Tony, I saw his Fender. Wayyy to much. I think I'll poke him if he doesn't see this.
GTG I have an urge to stop by Greg and Klara. I haven't been there for an easy 9 months. I need to go cry in my beer and need a good looking bartender to listen to me. I'm still a shit magnet... With my luck just Greg will be working.
Hey, just stumbled into this.
Yeah, I've got nothing in that price range...I doubt I could build myself something in that range, even at cost of materials.
That said, there are some decent inexpensive amps out there these days. But you really need to know what the kid is playing and what he expects out of an amp. Maybe take him to Guitar Center and let him beat up on some sub $200 amps.
Top of my list would be Epiphone Valve Jr. But it's just under $200 without a speaker cab. You could rig it up to his current speaker and be set till he can afford some better cabinet/speaker combo.
Pignose Hog 30 - The stock speaker sucks, but with a better speaker these are fun amps.
Roland Cube - you really need to have pedals in front of this to make it work. It's just a workhorse amp without many features.
And then all the student amps with built-in effects that I really know nothing about. Sorry.
To me, a practice amp is a $700 hand built tube chassis in a hand made cabinet made from 100 year old recycled pine, connected to a $250 boutique alnico speaker.
So I'm really outa touch when it comes to student amps.
That said, go to GC with him, spend hours going from one amp to the next with *his* guitar, and let him pick the amp that suits him best. Most GCs have little practice rooms where you can crank up the amp and really see what it can do without having to show off for the whole store (That's where I hide so nobody can hear my shitty playing). There is also HIX music outside the Fox Valley mall, Naperville Music and Modern Music on Ogden and Sam Ash music on Roosevelt in Lombard. Hix is geared towards students, so I might start there.