and low inputs behave as expected – albeit with a significant difference in level between them – and there is no necessity to go to extremes with any of the equalization controls in order to dial in a usable tone.
With powerful and wide-ranging equalization controls, this amp can deliver big and bold cleans with any type of guitar.
It may lack Studio Classic’s crystal grittiness, but it’s smoother and more refined.
The SC20C generates more than enough saturation for the vast majority of playing styles – metal included.
The SC20 is really reactive amp with possibilities to play clean but also to add a lot of crunch.
The treble response is on the bright side and the amp cleans up relatively nice when the guitar volume is rolled down.
Despite the use of vacuum tubes, heavy transformers, and analog sound which can be recorded directly (via DI output), this model is very portable.
The less than 15 kg weighing amplifier has a sturdy handle that effortlessly handles the weight and provides a lot of grip.
If you still need more decibels, you can connect external speakers and use the SC20C as a stack.
Here there is room for up to 4 extra speakers, of which you can choose how many Ohm (Ω) speakers you want to use.
5. Fender George Benson Signature Series Twin Reverb Amplifier
Inspired by one of the world’s foremost jazz guitarists, George Benson, the all-tube GB Twin Reverb amp produces a rich, punchy tone with smooth attack and singing sustain.
Dignified looks and refined sound combine with lighter weight in this dream stage amp. Benson demands punch, power, and tonality from his equipment, and this dual-channel combo delivers all three.
The amp’s 85-watt, 6L6-based power section delivers seemingly unending headroom for clean jazz tones.
It also has a 12AY7 preamp tube in the amp’s Normal channel for even more clarity and complexity in the midrange.
This amp has great articulation and responds really well across the tonal spectrum.
A pair of neodymium 12″ 8-ohm Jensen Tornado 12 speakers reproduces Benson’s dynamic attack, with shimmering highs and plenty of bite when you push the overdrive.
As refined as the music that inspired it, the GB Twin Reverb’s elegant smoky gray vinyl covering, silver sparkle grille cloth, and front panel GB badge combine to create a dignified amplifier that looks equally at home in the living room or under stage lights.
Sharp style and warm, round tone mixed with a surplus of sonic power and easy portability—the GB Twin Reverb is a player’s delight.
Which is the best Guitar Amplifier for you?
The ideal guitar amplifier should be the best option for whatever it is you want to do. It’s easy to talk about specs or the magic of vacuum tubes, but if you’re going to drop your own hard-earned money on an amp you should already have a basic idea of what you want to achieve with it.
In fact, the hardest part of tracking down the best guitar amp under $2000 for your needs is really just making a decision about what type of tone you want.
If you carefully consider what you want and know that going in, you’re going to get an amp that’s made well for your needs and sounds great 99% of the time.
Just remember that music doesn’t come from an amp, sound comes from an amp. There’s no magic in metal and wood, and no matter how much money you spend it’s not going to transform your sound.
Buying a good amp is like buying any other good tool. It makes whatever you’re trying to do easier, but it won’t do it for you.
Which is the best guitar amp under $2000?
Our recommendation for the best guitar amp under $2000 is the Marshall SV20H Studio Vintage Tube Head. This amp is incredibly durable and should be more than capable of holding up to the rigors of live performance and consistent practice.
Marshall amplifiers are also regarded as one of the most rugged amplifiers available, second only to Peavey.
The only con that springs to mind with this amplifier is that it’s relatively expensive. Thankfully, this amp is still worth the investment. Musicians would be hard-pressed to find an amp that is more versatile than the Marshall Studio Vintage series.
Marshall also provides a comprehensive warranty service, which when paired with the company’s commitment to quality assurance means that this amp should be a lifelong companion for the musician lucky enough to be able to purchase it.
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