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Best Amps for Grunge & Alt Rock: 7 Picks

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If you’re on the hunt for the best amp for grunge and alternative rock, we got you covered! In today’s article we’re going to have a closer look on seven amplifiers that will be perfect for this kind of music. For those who don’t know, we recently covered top guitar recommendations for grunge. We will also cover the best pedals for grunge in the future, but now is the time focus on the affordable and great sounding guitar amps! We know how difficult it is to choose the right gear. Since there are dozens of different models out there, things can get really confusing. How to pick the best amp for these genres?

There are a lot of amps that are perfect for grunge and alternative rock. Whether you’re looking for a brand new or used piece of gear, you should definitely search for amps made by Fender, Peavey, Marshall, VOX and Orange. Most of amplifiers made by these companies will be ideal for heavy grunge riffs and melodic alternative solos.

We gathered 7 the best amplifiers available on the market right now and we compiled the list below. Feel free to check out all of these models. In the next part, we’ll review all of them in detail. There will also be a few sound samples so make sure to grab your best headphones!

To be honest, the best amp for grunge and alternative rock needs only three things:

  • a high level of distortion
  • versatile, rock sound
  • a high level of loudness

As you can imagine, every amp listed below has everything you need for grunge and alternative rock, whether you’re a more advanced or amateur player.

Amps – Top Recommendations

1.Fender ’65 Twin ReverbSee on Amazon
2.Peavey Bandit 112See on Amazon
3.VOX AC15C1See on Amazon
4.Fender Champion 100See on Amazon
5.Marshall M-DSL5CR-USee on Amazon
6.Orange CR60CSee on Amazon
7.Boss Katana MK IISee on Amazon

1. Fender ’65 Twin Reverb

Best Amp For Grunge And Alternative Rock - fender '65

One of the best and most legendary amplifiers manufactured by Fender. Undoubtedly the Twin Reverb will be a perfect fit for grunge and alternative rock. It’s definitely a top shelf amp. Whether you want to play cleaner tones (like Lithium by Nirvana) or more distorted riffs (like most of songs by Alice In Chains), this ’65 model will never disappoint you. Equipped with 85 watts of power and admired by such musicians as John Lennon or Keith Richards, this amp is truly iconic. The only problem is the price – it’s not cheap at all. Still, it’s definitely worth it. If you’re not on a low budget, you should definitely consider purchasing that model! Feel free to have a look at the sound demo below. Sounds fantastic!

2. Peavey Bandit 112

peavey bandit 112 - Best Amp For Grunge And Alternative Rock

Something much more affordable and equally powerful. In fact, the Bandit 112 is one of the most popular amps manufactured by Peavey. It will be perfect for anyone who’s looking for an amp that can handle a high distortion. Although it has its own minor flaws, in terms of grunge rock – it will be a great fit. And most importantly, it can get REALLY loud. Undoubtedly, it will be great for playing local grunge live shows. Here’s a short sound demo in case you’re interested.

3. VOX AC15C1

vox ac15c1 - Best Amp For Grunge And Alternative Rock

Another absolutely great amp manufactured by the legendary British manufacturer – VOX. The company has a really solid reputation among the rock guitarists and their gear is frequently used by the most famous guitarists around the world. What’s important, the AC15 model features a really nice crunch that can be particularly great for grunge and metal musicians. You may think that a 10 Watt tube is not enough, but trust me – this thing is loud enough to tour with! Absolutely great amp from the middle shelf. I highly recommend checking it out! Here’s a sound demo.

4. Fender Champion 100

fender champion 100 - Best Amp For Grunge And Alternative Rock

One of the most affordable amps on today’s list. It’s loud, it’s cheap and it sounds good – what else do you need? Although it’s not a fancy tube amp created for professional musicians, it still offers a great sound. It will be great especially for beginners or mid-level players who need something loud to practice with a band. Undoubtedly, it will be a great choice for any grunge and and alternative rock musician. At this price, it will be really difficult to beat that model! Here’s a sound demo if you’re interested.

5. Marshall M-DSL5CR-U

marshall amp

Marshall is one of the most reputable and iconic manufacturers of guitar amps in the world. What’s more, they’re the leaders when it comes to a high-gain and distorted sound! This combo amplifier has everything you need for grunge and alternative music: it’s loud, it’s great for fat riffs and at the same time, it can be really versatile when it comes to guitar tone. Absolutely great guitar amp for all-level players. It may not be as powerful as other amps on today’s list, but it’s definitely enough for the home use. I highly recommend giving it a chance! See the demo below.

6. Orange CR60C

orange cr60c

Another absolutely iconic manufacturer of affordable and great sounding guitar amps. This particular model will be great for grunge and alternative rock. The CR60C has two channels – clean and dirty – and they both sound great! On top of that, there is a digital reverb included. If you’re looking for a wide pallet of distorted and overdriven sounds, this Orange amp will be a perfect choice for you. On top of that, it’s far more affordable than most of amps on today’s list. Great choice! Here’s a sound demo.

7. Boss Katana MKII

boss katana mk II

Another affordable and great sounding guitar amp! This particular model will be ideal for both beginner and more advanced players who love grunge and alternative rock. Thanks to the 100 Watt power, it’s ready for any stage. On top of that, it features five different modes: Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown, and Acoustic. It’s available in a few different versions, so make sure to choose the right one for you (the bigger it is, the louder it gets!). Here’s a short review.

Best Amp For Grunge & Alternative Rock – FAQ

How do I make my amp sound grunge?

There are four main components of grunge music: distortion, reverb, chorus and loudness. If you combine all of these elements at the same time, you’ll get a classic grunge sound. There are a lot of pedals that can help you achieve that, but when it comes to the amp settings, make sure to use high-gain and a lot of overdrive.

Is a Strat good for grunge?

Of course! Stratocaster is a really versatile guitar that’s suitable for most of genres, including rock and metal. Hence, it’s also really good for grunge, which is somewhere in the middle when it comes to heaviness. Although the final sound of your guitar also depends on your amp. Still, it’s totally possible to play grunge riffs on a Strat.

What are the best grunge guitars?

The most popular guitars for grunge include Jaguars, Mustangs, Les Pauls, Telecasters and Stratocasters. Some professional musicians also choose hollow and semi-hollow body models. For example, Chris Cornell used a Gibson ES-335. If you want to see more recommendations on specific models, check this article.

What scales are used in grunge?

You can check the whole theory behind the grunge music under this link. Most often, grunge bands play in a minor scale (usually minor pentatonic). The music also revolves mainly around power chords.

Is playing grunge hard?

Not at all! Once you learn how to play power chords without any problems, you should be able to learn hundreds of grunge songs very easily. Just remember to practice a lot and don’t ever give up on learning!


As you can see, finding the best amp for grunge and alternative rock is not that easy, but there are a lot of great models out there. Whether you’re a complete amateur or a more intermediate player who wants to play grunge riffs, any of amps recommended in today’s article should be a great fit! Hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for. Which amp would you choose? Leave a comment in the comment section below!

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