Guitar Lessons by Chip McDonald - Christmas Gift Guitar Amps

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Christmas Gift Guitar Amps

  As in my previous post, around this time is when I'm asked not only for "what beginner guitar should I get?" but also "what guitar amp?'".

 Beginner amps - or so to say, "very cheap" amps are a tossup these days.   But (and again, I am not sponsored or compensated by anybody for these reviews) there are 2 answers for "very cheap" beginner amps:

 Brand new, the Boss Katana mini.  small, light, portable (can be battery powered), and covers all of the basic sounds one needs - for $100:

Boss Katana Mini



 It is my claim that the number of amps and guitars on the planet is an ever increasing number.  You should be able to find some sort of an amp for $50 on Craigslist, OR alternately, I also claim the Kevin Bacon effect applies to guitars and amps: if you ask around, SOMEBODY you know has one or the other sitting unused in a closet at home.  In others, for FREE.   


 Having said that as a second amp, or for just a little bit more at $230, is the full-size

Boss Katana (50 watt combo)

 This is another Amazing Thing in the 21st century.  This amp is loud enough to gig with, has literally all the effects one needs, sounds "almost" as good as a much more expensive tube guitar amp, and (importantly) weighs ~25 lbs.????

 This amp is literally a back saver.  The number of little gigs I've done where I had to bring a 50 lbs. amp, and a suitcase of pedals that this amp could have been used for is ridiculous.  I bought one of these to use in my office (when I had one before covid, I'm now only giving lessons online) and now it sits next to me at home, while my vintage Marshall still remains in disrepair and my finicky VHT Princeton clone is unused.

 Not exactly recommended as a "beginner amp" because it has wayyyy more controls and features than one really needs, and can be very overwhelming, but - not a bad choice, because it's definitely an amp a beginner can grow into.

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