The best blues amp gives you good sustain and creamy overdrive. It also has rich clean tone.
These are universal truths of blues amps.
Whether you’re looking for an amp for home use, to practice in your bedroom, or an amp to play a gig at the local bar, the only difference is volume.
You don’t need a 100 watt monster. In fact, the best amp for blues is usually less than 40 watts. That’s because lower watt amps have less headroom, so the tone begins to break up at a lower volume.
It’s true that you can play electric blues guitar on any quality amplifier, but a good blues amp also looks the part.
This list has what you’re after – whether it’s the vintage tweed look, the classic blackface or the British combo.
The Best Blues Amp. Period.
These are the best blues amps on the list. If money is no object, then any of these amps would be an excellent choice.
1. Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker
This sexy beast delivers the goods when it comes to nailing that early Clapton tone from his days with Cream. It has great cleans and breaks up well at fairly low volume. At 30 watts it has enough juice for gigging, but won’t destroy your house at practice time either.
Quite simply, it is the best of all blues related worlds.
The Bluesbreaker comes with two 12-inch Celestion Greenback speakers (an authentic speaker choice for blues and classic rock), tube rectifier and footswitchable tremolo (footswitch included).
The Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker is a reissue of the Marshall’s famed JTM45 design. It’s a very responsive amp, so you can go from clean tone to crunchy overdrive with a subtle turn of your guitar’s volume knob.
It has two channels – Clean and Overdrive. You can also use a patch cable to connect the two channels and get a fatter tone.
All this great tone is brought to you by 4 ECC83 pre amp tubes and 2 5881 power tubes.
The 1962 Bluesbreaker is an excellent choice for Jazz, Blues and Classic Rock. I would not recommend it for Metal though.
The Bluesbreaker is a solid, all tube amplifier that takes pedals well and makes a great foundation for your tone.
Currently selling for $2699.
2. Vox AC30
A very worthy runner up for the best blues amp is the iconic Vox AC30.
Sure, the Vox AC 30 is renowned for it’s jangly, Beatles vibe and searing treble tone of Brian May, but Brian Jones got plenty of dirty bluesy tone when he used his on Rolling Stones records. And Rory Gallagher paired his with a Dallas Rangemaster treble booster to craft his signature sound.
The AC30’s pedigree for rock is well known and catalogged, but it’s also a killer blues amp.
It delivers the vintage Vox chime on clean settings and breaks up wonderfully when pushed just a bit.
Like the Bluesbreaker, the Vox AC30 covers a lot of tonal ground from clean to Jazz, Blues and Rock.
The AC30’s 30 watts of output are powered by 4 EL84 tubes, so it has that classic British crunch in high gain mode. It’s distinct voice is also due in part to the pair of 12 inch Alnico Blue speakers.
The Vox AC30 is another blues amp that responds well to your playing. Treat her gently and she’ll purr like a kitten. Dig in a bit and she’ll growl back.
The AC30 also has onboard reverb and tremelo and currently sells for $1300.
The Best Blues Amp Under $1000
Can’t afford to drop a grand on a blues amp?
These amps are about half the price and still damn good all tube blues amps.
Best Blues Amps under $1,000 At-A-Glance
|Fender Blues Deluxe||40w||$769|
|Peavey Delta Blues 115||30w||$699|
| Fender Hot Rod Series Blues Junior||15w||$599|
1. Vox AC15
The AC15 is the 15 watt little brother to the AC30. It’s also powered by EL84 tubes and offers reverb and tremelo effects.
The AC15 is a workhorse of an amp. It’s the go-to for everything from Blues, to Classic Rock to Country.
Beside the wattage, the only difference between the AC15 and AC30 is that the 15 houses a psingle 12 inch Greenback speaker.
The Vox AC15 is a great all-around amp and sells for $650.
2. Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue 40-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Combo Amp – Tweed
To many players, nothing says blues amp quite like a Fender Blues Deluxe, in Tweed.
Tweed is just a classic, vintage blues look – and the Blues Deluxe has the tone to match.
Fender is renowned for their clean tones, and the Fender Blues Deluxe is no exception. It delivers 40 watts of tube driven tone with plenty of headroom for clean tone and great bluesy breakup when it’s driven. It also has on-board spring reverb, an essential blues effect.
The 12″ Eminence special-design speaker gives plenty of punch and offers enhanced midrange to help you break through any mix.
The Fender Blues Deluxe is powered by two 6L6 Groove Tubes output tubes and three 12AX7 preamp tubes. In addition to the spring reverb, the Fender Blues Deluxe also features an effects loop, two-button channel footswitch, classic tweed covering and chicken head knobs on a chrome control panel.
The Fender Blues Deluxe makes a great blues, rock and country amp. It currently sells for $769
3. Peavey Delta Blues 115
Peavey has a reputation for metal amps, but they also make some of the best blues amps around. Just check this out..
The Peavey Delta Blues 115. It’s a 30 watt all tube combo amp with a single 15″ speaker. With 3 12AX7 and 4 EL84 tubes, it’s powerful enough for gigging and built for blues with onboard spring reverb and tremolo.
It just oozes vintage blues vibe.
The Peavey Delta Blue 115 also features an effects loop, optional footswitch, and an output for an extension cabinet.
It currently sells for $699.
4. Fender Hot Rod Series Blues Junior
The Fender Blues Junior NOS is a modern blues machine built to vintage specs and using new, old stock parts.
The Fender Hot Rod Series Blues Junior is a 15 watt tube amp combo with a single 12 inch Jensen C12 speaker.
The Blues Junior is powered by 2 – EL84 Groove Tube output tubes and 3 – 12AX7 preamp tubes.
It has a single channel with “Fat” Switch, reverb, and a footswitch jack so you can toggle the Fat switch on/off more easily. It even has vintage knobs for reverb, master, middle, bass and treble control.
The tweed finish with pinstripe grille cloth completes the vintage blues look.
The Fender Hot Rod Series Blues Junior NOS 15W 1×12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp is a great blues amp for the price, but it’s also good for jazz and classic rock.
It currently sells for $599.
The Best All Tube Blues Amps Under $500
The other amps on this list are rock solid blues machines. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but maybe you can’t really aford any of them either.
That’s ok too.
Or maybe they’re just too much amp for your needs. It’s hard to justify the cost of size of the 1962 Bluesbreaker when you really just need something to practice in your bedroom without blowing out the windows.
Here are some great all tube blues amps that won’t break the bank or your eardrums.
1. Bugera V5 Infinium
At less than $200, the Bugera V5 Infinium is the clear winner in the price category.
It’s powered by a single EL84 tube and uses a single 12AX7 tube in the pre-amp section.
Speaking of tubes, they are the most expensive piece of maintenance on a tube amp. They are also the heart and soul of your amp’s tone. That’s why the Bugera V5 Infinium is awesome. It features Bugera’s new INFINIUM Tube Life Multiplier technology. This tech lengthens the life of your tubes up to 20x normal lifespan!
There’s even an LED to warn you when your tubes are reaching the end of their lifespan, so you won’t be caught by surprise!
Bugera V5 Infinium also features onboard reverb and an 8 inch Turbosound speaker.
The Built-in 2-way power attenuator that lets you get the overdrive and gain you want at lower volume levels. This effectively lets you decrease the headroom even more and get killer overdrive or distortion at a lower volume
With its vintage look and design, and pre-amp circuit based on 60’s classics it’s a great choice for blues and classic rock.
The Bugera V5 Infinium currently sells for $199.