There are a lot of factors to consider when looking at what amp is best suited to your needs: tone, features, price quality, durability, volume and versatility. You should be able to pick one that will accurately suit your needs. There are some cheap amps that will be able to do what you need, if you can find one, then go ahead and buy it. People who have been playing for a long time will want a high quality amp that will last for their entire guitar playing career.
The tone of the amp is important as it will be reflected in your playing of the guitar. The tone should be something that you like and are happy with when you play through the amp. If you plan to play for a longer time, it would be worth it to wait longer and save up for a better quality amplifier. This is something that will really benefit your playing ability.
Here are a few suggestions for different players:
For the hobbyist who wants to play guitar as a pass time but not necessarily a performance art a smaller amp with less volume is ideal. There are amps that would work for this player that still have the effects and distortion that other, louder ones have. Also these players are looking for cheaper units that will work when they need without maintenance. A good twenty to forty watt amp with built in effects would work well for this player. One speaker is normally enough. Most can be found for three hundred dollars or less. If you’re a beginner, you may want to check out our recommendedbeginner amps.
For the garage band who want durable units with good volume at a decent price a hundred watt solid state amp or a forty watt tube amp. Normally this player will only need one or two ten or twelve inch speakers. This should cost somewhere between three hundred dollars to about a thousand for the higher end variants.
For the working guitarist who needs a louder, more durable and reliable unit with good volume a larger more expensive amp will be needed. As it will need to be moved around a lot and be used in many situations, the amp should be a hundred watt or more is solid state and at least fifty watt tube amp. It should have at least two twelve in speakers. These will run from six hundred to two thousand dollars. If you’re looking for good amps to gig with, check out our recommended amps for gigging.
The professional needs the best tone, reliability, durability, volume and quality. In short, the best amps on the market. This player will need active customer support as the amp will have to last as long as possible and have ready access to maintenance. This will need to be a fifty to a hundred watt tube amp. Two to eight twelve inch speakers are a must. Most likely you will need a four by twelve cabinet for large shows and a two by twelve for smaller venues or recordings. Amps of this type will run easily over a thousand and five hundred dollars.