Chris has been a guitar player for 16 years and a guitar teacher for 10 years. He plays many musical styles, including pop, rock, and funk.
Practicing at Home
Most guitar players, myself included, learn, play and even record guitar at home and then use rehearsal places when playing with the band. When rehearsing with the band, guitar amplifiers need to be at least as loud as the drums so that you and your band members could hear your guitar. When playing at home, small guitar amps are the best ones to go with. When choosing a guitar amp for home practising, you should be considering these things:
- Loudness (1 - 10 watts are the best range for home amps )
- Sound Quality (bad sound can ruin all the fun playing and practicing guitar)
- Features ( built in effects, tuner, aux input for headphones, output to the mixer and more)
- Recording ( line out, USB out)
Below are five guitar amps that I would consider if I would be looking for a practice amp for home:
- Yamaha THR 10
- Roland Cube Lite
- Vox Mini5 Rhythm
- Boss eBand JS-10
- Blackstar ID: Core 10
Yamaha THR 10 Guitar Amplifier
Yamaha THR 10 is a small 10-watt amp (2 speakers each 5W) that looks more like a guitar amp head, not a combo. All the knobs are positioned on top of the amp, and it has a metal handle for carrying it around. It has a metal housing and can be powered by either AC power adapter or 8 AA batteries so you can take it with you anywhere you go. One more cool feature is the glowing led lights when you switch it on, making it look like a real tube amp head.
You can choose between 5 amp types for guitar ( clean, crunch, lead, brit hi and modern) as well as one for bass, one for acoustic guitar and a flat (for keyboard and more). It has the standard bass, middle, treble eq knobs for tweaking sound and gain and volume knobs for adjusting gain and volume for each channel. You can also choose chorus, flanger, phaser or tremolo on the first effects knob and delay, dly/rev, spring reverb or hall reverb on the second effects knobs. The included thr editor lets your edit your effects on the computer and also ad compressor and noise gate to the guitar sound.
There are two output level control knobs - one for guitar output volume and one USB/aux volume. Yamaha Thr 10 also has a built-in guitar tuner, and five buttons for user presets which you can create and then save. You can also record with his amp as it has a USB output and included Cubase LE software.
Overall, Yamaha Thr 10 has a great sound and looks, a lot of features to play with, which makes it a great amp for home practising and recording. There's also a smaller thr 5 version of this amp without some features as well a thr 10A for acoustic guitars, thr 10C that have classic amp simulations in it and thr 10X for heavier sounds.
Check out Yamaha THR 10 in action
Roland Cube lite guitar amplifier
Roland cube lite is a part of the famous Roland cube modelling guitar amplifiers series, that are are praised by many guitar players worldwide. It's a small amp with two 3 watt speakers and a 4 watt subwoofer making it not only great amp for playing guitar, but also for listening to music. it comes in three colours - black, white and red, so it will easily fit in into any home interior. Like with the thr 10, control knobs are positioned on top of the amp.
You can choose from three amp types ( JC clean, crunch and extreme ) and tweak the sound with treble and bass controls. Also tere is a drive control for controlling the gain for each amp type and a volume control for controlling volume. The fx control on this amp lets you adjust the amount of chorus or reverb effects.
Cube lite is powered by an ac adapter and has a phones out if you want to play with headphones. It has an i - cube link for connecting with iphone, ipad and ipod touch devices and by downloading cuba jam app from itunes, you can practice songs by slowing them down, playing along them, looping and recording your own demos
Overall, Roland cube lite doesn't have a many features as the Yamaha thr 10, but nonetheless it's a great small practice amp with a great sound.
Check out Roland Cube Lite in action
Vox Mini5 Rhythm guitar amplifier
Vox is a well known their great guitar amps and Mini5 Rhythm is no exception. It's a 5 watt amp with one speaker and loads of features. Mini5 comes in various colours and can be powered by either AC power adapter or 6 AA batteries. There is an aux input for listing to songs and headphones output for practicing with heaphones. This amp is a mic input for singers with trim and send controls for controlling delay/reverb amount.
You can choose from amazing 11 amp models that includes almost every guitar sound imaginable, from super clean tone to extreme distortion. Each amp model can be further tweaked with drive control ( adjusting gain)and tone control (adjusting eq). Under the volume control you can choose between three loudness levels (0.1W, 1.5W and 5W) that can also preserve battery life if you play without AC adapter.
There are two controls for effects, one for choosing compressor, chorus, flanger or tremolo and other for choosing delay, echo, spring reverb or room reverb. There is also a tap tempo button for setting up tempo for delay. Another great feature on this amp is the rhythm section, where you can choose from bunch of different rhythms, tweak them and the play along with them. Mini5 also has a built in tuner.
Overall, Mini5 Rhythm comes with bunch af features, has a great sound and can be taken anywhere when you play on batteries, which makes ir a great small practice amp.
Check out Vox Mini5 Rhythm in action
Boss eBand JS-10 guitar amplifier
This little amp from Boss is more like a multimedia machine and comes with wide variety of features. It has an 12 watt output power with 2 3.5 watt speakers and a 5 watt subwoofer for great 2.1 sound. The design of this amp is different from usual amp designs, with all buttons and display in the middle and speakers on the sides. It is powered by an AC adapter.
The JS-10 has two inputs for guitar/mic and an aux input for playing music from your phone, tablet or music player. It also has a phones jack for hadphones and a line out for connecting external speakers. On the back of the amp there is a jack for expression pedal, usb port for adding usb flash memory and sd card slot for adding an sd card memory.
Boss JS-10 comes packed with amp models and effects that uses the famous COSM technology found on Boss pedals and multi fx pedals. It has 28 amp models for guitar and bass, ranging from super clean sound to heavy, distorted tones and 18 effects to choose from. The sd card that comes with the JS-10 has lots of jam tracks to play along with and you can also make your own tracks by using the eBand software on pc or mac. The usb port allows you to connect the amp to computer and use ir as an audio device for recording and you can also record your demos into sc card. When learning a sound or some difficult part you can change its tempo, key and loop, making learning really easy.
Overall, It takes some time to get through all the features this Boss amp offers, bur once you do it will make guitar playing and practicing more fun.
Check out Boss JS-10 in action
Blackstar ID: Core 10 guitar amplifier
Blackstar ID: Core 10 is a great little practice guitar amp with two 5 watt speakers and has a great sound. All the buttons are located on the top of the amp and it is powered by an AC adapter.
It has a guitar input, line input for phone, tablet, music player and a headphone output for practicing with headphones. It also has an usb port for connecting to computer and using the Blackstar INSIDER software for recording and managing your patches.
The voice control lets you choose between 6 amp types (clean warm, clean bright, crunch, super crunch, OD1 and OD2). You can then adjust the amps gain and volume with gain and volume knobs and tone with the Blacstar patented ISF control that lets you choose more american amps sound or more british amp sound by adjusting the EQ knob left or right. Next, you can choose 4 modulation effects (phaser, flanger, chorus and tremolo), 4 delay effects (leniar, analig, tape and multi) and 4 reverbs effects (room, hall, spring and plate) and adjust the volume for the effects. ID: Core 10 also has a built in tuner.
Overall, this is an simple yet great little practice amp and comes with a lot of useful features for beginner guitarists.
Check out blackstar ID: Core 10 in action
In my opinion, these 5 guitar amps are the best for the home practising and guitar playing, but of course there are many other great little guitar amps out there like Roland Micro Cube, Orange Crush 12 and Marshall MG15CFR just to name a few.
Evan from Washington, DC on April 13, 2015:
Did you check out the Orange Micro Terror? It's a great little in home head.