Fender Stratocasters are perhaps the most famous and played guitar out there.
Not only classic guitar players but also modern guitarists choose them as their number one and that may be due to their wide versatility, vintage tone, or many other reasons.
Unfortunately, its adaptability could be more of a problem than a solution for musicians, mainly because they feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing an amp that fits the guitar in the best way.
However, today is your lucky day because here we will tell you which are the best options to combine with a Strat.
Many amps work well with Stratocasters but which one is best will always depend on the musician’s goal and style. Fender models like the Princeton Reverb, and Deluxe Reverb fit the bill perfectly, but the Vox AC15C1 or Boss Katana are wonderful choices as well.
Perhaps you might be confused because you don’t know these models in depth but don’t worry, we are here to help you.
In this article we will cover the performance of Stratocaster guitars paired with various amps, eventually, you will be able to choose the option that best suits your style.
What makes a great amp for a Stratocaster?
Although as a Strat player you could use any rig to play any kind of music, certain amps perform better, and as a result, you can get the tone you want.
Being such a versatile option, Stratocasters go well with almost any style, so what you need to be clear about is your intentions in terms of sound.
Depending on what you’re going to play, you can opt for amps that provide clean, wide, bright sounds or crunchy, killer tones.
Therefore, your expectations are really relevant when purchasing an amp.
Keep in mind that the goal is to enhance the existing characteristics of the guitar and push them to the limit.
Therefore, great gears for a Stratocaster would be those whose controls best match the guitar’s performance, making it sound amazing.
Strats work great with many different kinds of amps
Earlier we mentioned the great adaptability that Stratocasters possess and that they could work masterfully with almost any amp.
While this is true, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that some equipment will make it stand out, even more, depending on the style you play.
For example, for genres like jazz, funk, or country it is common to use the clean channel so your equipment should be able to provide a good clean tone.
Despite being quite difficult to afford, tube amps work incredibly well with Stratocasters.
Valve equipment is usually used by guitarists who want a tone that is closer to the vintage sound.
In addition, they offer a crisp and loud clean sound coupled with natural distortion when the valves are pushed to the limit.
The counterpart to tube amps are solid-state amps, but that doesn’t mean they don’t match the sound of a Stratocaster.
Although they don’t have as many presets available, they offer a good balance of both clean and distorted tones which makes them an acceptable choice for Stratocasters.
6 best guitar amps for a Strat
Having said that, we can go further and find amp models that are known to be the best friends of Stratocasters.
Here at GearAficionado, we want to help and give you information about the available options to go with your Strat.
That’s why below we are going to list the best amps for this awesome guitar.
Most of them belong to the Fender company but you will see that different equipment from other brands will perfectly fit with the Strat as well.
1. Vox AC15C1
At the top of the list, we have the Vox AC15, a classic among tube amplifiers.
This equipment has a distinctively British sound that in combination with a Stratocaster will give you a magical tone.
The reason why this mix is so effective lies in the natural chime that AC15 provides.
This characteristic accentuates the twang, the characteristic sound of Stratocasters when using the second and fourth position in the pickup selector.
The Vox AC15 also features two channels: a normal one with a nice clean sound and a top boost channel which sounds gritty when the gain is pushed.
Both of them sound awesome and will enrich your guitar tone.
With these two channels, you get the best of both worlds, a nice and warm clean sound plus a dirty and full sound.
The only downside is that you can’t switch between the two channels because it doesn’t have a footswitch, you can only switch channels by plugging your instrument into each one separately.
Another great reason to get this gear is its tremolo and reverb effects, both sound vibrant, natural, and crystal clear.
On top of that, the volume this amp offers is very versatile, you can play at a low volume without disturbing anyone but at the same time, it is possible to reach really loud and powerful volumes incredible for a 15-watt-amp.
2. Boss Katana 50 MKII
The Boss Katana 50 MKII is one of the best solid-state rigs available today. Thanks to its five settings and three-band EQ, it is a very versatile gear.
The other three settings are crunch, lead, and brown. The first one consists of an overdriven and low sound, the same happens in the lead but it is a bit thicker.
As regards the brown setting, can be understood as the high-gain channel. It is commonly used by guitarists who are looking for a sound closer to 80s metal.
For all the features it presents, the Boss Katana is not expensive at all. Although its output may be more on the heavy side, it is an extremely malleable amp.
3. Bugera V5 Infinium
Tube amplifiers have always been large and heavy pieces of equipment that are difficult to transport. With the Bugera V5 Infinium, this is over.
Although smaller devices generally do not offer faithful audio quality, the Bugera Infinium sounds incredibly good.
This small device with only 5 watts of power has similar features to its larger counterparts.
While small amps tend to sound dull and blurred, the opposite occurs with this tiny beast. The Infinium delivers a clear and defined sound.
Despite having less than 10 watts, this little monster has spectacular characteristics. Even when using high gains the output does not sound dirty or muddy at all.
Although it is light and compact to carry it is not useful for gigging, this rig is generally used for practice or rehearsals if your band is not too loud.
4. Fender ’65 Princeton Reverb
Now we are getting into the Fender prospects and if we mentioned that the Vox AC15C1 is the pilar of British sound, Fender ‘65 Princeton Reverb is the hallmark of the classic American sound.
Its crisp, clear, and clean tone will make you hear one of the purest Fender sounds when you plug in your Stratocaster.
This model will highlight the twang and chime plus the tone will be quite warm.
Besides, the tone offered by 65’ Princeton is jazzy and smooth but also crunchy and gritty without being aggressive.
In addition to all of the above, your Stratocaster will sound creamy and delicate with a light overdrive.
Although you could add effect pedals, the one you definitely won’t need is a reverb.
Princeton gets along great with added effects but the reverb it comes with is extraordinary.
Depending on the settings, you could achieve different results: vibrant sounds at low speed and intensity or a tone closer to surf rock at higher ones.
Although it is not the loudest amplifier, external cabinets or speakers can easily be connected if necessary.
If you are going to play in big venues your Fender Princeton will need to be run through a PA system.
5. Fender Blues Junior IV
Another gorgeous amp from fender is the Blues Junior IV. This prototype came as an improvement of the previous models.
It is a well-balanced device with a full, defined low end and a sparkling, bright sound in the treble, excellent characteristics in combination with a Stratocaster.
In addition to that, the clean sound is almost comparable to what you can get from a Princeton Reverb.
When you turn up the gain you will understand the reason for its name.
A Stratocaster plugged into this gear is the perfect definition of blues tone.
Despite being a small amplifier of only 15 watts and having only one channel, it produces an exceptionally high volume.
Therefore, it is a very good choice for any blues player and you can even use it to play in small to medium-sized venues.
6. Fender Deluxe Reverb
Last but not least, we have this monstrosity that should probably be at the top of the list.
Fender Deluxe Reverb doesn’t have comparison and is perhaps the truest incarnation of Fender’s tone.
Try running your Stratocaster through this amazing amp and you will notice the bluesy, vintage tone profile you can get.
The Deluxe Reverb offers a warm and full sound that matches perfectly to a strat.
What more can be added that has not already been said?
These devices are really well known because played an important role in music history.
Many great musicians have used Deluxe Reverbs including The Beatles (they used this gear in many recordings), and because of that, it is said much of the classic rock sound is defined by these amps.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.