7 Best Guitar Amps For Apartments (Portable & Discreet)

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  • Tight on space in a studio apartment?
  • Looking for a way to practice guitar without disturbing your roommates or neighbors?
  • In this article, we run through the best guitar amps for apartments

Anyone who’s ever lived in a small apartment knows the challenge of staying organized and making the most of your limited space. Particularly if you have a lot of gear.

Or maybe you’ve just moved in with several roommates and a particularly temperamental neighbor who doesn’t like noise.

So, how do you practice guitar in your apartment without disturbing the peace or taking up lots of precious space?

Fortunately, there are plenty of small amplifiers specifically designed with home use in mind, and we’ve put together a list of 7 of our favorites!

They’re all within an affordable price range from beginners to pro guitar players alike, and they all have different styles and sounds to accommodate any kind of tonal requirement you might have! 

What are the best guitar amps for apartment use?

  1. Peavey Vypyr X1
  2. Peavey Vypyr X1

    By utilizing Peavey's groundbreaking Variable Instrument Input, this powerful combo amp changes the gain structure and input sensitivity based on what instrument you use.

    Why We Love It:
    • Compact
    • Affordable
    • Run up to five effects simultaneously
    View Price On Guitar Center View Price On Sweetwater
  3. Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII
  4. Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII

    The Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII has something to offer every player and it can conjure up nearly any tone you can imagine.

    Why We Love It:
    • 200 killer presets
    • Sounds great
    • Value for money
    View Price On Guitar Center View Price On Sweetwater
  5. Yamaha THR10II WL
  6. Yamaha THR10II WL

    No matter where you are, you can plug into a Yamaha THR10 II Wireless and experience realistic tube tone.

    Why We Love It:
    • Built-in wireless receiver
    • Packed with features
    • Battery-powered
    View Price On Guitar Center View Price On Sweetwater

Our top choice is the Peavey Vypyr X1, a 1×8-inch 20-watt Modeling Guitar/Bass/Acoustic Combo Amp.

You can plug in an electric guitar, acoustic guitar, or bass, and this amp knows the difference! It will adjust its volume and tone accordingly, using Peavey’s TransTube analog technology which is designed to emulate that classic tube amp warmth.

If you’re on a budget, the Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII 1×8″ 20-watt Modeling Combo Amp is a versatile choice that you can use in Classic Speaker mode to make it sound like a traditional electric guitar amp, or dial in many different presets, tones, and effects to simulate all your favorite guitar sounds.

If your budget is flexible, the Yamaha THR10II WL is a wireless combo amp with a realistic tube amp tone and built-in effects.

It has a variety of acoustic, electric guitar, and bass amp modeling tones, and even built-in microphone modeling tones. Best of all, it runs on batteries, so you can take it anywhere. 

Many of these amps are built on amp modeling technology, so you can try out all those classic tones from legendary amplifiers without breaking the bank.

Some also come in a range of wattages in case you’re after something a little louder. They’re all under $400 and are loaded with effects, allowing you to save additional space by not needing a big pedalboard on the floor. 

Here are our picks for the best guitar amps for apartments:

  1. Peavey Vypyr X 1 1×8-inch 20-watt Modeling Guitar/Bass/Acoustic Combo Amp  (our top pick)
  2. Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII 1×8″ 20-watt Modeling Combo Amp (best value) 
  3. Yamaha THR 10II WL Modeling Amp (our premium pick)
  4. Positive Grid Spark 40 Practice Amp
  5. Fender Mustang LT25 Practice Amp
  6. Orange Crush 20RT- Practice Amp
  7. Roland CUBE-10GX 1×8″ 10-watt COSM Combo Amp with FX 

1. Peavey Vypyr X 1 1×8-inch 20-watt Modeling Guitar/Bass/Acoustic Combo Amp 

OUR PICK
Peavey Vypyr X1

By utilizing Peavey's groundbreaking Variable Instrument Input, this powerful combo amp changes the gain structure and input sensitivity based on what instrument you use.

Why We Love It:
  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Run up to five effects simultaneously
View Price On Guitar Center View Price On Sweetwater

The Vypyr X modeling amp series by Peavey is a great way to get lots of different tones in a small and affordable package.

This model has an 8-inch, 20-watt speaker, making it ideal for practicing at home, and is our pick for the best overall amplifier for apartments.

Features

  • Can be used with electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and basses, so is perfect for multi-instrumentalists
  • Has a USB 3.0 output, so it can be connected to your computer and used as an audio interface
  • Bluetooth functionality so you can dial in tones wirelessly with Peavey’s remote app for iOS

Review

The Vypyr X series is Peavey’s answer to the innovative world of modeling amps. It has 36 built-in amp models and 12 built-in effect presets of which you can run up to five simultaneously.

It’s compatible with the optional Sanpera footswitch series for hands-free control over your effects while playing guitar. But most importantly the headphone output also lets you practice guitar without disturbing your roommates.

Built-in stompbox effects include classics like tremolo and wah, chorus and flanger, compressor, EQ, an octave pedal, and more.

2. Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII 1×8″ 20-watt Modeling Combo Amp 

BEST VALUE
Line 6 Spider V 20 MKII

The Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII has something to offer every player and it can conjure up nearly any tone you can imagine.

Why We Love It:
  • 200 killer presets
  • Sounds great
  • Value for money
View Price On Guitar Center View Price On Sweetwater

The Line 6 Spider V MkII series took many of your favorite Line 6 models (remember the infamous big bottom?) and stuck them in a practice amp.

Not only is it easy for guitar players to program and save sounds right on the amp’s front panel, but you can connect it to your mobile device and use the free Spider V remote app, which works with Android, iOS, and desktop machines.

It includes Steinberg Cubase LE software, so you can connect it to your computer via USB for use as an audio interface to record some songs with!

Features

  • Comes with 16 MKII preset tones with up to three switchable effects
  • An onboard tuner so you don’t have to use a separate tuner pedal
  • Has acoustic guitar and bass guitar presets, making it a viable choice for multi-instrumentalists

Review

If you’re on a budget and want a modeling amp that you can use for a variety of instruments, while still retaining the simplicity and functionality of a classic practice amp, look no further.

The Line 6 Spider V 20 MkII is small enough for apartment practice sessions and is packed with classic guitar effects like reverb, delay, and chorus. It also comes loaded with presets from over 200 artists, songs, and classic amplifier sounds.

3. Yamaha THR 10II WL 

PREMIUM OPTION
Yamaha THR10II WL

No matter where you are, you can plug into a Yamaha THR10 II Wireless and experience realistic tube tone.

Why We Love It:
  • Built-in wireless receiver
  • Packed with features
  • Battery-powered
View Price On Guitar Center View Price On Sweetwater

Rather than simply being a smaller, scaled-down practice amp version of your usual guitar combo amp, Yamaha thought outside the box and made a more versatile digital amp specifically designed for playing guitar in a small apartment. 

Features

  • Program and control the amp via Bluetooth using the Yamaha THR Remote app (iOS or Android)
  • The built-in wireless receiver can connect to the Line 6 G10 or G10TII wireless transmitter so you can play your guitar without needing a cable
  • Five guitar amp models, one acoustic guitar amp model, and one bass amp model with additional amplifier models through the free app

Review

The Yamaha THR 10II WL amp has two 3.1-inch speakers totaling 20 watts. At 6.6 pounds and just over 7 inches tall, it fits right on your desk.

Effects include a 3-band EQ, reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, and even spring reverb for classic guitar tones. With the free editor app, you also get a programmable noise gate and a compressor. 

 It comes with Steinberg Cubase LE recording software and can run either on a rechargeable battery or an included AC adapter.

This is also a popular choice for professional touring musicians, many of whom will keep one on their tour bus or backstage to warm up and practice with.

4. Positive Grid Spark 40 Combo Amp

Positive Grid Spark 40W

This powerful app-driven smart amp is a breakthrough new way to jam, track, practice, and learn songs.

Why We Love It:
  • 10,000 presets
  • Extremely innovative
  • Voice command
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This sleek, retro-looking 40-watt digital amp from plugin manufacturer Positive Grid is smart enough to practice guitar with you.

The Spark app gives you Voice Control, backing tracks to play along to, and tons of tones in the form of various amplifier models. 

Features

  • It has Volume and Music outputs to mix your playing with a music track
  • The all-important headphone output
  • The BIAS plugin series gives you over 10,000 amp, cabinet, and pedal presets
  • Connect via Bluetooth to control it remotely
  • Even use it as a USB audio interface

Review

If you’re not familiar with Positive Grid plugins, their BIAS series was the cream of the crop before Neural DSP came along. And that amp modeling technology is what Spark uses to create its tone.

The Spark combo amp series is a hands-on way to dig into all their presets, from downloadable artist packs inspired by guitarists like Jimi Hendrix to genre packs and Pro series effects. 

This digital amp packs a seriously unexpected punch right out of the box with two 2-inch speakers that sound far girthier than you might expect, given the size.

In addition to the BIAS plugins, there are the more traditional effects you’ll be familiar with, such as distortion, delay, chorus, and even a programmable noise gate. 

5. Fender Mustang LT25

Fender Mustang LT25

For practice, busking, or gigging, the Fender Mustang LT25's features belie its subway size.

Why We Love It:
  • Affordable
  • Convenient size
  • Ideal for beginners
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If you’re a Fender fan, the Mustang series is packed with 30 Fender Mustang amp presets in a simple 8-inch wood cabinet with a USB port for easy software and firmware updates

Features

  • It’s affordable at just under $200
  • It has a ⅛” headphone output  and ⅛” aux jack so you can practice with headphones and play along to your favorite tracks
  • Its footswitch compatible for hands-free control

Review

For less than the cost of many solid-state practice amps, you get access to all your favorite Fender sounds in a sturdy but portable package.

Its 25-watt 8-inch Fender speaker sounds bright, bold, and clean

This amp is especially ideal for beginners who just want to be able to plug in and play without scrolling through lots of menus or settings.

The 30 presets include 20 different Fender guitar amp models with extra effects such as delay, modulations, stompboxes, and a 2 band EQ with bass and treble controls. 

6. Orange Crush 20RT

Orange Crush 20RT Electric Guitar Combo Amplifier
$209.00

The Orange Crush 20RT brings you gut-punching tones with highly-responsive overdrive and levels of detailed saturation that will absolutely blow your mind. 

Why We Love It:
  • Fantastic features at a killer price
  • Easy-to-use
  • Compact
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This little 20-watt analog practice amp from Orange emulates its big brother combos and cabinets in a portable form factor, and for a fraction of the price.

It uses its CabSim technology to sound bigger and badder than other amps of this size and has two footswitch-compatible channels.

Features

  • It has a 4-stage preamp for overdrive, saturation, and extra crunch 
  • It has a ¼” headphone jack and ⅛” aux jack so you can practice while playing along to music (silently)
  • There’s a 3-band EQ to shape your tones just how you want them

Review

The Orange Crush series was designed for simplicity, loudness, and an easy practice session without taking up too much space in your room.

Despite not having a lot of built-in effects, you can get a ton of tonal variety just by overdriving the dirty channel and dialing in the EQ.

There’s also built-in reverb to thicken up your sound and make it huge. Every Orange Crush amp is purely analog for that old-school sound.

7. Roland CUBE-10GX 1×8″ 10-watt COSM Combo Amp with FX

Roland CUBE-10GX

Roland's CUBE-10GX 8" combo practice guitar amp gives you a perfect way to rock out on your own.

Why We Love It:
  • Lightweight
  • Great for solo sessions
  • 3-band EQ to shape your sounds
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Besides being one of the most well-known and loved synthesizer giants, Roland has held its own in the amp world with the classic Cube series.

In the latest version, there’s even an iOS and Android app to control all your settings. 

Features

  • It’s lightweight at just over 10 pounds
  • It has a 3-band EQ to shape your sounds
  • The iOS or Android CUBE Kit gives you even more presets and tones

Review

The 10-watt, 8-inch CUBE10GX uses Roland’s COSM technology to emulate legendary clean, overdriven, tube, and lead guitar amp tones.

Built-in effects include reverb, chorus, delay, and a gain knob for additional saturation. It can handle both bass and electric guitar. It’s also great for lap steel, bringing out the sheen in guitars with piezo pickups.

FAQ’s

What is a modeling amp and how is it different from a traditional solid-state or tube amp?

The difference between solid-state and tube amps lies in how they project the sound. Tube amps use vacuum tubes and solid-state amps use circuits with semi-conductors.

A modeling amp uses computer-processed software code to imitate the individual components of real amplifiers. Essentially making a digital recreation of a real amp. 

What’s the best placement for my guitar amp when I’m practicing?

In general, bass frequencies carry further when the amp is placed against the wall and on the floor, but depending on how your room is arranged, you might find that placing your amp on a chair will allow the speaker to project further.

This placement will also put the amp closer to your height, particularly if you practice sitting down, so the closer the amp is to your head, the quieter you can have the volume.

Facing the amp out from a corner will help shape the outgoing sound and putting it on top of a rubber mat or small carpet on the floor will help cut down on any rumble.

How many watts do I need for a guitar amp for my apartment?

If you’re just playing by yourself in a small apartment without a band, 10 to 20 watts is plenty loud enough. Ideally, you won’t even need a speaker at all! As these days many practice amps will have headphone outs!