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Top 10 Best Clean Guitar Amps In 2020 And Buying Guide

The best clean guitar amp can deliver tones that are as close as what you get from the actual, natural tone of your guitar. These days, there’s a plethora of guitar amplifiers that allow you to use multiple effects, and even though they make the guitar versatile, they can change the tone of the amp. If what you’re looking for is the actual tone of your guitar, then what you need is to get the best clean guitar amp that offers clean settings.

Due to the diversity of the guitar amps market, you may be confused by the maze of choices.  That makes purchasing a clean guitar amp seem like a daunting task. So we try to make the whole process of choosing one easier for you. In this article from Breathe Carolina, we review 10 options and write a guide on how to choose the best clean guitar amp for your own needs. Let’s jam right in.

Best Clean Guitar Amps Comparison 2020

** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the Best Clean Guitar Amps, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Detailed Reviews Of Top Best Clean Guitar Amps 

Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • Legendary flagship of the Roland Jazz Chorus series since 1975
  • Historic “JC clean” tone and signature Dimensional Space Chorus effect
  • Powerful 120-watt stereo amp with two 12-inch “silver cone” speakers
  • Two input channels (Normal and Effect), each with three-band EQ and bright on/off
  • Built-in vibrato, distortion, and authentic spring reverb

The Roland JC-120 is a solid state guitar amp that is well-known for its clean sound. It has a classic look, and offers a great clean tone. There are 2 channels, each of which has 3-band EQ. There are built-in reverb, distortion and vibrato effects. There are controls for speed, depth and mode. So you can further customize to create the perfect clean sound that you’re looking for.

This amp offers a clean sound that can be compared to a tube amp. The stereo output, combined with the speakers, deliver a deeper and richer sound. It’s great for live performance, especially in bigger stages. However, it’s quite expensive for a solid state amp and it’s not really a versatile amp. If you’re looking for a specific sound created by this one, this is a great choice.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Solid state amp with clean tone
  • Classic look
  • Highly customizable
  • Stereo output
  • Great for live performance and larger venues
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • 15 Watts
  • Celestion 12" A-Type speaker
  • Preamp circuit modified for increased fullness
  • Spring reverb modified for improved smoothness
  • 1-button footswitch for fat Mid boost

This Fender Blues Junior IV is a great amp for practice purpose. It has 1 channel, which is clean channel, and sounds great. There’s a 3-band EQ, master volume and reverb knobs, so you can further customize your sound. The 12” speaker eliminates all the muddy sounds, and it produces rich tone.

It has a classic and vintage look. The preamp circuit is created for a more full sound. There’s a footswitch if you want to activate it. The sound is warm and buttery. You can truly create a diverse range of tones. The downside is that the tubes aren’t made of the highest quality, so they aren’t very durable. Fender has a 90-day warranty for tubes.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Nice clean tone
  • Can customize sound easily
  • Classic and vintage look
  • Preamp circuit creates more full sound
  • Buttery and warm sound
  • 90-day warranty for tubes
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • 5 Watts
  • 8'' TURBOSOUND speaker
  • Tube amp
  • INFINIUM Tube Life Multiplier technology

This is a small tube amp from Bugera that offers clean and unique sound. It has great clean tone and a vintage preamp that offers some extra crunch. It’s an ideal option for home practice. With 5W power output, you can’t expect to use it for gigs or gatherings. 

This one has 4 control knobs, allowing you to play around with volume, gain, tone and reverb, which is enough for a clean guitar amp. It has a jack for speakers.

This amp is made with the INFINIUM Tube Life Multiplier technology, which will keep your tubes more durable and warn you when they're starting to die. This is a small, yet thoughtful for users.

Tube amps are often expensive, but this one is affordable and it gives players the sound of a tube amp. If you’re looking for a retro, vintage looking amp with great clean sound and no special effects, this can really be the best clean guitar amp on your list.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Retro, vintage look and feel
  • Small and portable
  • Great for home practice
  • Warm, unique, clean sound of tube amps
  • Affordable
  • INFINUM technology: tubes are more durable, warn when about to die
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • Celestion Midnight 60 12" speaker
  • Genuine Spring Reverb with level control
  • Pre- and post-gain controls on lead channel
  • External speaker capability
  • Chrome-plated chassis
  • Classic tweed covering
  • 3-band EQ, footswitchable dual channels, footswitchable boost and reverb

This combo amp is a mid-level amp that is great for blues, jazz and classic rock. It’s well built and looks like it can last for a long time. It’s not very suitable for hard rock or metal.

This Peavey amp features 4 EL84 tubes and 312AX7 preamp tubes, which helps produce incredible clean sound. The Celestion Midnight 60 12" speaker boosts the sound clarity and note separation.

There are 2 clean channels; and controls for reverb, bass, treble, middle, volume, gain. The amp also has a 3-band EQ, footswitch for channels, and footswitch for boost and reverb. It’s very versatile compared to many other clean guitar amps at this price range.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Great for blues, jazz and classic rock
  • Well built, durable
  • Incredible clean sound
  • Versatile, highly customizable
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • 15-watt tube power amplifier
  • Celestion brand speaker
  • Three industry standard 12AX7 tubes
  • A pair of EL84 tubes
  • Open back cabinet
  • Leather handle
  • Cloth speaker grill
  • Synthetic leather exterior with chrome corner guards.

The Monoprice 611815 has a Celestion 1215 speaker which helps create a clean, warm and bright sound. This amp looks classy and vintage in the cream color. There’s a line input which is great for practice purpose. But there’s no headphone output, so you can’t plug in your headphones and practice without bothering other people.

This amp has a 3-band EQ, tone and reverb controls. It has 1 channel, and controls for gain and master volume. The FX loop allows you to insert effects between the preamp and power amp stages, giving more diversity to your sound.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Clean, warm and bright sound
  • Classy design, vintage cream color
  • Great for practice
  • Versatile
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • 85 watts
  • Two 12” 8-ohm Jensen C-12K speakers
  • Legendary all-tube Fender reverb

This Fender 65 Twin is the reissued version of the classic Fender Twin Reverb amp. You get a clean, vintage tone on this one. There’s a bright switch and 2 vibrato channels. With 85 watts, you can use it for gigs and larger stages, rather than for home practice. The 2 speakers offer great clarity and note separation. The reverb effect offers nice ambience, which reflects the quality of a Fender product. The controls are responsive, and you can customize sounds easily. It’s quite expensive, but it’s worth it.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Reissued version of classic Fender Twin Reverb
  • Clean, vintage tone
  • Great for gigs and performances
  • Great clarity and note separation
  • Nice ambience
  • Responsive controls
  • Easy to customize
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • 10 watts; 6.5" speaker
  • Clean/Overdrive switch
  • Volume, Gain, Bass and Treble controls
  • Line/Headphone processed output

The Vox Pathfinder has the beauty of classic amps, and a nice clean tone of a decent solid state amp. It’s small, light and simple, which is great for beginners and those who travel a lot. It’s a solid state, so it’s more durable and sturdy than tube amps. It’s also affordable and easy to use for beginners.

There are controls for volume, gain, bass and treble. You can also switch between 2 channels - clean and overdrive. You can create different sounds for different styles of music, and the tone is crisp and clean. There’s a line processed output which allows you to record directly through the amp. However, there’s no line input for you to play along with your favorite tracks.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Classic look
  • Solid state, sturdy, small, lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Great for different styles of music
  • Crisp, clean tone
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • 6 Watts
  • One 12AX7 Preamp Tube
  • Footswitchable Boost Mode
  • 4, 8, and 16 Ohm Speaker Jacks
  • Mod-Friendly Eyelet-type Board

The tone of this amp is quite similar to 50s Fender sound. It has a pretty vintage tone and feel. The controls are simple. The boost function and included switch are a great bonus. It can create a wide range of tones. It offers an easily modded platform for those who love to play around with sound. This amp has a loud sound even though it’s a 6 watt amp. One con of this model is the footswitch. It isn’t made of the highest quality material, so it’s not very durable.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Vintage tone and feel
  • Simple controls
  • Boost mode and footswitch
  • Wide range of tones
  • Modded platform
  • Loud
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • 40w (with power reduction option to 20w)
  • 1x12" Celestion V-Type speaker
  • Gain and volume per channel.
  • Dedicated resonance control.
  • 2 separate master volume controls
  • Reverb

This Marshall amp has 4 channels, which makes it versatile for different types of music. It has excellent, unique Marshall tone. The clean channel is bright and warm. The gain channel allows you to crank it up to max level. There are reverb and crunch effects, all of which are good enough. At 40 watts, this amp is too loud for home practice and is more suitable for small gigs or stages. This Marshall amp is quite heavy, so it might take some efforts to carry them around.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Versatile for different types of music
  • Excellent, unique Marshall tone
  • Bright, warm clean channel
  • Great for small gigs and stages
Best Clean Guitar Amps

Key Features:  

  • 15 Watt tube combo
  • Custom 10" VX10 speaker
  • Gain, Bass, Treble, Reverb, and Master Volume controls

Vox has created some of the best amps on the market. And this Vox is no exception. It’s well-built and has a vintage, classic, sophisticated design. It offers spectacular clean sounds. It has controls for gain, bass, treble, reverb and master volume, which is versatile enough for you to experiment with different sounds. With 15 Watt, this amp is great for practicing in your bedroom, rather than in larger gigs and stages.

This Vox AC15C1 has a solid shimmering, warm tone offered by a tube amp. Because of that shimmering, jingly tone, this amp is perfect for The Beatles’ songs. Of course, its price is typical of a tube amp, which means it’s not cheap at all. It has reverb and tremolo. Not many effects, but what you’re looking for is the best clean guitar amp, so this is acceptable. If you’re a beginner, many effects may overwhelm you. If you want effects, you can always use a pedal board.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Warm, clean, shimmering vintage sound of a tube amp
  • Well built, retro, sophisticated design
  • Versatile enough to experiment with different sounds
  • Great for bedroom practice

How To Choose The Best Clean Guitar Amps

What Makes a Good Clean Tone?

Best Clean Guitar Amps

A good clean tone of an amp means that you should be able to get the natural sound of the guitar you’re using. A guitar amp is just a device used to amplify the sound of your guitar. If the natural sound of your guitar is too distorted and modified, you’re not getting a clean tone.

The best clean guitar amp has to deliver fully the overall sound, the feel, the tonewood of the instrument. It should be able to deliver the clean, sharp and crisp tone of your guitar, even when you play at the lowest volume or crank the volume to the highest level. If the amp can offer the best clean tone at the highest volume, it’s reliable and consistent enough for gigs and performances.

What To Expect From Different Types of Amps?

Best Clean Guitar Amps

Each type of guitar amplifiers has its own characteristics, tones, builds, designs. Each has its own pros and cons that you may want to consider before buying. 

If you’re a beginner or you have untrained ears, you might not be able to notice the differences between the sounds created by different amps in a prolonged and specific way. Basically, any kind of amp can be used for different types of music. But if you’ve already trained enough your ears have been able to notice the tonal differences, you can see that some particular models are better for certain music types. 

Before you try to figure out the best clean guitar amp type, you should think about the application of your new amp. What will it be used for? When? Where? This is a great starting point to figure out what types of amplifiers suit you best.

Tube amps

Best Clean Guitar Amps

Tube amp is the ultimate favorite of many professional guitarists because it can deliver a unique clean tone. It always has a warm, shimmering, vintage tone. It allows you to project the natural sound of your guitar. Tube amps are most suitable for genres that use the clean channel such as country, jazz, blues, funk, etc. They offer the best sound quality, but they are more expensive and fragile. You pay for the high purchase price at first, and the high cost of replacing the tubes later. We highly recommend tube amps if you have enough budget and you care about the sound quality.

Solid state amps

Best Clean Guitar Amps

Solid state amps are versatile and can be used for many kinds of music. They are more durable and budget-friendly than tube amps, but the sound quality can’t be compared. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t sound good. The clean channel still sounds excellent.

These amps offer a combination of clean and distortion. Some models have various channels, which is great if you want to experiment with the sound. Solid state amps are easy to fix and not as fragile as tube amps. We recommend solid state amps for those who love versatility, durability and don’t have much in their budget.

Modeling amps

Best Clean Guitar Amps

Modeling amps, or digital amps, can stimulate different types of amps. They also have many effects. These amps are great for those who love experimenting with sounds. The sound created by a modeling amp can be artificial and digital-sound sometimes. So although they’re very versatile, they can’t replace the natural-sounding amps mentioned above.

There are still great modeling amps that offer various digital effects and presets and still sound natural. If you love this type of amp, there will always be an option for you. These amps are great for those who love playing around with different presets, effects and sounds.

Hybrid amps

Best Clean Guitar Amps

Hybrid amps can be a combination of solid state amps and tube amps, or of tube and digital amps. They are versatile and convenient, but you can’t compare them to a true tube amp or a solid state amp. If you want ultra versatility, hybrid amps may suit you.

Basically, it’s still up to you to choose which type of amplifier suits you best. Try to think about your personal preferences and application. Listen to different types of amps, and let your ears be the judge.

We’ve come across a video about clean tone settings for your new guitar amp. We think it would be useful after you’ve purchased your new amp. Adjust some settings, and you’re ready to jam on: 

Power Output

Best Clean Guitar Amps

Besides types of amps, you also need to consider the wattage number to get the best clean guitar amp that suits your purpose. If you buy an amp for home practice or small rehearsal, you don’t need amps that have more than 20W output. More than that and the amp would be too loud. Amps that have more than 100W output are more suitable for big stages. For small and moderate performances, 20W-100W amps are enough. Some models have lower wattage numbers, but they can be more powerful than you expect. So it’s important to look around for the best options.

Final Thoughts of Best Clean Guitar Amps

Compared to those 8 3/4 electric guitars on our list, we finally choose this Squier by Fender Mini Strat as our best choice. We choose this one because of its variable upsides. It is suitable for those with smaller hands and those who love traveling around. It stays in tune and fits in almost every plane compartment. One outstanding feature of this guitar is that beginners, younger players, and even travelers can use it easily with no issues.

Have you found the best clean guitar amp for your music path? Do you have any questions and suggestions for us? Don’t hesitate to tell us in the comment section below.

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