Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a practice amp. Budget of $500 usd max, must be new (willing to buy used guitars but not an amp for now). I'm picking up the guitar again after a 10 year absence and do not currently have an amp of any sort. Must have a headphone jack as I have a 2 year old and often my free time is when she is asleep. I live in a house though so can crank the volume up on occasion, but don't want the amp to be crazy loud. If I later need an amp for playing with a band or a gig I'll get an amp more suited for that then.

I would like it to be versatile (don't we all) but I realize an amp that excels on cleans may not be great for high gain and vice versa. I would like an amp that sounds really good with moderate gain, from blues to classic rock, and can pull off 80s metal tone on occasion (with help from a pedal if need be.)

I liked the sound of the vox ac4tv and the Traynor ygl1, but neither have a headphone jack. Thinking about maybe a Blackstar HT1R head and the ht 480 cab. I like the tube sound, but open to a solid state amp if it sounds good. I'm not one to tinker with effects or hook the amp up to the computer.

Thank you for your time and suggestions.
Would you be willing to forego the volume capabilities and just use headphones? POD HD500 if so. You can hook it up to a powered speaker if you want volume. Really suggest buying used as you will save money. $500 for a practice amp is kind of steep IMO.
The Blackstar is a hybrid actually. Lots of SS stuff in there.

If you can stretch it to $600, buy this.. Much better than a Pod.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100

Cathbard Amplification
My band
Thanks for the replies.

I have heard the HT series has a fair amount of ss stuff inside it. I'm not opposed to that, so long as it sounds good. Won't any amp need some ss circuitry to have a headphone out?

As for the pedal amps, I definitely do want something with volume, and adding a good powered speaker would blow the budget. Plus I feel like I am paying for a bunch of effects and gizmos I don't really need.

$500 is tops, but of course if I can get away with quite a bit less that would be good too.

Is there such a device that plugs in to the speaker out line of an amp and soaks up the excess power and gives you a headphone out jack? That would mean I wouldn't have to lit my search to amps with a headphone jack.
Shift your search a bit. Get a decent practice amp for when you want it loud and a small headphone rig when you don't. Both will sound much better than a one-amp-4-everything approach which is a pretty big compromise under $500 new.

Otherwise... Roland Cube, Vox VT are decent all-in-one solutions at a reasonable price. Neither really does 80s Metal tone well though IMO.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY