An amplifier has as much to do with your sound as your guitar. The main problem is that a good amplifier costs a lot of money and for most beginning guitar players this isn't an option. Thankfully, there are tons of great small amplifiers you can use for practicing at home. There's a few things you need to look for before you buy an amp for your guitar. Most small amps will cost between 50 to 100 dollars and sometimes a bit more.
What to Buy
Before you buy your amp you'll need to have an idea of what you want. Some of them come with built-in distortion or other effects which can be cool for beginners to fool around with. There's also solid state which don't use tubes as well as tube amplifers. Tube amplifiers tend to sound better but they cost more and you need to replace tubes as they will burn out. Solid state has come a long way and you can find a decent practice amplifer that are solid state. if you cna get a tube amplifer but most beginners will do fine with a basic solid state amp that puts out between 10 to 20 watts.
When is comes to practice amplifers and other small amps the Roland Cube is a monster. These are some of the best low-watt amps you can buy. These amps are two channels and you can also plug in a music player to jam along with. There's both clean and distoted channels and you can fine tune the gain to meet your needs. The distortion alos has a lot of uses from basic blues to full on metal. The Cube has just about everything you could ever want in a small amp.
Roland Cube Amplifier
Amazon Price: $720.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 9, 2016)
Marshall makes a number of excellent amplifiers and a lot smaller low-cost models too. The most you really need for practice is going ot be 10 or 20 watts as anything after that is simply too loud. Most Marshall amps come with distortion already built into the amplifier and some of them such as the marshall MG have effects built-in such as delay, reverb or flange.
Marshall MG4 Carbon Series
Amazon Price: $99.00 Buy Now
(price as of May 9, 2016)
Fender makes some of the best amplifiers in the world. The Fender Twin is famous but they have many great smaller amplifiers too. Fender amps have amazing clean sounds which they are well know for but lack in the distortion department. If you buy a Fender practice amp make sure you get a good distortion pedal to go along with it if you plan to play a lot of hard rock. The distortion on Fender amps tends to be kind of plain sounding although it's fine for blues and other music just not harder rock.
Tons of Great Amps
Roland, Fender, and Marshall tend to make the best small amps which will fit into your budget. It's always best to get a couple of effects pedals to round out your purchase. A small amp will help you learn and will suit you until your ready to move up to something more substantial.