As we’ve said, there are a lot of amplifier manufacturers out there to consider. This guide is interested mainly in Hifi amplifiers, but first it will give a quick note on good amplifier brands for musical instruments and microphones.
For instruments such as guitars, you’ll want to check out a few brands, including Staag and Marshall. These are well known and inexpensive musical instrument amplifiers that will provide most users with what they need for basic instrument practice and playing at home. Moving towards the top end you might want to consider a well known brand like Fender, who offer some of the best and most trustworthy amps on the market. For a bit of a flashy amp experience you might want to look at Orange Signature, an incredible little amp that doesn’t come cheap but will wow all your musical friends.
If you’re after a state of the art or top range hifi amp then there are a few major companies you might consider. One of the best everyday hifi amps out there is the Fatman iTube range, which starts at just under £1000 and rises to somewhere just above £1500. These amps are of impeccable quality and have a large range of channels and inputs allowing you to use almost any product with your amp. The iTube range produces amazing natural sound quality and is well worth investing in. You might also consider the Arcam range, highly rated by many and usually found within the £500 to £800 range making them a slightly cheaper option than the top Fatman models. At the very top of the range you should consider Roksan, whose models cost over £1500 but are absolutely incredible in quality and highly rated by all music lovers and performers.
For a more reasonably priced option you might consider a company called NAD. Their hifi amps are also highly rated and usually cost under the £500 mark, sometimes coming in considerably lower than that. The company made waves 35 years ago when it released its amps which are small, simple and straightforward but which provide quality to rival some of the top models. To this day these remain top quality amplifiers well within a middling budget, making them a wonderful option for many customers. Another range to consider is produced by Fatman, whose top models were discussed above. Their M-Tube and S-State ranges come in at a much lower cost of around £200. These amps are still great quality and will do everything needed by most users. They also come with Bluetooth capacity which means you can play music from your tablet and phone from anywhere in your home. Check this feature first though, as some models have it and others do not. Though not as state of the art as the models costing £1000 or more, you really can get a great amp for under £200 if you shop wisely and carefully.
Whatever your budget, there is a very helpful resource available at What Hi-Fi?, a website dedicated to reviewing and assessing hifi equipment for every budget. They offer annual rankings and awards for the best products out there, not just at the top of the range but for every budget. Its worth having a look at their website before you make your amp purchase.