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Best Portable Guitar Amps for Your Rock n’ Roll Journey

Orange Rocker 15

Sporty 2-channel tube amp with tube FX loop.

Two channels and a custom-voiced 10 Orange speaker are equipped to bring out the best of whatever guitar you plug in — P-90s to humbuckers. In addition to its extra-wide gain range — which really does scream — on-board power scaling, which dials back the output from the full 15 watts to a more bedroom-friendly ½-watt with several stops in between, allows you to engage in the heaviest hard rock savagery without blowing out your family or neighbours.

Yamaha THR10 Standard

Stereo 10-watter — makes a great study amp and audio interface.

Yamaha’s THR10 series outlines a full range of 10-watt modelling amps with on-board FX and 3″ stereo speakers. Whether stereo-miked for gigging out, connected to your laptop for convenient USB recording, or filling your living room or jam space with a compendium of classic guitar tones, the THR10s are real workhorses for the home, stage, and studio.

Friedman Pink Taco Mini

1 x 10″ tube combo for some hot rockin’.

A fairly 20-watt, 1 x 10 master-volume tube combo derived from Friedman’s world-class stage heads. This single-channeller’s USA custom transformers and 12AX7/EL84 tube complement handle verge-of-breakup Goldilocks tones with the grace and poise of a much larger amp, while still giving you plenty of range to drive that front end well into crunch territory. The Pink Taco Mini’s interactive 3-band EQ section is well matched for the open-back 10 Celestion Greenback. But for those occasions when you need to fill an aircraft hangar, additional speaker outs let you add more speakers to push more air. Two features we really dig in the Pink Taco Mini are its 3-way gain structure switch, which goes a long way in appropriating vintage and modern tones.

Blackstar Fly 3

Battery powered. Heaps of tones. Ultra-portable.

The smallest and most affordable option on our list is the lunch pail–sized Blackstar Fly 3. No, it won’t fill an auditorium, but it can sure fill a bedroom, office, or subway depot with a touch of Blackstar’s both-sides-of-the-pond signature breakup. One of the Fly 3’s strengths is its straightforward control set. Every function on this amp is represented by a knob or switch right on top of the chassis.

Fender ’65 Princeton Reverb

A wonderful Tweed ’65 Princeton Reverb combo.

At 34 pounds, the ’65 Princeton Reverb pushes the envelope for what most would consider a “portable” amp. Its 15 watts of high-headroom Blackface quack, cluck, and spunk, driven by a septet of tubes and a highly interactive tone stack through an upgraded 12″ Cannabis Rex, make this amp the perfect platform for pedal lovers.

Roland JC-22 Jazz Chorus

Cool-as-ice 30-watt stereo amp with twin 6.5″ drivers.

If Robert Smith could have dreamed his beloved 60-pounder would one day be available in a compact combo, he may have gone on to write some cheerier music. The Roland JC-22 drew its inspiration from that cult class8c.

The JC-22 is a true stereo combo, with twin 6.5 speakers driven by two independent 15-watt power amps, a stereo FX loop that’s perfect for taking on pedal effects, and buckets of that famous Dimensional Space Chorus on tap to create three-dimensional results.

BOSS Katana Air

Wireless operation and stereo speakers in a mini-head format.

Inside, you’ll find two custom-tuned 3″ stereo speakers, over 50 BOSS FX to stoke your creativity, and five amp models spanning American cleans to British high gain. USB connectivity and recording-emulated output also make the Katana Air the ideal centre-piece for your home studio. Thanks to its Bluetooth media-streaming capability, the Katana Air also makes a sweet little boom-box or theatre system for any room in your house.

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