Amp buying guide: best home playing and recording amps

12th Dec 2012 | 17:00

Amp buying guide: best home playing and recording amps
Best home playing and recording amps
Looking for something small and affordable? Step this way...

Looking for a new amp can be a minefield, but here at MusicRadar, we like to think of ourselves as veterans who can guide you through without a scratch.

We've scoured all our amplifier reviews, weighed up all the pros and cons and settled on the finest amps on the market right now in various handy categories. First up is home playing and recording amps, an increasingly popular purchase for folks looking for something with tone that doesn't take up the entire front room. Read on for our pick of the bunch...

Amp buying guide: best home playing and recording amps
Yamaha THR10
£299 / $470 (approx)

Yamaha has reinvented the practice amp to dovetail neatly with the demands of most guitarists’ modern day lives. It’s the perfect solution for playing and jamming at home, and records well, too.

TYPE: Solid-state modelling amp with built-in effects

OUTPUT: 10 watts

SPEAKERS: 2x3.1”

WEIGHT: 2.8kg/6.1lbs

Full Yamaha THR10 review

Amp buying guide: best home playing and recording amps
Vox AC4C1-BL
£358/$577 (approx)

Vox has got it just right with this little amp. The fairly priced AC4C1-BL would grace anyone’s practice area or living room. The addition of a pedal or two will have you playing away in whatever style you like.

TYPE: Valve combo

OUTPUT: 4 watts

SPEAKERS: 1x10” Celestion VX10

WEIGHT: 9kg/19.84lbs

Full Vox AC4C1-BL review

Amp buying guide: best home playing and recording amps
Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 5
£389/$627 (approx)

Many will wonder whether this is a better choice than a digital modelling amp. But a valve amp of this nature sounds more visceral, has a different response to the overdrive and all-important midrange.

TYPE: Valve combo

OUTPUT: 5 watts

SPEAKERS: 1x8” Celestion Eight 15

WEIGHT: 7.4kg/16.3lbs

Full Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 5 review

Amp buying guide: best home playing and recording amps
Marshall JTM1
£589/$949 (approx)

This little belter belies its tiny rating with a throaty, vintage voice that’ll keep you smiling. Not as big sounding as the Class 5, but it’s still a piece of history that all self-respecting guitar players should consider owning.

TYPE: Valve combo

OUTPUT: 1 watt

SPEAKERS: 1x10” Celestion G10F-15

WEIGHT: 7kg/15lbs

Amp buying guide: best home playing and recording amps
Blackstar HT-5
£349/$562 (approx)

It looks cool and is priced affordably – and it offers handy features such as an MP3 socket. Very versatile, and it also passes the most basic test: it roars like a goodun’ – in other words it’s a true ’Star.

TYPE: Valve combo

OUTPUT: 5 watts

SPEAKERS: 1x10” Custom-design Celestion G10

WEIGHT: 11.5kg/25lbs

Full Blackstar HT-5 review

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