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Tones of the Beast: Five Essential Heavy Metal Amps, Part 2

Tones of the Beast: Five Essential Heavy Metal Amps, Part 2

Last week, we posted our picks for five essential heavy metal guitar amps. It featured a quintet of out-of-the-box, ready-for-business bruisers built for purveyors of the heaviest of rock.

The story was so popular -- and there were so many other fine amp choices available -- that we found ourselves asking each other, "Why limit it to five?"

Here, therefore, is an additional serving of five essential metal amps, presented in no particular order. Like last time, this list was compiled by a group of Guitar World staffers, including Technical Editor Paul Riario.

We considered power, versatility and stage-worthiness, narrowing our picks to five amps that will have you ready to seek and destroy right out of the box, no pedals required.

Peavey 6505+

Most high-gain fiends know that Peavey’s 6505 Series amps are evolutionary creations that began with the Peavey/Van Halen–designed 5150 heads. When Peavey’s association with Van Halen ended in 2004, the company continued to build the same insanely high-gain amp under the new 6505 name and went about updating some of the amp’s ancillary features.

However, they didn’t change the amps’ extreme-gain circuits, die-hard construction and affordability.

The amp (which comes in a ton of variations) is primed by up to six 12AX7 preamp tubes and driven by four 6L6GC power tubes, delivering brutal high-gain power.

Try plugging into the high-gain input to double the input gain for crushing overdriven tones. You also can create a second "lead" tone by engaging the Crunch option on the rhythm channel. In the master section, you'll find the Resonance and Presence controls. Resonance acts as a low-frequency boost, while Presence acts as a high-frequency boost, both allowing you to sculpt your tone. All of this tonal power is housed in an exterior that is built for the rigors of the road.

MSRP: $1,349.99 | Buy at Amazon

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