Buying the best guitar amp for you is pretty much the toughest gear decision any player will make. 28 November 2020, All the best guitar amps for rock, metal, blues and more in our guide to tube, solid-state and digital modelling amplifiers. Still, for the price, who can argue? You could get lost in the cleans, adding a splash of reworked digital reverb that now sounds studio-quality. The rhythm channel covers the shimmering clean tones of the modern Boogie and the fatter 'blackface'-inspired midrange of the fabled Mark I, while the Mark V crunch voice is so deep and three-dimensional you could record an entire album with it. Partner it with the Remote1 footswitch you can access all four channels, boost and reverb via MIDI, plus add an ancillary master volume and adjustable power soak. This is probably the biggest area of confusion when dating Marshall amps. Its core centres around Positive Grid’s BIAS Tone Engine modelling tech, which allows it to put together a formidable collection of amp models and cover all bases tone-wise. For many years, the Marshall Silver Jubilee was the amp that got away. Digital effects, on the other hand, give the player a chance to try out different sounds and combinations of effects to find the sound that suits them best. It’s a remarkable feat of amp building. If the ‘60s pop-jangle is its bread and butter, dialling up the gain finds something very musical that’s ideal for classic rock. OUR PICK! It packs in a host of Boss effects, along with a selection of great sounding amp models, and will easily manage the step up from practice to small gig. If, on the other hand, you need something a bit more financially realistic – for players of any level – then the Boss Katana 100 MkII is easy to recommend. This will do bell-like cleans, searing high-gain chug, and all in between, and with Boss’s Tube Logic architecture, it all feels and sounds convincing. And while there’s no shortage of distortion pedals out there that could happily turn even the cleanest of twins into a raging bloody-eyed beast, many of metal’s heaviest riffers will readily admit that it’s really all about the amp sound. Our name belongs to those who play. This is why you can probably gig with a 20W tube head for smaller shows, whereas a 20W solid-state won’t cut it. Latest: DSL40CR popping noise with the output switch set on High AdrianDSL, Jan 21, 2021 at 8:22 PM. Online music instrument retailers like Thomann, Sweetwater and Sam Ash offer hassle-free returns as standard, so you can purchase an amp, play it in the comfort and privacy of your home and, if it’s not for you, send it back with ease. If your amp says Model 1986 on the inside, that does not mean it was made in 1986. We’re yet to come across anyone with an overly extreme or negative opinion on Blackstar’s range of reasonably-priced tube amps. Marshall® JCM900 Series Parts: Marshall® TSL100/TSL122 Parts: Marshall® DSL50 Parts: Marshall® DSL100 Parts : Marshall® Capacitors: Marshall® Corners and Handles: Marshall® Fan s: Marshall® Footswitch Boxes: Marshall® Fuse Holders: Marshall® Hardware: Marshall® Jacks: Marshall® Jack Plate: Marshall® Lights: Marshall… A small combo with a single 10-inch speaker can still be a significant burden to cart around, but for many of us, the convenience of having an all-in-one setup is too good to pass up, especially if we’re going to keep it at home. In fact, it's small enough that you can fly with it as hand luggage. Furthermore, to get the valve amp sounding at its best it’ll typically need to be played at the upper limits of its capabilities – bad news for domestic and neighbourly bliss. The “B” word was invoked, and with good reason, because the grey-silver on grey designs, the feature-set, the seriousness, make everyone stop for a minute and consider their options. © It also looks so good you could leave it in the living room without getting a ticking off. The preamp shapes the tone, the power amp brings it up to the level required to drive the speaker, and the speaker pumps out the glorious tone. Alex Lynham This ’68 reissue comes with the silver-panel and aluminium grille cloth trim. Sure, partly it's about the prestige of Mesa amps in general, but the IV earned its stripes through session players seeking a Swiss-Army-Knife amp. We’ve got something for all styles here, amps for all occasions and in a variety of formats, from high-powered amp heads to combos and super-portable pedalboard options, and we’ll be looking at some of the considerations you should make when choosing your next amp. In fact, renowned artists like Slash, Angus Young of AC/DC and Joe Perry of Aerosmith have all showcased their killer skills with Marshall amps… From grunge to doom, to noise rock, the SC20H is a fantastic foundation for a guitar rig, it's built like a tank, and it's a classic for a reason. 25 watts is just about enough to gig and record with, and there's a reason why the Mark IV and Mark V have become legendary. The Dirty channel includes gain, bass, mid, treble and master volume controls, while the clean Natural channel has a single volume control. Drive it hard and you’ll enter blues-rock nirvana. Bath There are outputs for recording and silent practice. Please refresh the page and try again. Onboard effects, digital modelling, valves? If that idea resonates with you, then this is probably the amp for you. There are effects, programmable settings, and TVP tech allowing you to select the power-tube emulation you prefer. An amplifier? As great as tube amps are, they tend to stick to one core job and focus on doing that brilliantly. It’d make a fine pedal platform, with a series effects loop and a Jensen Blackbird Alnico that can handle a lot of volume. JHS Angry Charlie. But don’t forget you’ve got an overdrive channel with Classic and High Gain voicings that will take you from classic ‘70s rock crunch through to contemporary metal. Jonathan Horsley You don't need to be in a band to work in music. BA1 1UA. Based on the sound of the Marshall JCM900 and the Peavey 5150 Mark II, perhaps the defining modern amp for metal, an encounter with the Kraken sounds as intense as you’d expect from the name. Under the hood you’ll find hand-wired valve sockets and custom-made Schumacher transformers. The true test of which is better is what sounds better to you, and what suits your playing style. The tube-driven reverb and tremolo is divine. Launch price: $149 | Watts: 20 | Type: Hybrid | Preamp tubes: 12AX7 | Power amp tubes: Solid-state | Speakers: N/A. They deliver a rich harmonic warmth and dynamism that people still flock to, despite all of the advances in digital and modeling technology. Launched over 60 years ago, the Vox AC15 is the veteran of the pack in this best guitar amps guide. Where digital comes up trumps is through sheer variety and instant gratification. Firstly, there's a range of power-switching options, meaning you don't have to run it full-blast at 120W the whole time. That said, it is relatively quiet, and the Tiny Terror is noticeably louder when you're playing out. The question of head versus combo has been complicated in recent years by the dawn of the pedalboard amp – a guitar amp that’s housed in an enclosure the size of a small multi-effects, yet often powerful enough to replace your amp head. Discussions: 348 ... Post Marshall amps … Read the full Marshall 2525C Silver Jubilee Combo review, A feature-loaded low-wattage head with built-in speaker emulation, Launch price: $1,599/£1,699/€1,899 | Type: Tube head | Output: 25W, switchable down to 10W | Number of channels: 2 channels with 6 modes | Tubes: 2x EL84, 6x 12AX7 | Weight: 7.5kg. Read the full EVH 5150III 50W EL34 review, A killer combo for pedal users – especially stereo fans, Price: $1,099/£849/€1,045 | Type: Stereo tube combo | Output: 30W, switchable down to 15W | Number of channels: 2 | Tubes: 4x EL84, 4x ECC83, 2x ECC81 | Speaker: 2x Orange Voice Of The World Gold Label 10" | Weight: 23.3kg. Based on Mesa's flagship Mark V, the Mark Five: 25 head is small, perfectly formed and typical of Mesa's superlative design and attention to detail. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, Today's best Mesa Boogie Mark Five: 25 and Boss Katana-100 MkII deals, The rise, fall and rediscovery of the Fender Jaguar, How to set up a Les Paul: 7 essential tips, (Image credit: PRS/Kemper/Orange/Mesa Boogie/Boss), We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, 7. True serial numbers weren't really used by Marshall … The Marshall Origin series hearkens back to Marshall's golden age of the 60s and 70s, with their original Plexi amplifiers. Compared to some of the amps on this list, this mini JCM800 looks positively lacking in features. Between them, the pair have offered up stacks of affiliated signature guitar models, but the PRS MT15 marks the first time they’ve collaborated on an amp. There is a reasonable amount of headroom on offer, with its bell-like cleans mother’s milk to blues and country players, and as you crank up the volume you’ll find a gritty breakup that’s warm, musical and addictive. Read the full PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti Head review, Launch price: $799 | Watts: 40 | Type: Tube | Preamp tubes: ECC83 | Power amp tubes: EL34 | Speakers: 12” Celestion. But the Amp1 really is clever. Produced in limited numbers in 1987 to celebrate 50 years of Marshall… The Katana delivers five killer amp characters backed up by amazing effects – as you’d expect from Boss – with plenty in the way of extra tools and tricks. The MT 15 follows the standard lunchbox amp blueprint, packing in two channels and switchable output power to make for an ideal tool for practice, recording and small shows. Sometimes you have to split the atom with a saturated level of gain that would violate health and safety in pretty much all other contexts, and that’s an occasion where you’d hope to find the EVH 5150III on the backline. The gain structure on the Jubilee is something to behold but the Frusciante-esque cleans are not to be sniffed at either. It is dynamic, and with the EL34 power tubes it takes on the tonal character of a hyper-trophied Marshall Plexi. If I pick up any amps this year, I'm leaning towards one of the Hi-Tone JP models - either the LoWatt or 50-watt model-or maybe just a Marshall SV20. It is a simple, single-channel affair, with high and low-gain inputs on a simple front panel with controls for gain, presence, reverb and master volume and a 3-band EQ, and it offers instant access to the finest Tweed tones you can buy, all sauced by the sweetest valve-driven spring reverb. Visit our corporate site. Building the Classics Post your replicas, Marshall build threads, look for parts, discuss transformers, ask for help. Simply select which channel you want – Clean, Vintage, Classic, Modern – and dial in your tone via the 3-band EQ and volume, master and gain controls. There will forever be tension between the desire for old-school valve amp tone and the ever-dependable reliability of a solid-state amplifier that uses transistors, diodes and so forth to amplify your signal. Worried about buying an amp online without playing it first? Everything you need to know about guitar amps. 9,615 Reviews Scanned ... Marshall MG15CF 15 Watt Guitar Amp Carbon Fibre Finish 9.8 9.3 9.9 2: Marshall MG15 Practice Amp Not all amps are made the same – at least in the eyes of the metal gods. Under the hood it has been tweaked by Fender so it will take pedals better, with negative feedback reduced to enhance its response and bring on overdrive that little bit quicker. Maybe what you really need is fantastic sounding amplification, and no distractions. Hooking the Katana up to your computer grants you access to deep editing of parameters, while we also loved the way it can record direct into a digital audio workstation via USB. The 2555X head offers it in its original 100w/50w format but the 2525C feels a little more manageable for today’s player. Read the full Mesa/Boogie Mark Five: 25 review, Price: $1,599/£1,529/€1,699 | Type: Valve combo | Output: 25W at 4ohms | Valves: 8x 12AX7EH preamp valves, 4x 6973 power amp valves | Number of channels: 2 | Speaker: 12" Supro BD12 | Weight: 17.9kg | Key Features: Valve-driven tremolo, valve-driven 6-spring reverb, master volume, linked channels. One of the best features lives on the back panel: a CabClone speaker-emulated direct output, with a speaker defeat for silent recording or practice, using the built-in headphone socket. It’s a serious rock and metal metal amp. They can also be incredibly versatile, with the likes of the four-channel format of BluGuitar’s Amp 1 offering a lot of tones for its size and price. The Mesa Mark V comes in a variety of sizes from the full-tilt 90W head down to a compact 25W offering. The Dirty channel’s gain control has a very wide range, allowing fine control of moderately driven sounds, with plenty of Dark Terror-approved filth at the top of its travel, making it ideal for everything from classic Brit rock and blues to modern metal. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, You needn’t be. Combo amps combine the pre-amp, power amp and speakers in a single unit, whereas heads require external speakers to use. The included FX loop is a nice touch, as is the individual EQ controls for both channels, making the PRS MT15 a decent package for the gain fiend in your life. Marshall First established in 1962, Marshall creates iconic amps … Read the full Supro 169RT Black Magick Reverb review, The ultimate combo for boutique Tweed tone, Price: $1,899/£1,949/€2,269 | Type: Valve combo | Output: 40W switchable to 20W, 10W, 2W | Valves: 5x 12AX7, 1x 12AT7 in preamp, 4x 6V6 in power amp | Number of channels: 1 | Speaker: Jensen Blackbird Alnico | Weight: 22.2kg | Key Features: Dyna-Watt and Duo-Class tech offers 5 power, 2 operating-class, and 3 wiring options; valve-driven long-tank spring reverb, Baltic birch cabinet, dual inputs, buffered effects loop. The 10 best practice amps 2021: sharpen your guitar chops with our pick of the best amps for practice. 9 Best Marshall Amps January 2021 Results are Based on. We don’t talk enough about how we need to learn how to play the amplifier. And all this from one package. Offering up that vibe both tonally and aesthetically, these nostalgic amps give you that classic and unmistakable Marshall … We like the Jr IV because it has a 12" speaker, which to our ears is always substantially fuller and more balanced than most 10" speakers out there. Home Forums > Community > The Backstage > Happy 2021 New Years MFr's!!! Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister Deluxe TM20 Head, Behringer unveils a trio of new practice amps with Virtual Tube Circuit technology, Eastman announces its latest thinline semi-hollow electric, the Romeo LA, Joe Bonamassa: ”Writing this record in London has done its job. Yamaha’s THR series remains groundbreaking. As a learning and practice tool, it doesn’t get much better. Longtime PRS man gets signature lunchbox amp, Launch price: $729 | Watts: 15 | Type: Tube | Preamp tubes: JJ EC83S | Power amp tubes: 6L6 | Speakers: N/A. The benefit of a head is being able to run more speakers if necessary, but in an age of venues shut down for noise complaints, where even your local bar has a decent PA, the need for extra volume isn't as relevant. You hear phrases like solid, dependable, reliable and unpretentious, and that’s no bad thing. We said at the start that finding the best guitar amp for you is tough, and it is. Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by MarshallDog, Dec 31, 2020. Bath Then, there's whether the guitar amp is a head or a combo. Gone are the days of inexpensive solid-state and modeling amps that promise so much but fail to deliver. As ever, that is all that matters. However, it reminds us that maybe you don't need the bells and whistles. Best beginner guitar amps 2021: top guitar amplifiers for beginners. The setup and look on each is similar, with Blackstar's SHARC processing tech under the hood to keep the tones legit. Think of it as a five-channel amplifier, with five amp modes, but with two modes on each model it expands your tone options dramatically. Likewise, if you want an authentic, bell-like clean sound, no problem. It’s geared towards higher gain fans, with the 6L6 power amp tubes dealing up plenty in the way of treacle-thick saturation. Modern digital amps can pack in approximations of literally hundreds of different models, from all genres, in a way that gives the user a near-infinite tonal palette. © There's a dizzying array of amps on the market, so you need to do some thorough research before pulling the trigger to figure out what's right for you. Mark Tremonti and PRS have established themselves as one of the longest-running endorser/endorsee partnerships in the guitar world. Linking the channels opens up a new frontier in gain for this amp. Our advice? Some amplifiers are unforgiving, with frequencies poking out when you don’t want them to, amplifying your mistakes and punishing sloppy playing, yet those same amplifiers can make an expert player’s chops really pop out. There's also the wattage to consider. It’s loud enough for the stage but you can power down to 2 watts for bedroom shredding. Once you hook up your guitar to a Marshall amp and hit the switch, prepare to be blown away with awesome sound. However, with Mesas, the stock tones aren't really the whole story. Read the full Fender Hot Rod Blues Junior IV review, The best guitar amp for a vintage vibe with class to spare, Launch price: $679 | Watts: 15 | Type: Tube | Preamp tubes: 12AX7 | Power amp tubes: EL84 | Speakers: 12” Celestion G12M Greenback. Amplification is based on three building blocks – preamp, power amp and speakers in a pedalboard a amp... Clean and sweetened by the reverb, it 's small enough that you can probably gig with a usable... 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