Today’s market is flooded with solid state amplifiers, with nearly every major manufacturer offering a robust product line of modeling amplifier that is filled with capabilities you practically won’t find in a tube amp due to the technology’s inherent limitations. Consider solid state amps that can very effectively imitate hundreds of vintage amps, all in one enclosure, with a bevvy of onboard effects for virtually infinite tone-tuning options. Which raises the question of what the top solid state amplifiers are now available.
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Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus 120-Watt Guitar Amplifier with Two 12-Inch Speakers
- Legendary flagship of the Roland Jazz Chorus series since 1975
- Historic “JC clean” tone and signature Dimensional Space Chorus effect
- Powerful 120-watt stereo amp with two 12-inch “silver cone” speakers
The Roland JC-120 is the flagship model in the Jazz Chorus amp range, and it has remained popular since its initial release in 1975 as one of the first solid state amplifiers. As a result, this amp comes at a premium price, but it is one that many people are happy to pay for. The world’s most famous solid-state amplifier is still in use today. The JC-120 really took off in the 1980s, when hitmakers from all walks of life flocked to the amp’s distinctive, crystalline cleans, including Andy Summers, Robert Smith, Kirk Hammett, and a slew of others.
It was Jeff Buckley first amp, and players like Albert King, Metallica James Hetfield (for nearly every clean tone he’s recorded), ex-Police guitarist Andy Summers, Limp Bizkit Wes Borland, The Cult’s Billy Duffy, Radiohead Johnny Greenwood, and The Smith Johnny Marr have all used it in both live and studio performances.
This combo guitar amplifier is loud enough to fulfil the volume requirements of most venues, with a 120W output and a pair of 12″ speakers included. It accomplishes this while properly replicating the amp’s characteristic clean tone. Interestingly, this model includes a dedicated channel with built-in distortion, despite the fact that most customers will not buy or use this amp for that purpose. Stereo inputs with 3-band EQ for each channel, built-in reverb and chorus, and dedicated footswitch ports for the reverb, distortion, and chorus effects round out the list of features.
This is a beast of a 2×12” combination amplifier. It weights nearly 60 pounds, but because it has wheels, you won’t have to lift it very often. It has a solid-state stereo output of 120 watts, which is quite loud for any local gig. The amp’s two 12″ Silvercone speakers play an important role in its design, allowing for stereo chorus and vibrato effects. It features two input channels, one of which is completely clean and the other of which has an overdrive circuit. It’s a multipurpose tank of an amp, with high/low inputs that may be utilised for vocals or keyboards.
Both channels have their own set of controls. High/low inputs, a bright switch, Volume, and a 3-Band EQ are all marked in blue on each. Distortion is a separate setting on Channel 2 that allows you to blend in an overdrive tone with your clean signal. A single Reverb control is located next to it. A knob for Vibrato/Chorus, as well as speed and depth controls for those effects, is highlighted in yellow on the far right.
Foot switches for Chorus/Vibrato, Reverb, and Distortion are also available, with inputs positioned in the back of the amp. The amp has line out connectors for connecting to other cabs or FOH monitors, as well as an effect loop for channel two that may be utilised with time-based effects units to complement the overdrive sound. Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus is the Best Solid State Amp in 2023.
Boss Katana 50 MkII
- 50/25/0.5W 1x12" Guitar Combo Amplifier with 5 Amp Voicings
- Cab-emulated Headphone/Recd Output
- 4 Tone Slots
The Katana-50 MK II is part of Boss’ second generation of solid-state amps with digital tweakery, and the solid state technology offers more tonal freedom and the ability to run up to five effects at once instead of the previous three. This modeling amp, like its forefather, doesn’t require much more than a guitar to get the most out of it, and it sounds fantastic.
At first appearance, the Katana appears to be a standard, albeit elegant, 1 x 12 combo amp. As you learn more about the Boss Katana, you’ll discover that it’s a hidden weapon amplifier that punches much above its weight class. While the original Katana only featured 5 amps, the mk II series contains a variation for each of the 5 amplifier models, giving you a total of 10 amps in one enclosure.
Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown (taken from the Waza amp), and Acoustic are the five settings on the BOSS KTN-50. They symbolise true workmanship and offer groundbreaking augmentation features for modern guitarists with electric or acoustic guitars, as they are expertly built and painstakingly tuned.
The Boss Katana offers an unrivalled spectrum of incredible tones, and its quick touch response makes it excellent for both live performance and high-quality home recording. With easy watt settings of 0.5, 25, or 50 watts of power to switch between as well as a standby mode, it can be surprising cranked up or enjoyed at bedroom levels. It has integrated access to 55 BOSS effects via the free BOSS Tone Studio editor programme and features two preset channels with a panel option.
The Katana also comes with 65 built-in effects, five of which can be employed at once. For thorough tone altering, they can be accessed using the Boss Tone Studio Editor. Then, for easy access, you can save up to four of your favourite settings.
The Katana is a wonderful starter amplifier because it can be used as an extension cabinet if you wish to buy a standalone head amplifier later. This prolongs the life of your Katana after you’ve outgrown it, if that’s even conceivable.
Fender Mustang GTX 100 Digital Modeling Combo Amplifier
- The Fender Mustang GTX100 Guitar Amplifier features 100 watts,...
- Delight your ears with the vivid and versatile sounds of this 100-watt...
- Meet the newly designed 12-inch Celestion speaker that produces strong,...
The Mustang GTX 100 is Fender’s top-rated solid-state combo amp in the sub-$500 market, and for good reason: it has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, over 70 effects, 40 amp models, and 200 presets and the flagship of the Fender Mustang GT range.
The amp models range from old Fender cleans to modern high-gain tones, which they do a fantastic job of emulating. With 15 overdrive/distortion, 15 modulation, 13 delay, 14 reverb, 7 comp/EQs, and 9 pitch shift effects, the built-in effects cover a lot of ground. It’s even got a looper built in. In addition to all of these features, the GTX 100 includes a multi-switch foot pedal that makes switching between effects, amp models, and presets a breeze. In addition to its powerful DSP, the GTX 100 features a 100-watt amp and a 12-inch Celestion G12P-80 speaker, which should be sufficient for most stages and places where guitarists perform.
Orange Crush 35RT
- Crush 35RT 35W 10 " 2-Channel Guitar Amplifier and Speaker (Orange) -...
- Twin Channel Design with High Gain Preamp
- 3 Band EQ
Orange’s Crush series offers some of the best bang-for-buck fun in guitardom, and the British manufacturer has continued to polish and expand the line over the years to guarantee that the real Orange experience isn’t confined to vintage designs. The 35RT is a great example of this, with classic British rock tones and a built-in reverb and tuner to make it an even more compelling prospect.
The Orange Crush 35RT is a no-frills 35W combo amp from Orange amps that continues to receive great marks from guitarists. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that other amps have, but its 4-stage preamp more than makes up for it. Many people enjoy the tones that arise from this, especially when driven strongly.
The preamp section is divided into two channels: clean and dirty, with the dirty section being the more powerful. Basic EQ, volume, and gain knobs are among the tone shaping options. This one has Reverb and Tuner built in, as the “RT” name suggests.
With highly sensitive overdrive and mind-blowing levels of precise saturation, the Orange Crush 35RT delivers gut-punching tones. The Crush 35RT’s 4-stage preamp, which has two footswitchable channels, delivers massive, wide-ranging tones that will transport you back to the heady days of no-nonsense, old school analogue guitar amplifiers. Through the Crush 35RT’s headphone/line output, Orange’s unique CabSim circuit faithfully emulates the muscle of an Orange 4 x 12″ cabinet, as well as an onboard tuner and reverb. All of this, plus a low-impedance effects loop that is fully buffered!
Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb Digital Modeling Guitar Amplifier
- Massive digital processing is used to faithfully Modeling the circuitry and...
- Uses a high-performance 100-Watt digital power amp to achieve the headroom...
- Jensen n-12k neodymium speaker
The Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is a solid-state version of the all-tube predecessor. It’s designed to sound, look, and feel like the original Deluxe Reverb, but without the tubes and with modern upgrades like power attenuation. In contrast to Fender’s Mustang amps, this one foregoes many amp models and effects in favour of focusing all of its digital processing and gain stages on recreating the voicing of Fender’s legendary tube amp. And, based on the numerous positive evaluations it has received, it appears to be doing a fantastic job.
This combination amp is rated at 100W and comes with a 12″ Jensen N12K neodymium speakers. It’s designed to mimic the same SPL (sound pressure level) as a 22W Deluxe tube amp, but you can reduce the output to 0.2W with the built-in power attenuator. Finally, it accomplishes all of this without the hefty weight that tube amplifiers are known for.
The Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is a solid-state, 12-inch combo modeling amps based on the Fender DR reissue design. This amp is a two-channel Silverface-style amp with built-in reverb and tremolo, much like that one. When glancing at the amplifier from the front, it’s unlikely that you’d notice it’s a Tone Master unless you glance at the rear. Two cabinet IRs, DI Out, and an attenuator are just a few of the unique features you won’t find on a normal Deluxe Reverb on the back. It’s also worth noting that this amp is lighter than the original DR, making it easier to transport to performances.
Volume, Treble, and Bass settings are available on both the Normal and Vibrato channels. On the far right of the amp are the controls for reverb and tremolo (speed and intensity). If you’re a gigging musician, you’ll be pleased to see that the amp’s front panel is identical to any other house Deluxe Reverb you’ve come across.
The Attenuator, which allows you to scale down the power from 22W to 12W, 5W, 1W,.5W, or.2W, is likewise controlled on the back. This means you can regulate your stage volume without impacting your tone, regardless of the size of the space you’re playing in.
Marshall CODE 100W 2×12 Guitar Combo Amp
- Power: 100W (solid state) Single input 14 preamp models 4 power amp models...
- The Marshall CODE 100W 2x12 combo combines the Marshall legacy with...
- The range offers a choice of digital amp models, power amps, cabinet...
The CODE Series is a higher-end solid-state amplifier. They are pre-loaded with Marshall’s greatest tones and a user-friendly UI. Nonetheless, it contains 24 FX (such as compressor, distortions, auto-wah, pitch shifter, phaser, flaner, chorus, reverbs, and tremolo). It’s a 100-watt solid-state closet-cabinet combination guitar amp with 212″ JBL speakers. It includes four digital power amplifier versions and fourteen digital preamp models. There are also 24 onboard effects, an LCD monitor, an aux input, a 2-channel footswitch, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The code series’ tone-tweaking possibilities are nearly endless, allowing musicians to zero down on their own distinct sound. It’s a gorgeous high-end digital solid-state amplifier with Android integration that’s a little more expensive than the 25-watt version but definitely more bang for your buck with the marshall gateway app.
Marshall is one of the most well-known names in the history of guitar amplification, although it was late to the modelling party. With 14 preamp models, four power amp models, and eight speaker cab simulations, the CODE series finally arrived, bringing with it a selection of vintage Marshall tones.
The CODE100 would be handy in a home studio setting, since its onboard USB-to-DAW adapter – along with 24 built-in effects – makes it reasonably simple to lay down tracks directly through the amp. Take your whole music library with you on your phone and use the Gateway app to stream it through the Marshall CODE amp (available on both iOS and Android) MyMarshall also allows you to publish and download user presets to a global library.
Line 6 Spider V 240 MKII
- NEW Classic Speaker mode for organic sound and feel
- NEW Artist, Iconic Song, and classic amp presets
- 200+ amps, cabs, and effects
In Line 6’s current Spider amp lineup, the Spider V 240 MkII is the loudest and largest combo amp. It combines a 240-Watt amplifier with two 12-Volt power supplies “There are two tweeters and two speakers, as well as amp modelling and effects. With over 100 built-in effects, 78 amp models, 24 cab simulations, and four mic models, the amp’s digital sound processing power provides for a wide range of tone options.
Line 6 added two HF drivers to the amp’s 12 HF drivers to make better use of the amp’s sound processing “woofers, which extend the range of higher frequencies beyond what typical amplifiers can handle. Surprisingly, some guitarists dislike this feature, therefore Line 6 incorporated a means to turn off the HF drivers, as well as cab and mic modelling, in the MkII version to give it a more classic amp tone. An integrated tuner, metronome, looper, and drum loops are among the other features.
Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus 40-Watt Guitar Amplifier with Two 10-Inch Speakers
- Legendary Roland “JC clean” tone in a small, gig-ready combo amp
- Stereo 40-watt amp with two 10-inch speakers
- Stereo input enables players to get true stereo sound with modelers and...
The Roland JC-40 is a solid-state Jazz Chorus Combo Amplifier. The Roland Jazz Chorus is essentially a scaled-down, lower-wattage (40) version of the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus, which was perhaps the benchmark for clean electric guitar tones for the last 40 years and was utilised by a number of professionals, including James Hetfield. It has the same array of onboard effects for current electric guitarists as its acclaimed, high-watt predecessor and provides the same recognisable JC clean tone.
The Roland Jazz Chorus JC-40 also features a real stereo input for improved performance when using effects pedals and other amp modelling and effects gear. Three-band EQ, reverb, speed, depth, bright, volume, vib/chorus, and an FX loop switch are among the settings.
For a truly immersive sound on stage, the Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus amplifier has two independent power amps powering onboard effects in stereo. It has updated effects such as fresh vibrato and reverb, built-in distortion, and unique chorus capabilities to meet the needs of today’s players, in addition to its distinctive Dimensional Space chorus effect.
Quilter Micro Pro 200 Mach 2 12 200W 1×12 Guitar Combo Amplifier
- Micro Pro 200 Mach 2 12 200W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amplifier
- The Quilter 12-inch Mach 2 combo is the ultimate amp when you need serious...
- With a throatier voice and more presence, the Celestion Classic Lead 80...
The Quilter Labs MicroPro Mach 2 achieves a solid combination of tone and portability for a 200 Watt amp, and this weight to tone quality ratio is well accepted in reviews. Many people praise the amp for how simple it is to generate fantastic tones, while others praise the voicings’ warm analogue character. The amps’ tiny profile has also been praised.
Pat Quilter, the man behind the Micro pro Mach 2 amp, is well-known in pro audio circles for being a member of the well-known QSC speaker brand. This amp uses an all-analog construction to deliver the same level of pro audio quality adjusted to match the demands of guitarists.
Two 100-watt channels with 1/4″ and XLR combination inputs are available in the amp section. It contains a rotary switch knob that allows you to choose from six different voicings: Full Q, Lead, Smooth, Surf, Brown, and Tweed, all of which are supposed to be derived from sought-after amps.
A single Celestion Classic Lead 80 speaker, built-in reverb and tremolo, extended EQ for channel 2, and an effects loop are among the other features.
Fender Champion 100
- When ‘burying’ your drummer in volume is important, the 100 watts...
- Jam along with your favorite tracks by simply plugging your MP3 player into...
- Toggle between 100 Watts of clean or mean from the 2 channels with the kick...
The Fender Champion 100 is the pinnacle of the company’s new Champion line of guitar amplifiers. It drives two 12-inch Fender Special Design speakers with 100 watts of solid-state power. Two selectable channels offer a basic clean Fender tube sound or alternative amp types with a master volume control and more precise sound sculpting capabilities.
We’re talking about a single 100-watt solid-state power amp, two 12-inch speakers, three-band EQ, all the usual inputs and outputs for an amp of this size, and a footswitch included! Reverb, chorus, tremolo, delay, and other effects are available. With a single tap of a button, you can change the delay time and tremolo tempo, plus there’s an effects loop for using outboard effects.
Reverb, delay, chorus, tremolo, and other superb digital effects are available on both channels. The Champion 100 is a flexible amp for the stage, studio, or practise room, with auxiliary and power amp inputs, as well as headphone and preamp outputs.
Fender Musical Instruments started creating guitar amplifiers in 1946 and quickly became the industry standard that all others strove to emulate. The Fender Champion 100 looks and feels like a legendary “blackface” amp from the 1960s, yet it only weighs 40 pounds. It comes with a 5-year transferable guarantee from Fender. Switch channels and turn on or off the built-in effects using the included 2-button footswitch.
If you want the most bang for your buck in terms of wattage to price, you won’t be able to beat the Fender Champion 100 – 100-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier. Most guitarists worth their salt will have the Fender Champion 100 somewhere in their back, or current, amp collection.
Fender Mustang I V2
- 20 watts
- 8” Fender Special Design speaker
- 17 amp models and 24 onboard presets
A fantastic solid state amplifier from a major player in the market. Since 1946, Fender has been manufacturing instruments and instrument accessories, contributing to the growth of product designs. They have a multitude of built-in effects and provide the characteristic fender tone. The 17 amp voice options on the Mustang take acoustic and electric guitar players from a classic tube amp tone to current, distinctive tones.
The amp in question is a 20-watt combination with an 8-inch Fender speaker. With a multitude of built-in effects, it offers plenty of versatility and guitar muscle. It comes with 24 inbuilt effects in 17 different variants. Reverb, tremolo, phaser, delay, and echo are among the effects.
It also features a turn knob that allows you to switch between clean and strong tones. It can handle any music type you choose to listen to. The amplifier may also be connected via USB and used with Fender FUSE software, which allows players to colourfully alter every sound to their personal choice, kicking the preset sound selections up a notch. Modern players will appreciate the appeal, as well as the interoperability, which is in line with the direction of current music technology. It’s little but powerful, and it’s competitively priced.
Randall RG80 RG Series 1×12 80-Watt Guitar Combo Amp
- High-gain FET Solid State Combo Amplifier
- Channels: 2
- Wattage / Power: 80 Watts @ 8Ω
Founded in 1970, this company provides high-performance amplification to a number of well-known performers. Many musicians have endorsed the brand, including Kirk Hammet of Metallica, who uses the Randall KH tube guitar amp models.
Randall has updated their notorious design with some fantastic modern enhancements. The new RG series features high-gain FET solid state combination transistor amplifiers that deliver low distortion over a 12-inch speaker. Adjustable spring reverb and an external FX loop are included.
This metal guitar amp offers three EQs, as well as a bass boost and scoop. Has some gorgeous treble as well as great scuzz, which is typical of the strong Randall sound, making it ideal for heavy metal and punk genres. A 1/8″ stereo media input, a speaker-emulated XLR direct import, a headphone output, and a footswitch round out the features.
BOSS Katana MKII-100 12-inch Speaker 100-Watt Combo Amp
- 100/50/0.5W 1x12" Guitar Combo Amplifier with 5 Amp Voicings
- Cab-emulated Line Headphone/Recd Outputs
- 8 Tone Slots
The best thing about digital sound processing is that it improves with time, which is why many popular modeling amps, notably the Boss Katana family, have remained popular for so long.
The Katana MkII line adds a variation switch to its amp modeling, which allows you to modify the voicing to a different flavor while still maintaining the line’s sound quality. It uses the same DSP technology as their guitar processors and multi-effects units, but it’s housed within an amp this time.
Another notable feature is the ability to reduce the volume of the output, allowing you to receive cranked tones at lower volumes. It can be tuned to 50 watts or half a watt. A single 12″ speaker is connected with the amplifier portion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Solid State Amp?
A solid state amplifier is a transistor amplifier with lower operating voltages and lower power consumption, as well as a smaller size and weight. They can work with complementary symmetry circuits because they are adaptable. Silicon transistors are commonly used in today’s guitar amplifiers. Solid-state architectures have improved tenfold in the last decade. Solid-state guitar amplifiers are less expensive to manufacture and more dependable.
Tube Amp Vs Solid State Amp?
This is a question that will most likely raise the brows of guitar snobs. Vacuum amplifiers are referred to as tube amps (or valve amps). Within them are vacuum tubes that regulate the electric current, which can only flow in one direction.
The most basic example of a vacuum tube is a diode, which was invented in the early 1900s. A cathode emits electrons, which are collected by anodes connected to a control grid. They often require thermal energy to operate, thus they become hot as they glow. They have a very full warm sound and provide an absolutely immaculate clear tone. They’ve long been thought to be the greatest solid-state amplifiers, with most people preferring their lower harmonic distortion. They also accomplish greater high-power and high-frequency operation, but, as Bob Dylan so well put it, “the times they are a changing!”
One of the main reasons solid state amplifiers have been disregarded in the past is because cheaper guitar amps were frequently poorly made and were fuzzy or muffled when turned up, giving them a negative reputation, but now we have well-designed, reliable transistor technology. Some of the biggest names in amplification have put this to good use. Many historical recordings feature solid-state guitar amplifiers, but only on high-quality solid-state guitar amplifiers formerly unavailable to most consumers.
Why should I buy Solid State Amp instead of a Tube Amp?
A solid state amplifier’s key selling point is that it is more reliable and easier to maintain than a tube amplifier. You can also play them at a lower volume and still get a good tone out of them. Due to the nature of how tubes work, tube amplifiers typically require greater power (which results in more loudness) to sound their best.
While dependability is certainly an advantage, some artists are unaware that solid state amplifiers may sound rather good in their own right. If you use a lot of pedals, a tube amp’s rich overtones and frequency response might make your tone muddy and unfocused. This is by no means a guarantee, but it is a possibility.
Consider your tone to be a sandwich. Bread, pork, cheese, and lush greens are all on the menu. Your frequency response is analogous to various sauces in this metaphor. The existence of overtones that move toward your desired tone is analogous to placing mayo and/or mustard on a sandwich. When there are too many overtones in a scenario, it’s like putting mustard, mayo, ketchup, soy sauce, and vinegar on it. All of those things are beneficial on their own, but when they are combined, they create a jumbled mess.