Last Update May 2019 – Regardless of whether you are a beginner guitarist at the very start of your musical journey or a seasoned pro with many years of experience behind you, you will need a good practice amp.
We say that it’s always a good choice to separate the amp you jam on at home from the amp you carry for live shows. This approach keeps the device less strained, plus you can’t really use those loud amps for small house jams.
Therefore, getting a small amp just for practice hours and jamming at home is a top notch option. We decided to sift through today’s market in an attempt to bring you the best small practice amp money can buy. Our quest yielded three different beasts that you can check out in the rundown below.
Find the best small practice amp
When we think of small amps that rock, we think of the Roland Micro Cube. For the general consumers, this is also most likely our No. 1 pick. Versatile, powerful, and very convenient.
The amp packs a total of 5 watts delivered through a single 5-inch speaker. It runs on batteries or via classic AC adapter and has a carrying strap, making it very portable and easy to transport (total weight just 6.6 pounds!). Additionally, the amplifier packs the richest set of on-board effects on the whole list.
The specific guitar effects would be chorus, phaser, flanger, tremolo and separate delay and reverb. Also included in the mix is the new digital tuning Fork with included support for flat tunings up to two semitones.
Finally, the amp packs a recording and headphones output, along with a stereo AUX input for CD players and similar devices.
5 watts doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but this thing can really deliver the groove. Not only can you crank it well over your neighbor’s loudness tolerance, but we’ve seen this amp used in smaller jam sessions alongside amps of 15 or ever 30 watts of power. Needless to say, use this along with a full-on drum kit you shall not.
As for exact type of sonic punch we are looking at here, versatility would be the word of the day. The great thing about those effects is that they really sound genuine and natural. You’re not getting a toy here, you’re getting the real deal. For the listed price, we really couldn’t ask for more.
If you want to achieve that classic Fender sound, that sonic attack that shaped a significant portion of the music of the 20th century, and spend around 40 bucks for it, buy the Fender Mini Deluxe.
The amplifier packs 1 watt of power, making it just strong enough for practicing and jamming at home. What’s really great about the product is that with a super light weight of 1.2 pounds, you can take the amp on travels with you. The control knobs – Gain, Tone and Volume – are pretty basic, yet quite easy to use and figure out.
The power it offers make the product applicable for house practice, small jam sessions and maybe even busking in resonating surrounding such as metro stations. The build quality is at a high level, and it becomes obvious from the get-go that the manufacturer intended for this amp to travel a lot.
Regardless of the small size, this amp is still very much classic Fender, only in a light casing. The sound is packed with a light gain that can be cranked up a bit to cover the staple brand of heavy metal, while the vast majority of tonal controls keep the sonic attack within the realm of hard rock and heavy blues.
The versatility of sound depends more on the instrument you plug in, but if you expect anything else than a classic sound out of this Fender, try another amp. For the price, which is very low, this is a killer deal.
You wanted small, you got the smallest – the Marshall MS2 Micro Amp. With a size of 2.4 x 4.3 x 5.5 inches and a weight of 12 ounces, this is the smallest amp we can think of that delivers a killer sound.
The amp looks like a classic, massive Marshall stack that the likes of Jimi Hendrix have rocked out back in the day, except that is can almost fit your pocket. The device utilizes two basic control knobs – Volume and Tone – along with a 1/4 inch input jack and a headphones out.
The amp offers a set of two channels – Clean and Overdrive. If you were to ask us what is the amp you can take on a backpack trip, this puppy would be our answer.
It’s a Marshall after all, meaning that even the listed 1 watt of power is packed to the gills with nothing but punch and crunch. The clean channel is bright and crispy as a whistle, while the OD option infuses the output with a healthy chunk of Marshall groove.
The types of players we’d recommend this one to would first and foremost be the travellers and experienced players. The price is good, and if you travel often but need and amp to keep those chops tight, this one’s your man. For beginners, though, our first choice would be the Roland, and then Fender if your budget is below $50.
Conclusion – Best small practice amp
Overall, we believe that each of these fellas is worthy of consideration for the title of the best small practice amp. They all carry a punch strong enough to fire up the room, the sound quality is always top-level, the price is affordable and the weight is quite light.
Now we just recommend that you sum up your personal preferences, available budget and expectations and proceed to pick the one that fits you the most. Rock steady, roll easy!