12 Best Combo Amps in 2017

Combo amps changed the game by allowing musicians to have an all-in-one solution for gigs and practice. While every amplifier on our best combo amp list comes with a head and speaker, some are far more advanced than the old tube amps our elders played on. While those are still popular, none made the cut this time around.

Combo amps changed the game by allowing musicians to have an all-in-one solution for gigs and practice. While every amplifier on our best combo amp list comes with a head and speaker, some are far more advanced than the old tube amps our elders played on. While those are still popular, none made the cut this time around.

Top 12 Combo Amps Comparison Table

DesignNameTypeWattageRating (1-5)
 1. Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier Bass – Solid State 15 – 500 watts 4.7
  2. Fender Champion 100 Electric Guitar Amplifier Modeling 20 – 100 watts 4.7
  3. Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt 1×8-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier Modeling 20 – 40 watts 4.7
  4. Hartke HD75 Bass Combo Bass – Solid State 15 – 150 watts 4.6
  5. Marshall MG30CFX MG Series 30-Watt Guitar Combo Amp Solid State 10 – 100 watts 4.5
 6. Roland Micro Cube Bass RX Battery-Powered Bass Combo Amp Bass – Modeling 5 watts 4.4
  7. Blackstar IDCORE40 Guitar Combo Amplifier Modeling 10 – 40 watts 4.3
  8. VOX PB10 Bass Combo Amplifier Bass – Solid State 10 watts 4.3
  9. Marshall Code 50 – 50-watt 1×12″ Digital Combo Amp Modeling 50 watts 4.3
  10. Peavey Electronics Max Series 03608210 Max 115 Bass Combo Amplifier Bass – Solid State 10 – 300 watts 4.2
  11. Line 6 Spider V 240 Wireless Ready Modeling Amplifier Modeling 15 – 240 watts 4.1
  12. Ampeg BA108V2 20-Watt 8″ Bass Combo Amplifier Bass – Solid State 20 watts 4.0

How to Choose the Perfect Combo Amplifier

Combo amplifiers are a dime-a-dozen these days. As with many products, all are not created equal which means you need to look before you leap when buying a new combo amp for your axe.

Amp Style

Tube amps and heads have their place in guitarist’s hearts, but many of the most popular styles today use solid state technology. The amps on our list are all solid state although some are geared for bass guitars specifically. In other words, do not buy a regular amp if you plan on playing the bass full-time. A normal combo amp will still work with a bass guitar, however, it just isn’t geared for it.

Another fun way to go is with a modeling amplifier. These are actually digital amps, which opens the doors to a wide array of sounds you can’t produce from a traditional guitar. Some models will offer up well over 100 “models” of amps to try along with dozens of effects and tones.

Power

If you are a pro, there’s a good chance you will want an amplifier with plenty of power. That means a 10 or 20-watt mini isn’t going to cut it no matter how many amp models it can emulate. Guitarists that spend more time in the garage or studio won’t need to have anything nearly as powerful. The same goes for those who perform in smaller venues and the style of your music will play a part in this as well. On the other hand, Metalheads would obviously want something loud and proud.

Cabinet

The type of cabinet used for your new amp will directly affect the sound. The best ones will use high-quality materials and ensure there will be no vibration or errant sounds from inside. There are two types of cabinets as well with Open and Close back amp cabinets.

  • Open – Despite its name, open back cabinets usually only have a slot in the back for air to escape and are not fully open. They tend to have a more natural sound and can fill up a room as they project from the front and back.
  • Closed – Closed back cabinets are great for mid-range and bass as it adds a bit more oomph to your tone. There is no sound leakage due to the construction, but they can be tough to hear if you are standing behind them on stage.

Top 5 Best Combo Amp Reviews

1. Fender Rumble 25 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier

We hope you like Fender as they take up a large portion of our best combo amp list. That is because they are the top brand when it comes to equipment for your electric guitar, including the Fender Rumble v3 which is geared towards those that prefer to play the bass.

While this amp comes in three styles with a combo, cabinet and head unit, we are going to focus on the 25-watt combo amp. That’s a solid size for practice or smaller gigs, and this one has more than enough oomph to keep folks on their feet. It sports an 8-inch speaker inside and is a closed back cabinet so your sound will project outward from the front. There are two jacks up top for your guitar and headphones along with an Aux in jack. The usual array of knobs are present as well for volume, bass, treble and mid control.

The Fender Rumble v3 comes with a black cabinet sporting a silver grill and is available in six different sizes. ON the low-end you can choose from 15, 25, 40 or 100-watt models while professionals can opt for a 200-watt or 500-watt amp.

2. Fender Champion 100 Electric Guitar Amp

The Fender Champion series is one of the company’s strongest contenders when it comes to combo amps. While a solid state amplifier like its brethren, it is actually a “modeling” amp as well. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it means this amp is digital and “models” the sound of other amplifiers.

This 2-channel amp has an easy to use layout across the top, so you don’t have to dig too deep to find the perfect tone. Other modeling amps hit you with hundreds of options, but Fender kept things simple with the Champion 100. That said, there are still plenty of options as the first channel lets you adjust treble and bass along with the FX level. The FX Select option allows you to set the tone while the second channel has the same features along with voice, mid and gain.

There are plenty of ports on this model, but consumers that want a true modeling amp will be disappointed there is no USB port on this one. The 100 sports two speakers and is also available in 20-watt or 40-watts if you need something with a smaller footprint.

3. Fender Mustang I V2 Combo Electric Guitar Amp

The Fender Mustang I V.2 is our third choice from the company and is the classic solid state style but has various amp models under the hood as well. Unlike the Champion, there are 17 amp models on the Mustang I V2. That means you can choose from classic tube amps or roll with something a little more modern and wild. There are 24 effect presets as well which pairs nicely with the chromatic tuner.

Even if you don’t want to change up your tone, you will appreciate the style and power. It’s closed back and a little busy up top so you will want to prepare yourself for an array of dials, knobs, switches and ports. It’s quite the change if you have only used a traditional solid state or tube amp, and something to consider if you just want to play – not shape your sound.

On the other hand, this modeling combo amp has a USB port so you can jack in and use the included Ableton Live Lite 8 Fender Edition software for recording. Fender FUSE is included as well and really opens things up if you don’t like what it can do out of the box.

4. Hartke HD75 Bass Combo Amplifier

Our next bass-heavy electric guitar amp hails from Hartke and is an amazing option if you need deep bass. We chose the 75-watt model for our best combo amp list as it walks the fine line between practice and shows when it comes to power. The Hartke HD75 sports a 12-inch hybrid cone driver for the bass and a 2-inch tweeter to give you a full range of sound. Needless to say, you’ll feel and hear it with this one.

While you can drive sound without power, you do need a high-quality speaker that can hold up under stress. Hartke uses something called HyDrive tech which combines paper and aluminum in the cone. It sounds great, and doesn’t look too bad either with a solid build and clean design. It is heavy however at 43.4 lbs. although the footprint is minimal at 18.5” x 20.6” x 13.8”.

Amps built for bass aren’t usually full of amp models, so you won’t find a lot of extras here. You will get all the usual controls along with a 7-band equalizer and a built-in limiter. Other feature to note include an effects loop, Aux out, and dual 1/4” passive and active inputs. This black beauty is available in wattages ranging from 15-watts to 150-watts.

5. Marshall MG30CFX MG Series Guitar Combo Amp

You won’t see us do a guitar list of any sort without including something from Marshall. They are neck-in-neck with Fender in our eyes when it comes to quality and the Marshall MG30CFX guitar combo amp is one of our favorites. We believe it will quickly become your as well once you get a load of what it can do.

The MG30CFX is a 30-watt amp with a 10-inch speaker that can pound out the sound whether you are on stage or simply practicing at home. It is another “sealed” speaker with a closed back which project sound forward, and project it will. The amp has 4 programmable channels complete with effects so you can set your sound to suit your style. As for those channels, they include OD1, OD2, Clean, and Crunch. We’d be remiss if we did not mention the digital reverb and effects as well.

The Marshall MG30CFX will look good and sound outstanding no matter where it has been placed and it is available in far more configurations than most. Sizes range from 10-watts all the way up to 100-watts depending on your budget and where you plan to play.