TODAY WE’RE LOOKING AT OUR TOP 7 BEST SOLID STATE AMPS THAT ACTUALLY SOUND REALLY GOOD.
The best solid state amplifiers provide guitarists with a reliable foundation to create the sounds they want, at all volumes as soon as you switch them on – it’s instant sonic gratification! Guitarists are often split on what sounds better - solid state or tube amps. However, both amps definitely have their place on stage, in the studio and at home. If you want, greater control over your sound at all volumes, you can't be bothered waiting for tubes to warm up and you want your amp to be a little more reliable without ever needing to replace valves and a hell of a lot lighter to carry – then a solid-state amplifier is a great choice. Long gone are the days when solid state amplifiers were looked upon with disdain, as technology has allowed brands to craft some of the best sounding amps available today, complete with premium components that provide guitarists and tone snobs with lush cleans, rich distortions and beautiful dynamics! Solid state amps offer a more direct and “instant” sound, as opposed to valve amps, that responds to your playing beautifully. They’re a different animal altogether as they stay clean, and don’t succumb to the “broken up” sound that valve amps do. At higher volumes, they’ll stay clean as a whistle at 1 watt or 1500 watts, and the distortion won’t change the more volume you give it – dial in your sound and enjoy exactly what you've asked for at all volumes. But which one is right for me? To help you choose, we’re going to look at our top 7 best solid-state amplifiers that are capable of providing world class sound at all volumes.
1. ROLAND JC40 JAZZ CHORUS GUITAR AMPLIFIER
A good clean tone from an amplifier can be extremely hard to come by, but the Roland JC40 Jazz Chorus Guitar Amplifier and the rest of the JC line absolutely nail it every time - they're also industry standard solid state amps. The renowned “JC Clean” tone has been combined with the coveted signature stereo chorus effect and wrapped up in a fantastic 40 watt amplifier capable of producing lush, reliable tones at all volumes. This stereo 40-watt solid state amplifier has 2 x 10” speakers as well as a stereo input that allows guitarists (and bass players alike) to achieve true stereo sounds when they hook up their modulation and stereo effects pedals. The built-in vibrato, distortion, reverb and chorus effects make it a great option for touring musicians and studio work and can be activated on the easy to use front panel or via optional footswitches plugged in to the footswitch jack. A durable, professional amplifier that provides all the transparency and pure sound you need at all volumes.
The Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 100 2x10 Guitar Combo Amp is a great solid state amplifier that delivers a wide range of tones in Super Wide Stereo so you enjoy a more immersive playing experience at all times. Blackstar are renowned for producing extremely high quality solid state amplifiers that give you superior control over your sound. The cool thing about this amplifier is the fact you have 6 Blackstar voices to choose from including Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD 1 and OD 2 allowing you to enjoy a plethora of sounds, making it one of the best amplifiers for beginners as well as professionals in need of a selection of sounds on stage and in the studio. In addition, you have a world class effects section to sculpt your sound with. Enjoy 3 kinds of lush modulation, 3 x delay and 3 x reverb effects at the touch of a button. Ideal for practising at home, studio work or taking out on the road with you, the Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 100 2x10 Guitar Combo Amp is by far one of the most useful solid state amplifiers available today. At just over £200, you get 100 watts of pure power too, so you're all set to gig the stages of the world.
3. MARSHALL CODE25 COMBO AMPLIFIER
Ok, so let’s say you want the option of choosing that responsive valve tonality, but you don’t want to lug around a heavy box everywhere with you or change tubes every year. A modelling amplifier is a great option. The people at Marshall amplification know a thing or two about creating world class guitar amplifiers considering they’ve been a mainstay on stages and in studios for over 50 years. They make amazing solid state and valve amplifiers – so with the CODE series, they’ve essentially merged the two together. This solid state modelling amplifier effectively reproduces a range of different amplifiers from the Marshall back-catalogue but provides users with far more control over their sound – in a nutshell, you have a whole studio’s worth of Marshall amplifiers in one amp with the added reliability and transparency of a solid state. Within the Marshall CODE25 Combo Amplifier, you have 25 watts of power to play with as well as 14 x MST Preamps, 4 x MST power amps and 8 x MST speaker cabinets at your disposal, all of which faithfully reproduce the sounds of well-respected amplifiers from the Marshall catalogue including the likes of a 1962 Bluesbreaker, the SCM2555 Silver Jubilee and the JCM2000 DSL100. There’s 24 quality effects to get to grips with including an assortment of delay effects, reverb, distortion auto-wah and more, making it a great touring and recording partner. For those who need complete control over their sound at all times, the Marshall Gateway app will certainly come in handy. Available for free on the Apple AppStore and Google Play for Android, the Marshall Gateway app lets you cycle through 100 user-editable presets and make adjustments to the sound of your amp via your smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth connectivity. You can even connect the Marshall CODE25 to your computer via USB and use it as an audio interface when recording guitar to your DAW. By far one of the best solid state amps available today.
4. ORANGE CRUSH 20 RT SOLID STATE 20W COMBO AMPLIFIER
The Orange Crush 20 RT Solid State 20W Combo Amplifier is one of the best solid state amps on the scene today thanks to the fact that its capable of blowing almost any other 20 watt amp out of the water in terms of price and versatility. This highly portable practice amplifier features an 8" Custom Voice of The World speaker capable of producing rich, warm tones at all volumes as well as a twin channel, high-gain preamp design that can take you from glass like cleans to the signature Orange overdriven sounds all the way to high gain heavy metal riffage. Flick between the clean and dirty channels via the easy-to-use top panel or optional footswitch. The Orange Crush 20 RT Solid State 20W Combo Amplifier also includes Orange’s trademark CabSim feature which accurately emulates the sound of a mic’d up orange 4 x 12 cabinet. This means that you can enjoy the sound of a 4 x 12 amplifier through your headphones for silent practice or hook it up directly to a PA or mixing desk without having to lug around a heavy 4 x 12 cabinet with you everywhere. The integrated reverb effect and chromatic tuner makes it a great practice amplifier, but thanks to the fact you have 20 watts at your disposal and an on board 3 band EQ, it’s more than worthy of smaller gigs.
5. BOSS KATANA 50 MKII GUITAR AMPLIFIER
The BOSS Katana 50 MKII Guitar Amplifier makes our best solid state amps blog thanks to the sheer power on offer as well as the fact you have a world of effects at your fingertips. This impressive solid state amplifier follows on from the development processes behind the iconic Waza amplifiers offering superior response and sound quality via high quality components and utilising generations of BOSS dedication and expertise to create a fantastic gig worthy amplifier. You have 50 watts of solid state power to rely on and 5 selectable amp characters such as Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown, and Acoustic, all of which can be changed via the Variation Button. In addition, you have access to BOSS’s Tone Studio editing software which opens up 65 legendary BOSS effects to you, 15 of which can be stored on the amplifier itself. The sounds and effects on offer here provide you with an almost unlimited amount of tonal possibilities making it a great option for professional guitarists in need of a quality gigging amp and providing beginners with everything they’ll ever need to start creating music. For those in need of a portable practice amp, or something for around the house, the power switch will definitely come in handy as you can select 50 watts, reduce the power to 25 watts or even drop it to 0.5 watts – meaning you get the exact same sound and tonal qualities of a cranked amp at lower volumes.
6. LINE 6 FIREHAWK 1500 STAGE AMP
For those who want to able to be heard from 12 million miles away, or blow out their windows with a single chord, the Line 6 Firehawk 1500 Stage Amp is the ultimate choice. The Line 6 Firehawk 1500 Stage Amp is a contender for the loudest amplifier in the world thanks to the fact you have 1500 watts of power at your disposal blasting out through 6 speakers. Before you start thinking that this is only suitable for gigs (or playing festivals without a PA!) the Line 6 Firehawk 1500 has been designed to sound great at all volumes, effectively producing the same tones you want whether you’ve cranked it up all the way or playing at lower, neighbour friendly volumes. This is one of the major benefits of solid state amplifiers, you can crank the cleans without every worrying about distortion creeping in, or utilise death metal style gain at less than 5 watts of power! The cool thing about the Line 6 Firehawk 1500 Stage Amp is the fact you can dial in some awesome tones via the onboard controls or remotely via your iOS/Android smartphone or tablet and the Firehawk Remote app. Choose from over 200 guitar amp models and effects to create your perfect giggable rig or simply enjoy the 128 onboard presets designed by world renowned artists and Line 6 professionals. This is a fantastic option for the professionals out there and one of the best solid state amplifiers for those who never want to buy another amp ever - it’s got every sound you’ll ever need!
7. FENDER MUSTANG GT-100 COMBO AMPLIFIER
Last but by no means least, we have the Fender Mustang GT-100 Combo Amplifier. This 100 watt open-back powerhouse of an amplifier includes a single 12” Celestion Special Design speaker for superior sound quality at all levels. In addition, you have 21 amp models to choose from and 47 high quality effects to provide an almost limitless array of sounds. The Fender Mustang GT-100 Combo Amplifier also includes a huge selection of additional features including a built-in digital chromatic tuner as well as a USB output for direct recording to your DAW. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream audio from your device to the amp, but it’s the Mustang GT-100’s wifi compatibility that really sets this apart. The Fender Tone App connects to your amp via wifi and provides access to presets and tone changing capabilities via your smartphone or tablet. This means you can make changes easily without going to your amp. A headphone output with AUX input means you can enjoy silent practice too! Trust Fender to come up with one of the best solid state amps on the market and make it completely budget friendly!
View a huge selection of solid state amplifiers over at PMT Online today and choose the best option for your sound!