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All-Star Gear: Guitar Amps

Our customers' favorite combos, heads, and stacks

A great amp should hit every mark for a guitarist: the right volume range, ease of use, necessary features -- and of course, it should capture the tone they dream of. But every player is different. Some want oodles of high-gain saturation, and others covet the smooth, subtle breakup of an all-tube, hand-wired circuit. Regardless of taste, when a guitarist finds the amp, they want to let everyone know (and hear!)

zZounds customers have favorites of their own, and gladly sing the praises of their most cherished amplifiers. From budget wonders to pro-level monsters, this All-Star list is chock full of sweet tonal goodness. Read below to hear from our customers, and see if your top amp made the list!

See more All-Star Gear Guides!

Eddie Van Halen 5150 III Amp Head

Our customers say...

"Its second channel has more gain on tap than on the 100, and both have more gain on Channel 3 than any human being could EVER use! If you can't get enough gain out of either, you don't need a stompbox. You need an exorcism!"
- Michael in Gary, SD

"Nothing short of AMAZING! This amp is incredibly well-made and sounds brutal, responds to the volume knob on your guitar like no other amp I've ever played."
- Mike in Cape May, NJ

"I couldn't stop playing 2-3 hours a day almost every day when I first bought it, because when the tone sounds this good, you cannot stop playing!"
- Darien in North Hollywood, CA

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Fender '65 Princeton Reverb Combo Amp

Our customers say...

"The shiny silver grill perfectly sums up the tones you get -- squeaky clean, sparkly, and beautiful. The overall color scheme is great too. It's not super heavy either."
- Jordan in Westland, MI

"This amp is super responsive and sounds wonderful. It's just the right physical size too. I have it up on an amp stand that tilts it back so it plays towards me. I have a renewed interest in playing my guitar now!"
- David in Cantonment, FL

"What a fabulous amp! You can't beat that Fender sound, and even with the smaller size and somewhat lower wattage it has the sparkling clean tone that we all love."
- Erik in Burlington, WA

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Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Combo Amp

Our customers say...

"The JC-120 has earned its classic status because of its great clean sound, road-worthy construction, and maintenance-free dependability. This is the greatest clean amp in the world. It should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

"Very easy to use and tweak. The EQ is very musical. Makes a great acoustic guitar stage amp, and works well with keyboards, too."

"Roland engineers did their homework well and it's no wonder this amp has become an industry standard like the SM57."

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Marshall JCM800 2203 Reissue Amp Head

Our customers say...

"This amp was the sound of the time, and for my taste the sound for all time. I've plugged everything from Fender Mustangs, Les Pauls, Teles, to my Harmony Patrician with a Mod 200 DeArmond into mine and I get tone, volume and chunk out of every one."

"The JCM800 is a sound apart from others. I love to use the JCM800 in the studio, the sound is special!"

"I have found this amp's sound to be flexible, and it performs whether you are playing hard rock, blues or whatever and accommodates wide ranges of different playing styles -- definitely fits mine."

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Orange Micro Dark Terror Amp Head

Our customers say...

"Monster distortion when you need it, sparkly cleans when you want. The shape feature lets you dial in your perfect sound."
- Kenny in Miami, FL

"This thing powers a 4x12 no problem, and the sound is truly something you need to plug in and hear for yourself."
- KC in Forney, TX

"Don't be fooled by 3 knobs. This amp is very versatile. Between the amp's tone and gain knobs and the volume on my guitar I'm able to get most any sound."
- Andrew

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Peavey Bandit 112 Combo Amp

Our customers say...

"This amp is exactly what I needed for my home studio. All of the channels/settings sound great and this amp has plenty of great clean headroom for my multi-FX unit."
- Jason

"Killer sounds in this little beast. I say 'beast' because it can get loud! Cleans are very Fender-like, great headroom."
- John in San Diego, CA

"Clean channel is indeed very clean, switching to the distortion or boost mode is also better than most amps in this price point that I have tried. Great value."
- Steve in Port St. Lucie, FL

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Vox AC10C1 Combo Amp

Our customers say...

"Really happy with this little amp. I got it for smaller gigs and studio work. I was shocked by the tone! This amp has the Vox sound, but cleans up nice and without the ice-picky highs."
- Ryan in Amity, OR

"It has sweet tone, and great volume for a 10-watt model. I mic the amp on a guitar stand if I play the occasional gig, and it does really well. Very happy with this amp, and it will be my main squeeze from now on."
- John in North Ft. Myers, FL

"I use a blues pedal and through this amp it sounds so sweet it just blows me away. Totally exceeded my expectations."
- Bill in Temecula, CA

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Fender Bassbreaker 45 Combo Amp

Our customers say...

"The feature I love is the variable wattage. Anything from one watt to being able to get dirty without killing my ears."
- Emery in New Kensington, PA

"It sounds like a Fender amp, but it breaks up and compresses more like I would expect a low-gain Marshall amp would."
- Mark in Austin, TX

"It is a very nice amp, fit and finish outstanding, pots smooth, grill cloth is black and open sounds so good -- you can get a lot of sweet tone out of this amp."
- Frank in Lakeland, FL

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Boss Katana-50 MkII Combo Amp

Our customers say...

"Great sounding models straight-away of the panel options and nice effects. Using the software opens up so, SO much more. This is a useful tool in a myriad of ways and for the cost of a pedal, if you know how to tweak it: pure gold."
- William in Spring Hill, FL

"This has possibly the best tones of a solid state amp its size. The “brown” or metal tone can hold its own to some of the more well known metal amps on the market especially when played on its “variant” setting."
- Dennis in Riverside, CA

"The delays in this amp are outstanding and there are many. The power switch has 50w, 25w, and 1/2 w settings so you can crank it or choose low volume without losing tone. This has to be the best amp at this price point."

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Blackstar HT Venue Club 40 MkII Combo Amp

Our customers say...

"I live in an apartment so I can't afford to be loud all the time. The 4-watt mode tames the amp very nicely. It can get plenty of saturation at volumes lower than the TV."
- Mikolai in Clarksville, OH

"It sounds GREAT! Also it's LOUD! I'm glad it has that 4w setting -- sheesh! It has many features for all kinds of tone shaping and will do everything from totally clean to over-the-top distortion."
- Tim in New Egypt, NJ

"I must say this amp has the real mojo I've looked for - that basic tube warm growl - yep you can dial that in no problemo."
- Ivy in Grandview, MO

Learn more »

Get that vintage tone
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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as you Pay® installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as you Pay® plans.

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2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference. price match details »

3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses. shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you. return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission. customer service »
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